‘Vikings’ Season 2 Interview: Gaia Weiss Introduces Porunn, Talks Viking Teen Romance and More

Vikings Season 2 Episode 6 Unforgiven (3)

The world of History’s Vikings will continue to expand tonight, Thursday, April 3rd, with the addition of Gaia Weiss’ Porunn, a slave to the Lothbrok family and a love interest for Ragnar (Travis Fimmel) and Lagertha’s (Katheryn Winnick) son, Bjorn (Alexander Ludwig). TV Equals recently joined a conference call with Weiss to discuss her new role, how Porunn fits into the Viking society and what her relationship with Bjorn will mean for the two teen characters. Check out the highlights of the call below.

Porunn debuts tonight in Vikings season two, episode six “Unforgiven” airing at 10PM ET/PT on History.

Porunn and Bjorn

Porunn will be the love interest for the all grown up (well, sort of) Bjorn. Weiss revealed that Porunn is a slave to the Lothbrok family, meaning she and Bjorn have wildly uneven social standings. Interestingly, Bjorn falls for Porunn, while Porunn will be suspicious as to whether or not Bjorn could ever truly love her for who she is. Don’t expect their Viking teen romance to start out happily: Weiss noted that the duo are “not clear about their relationship at first,” and that it will challenge the traditions and taboos of their society.

Through Porunn’s eyes, viewers will get to see a different side of Bjorn. “Up until now you have only seen him interacting with his parents, mostly,” Weiss said. “She is from the exterior; it will reveal another side of his character.”

Who is Porunn?

Simply put, Porunn has always been a slave and this colors her worldview. Her parents were taken in a raid when she was just a child so she has grown up knowing nothing but servitude and brutality. The conditions have not broken her spirit. Weiss mentioned that series creator Michael Hirst wanted to explore the experience of a slave from a different perspective, and as a young woman who has known no other life, Porunn will provide a new look inside of this world.

Despite the hardships she faces, Porunn is strong-willed. “She knows what she wants, but she has to stay put because she is a slave,” Weiss said. Like many of the characters and fans, Porunn will find inspiration in Lagertha, who Weiss describes as a “model” for her character. The shield maiden fascinates Porunn, as well as Weiss. “Women like Lagertha were typical Viking girls,” Weiss said. “Women at the time were ruling even if they weren’t raiding. I thought they exaggerated her character, but no, there really were strong women.”

On the Role’s Physical Demands

Because Porunn is a slave and spends a great deal of time hauling around heavy objects, Weiss had to clock in her share of hours in at the gym. The actress did not mind the demanding role though, in fact she relished playing a rough character. In one scene involving Ludwig, Weiss even bloodied her knuckles. “Getting dirty, I love it,” Weiss gushed. “As an actress, I don’t think it is always interesting to play the doll or the pretty princess.”

The one thing that did give her pause was dancing in front of the cast on her first day on set. The scene was nerve wracking, but the actress, much like her character, is not easily daunted.

Vikings Season 2 Episode 6 Unforgiven (1)

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