SDCC: Vikings raid Comic-Con to promote third season

"Vikings" At Comic-Con 2014

Audiences may have to wait until 2015 for the third season of Vikings to find its way back to the History Chanel, but San Diego Comic-Con International made it possible for fans to catch a sneak peek at the new season.

In our interview, writer and creator of the series Michael Hirst made it clear that this new season will be just as wrought in interpersonal tension as it is psychological tension. “Most powerful people are either corrupt anyway or are corrupted by power,” he said, speaking of Ragnar’s increasing fame and influence. “In his own mind, he’s now struggling with this idea about ‘what is power, and what is it going to do to me? What am I going to tell my son about what power is and what responsibility is?’ What’s wonderful is that we don’t have a show about getting the throne. What’s important is what you do to get the throne and what it’s taken you to get there. A lot of the season is about the cost of power and the price you pay getting to the top.”

Yet Ragnar’s rise to fame has not only affected him, but also his entire family. When asked whether Rollo’s jealous nature may rear its ugly head again in season three, actor Clive Standen said, “He’s incapable of killing his brother; he’s incapable of doing what his ambition tells him… But that ambition is still there, and is never going to go away. There’s an ugliness still in Rollo every time he sees Ragnar progressing with his station and his fame. So maybe it’s not now about betraying Ragnar, but it’s about ‘is this Rollo’s destiny? Is he always going to be second fiddle? The Gods have kept him alive for something, why?’ He goes through all the pain and Ragnar gets all the benefits.” Ragnar’s actor, Travis Fimmel, was eager to add his belief that Rollo may have some anger management issues.

The cast and crew were also eager to bring the show’s strengths into the limelight in an effort to explain its expanding popularity. “I think a lot of people have been trying to copy Game of Thrones for far too long, and Vikings has never tried to do that,” said Standen. “It’s not a fantasy show; it’s a historical drama. And it’s a subject matter that’s never been done on television before.” Hirst echoed this sentiment, saying, “I’m very proud of the fact that it’s a show that is real; it’s based on real people and real things, and we shoot it in a real way. I’m on record as saying I don’t like fantasy.” Travis Fimmel also agreed, saying that, “This was such an important time in history. True stories are always far more interesting than fiction.”

"Vikings" At Comic-Con 2014Another element of Vikings frequently lauded was the treatment of the female characters on the show. Actress Katheryn Winnick, who plays Lagertha on the show, described feeling pride being able to play a woman like Lagertha. “If you push it, you don’t get the same respect. The more confident you are in yourself, the more people respect you. If you force it, you aren’t going to get it, but if you earn their respect and you do it in a way where sometimes you don’t have to push it. Sometimes you get a lot more with sugar and spice than you do with a sledgehammer.” Perhaps Standen put it best when he said, “The problem lies with other TV shows. Women are always murdered and maimed and never really given their rightful place as lead characters, and I think that Michael is just writing what should have been written a long time ago. There shouldn’t be anything that different about Vikings, but there is because there’s just been too many shows that have not stepped up to the plate and given female actors and female characters equal footing.”

WaterHowever, perhaps one of the biggest strengths is the genuine affection between the cast members. Travis Fimmel has quite the reputation for being a prankster on set, though he certainly gets his share as the butt of the joke. Partway through our interview, Katheryn Winnick crept up from behind to dump a bottle of water onto her on-screen ex-husband’s head. But Fimmel says he’s been disappointed with his own antics thus far. “I’ve done nothing good this year. I’ve just succumb to little dumb stuff, the waters on the door when you walk into the room and talcum powder on the fans and stuff. I’ve got to think of something good; I’ve got a couple of ideas of how I’m going to get them.”

Vikings will return for its third season on the History Chanel in 2015. Check out this sneak preview of the new season that’s currently be being filmed!

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