Vikings Are Back: ‘Valhalla’ Series Brings More Adventures to the Screen

LONDON, Feb 22 (Reuters) – The new show “Vikings: Valhalla”, which will air on Netflix on Friday, combines history and drama to tell the Viking adventures of more than 1,000 years ago, starting with a mission of revenge against the English throne.

Set some 100 years after the end of the hit ‘Vikings’ series, it tells the stories of Norse figures like explorer Leif Eriksson, his headstrong sister Freydis Eriksdotter and the determined Prince Harald Sigurdsson.

“It was great to delve into the legend that lives on in these sagas but strip it down and really tell a human story,” actor Sam Corlett, who plays Leif, told Reuters.

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The plot follows Greenlanders Leif and Freydis who travel to Kattegat for a personal vendetta, but he is soon drawn to Harald (Leo Suter) and King Canute (Bradley Freegard) to avenge other Vikings killed in England.

Meanwhile, Freydis, played by Frida Gustavsson, is taken under the wing of Kattegat leader Jarl Haakon, played by Caroline Henderson, developing a strong bond equally shared by the two actresses.

“It was amazing to work on a show where you have room for two strong women working together,” Gustavsson said.

“It’s not a walk in the park…long, long, long days…we were freezing and we were tired…It’s not easy but I think the work ethic that we had together and the friendship with the rest of the cast also really helped,” Henderson said.

The series features many sea and bloody battles. It also delves into the mistrust between pagan and Christian Vikings.

“It follows these characters through the reasoning of… where did they get their motivation from to do this? And I thought that was really exciting,” showrunner Jeb Stuart said.

“There’s a lot of history involved in that, but it’s also a gray area that a historical playwright like me can play in without making stuff up that’s out of my zone.”

Asked about the enduring popularity of the Vikings, Suter said: “We always talk about them, don’t we? They did amazing things. King Canute stuck together a North Sea empire. Harald Hardrada was a fierce fighter who traveled across Europe, Leif connected Europe and America.”

“So the feats they accomplished were historic… They were legends of their time.”

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Reporting by Marie-Louise Gumuchian; Editing by Angus MacSwan

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