By Curt Wagner, @ShowPatrol
1:48 PM CST, January 25, 2013
History has unleashed another promo for its upcoming drama "Vikings" that shows the main protagonist, Ragnar Lothbrok, who is based on a historical figure from the 8th Century.
Any number of legends exist about Ragnar from Old Norse poetry and other sources, but they all seem to agree that he was a great Viking commander who led raids into France and England. Versions of his legend say he became the Danish king and that he was a direct descendent of Odin, ruler of the Norse gods and associated with war and warriors.
In "Vikings," which premieres at 9 p.m. CT March 3, Ragnar Lothbrok (Travis Fimmel) is an adventurous farmer who, as the promo above shows, discovers a new navigation technique that "will change everything." He believes it will enable Norse ships to sail west safely to find out if the tales of a rich land called England are true. He becomes frustrated when his local chieftain, Earl Haraldson (Gabriel Byrne), forbids his raiders to go west because he wrongly believes nothing is there.
Ragnar's conflict with the Earl fuels much of the early part of the series, which begins with Ragnar and his brother, Rollo (Clive Standen), finishing off a group of Saxon soldiers at the end of an epic battle. Axes people! Vikings love their axes. "Vikings" strikes hardest when it follows Ragnar's adventures west, battle scenes and his confrontations with the Earl. It's not without some problems, but overall I'm already a fan.
Joining Fimmel, Byrne and Standen are Gustaf Skarsgard as Floki, Ragner's friend Floki with whom he builds a new generation of boats; Katheryn Winnick as Lagertha, a warrior woman and Ragnar's wife; Jessalyn Gilsig as Siggy, Earl Haraldson's duplicitous wife; and George Blagden as Athelstan, a young, innocent Christian monk captured by Ragnar on his first raid on England.
"Vikings" is created and written by Michael Hirst, who served as writer and/or producer on the film "Elizabeth" and TV series such as "The Tudors," "The Borgias" and "Camelot." Filmed in Ireland, it is History channel's first drama series after its successful foray into scripted TV with last year's miniseries "Hatfields & McCoys."
Says History of the series: "Vikings" will chart Ragnar's ambitions to discover civilizations across the great ocean to the west as well as his inevitable conflicts along the way. ... The series will also delve into how the Vikings--the last pagans--worshipped ancient gods like Odin, Thor, Freya and Loki. Ragnar claims to be a direct descendant of the Norse god Odin, who, as well as being the god of warriors slain in battle, is also the god of curiosity.
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