Vikings, a television show that premiered on the History Channel about 4 years ago, is a show with a little something for everyone. It has quite a lot of violence, a fair share of romance, and a healthy dose of comedy to lighten up the dark and somewhat depressing lifestyle of the Viking era. The series has used this aspect to its advantage, earning renewal for 4 seasons and counting. With the fourth season airing weekly now, it’s safe to say I’m a little late to the party. Thanks to my older brother, I’ve finally decided to give it a chance. To give it a chance, I had to purchase the seasons on DVD, as it is not on Netflix or any other streaming service for free.
My brother has always loved Vikings, claiming it got better and better with every season. I, however, took some convincing. It took a spoiler or two to truly peak my interest in the show. Knowing some of the future events in the series, I decided to start the show from the beginning and form my own opinion.
The show follows the story of Ragnar Lothbrok, an infamous viking who took the first raiding party west, to England. He’s married to a beautiful shield-maiden named Lagertha and they have two children, Bjorn and Gyda. Ragnar is well-known as a fearless warrior, as is his brother, Rollo. He is also close with a man named Floki, who, along with being a strong warrior, crafts marvelous ships. On the opposite side of the spectrum falls Earl Haraldson, the leader of Ragnar and his family’s clan.
Stemming from Earl Haraldson is the main conflict that Ragnar faces in the first season of Vikings. Unlike Ragnar, he does not share dreams of raiding to the west. Instead, he prefers the safety and knowledge of raiding east, a place that, as Ragnar argues, is lacking in reward. Ragnar, being the free spirit that he is, raids west anyway. With the help of Floki and Rollo, he gathers a crew and builds a boat capable of sailing across the open ocean. He succeeds in his quest, finding even more of a reward than he could have hoped for.
With Ragnar’s success, come a few losses. He loses various loved ones and finds himself in even more conflict than before his raid. There are still many battles and struggles ahead for the Lothbrok family. With help from the gods, they hope to overcome their struggles and survive.
As for their gods, they have many. Odin, the father of all gods, Thor, god of thunder, Freya, goddess of love and fertility, and Týr, god of war, are just a few. The vikings have a god for every aspect of their lives, this is focused on and explained thoroughly throughout the first season of the series. The idea of Valhalla, which is almost like a viking version of Heaven, if you will, is also developed throughout the season. The warriors constantly express excitement for the day they will join Odin in Valhalla. As vikings, to die with honor is to die in battle. This belief causes the warriors to have no fear of death, something that grants them an advantage in battle against the English.
Vikings combines action, drama, comedy, faith (Viking, which is often referred to as Pagan, and Christian), and romance all into a short, yet satisfying, 10-episode first season. The perfect blend of these themes has kept me hooked and excited for the existing second season. With twists and turns in every episode, Vikings keeps you on your toes, something that not many shows seem to succeed at. If you’re looking for some violence, romance, and comedy, Vikings is the show for you.