Vikings S3 focuses on invasion of Paris

Travis Fimmel and Katheryn Winnick share about their on-screen relationship and reveal that the invasion of Paris will be featured prominently in the latest season of Vikings.

Words by Imagine TV Network

Created by Michael Hirst, the HISTORY original series brings viewers into the world of vikings and their conquests. Travis Fimmel (The Beast, Outlaw Country), who becomes king in season three, says he does not know if Ragnar Lothbrok, the character he plays, is a myth or a real person in history.

“They never wrote down any of their experience and there are a lot of Norse legendary sagas… It’s all from an oral tradition,” he remarks. With an oral culture, the vikings do not often have their history in writing and in some instances, some were written only 200 to 400 years after the actual events took place.

Image credit: HISTORY

Even though it is a fictional show, there was considerable effort to make the series as authentic as possible. Historians were consulted on how the filming sets of the towns and rooms should look like and their input influenced the clothes worn by the various characters.

Katheryn Winnick (The Art of the Steal), who plays an earl and is Ragnar’s ex-wife, says the crew is the best in the business and shares that they are very dedicated to making the production as authentic as they possibly can. The success of the series, she believes, came as a result of the viewers relating to the issues that were portrayed. “It’s still a show that is about real issues and real family… These are real issues that we can relate to today,” she adds.

“At the end of season two they both were earls and they were somewhat equal,” she continues. “It’s interesting because Lagertha has known Ragnar for many years and she’s seen him… In different power struggles and different statuses.” Yet, despite them separating, she says that Lagertha feels she knows Ragnar to the core and will always carry the belief that she knows him better than anyone else.

Asked if Ragnar and Lagertha will get back together, Fimmel remarks that there are many sacrifices to be made when one is king. “Ragnar’s main objective is to conquer as many places as he can and a lot of times you have to sacrifice the people that you love and [your] children,” he says.

For both Ragnar and Lagertha, season three will be akin to them going on a new journey, in more ways than one. Winnick shares that her foray into acting was also a personal journey to understand more about herself. “I wanted to discover parts of my personality that I wasn’t able to dive into because of my martial arts training,” she says. “It’s not accepted to be emotional or vulnerable.”

It is so creatively fulfilling, she shares, to be able to explore different worlds and cultures through the series. “I feel blessed to be part of something like this,” she says, sharing that she felt this role was meant for her and expresses gratitude to Hirst for taking a chance with her.

Image credit: HISTORY

“A lot of things come back to bite [Ragnar] in season three but I don’t think he regrets any of it,” Fimmel shares, adding that his people sometimes do not realize he does whatever he can for them. Touching on the increasing number of enemies he has and the murders that were committed in order to establish his power, he adds, “You got to make tough decisions and not everyone is going to like it.”

Lagertha, Winnick says, is coming to understand the aspect of being a powerful woman and the struggles of having authority. Though Ragnar and her character share the same dream of traveling and discovering new lands, as well as starting settlements in different countries, she adds, “If anything, I think she’s stronger without Ragnar.” Now a free woman, she says Lagertha is finding her own path and figuring out what she wants to do next.

A change of landscape can also be expected in season three. Fimmel discloses that five episodes were spent showing the vikings trying to invade Paris, which he says is very difficult to get into, but declines to confirm if they managed to have a successful invasion.

Filming the Paris scenes is also different from filming in Ireland, he shares. While the cast films on purpose-built sets and is surrounded by landscape and livestock in Ireland, he says green screen was used more often in preparation for the use of computer-generated imagery, among the many software they can use, and for more specialized software they click here to get a professional company to provide it.

Image credit: HISTORY

One of Winnick’s favorite scenes to film was the sacrifice scene where she had to, in one take, recite a prayer in Old Norse. The vikings were preparing to sow their first crop in the land King Ecbert had given them and made a sacrifice to Frey, the Norse god of fertility. Explaining the significance of the scene, she says that it grounds Lagertha and shows her in a different light.

It was also the hardest scene for her as an actress because it took her five to six days to memorize the words and pronunciations of the prayer. For those who wonder what Old Norse sounds like, she says it sounds similar to the Icelandic language.

The vikings worshiped many gods as a “full-on pagan,” Fimmel says Ragnar might use conversion to Christianity as a political tool. “He will do whatever he can to get what he wants.”

Vikings (Season 3) will premiere on HISTORY (StarHub TV Channel 401) from 27 February 2015 at 10pm every Friday.

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