Every single person at Comic Con on Thursday
If you don’t get the stress, this is a big move from a medium-size room that is relatively easy to get into to Ballroom 20, the 2nd largest venue next to Hall H. It’s really easy to miss panels due to the room filling up, and Vikings being only the second panel launched me into complex calculations about how to not fuck it up, which involved statistics, psychology, quantum physics, and more than a smidge of witchcraft.
Fortunately, through a series of trials, tribulations, and quests (which are serving as the inspiration for my upcoming dystopian novel) I did not end up in the trash can, and instead made it to the 4th row center! It was, as usual, a great panel where we got to hang outwith our favorite regulars (Katheryn Winnick, Alexander Ludwig, Michael Hirst) reconnect with some long-lost baes (Clive!!!), and welcomed some cast first timers (Georgia HIrst) to the Con!
Here are my top 5 moments:
Clive be Standen on this Stage!
I was going to save this for last to heighten the dramatic build-up, but I couldn’t because ROLLO IS BACK Y’ALL!
Yes, in the very last possible second of the very last possible episode of season 5a, Rollo appeared on the horizon, and it’s so good to see my long-standen (sorrynotsorry) (okfineImalittlesorry) Vikings fave back with the cast! Sporting a “World’s greatest uncle” tee, Clive talked about how Rollo is in a really different place in his life now. He feels great responsibility to his people in Gaul, he is physically not the warrior he once was, and he is starting to grapple with his mortality and legacy. But when asked whether Rollo is #teamLagertha or #teamIvar, Clive said that there is on one thing remains constant: Rollo is #teamRollo!
Me too, Clive. Me too.
So great to have my honey back, and I can’t wait to see what Rollo brings to season 5b!
Strangely, I have not been a big Rollo/Lagertha shipper in my time as a Vikings fan, mostly because he was kind of a creeper about her in the early times.
Exhibit A: Ewwwww
I have to say, that may be about to change! There was a lot of chatter about Rollo’s love for Lagertha during the panel, from Clive’s snide assessment that Bishop Heahmund is “keeping [Lagertha] warm until Rollo returns,” to Michael Hirst admitting that Rollo probably still loves Lagertha, but that his priorities at this point may not allow him to act on that. There was no straight answer on the question of whether Bjorn is Rollo’s son, but in light of the coming battle between Ivar and Bjorn this could very much come into play on Rollo’s allegiances.
To recap: he’s in a different place, she’s in a different place, they’re both super-hot, so let’s do this thing!!
Well hello, deleted scene from season 3 – how prescient you may turn out to be!
Katheryn Winnick discussed her upcoming stint as a director during the 6th season of Vikings, which is very exciting news for the Vikings lady-verse! She loved the collaborating with the team, and felt that the crew was incredibly supportive. Alexander Ludwig went full-on fanboy saying that her relationship with the overwhelmingly male-dominated crew was inspiring, and that she is “beyond talented.” He ended with a big ole’ “I love you,” and the room’s collective heart completely melted!
You guys are the cutest!
I love how devoted the cast is to one another, and it seems even with all the changes in recent years they still have so much fun together!
Vikings in their Golden Years
Of the many things I love about Vikings, one of my favorite in relation to the Con is that there are plenty of characters for us olds to cosplay, thusly:
A fellow mature cosplayer won all the awards during Q&A by introducing herself as “Lagertha season 10,” and asked how the cast has approached playing their characters as decades have passed in Kattegatt during the run of the show.
The cast talked about how in the upcoming seasons they will be grappling with the physical and mental transformations of aging. Katheryn talked about how, especially as an actress, she feels the need to fight the aging process and always be young-looking, but that she is ready to explore what it means for Lagertha to move beyond middle aged, and all the physical changes that entails.
Clive talked about how glad he is that the roles are not recast as time passes, because he gets to explore all changes Rollo is going through. He spent a great deal of time talking about how excited he is about Rollo’s beard going gray, because graying beards are his Kryptonite and he thinks there should be more of that on the show oh wait that’s me who thinks that and is looking very forward to all the gray beards because it is a total turn on sorry for the confusion.
Yes to all of this
Fans on the DL
One of the unexpected consequences of the venue change was that the usual cadre of Norse warrior cosplayers that pack the front rows were crowded out by the lunatics who got in line at 5am (It me). I assumed the Venn diagram of previous panel attendees (Big Bang Theory) and Vikings fans would be 2 completely discrete circles separated by a distance of 10′, and that when the panels changed there would be the usual huge scuffle to score a seat closer to the stage, in which elbows, shields, hatchets, and shear body mass are used to great advantage in securing front row seats. But basically nobody left, and for the first time the lesser celebrated Viking superpower of “neurotic over-preparation” was triumphant!
While I was pretty psyched by my position, I was worried that the panel wouldn’t have the same energy without the usual Berserker chorus. Boy was I wrong! I experienced the full power of a locked and loaded fandom on the DL, going straight from literally squealing when Mayim Bialick crashed the BBT panel, to flat-out roaring through the #teamIvar vs #teamLagertha debate!
While I did miss the vuvuzela folks, all-in-all it goes to show you never know what kind of berzerker lurks in the cargo-shorts clad ham radio enthusiast next door!
We see you Gerald
Although the chaos that is Travis Fimmel was noticeably absent, the panel was funny, sweet, and was chock-full of great discussions and more than a little shade!
— Katy Grace (@katygracesf) July 20, 2018
And, as always, the History Channel brought a very special season 5b trailer for the Comic-Con audience:
Holy crap – what is happening?
An exiled Lags allies with an embattled Alfred against her own people?
Hvitserk betrays Ivar?
Heahmund betrays Lagertha?
Bjorn goes fully Ragnar?
Urban Decay releases its new “Apocalyptic Ashes” war paint line?
Rollo is acting like a smug dick?
Okay the last one is not so shocking, but all the rest add up to a potentially epic demi-season! Are you excited yet? Yes?