ByBrooke Geller, writer at
Awkward nerd, aspiring shieldmaiden and friend to all doggos.
Brooke Geller

The Vikings season finale switched from sad to sexy pretty fast. One minute we're dealing with Siggurd's murder, and the next we're introduced to a brand new character— who's in what might just be the show's raunchiest sex scene yet.

It was quite the introduction for Heahmund, Jonathan Rhys Meyers' new character on . But while you were distracted by the sexy bishop, you may have missed a vital detail at the very end of the scene: Heahmund's sword.

Vikings [Credit: History]
Vikings [Credit: History]

The most intriguing thing about the sword isn't its impressive blue orb or glinting blade, but the inscription on the hilt. It looks to be quite possibly Latin, and there's no doubt it carries heavy significance for Bishop Heahmund. But what does it mean?

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Wait, Who's Heahmund?

Vikings [Credit: History]
Vikings [Credit: History]

Still a little lost as to who that nympho guy in the robe is? No, it's not Alfred after a time jump. In fact, it's a new character entirely. Heahmund is the Bishop of Sherborne, a man of god who also happens to be a ruthless warrior. He spends just as much time on the battlefield as in church, slaying his enemies in the name of the lord. He's going to feature very heavily in Season 5, along with that epic sword.

What Does The Inscription Say?

Vikings [Credit: History]
Vikings [Credit: History]

The inscription on the sword reads "Ananyzapata"— a possible variation of the word "Ananizapta", a medieval epigraph that's been found in both Germany and England. It's said to repel evil and protect its good Christian wearer from harm and destruction.

Historically, the inscription has been found on a few ancient relics, but most notably on a stone called the Middleham Jewel in North Yorkshire. The pendant is loaded with Christian imagery and no doubt served as inspiration for Heahmund's sword.

Why Is This Important?

Vikings [Credit: History]
Vikings [Credit: History]

There's an important connection between that holy inscription and Heahmund's character. First of all, it's obvious that Heahmund's weapon is far from the ceremonial sword the Pope gave to Alfred after his holy pilgrimage. It's intended for combat, and Heahmund is definitely planning to use it— especially against a certain group of pagan invaders.

Season Four of Vikings showed us just how defenceless the English armies are against their heathen enemies. They were no match for the Norsemen's brute strength and ruthless vigour, and they're well aware that they're going to have to step up their game to face this new and ongoing threat.

This is where Heahmund steps in. He's more than prepared to battle it out with the sons of Ragnar, and he knows he's going to need all the protection he can get from their destructive forces. Let's hope that inscription does what it's meant to.

Check out Heahmund in the trailer for Vikings Season Five:


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