'Vikings' set for violent return

Bill Harris, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 1:14 PM ET

It would be pushing it to say Clive Standen is more open to paganism in a practical sense since he began his portrayal of Rollo on Vikings.

But Standen does notice things now that he didn't notice before.

“I'll be sitting down on a bench learning lines, and a crow or a raven will come down and sit on a fence right next to me and look right in my face,” Standen said. “And you do start thinking, 'It's like Odin (a major god in Norse mythology) looking straight back at me.'

“It's the simplest things, like the moon or things in the sky. The tattoos Rollo wears are all about wolves constantly chasing the sun and the moon, and that's why the cycle of the moon keeps going around the Earth, because it is being chased by ravenous wolves.

“You see little bits in nature and you think, 'They easily could have interpreted things this way,' animals looking back at them and things like that.”

Of course, that's part of what makes Vikings – which begins its second season Thursday, Feb. 27 on History – so engaging. The series tells the tale of legendary people who were so spiritual and noble on the one hand, yet so terrifyingly aggressive on the other.

“Well, most human beings are,” reasoned Standen, a British actor who plays the brother of lead character Ragnar Lothbrok, played by Travis Fimmel. “In the right or wrong circumstances, anyone is capable of doing anything.

“Most of the people who advanced the world in some way, the conquerors, the generals, often weren't very nice. Anyone from William the Conqueror to Alexander the Great, they're all worthy of the history books, but they weren't necessarily nice people. I think it really is the case in the history books that the nice guy finishes last.

“Now, there were nice people, righteous people, in the history of the world. But the Vikings were the Navy SEALs of their time. They were highly trained, they were highly skilled, and they had technology to navigate the seas. They were very advanced. They were formidable and people could not defend themselves against the Vikings.”

But how were the Vikings at defending themselves against each other? That's one of the main questions as season two begins, with Rollo having decided to battle his brother Ragnar. We'll see if Rollo has the guts to go through with it.

“I have two brothers,” said Standen, when asked about his familiarity with brotherly rivalry. “And I have three children as well, two boys and a girl, so I see it play out that way, too.”

So because of Vikings, Clive Standen is seeing a lot of things these days. He sees battles between brothers. He sees hints of paganism and mythology. And he also sees something of a second Viking invasion occurring.

“I just think the Vikings are everywhere, anywhere you look,” Standen said. “Not just the interior design companies, not just IKEA, but there are Viking haircuts everywhere. And even all these TV shows coming over, The Bridge, The Killing, all these Scandinavian shows, they're invading the world again.”

Eyes on the seas, folks. Eyes always on the seas.

Twitter: @billharris_tv

Bill.harris@sunmedia.ca

 


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