But give the show credit -- remember how great the first three seasons were.
Vikings (2013– )
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But give the show credit -- remember how great the first three seasons were.
As a person of some historical knowledge of the viking era, I can point out numerous flaws - but they don't ruin the story for me, so I will let them slip. Historical accounts about those days are, after all, not entirely reliable.
Happy to see Travis Fimmel in a role that totally suits him. A physical and intense character, with that spice of humor that is the viking trademark from the sagas. Gabriel Byrne plays a stern leader, that made me think of him in "Prince of Jutland", and Clive Standen seems like he's going to surprise us.
Been pondering the Game of Thrones comparison, since I love that show too, but in my opinion Vikings has its own thing going on. Way fewer lead characters to begin with, and also a more straight forward approach. Plenty of room for more series with this high class!
Can I wish for more than the planned nine episodes, PLEASE!!!
The acting is mostly top notch, a few short scenes aren't that great but it's hardly mentionable. It seems like in the beginning, people are speaking an incomprehensible Norse/English mix, and then they continue speaking a modern English. It's pretty clever actually. Fun fact: When the Vikings invaded the British isles they could understand each other's languages.
The story itself is really exciting, and I just want to watch more.. I can hardly wait for the next episode to be released.
I don't know so much about the Ragnar Lodbrok character, but Rollo (Gangarolf) is a very famous character in the Norse sagas.
I highly recommend this show, and I really hope they continue making this for several seasons.
I didn't know if this would be any good but I'm most certainly intrigued. It's well written, exciting and charming. The show is very enjoyable, especially if you're interested in Scandinavian/European history.
I love Norse Mythology and I am very happy that this show aired, I just hope it continues going in a good direction. :)
All in all I can't wait for the remaining episodes and if you're considering picking this show up I'd definitely recommend it.
Ragnar I miss you, I wished that they would keep you in the show or end it with ypur death. Everything else doesnt make sense.
The third season is also pretty good, although it had slowed down a little bit, dragging the story slowly around, but who cares when Ragnar is going to raid the Paris whatever the cost!
As much I like the first three seasons, there is one thing that kept bothering me throughout second and the third one especially. Every time Ragnar kills some of his enemies (earl Haraldson, king Horik), he creates some kind of vacuum in the society he is not able to fill. Yes, he becomes earl and than king nominally, but he doesn't quite behave like one! I mean as Haraldson had been an earl, he had counselor Svein for the dirty stuff and his guard, he was a judge (in fact), blessed children etc. and all in all there was a lot of things happening around him in Kattegat. Not so with Ragnar; he is just kind of there, not ruling whatsoever, and sometimes it just feels like anarchy there, which I find not entirely plausible. Additionaly, as I have mentioned, there is a feeling of emptiness because of this, emptiness, which I am not quite able to describe. Maybe it is happening, because the second and third series already follows more story lines and can't concentrate on Vikings more, which is in my eyes a threat for this show.
Season 4 takes the good things from its predecessors - throws them away - and builds on flawed stuff of the first three seasons - which is emptiness, story distraction and fade-away from Ragnar. Starting with the most serious issue - Ragnar, it was perhaps the worst decision in the whole show to screw him up. For the entire season 4a, he feels old and tired, doesn't have any desire to explore and raid, doesn't care for his people and children much, and as if it wasn't already too bad, we have to watch him as he becomes a drug addict. This alone is just enough for me. The writers basically take the character majority of viewers cares about most and flush him into toilet. I know he must die eventually, but instead of seeing him suffering for about 9 hours (!!), it would be better to kill him off at his zenith.
Another issue, that hardly appeared in the first three series - there are many meaningless scenes which just kind of fill the time. Consider the whole Wessex feminist thing with Judith - so much time is wasted on her becoming tough and independent, but I don't see a reason why - this is something suitable for 20th century, not 9th. On the other hand there is not much explanation on key events such as why Rollo gave up on his manhood and turned into french nobleman and loving husband so easily.
The emptiness and anarchy I was talking about is really apparent in season 4. It is no more the king Ragnar and his people or the vibrant society from early seasons, it is a mixture of random characters with no depth being around. Typical ruling day of king Ragnar consists of throwing knives, ignoring everyone, doing crazy stuff and taking drugs in the shack, stalking on the rooftop and making a foreplay with that Chinese girl. Björn tries to look as serious as possible, which makes his character so flat it makes me wonder about Ragnar's successor's ability to lead the show (I doubt any of the sons is capable of that). Than the whole thing with Erlendur's revenge is wasted, as everybody knows from the start Björn will not die and Erlendur has even got no plan; when Kalf was still alive, there was a chance to take advantage of it, but now he wants to kill Björn and then will see what's next, probably.
