VIKINGS Scripted Series Coming to History Channel

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HISTORY has announced their cast for the scripted series, Vikings. Hoping to bank on the success of HBO’s Game of Thrones, writer Michael Hirst (The Tudors) created the series based on real life figures of Scandanavian history.  The story follows the family saga and rise to power of Ragnar Lothbrok, a great hero who pushed the limits of exploration and rose to become King of the Viking tribes.  Gabriel Byrne and George Blagden are joined by Travis Fimmel, Jessalyn Gilsig, Gustaf Skarsgard, Clive Standen and Katheryn Winnick. Hit the jump for the full press release.

Check out the details for Vikings in the press release below:

New vikings-historyYork, June 28, 2012 – HISTORY announced today additional casting for its new scripted series, VIKINGS, including Travis Fimmel (The Beast, Baytown Outlaws) as Ragnar, the first great Viking leader, a man of both history and myth; Jessalyn Gilsig (Glee, Heroes, CSI: NY, Nip/Tuck, Friday Night Lights,Somewhere Slow) as Siggy, Earl Haraldson’s beautiful wife; Gustaf Skarsgard (The Way Back) as Floki, a close friend of Ragnar’s who is an eccentric jokester yet an inventive, creative boat-builder; Clive Standen (Camelot, Robin Hood) as Rollo, Ragnar’s excessive, cruel cousin; and Katheryn Winnick (Stand Up Guys, A Glimpse Inside the Mind of Charles Swan III, Bones,Love and Other Drugs) as Lagertha, Ragnar’s first wife and famous shield maiden who often fights alongside him.

Johan Renck (Breaking Bad, The Walking Dead) and Ken Girotti (Rescue Me, Law & Order: Criminal Intent) are set to direct multiple episodes of the series. The announcement was made by Nancy Dubuc, President and General Manager, HISTORY and Lifetime Networks.

They join previously announced Golden Globe® Award winner and Emmy® Award nominated actor Gabriel Byrne (In Treatment, Usual Suspects, Millers Crossing) who will star as Earl Haraldson, the most important local ruler in Ragnar’s district, and George Blagden (Les Miserables, Wrath of the Titans) who will play Athelstan, an Anglo-Saxon monk captured by Ragnar on his first raid on England.

VIKINGS will be a series high on adventure, exploration, conflict, warfare and bloodshed – for these were extreme times – but, at its heart, it will also be a family saga. It follows the adventures of Ragnar Lothbrok, a historical figure, and the greatest hero of his age – and the gripping sagas of Ragnar’s band of Viking brothers and his family – as he rises to become King of the Viking tribes.

history-vikingsRagnar Lothbrok (Fimmel) is based upon the real-life Viking leader who literally exploded out of Scandanavia and onto the world stage in the 8th Century. A young Norwegian farmer with a wife and family, Ragnar is deeply frustrated by the unadventurous policies of his local chieftan, Earl Haraldson (Byrne), who continues to send his Vikings raiders east every summer, to the Baltic states and Russia, whose populations are as materially poor as themselves.  Lagertha (Winnick) is the first wife of Ragnar’s and their marriage is a love-match. Ragnar was first attracted to Lagertha when she came to fight for a local Norwegian ruler against an invading Sweden. Floki (Skarsgard), based partly on the Norse god Loki, is an impish character and ship builder who designs and builds the prototype of the new generation of Viking ships which can sail across the open ocean but also up the shallowest of rivers. He is a design genius and he allows Ragnar to fulfill his dreams of sailing west and discovering new lands and new civilizations. Siggy (Gilsig) is Earl Haraldson’s beautiful wife and an enigmatic character. She performs her duties impeccably and with style, but she may not be completely loyal to her husband. Rollo (Standen) is Ragnar’s cousin and initially one of his closest friends, involved in his early raids. But soon becomes jealous of his fame and success.

vikings-series-history-channelCreated and written by Michael Hirst – one of the premier historical story-tellers in the industry (Academy-Award winning film Elizabeth; and the Emmy and Golden Globe nominated series The Tudors), Michael serves as Executive Producer along with Morgan O’Sullivan of World 2000 (The Count of Monte Cristo; The Tudors), John Weber of Take 5 Productions (The Tudors; The Borgias), Sherry Marsh, Alan Gasmer, James Flynn (The Tudors; The Borgias) and Sheila Hockin (The Tudors; The Borgias).

