You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Watch: History’s ‘Vikings’ Wage War on Paris (EXCLUSIVE)

The time has come for History Channel’s “Vikings” to launch their attack on Paris, and in the April 9 episode, we see Ragnar (Travis Fimmel) and his horde of northmen assailing the supposedly impenetrable walls of the city.

Below, Variety has an exclusive sneak peek at the Vikings’ assault on Paris, and we talked to creator Michael Hirst about the process of recreating the city for season three of the ambitious series.

As with everything on “Vikings,” historical accuracy was key for Hirst: “The Vikings actually attacked with a hundred ships and 3,000 men, so it’s not only Ragnar who had to get ready and step up, so did the production,” he told Variety . “It was like the show mirroring actual Viking experience, because we know that the Vikings started off with one or two ships going west and attacking lonely monasteries with 30 warriors or something like that. And then, before very long, there were lots more raiding parties, much more ambitious raiding parties, and finally the attack on Paris with a huge number of Viking warriors.”

The change in scenery also allowed the show to create more lavish sets, with a European city providing a vastly different backdrop than the landscapes the series has explored thus far. “It was great for the production to go to a different world, so we built the inside of Notre Dame Cathedral on one of the stages,” Hirst said. “It’s one of the biggest stages in the world and it was the biggest build that we’ve done so far, and it’s amazing. Marble floors, stained glass windows, hundreds of statues… Then we built part of the walls of Paris on the backlot. We built the bridge leading into Paris on the backlot. We had to have more boats and more stunt people and more extras, so when you went around there it was like an army. Suddenly there were thousands of people around. There were hundreds before, now there are thousands.”

Hirst credits stuntmen Franklin Henson and Richard Ryan with perfecting the complex fight scenes for the attack on Paris. “We’re lucky. We have two of the greatest guys who do our choreography for the fight sequences, and they were in their element. They actually trained up a lot of Irish people, men and women, to be stunt people. We needed so many stunt people. I always like the fact we employee so many Irish people, and it knits everything together. But the choreography was extraordinary and very, very dangerous. One of the things I love about ‘Vikings’ — it’s real. Our guys really do fight and they climb and they ride and they row and they love it, but this was at a different level because we’re setting fire to the ladders. We have people falling 50 feet into water, and watching that is heart-stopping.”

“Vikings” airs Thursdays at 10 p.m. on History.

More TV

  • The Rook

    'The Rook,' Shondaland, Ted Sarandos Among Programming for SeriesFest 2019 (EXCLUSIVE)

    The fifth edition of SeriesFest will deliver panels and programming designed to celebrate individual talent as well as companies who are “taking creative risks and leveraging advances in technology to reimagine storytelling.” On the linup is Starz’s upcoming supernatural thriller “The Rook,” a panel with the creatives behind Shondaland, a look at LGBTQ representation on [...]

  • BBC Orders Spoof Talk Show Fronted

    Spoof Talk Show Fronted by an Animated Vladimir Putin Coming to the BBC

    The BBC will air a spoof talk-show fronted by an animated Vladimir Putin. The U.K. pubcaster has ordered two pilot episodes of “Tonight With Vladimir Putin,” a semi-scripted talk show hosted by a CGI representation of the Russian leader. The first guest will be Alistair Campbell, a former high-ranking political spin doctor in the U.K. [...]

  • Upcoming Fantasy Shows Like 'Game of

    10 Upcoming Shows to Watch if You're Mourning 'Game of Thrones'

    Millions of people’s Sunday night routines are ruined now that “Game of Thrones” is over, and there are holes in their hearts as big as the hole in The Wall that are aching for a new fantasy series to fill them. Several prequel series are on their way, but as there’s no word on just [...]

  • Game of Thrones Composer Ramin Djawadi

    'Game of Thrones' Composer Ramin Djawadi: 'I'm Still in Denial'

    Since the first season, Ramin Djawadi has composed the music for “Game of Thrones” and created the epic tunes, including the iconic theme song, heard over the series’ most memorable moments. With the series finished, he talked with Zane Lowe on Apple Music’s Beats 1 about his experience on the show and an upcoming 20-city [...]

  • TUPAC SHAKUR black panther collection

    ‘Defiant Ones’ Director to Helm Docuseries on Tupac, Who Assaulted Him in 1993

    Director Allen Hughes, who helmed the award-winning HBO documentary “The Defiant Ones,” has closed a deal with Tupac Shakur’s estate for a five-part docuseries for which he will have full access to all of the late rapper’s released and unreleased recordings, writings and poetry, according to an announcement from his rep. The announcement says the [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content