Vikings : Season 1

Season #: 1, 2, 3
User Score
8.5

Universal acclaim- based on 422 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 20 out of 422

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  1. Sep 6, 2013
    6
    Vikings is an engaging narrative that teaches, so it differs from a traditional documentary, but it isn't quite a drama either. It's a genre I wouldn't mind seeing replicated.
  2. Apr 6, 2013
    5
    A passable series, though far from excellent. The dialogue is unsophisticated, and characters rather simple as well. Though, the sole exception would have to be actor Travis Fimmel, who shines quite brightly in his role as Ragnar (the series' protagonist). It's a shame "Vikings" is shackled by the network it airs on, and must pander to the History Channel's new dim-witted demographic.
  3. Mar 11, 2013
    5
    The Viking Religion

    Vikings are awesome, as are the myths of pre-Christian Scandinavia that come with them. There are giant hammers, eight-legged horses and Ragnarok, in which the universe is kicked to death by fire and the bad guys pilot a ship made of corpse fingernails. It's like one giant, eternal '80s metal album cover. But for many people those who feel a deep connection to Norse
    The Viking Religion

    Vikings are awesome, as are the myths of pre-Christian Scandinavia that come with them. There are giant hammers, eight-legged horses and Ragnarok, in which the universe is kicked to death by fire and the bad guys pilot a ship made of corpse fingernails. It's like one giant, eternal '80s metal album cover. But for many people those who feel a deep connection to Norse culture, want to join a prison gang or are just angry at their parents for making them get up early for church when they were young Scandinavian paganism is alive and well, known as Odinism or Asatru by modern followers.

    The Reality:

    You're begging us now, "Please, don't tell us that all of that stuff about Thor and his hammer, Odin, Loki and other Marvel properties are made up to sell some books!" Unfortunately, our dedication to the truth is only seconded by our dedication to killing your dreams. Pretty much everything we know about Scandinavian paganism comes from the Eddas, two books compiled in the 13th century by a guy with the hilarious, Muppet-like name of Snorri Sturluson.

    But wait, the 13th century's still pretty old, right? Yes, but there's a problem here: Snorri wrote the books several hundred years after Scandinavia had been Christianized. Oh, and Snorri himself wasn't exactly a true believer: he declared that the "gods" he was writing about were just dead heroes who got talked up later.

    That would be bad enough, but Snorri's collections also contained elements that seem to be cribbed from the hot new religion, like Odin sacrificing himself by hanging on a tree and getting pierced by a spear. In fact, some buzzkill scholars have even suggested that Ragnarok itself is no more than a retelling of the end of paganism under Christianity, or even a co-opted version of the Biblical book of Revelation. Basically, Snorri was working at the end of a 200-year-old religious telephone game, and we've just got no way of knowing what was in the original version and what was the result of one guy saying, "You know what religion needs? More giant hammers."

    Read more: http://www.cracked.com/article_19283_7-ancient-forms-mysticism-that-are-recent-inventions_p2.html#ixzz2NFlWZGJI
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  4. Apr 29, 2013
    5
    Here's the best thing I could conjure up to say about ‘The Vikings’ it’s not bad. And that is pretty much all it has going for it it’s not bad and the writing is not poor, the cinematography is rather good actually. Any comparison to HBOs ‘Game Of Thrones’ is very unfair and infact I’d go ahead and say it’s an insult to the immensely imaginative world George RR Martin created. ThereHere's the best thing I could conjure up to say about ‘The Vikings’ it’s not bad. And that is pretty much all it has going for it it’s not bad and the writing is not poor, the cinematography is rather good actually. Any comparison to HBOs ‘Game Of Thrones’ is very unfair and infact I’d go ahead and say it’s an insult to the immensely imaginative world George RR Martin created. There isn’t a single character you’ll meet in ‘The Vikings’ whom you’ve not met before. Lot of people have suggested that it has a very complex plot I don’t get it, I didn’t see any complex plot (stopped watching after 4 episodes) or for that matter a relatively linear one too. Plenty of folks have given it a 10 I understand that, there is a demograph out there that’ll think this is a piece of art and the “plot” is incredible. How can you tell if you’r part of that demography did you read and like the work of George RR Martin? Are you a huge fan of ‘Game of Thrones’ Did you hate Spartacus the series not the fellow) If you answer in affirmative to any 2 of these questions then this is not the show for you. If you are not sure what affirmative means then this just might be the series which will occupy the number one slot on your best of the decade list and I sincerely hope you enjoy it. Expand
  5. 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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  6. 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
  7. Mar 10, 2013
    5
    The characters have no morals, rational thinking nor guilt, there isn't a character which you can cheer for. Even With a Game Of Thrones vibe and beautiful landscapes, it isn't enough too fully enjoy.
  8. Mar 23, 2013
    5
    This show suffers from a lot of modern cinema issues that bother me which I'll not dock it for in score however other aspects I most certainly will such as poor writing, historical inaccuracies, and character development.

