Everything about Vikings, eh?

Valhalla spin-off confirms Vikings’ jump from series to franchise

Those saddened by the conclusion to the sixth and final season of Vikings, the History Channel hit, will be enthused by the news that a sequel series is on the way. Admittedly, Vikings: Valhalla may not be far along the way just yet, with no casting announcements or production dates released, but there is tentative talk from Newsweek of the series hitting Netflix at some point in 2021. The production and release of the sequel demonstrate how Vikings is being elevated from a standalone television series into a modern heavyweight franchise.

An important time in history
Valhalla is slated to welcome viewers back into the world of the Vikings 100 years after the conclusion of the Vikings series finale. Valhalla will focus on the end of the age of the Vikings and a power struggle for the English throne, featuring plenty of real-life big hitters.

A battle to sit on the throne will no doubt provide countless opportunities for scheming, betrayals, and battles, so Valhalla may also help to scratch the itch of those bemoaning the absence of Game of Thrones. Here are a few of the famous names from history that are expected to play crucial roles in Valhalla.

William the Conqueror
The arrival of William the Conqueror will be bad news for viewers that want several more series of Vikings-related spin-offs, given that the Norman invader ends the Viking Age in England. William is the descendent of Rollo, portrayed by Clive Standen in Vikings, so there could be scope for Standen to appear in Valhalla in flashbacks or as some sort of Jedi-esque ghost.

Harold Godwinson
The arrival of William the Conqueror will also be particularly bad news for the character of Godwinson, given that Harold was slain at the Battle of Hastings when William claimed the British throne. Still, it would be interesting to get to know Godwinson before his untimely demise.

Harald Hardrada
Hardrada was not content with simply being King of Norway, so he staked a claim for the English throne by doing the most stereotypical Viking thing: invading. However, the incumbent king Godwinson would not relent so easily to an invading force (at least until William rocked up on English shores).

Freydís Eiríksdóttir and Leif Erikson
These Viking siblings were no strangers to adventure. Freydis is famous for her fighting exploits in Greenland, while brother Leif is purported to have beaten Christopher Columbus by hundreds of years to be the first European in North America. This duo may help to take Valhalla to intriguing new locations.

If these prospective characters don’t pique your interest, then the team behind Valhalla will no doubt have lined up some lesser-known or completely fictional beings to draw us into the world of the Vikings. The History Channel series introduced us to memorable individuals like Katheryn Winnick’s Lagertha and Travis Fimmel’s Ragnar Lothbrok, with the success of Vikings making stars of Winnick and Fimmel.

The start of a franchise
Vikings has generated positive reviews throughout its six-season run and created a devoted fanbase, which has helped to propel the Canadian actor Winnick to international fame. Valhalla will no doubt see new actors follow in her footsteps, while the weight of the Netflix name (and the depth of the Netflix budget) may also attract some established stars to come on board.


The sequel will be a pivotal step in turning the Vikings name from a television series into a global brand. Simply having a spin-off series is not sufficient to start a franchise, as it is also important to make moves in other media forms. The groundwork for this has already been done throughout the run of Vikings.

Here’s a quick look at how Vikings have already inspired creations in other forms of entertainment.

Comic book
Titan Comics has released comic books inspired by the television series since April 2016, including four-issue runs titled Godhead and Uprising. These graphic works feature the familiar faces of Lagertha, Ragnar and more, but they show an alternative side to the characters. While superhero shows pay tribute to comics, here it is comics that have been inspired by an original television series.

Online slot
Providing the theme for an online slot is normally reserved for the biggest names in television and cinema, so NetEnt’s Vikings slot is a testament to the global appeal of the show. The slot is part of the collection at Betway Slots where Lagertha and Ragnar are among the symbols on the reels. The Vikings slot also pays homage to Viking life in general, with Norse imagery and raiding bonus features making the slot feel like an extension of the TV show.

Card game
Vikings: Raid & Conquer from High Roller Games, a strategic deck-building card game inspired by the themes and characters of Vikings. Its 7.3 rating on Board Game Geek reflects the positive experience of players, with each person acting as a key character from Vikings and raiding for treasure. Just like NetEnt’s slot, players don’t necessarily need any prior knowledge of Vikings to fully appreciate the game.

Another central part of franchise-building is developing a passionate fanbase that engages with the show’s content. Podcasts are becoming one of the most effective ways for fans to feel connected to a wider community of like-minded people, so media like The Wild Hunt: A Vikings Podcast is important in strengthening a fanbase. This podcast follows a few devoted fans as they recap and analyze each episode of the History Channel series.

If the sequel series is a success, then it could be the first of many spin-offs bearing the Vikings name. Whether we delve deeper into the backstories of key characters or meet new civilizations, fans of Vikings will have hours upon hours of new entertainment ahead. What began as a simple series inspired by historical events has now given birth to a globally popular multimedia franchise.


