Though one era of Michael Hirst's Vikings saga is all wrapped up, with the back half of the final season making its streaming debut on Amazon at the end of 2020, the future is looking bright for this franchise. Well, I guess it's technically looking darker, since the follow-up Vikings: Valhalla is actually a prequel set in the 11th century, but potential viewers now finally know who will be populating this series, with Netflix announcing the full main cast and which characters they'll be playing.
With production having started back up in late 2020 after delays earlier in the year, Vikings: Valhalla features a casting lineup with talents that may be familiar to those who watch a lot of TV, as we've got actors from projects such as Netflix's own Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, AMC's The Walking Dead, and PBS' Sanditon. Not to mention a Swedish jazz singer, and several actors getting their first big break with global audiences. Join us in going through the full lineup below.
Sam Corlett (Leif Eriksson)
Having made a shirtless splash on Chilling Adventures of Sabrina starting in its third season, actor Sam Corlett is heading to Vikings: Valhalla as the all-important Greenlander Leif Eriksson. Hailing from a close family tied heavily to pagan beliefs, Leif is a smart and badass sailor who will be the main link between viewers and this new(old) chapter of violent Viking history.
Frida Gustavsson (Freydis Eriksdotter)
Swedish model and actress Frida Gustavsson may be best known to U.S. audiences at this point for her bit role as Ma on an episode of The Witcher, and landing a role on Vikings: Valhalla will be a definite highlight on her growing resume. She'll be portraying Leif's sister Freydis, a staunch believer in the old Pagan gods and practices like their parents. Freydis will also come into Kattegat as an outsider, but her beliefs will inspire many.
Bradley Freegard (King Canute)
A vet of well-known UK series such as EastEnders and Doctors, actor Bradley Freegard is entering the world of Vikings: Valhalla as the wise and cunning King of Denmark. This ambitious and ruthless leader becomes a hallmark figure in Vikings history, and it sounds like this TV portrayal will be one for the ages, though perhaps not so much for the character's enemies.
Laura Berlin (Emma of Normandy)
German actress Laura Berlin, best known in recent years for her roles on Einstein and Breaking Even, will be portraying the character Emma of Normandy for Vikings: Valhalla. Emma may be young, but she's also on the Norman court and is one of the wealthiest women in Europe thanks to her savvy ambitions and Viking bloodline.
Leo Suter (Harald Sigurdsson)
Having won over audiences in recent years (in one way or another) on Beecham House and Sanditon, Leo Suter is once again set to tackle a historical period drama. Suter will play the noble Harald Sigurdsson, one of the last Viking berserkers, and one who has managed to stay handsome while maintaining his charisma. Given those traits, Harald is able to bring unity between the followers of both Christ and Odin.
Jóhannes Jóhannesson (Olaf Haraldson)
A native of Iceland, Jóhannes Jóhannesson is already known to viewers of Netflix fantasy shows for his role as Cumber the Ice King on Cursed. He'll be playing Harald's half-brother Olaf in Vikings: Valhalla. As the hard-nosed and unforgiving older half-sibling, Olaf is just as ambitious, but his beliefs are old school, using the Old Testament as guidance.
David Oakes (Earl Godwin)
As a vet of such projects as The White Queen and Victoria, actor David Oakes knows something about playing royal roles, and he'll be joining Vikings: Valhalla as Earl Godwin, the chief counselor to the King of England. Earl is described as the "ultimate survivor," whose upbringing on the fringes of local politics molded him into a very cunning and successful man.
Caroline Henderson (Jarl Haakon)
With a career more in tune with musical performances than scripted ones, Sweden's Caroline Henderson is making a big splash as Vikings: Valhalla's Jarl Haakon, the great ruler of Kattegat. Though she's Pagan, she's a tolerant and wise leader who manages to keep peace between followers of all faiths. Beyond her larger role, she will also become a personal mentor to Freydis.
Pollyanna McIntosh (Queen Ælfgifu)
The Walking Dead vet Pollyanna McIntosh, who is expected to return to that franchise for Andrew Lincoln's Rick Grimes movies, was cast in Vikings: Valhalla in a recurring capacity as Queen Ælfgifu. This Queen of Denmark is calculating, though also charming, and will be a major political force as things get testy in Northern Europe.
Asbjørn Krogh Nissen (Jarl Kåre)
Having already appeared as Odin in the 2019 feature Valhalla – The Legend of Thor, actor Asbjørn Krogh Nissen is heading to Netflix's Valhalla in a recurring capacity as Jarl Kåre. Interestingly, Netflix's limited description only says that Jarl is "a threat to the old pagan ways."
At this point, Vikings: Valhalla doesn't yet have a specific release date set on Netflix, but it'll likely debut in either late 2021 or early 2022, depending on how smoothly the production goes. Hopefully fans won't be waiting too long for this new group of Vikings to invade our streaming habits, and we're also holding out a few hopes that we'll somehow see one or two Vikings stars making cameos.