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Vikings (TV series)

Genre Historical drama
Created by Michael Hirst
Opening theme "If I Had a Heart"
by Fever Ray
Country of origin Canada and Ireland
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 2
No. of episodes 19 (List of episodes)
Executive producer(s)
  • Michael Hirst
  • John Weber
  • James Flynn
  • Sherry Marsh
  • Alan Gasmer
  • Sheila Hockin
  • Morgan O'Sullivan
  • Steve Wakefield
  • Keith Thompson
  • Eliza Mellor
Editor(s) Aaron Marshall
Location(s) Ashford Studios, County Wicklow, Ireland
Cinematography John Bartley
Running time 45 min.
Production company(s) Shaw Media
Octagon Films
Take 5 Productions
Distributor MGM Television
History Channel
Original channel History (CA)
History (U.S.)
Original run 3 March 2013 (2013-03-03) – present
External links
Official website

Vikings is an Emmy Award nominated[2] 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.[3] Filmed in Ireland, it is an official Ireland/Canada co-production.[4]

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,[5] which premiered on 27 February 2014.[6][7] On 25 March 2014, History renewed Vikings for a ten-episode third season, which is scheduled to air in 2015.[8]


  • Series overview 1
    • Season 1 (2013) 1.1
    • Season 2 (2014) 1.2
    • Season 3 (2015) 1.3
  • Production 2
  • Cast 3
    • Main cast 3.1
    • Recurring cast 3.2
  • Episodes 4
  • International broadcasts 5
  • Reception 6
    • Reviews 6.1
    • Ratings 6.2
    • Historical accuracy 6.3
  • Related media 7
  • See also 8
  • References 9
  • External links 10

Series overview

The series is inspired by the tales of the raiding, trading, and exploring Norsemen of early medieval Scandinavia. It follows the exploits of the legendary Viking chieftain Ragnar Lothbrok and his crew and family, as notably laid down in the 13th century sagas Ragnars saga Loðbrókar and Ragnarssona þáttr, as well as in Saxo Grammaticus's 12th century work Gesta Danorum. Norse legendary sagas were partially fictional tales based in Norse oral tradition, written down about 200 to 400 years after the events they describe. Further inspiration is taken from historical sources of the period, such as records of the Viking raid on Lindisfarne depicted in the second episode, or Ahmad ibn Fadlan's 10th-century account of the Volga Vikings. The series is set at the beginning of the Viking Age, marked by the Lindisfarne raid in 793.

Season 1 (2013)

Ragnar (Travis Fimmel) is a young, Viking farmer who longs to fulfil an ambitious destiny he is compellingly drawn towards. He yearns to discover civilizations across the seas; westward, in direct conflict with his governing Earl, Haraldson (Gabriel Byrne)—a conservative ruler with a timid vision—who insists there is no land to the west and that they pillage to the familiar east. Ragnar, driven by a wayward instinct and ambition, possesses a revolutionary yet unproven navigation tool that holds much promise. In defiance of his jarl, Ragnar recruits a crew of loyal warriors to accompany his westward journey. Loyal friend and gifted craftsman Floki (Gustaf Skarsgård), builds Ragnar an innovative Viking longship. Among Ragnar's crew of loyal followers is his brother Rollo (Clive Standen), who is an imposing figure and proven warrior. Rollo covets Ragnar's wife, the shieldmaiden Lagertha (Katheryn Winnick), and betrays a deeper envy he has harboured towards his older brother; an envy that, in his jealous mind, challenges his manhood and sows the seeds of resentment as his brother Ragnar unwaveringly pursues his ambitions.

Ragnar's primitive navigation tool proves to be a powerful asset as it sets the Viking raiders on the coast of the English kingdom of King Aelle (Ivan Kaye), but triggers a series of increasingly violent confrontations at home with the autocratic Earl Haraldson, ending with Ragnar killing and succeeding him.

During an annual trip to the Geat from Götaland (Thorbjorn Harr), in the course of which he is seduced by the Princess Aslaug (Alyssa Sutherland). Back in Ragnar's homeland a mysterious plague ravages his village, killing a portion of his people including his young daughter. During this time, envious and ambitious brother Rollo is manipulated by Jarl Borg to side with him against his brother and King Horik in order to forge his own glory.

