Vikings: Season 1 (2013)

vikings season 1 poster

*CONTAINS SPOILERS*

What I liked:

  • The documentary/series style presentation.
  • The costume and set design was fantastic. I have to hand it to them – everything looked authentic and beautiful.
  • The “court” proceedings.
  • The rituals were grand and detailed.
  • The score complemented the show every step of the way.
  • The opening credits/intro. I just loved that song, the scenery, the imagery, all of it.
  • The women were also strong, not merely there to bear children and keep house. They were respected, and they were warriors.
  • The relationship between Ragnar and Lagertha. It was deep and complex and multi-layered. I also love that she was by his side is every way – not just at home, but in battle, too.
  • The scenery is stunning. All the panning shots of Scandinavia and England was gorgeous.
  • Travis Fimmel was a stroke of genius to portray Ragnar. He captured his cheekiness, his fearlessness, his love for his family, his loyalty. He also seems just that little bit off the rails, detached from certain things, and I like that.
  • Gustaf Skarsgård as Floki. I absolutely adore this character. He is amusing as hell, loyal, different and most certainly a scene stealer.
  • The distinct differences portrayed between the Scandinavian gods and Christianity from the west.
  • How seriously Floki took his faith, and his disgust that Rollo would be baptised – it just showed you that faith was no mockery for him.
  • The friendship between Athelstan , the priest, and Ragnar. Initially this started as something cold, but I loved how it warmed up between them, and how Athelstan tries to find a way to fit into his new Scandinavian home.
  • The Seer (Kattegat’s oracle) looked terrifying, epic and brutal. The Seer truly highlights the difference in religions.
  • The brutality and purity of the Angel of Death.
  • The gradual decay between Ragnar and Rollo is heavy to watch. It starts so subtly, and before you know it, they are openly at odds.

vikings season 1 floki and ragnar

What I didn’t like:

  • Yes, yes, petty me, but the sudden switch to English. I understand why it was necessary, but there were a few times you had to remember why this Norseman could suddenly chat with the Saxons, but bear in mind that he was the only one in his lot that could understand them.
  • Another small thing, but how the accents slipped from time to time. Jarring.
  • The battle scenes were great on one hand, but really tame on the other.

vikings season 1 beach landing

Rating:
GRADE 8
WOW! What a show this is! I really love Norse mythology and lore, etc. I think it is fascinating and wonderful and intricate and strange, so naturally this was going to grab my attention. Plus, the vikings are fascinating. The brutality, the way they did things, the raiding, all of it. This show was so appealing. It starts with a bang, in the battlefields, and it progresses from there, introducing us to Ragnar, having us follow him on. His simple life of a farmer and his relationship with his wife show us a whole different side of the man, and it is something else. Seeing how Ragnar found a way to take the ships West was something to experience, and just getting on board with the raid had me hooked. Meeting Floki and watching the building of the boats was something that I liked, as the vikings were renowned for their ships. Vikings was also lucky because it had some pretty damn good camera work to carry out the epic story. Athelstan was a character I found to be incredibly intriguing, what with his plight from being snatched from England and moving to a Scandinavian country. He changes from being a regular slave to being brought into Ragnar’s confidences, teaching the man as well as learning from him. I was crushed to see him taken with to Uppsala for the rituals, and I was really glad to know that he escaped becoming a sacrifice. I was enthralled with that sequence of events, it was another look into their religion. Also, who the hell knew that Fimmel had it in him to be such an outstanding viking? Looking at his pictures and his other work, I would never have thought he could pull off the role of Ragnar, never mind owning it like he does. I thoroughly enjoyed that the history was presented as a story in a series way, which is great. Vikings depicted how ruthless the Norsemen were, and I was so happy to see that they didn’t have the helmets that have become so popular nowadays. Vikings also shows us how much warring there was among themselves and not only with the raids across the lands. It peeved me that Ragnar hooked up with the princess, even though I was waiting for it after he spoke to the gods about the woman who would bear him children. Not the point, I was with Bjorn in my unhappiness with Ragnar and his stupid mistake, especially seeing as I felt his marriage to Lagertha was damn near perfect. Then let me talk about Floki: can I just mention how much I adored this character? He was amazing, hilarious, always around Ragnar, and he was loyal as hell. Gustaf Skarsgård’s casting was also just a thing of beauty, and I really felt that Floki could contribute so well to a scene as well as steal it. It seems the Skarsgård family is always destined to provide favourite characters and entertainment. If you have not picked up from my writings here, I cannot recommend Vikings enough.

vikings season 1 temple uppsala

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26 thoughts on “Vikings: Season 1 (2013)

  1. emmakwall says:

    Really good review Zoe!

    My best friend loves this show, she’s always harping on about it. She says it’s “very exciting” and “full of good looking men” – I suppose not much to dislike! In all seriousness though it does sound good. I don’t have Sky but perhaps I could watch it somewhere else 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Zoë says:

      Thanks Emma!

      I cannot recommend this show enough! Listen to your friend, she’s on to something there 😉

      It’s exciting and thrilling and incredibly well put together, totally worth checking out. Hope you can find it somewhere, I would love to hear what you think about it! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • emmakwall says:

        I will definitely find it somewhere 🙂

        That’s two good reviews I’ve heard from people I know I can trust! So I’d be foolish not to.

        I’ve never watched a drama from the History Channel, usually it’s Pawn Stars or Counting Cars! Can’t wait 🙂 and I’ll let you know my verdict!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Zoë says:

        YAAAAAAAAAAAY!

        Well, now my fingers are crossed!

        I didn’t even know they did things like this, to be very honest. When I was told I thought my friend was pulling my leg, and then I watched it and I was like whoa, this is such an interesting concept!

        Looking forward to it!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Tim The Film Guy says:

    I love this show. Can’t wait for season 3. My favourite moments are when they end in England. Not because I am English but because the idea of cultures colliding in such a medieval time is fascinating to watch. Especially in a show so historically accurate 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  3. robbinsrealm says:

    The pros vastly outweigh the cons, according to what you have listed. I have had the opportunity to watch the show on a number of occasions, and I have always passed it up. I am going to change that based on all that you mentioned, in your blog.

    Thank you for sharing, the series sounds very interesting.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. snapcracklewatch says:

    Great write-up Zoe, I love this show too! I am a fan of all the history with Vikings and I think the show presents it in a fun way while still giving us historical pieces of info. After I watched the show I found out Floki was a Skarsgard, then it all made sense, no wonder he’s a good character he’s a Skarsgard! Oh hi, can I meet your brother Alexandar?! Have you seen the other brother who is on the show Hemlock Grove? And can we mention how hot Travis Fimmel is… he has to be in the next afternoon delight special. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Zoë says:

      Thanks lady! It’s just a wicked cool show! The vikings are fascinating, and I love the way they got clever about presenting the history like this. So entertaining 🙂 Ah, those Skarsgards! I have been meaning to get to Hemlock Grove… I promised Eric I would watch Deadwood first and then I promised Natasha I would watch Homeland, but then I promise you I will watch Hemlock Grove, lol! So much to watch, so little time!

      Uh oh… I think Eric will cry is he sees me take over one more time for that 😉

      Like

  5. caragale says:

    Well, since this contains spoilers I will stay away for now because I’ve considered giving this one a whirl, and since I see you gave it such a favorable score, I may have to bump it up my long, long list a bit! Lol.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Zoë says:

      🙂 We all have these ridiculously long lists. I started Salem yesterday, and let me tell you, I am seriously underwhelmed so far :/

      Hope you enjoy this when you eventually get to it, I thought it was awesome!

      Liked by 1 person

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