The producers of Vikings, a historical-drama to air in 2013, have released new details about the show, including more about the plot and the actors who will be donning Norse gear.
The Irish-Canadian production, which began filming in Ireland this month, will air next year in Canada on History Television and in the US on the History Channel. It will be distributed worldwide by MGM Television. The series follows the exploits of Ragnar Lothbrok, a semi-legendary figure from the 9th century who is also the namesake of the Old Norse work Ragnar’s Saga.
The producers describe the Vikings as “a series high on adventure, exploration, conflict, warfare and bloodshed – for these were extreme times – but, at its heart, it will also be a family saga. It follows the adventures of Ragnar Lothbrok, a historical figure, and the greatest hero of his age – and the gripping sagas of Ragnar’s band of Viking brothers and his family – as he rises to become King of the Viking tribes.”
Travis Fimmel (The Beast, Baytown Outlaws) will play the lead role, with Gustaf Skarsgard (The Way Back) as Floki, a close friend of Ragnar’s who is an eccentric jokester yet an inventive, creative boat-builder and Clive Standen (Camelot, Robin Hood) as Rollo, Ragnar’s excessive, cruel cousin.
Other cast members include Golden Globe Award winner Gabriel Byrne (In Treatment, Usual Suspects, Millers Crossing), who will star as Earl Haraldson, the most important local ruler in Ragnar’s district, and George Blagden (Les Miserables, Wrath of the Titans), who will play Athelstan, an Anglo-Saxon monk captured by Ragnar on his first raid on England.
Two Canadian actresses also will be appearing – Jessalyn Gilsig (Glee, Heroes, CSI: NY, Nip/Tuck, Friday Night Lights) has signed to play Siggy Earl Haraldson’s beautiful wife and Katheryn Winnick (Bones, Love and Other Drugs) will play Lagertha, Ragnar’s first wife and famous shield maiden who often fights alongside him.
The plot of Vikings will focus on Ragnar Lothbrok (Fimmel), who is a young Norwegian farmer with a wife and family. His local chieftain, Earl Haraldson (Byrne), is sending his Vikings raiders east every summer, to the Baltic states and Russia, whose populations are as materially poor as themselves. Lagertha (Winnick) is the first wife of Ragnar’s and their marriage is a love-match. Ragnar was first attracted to Lagertha when she came to fight for a local Norwegian ruler against an invading Sweden. Floki (Skarsgard), based partly on the Norse god Loki, is an impish character and ship builder who designs and builds the prototype of the new generation of Viking ships which can sail across the open ocean but also up the shallowest of rivers. He is a design genius and he allows Ragnar to fulfill his dreams of sailing west and discovering new lands and new civilizations. Siggy (Gilsig) is Earl Haraldson’s beautiful wife and an enigmatic character. She performs her duties impeccably and with style, but she may not be completely loyal to her husband. Rollo (Standen) is Ragnar’s cousin and initially one of his closest friends, involved in his early raids. But soon becomes jealous of his fame and success.
It will take 18 weeks to complete the filming of the first season, and will cost over €30 million. The show is created and written by Michael Hirst, who has made other historical-dramas like The Tudors and The Borgias. Vikings is expected to be seen on viewer’s television sets in April 2013.
Source: History Television