Netflix’s Vikings: Valhalla Season 2 picks up after the bloody aftermath of the battle of Kattegut. The fate of our heroes, Harald Sigurdsson (played by Leo Suter) and Freydís Eiríksdóttir (played by Frida Gustavsson), but particularly Sam Corlett’s Leif Eriksson, are now up in the air. With new paths set before each of them, Season 2 will explore Harald’s bid for the crown in his half-brother, Olaf Haraldsson’s (Jóhannes Haukur Jóhannesson), absence and Freydís’ journey as "The Last Daughter of Uppsala," while Leif deals with the repercussions of Liv’s (Lujza Richter) death.
Since Valhalla Season 1, the series’ three mainstays, Corlett, Gustavsson, and Suter, have mastered tricky, physical combat and swordplay, and worked under different extremes of weather in some of the world’s most beautiful locations. In Season 2, the cast faces new journeys specific to their characters, branching off from the trio formed during the first season, and heading into the unknown, outside their comfort zones, as creator, Jeb Stuart, put it.
With Vikings: Valhalla Season 2 premiering on Netflix on January 12, 2023, Collider’s Steve Weintraub was able to speak with the three stars about their hit series. During their interview, each member of the cast discusses which season was the most challenging, teasing even more physical and emotional hurdles for the heroes in Seasons 2. They also discuss Leif and Harald’s progressing bromance in Season 2, the internal journey Freydís must take, give shout-outs to those making the series possible, and reveal what fans can expect from Season 3. For all of this and more from this stellar cast, you can watch the interview in the video above, or read the full transcript below.
COLLIDER: A bunch of questions for you. You've now shot three seasons of Vikings: Valhalla. Which season do you think ended up being the more challenging of the seasons? And I'm just wondering if it's Season 1 because that's where you're starting everything and figuring out your characters.
FRIDA GUSTAVSSON: I think, for me, Season 2 was the most challenging one. I felt so connected to Freydís from the moment I was first introduced to her in the self-tape stage. Filming Season 1 was such an instinctual journey. I had the best cast members, my brother, and my lover, to lean on, and we just worked so well together. Season 2 was a bit of a challenge. We're pulled apart from each other. You guys continue your bromance and I'm diving into a whole new world as a mother, so it's a very vulnerable experience and it was definitely... Some of the scenes we shot were absolutely the most challenging I've ever done in my career.
LEO SUTER: Yeah, I'd hesitate to say one was… They all had their different challenges. I think, Season 1, the challenge is kicking things off and really pitching where you want that character to be, and then in the seasons that follow, it's more in your body already. It feels more natural. And we had COVID to contend within the first season, which put this whole strange parameter on how you go about filmmaking. I think the challenges for Season 2, Harald had to do some big fight scenes and torture scenes. So physically there was a challenge in the second season that surmounted the one that I'd faced in the first season. Just wait till Season 3.
SAM CORLETT: And for myself, likewise, with Frida, first season felt very instinctual, felt like we were hitting the stride very nicely. The second season, for me, was definitely the most challenging on an emotional level. It was seeing the falling apart of a man. When you're playing a role, you can't help but open yourself to the aspects where your life is similar to theirs, or you're searching for that inspiration around you. So if you are searching for sorrow, grief, anger, you are going to find it in your own life because you're living in that world for so long. And so I found it mentally and emotionally. Probably the hardest part of the filming of the whole three seasons.
SUTER: And the second season, it was something (creator) [Jeb Stuart] said early on. He's throwing these characters out of their comfort zones. All of them. We're banished, we're exiles. And so, if we did get comfortable and thought we knew where we were by the end of Season 1, we got thrown out into a whole different set of circumstances and it was a big refresh, a big reset. Harald and Freydis say goodbye early on and Leif and Harald find themselves in foreign lands.
You three survive into Season 3, I'm assuming, so what can you say about it as compared to the first two seasons without giving it away?
SUTER: There's Netflix people in the room…
I don't mess around. I go right for the jugular.
SUTER: Why not?
GUSTAVSSON: Yeah, it's good if both of you do that. I mean, Season 3 is absolutely incredible, and I can't wait to talk to you about it when we get the chance, but now we're in Season 2 and that's also incredibly exciting, so let's stay here.
CORLETT: I think the life in Season 2 where... I'm sure you may have felt in your life when you began doing the job you're doing, you were like, "Oh, this is exactly what I'm meant to be doing." The kind of steps to that realization is what Season 2 is. And as we come to Season 3, he realized, "Oh, this is exactly what I'm meant to be doing."
SUTER: I'd add to that, as well, 'cause I think… It's a free-for-all. Season 2 is the beginning, the early stage of the transformation of Harald Sigurdsson into Harald Hardrada. This is the man who the legends are about. Yeah, if Season 2 is the early stage of that, Season 3 is going to be a continuation of this transformation of a prince into a king.
Thank you for answering the question, some of you ... I'm teasing. When you're reading the scripts, what are you more excited to see: a meaty dialogue scene or a scene where you get to absolutely kick ass?
CORLETT: Meaty dialogue. For me, yeah, meaty dialogue to be able to... This show has such pace and amazing action, but to have that moment of stillness where we get to express what's actually internally going on with our characters, and often, with one another. Although we part ways with Freydís, Leif and Harald, Leif and Harald certainly show a part of themselves to each other that they don't show anyone else and that's really those moments.
SUTER: They're the north stars for one another. Yeah, we have nice scenes where, when things are down and when Harald or Leif needs a pick-me-up, we both sort of provide it at different times.
GUSTAVSSON: Yeah. I love, for Freydís, she doesn't really ... I mean, saying goodbye to the two most meaningful people in her life. She has to navigate Season 2 kind of by herself. It's kind of an internal season, and for me, I love being able to have these quiet kind of moments of solitude, whether it be Freydís praying or Freydís rediscovering new things in her faith or discovering the temple in the forest. Those little delightful kind of quiet moments, I think, were my favorite of the season.
SUTER: I'd add that it's hard to tell on the page. When you read an action sequence on a page, it never does justice to actually what it is when you see in a stunt shed. That moment of walking in and seeing what the stunt guys have cooked up for you and what you're going to have to perform. Early on, it's quite daunting. You think, “Oh wow, how am I going to do this?” But they're an amazing team. A shout-out to them because they make sure that we do.
Making a show like this is a huge team effort. The crew, the cast, the camera department. Everybody has to come together. For each of you, who's an unsung hero, someone that you just want to give a shout-out to, that without their participation, this show does not happen?
GUSTAVSSON: I think, for me, I have to give a shout-out to (costume assistant) [Audrey Lynch], who worked so amazingly with me throughout all the three seasons in very complex costumes. She works to dress me and she is just fantastic. Dragged all of my incredibly heavy armor up and down mountains, helping me go to the restroom when I can't unzip my pants because the wardrobe is too heavy. We get to know each other incredibly well and she is the best. Shout-out to Audrey.
SUTER: My shout-out would be to – because we get to work really early, 4:30 – but there's a whole bunch of people who are there way earlier than us. But yeah, in those early morning hours, you're there with your makeup team and your hair team. So, Tom and Kate and Peter, thank you guys. I had the best time. They're the first people you see and the last people you see, and that sets you up for the day, so big love.
CORLETT: Tom, Joey, Virginia, Adriana, Kenny, Shane, Russell. Could go on.
SUTER: How long you got?
Vikings: Valhalla Season 2 premieres only on Netflix on January 12, 2023.