Tag Archives: Vikings

Review: Harbard enters land of the Vikings

Kevin Durand was vague in his description of Harbard, one of the new characters featured in Season 3 of Vikings. And for good reason. Having someone who rivals The Seer in terms of mystery makes for a fun game for viewers. Is Harbard bad? Good? A walking Viking god? By the end of Thursday’s “The Wanderer,” viewers weren’t left with much information other than this seems to be the man Aslaug, Siggy and Helga have been dreaming about. Now he was in Kattegat—bleeding palm and all—and Helga was in awe.

Vikings has a ton of religious symbolism in it, and this episode was no exception, showing Torstein bathing in the river to wash away the infection in his arm and laying both arms out straight as if he was on a cross as Floki prepped to lop his arm off, the labourer placing the icon in the barn during Athelstan’s prayer and the stigmata on Athelstan’s hands. It is possible to watch Vikings as a surface-level program about Ragnar Lothbrok and his exploits, but there’s plenty of depth for those seeking it. The fact there is a clash of religions between what the Vikings follow and what the Christians do holds constant fascination for me as a viewer, especially when you realize both aren’t that different from one another.

One storyline I’m not too keen on is the budding romance between Lagertha and King Ecbert. I trust that show creator Michael Hirst knows exactly what he’s doing, but I cringed every time Ecbert made goo-goo eyes at the blonde shield maiden and part of me hoped she’d crush his head in with the butt of her sword. Alas, it appears for the time being the romance will continue. I’m also a little sad that Lagertha, for the moment anyway, has gone the route of farmer. I much prefer seeing her in battle than battling weeds, but I’m sure she’ll get back to that sooner or later.

Speaking of budding romance, I was—like Athelstan—a little taken aback by Lady Judith’s forwardness with the former priest. His face may have been in shadow, but I’m pretty sure Athelstan was blushing like crazy when Judith confessed she’d dreamed of making love to him. The poor dude is already conflicted with his belief system and now he’s on the verge of laying down with another man’s wife. Not good.

Notes and quotes

  • That scene where Ragnar and his men pulled up to shore with heads hanging from poles mounted on his boats? Truly scary.
  • Porunn has quickly become the most kick-ass shield maiden since Lagertha.
  • If Ecbert and Lagertha become a couple, what do we call them? Eckbertha? Lagbert?
  • “I’ve always hated this arm.” I have no idea how Torstein came to love one arm more than the other. And maybe I don’t want to know.

Vikings airs Thursdays at 10 p.m. ET/PT on History.

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Kevin Durand goes from Vikings fan to major player

It would seem like a no-brainer to have Kevin Durand join the cast of Vikings. The Thunder Bay, Ont., native is tall, muscular and has piercing eyes, three prerequisites needed to participate in the Canada/Irish co-production’s pillaging of early England.

And yet Durand—who is currently in production on Season 2 of The Strain in Toronto—was a little nervous about hopping on board the show’s longships as it launches into Season 3 on History on Thursday.

“It was scary to commit to a show that you’re a big fan of,” Durand says with a laugh. “Vikings is way up there for my wife and I, but when I read the words he had written, it just set me afire and I wanted to step up and live up to it.”

The “he” is Michael Hirst, Vikings‘ creator, showrunner and lone writer, the man who has crafted Ragnar Lothbrok’s (Travis Fimmel) journey from lowly farmer to King. Season 3 picks up soon after the events of the last adventures, with Ragnar, Rollo (Clive Standen), Floki (Gustaf Skarsgård), Lagertha (Katheryn Winnick), Athelstan (George Blagden) and Bjorn (Alexander Ludwig) once again venturing across the Atlantic to meet with King Ecbert (Linus Roache) and claim the farmland he’d promised them. Of course, things never go exactly as planned, and Ragnar finds himself caught up in a family feud between Princess Kwenthrith (Amy Bailey) and her uncle and brother, who have teamed to steal her kingdom of Mercia.

Durand plays Harbard, a mysterious figure who shows up in Kattegat while Ragnar and most of the men are in England, and he has a almost spiritual effect on Siggy (Jessalyn Gilsig), Helga (Maude Hirst) and Queen Auslaug (Alyssa Sutherland). Punching the name “Harbard” into Google brings up a couple of references, most notably the Norse gods of Odin and Loki.

“It’s so difficult to expand on what you’ve already found out,” Durand admits. “All I can really divulge is that he wanders into Kattegat and there is something influential and magical about him. Some are sucked in by him and others are skeptical. His actions will be felt for a time to come. Who he is will take some time to reveal.”

It didn’t take Durand long to fully immerse himself into the character of Harbard thanks to the show’s incredible sets, wardrobe and, especially, makeup. He recalls the beard created Harbard and thinking how weird it was as it was first being applied to his face. Two hours later and he didn’t recognize himself.

“I’m looking in the mirror at hair that goes down to my waist and a beard that just screams, ‘I am so virile! I will conquer!'”

Vikings airs Thursdays at 10 p.m. ET/PT on History.

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Vikings Season 3 screening event ticket giveaway!

Season 3 of Vikings returns to Canada on Thursday, Feb. 19, on History, but why wait? We’ve got four (4) tickets to give away to a special screening event in Toronto on Thursday, Feb. 12!

Taking place at the Cineplex Cinemas Yonge Dundas & VIP located at Yonge & Dundas Square, lucky winners not only get to witness Episode 1 of Season 3 on the big screen, but can participate in a Q&A session with two of the show’s producers as well as have the chance to show off their Vikings trivia to win prizes.

Want to attend this exclusive, private screening in Toronto? There are three ways to win one of four (4) tickets available:

We’ll announce the winners on Friday, Feb. 6, at 5 p.m. ET.

Here’s a glimpse into what’s in store in Season 3:

In the new 10-episode season, Ragnar (Travis Fimmel), the former farmer, is now King and has great responsibility resting on his shoulders. With the promise of new land from the English, Ragnar leads his people to an uncertain fate on the shores of Wessex. King Ecbert (Linus Roache) has made many promises and it remains to be seen if he will keep them. This season, the ever-ambitious Ragnar searches for something more – and he finds it in the mythical city of Paris. Rumoured to be impenetrable to outside forces, Ragnar and his band of Norsemen must come together to break down its walls and cement the Vikings legend in history.  The gripping family saga of Ragnar, Rollo (Clive Standen), Lagertha (Canadian Katheryn Winnick) and Bjorn (Canadian Alexander Ludwig) continues as alliances and loyal friendships are questioned, faith is catechized and relationships are strained. Vikings tells the extraordinary tales of the lives and epic adventures of these warriors and portrays life in the Dark Ages, a world ruled by raiders and explorers, through the eyes of Viking society.

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