Ahhh it’s that time of year… the Vikings are restless and not content to sit at home waiting for the next raiding season. They need to get out and about, to make good use of their off season, to gather with others, celebrate, strategize, plan future raids and share news of their victories… or defeats as is sometimes the unfortunate case. One of those places that they gather at is surprising and a bit unusual given the fact that it so far from their home bases and usual raiding lands. But, we know that they have ever been the adventurous types, curious about the world, intent on exploring and conquering all of it in one way or another. If we look at their history, we should not really be surprised either that they show up now on the shores of our America… though, in the past as far as we know- they only made excursions to the north eastern parts and the middle areas of our vast region. Now, they seem quite familiar with all of our coasts and apparently enjoy a warm, sunny vacation destination as much as the rest of us do! They have made it a tradition to gather on the western coast in San Diego each summer for a festival commonly known to us as San Diego Comi-Con!
San Diego Comic-Con International is a multigenre entertainment and comic convention held annually in San Diego, California. It was founded as the Golden State Comic Book Convention in 1970 by a group of San Diegans, which included Shel Dorf, Richard Alf, Ken Krueger, and Mike Towry; later, it was called the “San Diego Comic Book Convention.” The name, as given on its website, is Comic-Con International: San Diego; but it is commonly known simply as Comic-Con or the San Diego Comic-Con or “SDCC.” It is a four-day event (Thursday-Sunday) held during the summer at the San Diego Convention Center in San Diego, California. On the Wednesday evening prior to the official opening of the event, there is a preview for professionals, exhibitors, and select guests pre-registered for all four days.
Comic-Con International also produces two other conventions, WonderCon, held in Anaheim, California, and the Alternative Press Expo (APE), held in San Francisco. Since 1974, Comic-Con has bestowed its annual Inkpot Award on guests and persons of interest in the Popular Arts industries, as well as on members of Comic-Con’s Board of Directors and the Convention Committee. It is also the home of the Will Eisner Awards.
Originally showcasing primarily comic books and science fiction/fantasy related film, television, and similar popular arts, the convention now includes a larger range of pop culture and entertainment elements across virtually all genres, including horror, animation, anime, manga, toys, collectible card games, video games, webcomics, and fantasy novels. According to Forbes, the convention is the “largest convention of its kind in the world;” Publishers Weekly wrote “Comic-Con International: San Diego is the largest show in North America;” it is also the largest convention held in San Diego. In 2010, it filled the San Diego Convention Center to capacity with more than 130,000 attendees.
Along with panels, seminars, and workshops with comic book professionals, there are previews of upcoming feature films, and portfolio review sessions with top comic book and video game companies. The evenings include events such as awards ceremonies, the annual Masquerade costume contest, and the Comic-Con International Independent Film Festival, which showcases shorts and feature-length movies that do not have distribution or distribution deals.
Traditional events include an eclectic film program, screening rooms devoted to Japanese animation, gaming, programs such as cartoonist Scott Shaw!‘s “Oddball Comics” slide show and animation expert Jerry Beck‘s program featuring TV’s “worst cartoons ever”, as well as over 350 hours of other programming on all aspects of comic books and pop culture.
Like most comic-book conventions, Comic-Con features a large floorspace for exhibitors. These include media companies such as movie studios and TV networks, as well as comic-book dealers and collectibles merchants. And like most comics conventions, Comic-Con includes an autograph area, as well as the Artists’ Alley where comics artists can sign autographs and sell or do free sketches. Despite the name, artists’ alleys can include writers and even models.
This year, as in the past few years since the Vikings discovered this festival, they will arriving in full force to join in the celebrations, the sharing, and the conquering of the city… at least for a few days! They have prepared well for this event, bringing with them some high status representatives, long boats equipped to ride the streets, weaponry to impress even the most feared enemies, and from what I have heard- a plentiful supply of mead and spirits along with appropriate containers from which to drink said spirits!
The high status representatives will include King Ragnar himself (Travis Fimmel) I can only assume that he has indeed survived his grevious injuries and is on his way to recovering… he will be sharing his experiences and his thoughts on the future at a much anticipated panel discussion on Friday, July 10th from 3:30pm to 4:30pm in Room 6A! Others joining him at this event will include Rollo (Clive Standen), Lagertha (Katheryn Winnick), Bjorn (Alexander Ludwig), and the much esteemed creator/story teller Michael Hirst. During this event, the groups will give us some insights on the recent past as well as share some previews and glimpses of what’s to come in the future!
