User Score
8.5

Universal acclaim- based on 239 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 11 out of 239

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  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!
  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.
  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
  4. Mar 6, 2013
    10
    Awesome, pure awesome. This is why we watch History Channel. This is no doubt their best docudrama since Hatfields and Mccoys. Trust me, you should watch it immediately.
  5. Apr 6, 2013
    10
    Vikings came out of nowhere and has shot to the top of my favorites list. It has gorgeous cinematography, characters with substance, and plots that are perfectly paced and gripping to watch. It's so good immersive and even relaxing to watch at times. I'm so glad it's been renewed for a second season. It transports me to another time and place after a hard day at work like no other show I've watched in a long time. If you haven't seen it yet you are missing out! Expand
  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 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
    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
    Expand
  8. 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.
  9. Mar 12, 2013
    10
    History presented this way is awesome! I really like how they managed to bring the Vikings, their families and their beliefs back to life. It let people get more familiar with our human roots, how people who had to "set sails" for new shores influenced at least the whole Europe and the middle east. Even for those who are not interested in history, it is a must watch. No fantasy. Just saga.
  10. Mar 4, 2013
    8
    Very interesting new show from The History Channel. It feels very Game of Thrones-esque. While it is a bit early to make a complete judgment on the show, I will say that it has captured my interest. The characters seem to be well developed and well acted. The setting is interesting and the cinematography awe-inspiring. Can't wait to see more!
  11. Mar 12, 2013
    10
    This is not Game of thrones this is something else a real attempt to make at TV-show of early Vikings. I think after two episodes they succeeded its a great show trying to be true to its time. Good story great casting, dirty and pagan as it should be with Asatro. The Vikings were the true explorers of America and great tradesmen as explorers. Go see it, we do in Scandinavia
  12. Mar 12, 2013
    10
    This is a great first show from History channel. The acting is great, the scenes are awesome, the plot fantastic, and knowing it is made by he History channel one can trust its content. I could only image what it would be like on a prem cable channel. Still a fantastic show!
  13. Mar 31, 2013
    9
    This is a BRUTAL, EXCITING, and ENTERTAINING storyline. Unlike so many shows that get boring after the premiere and dont pick back up until the finale (the walking dead with a ton of filler) Vikings actually keeps its momentum! It is not my favorite show when compared to game of thrones, dexter, etc. but I really do enjoy this show quite a bit! MAJOR props to the history channel! I strongly suggest Vikings! Expand
  14. 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.
  15. Mar 29, 2013
    9
    With every episode the show gets better and better. The attention to detail and historical accuracy is rather incredible. Vikings is easily one of the best shows on television right now. Cast and crew are doing an amazing job. Especially Travis Fimmel whose shoulders the show rests on. Four episodes in and I'd call myself a big fan. And lastly there is no need to compare it to Rome or Game of Thrones because Vikings stands tall on its own two legs. Can't wait to see where the shows writers take the show. Collapse
  16. Apr 27, 2013
    8
    This is far more better than overrated Game of thrones full of surprises and tally with the history and well acted TV show. People should appreciated this kind of hard work rather than overrated TV shows such as Game of thrones.
  17. Apr 11, 2013
    7
    By no means a "poor man's Spartacus," you will find sword waving, revenge, deception, and familiar plot lines in comfortable abundance. That this is a History Channel production might also mean you'll find a bit more historical fact, but the temptations of Viking cliches often prove too alluring for the script to ignore. All in all, well crafted, surprisingly well acted, and at times breath-taking Irish landscapes helped by only a little CGI. While the plot can be a bit wonky at times, their is something endearing and admirable that will keep audiences coming back for more raping and pillaging. In that sense, sympathetic protagonists are slightly in want. Expand
  18. 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.
  19. Apr 14, 2013
    10
    I adore this new show, The Vikings. It makes you learn some history and the scenery is gorgeous. Also, love the cast! Travis Trimmel is wonderful as Ragnor and his wife is a fierce warrior. It transports you back into the 8th-11th centuries of Viking existence and reign.
  20. 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 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 Clichés. 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! Expand
  21. May 15, 2013
    9
    Instead of a review, I'll do a comparison: If you loved The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, you're really, really, really, really going to enjoy this. The scenery is ABSOLUTELY beautiful and the production values are very high. I still can't believe I'd never heard of it before last week, the advertisement campaign for this was definitely underfunded.
  22. Apr 1, 2013
    8
    I really enjoy this show but I have a question. Who are the people who live in the Ragnar's village and why are the so unimportant? When a boy is taken as a hostage and never returns (he is murdered), no one blinks. And when the chieftan raids the village and kills everybody in sight (except the people he wants to kill, Ragnar and his family), Rangar's wife complains while at Loki's that the family lost all of its livestock, not that there was an unwarranted massacre Expand
  23. Jul 20, 2013
    10
    Great show, with political intrigue, with great historical settings and environments. The fighting is top notch as well, and veers away from the common, and flawed, hollywood perception of bettles consisting of countless individual duels. Overall, one of my favorite shows! Can't wait for season 2!!!
  24. May 2, 2013
    7
    Very decent show, that clearly fails to be excellent because of flat and boring character development and the lack of gore and realism (northmen leaving the shieldwall to fight 300 style anybody? :D).
  25. May 6, 2013
    7
    Vikings has its moments, and when it does it captivates the brutality and simplicity of the Norsemen which is very well bolstered by some great performances, most notably by Travis Fimmel. Unfortunately, not all of the acting is consistent and some of the characters are underdeveloped or underwritten. The plot is engaging enough to keep you wanting more but is far from intriguing or thrilling enough to want to watch again. Expand
  26. Mar 18, 2013
    9
    To complain the characters have no morals, rational thinking nor guilt is kind of silly, is it not?

    I think that might possibly describe your typical Viking…
  27. Mar 21, 2013
    10
    vikings is yet one of the amazing series of this year the scenario is different then our typical series thing that made me love it more is how women are treated the same in battle field where they can fight and protect themselves death blood glory
  28. 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
    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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  29. 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. 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
  30. Apr 1, 2013
    10
    Simply an awesome series with a great story line and plot. The one hour time slot flies by. Cant wait for Sunday night now. This would have made a great movie along the lines of Braveheart for the big screen. Also 1 more thing great acting
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: 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.