Review of "Vikings" on HISTORY From The TV MegaSite

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"Vikings" review by Suzanne
Premieres Sunday, March 3 on HISTORY

I watched the first five episodes of the 9-part series "Vikings" which airs tonight on the History Channel. It's really good. I would say it's just as good as the "Hatfields and McCoys" miniseries they did last year.

Certain "Vikings" are the protagonists of the story, especially one Ragnar Lothbrok and his friends and family. He is an ambitious farmer, who wants to "explore" to the west, instead of to the east - Russia, where the local Earl usually sends everyone. I gather the Earl is sort of like the local king (or mafia don if you prefer). The Earl is very corrupt and greedy, making him the antagonist of the series. None of the characters in this series are black and white. They are all shades of grey, which is what makes them interesting. You can't really call Ragnar Lothbrok the "hero" because Vikings were not what we would call good people. In the context of their culture and this show, he is the hero. He has a code of honor, as do his friends. However, when he means to explore the west, he really means to go there and rob the people (and also kill, and maybe rape). Vikings didn't have the same morality that we do in this modern day, nor did they have the same religions or principles. It was considered okay for them to go to other lands and rape/rob/pillage, and take slaves. They worshipped the Norse gods, whose names you are probably familiar with (if from nothing else, Marvel Comics): Thor, Odin and Loki being some of the primary Gods they worship. Ragnar finds a way to navigate his ship over the treacherous seas in ways that previous sailors could not, so he goes west with his own boat, despiste the Earl's warnings not to disobey him.

It's a really good series, and I enjoyed the 5 hours I got to see so far. I will definitely be watching the rest! I hope the ending is less depressing than the Hatfields & McCoys. In a way, they can write the story however they want because unlike in that movie, most of these are not people from history, or they are from long-past history (however, they seem to be keeping everything very accurate). I'm not really expecting a good ending, though, for most of the characterss. History is calling this a 9-part series, not a mini-series, so I'm not sure if that means they will make sequels if it is successful or not. I suppose they could still everyone off and just make more Vikings series with other characters.

I really like the actors they chose for this, especially the lead, Travis Fimmel. He really reminds me of the actor who plays Jax on "Sons of Anarchy". Maybe that's not a coincidence because their characters are very similar, too. However, Ragnar is less dour than Jax. He smiles a lot. He is very smart and has a passion for knowledge and exploration as well as greed for wealth, and a lust for life. All of the actors on this are fabulous.

I can't imagine anyone not watching this and enjoying it. I found it fascinating and learned about Vikings as well as just enjoyed half of a great piece of drama. Don't miss it!

Interview with Jessalyn Gilsig

Interview with Katheryn Winnick

Interview with Clive Standen


HISTORY's First Scripted Show, VIKINGS Premieres March 3rd at 10 PM
We're very excited to share all-new information and a preview for HISTORY's first scripted show - VIKINGS. The word "Viking" has been synonymous with brutality, terror, and mystery ever since the first Norse warriors appeared along the coasts of England and France at the end of the eighth century. Their notoriety for barbarianism without pity was an important part of the mythology that grew up around them. And while Vikings are still characterized as such in popular culture, the reality is much more complex, visceral, and powerful than their reputation suggests.
The extraordinary tales of the lives and epic adventures of these warriors are told in VIKINGS, a new nine-part scripted series premiering Sunday, March 3 at 10 p.m. (ET) on HISTORY(r). The drama portrays the world of these Dark Age raiders, traders, explorers - not from an outsider's view, but, through the eyes of Viking society.
VIKINGS Preview Clip
They Were the Fiercest Warriors of All Time... Now The Untold Legendary World of the Mighty Norsemen Comes Alive in HISTORY(r)'s New Scripted Series VIKINGS Premiering Sunday, March 3 at 10 p.m.
Travis Fimmel, Gabriel Byrne, Jessalyn Gilsig, Gustaf Skarsgard, Clive Standen, Katheryn Winnick and George Blagden to Star
Created and Written by Michael Hirst
The word "Viking" has been synonymous with brutality, terror, and mystery ever since the first Norse warriors appeared along the coasts of England and France at the end of the eighth century. Their notoriety for barbarianism without pity was an important part of the mythology that grew up around them. And while Vikings are still characterized as such in popular culture, the reality is much more complex, visceral, and powerful than their reputation suggests.

VIKINGS follows the adventures of Ragnar Lothbrok, an actual historical figure, and the greatest hero of his age. The series tells the gripping sagas of Ragnar’s band of Viking brothers and his family, as he rises to become King of the Viking tribes. As well as being a fearless warrior, Ragnar embodies the Norse traditions of devotion to the gods – legend has it that he was a direct descendent of Odin, the god of war and warriors.