Season 2 (2014)

King Horik is now at war with Jarl Borg, who is accompanied by Rollo. Rollo, now bitter and enraged, rampages through battle, killing and wounding many of his kin, but cannot fight his brother when faced and surrenders to him. In a stalemate, Ragnar, Horik and Jarl Borg come to an agreement and decide to raid as a single force. Rollo, now ostracized by his kin for his betrayal, awaits death by trial but is spared by a judge who has been bribed by Ragnar. Princess Aslaug makes her way to Ragnar's kingdom, now pregnant with Ragnar's child. Humiliated, Lagertha leaves Ragnar, taking with her their remaining son Bjorn.

Four years pass: Aslaug is now ruling with Ragnar and raising their sons. Rollo has faded away into obscurity and self-destruction because of shame, but is forgiven by Ragnar, although excluded from the raid. Horik has now decided to exclude Jarl Borg from the raid for personal reasons. Ragnar tells Jarl Borg of the decision, and he leaves angry and slighted. A storm throws the raid off course and lands the Viking horde in Wessex, which is ruled by the ruthless King Ecbert (Linus Roache). The Vikings begin to plunder the countryside and Athelstan, who has now been integrated into the Vikings and has joined them on the raid, finds it hard to fully embrace Viking brutality and is deeply troubled.

Lagertha has since remarried to a powerful but abusive Earl of whom now-teenage Bjorn disapproves. Jarl Borg seeks vengeance against Ragnar for his slight and begins an invasion of his homeland. Rollo, who had been left behind, stages a defense of

King Horik returns to Kattegat, driven out of Wessex by King Ecbert, and has lost most of his forces. Seeking revenge, Horik asks Ragnar for help but wants Jarl Borg to return to the alliance. Rollo is sent as emissary to Götaland to negotiate with Jarl Borg. Athelstan becomes a valued confidant of King Ecbert. Lagertha returns home to a displeased, unpopular husband who humiliates her until she takes her revenge, resulting in her husband's death. Lagertha is hailed as the new ruler of infanticide by exposure, but Aslaug saves her baby and names him Ivar.

Tension builds between Ragnar and King Horik upon returning to Wessex. The Viking horde is drawn into open battle against a massive English army assembled by King Ecbert and King Aelle. Rollo is badly wounded in battle, captured and traded back to the Vikings for mercenaries in service to the kingdom of Mercia. Athelstan decides to return with the Vikings to Kattegat at the request of Ragnar. Tensions worsen as King Horik plots to murder Ragnar and his entire family. Horik is led to believe that Floki and Siggy are supporting his conspiracy against Ragnar, but when he mounts his attack upon Ragnar, he learns that his plot was known and prepared for. Ragnar kills Horik and much of his family, and he (along with Bjorn) obtains Horik's sword, thereby making himself King.

Season 3 (2015)

On 25 March 2014, History renewed Vikings for a ten-episode third season.[8] When asked what viewers could expect from the next season, Michael Hirst explained: "Yeah, we’re gonna attack Paris. Paris was the most extraordinary city. It was still a Roman city, and it was like nothing else on earth. We’re just building that, at the moment, on the backlot. It will also be CGI. Ragnar attacked Paris with one hundred ships."[9]

In an interview with The Huffington Post Hirst hinted at several plots for the new season. He mentioned King Horik's son Erlendur. "Anyway, Erlendur has been impressed by the idea of going to farm in England. And in his pocket he has a handful of mud, earth from England. When Ragnar sees him with this handful of dirt, he knows that he’s thinking along the same lines, that they’re connected in some way. So he spares him. But, of course, that turns out to be a terrible decision in the end." King Ecbert and Princess Kwenthrith of Mercia will also be back for season 3.[10]

Several actors are joining Season 3. English actor Jennie Jacques will portray Judith, who according to the official press release is the daughter of King Aelle, and the mother of notable historical figure Alfred the Great[11] and Ben Robson will play Kalf, Lagertha's trusted second in command.[12] Lagertha leaves Kalf in charge when she goes to raid with Ragnar. But she may have underestimated Kalf, who will quickly make himself a major player.[13]

Canadian actor Roman Polanski) will be Princess Gisla, the Emperor's daughter and his main advisor.[14]

Vikings completed filming its third series on location in Co. Wicklow in early November.[15]


An Irish co-production, Vikings was developed and produced by Octagon Films and Take 5 Productions.[3] Michael Hirst, Morgan O'Sullivan, John Weber, Sherry Marsh, Alan Gasmer, James Flynn and Sheila Hockin are credited as executive producers.[3] The first season's budget has been reported as $40 million USD.[16]

The series began filming in July 2012 at Ashford Studios, a newly built studio facility in Ireland,[17] chosen as a location for its tax advantages.[16] On 16 August 2012, longship scenes were filmed at Luggala, as well as on the Poulaphouca Reservoir, in the heart of the Wicklow Mountains.[18] 70 percent of the first season was filmed outdoors.[16] Some additional background shots were done in Western Norway.

