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Vikings Preview: “To The Gates” 

Vikings Preview: “To The Gates”
Photo Credit: Jonathan Hession/HISTORY
Photo Credit: Jonathan Hession/HISTORY
Photo Credit: Jonathan Hession/HISTORY

WARNING: Vikings spoilers

Ragnar and the Vikings are in Paris. Last week’s episode pretty much served as a transition from the action that occupied the first part of the season — Wessex, Harbard the Wanderer and the death of Athelstan. Wow. It’s still very (very) difficult to write those words — the death of Athelstan.

We’re not over it yet. And, guess what? Neither’s Ragnar. Last week, Athelstan was on his mind. And that doesn’t change in tonight’s episode. The connection is there even after the born-again former monk is gone.

This last part of the season (can  you believe we’re already in the home stretch?) really kicks in to high gear with tonight’s episode.

Bjorn Ironside (Alexander Ludwig)
Photo Credit: Jonathan Hession/HISTORY

Synopsis of “To the Gates”: The Viking army embarks and Paris goes into lockdown as the army prepares the defense, overseen by Count Odo.  The Vikings are determined to make it through the gates of Paris and conquer the city; they will stop at nothing to succeed.

Teases and More…

Rollo (Clive Standen)
Photo Credit: Jonathan Hession/HISTORY

-Get ready for a tense battle that takes up the better part of the episode.

-The layout of this foreign city really provides a challenge to the Vikings. There are no expansive, wide open fields here. Paris is quite secure. The Norse warriors will have to find a way in. Now if they do, there’s no match for them, right? Right?

-Can Lagertha and Kalf coexist peacefully? Can she get over her feelings and work with her backstabbing former lover to attack Paris?

Photo Credit: Jonathan Hession/HISTORY

-If you think Floki’s not affected by killing Athelstan, think again.

Rollo (Clive Standen) 2
Photo Credit: Jonathan Hession/HISTORY

Shallow TV Alert: Get ready for lots of Shirtless Rollo.

-In a press call, Alexander Ludwig recently talked about what kind of warrior Bjorn would be in Paris:

Bjorn (Alexander Ludwig)
Photo Credit: Jonathan Hession/HISTORY

Alexander Ludwig: He’ll be ruthless. And calculated. I think that that’s what his father has always been to an extent. You’ll see a new side to Bjorn I don’t think  anybody has seen before. In that he’s not just fighting for himself anymore but he’s commanding more than just himself. He starts taking charge of other facets of the attack. And he’s really just coming in to his own. You really do see Bjorn as a man now and how I always intended him to be. So I really can’t wait to see how the fans react to this.

-In another press call, Clive Standen teased the Paris portion of season three:

Clive Standen: Paris isn’t just a one-off episode. Paris in series three is – really kicks off around the tail end of episode six; and it kind of builds and builds and builds until a climactic episode at the end of the season. Paris isn’t like anything the Vikings have ever encountered, and it’s unlike anything that the general public and the 21st century view would see Paris as now, because Paris was entirely different back then. It was a fortress. It was completely enclosed on the river Seine with very high Roman walls.

He went on to describe what kind of battle you’re going to see in tonight’s episode:

Rollo (Clive Standen) 3
Photo Credit: Jonathan Hession/HISTORY

Clive: I like to just think of the Viking soldiers compared to the Saxons, almost more like the modern Navy SEALs, like they’ve been trained, they’ve been brought up with their axes and their weapons, because they’re farmers and they used them on a daily basis. So they’re ferocious and formidable when they’re in battle, whereas the Frankish have got machine. They’ve got soldiers that are trained in a certain way that the Vikings are not used to. So these battles are ginormous in scale and scope. We’ve got 4x as many stuntmen as we had when we first started doing the show. Now, I would go so far as to say at episode eight, which is a very action-based episode, the battle that you’ll see on episode eight is probably one of the best battles, one of the biggest battles I’ve ever seen in a TV show.

Let the battle begin. Vikings airs Thursdays at 10/9c on HISTORY.

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