Last year “Vikings” scored three Emmy nominations and now it returns for new awards consideration after a triumphant second season. Viewership averaged 3.4 million per episode on the History Channel and again TV critics cheered on the barbarians with lusty hurrahs. What’s the secret to the program’s success and what are its deepest, darkest secrets?
That’s what I asked its cast and creator on Tuesday night when they powwowed with Emmy voters at the Television Academy: series creator/writer Michael Hirst (second from left in photo above) plus cast members (right to left) Alyssa Sutherland (Aslaug), George Blagden (Athelstan), Gustaf Skarsgard (Floki), Donal Logue (King Horicck), Jessalyn Gilsig (Siggy), Clive Standen (Rollo) and Katheryn Winnick (Lagertha).
“What makes ‘Vikings’ successful is obvious and mysterious at the same time,” said Hirst. “It’s obvious because even the word ‘Vikings’ has a sort of visceral appeal. People want to know about Vikings. Also, this show is about their families. It’s about a guy, his wife, his mistress, his boss — so it’s forever relevant. These people who lived in the eighth century are very much like us. But still there’s something mysterious about it. You never know what will happen when you send these frail barks out into the ocean. Will they ever come back?”
BELOW: Watch the video of our fun chat to discover more about “Vikings” – what the cast endures (dirt storms, stunt classes) and to see up close the fine artistry of its costumes, art direction and more.
Photos by Angela Weiss/ Getty Images for History