    Vikings in general is fairly well filmed and the acting is quite good with a decent premise laid out in front of us after the pilot. That said I cannot stand some
    This show suffers from a lot of modern cinema issues that bother me which I'll not dock it for in score however other aspects I most certainly will such as poor writing, historical inaccuracies, and character development.

    Vikings in general is fairly well filmed and the acting is quite good with a decent premise laid out in front of us after the pilot. That said I cannot stand some aspects that made me start fast-forwarding through the second episode and eventually give up on this series. I have never seen Game of Thrones, Spartacus, or Rome so no worries, no comparisons there.

    In general you want to like Vikings, you really do. You can see the sheer amount of effort put into acting, writing, filming, creating the sets, etc. They really did try. The two main things that bother me are its inability to decide if its historically inaccurate, and if its going to be drama or action. They truly skimped on having experts to consult (or refusing to consult them). When watching Vikings you feel like you're watching one of those old Vietnam anti-war movies that want you to take them seriously but in the back of your head your brain is screaming at how ridiculously inaccurate it all is. Its hard to take a movie about Vikings seriously when 90% of the characters just ooze sex-icon from every pore. The main character is some hot, punk looking young man, who DOESN'T want to see this guy succeed? This brings me to my other gripe which is how poor the character development is.

    In a good action series you want action AT LEAST in the majority of the show. Since in even the pilot it already lacks that I'm going to go with 'drama'. Ok, so in a drama you want to see very fleshed out characters put into tough situations. Not so in Vikings! Aside from having a slightly inflated ego (who can blame him?) the main character is much too secure. I don't blame the actor as he does fine with portraying the role given to him its just how ridiculously bland and vanilla he is. To top it off we have an equally egotistical 'villain' (the chieftain) who thrives off power and will violently hold a grudge against someone (although he decides to 'wait and see' what the main character does which made NO sense to me). Also the 'drama' already being stirred up is just simply childish. The characters seem to hate each other for even the tinniest little things and sometimes quite random ones (what the heck was with the brother/wife scene??? Seriously?).

    Overall kudos to you if you can sit through such a bland 'soap opera' of drama, historical inaccuracy, and lack of any action to break the monotony. To top it off they use that GOD AWFUL 'free hand' camera with a zoom lens in most scenes with dialogue. Thankfully its not the Bourne Identity 'shake the camera to show action' or Battlestar Galactica 'zoom so far you can see the outlines of their face pores' camera work. Still annoying and noticeable at points. Is there some sad lack of camera supports in the world because I'm running low on anti-nausea pills.

    To conclude though, I'd recommend skipping this series unless people start raving like mad monkeys about it because let's face it, you can always re-watch it if by some miracle this show's poor writing and such turns around completely.
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  9. Aug 30, 2014
    5
    All of the problems that others have mentioned about this show is all systemic of 1 major problem. That is, that this show doesn't quite know what it needs to be. It wants to be a gripping historical drama set during the viking age, It wants to have engaging complex characters, and it wants to be brutal and headscratching, and make you think differently about history and your own place inAll of the problems that others have mentioned about this show is all systemic of 1 major problem. That is, that this show doesn't quite know what it needs to be. It wants to be a gripping historical drama set during the viking age, It wants to have engaging complex characters, and it wants to be brutal and headscratching, and make you think differently about history and your own place in it. However, in trying to be all of that, it ends up none. It has the balls to torture a character, but it imposes its 21st century morality on the thing. Like in the middle of the season there is an episode where a viking raid is being conducted and one of raiders is raping a saxon woman. The viking woman that joined the raid tries to stop him because rape is wrong. Those are not the views of Viking Culture, but it is the views of the egalitarian fairness of the 21st century. It needs to actually delve into and understand Vikings not just the theme park version, but from the little parts, and how they make up the whole. It needs to be that, the same way Rome was or Deadwood was. It needs to take a step back, a deep breath, and have the audacity to show all of these different and interesting characters and put them in a place where we can love them or hate them as we feel they would be, and have them do interesting and thought provoking things. I want to give this show a chance, 1st seasons tend to be rocky, but as it is, it feels rather slapped together. If for nothing else other than the battle scenes, which are fantastic. 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.