'Vikings: Valhalla' showrunner Jeb Stewart plans 3 seasons at once

He also teased season 4 and beyond.

Vikings fans: Valhalla can rest easy knowing that everything is under control - from a storytelling standpoint anyway. By the end of season 1, things in the Kattegat and England were a bit messy to say the least. Fortunately, however, according to showrunner Jeb Stewart, once season 2 returns on Jan. 12, things will go according to plan, though things may get worse for the characters.

In a live Q&A with actors Sam Collider (Leif Erikson), Freydis Eiríksdóttir and Leo Sarter (Harald Sigurdsson), moderated by Collider's Steve Weintraub, Stewart Asked if the show had anything planned for each season. To which, he simply said, “No, we’re definitely not going season by season.” Elaborating on Season 2, with Leif and Harald heading in one direction and Freydis heading in another, he added, “I It was always known [in] season 2 that we were going to take these people, we were going to push them out."

According to Stewart, part of the plan came from a desire to trace the histories of these real-life characters. This includes getting ready early and making sure the first three seasons go ahead The setup starts from the beginning. As Stuart says:

"We've tracked, in the storyline, because we can, a little bit of Leif Erikson's story, of Freydis' story, and also I was always fascinated how Harald Sigurdsson goes from Harald Sigurdsson to Harald Hardrada. From a historical standpoint, Harald got thrust out of Scandinavia and so these guys become fugitives from that point on, and that really set the standard because we then had to build the Viking legacy, as Leo says, outside of Scandinavia. You have to be a Viking somewhere else, and it is a challenge, and it's great for all their characters. So I knew what Season 3 was going to be. I knew where Season 3 was going to be because of that change of culture, I knew that we have to eventually get to the New World. So what's in the toolbox? How do we fill up Leif's toolbox, and what does Freydis bring to get these people, who are the last hold out of the Pagan faith? And we know what's happening in Europe at that time. So it's exciting for us. And so yes, I'm not doing this season by season."

This kind of forward thinking is also very useful for actors, as Suter explains, Stuart helps actors put things in context and perspective. As he puts it:

"[S]ometimes we'll have questions for Jeb, and he's been very open to having conversations with us, talking about our character. I say, "How does this work in this episode?" And then he'll go, "Well, in Season 3 this or that's going to happen." So we've had that since Season 1, actually, and it's been really useful for us as actors, having that huge bird's-eye-view of what this show is going to look like and where these characters are going to get to. It means, sometimes you don't have to rush to get there because there's time, lots of time."

How Many Seasons Will Vikings: Valhalla Have?

As of now, Vikings: Valhalla is scheduled to air for three seasons. But that doesn't mean Stewart didn't think more, telling Weintraub during the Q&A, "I have a real plan, hopefully four, five, six."

In a separate one-on-one interview , Stewart told Weintraub that he envisions them as a "chunk" where all the narratives intertwine to tell one big story, though he does hope that the story will continue into Season 4 and beyond:

"We really talked about one, two, and three as sort of a block, and then hopefully we could get to a four, five, and six because the story is... I think you'll see when you see Season 2 and Season 3. It's almost like a novel. It has these wonderful time-jumps and growth in terms of particular characters. And like a really big, great novel, it's got several under-stories that are holding things up that you don't really feel. They're like leitmotifs that you don't really see, but you suddenly feel them there."

Stuart also added , if the series continues after season 3, he'd love the opportunity to film them as a chunk rather than individually, because the larger, macro view of things helps him tell the story :^ Even if the series doesn't continue For the part of Season 3, however, Stewart sees the story as a stand-alone story and jokes that things will have a happy ending.

"If we've got a chance to shoot this, yes, it's a continuation because the first part was thought of as a triptych. The second part should be thought of, as well. Now, if I only got one season to go, I'll take it one at a time and do whatever I have to do. But, these things are always better when you get to play on a large canvas. It's better."

Vikings: Valhalla Season 2 premieres January 12 on Netflix. Find out more from our interview with Stuart soon. Check out our interviews with some of the season 1 cast below:

"So, I'm hoping we have the opportunity to complete that journey, but I feel that one, two, and three are all stand-alone’s, all good like that. I'm happy. I'm a happy guy. I'm getting to tell a really cool story with lots of great action and great characters, and a cast that I love working with, and crew. What's there to complain about?"
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