The newest of the fierce characters on "Vikings," Alexander Ludwig, plays Bjorn Lothbrok, son of Ragnar (Travis Fimmel). Just before his second episode Thursday (March 20), Ludwig ("The Hunger Games," "Lone Survivor") shared five secrets about this season with Zap2it.
"They are very devious, very smart and very great warriors because they don't fear death," Ludwig says of the Vikings. And with that in mind, Ludwig reveals:
1. His character Bjorn was a real person who was also known as Bjorn Ironside.
"He got the name because he went into battle and was not touched," Ludwig says over iced coffee in Manhattan. "People thought he was protected by the gods."
2) This season will have the Vikings in many new lands, including France and Italy.
"They went and colonized part of France," Ludwig says. "Maybe I am going to France. My character went to new lands and sacked a city in Italy. Religion comes into this story. They go to Italy, and think they are sacking Rome."
3. While working on his accent, Ludwig encountered that age-old problem: Just what did a Viking sound like?
Working with the show's historian and a dialog coach, Ludwig says he uses an accent that's a mash-up of a few northern European countries.
"We got to be creative, and no one can tell me I'm wrong," he says.
4. Bjorn is lucky enough to be born into a powerful clan that's only going to become more powerful.
"Bjorn's already dealing with conflicting emotions about his father," Ludwig says. "Bjorn is finding his way in the Viking community and laying the foundation upon which his legend was built.
"This family is truly unbelievable," he continues. "Ragnor was the first one to travel and he went and explored new worlds."
5. He worked to get the right look for the show, including growing a beard.
"Or, my attempt at growing a beard," he says. "Let's let it grow out and make it as real as possible. The Vikings cut off half the hair in the back so when you are in battle no one could grab your hair. Then Miley Cyrus did it and ruined it for all of us. Dammit Miley!"
Photo/Video credit: History Channel