Johan Renck,[19] Ciarán Donnelly and Ken Girotti each directed three episodes. The production team includes cinematographer John Bartley, costume designer Joan Bergin, production designer Tom Conroy, and composer Trevor Morris.

According to actor Clive Standen (Rollo), future seasons may feature characters such as Alfred the Great, Leif Ericson, and Ivar the Boneless, as well as travels to Iceland, Russia, France, and across the Atlantic.[20]

On 5 April 2013, History renewed Vikings for a ten-episode second season.[5]

Two new series regulars were announced on 11 June 2013. Alexander Ludwig, portraying the teenage Björn, and Linus Roache, playing King Ecbert of Wessex.[21] Season Two will undergo a jump in time, aging the young Bjorn (Nathan O’Toole) into an older swordsman portrayed by Ludwig. According to reports, the older Bjorn will not have seen his father, Ragnar, for "a long period of time." Lagertha will have remarried to a powerful Jarl, a stepfather who provides harsh guidance to Bjorn.[22]

Several Swedish media sources are reporting that actors Edvin Endre, son of renowned Swedish actress Lena Endre [23] of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and Wallander fame and Anna Åström, who recently co-starred with Gustaf "Floki" Skarsgård [24] in controversial Swedish language film Vi, have signed up for roles in season two.

[42] Clark Collis of Entertainment Weekly appreciated the cast's performance, but considered Vikings "kind of a mess", lacking the intrigue of The Tudors and Game of Thrones.[43] Brian Lowry criticized the series in Variety as an "unrelenting cheese-fest" and as a "more simpleminded version of 'Game of Thrones'", but considered it to achieve "a level of atmosphere and momentum that makes it work as a mild diversion".[44] In the San Francisco Chronicle, David Wiegand was disappointed by the series' "glacial pace" and lack of action as well as by the "flabby direction and a gassy script", while appreciating the performances and characters.[45]

The second season received a Metacritic rating of 79% and a Rotten Tomatoes rating of 92% based on 12 professional critic reviews.


According to Nielsen, the series premiere drew 6 million viewers in the U.S., topping all broadcast networks among 18-to-49 year olds. An earlier claim of over 18 million viewers was later retracted by the channel with an apology.[46][47]

In Canada, the premiere was watched by 1.1 million viewers. The first season has averaged 942,000 viewers.[48]

Historical accuracy

Some critics have pointed out historical inaccuracies in the series' depiction of Viking society. Lars Walker, in the magazine The American Spectator criticized its portrayal of Viking Age government (in the person of Earl Haraldson) as autocratic rather than essentially democratic.[49] Joel Robert Thompson criticized the show's depiction of the Norse peoples' supposed ignorance of the existence of Britain and Ireland, and the use of the death penalty instead of outlawry (skoggangr) as a punishment for heinous crimes.[50]

Monty Dobson, a historian at Central Michigan University, criticised the show's depictions of Viking Age clothing, but went on to state that fictional shows like Vikings could still be a useful teaching tool.[51] The Norwegian newspaper Aftenposten reported that the series incorrectly depicted the temple at Uppsala as a stave church in the mountains, whereas the historical temple was situated on flat land and stave churches were a hallmark of later Christian architecture in Scandinavia.[52] The temple as depicted in the show does have similarites with the reconstructions of the Uppåkra hof on the other hand. The show also portrays a crucifixion of a prominent character instigated by a Christian bishop near Wessex, apparently as a standard punishment for apostasy - however, Emperor Constantine outlawed crucifixion in the 4th century[53] and no crucifixions were documented to have taken place in Europe thereafter.

Other errors include the presence of window glasses, XVI-XVIIth century helmets used by King Ecbert´s soldiers, the mention of "Russia" as the land the Vikings aim to plunder in the first episode, although the episode takes place in 793 A.D. and Russia would not exist until 860 A.D. (as the Kievan Rus'), as well as the scenery where Ragnar Lodbrok lives, which shows great mountains although there are no mountains in Denmark. One could assume Ragnar lives in Norway because of the presence of fjords and that Uppsala can be reached by land while Horik arrives always by sea. However, Lagertha seems to be able to ride from Hedeby to Kattegat without crossing a sea which would be impossible at the time.

