Vikings star Clive Standen has told how he didn't even notice he was injured while filming a battle scene until he realised his costume was soaked in blood.
The British actor stars alongside Gabriel Byrne, Travis Fimmel and Katheryn Winnick in the historic drama, created and written by Michael Hirst, writer of the Oscar-winning film Elizabeth, and revealed the cast are encouraged to go wild on the battlefield.
Clive revealed: "We work with an amazing stunt team, they work with us way before time to work out the choreography of a fight. Usually you start learning the stunts for one episode when we're still filming the previous episode.
"But when we get to the battlefield we're encouraged to forget all the choreography so it looks more visceral and more real. It's far more interesting to watch a fight if you don't know your heroes are going to come out alive, and the only way to do that is to make mistakes.
"If you fall in the mud and start scraping around and carry on the choreography you've learned on your knees, that's great to keep shooting. And sometimes that ends up in injuries and people getting shields in the face.
"I got a spear in the shoulder this season, and carried on filming until I realised my costume was sopping wet with blood and I needed a stitch and a tetanus jab!
"But it's part and parcel with a show called Vikings."
The actor hopes by suffering for his art it makes the battles better for the fans.
He said: "We have a phrase on set now which is 'You can't make mead without grinding some hops.' And you often pick yourself up and check everyone's all right and dust yourself down and do it again.
"But it think what we gain from that is you see the whites of peoples eyes, you see the fear, you're in the shield wall with us. And I think hopefully the audience will see battle scenes that are a little bit different."
:: The second series of Vikings will premiere on Amazon's LOVEFiLM from Friday February 28, 2014.