More than Blood and Bling: Our Many Visions of the Vikings

More than Blood and Bling: Our Many Visions of the Vikings

Steven Ashby / The Conversation

Does the popularity of the Vikings simply emerge from the romance of mythology and adventure, or is something more interesting at play?

The Vikings have an enduring appeal in the popular and academic consciousness. The narrative that surrounds them is invariably tied to a very tired debate as to whether the Vikings were raiders or merchants. But this raider-trader dichotomy has largely been put to rest in academic circles.

So I find it far more interesting to consider how and in what conditions this panoply of “Viking” characters arose, to track how our view of the Vikings has shifted. Our interest has never been politically neutral. And so the study of the period carries an inherent responsibility to write about a Viking Age that is not only archaeologically and historically precise, but also socially responsible.

Academic interest in “the Vikings” extends back to at least the 18th century, while the 19th saw the incorporation of “ Viking” art and culture into the Romantic movement. In Scandinavia this was coupled with patriotism, and manifested in a flurry of archaeological excavation. In the UK, the Vikings formed a key component of the Romanticisation of the North. Their cause was taken up by thinkers such as Collingwood, Ruskin, Morris, and Scott. Then in Germany, the Viking phenomenon was appropriated into nationalist narrative, not least through Wagner, but later through its incorporation into Hitler’s Aryan package. The 1930s saw rallies at certain key monuments, and the excavation of others.

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The largest Viking ship ever discovered. The British Museum. (Source: The Conversation )

In all of this, a key component was the romance of exploration, of conquest, of landfall. So their Viking obsession struck a chord with imperialism.

But this reading of the Vikings is not inherent in the sources, and other interpretations are available to us. Indeed, in Britain the 1970s and ‘80s saw the reinvention of Vikings as Scandinavian settlers: no longer raiders and mercenaries; now farmers and fishermen, merchants and entrepreneurs.

Much of the evidence for Viking trade emerged from the urban excavations of the late 1970s and 80s. There is a probable influence of Thatcherite mercantilism on this change of tack, not least given the fact that much of the evidence was recovered via commercial excavation in urban settings. In this way, towns have come to be seen as central to many (non-Marxist) narratives of the Viking Age.

This recasting of the Vikings as first-millennial businessmen is still common in popular media .

And there are later Viking developments that are derived from recent history. In the 1990s, conflict in central Europe and Africa demanded that archaeologists revisit the idea of ethnicity. One result was a more nuanced consideration of “Norse” identity. Peter Sawyer had earlier suggested that the numbers of migrating Scandinavians had been overestimated. This now sat well with the idea that “Viking” style objects need not be associated with individuals of Nordic heritage.

The period continues to be seen as the crucible of 21st century Europe, a context for the emergence of the Scandinavian nation states. But recently a wider perspective has been put forward: Vikings as one of a number of contemporaneous groups of maritime pioneers; architects of networks that together spanned the globe. In such a model, our Vikings are neither berserkers nor proto-capitalists; they are real people.

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The Lewis Chessmen. (Source: The Conversation )

Indeed, the Viking Age was a world that was both militarised and economic. It was a world of conspicuous consumption, but also of intimidation, exploitation, and opportunism. One may envision something like the “failed state” scenario of the Balkan Conflict, or the warlordism of 90s Rwanda and Congo. These analogies are imprecise, but serve to counterbalance our fetishisation of Viking glamour and destruction.

The collection, curation, display, and distribution of portable wealth was central to Viking Age society and economy. These warlords wore elaborate dress, with conspicuous personal ornaments and body modification, and engaged in personal grooming. So they are perhaps better seen as well-heeled dandies than as unkempt, hirsute barbarians. Another twist of the kaleidoscope, and here are the modern day Vikings, reflections of our consumerist society.

So it is unsurprising (and correct) that today we focus on the material culture of wealth and status, but our understanding of such phenomena must be grounded in the appropriate social context. If we keep returning to these almost mythical giants, then this should be in the knowledge that we do so because we see bits of ourselves in them. And so we should see some of our failings in theirs: prosperity is always built on the hardship of others.

Every warship, every silver hoard must resonate with the inequality that characterised past society. Such narratives will doubtless be clear in the British Museum’s exhibition, and we should demand no less of the popular press. We have a responsibility to focus acutely on wealth and power, so that we bring into view the architectures of exploitation and coercion that supported them.


Netflix’s ‘Vikings: Valhalla’ Season 1: Everything We Know So Far

Vikings: Valhalla is a brand new spin-off to History Channel’s signature Vikings series. The Netflix Original is coming globally at some point in 2021 and we got our first look during the Netflix Geeked Week event! Here’s everything we know about Vikings: Valhalla coming soon to Netflix.

Vikings: Valhalla is an upcoming Netflix Original historical drama created by Michael Hirst and a spin-off of the popular History Channel series, Vikings. The series will be produced by MGM Productions like its predecessor.

Hirst offered his thoughts on whether the new series will match Vikings in scope and scale and gave a little glimpse of how the world is changed in the prequel:

“It couldn’t be on a greater scale than the final episodes of my Vikings. Because the armies and the big battles we had… You really can’t get much bigger than that, actually. But what can I say? It is being made in the same places, a lot of it. We go back to Kattegat. That, of course, is the spiritual home of the Vikings. But it’s a changed Kattegat. It’s an established… It’s one of the biggest ports really, trading ports in Europe. It’s grown in size and significance.The King of England has become a Viking. The Vikings have overrun most of England and they own Normandy.”

Jeb Stuart is on board to write who is most known for his work on movies including The Fugitive from 1993, Die Hard from 1988 and is also worked on The Liberator for Netflix.

The first look at Vikings: Valhalla was released as part of Netflix’s Geeked Week on June 7th, 2021.

You’ve been waiting patiently and the wait is over!

