He fooled us once, but this week on “Vikings” King Ragnar finally met his end.

Whether the beloved leader will make it into Valhalla is anyone’s guess, but the character met his end with spectacular fashion, being dropped into a snakepit after returning to Wessex to find out what happened to his Viking settlement.

Losing the show’s hero so early into the second half of season 4 seems like bad timing, but creator Michael Hirst says it had been planned for a long time.

“[It was] very difficult to write, very emotional for me,” Hirst tells Erin Cebula during ET Canada’s S5 exclusive set visit.  “Travis wanted …everything he did and everything he said in that episode to be significant.”

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“We spent a long time going through those scripts, going over those scripts, rewriting. Putting a lot of pressure on the script, making sure Ragnar’s death was as poignant and as meaningful and as devastating as it could be,” he adds.

With Kattegat without its king, or should we say, getting used to their new queen, what do the cast think of saying goodbye to their fearless leader?

“Travis is one of my best friends,” Alexander Ludwig tells Erin. “And he’s been a huge mentor to me. So obviously seeing him go was, for me, it was incredibly sad.”

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“Everybody’s going to be sad that he leaves,” Katheryn Winnick shares, “but we do have an incredible new cast.”

So, in keeping with the theme of the season – who will rise?

Hirst sheds a little light on the path the show will take. “In a sense, Ragnar never goes away. From the start, this has always been the story of Ragnar and his sons. So the father lives on through his sons.”

Find out what happens following Ragnar’s death on “Vikings” airing on History channel Wednesdays at 9 pm ET.

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