San Deigo Comic-Con looked a tad different this year as the organization, along with everyone else in the world, has had to make some significant adjustments with their events. This year all the panel sessions were online and free for anyone, which was fantastic! Their program schedule had direct links to the panels and was then available afterward on their YouTube channel.
One of the sessions, we always look forward to is the Vikings panel. It was bittersweet, not only for the cast members in attendance but also fans, since it was a reminder of how the story of the Lothbroks is just about over with the final half of season 6 airing sometime in 2020.
The panel was moderated by Kate Hahn from TV Guide magazine and included Michael Hirst, Katheryn Winnick, Alexander Ludwig, Clive Standen, Jordan Patrick Smith, and brought back Travis Fimmel much to our delight! While the surprise of having Fimmel on the panel wasn’t as fun as when he appeared in a kangaroo costume, it was still great to see him along with the others.
It was apparent that the cast was fiercely missing the fans as they reminisced about their past interactions. They reflected on how they weren’t even sure if people would show up and initially began in smaller halls, which then exploded into their later panels moving into some of the largest rooms – a testament that the fans showed up!
We have to say that we are still not entirely over Lagertha’s death, so when asked how are Lagertha and Ragnar doing in Valhalla, it did sting a bit remembering that our favorite shield maiden is no longer with the show. However, their responses made us think that those two characters are doing just dandy in the afterlife. Fimmel replied, “They are definitely back together.”, while Winnick joked, “I don’t know about that. He’s still in the dog house.” Either way, Hirst said it best when he remarked that both of their deaths were so memorable that fans would not forget them. Winnick also shared an interesting fact – her last line when she lands next to Ragnar underwater was the same line she used in her audition. Who knew?!
Other highlights from the panel included how Ludwig and Smith were grateful for the close relationships that developed between the cast and crew. Fimmel and Hirst’s discussed their experience with various scenes such as Ragnar’s speech at the beach when he says goodbye to his daughter.
There were also discussions around the relationship between the brothers, Rollo and Ragnar. Standen provided some insight into his character and why he did some of the things that he did and how it affected the relationship with Fimmel’s character. We have to say there was nothing more heartbreaking than watching the brothers be torn apart after the fight in Paris.
Smith recalled his first day on set as it was the day that Fimmel had to slap him across the face multiple times in the “Who wants to be king?” scene. He acknowledged that he studied Fimmel to use parts of his characteristics and merge it into his character. We have to agree that while all the sons have parts of Ragnar’s personality, Smith’s representation is eerily close. There were many times in this last season where you could see Ragnar shining through in Ubbe’s mannerisms and story.
Ludwig brought up one of his favorite (and ours) battle moments at the end of season 5 when he is pleading with his people. He talks about how he lost his voice, and they decided not to re-record over it since it reflected how his character felt within that moment. That was one of the more emotional scenes that audience members got to see how much he had grown throughout his journey.
Along with cast reflections on their experiences with the show, fans also got an exclusive clip of the new season! Even though the clip was short, it gave us some hope that Ludwig’s character, Bjorn, may not have ridden off to Valhalla quite yet. It also reaffirmed that the Vikings still have a long way to defeating the Rus! We definitely can’t wait for the last half of the final season!
Check out both the full SDCC panel and the exclusive clip below.