While travel for an 8th century Viking was never simple, travel from Norway to Atlanta in 2021 isn’t exactly easy either, so the cast of Netflix’s series Norsemen kindly held a Zoom panel instead, pre-recorded because of time zones—that aired on the main DCTV channel on Friday afternoon. Moderated by Henry Herz, the hour provided many laughs, because while Norsemen are Vikings, they’re also all a bit ridiculous.
Co-creators/head writers Jon Iver Helgaker and Jonas Torgersen talked a little about their process in creating the show, namely that they are “totally in-sync” and have had no real disagreements in the story direction, even when deciding to jump back so that season 3 was “season 0,” a prequel season. Another thing they agreed on was that Nils (Jørgen Kaalstad, Arvid) needed “constant supervision.” For the record, Jørgen Kaalstad didn’t appear to disagree.
They showed a clip of Orm—described by his portrayer Kåre Conradi as a “chieftain warrior with no military prowess whatsoever”—attempting to shoot a flaming arrow at his brother’s funeral boat a number of times and failing miserably. Herz agreed with Conradi’s take, adding that Orm was “the Michael Scott (The Office) of Norheim.”
To bring a little current to the extreme past, they shared a clip of Hildur (Marian Saastad Ottesen) “demonstrating good hygiene pre-COVID.” A shaman has offered her the pot of prophecy to drink from. Before drinking, she’s instructed to spit into it, and gets understandably uncomfortable with that idea, since others have done it before her. “Drinking a cup of spit, that’s simply not for me.” I hear you, Hildur!
As the rest of the world is becoming familiar with chaotic weather, much of the filming for Norsemen took place in extremes. Outright downpours that found everyone huddling under not enough umbrellas were common, and there were days where they’d film one direction, where it was snowing, and simply turn the camera around to film the other direction, where it was sunny.
The cast and a fair bit of the crew speak both Norwegian and English, however, a lot of the dialogue seems to have a modern American slang to it. Iver Helgaker explained that he and Torgersen would look for words or phrases in Norwegian that were “pretty silly,” and then do their best to find an English equivalent. This has given the show a slight modern edge that adds greatly to the humor.
Finally, Herz asked Iver Helgaker and Torgersen if, were Netflix to give them a fourth season, they had any thoughts, especially if a season 4 would be a continuation of season 2 or of the prequel season. “We have a plan,” Iver Helgaker said cryptically. What do you say, Netflix?