Metascore
70

Generally favorable reviews - based on 20 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 17 out of 20
  2. Negative: 0 out of 20
  1. Reviewed by: Matthew Gilbert
    Feb 28, 2013
    70
    It’s flawed, with the kinds of cheesy trappings and historical freedoms that turn off some viewers.... But the series is nonetheless transporting in its way, largely because it doesn’t try too hard to soften or civilize the characters.
  2. Reviewed by: Mark A. Perigard
    Mar 1, 2013
    75
    Fimmel has an odd charisma as a barbarian who sees nothing wrong with butchering a group of unarmed, cowering men. But much of the supporting cast is problematic--either­ the actors just aren’t up to the work or the characters are underwritten.
  3. Reviewed by: Clark Collis
    Feb 28, 2013
    67
    What those two shows [The Tudors and The Game of Thrones] have, and Vikings dearly lacks, is real intrigue.
  4. Reviewed by: Alan Sepinwall
    Mar 1, 2013
    83
    As original series debuts go, it’s no “Oz” or “The Shield,” but it does the job it sets out to do in entertaining fashion.
  5. Reviewed by: Glenn Garvin
    Mar 4, 2013
    50
    Vikings is at least fun to watch, in a sword-swinging, head-chopping, maiden-despoiling sort of way.
  6. Reviewed by: Linda Stasi
    Mar 1, 2013
    63
    If you will miss Spartacus when it ends--and you like your history with a big dose of campy fun--this one’s for you, Shield Maiden.
  7. Reviewed by: Verne Gay
    Feb 28, 2013
    75
    Vikings quickly settles into a fairly routine sword-and-sandal epic narrative that revolves around a sociopath overlord and the subjects who dare to challenge his authority. But it gets better.
  8. Reviewed by: Tom Gliatto
    Mar 7, 2013
    75
    History's first scripted series is a headlong tumble into an irresistible and surprisingly neglected genre. [18 Mar 2013, p.41]
  9. 70
    Hirst cleverly weaves a mystical element into the plot, which pays off with each episode. And he throws in plenty of battle scenes to please bloodthirsty fans.
  10. Reviewed by: Curt Wagner
    Mar 1, 2013
    75
    The good news is Vikings improves with each episode, slowly building its fascinating characters and discovering its ultimately absorbing tale.
  11. Reviewed by: David Wiegand
    Feb 28, 2013
    50
    Mostly, though, Vikings is disappointing because so much of the component parts are good but are ill served by flabby direction and a gassy script.
  12. 63
    Vikings is full of fighting, impaling, beheading and all that fun stuff. The hope is clearly to draw "Game of Thrones" fans, but it's not that good.
  13. Reviewed by: Tim Goodman
    Feb 28, 2013
    70
    While it’s clear that Vikings isn’t going to be Game of Thrones, it’s a series that increases its entertainment value and interest level as it goes along.
  14. Reviewed by: Neil Genzlinger
    Mar 1, 2013
    70
    Vikings is a mini-series about a band of professional pillagers with a disregard for human life and a relentless focus on gratifying material desires. So it is somewhat surprising that it is also a refreshing study in restraint.
  15. Reviewed by: James Poniewozik
    Mar 1, 2013
    70
    Though the first episodes of the season don’t find a lot of complexities in its characters (the rebel captain, the wicked chieftain, the feisty warrior-woman), it is animated by historical ideas.
  16. Reviewed by: Ed Bark
    Mar 1, 2013
    91
    Vikings enthrallingly captures the world of Norsemen and oarsmen, circa 793 in the Eastern Baltic but soon heading West to England.
  17. Reviewed by: Robert Bianco
    Mar 1, 2013
    75
    If you're not too picky about historical accuracy, and not too put off by cheap-looking computer effects, you'll find much to enjoy in this entertaining adventure, built on a solid hero's-quest structure and bolstered by a terrifically engaging performance from Travis Fimmel as the hero-at-hand.
  18. Reviewed by: Brian Lowry
    Feb 28, 2013
    60
    If it's not high art, the moody exercise achieves a level of atmosphere and momentum that makes it work as a mild diversion, and the plot and pacing pick up in subsequent hours.
  19. Reviewed by: Nancy DeWolf Smith
    Feb 28, 2013
    80
    While they are every bit as wild and woolly as the historical figures of Norse sagas, such is the power of Vikings that we come to know and even root for them, so enthralling are they and almost everything else here.
  20. Reviewed by: Hank Stuever
    Feb 28, 2013
    80
    One girds oneself for some serious hammer time when an opening fight scene of History’s compelling and robust new drama series, Vikings, delivers all the expected gore and blood spatter.
User Score
8.5

Universal acclaim- based on 239 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 40 out of 51
  2. Negative: 4 out of 51
  1. Mar 11, 2013
    8
    Brutal and Beautiful. Gorgeous landscapes and awesome action. They capture the brutality that these men lived. Love Katheryn Winnick's role as Lagertha! What a gorgeous strong woman. She kicks butt! Full Review »
  2. Mar 19, 2013
    10
    An interesting mix of drama and history, that seems to well illustrate the differences between these ancient pagan warriors beliefs and modern day morals. The plot is nothing radical, but its solid, well written and well acted add in some beautiful scenery and a little action and your onto a winner. Full Review »
  3. Mar 6, 2013
    8
    Rather than comparing it to Game of Thrones, I'd say it's closer to a basic cable cousin of HBO's Rome. It quite watchable. What I especially like is that it covers a race of people (the Norsemen) that we in America know little about Full Review »