History is brutal. Most blockbuster movies gloss over the blood and brutality nations used against one another to gain power. One of the most brutal clans in history were the Vikings. *caveat – I’m not Scandinavian, but I did stay at a hotel this month*
I never planned on watching the TV show “Vikings.” It was sheer boredom on my lunch break and a random text from my brother. I blame him for my four season rabbit hole.
*Poster for Season 3*
“Vikings”, produced and aired on the History Channel, is loosely based on the surviving stories of Ragnar Lothbrok, a Viking king. Records from the era were spotty at best. It’s hard to tell myth from history, but for Ragnar, it was a bloody life. Every day was a struggle, from farming to healing from battle wounds.
This show is NOT for anyone sensitive to gore or blood. There are axes, swords and spears. Beheadings and torture methods were used to prove a point. Gangrene and beatings were common in battles or for prisoners. Vikings scrabbled for food and murdered for gold.
It is also decidedly not Christian world view based. In fact, Vikings worshiped multiple gods and downright despised the “Christian God.” Some of the more pivotal moments are centered around the struggle with Ragnar’s tolerance of God. It was a capital offense to shun Odin.
However, blood and guts aside, the storytelling is superb. An underlying subplot woven through half a season, slapped me in the face at the end of season two. The pace is as hectic as their brutal battles. And, there are some sexual scenes. While no bits and parts are out on display, the intent and visuals make it crystal clear.
Ragnar may be the central, fantastically flawed character, but the supporting cast adds layer upon layer to each episode. Lagertha makes me want to take up sword fighting and become a shield maiden.
Always be yourself…unless you can be Lagertha. Then be Lagertha.
But I’m not sure I could get past licking the seer’s hand…ew.
Seasons 1 through 3 are currently available on Hulu. Season 4 is available through iTunes. And Season 5? I’m going to go cry in a corner until 2017.