Link: Vancouver ‘Vikings’ star Alexander Ludwig on the show’s ‘bittersweet’ end

From Victoria Ahearn of the Canadian Press:

Link: Vancouver ‘Vikings’ star Alexander Ludwig on the show’s ‘bittersweet’ end
“I’m so grateful for this show. It’s like the greatest thing that ever happened to me and my career. I’m so grateful to have played such a formidable character and show such an arc. That being said, it definitely took its toll.” Continue reading.


History hit drama series Vikings marks its final season with a powerful two-hour premiere on Dec. 4

From a media release:

HISTORY’s hit drama series Vikings returns for its sixth and final season with a highly anticipated and powerful two-hour premiere kicking off Wednesday, December 4 at 9 p.m. ET/PT. For the past five seasons the Vikings have explored and conquered the known world, from early raids in England and the fierce battles of the Great Heathen Army to the heart-stopping death of Ragnar (Travis Fimmel), now the epic saga sails to monumental lengths throughout 20 compelling, definitive episodes.

The 20-episode sixth season will air in two parts, beginning with a two-hour premiere on Wednesday, December 4 at 9 p.m. ET/PT, followed by eight episodes airing every Wednesday at 10 p.m. ET/PT on HISTORY. The remaining ten episodes of Season 6 are slated to air in 2020. Additionally, series regular Katheryn Winnick is set to helm one episode in Season 6, marking her directorial debut.

Accompanying the series return is an all-new special, Vikings: Worlds at War – with ET Canada, premiering Sunday, December 1 at 8:30 p.m. ET/PT on HISTORY, with a repeat airing on Global on Wednesday, December 4 at 7:30 p.m. ET/PT. ET Canada’s Carlos Bustamante takes viewers behind-the-scenes of Vikings for a sneak peek at the sixth and final season, including exclusive interviews with the cast and a first-look at the shows new set.

Revenge, drama and chaos closed out the mid-season five finale. Ivar the Boneless (Alex Høgh Andersen), a self-proclaimed God ruling over Kattegat with alarming terror, charged his army into battle against his enemy and brother Bjorn Ironside (Alexander Ludwig). Unleashing a fiery guerilla warfare, the two brothers refused to surrender – blood, pride and the crown weighed too heavily on both of their shoulders. In the final moments, Ivar was forced to flee an imminent fate, disappearing into the darkness and securing Bjorn’s victory. Lagertha (Katheryn Winnick), reborn after experiencing severe delusions from the major love she’s lost, emerged to crown Bjorn as the new rightful king.

Season 6 returns following the battle between brothers which has left Bjorn victorious and a hero to the people who have been under the tyrannical rule of Ivar for so long. As the new leader of Kattegat, Bjorn struggles to fill his late father’s shoes as king, while facing several dilemmas and wrestling with the idea that power overshadows morals. Meanwhile, Ivar, searching for a new path to separate him from his past, is seen traveling along The Silk Road eventually leading him to Russia. He meets his match in Prince Oleg (Danila Kozlovsky), a ruthless and unpredictable Russian ruler, who shocks even Ivar with his merciless actions. While Lagertha has her own agenda – to live a quieter and less public life on her own farm, but new dangers lurk close to home. This season, the Vikings continue to take over Scandinavia as Ubbe (Jordan Patrick Smith) and Torvi (Georgia Hirst) travel to Iceland to uncover the mystery circling around Floki’s (Gustaf Skarsgård) disappearance and Hvitserk (Marco Ilsø) pursues his personal vendetta against Ivar.

Vikings is the critically acclaimed series from creator and sole writer Michael Hirst (Academy Award® winning film Elizabeth and the Emmy® and Golden Globe® nominated series The Tudors) and is a family saga that tells the remarkable tales of the lives and epic adventures of the raiders and explorers of the Dark Ages.

Hirst serves as executive producer along with Morgan O’Sullivan of TM Productions (The Count of Monte Cristo, The Tudors), Sheila Hockin (The Tudors, The Borgias), John Weber of Take 5 Productions (The Tudors, The Borgias), Sherry Marsh, Alan Gasmer, and James Flynn (The Tudors, The Borgias).

Vikings is an international Irish/Canadian co-production by TM Productions and Take 5 Productions. MGM Television serves as the worldwide distributor outside of Ireland and Canada. Vikings is produced in association with Corus Entertainment.


Link: Women Behind Canadian TV: Katheryn Winnick

From Bridget Liszewski of The TV Junkies:

Link: Women behind Canadian TV: Katheryn Winnick
“I’ve always had a strong fascination with storytelling, as well as just being on camera. It’s always been in the back of my head, but one of the hardest things, especially being a woman, is to get the opportunity of having someone believe in you and getting a chance to show your talent and direct.” Continue reading.