Other planned events will include the following:
VIKINGS BLUDGEON BOOTH – CONVENTION CENTER
Vikings will be in booth #437 with a cinematic Instagram booth, allowing fans to create their own special effects Viking battle.
- The Bludgeon Booth is a walk-in glass and wooden structure, equipped with multiple ultra-slow motion cameras
- Fans dress in authentic costume, choose their opponent and then swing their Viking weapon to unleash special-effect blood splatter; cameras capture cinema-quality footage, which is compiled by on-site editors and integrated into a battle scene from the show
- 15s clips depicting a Viking battle are sharable via Instagram and other social platforms
The drinking horns come with a stand and are black and red as opposed to last year’s white and black ones. Being one of the craft beer hotspots in the country, this is a natural pairing and one of the best ideas for Comic-Con swag.
VIKINGS HORNS – GASLAMP DISTRICT
Last year’s Vikings drinking horn program returns, giving thousands of horn-shaped beer vessels to eager and thirsty fans.
- Select local bars will offer special drink discounts for horn-holders. Some locations include: Analog Bar, Florent Restaurant & Lounge, East Village Tavern + Bowl and The New Yorker. Visit the Bludgeon Booth in the convention center for a full list.
- Vikings Brand Ambassadors and Shield Maidens will distribute the horns throughout the Gaslamp District
VIKINGS LONGSHIP – DOWNTOWN / GASLAMP DISTRICT
Fans can ride through San Diego aboard a Vikings Longship, driving through Downtown, Gaslamp Quarter and sailing the harbor on Friday, July 10th and Saturday, July 11th.
- Custom fabrication and boat wrap will transform a popular San Diego “Seal Boat” into a Vikings Longship
- The boat will offer fans free stops to select Gaslamp locations, with fans receiving a Vikings Drinking Horn at the conclusion of the ride. Exact stops TBA.
- Select fans will also have a chance to win a sunset cruise aboard the Longship with the cast of Vikings.
- Follow @HistoryVikings for details on how to get a Longship ride and win a chance to board the sunset cruise with the cast.
Ahhhh sadly and unfortunately, I can not personally attend this great gathering but I have found a couple of very willing but only slightly trustworthy emissaries who have graciously volunteered to go in my place and return with information, pictures and hopefully some sort of booty or treasure. I do say only slightly trustworthy because they are both easily distracted and swayed by any other competing forces that might vie for their attention! I am quite certain that the young woman’s attention will be focused more fully on those Outlanders reputed to be arriving there in full force as well. She has already made that abundantly clear… should it come down to some choosing between the factions, she will be siding with Outlander- ungrateful little chit she is, that one! Here I am staying at the home place to attend to the livestock for her and she makes little of my need to know of our Vikings! None the less, she will provide us with some glimpse of that Outlander future. Now, as to the young man who will go as my eyes and ears… he has little patience or tolerance for tightly packed, crowded forums where he must listen attentively to news being shared. He has shown interest however, in the other activities such as the displays of battle and weaponry. He has also shown some interest in my challenge put forth to him, to track down those warriors and shield maidens passing out free drinking horns, to score the prize of one such horn, use it to receive discounted drinks at various establishments and then return it to me along with a respectable amount of photos and such for me to share here with all of you! I should also mention that this young man has been bribed rather well and I should be loathe to find out that he is neglectful of that fact! Let us all pray to the Gods for these voyagers to be successful in their quest and return safely to their Mother with arms full of plunder and stories to share!
The Vikings will be bringing with them an added story to share with fans in the form of a comic…the official Vikings SDCC comic book will be handed out to fans who attend the “Bludgeon Booth” on the convention floor or ride the Longship in the Gaslamp district.
details regarding the comic: Vikings creator/writer Michael Hirst wrote the story, with Ralph Tedesco and Joe Brusha acting as script writers. The inside artwork is by Dennis Calero and the cover art – featuring a scheming Floki, an outraged Ragnar, and an injured Lagertha – was done by Anthony Spay.
There as many speculations and thoughts on what will come for the Vikings next season as there are fans. Everyone has their own view or wish of what they would like to see happen to this group of characters and the story as it continues on to an unknown future/history! I try not to speculate too much because I really hate being wrong and having my face rubbed in it at a later date! There are a few things we do know so far because Mr. Hirst and the history channel have shared a few small details with us. One of those details is still quite amazing to me… They have leaked information via some social media that there will be a total of 20 episodes for next season!
In a recent interview, Clive Standen shared the news of this extended season:
Actor Clive Standen attended the Monte-Carlo Television Festival earlier this week, eschewing Rollo’s former chest-length locks in favor of a close-cropped look.