Get your first look at Vikings: Valhalla courtesy of @NetflixGeeked pic.twitter.com/9XW19sTH2b

&mdash Netflix (@netflix) June 7, 2021

What is the plot of Vikings: Valhalla?

Set over 100 years after the events of Vikings, the end of the Viking age draws ever closer as the Kingdom of England stands tall against its Scandanavian raiders. After the death of King Edward the Confessor, three lords make claims to the English throne, changing the future of England forever.

In a recent interview, Hirst commented on how Valhalla will be connected to the original Vikings show, confirming that we will be seeing a lot of the same locations from it:

“What Jeb [Stuart] does actually is he pays attention to the mythology of the Vikings. So whenever they meet in the great hall in Kattegat, and of course they talk about the great eras who used to sit in the same hall at the same table, and they were Ragnar Lothbrok, Lagertha, and Bjorn Ironside, and Ivar the Boneless, who are now mythic characters even within the show, even within Vikings: Valhalla. That’s a really great connection and effect. It gives ready-made histories to the new show. So you don’t need to know who Ragnar is to watch the new show. But it enriches the show and it hopefully will make people go back and find out, ‘Well who are these people they keep talking about? Was Ragnar so great? Why are these people mythic characters?’ So everything connects in a useful, and interesting, and fascinating way.”

The official Netflix page has been updated with a synopsis that is the following:

Who is cast in Vikings: Valhalla and who are they playing?

From top left to right bottom: Sam Corlett, Frida Gustavsson, Leo Suter, Bradley Freegard, Johannes Johannesson, Laura Berlin, David Oakes, Caroline Henderson, Pollyanna McIntosh, Asbjorn Krogh Nissen

In January 2021, Deadline revealed ten main and recurring cast members of Vikings: Valhalla along with their role descriptions:

Sam Corlett (Chilling Adventures of Sabrina) will play Leif Eriksson, a Greenlander, raised on the outer fringes of the known world. He comes from a tightly-knit family steeped in the old pagan beliefs. An intrepid sailor and physically tough, Leif is our entry into a Viking world in the throes of violent change.

Frida Gustavsson (The Witcher) is Freydis Eriksdotter who is fiercely pagan, fiery and headstrong. She is a staunch believer in the “old gods.” Like her brother, Leif, she reaches Kattegat as an outsider but becomes an inspiration to those of the old ways. If you recall, Frida was one of the cast members we revealed earlier.

Leo Suter (The Liberator) will play Harald Sigurdsson. Born into Viking nobility, Harald is one of the last Viking berserkers. Charismatic, ambitious and handsome, he is able to unite both followers of Odin and Christians.

Bradley Freegard (Keeping Faith) plays King Canute. The King of Denmark. A wise, savvy and ruthless Viking leader. Keeps his friends close and enemies closer. His ambitions will mold the course of history in the 11th century and make him a defining figure of the Viking age.

Johannes Haukur Jóhannesson (Cursed) portrays Olaf Haraldson. Olaf is Harald’s older half-brother. He is physically huge and ambitious he is a stern and unforgiving Viking. Olaf is an “Old Testament” Christian.

Laura Berlin (Breaking Even) plays Emma of Normandy. The young, ambitious Emma of Normandy is from the Norman court and of Viking blood. Politically astute, and one of the wealthiest women in Europe. She is most likely a descendant of Rollo from the original Vikings series.

David Oakes (The Borgias) is Earl Godwin. The ultimate survivor. Chief counselor to the King of England. Born on the political fringes, his cunning ways get him far. David was another of several cast members we revealed in the past few months.

Caroline Henderson (Christmas Star) will play Jarl Haakon. A great warrior and tolerant leader, Haakon rules Kattegat with a steady hand. Though Pagan, she has managed to keep Kattegat a city open to all faiths in a challenging time. She will become a powerful mentor to Freydis, who is drawn to her wisdom.

Pollyanna McIntosh (The Walking Dead) recurs as Queen Ælfgifu. Calculating and ambitious, Queen Ælfgifu of Denmark has a hand to play in the political power struggles unfolding in Northern Europe. She uses her charm and guile to great effect as she promotes the interests of her Mercian homeland and tries to assert herself in Canute’s growing power structure.

Asbjorn Krogh Nissen (Bron) is Jarl Kåre, who presents a threat to the old pagan ways.

Here is a more complete list of the Vikings: Valhalla cast:

Cast member Role Where have I seen/heard them before?
Sam Corlett Leif Eriksson Chilling Adventures of Sabrina
Frida Gustavsson Freydis Eriksdotter The Witcher, Swoon
Leo Suter Harald Sigurdsson Sanditon, Victoria
Bradley Freegard King Canute Keeping Faith
Johannes Johannesson Olaf Haraldsson Game of Thrones, Cursed
Laura Berlin Emma of Normandy Breaking Even, Einstein
David Oakes Earl Godwin The Borgias, Victoria
Caroline Henderson Jarl Haakon Christmas Star, Gooseboy
Pollyanna McIntosh Queen Ælfgifu The Walking Dead, Middle Earth: Shadow of War
Asbjørn Krogh Nissen Jarl Kåre Bron, Copenhagen
Yvonne Mai Merin The Crown, House of Shadows
Bill Murphy Odga Titanic: Blood and Steel
Bosco Hogan Aethelred ‘the Unready’ Vikings, The Borgias
Karen Connell Angel of Death Vikings
Gavan O’Connor Duffy Njall Vikings
Kenneth Christensen TBA The Kite
Louis Davison Edward Poldark, Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children
Álfrún Laufeyjardóttir TBA Happily Never After
Ethan Dillon TBA Dub Daze
Pääru Oja TBA Cold Courage
Brian Robinson Yngvi 2 Broke Girls
Jack Mullarkey Toke

Will anyone from the original Vikings appear in the new series?

