Season #: 1, 2, 3
Vikings Image
Metascore
71

Generally favorable reviews - based on 20 Critics What's this?

User Score
8.5

Universal acclaim- based on 394 Ratings

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  • Starring: , ,
  • Summary: Ragnar Lothbrok (Travis Fimmel) defies local Viking chief Earl Haraldson's (Gabriel Byrne) orders and sets out to plunder lands to the West.
  • Genre(s): Drama, Action & Adventure
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 17 out of 20
  2. Negative: 0 out of 20
  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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]
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.

See all 20 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 62 out of 77
  2. Negative: 7 out of 77
  1. May 4, 2014
    10
    Better than Game of Thrones.
    Compelling writing and story telling combined with superb acting shows it is possible to make such an engrossing
    Better than Game of Thrones.
    Compelling writing and story telling combined with superb acting shows it is possible to make such an engrossing and captivating show without a huge budget.
    Travis Fimmel as Ragnar Lothbrok is mesmerizing and the accompanying characters portrayed by great actors are awesome. Floki played by Gustaf Skarsgård is addictive.
    I hope this show carry's on for many seasons to come, as it will remain one of my favorites for as long as it runs.
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  2. Mar 15, 2014
    10
    Brilliant series, wish the seasons were longer, but they're still interesting to watch. I was shown one and just didn't stop. I hope, being onBrilliant series, wish the seasons were longer, but they're still interesting to watch. I was shown one and just didn't stop. I hope, being on the history channel, there is a good amount of historical accuracy to them too, not an area I have studied to know unfortunately.

    I've noticed a few reviews suggest this is not a show for people who have watched all of Spartacus or read and watched Game of Thrones. I disagree having done both and believe it is ultimately personal opinion whether anyone enjoys this show. The storyline may not be exceptionally intricate, but it has its moments and it is not entirely fantasy, which gives it limitations.
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  3. Mar 19, 2013
    10
    An interesting mix of drama and history, that seems to well illustrate the differences between these ancient pagan warriors beliefs andAn 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. Expand
  4. Oct 12, 2013
    9
    Vikings is a historical drama and adventure TV series directed and written by Michael Hirst ('The Tudors','Elizabeth'), for the televisionVikings is a historical drama and adventure TV series directed and written by Michael Hirst ('The Tudors','Elizabeth'), for the television channel History.
    It premiered on March 3rd 2013, with 6.21 million U.S viewers for the first episode 'Rites of Passage'. It currently has a full one season, that includes nine 42-44 minutes episodes, and season 2 in process (which will include 10 episodes and will release somewhere in 2014).

    The show is based on a very annoyed and skilled Viking, named Ragner Lothbrok, who is played by Travis Fimmel ('Restraint', 'The Experiment').
    His Earl is perhaps not the best example of a true Viking. Many of his people are fed up with the fact that each year the Earl commands they raid to the east, to the lands they know. A safe and easy way, but one that sends them to raid people as poor as they are. Ragner, a farther of two and a loving husband, wants more than just enough money to get his family by. He is tired of it all, and so without gaining the permission of the Earl, he gathers a crew and builds a sturdy ship that will take them West. To a land rumoured of riches and gold.
    But what will happen if he gets more than he bargained for? What if all his actions lead to him becoming.. something far more than just a legend?

    I'd say this show is not exactly 'historically accurate', or as accurate as it can get.
    There are some major mistakes that I think are extremely important to correct, and are a big part of the Viking history -like the horned helmets the Vikings wore. That element is forever absent.
    But the actions, or ways, of the Vikings did manage to overlook that issue, and it made the characters and the show seem shockingly real.
    The director/writer gave a fabulous and excellent effort though.

    The actors and actresses are brilliant, I think only the best of the best can play in films or tv shows like this one, and these definitely did not disappoint.
    The Vikings are north Germanic people so the actors obviously had to learn their accents and even sometimes bits of another language, and they did it remarkably well. Not once did I hear, or perhaps notice, their accents slip. They were always the same and I just can't believe how outstanding they were!

    The cinematographer did a good job with filming, especially during battle scenes (I was actually quite shocked at how realistic the scenes looked). The camera was kept straight, occasionally went a bit all over the place and shaky, but I barely noticed. The music and costumes suited everything perfectly and I was pleased.

    Overall, Vikings is a really, really good new historical TV series that I think you will love if you're a fan of Game of Thrones, and movies like Braveheart and Conan The Barbarian.
    Though I highly advice you to at least watch 2-3 episodes to really get into it. The series is also 14+ due to violence and adult content, so if you're uncomfortable with that this is not something for you.
    But I personally love watching things like Vikings and nothing bothered me. The characters are great, and trust me, they will all find their way into your heart before you realize.
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  5. Jul 9, 2014
    8
    I love Vikings because Historical shows are my favorite genre and I can honestly say it amused me more than Game of Thrones this season (4).I love Vikings because Historical shows are my favorite genre and I can honestly say it amused me more than Game of Thrones this season (4). Weird, huh? Its still sacrilege to say that out loud in my house.

    BUT it does have its faults for being on the History Channel. I feel like a lot of backstory is being lost in the editing room to make time for commercial breaks and so some characters (Rollo) are not fully investigated yet play a crucial part in the show. The battle scenes are great though and as a woman, I truly truly enjoyed seeing a love triangle play out with the women being respectful and strong for themselves instead of playing dirty. We need more of that.
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  6. Jul 21, 2014
    7
    A normal series, but has everything to engage: Curious characters, an attractive culture and a progressive storyline. Nevertheless, charactersA normal series, but has everything to engage: Curious characters, an attractive culture and a progressive storyline. Nevertheless, characters are plain, the plot is unsophisticated and the dialogues are poor. Expand
  7. 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
    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!
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See all 77 User Reviews