“The reason I haven’t got long hair now is a big, big plot spoiler for season 4,” Standen told French news outlet TFI. “We’re in the middle of season 4 filming, we’re on episode 5 and we’re doing 20 episodes this year. So we’re in it for the long haul for season 4.”
It’s safe to say that Rollo’s new ‘do is closely tied to his impending nuptials. Although the Viking is clearly working to emulate the Parisian style, it sounds like it will take a lot more than a haircut to placate his bride-to-be.
“That’s going to be part of the uphill struggle that Rollo has essentially because the French Princess Gisla (Morgane Polanski) is not actually a big fan of the Vikings, let alone Rollo. So he has a mountain to climb and he’s going to have to win her to his side,” Standen teased, adding that “there’s going to be some fireworks ahead” for the disparate characters.
Michael Hirst has shared too that Aslaug will not wanting to easily give up the power that she has had during Ragnar’s long absence. Ragnar (Travis Fimmel) has wanderlust in the worst way. The King of Denmark would rather be in Paris or Wessex than home in Kattegat, and his absence has made his wife quite fond of power. Unfortunately for the ailing Ragnar, it appears season 4 will give the couple more to argue about than his religious leanings or his problematic infidelity. “She’s had a taste for power while he’s been away and when we return in season four, we’ll see that she’s enjoying that taste,” he told The Hollywood Reporter.
Clive Standen has shared another glimpse of the future with us in his posting of this photo:
It’s difficult to know from the photo exactly who these fallen warriors are. All we can be sure of is that the bloody battles are far from over!
We also know for certain that there will be at least one time jump during the next season. Hirst has already confirmed that the voyage home for the Viking group will take at least a few years so that leaves Aslaug in control of Kattegat by herself for quite some time. During that time their small children will grow up a bit, as will the little ones in Wessex. These two smiling boys play Judith’s sons, Athelred and Alfred in season 4.
As to what will happen in Wessex, the Norsemen’s impact on Wessex is far form over, it appears. Aethelwulf (Moe Dunford), son of King Ecbert (Linus Roache) and husband to the adulterous Judith (Jennie Jacques), will renter the storyline at least once when Vikings returns to the History Channel in 2016. Moe Dunford recently shared a preview of Wessex Archers preparing for battle, and Michael Hirst shared his comments on Wessex.
Ragnar’s (Travis Fimmel) relationship with Wessex is currently quite complicated. The King of Denmark has yet to retaliate following the destruction of his hard won farming settlement, and viewers can expect the ailing ruler to release his fury at some point in the near future.
“I have no intention of letting that world go,” series creator Michael Hirst told Entertainment Weekly. “There is unfinished business. It’s always on Ragnar’s mind. One day he’s going to go back and try and settle it. Someone has to pay for the destruction of the settlement.”
We know from previous news releases that three new characters will join the adventure and you can read about them here:
Michael Hirst has confirmed and assured us that Rollo’s path will now continue on with him becoming the founder and leader of Normandy. He has stated that Rollo’s story will not stray too far from that history and that you should perhaps take some time to read more about the history of the real Rollo! He has also stated that Judith’s son Alfred is indeed the future ruler, Alfred the Great. Alfred will do battle against the sons of Ragnar for control of the kingdoms.
As to the future of Ragnar, Hirst has made comments that the series was never intended to be just the story of Ragnar Lodbrok, but an epic saga of the whole Viking era. He has alluded to the grim fact that yes, Ragnar will eventually die and leave his sons to carry on the saga. How or when he will meet his actual demise is still uncertain but I personally think that Hirst has given us a number of clues regarding that fate. Early on in the first season, we saw King Aelle building his infamous snake pit…
Much more recently we saw images of Ragnar with a snake…
Michael Hirst puts a great deal of symbolism and precursor clues into his work and if you pay close attention to those details you often find clues to a future event within scenes. It was odd that we saw no further mention or reference to Aelle’s snake pit after that initial scene in season one. Given Hirst’s penchant for symbolism and significant details, I can not imagine that it was put in for no reason. It did have some reason and I think that we will see it again in Ragnar’s future… whether he actually meets his final end there or somewhere else remains to be seen. Only Mr. Hirst knows the answer to that. He has given us plenty of advance and fair warning though that at some point in the foreseeable future, Ragnar will meet his end.
Realistically, anything else is just speculation or wishful thinking as to what might or might happen to all of these people that we have come to care so much about!