I watched, and was captivated, by the show’s first season, not knowing if it would return for a second. It was originally only to be a mini-series. Apparently, it was so well received by critics and viewers, it has been renewed for a 10 episode second season.
The series was developed, and is co-produced by the Irish company Octagon Films, and Canada’s Take 5 Productions (which launched in 2009, and also co-produces such shows as The Tudors, The Borgias, Reign and others.)
It began filming at Ashford Studios, in Ireland, the longship scenes were filmed at Luggala, while some background shots were done in Norway

There has been some criticism concerning the historic accuracy of it’s portrayal of Viking society, especially citing the ruling ‘government’ and laws, as well as apparel. The Aftenposten, a Norwegian newspaper, reported that ‘the series incorrectly depicted the temple at Uppsala as a stave church in the mountains, whereas the historical temple was situated on flat land and stave churches were a hallmark of later Christian architecture in Scandinavia’, but many critics fail to realize liberties are generally taken when something is presented solely as entertainment, and not as a documentary.
Furthermore, since Norse sagas were, in part, orally handed-down tales, enhanced with fiction, and written down many years after the events, it is questionable, as with most history in general, how much is truth and what is fabricated or propaganda.
Rods need to be removed, and critics need to lighten up.

I found the show quite graphic, and not for the faint of heart. The Vikings, being a very fierce and formidable enemy of….just about everyone, are portrayed vividly in this drama. There is, accordingly, much warfare, slaughter, bloodshed, raiding, pillaging, and the taking of slaves but, there is also the communal life of the Vikings themselves.

The story begins in the year 793 and is based primarily on the main character, Ragnar Lothbrok (loosely based on the legendary 13th century saga of Ragnar Loðbrókar, known as the ‘scourge of France and England’. It is not clear if he was an actual individual, or a culmination of several Chieftans, similar to the legends of King Arthur) the relationships between him, his brother Rollo, his family, village, ‘religious’ beliefs and explorations.
With the creation of a faster longship, built by Ragnar’s friend, Floki, their desire to explore farther afield, to lands of the West, was fulfilled.
In season one they raid Northern England (Lindisfarne, for example, which has been historically recorded as factual.)
Land disputes and fighting amongst themselves, helps fuel the need to seek new horizons.

A poignant quote from last weeks episode by Ragnar to his son, Bjorn- ‘I know it is hard for you to accept, but unhappiness is more common than happiness. Who told you you should be happy? You have come to an age where you must grow up and be responsible about such things. When I was your age, I had many friends. All are dead.’
You can find more information and watch videos/clips HERE.

A free comic book written by Michael Hirst (writer and original creator of the show), with interior artwork by Dennis Calero, cover by Anthony Spay (+others for the colour and inking), was distributed at the 2013 San Diego ComicCon.
It was written as a prequel to the show itself, focusing on Ragnar and Rollo’s relationship with their father, as well as Ragnar’s first encounter with the sheild maiden, Lagertha, later to become his wife (also part of the legendary Norse saga of Ragnar Loðbrókar.)
From what I’ve read, trading cards were created as well.
vikings comic
^The Comic^

6 Comments
  1. Forlath Grey 4 years ago

    So it’s kinda like Sons of Anarchy meets Game of Thrones? I’m guessing it’s the fact that it is being shown on the History Channel, that might have some people confused as to its percentage of historically accurate content . . . the name ‘History Channel’ is kinda easy to misconstrue . . . maybe if they changed the name to ‘Historical Drama Channel’?

    So okay, I think I understand what you’re trying to say – you don’t mind people taking a bit of creative license, as long as it’s not about New Jersey. Duly noted. 😉

  2. Just Justine 4 years ago

    Travis Fimmel (Ragnar) does resemble Charlie Hunnam from SoA.

  3. Author
    Just Justine 3 years ago

    The second season has come to a close.
    It has been renewed for a third, but will not return until 2015.
    I like the show, though, as mentioned previously, do not know how historically accurate it is.
    There is blood shed in every episode, not only from raids on the English, but amongst clans as well.
    Ragnar himself, seems more interested in colonization, than hacking everyone to bits, though what was done to Jarl Borg in the episode ‘Blood Eagle’ was horrid.

    You can watch it, and other full episodes at
    THE HISTORY CHANNEL

    Has anyone here watched it?

  4. Author
    Just Justine 3 years ago

    ‘Vikings’ will return some time in 2015.
    Here is the trailer for season 3-

  5. Author
    Just Justine 2 years ago

    SPOILER (is anyone even watching?)

