There's a new Earl in town.
Last week, while Lagertha (Katheryn Winnick) was off dealing with political matters (and flirting) with King Ecbert (Linus Roache) in Wessex on History's Vikings, her second in command, Ben Robson's Kalf, sneakily took her title. He's now the Earl!
Ben, who was a longtime viewer of the show before joining the cast this season, said he did have a conversation with "Vikings" Creator and Writer Michael Hirst, and he had hints about the twist.
"I definitely had an essence of what I was doing for sure," Ben told Access Hollywood on Wednesday of that big surprise in last week's episode. "It was a really, really interesting thing to do and obviously, knowing what Lagertha is like – it's a very bold decision that Kalf decides to make."
Near the end of the episode, Kalf revealed his big goal is to be famous. "I desire fame above all things," his character said. So what are Kalf's motivations?
"I think it's the first step of recognition," Ben said of why Kalf is seeking fame. "I mean, I think for the Vikings, it's to be recognized by the gods, to be fighting by Odin's side in the war of the gods in Valhalla."
And part of what is driving Kalf is seeing what Ragnar (Travis Fimmel) has achieved.
"I think if you've got Ragnar who has achieved so much for the Vikings, if he's being recognized -- and I think Kalf wants to be recognized more than Ragnar -- [Kalf] has to surpass whatever Ragnar has achieved, and I think in terms of his fame, it's – from a farmer to a king, that's an incredible degree of success, so if he can achieve anything like that, it's a monumental task."
Taking Lagertha's title was a big surprise for many fans and Ben saw the reaction to the twist on social media.
"It was very interesting," he told Access of how fans took the news and shared their views on Twitter. "You get a lot of things that come flying in. I think a lot of people were upset, a lot of people were kind of amused.
"It's just great to see so many people who have such interest in it sort of take even more interest by wanting to Tweet and talk about it," he added.
"Vikings" continues Thursdays at 10/9c on History.
-- Jolie Lash