Yes, and the first and most notable actor from Vikings that will appear in Valhalla is John Kavanagh as confirmed by his agency CV. He portrayed the Ancient Seer throughout all six seasons of Vikings and later on started appearing in some characters’ visions. We assume he will be appearing in visions in Valhalla as well.

John Kavanagh as The Seer

Other cast members from Vikings that will appear in Valhalla include Karen Connell, Bosco Hogan and Gavan O’Connor Duffy. Connell appeared in Vikings as the Angel of Death so we assume she will have the same role as well, while Hogan and Duffy will have entirely new roles. In Vikings they appeared as Abbot of Lindisfarne and King Frodo respectively.

Who else is involved with Vikings: Valhalla?

Beyond the cast we know of a few other crew members working on the show:

  • Steve Saint Leger is currently pegged to direct three episodes of season one. He’s not only directed a number of episodes in the main Vikings series but also is set to direct in Netflix’s Barbarians arriving in late 2020.
  • Niels Arden Oplev, the BAFTA-winning Danish director who helmed episodes for such series as Mr. Robot and Under the Dome is also set to direct one or more episodes for the first season of Valhalla.
  • Hannah Quinn has also been confirmed to be among the directors of the first season of Vikings: Valhalla. Her most recent works include Fate: The Winx Saga and The Stranger, both on Netflix.

Steve Saint Leger will be returning to the Vikings universe to direct episodes of Netflix's Vikings: Valhalla. pic.twitter.com/BqkgbP2r3N

&mdash What's on Netflix (@whatonnetflix) September 1, 2020

  • Trevor Morris who serves as the composer for much of season six of Vikings will return for Valhalla. His other credits include The Tudors and Hunter Killer.

What is the production status of Vikings: Valhalla?

Official Production Status: On hiatus (Last Updated: 28/11/2020)

Pre-production for Vikings: Valhalla had started earlier this year, but was halted due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Fortunately, it was resumed in July 2020 and now we can confirm that filming has started in Ashford Studios, Ireland as of August 2020. We don’t know exactly how long filming will last, but originally it was planned to be from March to October 2020.

On another note, we’re hearing that the second season of Vikings: Valhalla is in already development. Considering that the previous Vikings seasons were filmed with not very big intervals, we could expect Vikings: Valhalla season two to enter production sometime in the second half of 2021 for a possible late 2022 or early 2023 release.

In September 2020 we got a few more photos from the set. Below, you can see a gallery of photos from the first weeks of filming at Ashford Studios. As you can see, it is clearly Kattegat. Many of the pictures are by Broadsheet‘s Harry Warren.

Photo credit: Harry Warren Photo credit: Harry Warren
Photo credit: Harry Warren



On October 8th 2020 it was reported by The Irish Times that filming for Vikings: Valhalla was suspended that week after a dozen of cast and crew members tested positive for Covid. Later that week production resumed after it was cleared that those were only false positives and the cast and crew members were fine. The production halt only lasted a few days and the Vikings were back to their Viking business.

In late November 2020 cast and crew started to post updates about wrapping production on Vikings: Valhalla after filming for four months. It is unknown how much material have they filmed and whether this is a real season one wrap or a Christmas/Covid hiatus until early 2021.

In March 2021, BreakingNews.ie reported that filming of Vikings: Valhalla has been halted by two months. The casting of extras and actors has been halted as well. The exact reasons for this are unknown, but it is likely due to strict lockdown criteria.

Where will Vikings: Valhalla be filmed?

As mentioned above, pre-production has already resumed and the location is a very dear and familiar place for Vikings fans: Ashford Studios, Wicklow, Ireland. This is the place where most of the original Vikings series was being filmed for many years. To add to that, back in 2019, after filming of the final season of Vikings was finished, Ashford Studios secured permission for a €90m expansion, allowing them to build five new studios and support space. This will likely reflect on the production quality of Vikings: Valhalla.

With the main production hub being the same for Valhalla, we can expect to see many familiar external Irish locations that are just nearby. We can also expect many of the same crew working on the Vikings spinoff.

How many episodes will Vikings: Valhalla air?

It has been confirmed that 24 episodes of Vikings: Valhalla have been ordered thus far. That is a lot of episodes for Netflix to commit to considering the typical amount is anywhere between eight and thirteen.

Thanks to Vikings already on a schedule that splits seasons in half, we’d expect the first season of Vikings: Valhalla to do the same. This means there would be twelve episodes for Vikings: Valhalla season one.

Will the original Vikings series be coming to Netflix?

Unlike Lucifer and Designated Survivor, Vikings: Valhalla is not a continuation of Vikings and is instead a spin-off. This is important because previously, Netflix US eventually picked up all of the seasons from canceled network shows.

Vikings is currently available on Hulu and Amazon in the US, but the deal for Vikings: Valhalla is not likely to include Netflix receiving all six seasons of Vikings. Especially now MGM has been purchased by Amazon, we suspect the rights will be clawed back to Amazon Prime exclusively.

Are you excited for the release of Vikings: Valhalla? Let us know in the comments below!


Welcome to Michael Qing Expanded Universe

From what I have already learned about the cultures of Vikings and Norse mythology in general, I’m pretty sure one of my long-time past coach friend understand it more than what I expected to know. This person somebody that I used to know it is in his pure-blood who actually lived in Denmark – Sweden Nordic region. In fact Danish or even Swedish swimming team are good, because he helped coached them.

The science historian writer Heather Pringle is the author of three books, including In Search of Ancient North America and her assignments often lead to memorable encounters with both living and the dead of Scandinavian historical events.

Scandinavia people are powerful, brutal and fearless, because they have that natural instinct about being toughest in the minds who seek to raid even long before Adolf Hitler develops the Nazi government was born and even before the rise of World War II history. Viking cultures was shaped by the unique geography of Scandinavia. While not all Scandinavians chose the life of a raider, scarce arable land and a desire to seek riches abroad drove many to the seas.