Regarding the historical accuracy of the show, showrunner Michael Hirst comments that "I especially had to take liberties with ‘Vikings’ because no one knows for sure what happened in the Dark Ages" and that "we want people to watch it. A historical account of the Vikings would reach hundreds, occasionally thousands, of people. Here we’ve got to reach millions."[54] When Katheryn Winnick was asked why she licked the seer's hand she answered "It wasn’t originally in the script and we just wanted to come up with something unique and different".[55]

Related media

Zenescope partnered with the History Channel to create a free Vikings comic book based on the series. It was first distributed at Comic-Con 2013 and by comiXology in February 2014.[56][57] The comic was written by Michael Hirst, features interior artwork by Dennis Calero (X-Men Noir), and is set before the events of season 1. In addition to featuring Ragnar and Rollo battling alongside their father, the comic depicts the brothers’ first encounter with Lagertha.[57]

See also


  1. ^ Voutiriadou, Maria (25 February 2014). "WARDRUNA's Music In 'Vikings' TV Series". Metal Kaoz. 
  2. ^
  3. ^ a b c "VIKINGS Tops The Ratings With 8.3 Million Viewers". Irish Film Board. 5 March 2013. Retrieved 14 March 2013. 
  4. ^ "Vikings". Take 5 Productions. 
  5. ^ a b "Vikings Renewed". Seat42f. 5 April 2013. Retrieved 08.4.2013. 
  6. ^ Fitzpatrick, Kevin (8 December 2013). "‘VIKINGS’ SEASON 2 TRAILER TEASER: GLORY AND GORE GO HAND IN HAND".  
  7. ^ "First Look - Promo for Season 2 of History's VIKINGS, Premiering This February". 8 December 2013. Retrieved 9 December 2013. 
  8. ^ a b "Vikings Renewed For Third Season". Seat42f. Retrieved 25 March 2014. 
  9. ^ Radish, Christina. "Show Creator Michael Hirst Talks VIKINGS, Compelling Stories, Finding the Hero, Writing Every Episode, and the Outcome of the Episode “Blood Eagle”". Retrieved 2 October 2014. 
  10. ^ Ryan, Maureen (2 May 2014). Vikings' Finale Scoop: Creator Reveals All, Including Next Stop On Ragnar's World Tour"'".  
  11. ^ "Manolo Cardona Joins Netflix’s ‘Narcos'; Jennie Jacques In History’s ‘Vikings’".  
  12. ^ Andreeva, Nellie. "Ben Robson Joins History’s ‘Vikings'; Rob Morrow In ‘Texas Rising’". Deadline. Retrieved 2 October 2014. 
  13. ^ "Mega Buzz: A 24 Betrayal, Royal Pains' French Twist and Bones' Dark Side".  
  14. ^ Vlessing, Etan (18 June 2014). "'"Lothaire Bluteau, Kevin Durand Join History's 'Vikings.  
  15. ^
  16. ^ a b c Justin, Neal (2 March 2013). "'"Meet the real Ragnar on History Channel's 'Vikings. Star Tribune. Retrieved 12 March 2013. 
  17. ^ a b "The History Channel Announces 'Vikings' Broadcast DateThe Irish Film & Television Network".  
  18. ^ Kelpie, Colm (17 August 2012). "Viking hordes are back to make history". Irish Independent. Retrieved 5 January 2014. 
  19. ^ """Resumé: "Det är mörkt och dramatiskt. Retrieved 6 January 2013. 
  20. ^ Fitzpatrick, Kevin (8 March 2013). "History's "Vikings" interview": Clive Standen talks Rollo, complex morality and future characters".  
  21. ^ Goldberg, Lesley. 'Vikings' Enlists 'Hunger Games', 'Law & Order' Actors for Season 2, The Hollywood Reporter, 11 June 2013. Accessed 5 January 2014.
  22. ^ Fitzpatrick, Kevin (9 July 2013). Vikings' Season 2 Spoilers: What Will the Time Jump Change?"'".  
  23. ^ "Edvin Endre klar för HBO-serie" [Edvin Endre ready for HBO series].  
  24. ^ "Siktar på roll i Skarsgårds vikingaserie" [Aiming for role in Skarsgård's Viking series].  
  25. ^ "Selected Filmography". Marco Ciglia. 
  26. ^ "PJ Dillon". Casarotto. 
  27. ^ Turnbow, Tina (18 March 2013). "Reflections of a Viking by Clive Standen".  
  28. ^ Mitchell, John (25 April 2013). Vikings' season finale: Mysterious beauty tempts Ragnar"'".  
  29. ^ Elinor Crawley at the Internet Movie Database
  30. ^ "'Hercules' Actress Gaia Weiss Joins History's 'Vikings'". Starpulse. Retrieved 14 April 2014. 
