The history of the Viking people has been fascinating to me since I began to study it at University. Whilst we only did a little on the change from worshipping Pagan Gods to the rise of Christianity, it certainly sparked a massive interest and I began to read a little more. And more…and more. It’s now gotten to the stage where I’m trying to learn Old Norse, reading the sagas and leaning as much as I can about the mythology that drove the daily lives of those who lived and worked during that time. At any rate, last year I discovered History Channel’s “Vikings” completely randomly as I didn’t have Sky and thus, don’t have the History Channel and I decided to watch it. Both Season 1 and Season 2 were watched in about two weeks…talk about binge watching!
So when Season 3 started, I’m sure you can imagine the excitement.
Vikings itself is the tale of Ragnar Lothbrok, a legendary warrior who actually has his very own saga. Historically, it’s not known whether this man did actually exist yet his children such as Bjorn Ironside and Sigurd Snake-In-The-Eye certainly did! The show revolves around the life and times of Ragnar and his family, and around the exploits of his people as they take part in voyages to England and France to do what Vikings do best…RAID!
I had to admit when I first found out that the show was created by Michael Hirst of “The Tudors”, I was slightly put off. You all know that I’m really not a fan of that show yet this time? Hirst surprised me. He has managed to work with a time period that really? Very little is known about and create a phenomenal show with characters that you either love or despise in equal measure. What you have to remember when watching Vikings, though, is that it is based mainly on people that we don’t know existed – the story is based on the sagas, weaving in historical events for entertainment value. And if you’re going to go out there thinking Vikings is HISTORICAL FACT then I honestly despair.
At any rate. The characters themselves are written absolutely phenomenally – with many historical dramas you have characters who are shown as either inherantly good or inherantly bad but in Vikings every single character is shown to have both good traits and massive personality flaws. I was particularly taken by Katheryn Winnick’s Lagertha and Clive Standen’s Rollo, and of course by Ragnar himself who is played by the fantastic Travis Fimmel.
The entire season is full of moments that will literally hurt at your heart. One of the few moments that particularly got to me was when Porunn was injured whilst pregnant and her not wanting to both have Bjorn be with an injured woman and her not wanting to have her baby. As well as that? You like Athelstan? Let me tell you, your heart wil hurt.
I was particularly impressed with the finale. And although it goes against the sagas it proved to be a fantastic piece of television.
In the sagas and legends, it is Bjorn Ironside who tricks the Parisians into believing he is dead and yet in the show it is Ragnar who does such a thing. It ends in a bloody finale that ends with Rollo agreeing to marry the French princess to keep the peace. And bloody hell, is it well done. I honestly believed that Ragnar was dead thanks to the obvious STI’s and issues from his injuries during the siege – vomiting up blood and seeing things aren’t a good sign. And when he popped out of that coffin, I must admit that I yelled at the screen in shock.
In all? A phenomenal performance from the entire cast. But how can I say any different when the show has been stellar?
If you haven’t seen Vikings then honestly? I suggest you do so. Whilst it may not be 100% accurate it is so much more accurate than shows such as the Tudors etc and I must admit? I am highly impressed.