Updated March 16
Robson Gundim, an artist who is a fan of Vikings, has made this special drawing of Gabriel Byrne as Earl Haraldson, in honor of Mr. Byrne and also Byrneholics!
Thanks to Robson for sharing his art with us!
Ok. This is all a bit culturally confusing, but what an interesting confluence of events!
There is a distinct Irish feel to the series Vikings. It was filmed exclusively in Ireland, with Irish and Canadian financial backing. One of its stars, Gabriel Byrne, is Irish. Most of the extras and the production crew are Irish.
But the series is about these Scandinavian warriors who would go on to pillage and plunder much of England and Ireland.
And Episode 3 occurs on St. Patrick’s Day!
I don’t know. Pop some green popcorn and watch the continuing saga!
See below for great interviews with Gabriel Byrne and Jessalyn Gilsig, who plays Siggy, the Earl’s wife!
Happy St. Patrick’s Day! I believe we have some green mead around here somewhere…
Premiere Date: March 17, 2013 – 10:00-11:00PM
A monastery in Lindesfarne is about to get a firsthand look at how the Vikings operate. In and out in a flurry of violence and terror, Ragnar and his crew raid the monastery for everything it contains, from treasure to monks who can be sold as slaves. Unable to ignore the riches this unsanctioned journey has returned, Earl Haraldson has no choice but to agree to let these warriors undertake a second trip out. The West has now been opened for the taking by Ragnar Lothbrok, and the world of the Vikings will never be the same.
March 17, 2013 – 11:01-12:01AM
March 18, 2013 – 02:01-03:01AM
March 18, 2013 – 03:02-04:02AM
March 19, 2013 – 10:00-11:00PM
March 20, 2013 – 02:01-03:01AM
March 24, 2013 – 01:00-02:00PM
Gabriel Byrne talks to Jill Rachel Jacobs at Huffington Post:
What do you think will draw viewers to Vikings?
It is a tremendously exciting story, and because it’s the History Channel, there will be many facts, rituals, battles and costumes that people will be intrigued to learn about. I also think people will begin to see the connection between ancient history and modern politics. And you recognize that maybe technology has changed, and maybe the way we live our lives has changed, but essentially human beings are not that different. We still make love and we make war, and we still have the need to conquer. We just do it with more effective weapons now…
Your 1997 autobiography, Pictures in My Head received rave reviews. Any plans for another book?
Yes. When I finish my current project, I intend to go back to writing. I’ve been working on bits and pieces here and there, and now I am going to seriously sit down and write this book. I really admire anybody who writes for a living. It requires such discipline, and I think you could only really do it if you loved it.
So what book is on your nightstand?
I happen to be reading a book in between takes when I was on the set today, and somebody said to me, “Well, we know what you’d like to be doing. You’d just like to be reading your book.” It’s true. Currently, I’m reading a wonderful book by Fred Waitzkin who wrote, Searching for Bobby Fisher. His new book, The Dream Merchant is absolutely a beautiful book, one of those books you can’t put down. There is a kind of a happiness that you can go back to it and you still have 50 pages to go and you don’t want it to end.
Jessalyn Gilsig talks about her character, Siggy, and working with Gabriel Byrne at The Channel Guide:
CGM: Her relationship with the earl is interesting. Sometimes they seem more like business partners, but there are also hints of genuine emotion. How do you see their relationship?
JG: I think that’s so interesting that idea of the business partners. Gabriel and I talked about it a lot, and the decision that we had made was that it had been a great love story between them, but that the death of their sons — the circumstances of which are a little mysterious — put a wedge between them from which they’ve never recovered. One of the things I love that [creator Michael Hirst] said when I first joined the show was, “We’re doing a show about Vikings, yes, and it’s a period piece, yes, but the one thing that’s consistent through history from the beginning of time is that all parents love their children.” I think that was a good motivator for Gabriel and myself to have lost our children. We’re having trouble finding the energy and the will to continue to maintain our position and even our relationship…
CGM: You mentioned how you talked with Gabriel a lot about your characters, so it sounds like you had a good relationship working together on this.
JG: Yeah, I had a fantastic time working with him. He was really enthusiastic about the project, and it was so important to him that we understand the relationship, and that we’re on the same page. We had just lots of opportunities to explore scenes, and we wanted it to be more specific than, “Oh, the earl and that lady sitting beside him.” We really felt like it had to be a partnership, and that what you were seeing what he said, which would be fair for the time, that behind every man such as that is a woman who’s got her hand on his back and is guiding him through.