The new visions of Vikings have encountered more than 50 cultures from Afghanistan to Canada according to the National Geography research foundation. Bristling with spears and swords, Viking and Slav reenactors face-off in a mock battle during a festival in Wolin, Poland. What began as small raiding parties in the Viking age grew into armies that conquered large swaths of Europe in 11th century. During the 11th century it was golden age for the Vikings and their conquers across the land in Europe. Swift and deadly, the Vikings dominated the seas of northern Europe from the late 18th century to the 11th. Their ships – technological feats used for exploration, trade, warfare and even burials – were integral to the lives of the formidable raiders. Attacking in small groups at first, fleets in the later Viking age could number 250 ships or more during the ancient times of our human history.

Blond-haired, Scandinavian warriors who pillaged their way through modern Europe demographic since now there are over about 20 to 30 million people across the world. It turns out most Vikings weren’t as fair-haired and blue-eyed Vampire as legends and popular culture have led people to believed before Hitler leading Nazi Germany, because according to a new study on the DNA of over 400 Vikings remains unknown, most Vikings had some dark hair and dark eyes from distinctive indigenous people minority. In fact their is a great genetic mixtures shows there weren’t a distinct ethnic group at the given moment of time but rather a mix of various groups, “with ancestry form hunter-gatherers, farmers and populations from the Eurasian steppe.” Study have revealed which Scandinavian countries influenced outside regions the most. The Danish Vikings went to England, while the Swedish Vikings went to the Baltic and the Norwegian Vikings went to Ireland, Iceland, Vinland and Greenland,” according to the University of Copenhagen’s Ashot Margaryan. Three particularly genetically diverse areas, one in modern Denmark and one apiece on the Swedish islands of Gotland and Oland — were likely key trading centers. We thought we knew everything about the Vikings. But some new research suggests we’ve been getting it wrong. In the biggest study of its kind, published in the journal Nature Wednesday, researchers found that many Vikings actually had brown hair from deep down from medieval history black markets research rights where there is no form of governments or international organizations were being committed. And they weren’t just from Scandinavia. The conclusions of this genetic analysis suggest the very idea of being a Viking was likely more a way of life or job.

Learning about the Ragnorak was a important factors for what I can understand to convey the message that the history makes everything better authoritative being for the well being for our tradition. The dark Nordic legend of Ragnorak, the end of creation and the final battle, in which all gods, all supernatural beings and all humans and other living creatures die. Ragnorak was said to begin with Fimbulwinter, a deadly time when the sun turns black and the weather turns bitter and treacherous — events that eerily parallel the dust veil that began in the year of 536. Vikings warriors fought for riches and reputation with swords discovered at Gnezdovo, Russia. Warriors often chopped plunder into pieces of precious metal that could be used like currency to make purchases. But some Viking warriors valued the treasures they stole for their beauty – and as coveted status symbols. These Anglo-Saxon brooches and the gold, bird chirped pin were discovered in a hoard by a wealthy Viking in Scotland. The Vikings lived up to their violent reputation: From an early age Scandinavian men were trained for battle and socially conditioned for bloodshed. The crafted ornaments by a skilled goldsmith on the Swedish island of Gotland, these delicate pendants were designed for wealthy women. The Vikings wore mainly silver and gold pieces would have been rare and treasured.

Despite for thousands of years, the men have depleted on the world population on many battles, there are more women have that blond hairstyle info-trait from around the world who better delivering the message than the men counterparts. The distribution of Norwegian men deep in the past history who are blond or fair hair have the same amount distribution as in our modern society today. In the deep past history of Scandinavia most men wanted to grow out their beard or moustache, because of the tradition. The young woman of Scandinavia are still attractive looking whether it is the modern ages or during the ancient history of our past. Norwegian people of the past came from the same ancestor’s of Cro-Magnon human fossil bones. In recent years, the modern age of Norwegian cultures without conflicting international affairs between overpowering supremacy of interest, there have been significant technological innovations and increasing industrialization and Scandinavians now enjoy some of the highest standards of living demographics culture in European democracies.

What I even know and understand of the Vikings culture is God of Thunder “Thor” film produced by Marvel entertainment which provides little insight and lack of purpose to teach this properly. Norwegian government have good sense of national identity, security and have that sense of social balance than the other people who are scruffy-looking nerf herder in the country-side. Thanks from our Norwegian Intelligence Service or Etterretningstjenesten is a Norwegian military intelligence agency under the Chief of Defence and the Ministry of Defence in Norway, because we are appreciated. There are many brave leaders who are currently dominated by woman who can work on The Military Forces around the world.


Vikings Season 4 Episode 12 Review: The Vision

Ragnar sets sail, and Lagertha threatens Aslaug on Vikings season 4 episode 12.

This Vikings review contains spoilers.

Vikings Season 4 Episode 12

When Ragnar tells Ivar to “Hurry up we have a tide to catch,” this message to his youngest son mirrors much of the sublime narrative of “The Vision,” the latest episode of Vikings. The best laid plans often go awry, and what Michael Hirst lays out so neatly are the roots of a sequence of events destined to shape the futures of Kattegat and the Lothbrok clan. Though it would have been nice to see Rollo, if even for a moment, his political successes are mentioned, and we have only to wait for an eventual confrontation. The question, of course, remains, who will demand that Rollo atone for his sin of betrayal, and who will become king.

No sooner do we revel in Ragnar’s return to Kattegat in the midseason premiere, than we’re now filled with pity for the once great man, reputation in tatters, forced to beg men to accompany him on his vengeance voyage to Wessex. It’s difficult to watch Ragnar walk through the village, now bustling with activity, but this is only one of many indignities he faces as he reorders his life. Ragnar certainly understands the changes that have taken place in his absence, but he’s clearly out of his element and feels uncomfortable in the village he once helped build. The encounter with the brother of a farmer who died at Wessex reinforces the feelings people have for the disgraced King Ragnar. How the mighty have fallen.