I totally agree with others that it has become a soap opera. Consider king Finehair's arrival. It peaks at the end of an episode, when he basically says in front of everybody he wants to overthrow Ragnar, but that situation is not expanded in the next episode, which is typical for soap operas. Speaking of new characters, they are very uninteresting, and especially Yidu is a complete waste of time, and besides I find presence of a Chinese in the fjord disturbing, she just shouldn't be there; her only purpose is to be a drug dealer anyway. Then there is lot of uninteresting talking about family, children (everybody is with a child now, hearing this gives me an allergic reaction) and how it is being a father, which is just boring. And I can't help myself, but the families look like projections of 21th western family values - different from earlier seasons where we could see more freedom in sexual life and less sensitivity about children and death. Overall the episodes are too talkative and while basically nothing happens in most episodes, everything must have happened in the last one and it created a big mess, but I will not comment on that.
For me, Vikings end with the season 3 and the 4a just does not exist. I am actually reviewing the first season recently and friend I enjoy it as never, because I have found the old Ragnar again and the true nature of Vikings with him.
#Spoilers below ...for those who have not seen season 5.5 stop now.
So now. The show has just lost all sense of its origins and purpose. I was really hoping to see Bjorn become a mighty warrior like his father and take up the mantel of Ragnar even if displaced by Ivar. Now he's just a pouty baby and screwing anyone in sight and dropped the mighty warrioress Torvi?! Wtf?! . And they shaved his freaking head and Alfred's hair cut WTAF?? They both look completely STUPID now. It's hard to take it seriously now at all. If anyone cut their hair it should have been UBBE! To shed his viking hair since it has religious and cultural significance but he is supposed to be Christian now so it would make sense for him. So why would mighty warrior Bjorn shave his instead?!
There are NO interesting or dynamic characters or situations whatsoever this season. They are all washed up and annoying. Ivar is just a crybaby lunatic. He has no reason for his "madness" and just looks like he is having a temper tantrum. And makes no sense why anyone would follow him and not just kill him in his sleep abd be done with his stupidity. Let's not even talk about the miserable failure of Floki and his flock. Good gracious is that a bore!
Just put this show out of its misery or bring in tge writers and directors of season 1-3 or fire them if it's the same folks because they surely have lost their way!
Last but not least why do these shows murder history for the sake of TV?! It's ok to take some license but geez to straight up stab holes in it all for literally NO reason is absurd. Keep stuff historically accurate whenever possible. If you adlib that is fine or use it as a jumping point. Or make up a new character to fit in the timeline. Don't wake up long dead ghosts to play a role in a timeline they don't exist in. It makes no sense at all.
First seasons was so great, i was telling everyone that this show is way better than Game of Thrones and was so hyped about it,and i guess this is the reason for the big failure followed by next seasons. Not sure whether the producers decided to make it as provocative and shocking as GoT or they were out of ideas and decided just to add random boring side stories and dialogues. I wont mention specific scenes to avoid spoilers, but the last season is such a waste of time, there is like 10 percent progress and the rest is boring, emotionless, banal dialogues with characters who you got no emotional bond with and even question their existence in this series (not minding the horrible acting from some of these).
* I would like to mention, that those who just started watching or about to start, please mind that the first 3 seasons are excellent and worth watching.
**Sorry for my poor English as it is not my main language.
But the show has now lost me as it's story arc has gone from Ragnar's adventures (historical legend, no factual base so OK to dramatise) into tampering with the actual, true historical timeline. King Ecbert was long dead when the great heathen army landed (so was Aethelwulf!!). Anyone remember Aethelred the Unready??
To be honest to the real history the show should begin with a warning "Beware real history has been warped to suit our script"
See https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Æthelwulf, https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alfred_the_Great etc
Likewise the show seems to neglect all the other brothers of Alfred- who were all kings in their own right...
The saddest thing of all is that this TV series will now become the "true" history and the thousands of people who get their world view through TV shows will now believe this timeline... shame on you script writers, shame!
Since the introduction of Ivar, the series has become a joke.
You will struggle to understand what makes Ivar so feared and powerful and ontop of all that, he is not even the oldest son.
They have lost the plot.