Friday afternoon, San Diego was raided by the creator and cast member of HISTORY’s first scripted series “Vikings.” Michael Hirst, who writes every single episode, was joined by the Lothbroks including Travis Fimmel (Ragnar), Katheryn Winnick (Lagertha), Clive Standen (Rollo), and Alexander Ludwig (Bjorn).
During the lively panel, a kickass teaser video was released showcasing footage from the highly anticipated 3rd season of the show. Some additions to the cast have been announced, including Lothaire Bluteau (“The Tudors”) as Emperor Charles of France, Kevin Durand (“The Strain”, “LOST”) as The Wanderer, and Morgane Polanski (The Ghost) as Princess Gisla. During the panel, it was also mentioned that a beloved character had been killed off and the scene was shot right before they left for San Diego. Emotional times, indeed! They wouldn’t indulge us in the detail as to who was offed, but I’ll just say right now – it better not be Floki!
Julian Hobbs (HISTORY’s VP of scripted and nonfiction development) went on the record that the Vikings’ Raid of Paris will play a big part in the story and there will be a tonal shift as we’ll be moving from the Dark Ages to a highly advanced city such as Paris. Hirst chimed in and explained that these Paris episodes and new characters will be featured closer to the end of Season 3 and will lead into a very important and big storyline for Season 4. According to Hirst, “Season 3 really marks a huge upgrading of Viking ambition and abilities. This is the dawn of the Viking Age!”
Katheryn Winnick gave us some insight in the changes that Lagertha has gone through. “Now that she’s a Jarl, in her own right you might ask yourself how she deals with it and now in Season 3, you will see her go through another change and go through a different journey. I’m a free woman!”
Which takes us to King Ragnar. Travis Fimmel told the crowd about Ragnar’s headspace going into Season 3, saying that he’s thinking about power and how it corrupts good people. “I’m wondering if I will become corrupt and how many more conflicts it will cause and if it’ll hurt my family.”
“What drives Ragnar is a great curiosity,” Hirst said. “A great passion for other lands. And to fulfill that passion he’s had to take power.”
Later at the press room, Michael Hirst talked about how long he wants the show to last: “Depends on how long HISTORY will keep the show going! I told them I want to keep it going until they discover America.” Right now, it’s only 50 years into The Viking Age which lasted 400, so we have a while to go until America comes into play. Here’s hoping the show will last that long! On how the show came to fruition, Hirst explained that MGM approached him as they have the rights to an old movie named Vikings and he then began learning so much about the culture and soon HISTORY’s first scripted series was born.
Speaking further on Lagertha’s new journey and the changes we’ll see, Winnick said, “Lagertha is now in a position of power. She’s come into her own and her dynamic will change.” This change includes her discovery of her sexuality and how it will play in her position of power but also affect her as a woman. The actress told us of the challenges in playing that characteristic in a character and what it not only means to Lagertha but also to the modern woman today.
When asked how Paris will play a role in Season 3, Clive Standen was quick to say, “We’re not done with England yet. Paris is going to happen but we have unfinished business in England!” He then shared how Season 3 will go back to the drive for exploration and the search for new land. The show will continue exploring the differences between Paganism and Christianity. When discussing Rollo, Standen said, “Rollo may have realized that he’s lost everything and he’s come to his senses but his ambitions are still there. He’s simmering but it’s not to do with Ragnar anymore.”
Historically speaking, Bjorn Ironside becomes a powerful figure in his own right and eventually will surpass his father. When asked about the father/son dynamic going into the new season, Fimmel stated, “This year, I’m trying to toughen him up. I’m getting too old. I huff and puff when I do the fight scenes. I’m trying to toughen him up and teach him how dangerous power is and does he really want it?”
“HISTORY’s Vikings” will not be airing any new episodes until 2015, but at least they released this awesome trailer to tide us over! Check it out!
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