History Channel’s ‘Vikings’ spotlights strong women

Vikings

Katheryn Winnick (center) plays a real-life shieldmaiden in “Vikings.”
Credit: History Channel

The mental image that comes to mind when you hear “Vikings” is usually bearded oafs drinking from skull cups in between fits of plundering. “People think they were just barbarians with horns on their heads,” says Katheryn Winnick, one of the stars of “The Vikings,” a new nine-episode docu-drama that airs Sundays on The History Channel. “That’s completely wrong. They were civilized, intelligent, sophisticated.”
The show is the latest from Michael Hirst, known for his way of turning history into highly watchable, often sexy trash, as he did in the “Elizabeth” films, “The Tudors” and “The Borgias.” His new show tells of Ragnar Lothbak (Travis Fimmel), a real-life Viking badass. But the women have meaty roles, too, specifically Lagertha (Winnick), wife of Ragnar, and Siggy (Jessalyn Gilsig), the Lady Macbeth to Gabriel Byrne’s evil lord. Lagertha, is a “shieldmaiden” — a female warrior — and spends the earliest episodes at home as her husband sails on an illegal mission. But that means organizing the community and fending off ne’er-do-wells in Ragnar’s stead. “What’s great about her relationship with Ragnar was that they were partners,” Winnick says. “It was true love.”
For Gilsig, best known as Terri Schuester on “Glee,” it was a chance to play evil again, this time alongside her TV husband.
“This was a team effort,” she says of the two characters. “This is a couple that has come to the highest position, and now they have to figure out how to keep it. You have to do that by identifying your enemies and any threat you have, and eliminating them.”
The secret to playing a villain is believing the character is right, Gilsig says. “Your job as an actor is to always make sense to yourself. Even a serial killer makes sense to themselves.”



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

Mutant worms stay sober, even on alcohol

U.S. researchers have developed "mutant worms" that do not get drunk by alcohol, a breakthrough that could lead to new treatment for people trying to quit drinking

Local

K-9 nose helps capture $150K in cocaine at…

A furry, four-legged security agent helped authorities stop an illegal cocaine shipment from sneaking past JFK customs.

National

Minnesota man asked to leave Southwest flight after…

A man and his two sons were asked to leave a Southwest Airlines flight after the man sent a tweet complaining about being treated rudely by a gate agent.

National

Man sues hospital after surprise penis amputation

An Alabama man who went in to a hospital last month for a circumcision awoke after surgery to find his penis had been amputated, his lawyer said on Thursday.

Movies

Review: Brett Ratner's big 'Hercules' movie is small…

The latest "Hercules," starring Dwayne Johnson as the half-god beefcake of Greek myth, strips its hero and tale of most of its fantastical elements.

Arts

Scientists recreate world's smallest Monet copy

Scientists have reproduced a famous Impressionist painting using nano-printing, to create what has been described as the world's smallest work of art. Reworked at the…

Television

Jerry Seinfeld is ambidextrous, and other Reddit AMA…

See some of the weirder highlights of Jerry Seinfeld's recent Reddit AMA.

Going Out

Grab a pedestrian and start dancing at What…

As a New Yorker, I’ve mastered the art of focusing my gaze straight ahead. Though it occasionally piques my interest, the absurdities that play out…

NFL

2014 NFL Fantasy Football Top 100 overall player…

2014 NFL Fantasy Football Top 100 overall player rankings

U.S. Soccer

NYCFC announce signing of Frank Lampard

The tease of a big signing Thursday by new MLS side NYCFC ended up being one rumored for weeks. England midfielder Frank Lampard agreed to…

NBA

NBA great LeBron James sends 800 cupcake apologies…

By Kim PalmerCLEVELAND (Reuters) - NBA star LeBron James, whose recent return to the Cleveland Cavaliers in his home state of Ohio sparked a frenzy…

NFL

Jerry Reese confident with Giants, skipping countdown clocks…

Last year, Giants GM Jerry Reese installed a countdown clock in the locker room to inspire Big Blue to play in their own stadium for Super Bowl XLVIII.

Tech

Forget Wi-Fi: Li-Fi could be the future

Li-Fi technology – developed by Mexican company Sisoft – is wireless internet connectivity using specialized LED light.

Tech

Weather app Climendo might be the most accurate…

The wait for a truly accurate weather forecast could finally be over thanks to a nifty new app called Climendo.

Tech

Napkin Table puts focus off the phone and…

Michael Jan, a design student at Tunghai University in Taiwan, has invented a serviette-picnic blanket hybrid called the Napkin Table.

Style

Essie's new Color Boutique

Essie launches high-tech kiosks at major airports and malls across the country.

Comments

1

  1. Thanks for sharing the scoop about Vikings and I can’t wait to see this new mini-series from the History Channel. I work at DISH and several of my coworkers said they were going to tune in to see this show since it has a strong female cast, including Winnick and Jessalyn Gilsig. I just started working nights, but I set a timer for it on my DISH Hopper so I can check it out later. I have several other shows on CBS and ABC airing at the same time, but I can keep up with all these programs because my DVR records up to six channels at once during primetime.