AVClub.com – Vikings’ 2013 arrival saw it lumped in with the so-called “white male antihero” TV glut, and not without reason. As a genre, such shows are, at heart, wish-fulfillment fantasies where an American man can shuck off the emasculating trappings of modern domesticity and thrill, however covertly, to the actions of “real men.”
In Tony Soprano’s first therapy session with Dr. Melfi, he invokes the “strong silent type” (personified in his mind by Gary Cooper) and The Sopranos is informed by Tony’s interpretation of what that essential manliness entails. Walter White couched his escalating lawlessness in familial concern, but as he finally confided to Skyler at series’ end, he became the biggest meth lord in America simply because he liked it. As Heisenberg, Walter could forget his perceived failures as a husband, father, and provider and stride manfully among the criminal underworld. Sons Of Anarchy trucks heavily in the idea that outlaw bikers, breaking from the strictures of civilized society, are both freer and more truly men than, say, the viewer with a mortgage and a minivan. Even in a period piece like Mad Men, Don Draper sees his unfiltered-cigarette-smoking, whiskey-swilling, fanny-pinching present as missing something—and looks to the past, as seen in the repeated motif of cowboys and astronauts.
In that light, Vikings, which reaches all the way back to the most infamous manly society in Western history, seemed poised to deliver unadulterated—if basic cable-friendly—macho fantasy fodder. (After all, they’re who Ralph Wiggum hangs out with in his dreams.) The show’s protagonist, Ragnar Lothbrok (played by appropriately strapping Aussie Travis Fimmel), appears to embody a viewer’s conception of Viking alpha-male antihero perfection. He’s strong, handsome, bold, defiant of authority, dynamite in the sack (alongside Katheryn Winnick’s formidable Lagertha), and a fearless, brutal combatant. But over the course of the series, it’s revealed that Ragnar, for all his prowess, isn’t an antihero, but its opposite. In fact, he’s only an antihero if Vikings’ viewers are actually Vikings. (Which I’m going to go ahead and assume most are not.)
TheHDRoom.com – Grab the children and run for the hills as Fox Home Entertainment has announced the Vikings Season 2 Blu-ray and DVD release date is set for October 7.
History’s Vikings, an original series, has been a success story for the cable network. The show centers around family man viking Ragnar (Travis Fimmel) and his thirst to explore and conquer new lands. The series averaged over 3 million viewings in its 10/9c time slot on Thursday nights and has already been renewed for Season 3.
The Blu-ray edition of Vikings Season 2 will include all 10 episodes in their unrated form. A total of 16 hours worth of content is exclusive to Blu-ray including alternate and extended scenes.
Vikings Season 2 Blu-ray exclusive extras
10 Unrated episodes that include extended and alternate scenes
The Viking Sagas – An Interactive Archival Exploration of the Viking Sagas. Use the BD remote to select an icon within the Sagas to hear a detailed deconstruction told by Viking historians.
A Warrior Society: Rites of Passage – Viking Historians unravel more fascinating mysteries of the Viking culture delving deeper into their rich history revealing the real world practices of the Viking people. Topics for exploration include: Viking Birthing Rituals, the significance of a young man receiving an armring, and the preparation undertaken before a young man or shieldmaiden’s first battle.
My Family, My Enemy – Creator Michael Hirst details the story arcs of season two and how compelling stories from history influenced the script, with further insights from the cast members and their roles in this season.
Imagining and Executing Climactic Battles – A behind the scenes exploration into every aspect of planning and execution of the key battle sequences, before intricately deconstructing every stage of preparation for the climactic VIKING battles in season 2.
Audio Commentary on “Blood Eagle” featuring Michael Hirst and Gustaf Skarsgard (EXTENDED)
Audio Commentary on “The Lord’s Prayer” featuring Michael Hirst and Gustaf Skarsgard (EXTENDED)
Blu-ray and DVD shared extras
My Family, My Enemy
A Warrior Society: Rites of Passage
Imagining and Executing Climactic Battles
Enstarz.com – Vikings’ Ragnar never wanted the power a king wields, but now he’s stuck with it.
