User Score
8.5

Universal acclaim- based on 332 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 16 out of 332

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  1. Mar 6, 2013
    4
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. I started to watch this pilot because I was reminded of Pillars of the Earth. This show does not compare at all. The Vikings is a clumsy, dull, tedious and inaccurate show. This series is shown on the History channel. I would have thought, that they might have gotten a few facts correct. In regarding the basic origins and history of these great Viking raiders. Who had made it as far as North America in there conquest. I was massively disappionted in this opening plot. The Vikings shown acquired their sea faring abilities were explained as a traveller from the south. Who gave them a sundial/compass which through the sun casting a shadow would mark navigational bearings, if no sun was present a sun stone was used to acquire the sun's light. Vikings were such an accomplished race of raiders travellling oceans. This might have been explained in more depth. Then look at these shinies now we can go west to pillage lads. I shortly turned off after watching the supposed Viking court. This scene was total The Viking cheiftan ask for a vote on a convicted murder and then ask that murder which execution to choose. The Vikings were tribal raiders they inflicted all kinds of barbarous tortures like impaling, and flaying. Although from what I read the main way they would ascertain wether or not there was any truth to a statement was to have the accused pick many stones out of boiling water and then determine if the burns would heal if they did then there was truth. This method is but one of the many tortures they would have inflicted. There was never any voting and judgement would be determined through the cheftian. I was bothered by the Viking villages exterior showing many small huts and structures. In Scandinavia temperatures plumet to -25-40c. The villagers mostly all resided in a single longhouse for warmth. The outside of the village there was no dominating structure but many small hutsetc. The acting alot of the accents used are english but were so thick they caused little effect. For full effect maybe should have spoken using english subtitles in a Norse or Scandinavian accent. There were scenes regarding the main character and his child explaining his love life and how to be man, while going out and drinking in the tavern, these absolutely bored me to death. The botched rape showing the main character to be a metal smith with an anivil and a hot sword still smelting which his wife uses as a weapon to defend herself. Yet he was out training with his boy in warfare and was a raider who manned his own longboat, seemed totally incoherent. I had lost all interest so I began fastforwarded. To find the sex scene where his wife tells him I vill wide you tonight, yea right history. There was some natural beauty in the locations of fjord's, longboat, Viking sheids, axes, some good costumes with the animal skins, and their tatoo's. Overly though I am done with this series. I am really not at all impressed by the very clumsy attempt at history Expand
  2. Apr 25, 2013
    0
    This is an amazing show. It totally ignores history and is clumsy beyond belief. The brother of the main character does not even have a norse name. Somebody chose to call him Rollo which is about as norse as Luigi. The viking ships which are pretty important to the plot are built in a matter of days and change size greatly from scene to scene. In one scene two or three men operate theThis is an amazing show. It totally ignores history and is clumsy beyond belief. The brother of the main character does not even have a norse name. Somebody chose to call him Rollo which is about as norse as Luigi. The viking ships which are pretty important to the plot are built in a matter of days and change size greatly from scene to scene. In one scene two or three men operate the boat and in the next the same boat holds ten times as many. This series is not history and not even plausible fantasy. Expand
  3. Apr 25, 2014
    0
    First I'll talk about history / realism and second I'll talk about the continued white man propaganda.

    First Vikings is nothing more than a cheap knock off of Game of Thrones, which is just as badly written. It has no basis in history, reality. This show was a prime opportunity to educate the population about people they know NOTHING about, the vikings. Instead we get a copy of Game of
    First I'll talk about history / realism and second I'll talk about the continued white man propaganda.

    First Vikings is nothing more than a cheap knock off of Game of Thrones, which is just as badly written. It has no basis in history, reality. This show was a prime opportunity to educate the population about people they know NOTHING about, the vikings. Instead we get a copy of Game of Thrones. I get it. The History channel is trying to compete. But there is no rule that says you can't have super engaging writing, with complete historical accuracy.

    The story paints vikings as these monolithic, super tactical, monstrous white men, that had perfectly elaborate caste system and government, with millions of Vikings in each city that was apparently connected by cobblestone roads. They also put the stupid feminist agenda usual plot device that women were equal to men, if not even more so, with them killing 300lb 6'7 white men, with nothing more than a butter knife, and a few punches.

    If you need to get your female worth from a tv show...

