Entertainment Television

New 'Vikings' promo shows hero's call to change everything

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.

Want more? Discuss this article and others on Show Patrol's Facebook page

Copyright © 2015, RedEye
Related Content
  • Man fatally shot after argument over woman at South Loop lounge
    Man fatally shot after argument over woman at South Loop lounge

    An argument over a woman led to one man being killed and another wounded during a shooting inside a South Loop music lounge early Saturday, police said.

  • Oklahoma fraternity's racist chant learned on a cruise
    Oklahoma fraternity's racist chant learned on a cruise

    Members of a University of Oklahoma fraternity apparently learned a racist chant that recently got their chapter disbanded during a national leadership cruise four years ago that was sponsored by the fraternity's national administration, the university's president said Friday.

  • In NYC building collapse, mayor cites 'inappropriately' tapped gas line; 2 missing
    In NYC building collapse, mayor cites 'inappropriately' tapped gas line; 2 missing

    Someone may have improperly tapped a gas line before an explosion that leveled three apartment buildings and injured nearly two dozen people, Mayor Bill de Blasio said Friday as firefighters soaked the still-smoldering buildings and police searched for at least two missing people.

  • Emanuel uses borrowing to cope with Daley's debt burden
    Emanuel uses borrowing to cope with Daley's debt burden

    Mayor Rahm Emanuel has reduced spending and increased fines, fees and certain taxes to shrink the chronic budget deficits left over from his predecessor, Richard M. Daley.

  • Six Flags Great America's lost attractions
    Six Flags Great America's lost attractions

    Not every ride's the Willard's Whizzer. That iconic coaster debuted in 1976 when Marriott's Great America, now Six Flags Great America, in Gurnee, Ill., first opened. And it's still popular today. But for every Whizzer there's a Tidal Wave, Shockwave or Z-Force, rides existing only in memory.

  • Denim's just getting started
    Denim's just getting started

    Five years ago, denim-on-denim defied all of the dire warnings in the "Undateable" handbook: Instead of evoking John Denver or Britney Spears in her misstyled youth, chambray shirts paired with darker blue jeans became as cool as actor Johnny Depp and street-style heroine Alexa Chung.