If Ragnar (Travis Fimmel) didn’t have enough problems as it was, his new title will bring him a boatload of new troubles in the season 3 premiere.
“The first scene starts out off with all the trouble that power causes,” Fimmel said at the 2014 San Diego Comic Con, according to Nerd Repository. “I think throughout this year it really becomes alive, how hard it is to be a leader and all the sacrifices you have to make and all that sort of stuff.”
There is an upside to Ragnar’s new title, however. The Viking will finally have a chance to explore lands that were once out of his grasp.
“We go to Paris! Last year got caught up with so much family drama in Kattegat. So much drama that Ragnar and the boys, we didn’t get to explore like we wanted to,” Fimmel explained to Nerd Repository. “We set the farms up in England this year and then we’re like ‘What do we want to do next?’ Ragnar is a very curious character and he wants to see what else is out there. So he gets back to Season 1 where he just wanted to sail somewhere. So we do that at the end of the year. I haven’t read the scripts. But we go to Paree.”
BeautyWorldNews.com – Speaking at the San Diego Comic-Con last month, series creator Michael Hirst revealed that Season 3 of the historical drama will feature the biggest adventure the Vikings have faced yet: The raid on Paris.
“I always knew that one of the big features of Season 3 was going to be the attack on Paris,” Hirst dished about the upcoming season, according to SheKnows.
Since the series premiered on History Channel in March 2013, Ragnar’s gang has already raided England several times, but in Season 3, the group of Vikings is heading to 9th century France, where they will take a fleet of 100 ships into battle, according to Blastr.
In the said French raid, the Vikings will go into battle against Emperor Charles of France and his daughter, Princess Gisla, Zap2it reported. This storyline, however, will not conclude by the time the Season 3 ends.
“This isn’t a storyline that’s going to go away in a couple episodes,” Hirst said. “It’s a storyline that’s going right through the end of Season 3, into Season 4, and it has huge impact on several of our leading characters.”
Hirst is excited in exploring the new territory because it is far from what Paris is today.
“The court in Paris will be unlike anything you’ve ever seen and I’m dying even for French people to see this and say, ‘That’s not Paris!’ But, yes, it was at this period in history in the dark ages. It’ll just be a new world for everyone. So to take the Vikings into that will just be awesome,” he said at the pop convention, according to SheKnows.
“People are not going to expect what they find,” Hirst continued. “[Like] the Franks, who lived in the area at the time and whose language has not been heard for hundreds and hundreds of years. And we’ll have it on-screen. So, all the actors are very excited about this. But they were very Eastern. The Eastern Roman Empire had spread its influence down to France, there’s some African influence [and] Egyptian.”
Fimmel and Clive Standen are also excited about the show’s additional setting for its third season, SheKnows reported.
“It’s unlike anything we’ve ever seen before in France. Paris was a very different place,” said Standen, who plays Rollo in the show. “So we’re going to tell the story of the first raid on Paris.”
Aside from the big attack on the French capital, Fimmel, on the other hand, seems to be more excited from the fact that his character Ragnar is back on raiding again with his brother Rollo.
“We go back to the raiding thing this year instead of all the dramas in Kattegat,” said Fimmel. “So, we’ll be back together raiding.”
Filming of the third season of “Vikings” is currently underway. The series returns on History Channel in summer 2015.
TVEquals.com – TV Equals, along with other reporters, got the opportunity to chat with the cast including Travis Fimmel (Ragnar), Clive Standen (Rollo), Katheryn Winnick (Lagertha), Alexander Ludwig (Bjorn), as well as creator Michael Hirst of History Channel’s hit series Vikings at Comic-Con 2014.
The series follows the adventures of Ragnar Lothbrok, who was an actual historical figure known as the greatest hero of his time. In the show’s Season 2 finale, Ragnar discovered who he could trust and laid waste to many of his enemies. Who will he set his sights on next? Only time will tell.
Watch the interviews to find out more about what’s coming up in Season 3 of Vikings.
Thanks to IGN, I have added a new photoshoot of Travis, Katheryn and Michael Hurst from their Comic-Con portrait session to the gallery. So head over and check them out. Also, I added another outtake from is Variety photoshoot.