Vikings, 2013 – Present
Cast: Travis Fimmel, Gustaf Skarsgard, George Blagdenm, Clive Standen, Katheryn Winnick, Alexander Ludwig
Vikings: Scandinavian seafaring pirates and traders who raided and settled in many parts of northwestern Europe in the 8th–11th centuries. It’s also the title of a kick-ass historical drama on The History Channel.
If you’re going through Game of Thrones withdrawals now that season six is over, fret no more. With savage battle scenes, sex and betrayal from those least expected, and main characters dying every now and then, Vikings is the perfect cure to tide you over.
Vikings follows the legend of Norse hero Ragnar Lothbrok (Fimmel), a farmer who rises to power using his intellect rather than his brawn. Though being a skilled fighter didn’t hurt his chances.
We enter Ragnar’s story as he calls upon best friend Floki (Skarsgard) to build a ship that would allow him to travel safely to western lands, lands no one else in his town believe to exist.
When he returns successful and with proof, in the form of treasure and Christian priest Athelstan (Blagden), the rest of his warriors wish to partake in these new raids. But while riches drive the warriors, curiosity drives Ragnar.
He learns English, the Christian religion and of other lands near Athelstan’s home. Upon discovering how prosperous these lands would be for farming, he begins to make deals with rulers both domestic and foreign. Along the way allies are gained, lost and gained again, including his brother Rollo (Standen), first wife Lagertha (Winnick) and favored son Bjorn (Ludwig).
And if the bloodshed and romance don’t get you hooked, the imagery and cinematography will. Filmed in the hills and valleys of Ireland, the landscape is nothing short of breath taking. No matter which director is in charge – as there is a laundry list of who contribute to this series – they all manage to capture the magic of not only the geography but the story itself.