Vikings (TV series)

JoanDrake

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#1
Okay, mainly a historical but I think it can be stretched to be SF as the Viking use of the Sunboard and Sunstone are not yet proven. Also gets into how the ships were invented and made.

Absolutely great story. Indications are it's possibly Game of Thrones but real. Also no 1 in its premiere and that was against American Idol.

Katherine Wikken plays a shield maiden and she's great. She was on Craig Ferguson last night and when he tried some Gaelic on her she gave him a few sentences in Ukrainian. I think I have a new candidate for sexiest language. :p
 

Connavar

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#2
No 1 in USA? Do they care about historical vikings.

I was impressed by the story and the serious tone. It has alot of promise. As long as they keep the realness of it. Its by the same creator as Tudors it can become real good.
 

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#4
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clovis-man

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#5
What? When? Where?!
In the U.S. it plays on Sunday evenings on the History channel. But you should be able to watch all the episodes on line here: http://www.history.com/shows/vikings

As an anthropologist by training, I have to say that aside from some dramatic license, it appears to be a pretty good portrayal of that particular set of historic circumstances. And it is well filmed and presented.
 

ctg

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#7
This is wonderful series. I have watched six episodes so far and the series just gets better further it goes. You can expect to see long boats, raids, Kingdom of North Cumberland, fascinatingly accurate life in the Viking communities and of course a clash between Christianity and Nordic religions.
 

clovis-man

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#8
After the Viking Burial episode, I feel like the story can now get moving.

Spoilers: Got both the Gabriel Byrne character and the annoying little baldheaded weasel out of the way. Now we can raid England and beat up on their misanthropes also.

I kept wondering where I had seen the actress who plays Siggy before. Turns out she was the nasty ex-wife of Mr. Schuester in Glee. Who knew?:rolleyes:
 

Parson

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#9
I have been enjoying the series too. A bit bloody for my taste, but the story and that action is very believable. Tonight's episode has left me wanting to see what will happen next in Scandinavia and if the new Earl's lady is going to be the true ruler, or perhaps deposed for being unable to bear another child?
 

ctg

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#10
This is so much better than the Game of Thrones even if the king of North Cumberland is a bit cheesy. And as much as I know all traditions, customs and styles are historically correct.

Parson said:
Tonight's episode has left me wanting to see what will happen next in Scandinavia and if the new Earl's lady is going to be the true ruler, or perhaps deposed for being unable to bear another child?
Surely she's able to carry another child as why a miscarriage would stop her being fruitful?
 

Parson

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#11
Surely she's able to carry another child as why a miscarriage would stop her being fruitful?
Well, I guess its something I've been thinking about since almost the beginning. They only have 2 older children and are obviously umm.. active. It's the tenth century so the likely answer is that she has difficulty carrying to term. We now have the prophecy of "lots of sons" and we have the former earl's wife in the house, so its not difficult to see something stirring there. Then we have the plotting brother and with the former Earl's wife to stir the mix even further.

(If you notice, I have a terrible time remembering and spelling the names of the characters and so I speak of them by their positions in the story.)
 

ctg

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#12
I'm really intrigued to see where does this lead as historically it was vikings, who build up York after they conquered the city from King Beothric. See this,

The first account of the Vikings appearing in England was in 787 on the south coast. They were greeted by the Saxon King Beorhtic, who they immediately killed. After the Vikings famously sacked the monastery and slaughtered the Christian monks at Lindisfarne in 793, they were feared throughout England. The Saxons defended themselves as best they could, but the Viking dragon ships, displaying their dreaded flag of a black raven on a blood red background, continued to raid English towns and churches.


In 866, the Danish Vikings' Great Army arrived in East Anglia. Unlike the previous raiding parties, many Viking leaders had combined their forces with the intention of conquering England, or at least taking one or more of the four main Anglo Saxon kingdoms (Northumberland in the North, Mercia in the Midlands, Wessex in the South and East Anglia in the East). King Edmund, the Anglo Saxon king of the kingdom of East Anglia, dared not fight them and bought peace, but the Vikings had bigger plans and their army marched on York.


At the time, York was the capital of the kingdom of Northumberland. Northumberland was in civil war, with two rival kings vying for the throne. It may have been this that attracted the Vikings, who may have sought to take advantage of their squabbles. However, the Saga of Ragnar Lodbrok claims that the Vikings deliberately targeted York to avenge the father of the two Viking leaders, Ivar and Halfdan (Halfdene), who one of the rival Anglo Saxon kings had cruelly murdered by casting him into a poisonous snake pit.
http://www.yorkvikingwalk.com/viking_conquest_of_york.htm
 

Nerds_feather

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#13
Okay, mainly a historical but I think it can be stretched to be SF as the Viking use of the Sunboard and Sunstone are not yet proven. Also gets into how the ships were invented and made.

Absolutely great story. Indications are it's possibly Game of Thrones but real. Also no 1 in its premiere and that was against American Idol.

Katherine Wikken plays a shield maiden and she's great. She was on Craig Ferguson last night and when he tried some Gaelic on her she gave him a few sentences in Ukrainian. I think I have a new candidate for sexiest language. :p
I'm enjoying the show a lot, and they do get a lot of things right about Vikings (dress, battle tactics, role of women, etc.).

However, this just makes the things they get wrong all the more glaring. The Jarl is really a mafia don, complete with consigliere, and mostly succeeds in controlling everything. This is just not how authority worked in pre-Christian and early-Christian Scandinavia--Jarls were big men with big followings and big tracts of land, who could afford to sponsor viking expeditions and could draw up relatively large groups of armed men (and women) when needed. But they did not, in any way, shape or form, determine who gets to raid where, or take all the spoils. Their power (and the power of kings) was circumscribed, to an even greater degree than it was in feudal Europe.
 

