We’re Talking Vikings Again! ROLLO


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The Shieldmaidens of History (Protecting the Innocent from Anachronisms) welcome you back to our series on the History Channel show Vikings. 

146a6-lissa-bryanHistorical fiction author Lissa Bryan is with me again to discuss the historical aspects of the show. Sandi has written her own series on Vikings, both well-written and carefully researched. (You can read my review of her Tudor love story, Under These Restless Skies here on my site.)

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Heillir! We—Lissa Bryan and Sandi Layne—are two historical fiction authors with a serious thing for Vikings. And for VIKINGS, the amazing series that is going to begin its fourth season on HISTORY CHANNEL.

Follow us on twitter, #ShieldGeeks, at 8pm Eastern for the next seventeen days as we talk about the main characters of the show, including special features for Thorsdays, er, Thursdays, as well as We Ship It day on the 14th and even a Favorite Dead Character feature.

Then, on February 18th, VIKINGS, Season Four will begin and Sandi and I will be live-tweeting during each episode, as has been our custom since Season One. We’ll follow up with a more detailed discussion on our websites the following day.

We are SO excited! So, Warriors and Shieldmaidens all, get your weapons and armor ready, because it’s going to be an amazing season!

We’re going to begin by rolling in with ROLLO.


Rollo is played by the gorgeous (and often shirtless!) Clive Standen.

Courtesy of princessgisla on Tumblr

Standen has, during the season, an active presence on Twitter and Facebook.

Rollo is Ragnar Lo∂brok’s brother, and he often feels overshadowed by him.

Courtesy of lecterlannister on Tumblr

Time after time, Rollo is tempted to betray Ragnar—who seems to be favored by the gods—but has so far supported Ragnar at the moment when that support is most direly needed.

But, at the end of last season, Rollo was readying himself to marry Gisla, a Frankish princess with attitude to spare.

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Will this serve Ragnar’s greater cause? Rollo’s ambitions? History gives us some idea, but we don’t know how that will be interpreted by History Channel!

What will happen this season? Will he be loyal to his Viking brother or his new father-in-law?

Courtsey of princessgisla on Tumblr

His marriage did not have an auspicious start, with his bride proclaiming publicly that she’d rather be raped by dogs than have him touch her. Gisla seems a little unclear on how this “ninth century princess” thing works, and is outraged that her father gave her hand in marriage without consulting her.

Courtesy of fyeahclivestanden on Tumblr

But more on her another day! (As you may imagine, we have tons to say!)

Rollo could be tempted to forge his own destiny in France, rather than being dependent on his brother. The Seer told him he would dance on the seashore if he knew what the gods had in store for him. We also heard that the “bear” will be crowned king… but could that be Björn, whose name means bear?

Rollo is a fierce warrior, charismatic and intelligent, but he often lets himself be swayed by pride. The pride that will push him to equal or outshine his brother Ragnar might be the means by which he succeeds to make his own name and his own legend.

It also might be the force which destroys him.

Courtesy of  ladyofglencairn on Tumblr


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What are your thoughts? Join Lissa Bryan and me, Sandi, tonight as we chat at 8PM EST on Twitter about Rollo and what the series might have in store for him. Use the hashtag #ShieldGeeks to join in the fun!


  1. Angelyn · February 1, 2016

    “Gisla seems a little unclear on how this “ninth century princess” thing works..”

    No kidding. I’m not a fan of this character’s development.

    • Sandi · February 1, 2016

      Oh yeah. She’s not my favorite either. (We have more to say about her later. lol) But! It will make good drama!

  2. Sunny · February 1, 2016

    I hope they follow history a little bit. 😀 If History Channel follows history at all, Rollo ends up being an ancestor to every royal house in Europe – so I’d say he was successful in forging his place in history. He successfully keeps other invaders out of Paris, the land he was granted by the king comes to be called after his people, the Northmen – Normandy which he passes to his own son. Normandy becomes one of the greatest duchy’s in Europe and it’s knights are particularly known for their fighting skill. His great great great grandson becomes King of England as William the Conqueror.

    So I hope on the show, it’s finally Rollo’s turn to shine a bit, tarnished as he is. 🙂

    As for Gisla, I kind of hope, given that there isn’t even historical proof she existed, that they’ll allow them to work it out somehow and won’t just make the relationship antagonistic. He likes strong women, she has a feisty spirit and courage, which are good things if she can become more mature and focused. I mean I can understand it, even 9th century princesses didn’t like being forced to marry men they didn’t know(and ones they’d just watched killing their people) and treated as chattel, though it was expected of them. Viking women were generally allowed more independence so if we’re lucky, maybe Rollo’ll let her see she has more freedom with him than she did with her father. That’s what I hope, I’m doubtful we’ll get anything like that though. 😀

    • Sandi · February 2, 2016

      I think what History Channel is doing is compressing the historical stuff to fit into the timeframe they’ve got, here, so much of the history is a bit off. But it still makes a great story. Rollo and Gisla could be a lot of fun. They’ve not mentioned Poppa yet, so they might do so and add even MORE drama. I think Rollo would be more inclined to give his wife a lot of freedom, yes, but he’ll want those heirs. 😉

  3. Jess · February 13, 2016

    I think Gisla’s being upset about her marriage makes sense, because we’ve seen so far that she has a lot of say/control/freedom with her father. She counsels him and gives him attitude at times as well. She’s also apparently turned down a lot of marriage proposals already according to Count Odo, and the king apparently hasn’t cared one bit about marrying her off. Gisla probably assumed that if/when she got married she could accept whoever she wanted. Or if her father did marry her off at the very least the guy would be a Christian. So now that he IS putting his foot down and forcing her to marry a pagan, she is furious and hurt and absolutely frightened. She saw what he was like in battle. I like her and the Rollo/Gisla pairing works for me, especially after seeing the wedding night teaser, this relationship will be very entertaining!

    • Sandi · February 14, 2016

      Like you, I am very interested in seeing the Rollo/Gisla pairing! The sparks could certainly develop into a warmer bond as time goes by. And I get Gisla’s attitude, I do, but it was very “unprincesslike” in terms of the culture of the day. As much freedom as she had, she was certainly entitled to be angry…but not in public. Standards should be maintained. Still, it makes for fantastic drama!

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