Linus Roache discusses what it’s like to play Ragnar’s antagonist, King Ecbert:
For Linus Roache, deciding to join the cast of History Channel’s Vikings was based solely on his viewing of Season 1. After deciding Michael Hirst was brilliant at bringing the audience directly into the world of the vikings, he couldn’t wait to sink his teeth into the role of King Ecbert. While Roache doesn’t like to use the term ‘villain’ when describing his character, he will admit that perhaps Ragnar (played by Travis Fimmel) will have his hands full with Ecbert:
I think Ragnar has definitely met his match in Ecbert who’s kind of similar to Ragnar in that he’s not tied to tradition – he’s a progressive and free thinker who can think outside of the box.
As soon as he meets Ragnar I think he kind of admires him, and it is a rivalry of two great men finding and pitting themselves against one another. Ragnar is a warrior but Ecbert is more of a strategist, manipulator, politician and he’s extremely ambitious which Ragnar is also. But it’s like two great chess players finding each other, and who have met their match.
Considering King Ecbert is a historical figure, Roache had this to say about researching his character:
I started off reading everything I could, but to be honest there isn’t that much. In fact, in the beginning one of the things Michael pointed me in the direction of was Charlemagne, because Ecbert lived in Charlemagne ‘s court. So I read everything I could about Charlemagne and then he started writing me stuff about being infatuated with Julius Caesar.
All we know about Ecbert is that he was one of the first Saxon kings to hand over his crown peacefully, and he pretty much became the overlord of all the kingdoms of England by the end of his reign. Now he could have done that by very nice means, but we are making that a little bit more interesting. The fact he was in Charlemagne’s court means he came back from there with another perspective on how to rule. He was not just the warrior king – he was the politician and he would do deals. So he is the ultimate manipulator.
You can read the full interview Linus Roache did with Flickering Myth by clicking here.
How do you think Ragnar and King Ecbert will clash in Season 3 of History Channel’s Vikings? Let us know your thoughts by commenting below!
Source: Flickering Myth – Return of The Vikings: New Faces – In conversation with Linus Roache
(Photo Credit: History Channel, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc.)