VIKINGS is an international Irish/Canadian co-production being co-produced by World 2000 and Take 5 Productions. HISTORY will broadcast domestically.  MGM Television will bring VIKINGS to the global audience, serving as the international distributor outside of Ireland and Canada. VIKINGS is produced in association with Shaw Media, and the series will air on History Television in Canada. Nancy Dubuc, Dirk Hoogstra, and Julian P. Hobbs will serve as the executives on behalf of HISTORY.

The series will be filmed at Ashford Studios, a newly built studio facility in Ireland. Ireland has been home not only to such acclaimed recent TV dramas as The Tudors and Camelot, but also to treasured feature films such as Braveheart, My Left Foot, Excalibur, Barry Lyndon and The Spy Who Came in From the Cold.   All post production, visual effects, sound design and music composition will take place in Canada.

Travis Fimmel is managed by Management 360, agent is Paradigm and attorney is AJ Brandenstein from Sloan, Offer, Weber & Dern.   Katheryn Winnick is repped by Gersh, Alchemy Entertainment and attorney Jeff Bernstein.  Clive Standen is repped by Gersh and Independent Talent Group.

Here’s a video from HISTORY that gives a brief background of historical Vikings:




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  • idiotproof67

    Filmed in Ireland with Candian post prod, with an Aussie in the lead & only one Scandinavian in the cast.

    Wow… A real Nordic overload there. Don’t hold back.

    But I love the idea, just wish more Scandinavians were involved…and I’m Australian.

    • D__T

      I’m Scandinavian and I don’t mind all the Australian actors in this production. Fimmel is a great choice, he certainly have a Nordic look to him. You Aussies most probably have a strong inheritance from vikings anyway; via English colonists and the great involvement of vikings in early English history.

      To bad this ain’t a HBO production (such as Rome), but I hope for this to turn out great.

  • Pingback: Vikings – Scripted Series (History Channel) – New Pressrelease Spoilers | TV Rockstars

  • Rune

    When did Ragnar become Norwegian? All but a few sources say he is Danish. It would be funny if the History Channel would disregard The Gesta Denarum, The Anglo Saxon Cronicles, sagas, Beowulf etc.. and make him Norwegian just so they can show Fjords in every episode. What a joke.

    • Enron

      Ragnard Lodbrok was born Swedish/Norwegian and conquered Danish lands. Which is a purely territorial matter. When you talk about Denmark/Norway and Sweden, what people tend to forget when it comes to the whole Viking bickering, is that Danes/Norwegian/Swedes where “One” people, settling in the different territories. There was no such as Danish, Norwegian and Swedish at that time…

      Source: History major

  • Pia Nyström

    This sounds like a fantastic idea for a TV-series! I can’t wait to see it!

    But was Ragnar a Norwegian farmer? I think the sources say born in Sweden/Denmark, of a royal family.. But hey, we Scandinavians are all the same to the rest of the world, c’mon HISTORY channel…

    And more importantly: Travis Fimmel better have his long hair back for this role;)

  • Niels

    Pretty factually wrong this video is.

  • Ari

    I’m sorry but this looks like a soap-opera with beautiful heroes. Half of the cast was chosen solely for their good looks, they want to give a romantic view of the vikings and they intend to make them look like heroes. I wish History Channel would leave the hypocrisy aside, they are not the Bible when it comes to historical accuracy – we want to see facts, not stereotypical blond hunks and their pretty ladies

  • Ari

    I\’m sorry but this looks like a soap-opera with beautiful heroes. Half of the cast was chosen solely for their good looks, they want to give a romantic view of the vikings and they intend to make them look like heroes. I wish History Channel would leave the hypocrisy aside, they are not the Bible when it comes to historical accuracy – we want to see facts, not stereotypical blond hunks and their pretty ladies

  • Michael Enevoldsen

    Being a Dane myself I am a little disappointed with the History Channel depicting Ragnar Lodbrok as being a Norwegian. Most sources tell that he was Danish. He was born in Scania(Skåne) which was a part of Denmark until 1658. What happened to historical accuracy? Being History Channel ought at least mean striving for historical accuracy as much as possible. But apparently not. If Ragnar Lodbrok was a real person at all they should depict him as Danish according to most of the sources except for a few Icelandic-Norwegian ones that naturally put a more Norwegian flavour to the story of Ragnar Lodbrok.