As the viewer and Ivar watch Ragnar dig up hidden treasures from previous raids, his intentions slowly come into focus. Ragnar distributes coins, precious metals, and other valuables hoping to entice men to join his crew, but only the old and infirm line up, leading us to wonder whether they accept they’ll be sailing to their deaths and only want to provide for their families. In fact, that may be Ragnar’s motive as well. And it has to be somewhat demeaning to have to ask Bjorn for ships, though to his credit, Bjorn surprises his father by readily agreeing.

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It’s here we must reflect on the Ragnar Lothbrok we see before us because he no longer resembles the warrior king we’ve watched viciously attack and pillage distant lands, all in the name of the gods. Life has dealt him some brutal blows, and though it’s taken seven years for him to come to terms with decisions he’s made, he’s not only prepared to accept the consequences but also to make what may be one final stand. What he truly hopes to accomplish by raiding England remains known only to him.

They say one way to judge a man is to examine the sons he raises, and while it can be argued that his lengthy absences left that role to others, no one can deny that Bjorn Ironside has grown to be a fine man in his own right. The poignant scene between Bjorn and Ragnar as the two discuss Bjorn’s plans illuminates the unbreakable bond between the two, but his suggestion to make contact with Rollo who is apparently expanding his kingdom meets with an expected reaction. Ragnar sees no purpose in talk, while Bjorn takes a more forward thinking, open stance, arguing that diplomacy benefits everyone. Still, what courses through this scene is the recognition of the natural evolution of life as the parent now needs the child to provide care for him in his later years.

Nevertheless, Bjorn’s relationship with his father marks only the tip of the iceberg destined to crash into the Lothbrok clan as we witness Ragnar’s other family begin disintegrating during dinner. Sigurd continues to mock Ivar going so far as to say their mother should have left him to the wolves. It’s painful to watch Ivar struggle emotionally and physically to confront Sigurd, and in the end he crawls toward the door as Sigurd leaves. Interestingly, his literal and Ragnar’s figurative crawling recur throughout.

Obviously, the ominous episode ending implies that neither Ivar nor Ragnar will survive to complete the voyage. Ragnar’s an old man, and Ivar’s a cripple, but we sense they both have the gods behind them despite Ragnar’s continued crisis of faith. Assuming that Ivar returns to Kattegat, will Sigurd, who stays safely at home with his mother, push his youngest brother to the edge leaving Ivar no choice but to kill his brother? The contrast between the two brothers couldn’t be any more pronounced, and SIgurd’s attitude is difficult to explain. He certainly seems angry enough, and when Aslaug tells the boys they need to find wives, that love is not important, Sigurd even mocks his mother demanding to know whether she ever loved anyone other than Harbard.

It is with mixed feelings that we watch King Harald and his brother Halfdan sail into the harbor to join Bjorn on his voyage of exploration because we know of Harald’s long standing ambition. In a scene filled with serious undertones, Ragnar watches the flotilla from a nearby hillside while Bjorn and his family await on the dock, and the celebration that night to see Bjorn and his warriors off provides room for several subplots to develop. Does Ragnar fear his son will be manipulated or worse by Harald?

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It’s unclear why Bjorn seems somewhat surprised when his mother and Astrid arrive, but she wants to see her son off on his destiny even though we suspect there might be more to her attendance than immediately meets the eye. We learn that Harald has been conquering area kings on his quest to rule all of Norway, and the fact that Bjorn appears unconcerned about that seems puzzling. The intrigue within the walls of the hall permeates every inch of the room, and it’s comforting to know that our confidence in Bjorn is well founded. Bjorn seems wary of Floki’s warm greeting of Harald and Halfdan, so that relationship is one to keep an eye on even though it seems impossible to believe Floki would ever consciously betray Bjorn.

I’m not sure there’s any scene that fans of Vikings have longed for more than the confrontation between Lagertha and Aslaug. The celebration delivers the perfect opportunity, and we don’t have to wait long to see who makes the first move. On the one hand, it’s disappointing that Lagertha doesn’t take the initiative, but when she suggests they officiate a sacrifice together since Aslaug’s son Hvitserk is going with Bjorn, she seizes the upper hand.

“You forget, Lagertha, that I am the queen,” Aslaug tells her, clearly forgetting with whom she’s conversing. “I never forget anything,” Lagertha tells her and walks away. The scene is pregnant with with intrigue as Bjorn doesn’t trust Harald, and Aslaug knows that Lagertha’s intentions are at best unclear.

The sacrificial ceremony intended to send Bjorn off with the gods’ blessings reminds viewers of the religious mysticism surrounding the Norsemen. The incessant beat of the drums produces a trancelike state as we watch Aslaug, face completely covered in blood and paint, sacrifice the animal drawing its blood into a bowl. Clearly, she takes control leaving Lagertha among the crowd. Using what appears to be a sort of aspergillum, she sprays the blood on the others as a form of consecration, but that’s only the beginning.

Caught up in the religious fervor, Ivar paints his face with blood and then not that shockingly drinks from the bowl. Is this an attempt vitalize himself, perhaps praying for a miracle from above? And then in the midst of this Viking rave, Lagertha approaches Aslaug and tells her she knows she can hear her despite her hypnotic state, lets her know she’ll never forgive her for stealing her husband and world, and that Aslaug will never be queen of Kattegat. It has to grate Lagertha on so many levels to look around at the fruit of Aslaug’s power leading her to her final admonishing words. “Look what you’ve done with it.” I think we all know a showdown is coming if only Aslaug will cooperate.

