Talking With Travis Fimmel! Clive Standen! Michael Hirst! Vikings Goodness! What We Can Expect In Season 3 And More!

Wrapping up all the SDCC news is a little maddening to say the least, but I had to get up the final set of interviews with the cast of Vikings. We were able to sit down with Travis Fimmel, Clive Standen and creator Michael Hirst.

Vikings is one of the best series on television and one of my personal favorites so you have to take every opportunity to talk to the cast as you can.

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Two of the most compelling characters on the series are Rollo and Ragnar the brothers were at odds for most of the first two seasons but by the end of season two it seems like they have both made peace after a long journey.

“I think we see in season two Ragnar punishes Rollo, the brothers know each other more than any other character in the series. He (Ragnar) knows that Rollo wants to raid and fight, I say that in season one, ‘it’s what I was born to do.’ ” Clive stated, “It’s sort of like punishing a child. I’m going to go raid and you’re not. The relationship is so scarred. The wounds do heal, but there are still scars. The relationship won’t be the same.”

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“We do get to a point in season 3 where the brothers are back together but there are things that they will be forced to compromise, to work together. Clive added.

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And what about that betrayal?

“We knew it was going to happen, Michael came and talked to me about it before.” Clive mentioned, “I think that’s what I find fascinating, all the sides. He’s going to trade it all in to be king for a day, It doesn’t work out the way he would thought it would feel. He (Rollo) didn’t realize how much he loved Ragnar.”

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“Our show is about family. He’s on Ragnar’s side now, there’s one thing that’s eating away at him now, there’s ambition and that ambition is never going to go away.” Clive added, “As a Viking in society your name means everything to him. That’s my life now? To stand behind my brother and worship the ground he walks on?”

Where does Siggy fit into all of this?

“Wedding Bells?” Travis playfully interjected.

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“I don’t think Rollo knows how much Siggy has done for him.” Clive says, “Can you really have a proper relationship with someone who sleeps around to ‘help you’ It’s very much a marriage of convenience.”

“We just saw Donal Logue, he’s here for Gotham.” Travis jumped in, “I have no regrets killing him!”

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And what’s next for Ragnar this season?

“The first scene starts off with Ragnar coming to figure out how hard it is to be a leader.” Travis said, “last year we got caught up with so much family drama. Ragnar is a very curious character and he wants to see what’s out there. He wants to sail somewhere. And we’re getting back to that.”

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How hard is it to have characters based on historical figures and following the path of the actual people you are portraying?

“Everyone knows the beginning and the end of history, it’s how everything plays out.” Clive says, “It’s getting from A to Z. And That’s Michael’s job. No one wants to get bogged down with what you’ve read before. The (History) channel itself gives us more creative license.”

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“What is historical accuracy?”says Michael Hirst, “I’d say two things, one if they are really interested… people pretend to be interested in historical accuracy, and I have no idea why, they can go read about and compare it to what I’ve written. The other thing I say, is I’m very proud of the fact that everything begins with historical research from my part. We also have a historical advisor who is an expert in the dark ages if that’s a possibly. That’s the whole point, when people say, ‘oh that didn’t really happen’ oh, you know that?”

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“Of the few things we know about the dark ages, we certainly know that Ragnar Lothbrook existed, he had two or possibly three wives and lots of sons. This was the beginning of the age of the Vikings. Where I take some individual stories is up to me. I adapt the little stories.” Michael says, “I hate fantasy, I’m on record saying that, I think it’s meaningless. It can be entertaining but it’s meaningless. This is from the Viking point of view. I imagine from the record, from what we know. It takes us to the pagans, to the Gods, and ordinary domestic viking life.”

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There’s so much religion in the past season, what made that come about?

“Did you notice in the last episode that the Lord’s Prayer is the only thing that Ragnar says?” Michael asks. “I thought that was so cool. It was Travis’ idea. If you look back at my career, Elizabeth took the role of the Virgin Mary, in The Tudors it was very much about the destruction of the Catholic faith, I’m personally interested in that kind of spiritual elements of social life.”

Pausing for a second, Michael goes on.

“I couldn’t have written this (Vikings) without the freedom to explore the rivalry and similarities between Paganism and Christianity.” Michael added, “It’s not an add on for me, it’s in the bones of the material. Athelstan is a great character for me, in a sense he has our point of view. He’s a Christian, from a Western culture who goes into a Viking culture.”

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What’s coming up next season?

“We’re in England and then back to Scandinavia.” Travis said.

“We’re going back to Wessex, because we really like King Ecbert, secrets, mayhem. Ragnar and he are kind of equals, they can talk to each other.” Michael mentions, “When we go to Paris, we meet the French Emperor. And they are very important, this is a storyline that goes right through season 3 and into season 4.”

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And about that time jump…

“It was actually rated one of the top ten most successful jump forwards in time… Mid season I have to say!” Michael said, “We don’t jump ahead in season three but season four we are likely to jump ahead a little bit because I want to get Ragnar’s sons up and running.”

What about the pranks on the set?

“I have something big coming up!” Travis said, “I’m saving it up, because it’s going to be expensive!”

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Vikings season three is coming in 2015, so you have time to catch up on all the raids, battles and mystery. You won’t regret picking up season 1 on blu-ray, it’s out now.

Thanks again to History Channel, Travis Fimmel, Clive Standen and Michael Hirst for sitting down with us!

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