  31. ^ Gunnar Larsen (17 October 2012). "Thorbjørn Harr blir viking i amerikansk TV-serie | ABC Nyheter". Retrieved 6 January 2013. 
  32. ^ Yeo, Debra. Mr. Hockey, Gordie Howe, plays again in CBC-TV movie, Toronto Star, 28 April 2013. Accessed 5 January 2014.
  33. ^ Lewis, Dymon (17 March 2014). "'Vikings' Review/Recap: 'Treachery'". Emertainment Monthly. 
  34. ^ Ricthie, Kevin. "History to debut scripted series Vikings in March".  
  35. ^ "'"Airdate: 'Vikings.  
  36. ^ " [Canal+ buys 'Banshee' and 'Vikings' series]Vikings et Banshee"Canal+ achète les séries .  
  37. ^ Vikings at Metacritic
  38. ^  
  39. ^ DeWolf Smith, Nancy (1 March 2013). "The Norse Code".  
  40. ^ Stuever, Hank (28 February 2013). "In History's compelling 'Vikings,' Hägar the Hipster is a brute charmer".  
  41. ^ Genzlinger, Neil (1 March 2013). "You Plunder, I'll Pillage, Maybe We'll Find England".  
  42. ^  
  43. ^ Collis, Clark (27 February 2013). "Vikings (2013)".  
  44. ^ Lowry, Brian (27 February 2013). "'"TV Review: 'Vikings.  
  45. ^ Wiegand, David (28 February 2013). Vikings' review: It takes a pillage"'". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved 10 March 2013. 
  46. ^ de Moraes, Lisa (5 March 2013). "History channel apologizes after boasting about 'Vikings' ratings".  
  47. ^ Vikings' Has Number 1 Cable Series Premiere of the Year With 8.3 Million Total Viewers on the Night"'".  
  48. ^ Wild, Diane (2013-04-05). "Vikings picked up for second season". TV, eh?. 
  49. ^ Walker, Lars (12 March 2013). "History Channel Gets Vikings Precisely Wrong".  
  50. ^ Balar, Keya (14 March 2013). "'"Historical Inaccuracies in 'Vikings.  
  51. ^ Dobson, Monty (18 March 2013) Obsessed with the Good and Bad of ‘Vikings’, LiveScience, retrieved 17 April 2013
  52. ^ "TV-serie om vikinger skaper latter for historiske tabber". Aftenposten. 24 April 2013. Retrieved 25 April 2013. 
  53. ^ Encyclopædia Britannica. "Encyclopaedia Britannica Online: crucifixion". Retrieved 2009-12-19. 
  54. ^ Gilbert, Tom (22 February 2013) "Vikings Come Ashore in a New Light", The New York Times, retrieved 8 April 2013
  55. ^ Johnson, Ron (15 February 2014). "The beauty and the beheading Toronto star returns in new season of Vikings".  
  56. ^ "Vikings #1".  
  57. ^ a b "Hero Complex: Comic-Con: 'Vikings' will land with stars, free comic, boat races".  

External links


The series received generally favourable ratings by critics after the first episode had aired, with an average rating of 70% according to Metacritic.[37] Alan Sepinwall of HitFix praised the series' casting, notably of Fimmel as Ragnar, and observed that Vikings "isn't complicated. It (...) relies on the inherent appeal of the era and these characters to drive the story."[38] Nancy DeWolf Smith of The Wall Street Journal noted the "natural and authentic" setting and costumes, and appreciated that Vikings was (unlike, e.g., Spartacus) not a celebration of sex and violence, but "a study of character, stamina, power and (...) of social, emotional and even intellectual awakening".[39] Hank Stuever, writing for the Washington Post, found that the "compelling and robust new drama series (...) delivers all the expected gore and blood spatter". But he also wrote that it successfully adapted the skills of cable television drama, with the care taken in acting, writing and sense of scope reminiscent of such series as Rome, Sons of Anarchy and Game of Thrones, and that even the way the series emphasized "a core pride and nobility in this tribe of thugs" reflected "just another iteration of Tony Soprano".[40] Neil Genzlinger, in The New York Times, praised the "arresting" cinematography and the actors' performances, notably Fimmel's, and favourably compared Vikings to Game of Thrones and Spartacus for the absence of gratuitous nudity.[41]



