This page is in progress!
Vikings is an historical drama television series written and created by Michael Hirst for the television channel History. It premiered on 3 March 2013 in the United States and Canada. Filmed in Ireland, it is an official Ireland/Canada co-production.
Vikings is inspired by the sagas of Viking Ragnar Lothbrok, one of the best-known mythological Norse heroes and notorious as the scourge of England and France. It portrays Ragnar as a former farmer who rises to fame by successful raids into England with the support of his family and fellow warriors: his brother Rollo, his son Bjorn, and his wives—the shieldmaiden Lagertha and the princess Aslaug.
On 5 April 2013, History renewed Vikings for a ten-episode second season, which premiered on 27 February 2014. On 25 March 2014, History renewed Vikings for a ten-episode third season, which is scheduled to air on February 19, 2015.
I will be covering the individual episodes and ongoing story lines in my ongoing posts so I am not going to list them here! On this page I am going to provide you with a list of the Cast, their characters, a very brief bio on each, and any reference links to the character. Many of the characters are loosely based on some historical person or legend/myth. If the character has such a historical or legendary reference, I will provide here. This page is the only place that I will provide pirctures and information on the real person/actor behind the character. The continuing blog posts on the show will only refer to the Character and make no other reference to their real life persona!
I do want to add my personal thoughts on the show and it’s characters here. Yes, the characters are often based on real life historical figures and events, but that does not mean that they will necessarily follow the exact time lines and lives of the history to which they are linked. It is called historical fiction for a reason! I am providing the reference links so that you can begin your own searches if you are interested in more exact detail on such people, places and events. Does the fact that is fiction make it of less value, interest or importance? No, I firmly believe that it is a well documented and researched show that creates added interest in the historical time period it deals with! As I get into my blog posts about the show, I will attempt to point out where differences might be in relation to what is going on. That leads me to my other thought on the show… The show is called Vikings, not the Story of Ragnar Lothbrok? Yes, it begins with him, his family and his legacy, but as with most epic sagas and stories, there is much more to all of the history and the story than just Ragnar! I make this point because I feel at times as though Ragnar’s actions and his role gets too white washed and his heroism gets all of the lime light? It’s not that I don’t like him, I do like him. I think he is doing a fine job of leading right now… it’s just that I think there is going to be a turn in the future and I want to look at him as clearly and unobjectively as possible!
Ok, enough of my personal rambling! Here is the Cast and Character information:
Ragnar Lothbrok: Travis Fimmel as legendary Viking Ragnar Lothbrok. Originally a farmer, Ragnar claims to be a descendant of the god Odin, and during the show’s run he manages to rise to become a respected Earl of his home settlement Kattegat, as well as a feared warrior, a famed raider of undiscovered lands, and, finally, King of Denmark.
Travis Fimmel: Travis Fimmel (born 15 July 1979) is an Australian actor and former model. He is best known for his high-profile Calvin Klein campaign, for co-starring opposite Patrick Swayze in the TV series The Beast and for his break-out role as Ragnar Lothbrok in the History Channel’s critically acclaimed series Vikings.
Lagertha: Katheryn Winnick as Lagertha, Ragnar’s first wife; a shieldmaiden. Following the separation of her and Ragnar, Lagertha rises to become Earl of Hedeby in her own right, going by the name Earl Ingstad.
Legend/history of Lagertha: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lagertha
Katheryn Winnick: Katheryn Winnick (born Katerena Anna Vinitska; December 17, 1977) is a Canadian actress. She is best known for her roles in Amusement (2008), Bones (2010), A Glimpse Inside the Mind of Charles Swan III (2012), Vikings (2013), and The Art of the Steal (2013).
Rollo Lothbrok: Clive Standen as Rollo, Ragnar’s brother. Although a ruthless and skilled warrior, having spent his life in the shadow of his brother makes Rollo’s feelings towards Ragnar constantly changing from loyal love and admiration, to hateful jealousy. The character is based on the great-great-great-grandfather of William the Conqueror.
Rollo in history: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rollo
I am also including the link to William the Conqueror here because of his importance in history!
Clive Standen: Clive Standen (born 22 July 1981) is an English actor best known for playing Sir Gawain in the Starz series Camelot as well as ‘Archer’, the brother of Robin Hood in the BBC TV series Robin Hood, Private Carl Harris in the British sci-fi show Doctor Who and Rollo, the brother of Ragnar in the History Channel TV series Vikings.
Ummmm yeah, OK, I am being a bit biased and playing favorites here with Clive and with Rollo… I will not apologize for it! Rollo is my guy and I stand with him no matter how many stupid mistakes he makes!
Clive Standen bio: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm1641140/bio?ref_=nm_ov_bio_sm
Siggy: Jessalyn Gilsig as Siggy, Earl Haraldson’s wife, and later love-interest of Rollo. She possesses a strategic mind and a tireless urge to retain (or regain) her power and influence.
Siggy is a fictional creation, there is no historical reference for her!
Jessalyn Gilsig: Jessalyn Sarah Gilsig (born November 30, 1971) is a Canadian actress known for her roles in the television series Boston Public, as Gina Russo in Nip/Tuck and as Will Schuester‘s wife/ex-wife, Terri Schuester, in Glee. She is currently appearing as Siggy, a series regular on the History Channel series Vikings.
Floki: Gustaf Skarsgård as Floki, a gifted, albeit eccentric, shipbuilder and friend of Ragnar. Acknowledging his peculiar character traits, Floki considers himself a descendant of the trickster god Loki.
