Vikings: Why did Bishop Heahmund have to die?

Vikings ended after six seasons at the start of 2021 and viewers were sad to see the saga finish. One of the fan-favourite characters from across the series was Bishop Heahmund (played by Jonathan Rhys Meyers). He suffered an unexpected fate and fans are keen to know why he had to die.

Why did Bishop Heahmund have to die?

Bishop Heahmund joined the cast of Vikings for season four and he was a Saxon bishop from Wessex.

He was known to be an unconventional bishop, as he was often found sleeping with various women.

The Saxons were forced to retreat and Ubbe (Jordan Patrick Smith) and Hvitserk (Marco Ilsø) visited them to ask for peace.

Heahmund, who had started to form a relationship with Lagertha (Katheryn Winnick) was keen to fight back.

Once again the Vikings stood their ground and Heahmund was held captive by Ivar (Alex Høgh Andersen).

READ MORE: Vikings cast: Why did Siggy star Jessalyn Gilsig leave Vikings? 

He joined in the fight with Ivar and was badly injured, but Lagertha let him live.

Following his recovery, he and Lagertha had a secret sexual relationship, but their secret was discovered by Cuthred (Jonathan Delaney Tynan).

When Cuthred confronted him, Heahmund murdered him and fans got to see a darker side to him.

He took part in the battle against King Harald’s (Peter Franzén) men and killed plenty of Norse fighters.

Sadly he was hit in the chest with several arrows and Gunnhild (Ragga Ragnars) finished him off.

He said: “The nature of the character and his intensity means that he is much like a Roman candle: it must shine bright, have its effect and leave.”

As Heahmund was such a unique character, it was only right he went out all guns blazing in battle.

The bishop had no interest in living through battles and would have rather died a hero than a coward.

Heahmund was meant to have witnessed hell before his death as he had of course sinned throughout his life.

However the creators came to the conclusion that less is more, so they dropped the hell element.

Hirst said that for a while he did not know when exactly Heahmund was going to die.

He knew there would be a huge battle at the end of season five and someone significant would die, but he did not know who.

Heahmund became the subject after it was decided his character could not have gone on any further afterwards.

Some fans hit out after his death, saying they were expecting bigger things from the character.

One said on Reddit: “I was hoping to see much more of him and redeem his character and make him a thorn in Ivar’s side, but instead the writer’s decided to do away with him entirely and not meet his full potential as a character. It’s a damn shame.”

Vikings airs on History and Prime Video