Country Channel Premiere date
Australia SBS One 8 August 2013
Belgium 2BE 31 August 2014
Canada History Canada 3 March 2013
Denmark DR3 December 2013
Estonia TV6 22 November 2014
France Canal+ 10 June 2013[36]
Germany ProSieben 25 April 2014
Hungary Viasat3 13 September 2013
India History TV18 31 March 2014
Ireland RTÉ Two 26 January 2014
Italy Rai 4 28 May 2014
Norway TV2 Zebra September 2013
Poland History 21 October 2013
Serbia RTS 1 8 September 2014
Romania History 21 October 2013
South Africa M-Net 13 March 2014
Spain TNT 12 June 2013
Turkey CNBC-e September 2013
United Kingdom History 24 May 2013
United States History 3 March 2013

In Australia, the series premiered on 8 August 2013 on SBS One.[35] In Denmark the series was aired in HD on DR3 during primetime on four Saturdays in November and December 2013.

In the UK, Vikings premiered on 24 May 2013 where it is exclusively available on the streaming video-on-demand service LoveFilm.

Vikings premiered on 3 March 2013 on History in Canada,[34] and on History in the United States,[17] where episodes are also available on the channel's website.

International broadcasts

Season Episodes Originally aired
Season premiere Season finale
1 9 March 3, 2013 (2013-03-03) April 28, 2013 (2013-04-28)
2 10 February 27, 2014 (2014-02-27) May 1, 2014 (2014-05-01)


The Anglo-Saxons
  • Götaland.[31][32]
  • Edvin Endre as Erlendur, son of King Horik (Season 2).
  • Georgia Hirst as Torvi, wife of Jarl Borg (Season 2).
  • Morten Suurballe as Earl Sigvard, Lagertha's second husband; Earl of Hedeby (Season 2).[33]
  • Steve Wall as Einar. Had expected to take over as Earl of Hedeby but Lagertha was chosen. A scheming troublemaker.
Additional Norsemen
  • Carrie Crowley as Elisef, wife of Erik.
  • Jefferson Hall as Torstein, one of Ragnar's warriors and closest friends.
  • Maude Hirst as Helga, wife of Floki.
  • John Kavanagh as The Seer, the seiðr of Kattegat.
  • Tadhg Murphy as Arne, one of Ragnar's warriors; an archer with an eyepatch (Seasons 1 and 2).
  • Jouko Ahola as Kauko, a Finnish Viking and one of Ragnar's warriors (Season 1).
  • Elinor Crawley as Thyri, daughter of Earl Haraldson and Siggy (Season 1).[29]
  • Eric Higgins as Knut Tjodolf, Earl Haraldson's half-brother (Season 1).
  • Vladimir Kulich as Erik, elderly Viking and one of Ragnar's warriors (Season 1).
  • Diarmaid Murtagh as Leif, one of Ragnar's warriors and son of Erik (Season 1).
  • Ruby O'Leary as Gyda, daughter of Ragnar and Lagertha (Season 1).
  • David Pearse as Svein, loyal henchman of Earl Haraldson (Season 1).
  • Morgan C. Jones as The Law Giver, the lawspeaker of Kattegat (Season 2).
  • Cormac Melia as Ubbe, eldest son of Ragnar and Aslaug (Season 2).
  • Cathal O'Hallin as Hvitserk, second son of Ragnar and Aslaug (Season 2).
  • Gaia Weiss as Þórunn (Thorunn), Bjorn's love interest, a slave girl (Season 2).[30]
The people of Kattegat

Recurring cast

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.[27]
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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).
  • Gabriel Byrne as Earl Haraldson, Ragnar's predecessor as Earl of Kattegat (Season 1).
  • Alyssa Sutherland as Princess Aslaug, Ragnar's second wife, claiming to be the daughter of the valkyrie Brynhildr and the dragonslayer Sigurd.[28]
  • Donal Logue as King Horik of Denmark (Seasons 1 and 2).
  • Linus Roache as King Ecbert of Wessex (Season 2).

Main cast



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