Title – Vikings
Genre – Historical drama, Action, Adventure
Number of seasons – 5
Number of episodes – 59
Length per episode – 45 minutes
First aired – March 3, 2013
Original Network – History
Languages – English
Country – Canada, Ireland
Have you ever watched something that made you feel like home? Something that gave you a weird sense of relief and relaxation, and you knew that even if it put you trough emotional hell, you’d eventually be fine? Well, that’s me with Vikings, every time. I knew about the show for some time before watching it, but never really did watch it until my beat friend made me. I thank her every day for that.
I shouldn’t even really dive into the plot because it’s pure history, but in such an entertaining way, you will be hooked on it. And remember, it’s made by History channel, you won’t see the plot dragged just for the sake of views. It tries to follow actual history as much as possible and they won’t be nice to your favourite character just because he/she is loved by the public. Those characters go trough hell and back every episode, trough huge emotional rollercoasters every breathing second.
The series is based on the legend of Ragnar Lothbrok, a viking of the 13th century who, with his crew, invades France and England. Some events are based on sagas, others on oral tradition. The series mostly follows Ragnar, from his beginnings as a farmer, becoming Earl (some sort of local chief), then King. He is strong, a great strategist, stubborn, hard-headed (which gets him in a lot of problems but also makes him the great hero he is), yet loves his family and would do anything for them.
He is married to Lagertha, a woman just as strong and who’s willing to take life in her own hands. Which she does, multiple times. She proves to be one of the strongest leads I have ever seen, becoming better and better every episode. She goes trough a lot – from the death of her child, to people close to her being unfaithful, toxic men trying to control her (but failing miserably) to raiding with Ragnar and his crew – she is an amazing character.
My favourite from the whole series is Athelstan. He is an Anglo-Saxon, a Christian monk whom was taken as a slave by Ragnar on his first raid. Lothbrok was really interested in knowing his culture, his religion, to gain information, as he was one of those leaders who knew knowledge means power. Athelstan was never truly treated as a slave. He gets to learn the Vikings’ culture, religion, traditions. He becomes what you could call “a bridge” between the christians and the pagans. He doubts his faith multiple times. And the Vikings’ as well. He practically gets to a point of self doubt. He asks himself and God, even Odin and other Northern gods what is the truth. Even so, witnessing everything, going trough this traumatic change and bearing trough “savage” behaviour seen at the vikings, he keeps his cool, having the best development in the entire show in my opinion.
There are many great characters worth mentioning. Such as Floki – Ragnar’s friend, King Ecbert of Wessex, B’Jorn, Rollo and Princess Aslaug. Honestly, my relationship with Rollo is an interesting one. I love him and his loyalty, yet sometimes – especially in the beginning I hated him from the bottom of my heart. Then I realised I was rooting for him. That’s what makes this show amazing. It presents humans. With awful, gross parts. And so great, beautiful and kind other times, it warms your heart.
But I don’t want to spoil things for anyone. All I’m saying is to keep an eye on them, they will surely surprise you. Also, another interesting thing is how, somehow, every character represents a god. Go with Ragnar – Odin, Rollo – Vili, Floki – Loki, Lagertha – Freya.
And don’t even get me started in the amazing soundtrack and astonishingly beautiful scenarios; I mean it’s Ireland, but it’s so pleasing I almost cried a few times and the film’s frames were just shockingly beautiful.
One warning though: it’s a rather graphic show. So if you get triggered by blood (like lots of it), please be careful while watching it.
So, if you’re looking for a historically accurate show, driven characters and wild scenarios – Vikings is for you.