It was beginning to appear that Ragnar would delay facing his wife Aslaug for as long as possible, and it’s not until Ivar tells his mother that he plans to accompany his father on the voyage to England that she’s reached the end of her patience. What comes next might be the most surprising gesture in the episode as Alyssa Sutherland gives one of her most powerfully emotional performances. Coming on the heels of her encounter with Lagertha and her participation in the sacrificial rites, this unexpected tender scene between husband and wife almost makes us feel sorry for her. We’re not sure where this is headed when Ragnar tells her that, “We both know that love was not what brought us together.” But then in the next breath, as he gently releases the braids of her hair, he gratefully acknowledges that she never poisoned the boys against him despite how terribly he treated her.


8 Timelines

Vikings is a television series that plays with time in a much more interesting way than most, and if you tuned into the Season 4 finale then you already know. In Vikings, time passes. Characters get older, boys become men, men grow old, and so forth. This freedom with time has allowed Vikings to become a more believable story than Game of Thrones. In Westeros, months could pass between each episode, yet this doesn't seem to translate on screen or in the characters motivations. In Vikings, sometimes years pass between episodes and suddenly a young boy is will become a man. They replace the actor and that's it, they keep going. It's these constant changes that keep the makeup departments on their toes, keeping the costume and set looking creative and fresh from season to season.


What is the story with Athelstan?

I think he is one of the more interesting characters, is he Chritian or Pagan? We don't seem to really know where he lies. Maybe he doesn't either. And now the King is sharing his Roman goodies with him. Athelstan is suffering stigmata and seeing devils under his bed. But what does it mean? Is it the pagan gods telling him he is ok or to come back? Is it the Christian God telling him he is needed and important? What are your thoughts?

Well he spit out the body of christ so i'm pretty sure he's committed to the old gods now.

Er, if he were still a Christian, wouldn't he believe that it's a sin to take communion without confession? I saw that same act as meaning he was still Christian.

What I understood from that scene is that he sees no difference between the christian ritual and the norse ritual. He's still divided, but he doesn't believe in just one God now.

When I saw that, I literally punched the air and turned to my Vikings-watching-companion, who was clearly not as moved by that as I was. Up until that point, I just wanted a sign that he was still for the old gods. That moment felt pretty good.

I made a post here that addresses a lot of this I think, as well as a thorough look on his hallucinations in the most recent episode.

In my opinion, the long and short of it is guilt. The hallucinations began with the bleeding book that Floki gave him- the book from the monk he murdered, the man who was in the very same position as Athelstan seven years ago. Shortly thereafter, he was crucified, which was incredibly traumatic. This scene is very important because it not only deconstructed a large part of what Athelstan had grown to be and further established parallels between him and key biblical figures, but also because he was praying in Latin. Though he professes to worship Odin, in the moment of sure death, he cried out to his God.

From this, it's obvious that the conflict between deities is still there in his heart, and the stakes have been raised dramatically. I mentioned guilt being a driving force in his hallucinations, but ultimately. well, to put it frankly, the guy is snapping. I wouldn't be surprised if he had a very strong case of PTSD, given everything that's happened to him thusfar.

I've entertained the idea of his hallucinations actually being visions given to him by a deity- be it Odin or God- but the more I look at it, the more I think that it doesn't quite make enough sense and it sort of undermines the constant inner turmoil he's going through.

I'm planning on doing more of a thorough writeup of the visions he's had once the season is closer to an end- since I'm sure his bleeding stigmata in the last episode isn't the end of it.


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“To high treason. That's what these men were committing when they signed the Declaration. Had we lost the war, they would have been hanged, beheaded, drawn and quartered, and-Oh! Oh, my personal favorite-and had their entrails cut out and Burned! So. Here's to the men who did what was considered wrong, in order to do what they knew was right. what they knew was right.”

Benjamin Gates, National Treasure
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Every year on the 4th of July I post photos from this shoot we did inspired by Assassin’s Creed III based in the American Revolutionary War. In a year of chaos and suffering we need these reminders more than ever before. First, that sometimes good values find themselves at odds. Justice and mercy, liberty and safety, love and honor, or truth and peace can all pit good people, fighting for a good cause against each other. Second is that for any cause that is really worth supporting, sacrifice will be required and blood, sweat and tears (not to mention being subjected to name calling, slander and bullying) is all too often the price of doing the right thing. Human history is the history of conflict. The “good” side does not always win. Sometimes there are no “good” sides, sometimes there are no “bad” sides. All we can do is our best in what whatever time we live and in whatever conflict we are drawn into. Ultimately your personal decisions not only define your battle, they define your life.
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[SPOILERS] Vikings as a Myth

I just finished watching Season 3 of Vikings and can't wait to get going on season 4. Its one of my favorite dramas I've found this year, and a lot of that comes from the atmosphere of the scenes and characters. It feels like a myth. While many of the decisions the writers make may come to "it is a show that needs to be entertaining" I think the mythical feeling is very intentional and can address some of the criticisms people make.

Ragnar Lothbrok was probably a person, but history really isn't sure. If he existed, so did his wives, Lagertha and Aslaug. His sons existed, including Bjorn. Many of the other characters existed, such as King Horik, King Egbert, King Aelle, and Emporer Charles, but not much is known of them. Because of the mystery that shrouds this time period, the show allows itself quite a bit of leniency in how it crafts the characters and plots. The writers can make Ragnar to be a very inquisitive, eccentric, powerful, brooding leader and warrior because they are telling the legend of Ragnar Lothbrok in their own eyes. Its a modern telling of a Norse "myth".

Spiritualism

One of the biggest reasons I think the show mirrors a myth is the massive presence of religion not just as a talking point but a very real presence. Athelstan, Ragnar, and Floki all have visions of different types throughout the show, including seeing Odin or blood flowing. In Season 3, the women of Kattegat foresee the coming of a wanderer who is strongly hinted to be a God or related to them. The Seer of Kattegat is constantly making prophecies that so far have been true. Aslaug is also able to make prophecies that come true. The presence and affect that the Gods have on the Viking world relate it to the Norse Myths, where the Gods were characters who walked among their world and our own.

