Vikings: Season 1 (2013)

vikings season 1 poster


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

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