'Vikings' Season 2 preview at Comic-Con 2013
"In Season 1 of any show you're establishing characters," creator Michael Hirst told the crowd. "You're finding out as a writer and then as an actor you're discovering who this person is. By Season 2 we know a lot more about who the characters are, just as our audience does.
"There's a lot more freedom that gives us. I think what happens in Season 2 is that all of the major characters have to make huge choices and huge sacrifices. They realize whatever dreams they have, whatever expectations they have, will involve sacrifice, sometimes terrible sacrifices.
"It's Season 2 of an established show, it has to get bigger and better. The stakes get higher. The armies get bigger, there's more at stake. It's gonna be a great ride for everyone. It was a great ride for me to write it -- I'm still in the middle of doing that."
Co-star George Blagden (Athelstan) agrees: "All of the characters in Season 2 have really difficult choices to make. I can say I'd be quite disappointed if it was very easy for Athelstan to become completely Viking. I'm glad Michael has taken the writing to the places he has. The most interesting characters to play are the ones with deep conflicts inside them."
Jessalyn Gilsig reports Siggy's steady decline will continue, but she still has her eyes on the prize. "She comes from a tribe she really believes was the legitimate regime," Gilsig says. "I'm gonna do whatever I have to do to get back up there. And I mean whatever I have to do."
When asked if that means Siggy will see more action in her love life, Gilsig dodges like a pro. "I don't know if I'd call it a love life," she teases. "But she's definitely gonna be busy."
As for the marital tension between Ragnar and Lagertha, Travis Fimmel struggled to explain why his character strayed from his beautiful -- and badass -- wife. "Why did I cheat on her?" Fimmel asks rhetorically. "I don't know, it was in the script. [The characters] tried to have kids prior to this. I felt like my character thought it was a sign from god he lost a baby. I think he cares about his legacy and he wants as many kids as he can have."
And how will Lagertha respond? "I think she needs to kick some serious ass," Katheryn Winnick declares to cheers from the crowd.
The casting of "Hunger Games" co-star Alexander Ludwig as an older Bjorn made it clear the series plans a time jump in Season 2, but Hirst reassured the audience that the cliffhangers left at the end of Season 1 will be dealt with before that time jump occurs.
Still, the cast wanted to keep as much under wraps as they could. "You think you want to know but you don't," Clive Standen (Rollo) teases. "You'll have to wait and see. You might learn a little bit from the clip we're gonna show you."
The panel ended with a brief clip of a Season 2 battle scene which had the crowd fearing for the future of Floki ( Gustaf Skarsgard).