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The Vikings Stars You Likely Didn't Realize Were Related In Real Life

For the better part of its six-season run on History, and later Amazon Prime Video, fans of the historical drama "Vikings" praised it as one of the most thrilling series on the air. And one look at its critical rating on Rotten Tomatoes will tell you they are not alone in that belief. Heck, the folks at More.com even ranked it among the best historical drama series ever produced. 

So beloved is "Vikings," fans are still lamenting its loss long after the series entered the hallowed halls of Valhalla. And in the end, it was harder than many might've expected to say fiery goodbyes to the many allies and descendants of Ragnar Lothbrock (Travis Fimmell) and Lagertha (Kathryn Winnick). The bonds of family are, after all, as central a theme as any in the overarching "Vikings" narrative. But it might surprise you to learn that familial bonds are an even bigger part of the show than you knew, as a pair of longtime series regulars are actually related in real life as well. Here's who.

The Vikings stars who played Torvi and Helga are actually sisters in real life

As some "Vikings" fans couldn't help but notice, the characters Helga and Torvi look strikingly similar. So much so, that quite a few fans apparently had trouble telling them apart. That fact was noted by one fan, in particular, via a Reddit thread opener that went on to explain that there's good reason the actors who play Helga and Torvi look so similar. And according to the post, it's because the "Vikings" stars are sisters: "this entire time I've been having trouble telling Helga and Torvi apart. Just discovered why: it's because they're sisters in real life. Probably well known here but it surprised me."

Yes, the characters are portrayed by actors Georgia and Maude Hirst, who, according to The Monte Carlo TV Festival, are indeed siblings. As the poster assumed, their familial ties were known by more than a few fans. There were, however, quite a few more who were genuinely surprised by the news. That includes u/Dark_Killer750, who commented, "wait what they are sisters and I'm learning it just now," and another user even claimed, "I thought it was the same actress playing different parts!"

A side-by-side comparison confirms the "Vikings" stars really do share similar features, but fans like u/kaitybubbly found it easy enough to tell the difference, with the user stating, "They do look similar but different enough in their face shapes that I was able to easily tell them apart. I love both of their characters so much!"

Vikings was a total family affair for the Hirst clan

You may not realize it, but the familial ties on "Vikings" extended well beyond the sisterhood of Maude and Georgia Hirst. And if you count yourself a fan of "Vikings," the name Hirst should be quite familiar as it's also the surname of the show's creator. And just to be clear, Maude and Georgia Hirst are, in fact, direct descendants of the series' creator and head writer Michael Hirst, a fact noted by u/ashZMMA in a Reddit post stating that the sisters are "the head writer's daughters." 

As it is, Maude, Georgia, and Michael never really talked much on the record about "Vikings" being such a family affair for the House of Hirst. But Papa Hirst did address the matter directly in comments covered by SoMag News. He did so in reference to the decision to kill off Maude's character Helga from the series. "Helga's death was difficult for me because Helga was my daughter," Hirst claimed before adding, "For me, it was hard to kill my daughter. There were many tears."

Hirst stood by the difficult decision, however, and even offered sound reasoning for not backtracking from it. "It was the story. You can't fool history," he said. "If you kill someone and bring them back, like in 'Game of Thrones,' the trap is so big that you can't believe the show anymore. I couldn't even do that to my own daughter." That kill was probably more difficult for Maude as her father ultimately allowed Georgia's character to escape the "Vikings" fray with her life. But this would certainly not be the first time a "Vikings" parent might've been perceived as playing a favorite in the household.