Vikings

I was very skeptical about watching this show.  For one, it is written by Michael Hirst.  That is not to say he isn’t a talented writer.  It has more to do with his ability to bastardize history.  Make what you are watching more about sex and violence rather than what actually happened.  Take the Tudors, while I did enjoy it at the beginning, I lost interest in later seasons.  It was too stationary for me, always taking place in a room with some people.  Which is exactly the opposite of Vikings.  I give you a usual sight in Vikings, a Fjord:fjord

Another major reason I was reticent of watching:  every Viking representation sucks.  Almost every single movie about vikings are awful.  Vikings seem to be a fairly well liked “genre”.  Every few years you will see a new viking movie, problem is, they are awful.  This show is the first (not without problems mind you) that represents Vikings well.  Literally the closest movie I can think of which was a good film about vikings was the 13th Warrior, and that had freaking Antonio Banderas in it.   They should have went with the Michael Crichton’s book title: Eaters of the Dead.  They didn’t however represent them with horned helms and ridiculousness.

Vikings plot centers around Ragnar Lothbrok.  Essentially a mythical man of history who was the first to invade modern day Britain.  I know a little about this time period, mainly from another quasi entertainment source.  Bernard Cornwell’s Saxon stories.  His series tells how the Saxons battled the invaders.  Both the book series and this show do much of the same thing, take scant historical record and inject fictionalized characters to play around in.  I am a huge can of the book series, and the show Vikings is as close as I’ll ever get to seeing it realized on the screen.History_Vikings_Afterlife_SF_HD_still_624x352

The show also tells the story of the man, and some of the myths that accompanied him in his home country.  I am sure 99% of what we see is made up for entertainment.  However…it is good.  I have seen many other reviews express this same feeling.  While it isn’t perfect, it is one of the best if not the best viking show ever.

Aside from the viking issue, the show itself is entertaining with compelling characters.  It doesn’t rush, it takes it time without getting boring.  There is action, sex, and politics.  The usual for historical pulp fiction.  Another major character is the landscape.  Beautiful valleys, rivers, and forests.

I for one am hoping people keep watching.  I would like just a few more seasons.  By the time another quality viking show or movie comes out, I will have a full head of white hair.

On a side note – Mel Gibson planned on making a Viking epic called “Berserker”.  Imagine the man (while he is a nut job) who bright us Braveheart, and a great film maker, making a super violent killing-fest of a Viking movie.  But alas, that was a few years ago now, I don’t know if he still plans on making it.  Let’s hope he does.

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