Gabriel Byrne has always made surprising acting choices and his latest role maintains that tradition.

The Irish Film and Television Network reports that Byrne will star in the upcoming new Irish mini-series 'Vikings,' a co-production with the History Channel which will begin shooting in County Wicklow this summer.

Byrne has been cast as Earl Haraldson, an experienced political leader who finds his position threatened by a young descendant of the gods named Ragnor Lothbrok, who is attempting to become Kings of the Vikings.

The series reproduce the reign of terror Norsemen who raided their way through Europe unleashed in medieval times.

Writer Michael Hirst (whose credits include Elizabeth and The Tudors) created the Vikings series, and it will be aired on the History Channel as the first ever scripted series undertaken by the network. The ten-part series will begin production in July.

IFTN reports that Swedish director Johan Renck will direct the first three episodes.'

Byrne, who was born and riased in Dublin, has most recently appeared as Dr. Paul Weston in the HBO drama In Treatment, which played for three successful seasons and won the Irish actor a Golden Globe for Best Lead Actor in a Drama Series.

Vikings is set to air on the History Channel in 2013.