“Vikings,” the epic historical drama, has captivated audiences with its rich storytelling and compelling characters. One such character, Porunn, portrayed by the talented French actor Gaia Weiss, left fans with questions when she departed from the series after season three. In this article, we dive into the reasons behind Gaia Weiss’s exit from “Vikings” and her journey in the world of acting.
Gaia Weiss’s character, Porunn, made her debut in “Vikings” during its second season and continued into the third. Her role in the series was nothing short of fascinating. Porunn, also known as Thorunn, was a former slave girl who captured the heart of Bjorn Ironside, son of the legendary Ragnar Lothbrok.
Porunn’s journey was marked by triumphs and tribulations. She married Bjorn, becoming his first wife, but her life took a harrowing turn when she was brutally attacked by a Mercian warrior. The physical and emotional scars from this ordeal left Porunn battling severe depression. Her struggles intensified when she faced post-natal depression following the birth of her daughter, Siggy.
As her emotional turmoil grew, Porunn distanced herself from Bjorn, despite his unwavering love and support. In season three, during a critical moment when Bjorn and other Viking warriors were embarking on an invasion of Paris, Porunn made the difficult decision to leave Kattegat behind. She entrusted her daughter, Siggy, to the care of Aslaug, Ragnar’s wife.
Remarkably, Porunn was one of the few characters to exit the show alive, but her departure was never revisited in future seasons. The unanswered question of why Gaia Weiss left “Vikings” lingered among fans.
In an interview with Express.co.uk in 2020, “Vikings” creator Michael Hirst shed light on Gaia Weiss’s exit from the show. He explained that Porunn’s story effectively reached its conclusion when she departed, and there were no plans to bring her character back. Hirst described her exit as a tremendously tragic story, emphasizing that he deeply cares about the fates of his characters.
He added, “I know Thorunn disappeared, and I didn’t want to imagine what would become of her; she just disappeared out into the darkness.”
Since bidding farewell to “Vikings” in 2015, Gaia Weiss has continued to make her mark in the world of acting. Her talent has shone in various projects, including her role as Marianne in Netflix’s alternative historical drama, “La Révolution.”
She has also graced the screen in “Medici: Masters of Florence,” where she portrayed Ippolita Sforza alongside esteemed actors like Richard Madden, Brian Cox, and Dustin Hoffman. Gaia’s post-“Vikings” credits further include appearances in “Outlander,” “Judy,” “Overdrive,” and “C’est beau la vie quand on y pense.”
Reflecting on her character Porunn in 2015, Gaia Weiss described her as “a really complex and challenging character.” She spoke fondly of her time on the set of “Vikings,” where the immersive Viking world created an authentic backdrop for their performances.
Gaia Weiss’s journey beyond “Vikings” showcases her versatility as an actor and her dedication to honing her craft. While the character of Porunn left the series, Gaia Weiss continues to thrive in her acting career, leaving an indelible mark on every role she takes on.