    • Alex Alonso

      Nobody wants to look at Denmark, man. If there exists even a single account that suggests that Ragnar Lodbrok was from Norway, they can go with that account, since the character can’t be empirically pinpointed to any one of the accounts.

      I find it funny that people are complaining about the historical accuracy of a show that’s using characters who are all but completely obfuscated by legend and mythology. There’s no proof that Ragnar Lodbrok even existed, unfortunately.

  • Jørn Sonny Chabert

    He is, a part of, what is called, the saga kings in Danish history and the story is written in the first “official” danish history book Saxo grammaticus from around 1187-1200. In this book it is told that Ragnars grandfather Sigvard ring is from Norway but his son ( with the same name ) was chosen as king of Denmark by the Sealand and Scania (now a days southern sweden) Chieftains. He threw the land into a civil war, and the Sealand Chieftains chose his young son Ragnar as king. Ragnar gives the Chieftains an advise (pretend to swear loyalty and then break free when the time is right :0) ) and they think it is wise and follow it. Ragnar is sent to Norway for safe keeping and when he is appears again he is all ready King of Denmark.
    The Book continues with a fascinating mythologic adventure about his life were in he wins not one but two wife that are guarded by wild animals one by a bear and a dog/wolf the other by giant snakes ( now a days called dragons )
    So there is some merit in saying he is Norwegian but on the other hand he is King of Denmark, and hes mother was a danish “Princess” ( daughter of Gøtrik an earlier King of Denmark )
    All this is of course written by an a person from 1200 and he portrays it as “a true story” but he admits that he is inspirited by the oral saga tradition of scandinavia ( Most known the Icelandic, but not Snurra Snorreson who writes he’s sagas 20-30 years after Saxo dies )

    • Karl

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sigurd_Hring

      Sigurd ring was not Norwegian, He was a Swedish king and later a Danish king aswell when he defeated the Danish king in battle. Ragnar Lodbrock was born in Scania (Scania belonged to Denmark back then). Ragnars first wife was Norwegian.

  • kristian østbye

    We all know ragnar lodbrokr was a norwegian…but none of the scandinavian nations existed as nations as we know them today.
    As gangerrolf(rollo) also was a norwegian.

    Ha en god kveld, berserks!!

  • Jon

    Why base the story on Ragnar Lodbrok if you’re not going write a historically accurate plot?
    Now I know how the indians must feel watching those old John Wayne movies….
    And erh… he was not norwegian.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ragnar_Lodbrok

  • polycarp hans

    He is, a part of, what is called, the saga kings in Danish history and the story is written in the first “official” danish history book Saxo grammaticus from around 1187-1200. In this book it is told that Ragnars grandfather Sigvard ring is from Norway but his son ( with the same name ) was chosen as king of Denmark by the Sealand and Scania (now a days southern sweden) Chieftains. He threw the land into a civil war, and the Sealand Chieftains chose his young son Ragnar as king. Norseman

  • Shasiti

    Don’t sweat the small stuff the countries and their bordors are not the same as today. It is awesome and a great show. Kick back and enjoy it!! Dudes are fine!!

  • Shasiti

    Don\’t sweat the small stuff the countries and their bordors are not the same as today. It is awesome and a great show. Kick back and enjoy it!! Dudes are fine!!

  • Nicole

    I declare, people are never satisfied. Regardless of the actually backgrounds of the actors in this mini series they have done a great job in making this story come to life. Its a great show, much better than all of these crap reality shows that’s for sure.

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