Another aspect of traditional myths, including Norse myths, is the relatively simplistic yet concise and important dialogue. I think this is reflected in the show, as much of the dialogue is straight to the point and quite simple. While many may critique the show for this, I think it adds to the effect. It is a retelling of a story that has been passed down many times, and other than the occasional eloquent speech, only the main points remain. This is also true for the plot, which often moves very quickly through episodes, focusing only on the most important events.

One of the critiques the show gets, especially in the siege on Paris is how the main characters seem unable to be killed or injured very often. Though almost every drama is a culprit of this, I think Vikings finds a good reason in myth. The main characters, Ragnar, Lagertha, Bjorn, Rollo, and others, are main characters in a myth. Bjorns name is Bjorn Ironside, clearly history and legend shines on him to be resilient. In crafting the characters, the show makes them more legendary, leaning on rumor and stories more than 100% historical accuracy.

Overall, I think that Vikings mirrors myth in many ways. History Channel has chosen to tell the story of a legendary character, and does so with grandiosity. Powerful characters, simplistic dialogue, and the constant presence of the Gods helps build the story and leads to some intense and powerful moments. Many of the innacuracies and critiques of the show can be defended by viewing the show in this light. In many ways, all of history is a myth with varying amounts of accuracy and retelling. Why not fully immerse ourselves in what the time of the Ragnar Lothbrok and the Vikings may have been?


Vikings Will Not Get Season 7

“Vikings” Season 6 will roll out its final episodes on Amazon prior to airing on its linear home on History Channel. The last 10 episodes of the show’s final season will drop on Amazon in the US, UK, Germany, Austria and Ireland on Dec. 30. They will then roll out on History, which has aired the show from the beginning, though the exact date for that has not yet been announced. (Source: variety.com)

‘Vikings’ Season 6 Final Episodes to Premiere on Amazon Before History Channel https://t.co/l2ekVTKxt3

&mdash Variety (@Variety) December 2, 2020

The 20-episode sixth and final season will air in two parts, beginning with a two-hour premiere at 9 p.m. Wednesday, December 4, followed by eight episodes bowing at 10 p.m. every Wednesday. The remaining 10 episodes of Season 6 are slated to air in 2020. (Source: deadline.com).

#NameAir Dates
1New Beginnings Dec 4, 2019
2The Prophet Dec 4, 2019
3Ghosts, Gods and Running Dogs Dec 11, 2019
4All the Prisoners Dec 18, 2019
5The Key Jan 1, 2020
6Death and the Serpent Jan 8, 2020
7The Ice Maiden Jan 15, 2020
8Valhalla Can Wait Jan 22, 2020
9Resurrection Jan 29, 2020
10The Best Laid Plans Feb 5, 2020
11King of Kings Jan 1, 2021
12All Change Jan 8, 2021
13The Signal Jan 15, 2021
14Lost Souls Jan 22, 2021
15All At Sea Jan 29, 2021
16The Final Straw Feb 5, 2021
17The Raft of Medusa Feb 12, 2021
18It's Only Magic Feb 19, 2021
19The Lord Giveth… Feb 26, 2021
20The Last Act Mar 5, 2021
#NameAir Dates
1The Fisher King Nov 29, 2017
2The Departed Nov 29, 2017
3Homeland Dec 6, 2017
4The Plan Dec 13, 2017
5The Prisoner Dec 20, 2017
6The Message Dec 27, 2017
7Full Moon Jan 3, 2018
8The Joke Jan 10, 2018
9A Simple Story Jan 17, 2018
10Moments of Vision Jan 24, 2018
11The Revelation Nov 28, 2018
12Murder Most Foul Dec 5, 2018
13A New God Dec 12, 2018
14The Lost Moment Dec 19, 2018
15Hell Dec 26, 2018
16The Buddha Jan 2, 2019
17The Most Terrible Thing Jan 9, 2019
18Baldur Jan 16, 2019
19What Happens in the Cave Jan 23, 2019
20Ragnarok Jan 30, 2019
#NameAir Dates
1A Good Treason Feb 18, 2016
2Kill the Queen Feb 25, 2016
3Mercy Mar 3, 2016
4Yol Mar 10, 2016
5Promised Mar 17, 2016
6What Might Have Been Mar 24, 2016
7The Profit and the Loss Mar 31, 2016
8Portage Apr 7, 2016
9Death All 'Round Apr 14, 2016
10The Last Ship Apr 21, 2016
11The Outsider Nov 30, 2016
12The Vision Dec 7, 2016
13Two Journeys Dec 14, 2016
14In the Uncertain Hour Before the Morning Dec 21, 2016
15All His Angels Dec 28, 2016
16Crossings Jan 4, 2017
17The Great Army Jan 11, 2017
18Revenge Jan 18, 2017
19On the Eve Jan 25, 2017
20The Reckoning Feb 1, 2017
#NameAir Dates
1Mercenary Feb 19, 2015
2The Wanderer Feb 26, 2015
3Warrior's Fate Mar 5, 2015
4Scarred Mar 12, 2015
5The Usurper Mar 19, 2015
6Born Again Mar 26, 2015
7Paris Apr 2, 2015
8To the Gates! Apr 9, 2015
9Breaking Point Apr 16, 2015
10The Dead Apr 23, 2015
#NameAir Dates
1Brother's War Feb 27, 2014
2Invasion Mar 6, 2014
3Treachery Mar 13, 2014
4Eye for an Eye Mar 20, 2014
5Answers in Blood Mar 27, 2014
6Unforgiven Apr 3, 2014
7Blood Eagle Apr 10, 2014
8Boneless Apr 17, 2014
9The Choice Apr 24, 2014
10The Lord's Prayer May 1, 2014
#NameAir Dates
1Rites of Passage Mar 3, 2013
2Wrath of the Northmen Mar 10, 2013
3Dispossessed Mar 17, 2013
4Trial Mar 24, 2013
5Raid Mar 31, 2013
6Burial of the Dead Apr 7, 2013
7A King's Ransom Apr 14, 2013
8Sacrifice Apr 21, 2013
9All Change Apr 28, 2013
#NameAir Dates
1Athelstan's Journal Mar 26, 2015
2The Saga of Ragnar Lothbrok Nov 30, 2016
3A New World Nov 28, 2017
4The Saga of Lagertha Nov 29, 2017
5The Saga of Bjorn Nov 28, 2018
6The Saga of Floki Dec 4, 2019
7The Saga of Vikings Jun 5, 2021

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With one episode left, when will Season 6 begin

Hated to see Judith die. She was hot !