Nerds_feather

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#14
As for the actual historical accuracy of the story...not so much.

Ragnar Lothbruk is, historically speaking, almost certainly not real. Or rather, the legendary Ragnar is a mix of three different people--Ragnall, who helped found the viking settlement in Normandy (and whose brother was Rollo, as in the story); Ragnar son of Sigurd/Siegfried, a legendary figure who probably never existed or did in some form but in the distant past; and the Ragnar who settled in England and was supposedly killed by King Aela of Northumbria.

None of these figures raided the monastery at Lindesfarne.

Still, if you take the show as well-written and highly stylized fiction that gets closer to Viking reality than almost any treatment on film or TV (though that's not saying much), then it's quite good.
 

Daggers

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#15
Interesting, I haven't watched this. In fact this is the first I've heard of it (which is odd because I do like me some Vikings).

Looking at the character list on IMDB. We have Rollo, who as some of you may know was a direct ancestor of William the Conqueror and founder of the Principality of Normandy in 911. "Knut" I'm assuming is Cnut the great who nearly succeeded in conquering England in it's entirety in 1016.

With this in mind, I'm guessing historical accuracy was far from top of the list when they decided to write the series. However if it stands to be anything. It'll be damn good TV. I'll be looking into where and when I can watch it over here!
 

clovis-man

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#16
Ragnar Lothbruk is, historically speaking, almost certainly not real. Or rather, the legendary Ragnar is a mix of three different people--Ragnall, who helped found the viking settlement in Normandy (and whose brother was Rollo, as in the story); Ragnar son of Sigurd/Siegfried, a legendary figure who probably never existed or did in some form but in the distant past; and the Ragnar who settled in England and was supposedly killed by King Aela of Northumbria.
The name Ragnar gets tossed about quite a bit in story and in film. The composite in the History Channel series will probably wind up being the one murdered by the Northumbrian king. And Rollo is likely destined for more than just the disgruntled brother as a player in the drama.

In 1958 there was a big production film called The Vikings starring Kirk Douglas and Tony Curtis with Ernest Borgnine playing the part of the Viking leader named (you guessed it) Ragnar. It was based on a book by Edison Marshall which was, in turn derived from legends about Ragnar Lodbrok who, as it seems to go, "had many sons". In the book, the nasty Viking (Kirk Douglas) was called "Hasting Maidenface" a tongue-in-cheek reference to his disfigured mug. You can see how this all might play out. The possibilities are endless. I do expect the captured priest to play a more prominent role in, perhaps, a sociological/historical context. Unless, of course, they bump him off in tonight's episode. :D
 

Parson

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#17
Well, I know nothing of (as good as nothing) about Viking religion. Tonight's episode had Ragnar's "tribe" offering a human sacrifice. And he was one of nine human's sacrificed. I wouldn't be surprised if the worship of Thor et. al. had some human sacrifice involved but I find 9, especially 9 warriors as portrayed in the episode to be way over the top. Is there any historical accuracy to that?

Of, course I identify with the priest in this series, and from that level alone this is good T.V. (But I couldn't watch the sacrifice scenes. UGH!!!)
 

Nerds_feather

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#18
Well, I know nothing of (as good as nothing) about Viking religion. Tonight's episode had Ragnar's "tribe" offering a human sacrifice. And he was one of nine human's sacrificed. I wouldn't be surprised if the worship of Thor et. al. had some human sacrifice involved but I find 9, especially 9 warriors as portrayed in the episode to be way over the top. Is there any historical accuracy to that?
It's not known, but it's doubtful. The only "evidence" of human sacrifice is from the writings of Adam of Bremen, a Christian priest who traveled to Sweden and claimed there were human sacrifices at the holy grounds of Uppsala. But there is exactly ZERO archeological proof for this from excavations at Uppsala, and no evidence from rune stones or Icelandic sagas to suggest this occurred. In all likelihood, Adam of Bremen was just telling lurid stories to his fellow Christians back in Germany.

That said, the other form of human sacrifice featured in an earlier episode, where a slave girl is ceremonially killed so she could be buried with her master, is better established. The Arab historian Ibn Fadlan, who traveled extensively with the Rus (Swedish Vikings in present-day Russia and the Ukraine), wrote about this, and there are two instances of apparent archaeological evidence for this (one in Russia and one in Norway). However, even if true, it's not known how widespread the practice was or for how long it was practiced (and it couldn't have been that widespread, seeing how little evidence of it there is). But it's generally assumed to have been something that was done at least occasionally.
 

clovis-man

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#19
Good summation, Nerds. Plenty of speculation, but no real evidence. Makes you wonder why the History Channel countenanced this addition to the "story". Well, just one more episode now. It would seem that enough will be left up in the air to justify another season.
 

Nerds_feather

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#20
Good summation, Nerds. Plenty of speculation, but no real evidence. Makes you wonder why the History Channel countenanced this addition to the "story". Well, just one more episode now. It would seem that enough will be left up in the air to justify another season.
Thanks! And, as far as the History Channel is concerned, they've definitely taken liberties with history.

For example, the conceptualization of power and authority of the Jarl, as portrayed in the show, is deeply at odds with what we know, and Ragnar, as portrayed, is basically a super-Viking--responsible for basically every major Viking event or achievement of the late 8th and early 9th centuries. I've struggled to not get too nerd-ragey about these things, and have generally managed to enjoy the show nevertheless, but they still annoy the hell out of me.

...that said, I'd be thrilled if the show got renewed. Problems aside, it's still one of the best shows around!
 

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