    Secondly this is nothing more than the continued white propaganda that is shoved down the world's throat. "ooooh white people are so cool, yet feminists" Scandinavian countries boast the largest population today, than at any time in history. What's the average population of Scandinavian countries today? 300,000 each. So literally the largest Viking "city" was nothing more than a hamlet with 500 people in it. And women were not equal to men.

    Humans cannot treat women as equals. The very instance humans treat women as equally as men, it means that women start dying 10 years earlier than they do now, female infant mortality raises, female child death raises, female young adult death raises, female criminal death raises, child rearing stops.

    The Vikings did not treat their women equally. No historical society ever treated women equally. Because women bear the children of humans. If the human race is to survive, women have to be protected and not treated equal to men.

    Had Vikings treated their women equally, there would be empty lands north of Germany, today.

    This show is not just bad to watch, but will put bad information into anyone that watches it. You come away thinking that you now know "something" about an old human culture. In fact, there were not giant white men, who were warlike, that conquered organized people.

    In reality, given all the history of the european white man, the French were far scarier and dominating and organized than any other nation or people on the european continent. And, that's excluding the Napoleon era.

    Avoid this show at all costs.
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  4. Apr 25, 2013
    0
    I heard of the show a few weeks ago from some friends as they knew i
    was really into Scandinavian History.
    So i started watching and i got annoying right from the very first scene. There they are a bunch of people fighting each other and the obvious protagonists wear no helmets.Later on the show ,only the guys who have absolutely no idea whatsoever of fighting wear helmets(aka
    I heard of the show a few weeks ago from some friends as they knew i
    was really into Scandinavian History.

    So i started watching and i got annoying right from the very first
    scene. There they are a bunch of people fighting each other and the
    obvious protagonists wear no helmets.Later on the show ,only the guys
    who have absolutely no idea whatsoever of fighting wear helmets(aka
    Northumbrians),it seems the Vikings have heads of steel and are able to
    deflect whatever comes against them with their bare skull.

    5 minutes later i am shown a gorgeous woman doing some karate-ninja
    moves and kills 2 men.Yeah i know ,she is supposed to be a shield
    maiden or whatever but there goes an absolute realism
    killer.Pretty/slim/2013 top model style women and killing machines
    doesn't really go together.

    I am not going to get into the subject of the eyeliner of the kings
    wife(apparently the shield maiden also has some when fighting-what
    for???) nor the fact that vikings were supposed to not know how to
    sail to the west before Ragnar, as i am covered by previous reviews.

    Then there is the worst anachronistic stuff that we see in almost every
    single movie/series,the whole story of a pretty young girl marrying an
    ugly,dumb,annoying etc etc (they REALLY try to make you hate this
    guy,like a voice behind your ear he is bad,oh poor poor girl that
    tries to force you to think something). Women were married to ugly men
    because of political reasons and guess what it was OK.No annoying
    queen talking back to the king -eeew our daughter should marry out of
    love- its just the way it was.

    What really pissed me off though is the insane absence of ANY sense
    concerning battle tactics.Northumbrians are depicted as
    blind,deaf,legless and armless sacks of meat ready to be butchered by
    the protagonists who are SO super cool,i mean what the hell, my cat
    would put more of a fight then those poor soldiers.

    On their first contact they see a bunch of hulking giants with axes and
    shields and grim looks(still no helmets) on their faces and the
    director thought it would be cool if Northumbrians thought they were
    traders(???).

    Oh and also,what is your first reaction when u see a band of armed
    giants?Get close to them and dismount.Yeah.

    The band of Northumbrians that waited at the ship Ragnar to attack him
    had archers with them.Did they fire arrows at them or lay ed an
    ambush?Hah but of course they did not,they waited for the vikings to
    make a shield-wall and THEN they fired(they were at least 2 times more
    then the vikings and they made absolutely no trying to encircle them).