I just wanted to add a corrcetion to this schedule, the next episode to air will be Season 5 episode 11, as it was with season 10, season 11 will have 20 episodes not 10 as is indicated above.

Ragnar had to die, to start the war between the Danes and English, The great Heathen Army can only be built when Ragnar dies as it is a great army built for the revenge of their farther. Without the great heathen army England would be split all over and they would not survive.

It was due to the Danes taking over that England finally became a unified England as the king of Wessex would not of dreamed of creating an England.

So please I completely agree with you that yes it is not good without Ragnar, however it is history, people would of started moaning that this was not historical enough and then it would of lost ratings anyway.

Bring Ragnar back.
Not interesting without him. That's why your ratings went down. I feel the same- killing off Ragnar really changes the dynamics of the show. Where he could be tough as nails, brutal and a little unhinged. he had a gentle side, which showed the true family unit of the Vikings. That missing now, sadly.
Try & find a way to bring Ragnar back, Ashe is needed.

I never intended to watch Vikings originally, but I kept seeing the premier being pushed on History Channel, so I thought, "Okay, why not?" Boy, talk about being blown away by that first episode! I agree with many of you, it's kind of difficult to want to watch it now without Ragnar. Some episodes were fantastic, in that the stories were so detailed but, then, the time jumps. they seemed out of place. (They could've waited for the next season to introduce Ragnar's grown sons, IMO.) The actors were perfectly chosen for their parts, with the exception of what's-her-name-something-Polanski, she's the only one who seems like the oddball for me.

Can't wait to start watching Season 5!


Vikings: Why did Ivar the Boneless kill Thora in Vikings?

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Vikings: Ivar the Boneless burns Thora in episode eighteen

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Vikings is a popular historical drama series on History and Amazon Prime, and it follows the sons of the famous Ragnar Lothbrok (played by Travis Fimmel). In the series, Thora (Eve Connolly) is the lover of Hvitserk (Marco Ilsø), but she was killed in season 6 and fans are wondering what happened to her. She had been murdered at the hands of Hvitserk's brother, Ivar the Boneless (Alex Høgh Andersen), and her death haunted Hvitserk for a long time.

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Thora was introduced in season five, speaking to Hvitserk about why he did not attend his brother's sacrificial ceremony.

Ivar had made threats to Thora, saying it would be a shame to see her burned alive. He later spots her in a crowd of onlookers who believed Ragnar had been a better leader than him.

Viewers were shocked to see Thora and her family punished, as Ivar had ordered for them to be put to death for turning against him.

She and her family are burned alive, and Thora has to watch as her father is set on fire, before facing the same terrible fate herself.

Vikings: Ivar killed Thora (Image: Sky/History)

Vikings: Thora was murdered by Ivar's men (Image: History)

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Ivar had seen a statue which had been dedicated to him had been vandalised, and he was frustrated at the fact not everyone believed in him.

Thora had told him Ragnar would have never forced his power on anyone, and initially Ivar does not seem to take much notice of her words.

However, he leaves a mark on her which indicates to his guards she must be put to death for going against the ruler.

Her death is one of the most horrendous in the series, and it sent Hvitserk on his downward spiral, suffering from post traumatic stress disorder.

Vikings: Hvitserk before his traumatic experience (Image: Sky)

Vikings: A blood-soaked Ivar after battle (Image: Sky)

Hvitserk continues to see visions of Thora with burnt skin and she taunts him over the fact his brother slaughtered her and her family.

The visions drive Hvitserk to madness and he starts drinking heavily and taking drugs to try and bury the thoughts.

However, his instability peaks when he ends up stabbing shieldmaiden Lagertha (Katheryn Winnick) by mistake, thinking she was an evil serpent coming to kill him.

Fans were left heartbroken after seeing the way Thora's death has such an impact on Hvitserk and his mental health.

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One fan said on Twitter: "Ivar you evil b**, I honestly hope Hvitserk kills him for what he did to Thora #Vikings."

However, in a strange turn of events fans will know in season six Hvitserk and Ivar end up teaming up in order to launch an attack on their homeland.

Ivar had joined the Rus Vikings who wanted to invade Scandinavia, and he helped bring Hvitserk back to health so he could join in the fight.

Fans could not believe how quickly Hvitserk seemed to forgive Ivar for murdering his lover, and they are wondering whether his plan is a trick.

Another fan said on Twitter: "Hvitserk is just going to leave Thora there after his brother threatened to burn her? I mean, if there's ever a reason to make it a double occupancy room, Hvitsy, this is it."

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Hvitserk may be trying to hide his resentment in order to get Ivar on his side, before launching at attack on him.

What Ivar did to Thora was unforgiveable, and fans will be expecting Hvitserk to take some sort of revenge on his brother.

Hvitserk did previously join his brother Bjorn Ironside (Alexander Ludwig) in a fight to overthrow Ivar shortly after Thora's death.

However, all seems to be forgotten in the most recent series, which sees Thora in ghost form driving Hvitserk to insanity.

In Viking mythology, Thora is actually a wife of Ragnar, however, in the series she is in love with Ragnar's son.

Vikings will return to History and Amazon Prime at the end of 2020


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