I've been looking forward to a viking film or TV series for many years, and when my wishes were finally granted, I was very worried that this production was going to be total crap. After viewing the first two episodes I do not worry about that anymore. Thank you, Odin:-)
As a person of some historical knowledge of the viking era, I can point out numerous flaws - but they don't ruin the story for me, so I will let them slip. Historical accounts about those days are, after all, not entirely reliable.
Happy to see Travis Fimmel in a role that totally suits him. A physical and intense character, with that spice of humor that is the viking trademark from the sagas. Gabriel Byrne plays a stern leader, that made me think of him in "Prince of Jutland", and Clive Standen seems like he's going to surprise us.
Been pondering the Game of Thrones comparison, since I love that show too, but in my opinion Vikings has its own thing going on. Way fewer lead characters to begin with, and also a more straight forward approach. Plenty of room for more series with this high class!
Can I wish for more than the planned nine episodes, PLEASE!!!
The most important legacy they left us is our language. Norse words are so imbedded in modern English that we’re unaware of them, while we’re more apt to notice the French and Latin derived words in our vocabulary. Roberta Frank in the Yale English department came up with a paragraph that she allowed me to use in my book "A New History of the Viking Age,” which — with the exception of articles and prepositions — is composed entirely of Norse-derived words. The first sentence is:
Regarding the historical accuracy of the show, comments that "I especially had to take liberties with ‘Vikings’ because no one knows for sure what happened in the Dark Ages" and that "we want people to watch it. A historical account of the Vikings would reach hundreds, occasionally thousands, of people. Here we’ve got to reach millions." When was asked why she licked the seer's hand she answered "It wasn’t originally in the script and we just wanted to come up with something unique and different".
Winroth is professor and director of graduate studies in history. His most recently published book is “The Conversion of Scandinavia: Vikings, Merchants, and Missionaries in the Remaking of Northern Europe” (Yale University Press, 2011). His forthcoming volume, "A New History of the Viking Age,” will be published by Princeton University Press in 2014. YaleNews spoke with Winroth recently about some of the issues raised in his “On Point” interview. The following is an edited transcript.