Vikings: Valhalla star Frida Gustavsson, who will play Freydis Eiriksdottir in the show, says she was inspired by Vikings’ Lagertha for the role.
Frida Gustavsson, who is set to play Freydis Eiríksdóttir in Netflix’s upcoming series Vikings: Valhalla, has teased that her character is inspired by Lagertha (Katheryn Winnick) from Vikings. The show, which is a follow-up to Vikings, takes place 100 years from when the story ended and is set during the final years of the Viking Age. It will see a host of new characters introduced to the world of the historical drama. The series is already expected to be a hit, as preparation for Vikings: Valhalla season 3 has already begun before the first has even aired.
Gustavsson may already be familiar to Netflix viewers, having previously appeared as Ma in the hit show, The Witcher. Her role as Freydis will be central the narrative of Vikings: Valhalla. The series will follow Freydis’ adventures, as well as those of Leif Erikson (Sam Corlett), Harald Hardrada (Leo Suter), and William the Conqueror, whose casting has not yet been revealed. The new series looks to be as bloody as its predecessor, with the trailer for Vikings: Valhalla teasing an epic battle with England.
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Speaking to GamesRadar, Gustavsson discussed how Vikings fans will be able to recognize the spirit of the show that they loved in Vikings: Valhalla. She also mentions how she was inspired by Winnick’s portrayal of Lagertha to “carry the torch of this female lead, this badass female warrior,” but that they’re also very different characters in how they react to their legacies. Read Gustavsson’s quote below:
“They’re very different people. They’ve taken on the legacy of Erik the Red, their father, quite differently. Where Freydis is forward, stubborn and resistant to change, Leif is more reflective. They have a yin and yang type of relationship, they learn from each other.”
Gustavsson’s interest in keeping the legacy of interesting female characters from Vikings alive is a sentiment that has been shared by Vikings: Valhalla creator, Jeb Stuart. He has said that he’s particularly looking forward to the contrast between the characters of Freydis and Emma of Normandy (Laura Berlin). Actresses Caroline Henderson and Pollyana McIntosh, among others, have been confirmed to appear in the series, so there will likely be plenty of opportunities for Vikings: Valhalla to center on complex female characters.
However, one concern that’s been expressed following the casting and character announcements for the series is that Vikings: Valhalla may lack a focal point with the number of characters in its ensemble. This is a criticism that has also been made towards the later seasons of Vikings. It’s possible that the epic scale of Vikings: Valhalla could make the series overcrowded and difficult to follow, but hopefully, Gustavsson and Stuart’s apparent passion for creating interesting characters will be enough to keep the show grounded and compelling.
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