Vikings star Gustaf Skarsgård is entering the park for Westworld season 2. The Swedish performer, and son of the the Marvel Cinematic Universe's Erik Selvig (aka. actor Stellan Skarsgård), has played the eccentric trickster character Floki across 49 episodes - and counting - of the History Channel’s longship-stuffed drama.
Skarsgård is certainly joining HBO’s robot-riddled sci-fi western at an interesting time. With season 1’s big twist ending unraveling the much-speculated-about multiple timelines, it’s unclear what the plot will be focused on this next time out. There’s also talk of Westworld’s sophomore run being ‘twice as ambitious’ as its freshman outing, while rumors continue to abound about a trip to Samurai World being in the cards.
TV Line broke the news about a trio of new additions to the Westworld cast, with Skarsgård’s arrival being the biggest surprise. Despite still have more Vikings episodes to film, he’s found time in his schedule to join Westworld as a series regular. The other two newcomers are Zero Dark Thirty’s Fares Fares (who will also be a series regular) and The Purge: Election Year’s Betty Gabriel (who will have a recurring role). Here’s how TV Line describes their characters:
“Skarsgård will play Karl Strand, a white-collar guy comfortable in the field, while Fares takes on the role of Antoine Costa, a tech expert with an objective perspective. Gabriel will be playing Maling, who is trying to restore order on the ground.”
As you’d expect, there’s no mention in that description of any of these new characters being secret robots. The ‘who’s a host?’ theorizing was a big part of season 1, but as Westworld surges into its second year - with audiences a lot more clued in than they were before - it’s not clear if that fandom guesswork angle will continue to play much of a role.
However, while the ‘revealing a secret host’ plot point was played out in season 1, you’ve still got to admit that Skarsgård has a certain air about him - he’s proven in Vikings that he can give a creepy, unsettling, manic edge to his performances. If the writers do send him down that well-worn reveal route, Skarsgård could surely do some fine work with it. The same goes for previous cast addition Katja Herbers (The Leftovers); there’s a sense that she could pull off a host performance highly effectively, if the occasion called for it.
Westworld season 2 premieres Spring 2018.