While Floki is a completely fictional character with no supposed historical reference link, I am going to include the link to Loki, the trickster because Floki considers himself a descendant!
Gustaf Skarsgård was born in Stockholm, Sweden, to Swedish actor Stellan Skarsgård and My, a physician. He has five siblings: Alexander, Sam, Bill, Eija and Valter, and two half-brothers from his father’s second wife Megan Everett, Ossian and Kolbjörn. Alexander, Bill, and Valter are also actors. His godfather is acclaimed Swedish actor Peter Stormare.
Athelstan: George Blagden as Athelstan, an Anglo-Saxon monk originally serving at the monastery of Lindisfarne in Northumbria. Captured by Ragnar on his first raid in England, Athelstan is torn between the customs of the Christian England and the pagan ways of Scandinavia.
Athelstan is another fictional character but his role as a monk at Lindisfarne is a real part of history so I am including links to Lindisfarne along with historical links for the Anglo-Saxons and Northumbria.
Early Anglo-Saxon history: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anglo-Saxons
George Blagden: George Paul Blagden (born 28 December 1989) is an English stage and film actor. He is best known for his role as Athelstan in the television series Vikings. He also played Grantaire, in the 2012 film adaptation of Les Misérables and will portray Louis XIV in the upcoming French produced television series drama, ‘Versailles’.
Bjorn Lothbrok: Alexander Ludwig as Bjorn Ironside, Ragnar and Lagertha’s son, given his nickname by his father, following his first battle with the Saxons (Season 2—originally portrayed, as a child, by supporting actor Nathan O’Toole for seasons 1–2
Historical reference to Bjorn Ironside: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bj%C3%B6rn_Ironside
Because both of these young men have had such importance from the very beginning, I will list them both!
Nathan O’Toole: Nathan O’Toole (born 17 March 1998) is an Irish actor, known for playing the part of Bjorn in the 2013 TV series Vikings. He also played in the series The Borgias as Vincenzo. He lives in Dunshaughlin.
Alexander Ludwig: Alexander Richard Ludwig (born May 7, 1992) is a Canadian actor, singer and model. His notable film credits include The Seeker: The Dark Is Rising, Lone Survivor, Disney‘s Race to Witch Mountain, and The Hunger Games. He currently appears in the History Channel series Vikings.
Gabriel Byrne: Gabriel James Byrne (born 12 May 1950) is an Irish actor, film director, film producer, writer, cultural ambassador and audiobook narrator. His acting career began in the Focus Theatre before he joined London’s Royal Court Theatre in 1979. Byrne’s screen debut came in the Irish soap opera The Riordans and the spin-off show Bracken. He has now starred in over 35 feature films, such as The Usual Suspects, Miller’s Crossing, Stigmata, Spider and End of Days, in addition to writing two. Byrne’s producing credits include the Academy Award–nominated In the Name of the Father. He has received much critical acclaim for his role as Dr. Paul Weston in the HBO drama In Treatment.
Helga: Maude Hirst as Helga, wife of Floki. Helga is listed as recurring cast and does not marry Floki until season 2.
Seiðr (sometimes anglicized as seidhr, seidh, seidr, seithr or seith) is an Old Norse term for a type of sorcery which was practiced in Norse society during the Late Scandinavian Iron Age. Connected with Norse religion, its origins are largely unknown, although it gradually eroded following the Christianization of Scandinavia. Accounts of seiðr later made it into sagas and other literary sources, while further evidence has been unearthed by archaeologists. Various scholars have debated the nature of seiðr, some arguing that it was shamanic in context, involving visionary journeys by its practitioners.
Seiðr practitioners were of both genders, although females are more widely attested, with such sorceresses being variously known as vǫlur, seiðkonur and vísendakona. There were also accounts of male practitioners, known as seiðmenn, but in practicing magic they brought a social taboo, known as ergi, on to themselves, and were sometimes persecuted as a result. In many cases these magical practitioners would have had assistants to aid them in their rituals.
Within pre-Christian Norse mythology, seiðr was associated with both the god Oðinn, a deity who was simultaneously responsible for war, poetry and sorcery, as well as the goddess Freyja, a member of the Vanir who was believed to have taught the practice to the Æsir.
In the 20th century, adherents of various modern pagan new religious movements adopted forms of magico-religious practice that include seiðr. The practices of these contemporary seiðr-workers have since been investigated by various academic researchers operating in the field of pagan studies.
John Kavenagh: John Kavanagh is one of Ireland’s underrated character actors. Little detail is given on him, yet he has appeared in many well-known films and television series alongside a variety of actors.
Thyri: Elinor Crawley as Thyri, daughter of Earl Haraldson and Siggy (Season 1).
Elinor Crawley (born November 9, 1991 in Cardiff, Wales, United Kingdom) is a Welsh actress who is best known for her role in TV series ‘Vikings’ as Thyri and in ‘The White Queen’ as Princess Cecily.
Elinor made her debut in 2007 in the first episode of ‘The Sarah Jane Adventures’ and in 2011 in kids’ TV show ‘Tati’s Hotel’ as the adorable Dizzee. She made her feature film debut in 2010, in ‘Submarine’.
She attended the Whitchurch High School and The Workshop, a unique film and television performance training project based in Cardiff, South Wales.
In 2014, we will see Elinor in a short film ‘The Tap Tap Lady’ alongside George Blagden and in a feature film ‘Suburbs’, directed by Jeppe Rønde.
Gyda: Ruby O’Leary as Gyda, daughter of Ragnar and Lagertha (Season 1).