Vikings Image
Metascore
70

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

User Score
8.5

Universal acclaim- based on 299 Ratings

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  • 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: 49 out of 61
  2. Negative: 5 out of 61
  1. Apr 6, 2014
    10
    Critics need to get it together, easily the best show on television. The only problem I have is it is on 10 episodes long. I hope it is renewed with twice the number of episodes for season three. Expand
  2. 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 Expand
  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 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 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.
    Expand
  5. 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! Expand
  6. May 2, 2014
    7
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. A fictional follow-up of an even more fictional viking called Ragnar, watch him as he goes into high adventure and becomes king by his own head, included are exaggerated characters(99% of the show) with 21st century liberal views of the world, militant feminism(in the sense that even the mythical sagas don't have as many woman warriors that get beaten, bruised and/or killed, as this show) and sexy vikings. Overall interesting to watch and better than most TV series out there. Expand
  7. 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 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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See all 61 User Reviews