It's been a long and winding road, but we are just days away from the final episodes of Vikings Season 6.
As previously reported, Amazon Prime will be home to the final ten episodes, but they will see the light of day on History at some point in 2021.
TV Fanatic had the opportunity to ask series creator Michael Hirst some questions about the conclusion ahead of broadcast.
Hirst wrote every single episode of the series, something he found challenging with these final episodes because they were bringing all of these big journeys to a head.
"It was more challenging," he confirmed, adding:
"Except that the challenge was equal to the challenge of the first season. The pilot episode is always the most difficult and dangerous one."
"You have to introduce a world, a whole set of new characters, some fundamental story-lines without overwhelming the audience with too much information."
"I had to tease in Ragnar, Rollo, Lagertha, and young Bjorn right upfront. That was difficult enough. Imagine how much more difficult it was to imagine killing them all off six years later?" he continued.
"It was agony. But I knew deep down where the storylines and the lifelines ended. So I had made my peace with the gods."
Vikings Season 6 Episode 10 concluded with Bjorn and Harald seemingly killed in battle, but the trailer for the final episodes shows them both to be very much alive.
Michael teases that Bjorn has very much returned to Kattegat to plot some moves as the end-game approaches.
"At the end of Part A of the last season, it seems like Ivar has stabbed his brother Bjorn to death," says Hirst.
"Of course, their personal battle exists inside their own heads. All battles have an objective reality, and a subjective one," the creator dished.
"So we can imagine that Bjorn, though desperately injured, by Ivar or some other enemy, has withdrawn to Kattegat to plot his final moves in this particular end-game."
"And that end-game still needs to be played out in these last extraordinary episodes."
If you watch Vikings online, you know Gunnhild and Ingrid were hardly friends, and I thought there was a chance they could come together to help Bjorn.
According to Hirst, they are two very different people.
"They are very different people, very different women. Gunnhild is a very moral presence," he said.
"She feels a deep obligation to do the right thing - as influenced and set out by previous shield maidens like Lagertha."
"Gunnhild has always been one of my favourite characters. She never compromises. But she does come from the higher strata of Viking society."
"By contrast, Ingrid is an ex-slave. She is a wild card – and here I should say something about the creative process."
"By introducing a known/unknown character into your drama, you risk being taken into areas you hadn’t anticipated," Hirst said of introducing Ingrid so late into the run of the show.
"That can be uncomfortable – it can also be exciting. I felt that about Ingrid. She was slightly out of my control."
"She was bound to be competitive with Gunnhild, even along class lines. It was wonderful to work out how these two rather powerful women would engage with each other, and in turn, engage with Bjorn."
The creator also said that he felt sorry for Bjorn at some points, but he "remembered how disastrous his relationships with women always were."
"He really deserved to suffer under the attention of these two Valkyries," Hirst concludes.
Another big story on Vikings Season 6A involved the conflict between Ivar and Oleg. They were supposed to be on the same side but were conspiring against one another behind closed doors.
When asked whether the conflict would boil over in the final ten episodes, Michael said the following:
"The conflict, partly psychological, between Ivar and Oleg is played out in these last episodes."
"At first, Ivar has seemed the victim, but gradually he has gained leverage, particularly though his relationship with the true heir to the Russ throne, Prince Igor," Hirst teases.
"We have seen a new side to Ivar’s character – a caring side. The question is whether that caring side can actually protect Igor from the malevolent strategies of Oleg?"
It all sounds very exciting, right?
TV Fanatic will have episodic reviews of the final ten episodes, as well as post-mortem pieces following some of the big events as the series winds down.
Vikings Season 6B launches December 30 on Amazon Prime.
Paul Dailly is the Associate Editor for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.