Journey To Valhalla:- Vikings (Non-Spoiler)

Vikings in my opinion is one of the greatest television shows currently being shown at the moment, and if you haven’t already watched it but love HBO‘s extremely successful Game Of Thrones, I  hope to encourage you to give this series a watch. Word of caution though, viewers are sometimes known to grow a beard and may even perform a sacrifice to the gods.

Vikings is a historical drama television series written and created by Michael Hirst and produced by Octagon Films, the series is based around the life of the legendary viking ruler Ragnar Lothbrok who was known in old Norse poetry as the scourge of France and England in the 9th century.

The series begins with Ragnar portrayed as a viking farmer who has dreams of one day sailing to the western part of the world that he has heard tales of from the wanderers (vikings that do not settle and instead prefer to travel across the world). Ragnar has heard that the land found in the western part of the world holds great riches to be plundered, Ragnar’s curiosity leads him to develop a plan to convince the other members of his viking tribe to follow him in search of this new part of the world.

Vikings is currently in the middle of its fourth season with Season 4’s 11th episode scheduled to be shown on the 30th November 2016.

Production Locations

Vikings was filmed at Ashford studio’s, a newly built studio facility in Ireland from July 2012. Most of season 1 was filmed in beautiful locations such as the Wicklow Mountains and Lough Tay/ Luggala. The steep slopes of Luggala mountain look appropriately Scandinavian for the series and the lake was an excellent spot to film scenes with the Viking long ships, this made this part of Ireland a fantastic place to film the show.

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Why Should I watch This Series?

One of the main things I found had been done extremely well with this series was the amount of screen time divided between the shows most important characters. Something I’ve always found slightly aggravating with a show like Game Of Thrones is the extremely large amount of places and characters the series tries to show, with the scope of characters being much larger and more things to keep track of, I often find people can struggle to recall names, places and sometimes even smaller parts of the story simply because of this overload of content.

With Vikings, the scope is much smaller and thus the characters are given enough screen time to really connect with the viewers. I find the main thing that makes the main characters of the show so interesting is that although they are the ‘heroes’ of the show, they are not necessarily ‘good guys’ and to see a story being told from a anti-hero perspective really grabs peoples interest. Vikings also does an incredible job of giving the viewers their fan-service each episode, whether its a brutal battle scene or good times in the bedroom, Vikings just delivers.

Ragnar Lothbrok

You can’t really talk about Vikings without talking about Ragnar and Travis Fimmel portrays the character so well, I’ve always been a fan of story’s that start from the beginning or quiet time in the character’s life as you get to watch that character grow throughout the series. Ragnar begins as a common farmer but his drive to discover new lands and expand his territory ultimately leads him to become much more, watching this character grow each episode will make you eager to get straight onto the next one.

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Lagertha

The beautiful viking shield maiden Lagertha portrayed by Katherine Winnick is another character that will make you fall in love with this series. Lagertha paints the way for all the strong female character’s on Vikings, not only is she a formidable warrior and regularly joins the other warriors in battle, but she is fiercely independent when it comes to protecting her family and her self-respect.

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Floki

Floki the boat boat builder is like Vikings Tyrion Lannister and will normally have your eyes focused on the screen. This eccentric character comes across as a jester of sorts and although a silly character has a dangerous aura about him. As Ragnar’s closest friend Floki is committed to building the longboat that will take Ragnar’s crew on their first voyage west, Floki is portayed by Gustaf Skarsgård.

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Negatives & Criticism

I haven’t seen much negativity about the series in general, but a main criticism of the show is often the historical inaccuracies in portraying viking society. Comments have been made about the clothing worn by the characters, the ignorance shown by some of the other vikings about Ragnar wanting to sail west and the penalties given throughout the series for crimes committed.

Personally, I watched this show simply for the enjoyment and my love and interest of all things medieval and fantasy related, rather than for a history lesson, there’s going to be an element of glamorisation. I can see why some viewers that may have been looking to find out more about viking lore may be upset though if the series is showing some things that may be inaccurate historically, however whether this affects your enjoyment of the series I think will ultimately come down to what you are hoping to gain from watching it.35888304-vikings-wallpaper-hd

One of the best critiques I’ve heard so far is “Vikings is a series about a bunch of Kharl Drogos”, and although this description made me laugh there is also a lot of truth to this comparison.

I hope you have enjoyed the read, are you a fan of Vikings? What have been your favourite moments in the show? We’d love to hear them in the comments section below.

Luke Steward

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