The History Channel’s new scripted series Vikings premieres at 10 p.m. Sunday, March 3, and it is a brutal, suspenseful, and action-packed historical drama that leaves you intrigued with its opening chapter. Throughout the pilot episode your emotions will run wild, much like the barbaric race that was known as the Vikings, and by the end of it you will be wondering where the rest of the season will lead.
For once this winter season, the audience will see characters with actual depth, a story line worth following, and true chemistry among members of a family. Although Vikings is about the “untold legendary world of the mighty Norsemen,” this series is at heart a tale of a Viking family.
The head of the family is Ragnar Lothbrock (Travis Fimmel) and he is a doting husband, attentive father, and a young farmer. It’s a life many Vikings would kill to have. Yet Ragnar becomes tired of the placid raids that Chieftain Earl Haraldson (Gabriel Bryne) sends the Vikings on every summer.
Going to the East toward Russia and the Baltic States bring no new resources to the Vikings. The East is just as poor as the raiders themselves. Ragnar converses with his brother Rollo (Clive Standen) about Chieftain Haraldson’s repeating docile missions and how promising the West could possibly be for the Vikings in terms of new materials and resources.
The eventual plot will most likely be around Ragnar and Rollo defying the Chieftain’s orders. They will sail West with their own boat (the comic relief, Floki, builds for Ragnar) and what must eventually be a trusting crew to follow the brothers.
A prospective plot will also be based around the ancient gods whom the Vikings worshipped: Oden, Thor, Freya, and Loki. The promise of a future story line around these ancient gods is just the cherry on top of a well written series with outstanding actors who are truly believable as Vikings.
One of the wonderful key players is Ragnar’s, wife Lagertha (Katheryn Winnick). She is a shield maiden not to be messed with, even at times where she is home with only her daughter and the men of the house are away. It is a sigh of relief to finally see an actress portray the bad ass character she is written to be. You will cheer her fierceness on and beg for more of it. Winnick is a great choice for the aggressive yet sensual Lagertha.
The reason the series is generally believable is because the actors and scenes portray human emotions in a brilliant manner. The characters are comically open about basic human nature when it comes to sex and bodily functions, which is how many people act when they are around close friends and family. But the complex emotions like trust, betrayal, revenge, greed, and death are shown muddled and convoluted, just like they are in real life. Therefore the characters seem real, like you could reach out and touch them even though it has been hundreds of years since the Vikings have sailed the seas.
Vikings is a marvelous piece of work and will be one hell of a ride to watch. Not only will it leave you aching for more, but Vikings will also instill what seems like valuable, valid information about the Viking era.