When Jeb Stuart (Die hard, Concealment) signed to take over and continue the Viking franchise with Vikings: ValhallaMichael Hirst, the creator of the original History Channel series, gave him just one guideline: He wanted the Netflix spin-off to feel nostalgic.
“I [knew] his mind immediately,” Stuart told Polygon. “The goal of the show is that, as we move from season to season, there are parts we’re going to have to give up. So my goal in the end would be that you suddenly look back at this incredible time of both shows and say, ‘Wow, that’s great they just killed those Saxons. I remember the purity of that moment. ‘”
If “meditative” isn’t a description commonly applied to both Vikings and Vikings, allow Valhalla to correct the statement. The set 100 years after the last episodes of the original series, the Vikings came into conflict with the British (who burned Danish plantations on their shores during the Saint Brice Day massacre) but also with themselves. The pagan Viking old gods are insulting the new Christian Vikings who want people to simply board the ship with the Christ already there.
True to history, Christianity played an important role in the disintegration of the Viking age. Stuart notes that Scandinavia was the last part of Europe to be Christianized (“You know, those Catholic monks stood up there, in Northern Germany, in the Netherlands, and they looked all over the Baltic. And they said, […] I don’t want to go there. They kill people over there!“). And in true “fashion”, the transition is relevant, violent and tireless.
That conflict is set in motion between a new cast of characters, including the legendary Leif Erikson (The Chilling Adventures of Sabrinaby Sam Corlett) and his sister Freydis Eriksdotter (Frida Gustavsson of The Witcher), who left Kattegat with their own goals and their own thoughts on religion.
“If you’re an action writer it’s a good place to work,” Stuart says of the conflict-free Vikings at the center of the story. After consolidating his writing career with action classics of the 1980s and ’90s, Stuart wanted to Valhalla for “more action”, especially in his “character-based” writing style. “In other words, it all comes from people you know, you’re watching […] as opposed to, you know, a comet about to hit Earth or something like that. “
In that sense, Valhalla gives Stuart a strange playing field: like the original series, historical events can be traced back to the movie (the massacre that started the pilot happened on November 13, 1002) and also lightened up. reveal some other facts (for English, “massacre” It’s not that I don’t try as Valhalla you will believe). Historical events such as the Danish invasion of England or the fall of London Bridge are inferred from sketchy records and rhymes. That leaves a lot of room for Valhalla to fill in the blanks with cunning strategies from the new generation of Vikings.
However, the part of the research that attracted him the most was not rooted in the bloodshed or the main arc of history. It was two people, each representing the wild choices available to women at the time.
“I liked Freydis, who I think is a spectacular female character. And one of the things I love about the era, especially from a writing standpoint, is women [in Danish culture] Stuart said.
Then he finds Normandy’s Emma (played with great determination in Valhalla of Laura Berlin), as Stuart puts it, from Normandy about 15 years old, “was just part of her father’s estate. And then she became one of the richest women in Europe at the age of 20. How did she do that?”
Those itineraries balance out the more standard Viking fare, each in their own way complicating the historical narrative. Perhaps, more than anything else, it is the characteristic that Stuart is entering into the world of Valhalla, which both easily demonstrates how incredibly advanced the Vikings were at the time, and reminds audiences that they were savage in many ways, too. Duality is something Stuart can’t find himself nostalgic for, even if he keeps it at the beginning of the story.
“I really want to say, sitting here in the 21st century, that we have a much more enlightened view of other cultures,” says Stuart. “But […] When I did the show, we were locking kids up on the Mexico-Texas border. And our views on that human side, resonated with me. ”
Like Vikings before it, Valhalla don’t care about perfect characters. Instead, the show seems most concerned with how the more things around “power” change, the more it stays the same: there’s still violent religious tension, England is still the land main to conquer. Reality doesn’t seem to have changed too much – but we know it will.
That last point Stuart says the jump freed him from having to write “Vikings season 7″, and gave him the chance to create something new, its own animal. The show itself has more highlights than its History Channel counterpart; even the title track feels less avant-garde than moody Vikings one and more that match The Witcher, another Netflix swordplay. But finally Valhalla The interests of Stuart’s aim not to avoid conflict, but rather to overcome it. After all, that is what the Vikings themselves did.
Vikings: Valhalla premieres February 25 on Netflix.
https://www.polygon.com/22895412/vikings-valhalla-preview Vikings: Valhalla preview: Showrunner doesn’t want to do Vikings season 7