    Last but not least,the sense of obviousness is killing me. Is Ragnar going to die on the raid to his village or on the fight with the Earl?Of course not he is the hero and as we all know,children and Ragnar kind of characters are immortals. Did the deceitful king of Northumbria (you guys could add serpent eyes to him,that would make him look even more deceitful) honor his deal with the honorable monk slayer Ragnar?Of course not,he is laying a wicked ambush an ambush which consists of some horsemen running against a spiked fence -. Is the guy that cries all the time bout not getting to Valhalla,getting killed in the first battle he takes part?Of course he is,he leaves his last breath while on his dried lips a last word is whispered..Valhalla..Yeah okay what is next, the bad guy standing on a hill cackling like a maniac(having his hands,well you know how)during a rainy night while thunderbolts strike the ground behind him?Every episode was full of those Clich├ęs. I could go on and on but i am going to stop here. This is a really bad attempt to make something that will just sell.No idea what the History CH is doing there ,i guess its involved to sell the -this is based on a true story- stuff. It is however a great thing to watch while you eat in front of your computer and you just want to watch something without caring what is happening.. Thanks for reading!
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  5. Apr 28, 2013
    3
    I have only seen the first two episodes, but so far "Vikings" throws realism and historical accuracy out the window quite a few times to often for my taste. Given the commercials etc., I did not expect the show to compromise and disregard real life knowledge for the sake of drama more than once in a while; definitely not in every other scene as the case seems to be. It is not a bad series,I have only seen the first two episodes, but so far "Vikings" throws realism and historical accuracy out the window quite a few times to often for my taste. Given the commercials etc., I did not expect the show to compromise and disregard real life knowledge for the sake of drama more than once in a while; definitely not in every other scene as the case seems to be. It is not a bad series, just not at all what was advertised. Expand
  6. Apr 13, 2014
    4
    The dialogues are stale and not memorable. The fighting scenes are cool when you first watch it, but every other battle scene beyond the 1st feels like a repeat of the previous. The plot is pretty annoying, it feels more and more as if the creators are driving the events by "what would be more cool" that'll happen rather than "what would make sense". What's the problem? The problem is thatThe dialogues are stale and not memorable. The fighting scenes are cool when you first watch it, but every other battle scene beyond the 1st feels like a repeat of the previous. The plot is pretty annoying, it feels more and more as if the creators are driving the events by "what would be more cool" that'll happen rather than "what would make sense". What's the problem? The problem is that this is not a choice, a good creator would manage to combine the "cool" part with the part that makes sense. The plot suffers from alot of inaccuracy and sometimes characters that are presented "wise" are doing things that are strictly stupid just for the outcome of battles and fake intrigue. (I would give examples but it would spoil alot, find it yourself.)
    There is almost no character background or development. Alot of historical inaccuracy and the added fiction they made was silly(The priests without eyes made me laugh)
    HOWEVER. The show is watchable. It's not a good show that is all.
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  7. Apr 3, 2014
    0
    I really wanted to get into this show. But the more I watch this the more its starting to remind me of those nights in my childhood when my Grandmother HAD to be in front of the TV for "Dallas". Yep! This show is nothing more than Dallas set in the early middle ages. This show should be on the Soap channel, not History.
  8. Jul 28, 2014
    3
    I came to this show looking to learn about real viking culture, I was unpleasantly surprised. This show throws history out the window in an attempt to reel in game of thrones fans, I cant believe its on the history channel. But if you forget about that it becomes a decent show with an interesting theme, great landscape pretty good costumes, and some nice and gory battles. I wouldI came to this show looking to learn about real viking culture, I was unpleasantly surprised. This show throws history out the window in an attempt to reel in game of thrones fans, I cant believe its on the history channel. But if you forget about that it becomes a decent show with an interesting theme, great landscape pretty good costumes, and some nice and gory battles. I would recommend this if you don't have anything else to watch and you like game of thrones but don't walk away from this thinking you have learned lots about the vikings because you haven't. Expand
  9. Sep 10, 2014
    1
    Being a Scandinavian and a former history student, this series gives me a headache. It's authenticity is very low and the setting and behaviour of the characters reminds much more of som kind of flimsy dystopian samurai movie. The fact that its mostly filmed in all other places than Scandinavia could contribute to this. This series is an example of bad understanding of norse mentality andBeing a Scandinavian and a former history student, this series gives me a headache. It's authenticity is very low and the setting and behaviour of the characters reminds much more of som kind of flimsy dystopian samurai movie. The fact that its mostly filmed in all other places than Scandinavia could contribute to this. This series is an example of bad understanding of norse mentality and understanding of the world at that time. In short; this is a huge let down. Expand
Metascore
71

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: 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]
  2. 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.
  3. 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.