Princesses on VIKINGS: GISLA


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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. 


Historical fiction author Lissa Bryan is with me again to discuss the historical aspects of the show. Lissa has written a fantastic historical fiction story of her own, and she is an amazing historian and storyteller. (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.

On February 18th, VIKINGS, Season Four will begin and Lissa 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!


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As the story of VIKINGS played out and expanded to Paris, we got to meet many brilliant and colorful characters. One of these is Gisla, daughter of Emperor Charles. She was played with a whole lot of attitude by Morgane Polanski as she advised her father and, well, “forgot how to Princess” as Lissa said.



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She is offered marriage by Count Odo of her country, but does not accept. (I do not blame her; his tastes might prove unsavory to a woman in her position.)

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Instead, she focuses on fighting the invaders, pouting when they are offered a payoff rather than further fighting.

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When Ragnar makes his “miraculous” appearance at what was to be his funeral within the city walls, though, Gisla does not hesitate to attack him. She is overpowered, but still, one must admire her spirit, non?

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She is finally offered in marriage to create an alliance with the Vikings that will bring about a peace.

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This does not please her, as she’d rather all manner of unsavory things to happen to her rather than wed one of the Northmen.

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Watching her in Season Four is sure to be dramatic!


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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 16, 2016

    She’s about as poorly developed character as Lagertha’s is done well. Well, you know what I mean. Part of the trouble is that the conflict she has with Rollo seems a little manufactured.

    • Sandi · February 16, 2016

      We certainly have not been shown many facets to her character as yet. I’m hoping that changes this season, though. And yeah, the conflict with Rollo is a bit overdrawn. I think the writers were shooting for drama more than accuracy for a bit.

      • Angelyn · February 17, 2016

        I should like to see her problem with marrying Rollo be a little more complex than just “ick.” I hope you’re right and that they just haven’t had time to develop this character.

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