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Vikings renewed for sixth season

And Katheryn Winnick will direct an episode

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A+E Networks

The fifth season of Vikings won’t debut until Nov. 29, but the cable channel has already planned more adventures for the conquering Northmen and their various enemies. HISTORY announced Tuesday that they had officially ordered 20 episodes for a sixth season of the seafaring epic.

Season 6 will begin filming this fall in Ireland. And – more exciting news for longtime Vikings fans – one episode will be directed by Katheryn Winnick, who’s played shieldmaiden-turned-Queen Lagertha since the show began.

“It has been my pleasure and my privilege to work with HISTORY and our partner MGM over five seasons and 69 episodes of Vikings,” said the show’s creator Michael Hirst in the statement announcing the renewal. He also teased that the sixth season “will deliver a huge and unexpected revelation to our audience.”

We’ll find out what that revelation is… eventually. First up is season 5. The first 10 episodes kick off with a two-hour premiere on Nov. 29, and the second half of the series will storm TV sets sometime in 2018. The new season features the new character Bishop Heahmund, played by Jonathan Rhys Meyers, and also required the production to film in the desert.

Vikings originally focused on Travis Fimmel’s Ragnar Lothbrok, a farmer who ascended to royalty. But Ragnar died late in the fourth season, in the 44th episode, although the show had already begun focusing towards on a new generation of Vikings. With this new order, the network has assured the series at least an 89-episode run – which could theoretically carry Vikings through another generation. It could go further, of course: Hirst has often teased that the series will end with the Vikings discovering America.