    So this season is just as violent as the last, and as full of intrigue.
    Apparently, Harbard, a wandering storyteller/healer (Odin?), visited Ragnar’s current wife, Aslaug, while Ragnar and crew were busy attempting to forge ties with King Ecbert of Wessex so some Vikings could remain and farm. That didn’t go well. Ecbert double crossed Ragnar by having his son, Aethelwulf, wipe out the Viking colonizers. Meanwhile, Aslaug (Ragnar’s 2nd wife) slept with, and is presumably pregnant with Harbard/Odin’s child. (BTW, Harbard was played by Kevin Durand.)
    There is a lot of sleeping around in this series.
    Athelstan, the once Anglo-Saxon monk who was kidnapped in the Viking raid on Lindisfarne and previously kept as a slave by Ragnar, only later to become his best friend and trusted adviser, is now deceased.
    He was kind of back and forth, first Christian, then switched to the Norse Gods, then a little between, then back to Christianity. He impregnated Judith, Aethelwulf’s (son of King Ecbert. Ecbert had previously also become a close friend of Athelstan the monk, having rescued him from crucifixion, yes, they actually nailed him to a cross, and he later showed signs of stigmata) wife, and now the King protects both Judith and the child, all knowing the monk fathered it, and whom the King feels is messiahistic or something. Probably sees the child more so a pawn, as he has ‘persuaded’ Judith to be his mistress in payment for protection. (Yep, his own son’s wife. Told you there was a lot of sleeping around.)
    Floki, the previous close friend and adviser to Ragnar, killed Athelstan (mostly out of jealousy), but not before Athelstan told Ragnar all about the walled city of Paris, which, of course, was the next place Ragnar wished to conquer.
    The first attempt to enter Paris was a disaster. Floki (I’m pretty sure Ragnar knows it was he who murdered his friend, Athelstan) created ladder towers to scale the walls of Paris. Ragnar fell from the rampart, injuring himself severely (he’s been holding his stomach, coughing/vomiting/painful peeing of blood, internal injuries no doubt.) It waits to be seen if he survives, yet, as any true Viking, he does not take it lying down.
    The attempt by Rollo, Ragnar’s brother who is now something of a Berserker, fighting bare chested without armor or helmet, to enter the city from another direction was horrendous. The French had this huge weighted barrel-like weapon covered in spikes that they rolled down the narrow hall at the oncoming Vikings, picking them up on the spikes and crushing them as it barreled along with them still impaled on it. Yeah, pretty gruesome. It was on chains, so it could be brought back to roll again.
    The French basically know the Vikings will be relentless and wish to buy off the attack and propose a meeting with Ragnar. Ragnar meets with them alone, the French offer him a coffer containing gold and silver, Ragnar said it wasn’t enough. He then requests that the French priest baptize him so he will meet his friend Athelstan in the Christian heaven after he dies. The priest does so in the convenient lake right next to the meeting place, just as Rollo, Lagertha (Ragnar’s first wife, a warrior and usurped Earl in her own right) and some of his men enter the scene and witness the baptismal.

    This is so unlike Ragnar, but I have not yet watched the final episode for this season. I will post the outcome after I do.
    Complicated. Interesting. There is so much more I haven’t even touched on, if you care to watch.
    It has been picked up for a fourth season. I will continue to watch.

  6. Author
    Just Justine 2 years ago

    Watched the finale. Meh, it was rather predictablish (yes, i make up my own words. Some one had to, if not the dictionary wouldn’t be so full of them.)
    Anyway, here come the SPOILERS!

    K, some kinky French sex stuff was subtly and tastefully introduced, though I’m going to assume the female should have had unshaven armpits back then….and maybe even today in France….and Italy….and other places. Now, has that got you interested? No, not the armpit thing, the kinky sex thing.
    Anyhow, Ragnar was dead <(notice the grammatical tense there.) As dead as a door...wait, uhuh, no he wazent! It was all a scam. The only one who knew of it was Bjorn, Ragnar's son. It had a dual purpose, he (Ragnar) was placed in a coffin (made by Floki), then, one at a time, his ex-wife, brother and one-time close friend Floki were allowed to have a few private words with the 'dearly departed' through said closed casket. Now Ragnar knew what they really thought of him. Rather unfair, but he being king of the Vikings, I suppose it was his way of knowing whom he could trust. Previously he requested the French for a Christian service to be performed over his deceased body at the castle (him being a Christian now), and it was agreed to, providing those that brought the body came unarmed. You see where this is going? Yep, during the ceremony, Ragnar throws off the coffin lid, dagger in hand, kills the Archbishop giving the funeral rites, holds the dagger to Emperor Charles of West Francia’s throat but doesn’t hurt him, instead grabs the Emperor’s daughter, the Princess Gisla and holds the dagger to her throat as a temporary hostage, states ‘I won’ as he and his men leave, open the gates allowing son Bjorn and the rest of the Vikings to enter Paris. No battle, just muscle flexing. Rollo is left behind to keep a foot in the door, so to speak, until the rest of them return in the spring. Of course, the Emperor offers Rollo his daughter, Gisla, in marriage and will make him a Duke on the condition Rollo will fight against his brother Ragnar when he returns. Those were the highlights. The series will return in 2016.

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