Photos Featured on the poster is Ragnar Lothbrok (Travis Fimmel), a curious, compelling man who is always looking to break through barriers and discover new worlds to conquer. Covering Ragnar's face is the bold VIKINGS logo that captures the spirit of the Viking culture. The two sides of the "V" represent multiple dimensions of the Vikings culture - Family/Life and Violence. Take a closer look; it is layered with great storytelling detail.
LEFT SIDE OF "V" - The left sides tells us the softer, lesser-known aspect of Vikings - Family & Life.
*The upper section is a nod to their craftsmanship/technological advances
*The middle section represents brotherhood and unbreakable bonds
*The lower section represents Growth & Life
RIGHT SIDE OF "V" - The right side of the "V" tells a different story. *It is about war, violence, death and conflict. It is shaped like the blade of a sword. There are some cracks, worn texture and blood spatter - all indicating that the weapon has been put to use.
We're in the home stretch and so excited about this weekend's big premiere of VIKINGS on HISTORY on Sunday, March 3 at 10 p.m.! As you know, we've sent tons of promos over the last few weeks, as well as offered talent Q&A's. We wanted to provide you with one last batch of scenes from the premiere episode!

History is premiering its highly anticipated scripted series VIKINGS on Sunday, March 3 at 10 p.m.
The extraordinary tales of the lives and epic adventures of these warriors are told in VIKINGS, a new nine-part scripted series premiering Sunday, March 3 at 10 p.m. (ET) on HISTORY(r). The drama portrays the world of these Dark Age raiders, traders, explorers - not from an outsider's view, but, through the eyes of Viking society.
While VIKINGS is filled with conflict, warfare and bloodshed - for these were extreme times - it is a family saga at heart. It follows the adventures of Ragnar Lothbrok (Travis Fimmel, The Beast, Baytown Outlaws), a curious, compelling man who is always looking to break through barriers and discover new worlds to conquer. A young farmer and family man, Ragnar is deeply frustrated by the unadventurous policies of his local chieftain, Earl Haraldson (Gabriel Byrne, In Treatment, Usual Suspects, Millers Crossing), who continues to send his Vikings raiders east every summer, to the Baltic states and Russia, whose populations are as materially poor as themselves.

VIKINGS will chart Ragnar's ambitions to discover civilizations across the great ocean to the west as well as his inevitable conflicts along the way. With the help of his jester friend Floki, (Gustaf Skarsgard, The Way Back), they build a new generation of boats - faster, sleeker and more beautifully crafted than anything else on the sea.

The series will also delve into how the Vikings - the last pagans - worshipped ancient gods like Odin, Thor, Freya and Loki. Ragnar claims to be a direct descendant of the Norse god Odin, who, as well as being the god of warriors slain in battle, is also the god of curiosity.
Joining Fimmel, Byrne and Skarsgard are Katheryn Winnick (Bones, Love and Other Drugs, The Black Marks) as Lagertha, a fierce shield maiden and Ragnar's wife; Jessalyn Gilsig (Glee, Heroes, Nip/Tuck, Friday Night Lights) as Siggy, Earl Haraldson's beautiful wife; George Blagden (Les Miserables, Wrath of the Titans) as Athelstan, a young, innocent Christian monk captured by Ragnar on his first raid on England and Clive Standen (Camelot, Robin Hood) as Rollo, Ragnar's impulsive, wild, care-free brother.

Series Premiere Episode Description (March 3 at 10 p.m.): The world of the Vikings is brought to life through the journey of Ragnar Lothbrok, the first Viking to emerge from Norse legend and onto the pages of history - a man on the edge of myth. Our story begins in 8th century Scandinavia where Ragnar Lothbrok is a warrior and a farmer who dreams of finding riches by bucking the tradition of raiding to the east. Ragnar has been working in secret on a project that will turn the Viking world on its head. But first Ragnar must convince the leader of his community, the powerful Earl Haraldson, who is none too happy to share in the renown that this journey could bring to Ragnar if it's successful.Vikings- Premieres Sunday at 10/9c

Video Clips Ragnar, Floki and Rollo Test Out the Boat for the First Time
Lagertha Fights Off Intruders Earl & Ragnar East vs West Promo: Legend
They Never Saw It Coming The Warrior (Lagertha) The Ruler (Earl) The Unknown (Ancient Seer)


Travis Fimmel “Ragnar Lothbrok”
Australian native Travis Fimmel will be seen in Spring 2013 alongside Billy Bob Thornton in the independent feature film The Baytown Outlaws. He recently wrapped the independent feature Harodim, opposite Peter Fonda. Additional independent film credits include Ivory Trade, Needle, and Restraint opposite Teresa Palmer and Stephen Moyer. On television, he starred opposite the late Patrick Swayze in the series The Beast and in The Experiment with Adrien Brody and Forest Whitaker.

Katheryn Winnick “Lagertha”
Canadian-born Katheryn Winnick will appear soon with Kurt Russell and Matt Dillon in The Black Marks; and as Charlie Sheen’s ex in A Glimpse Inside the Mind of Charles Swan III. Recent film highlights include Love and Other Drugs with Jake Gyllenhaal and Anne Hathaway; and Killers with Ashton Kutcher and Katherine Heigl (in which she did all her stunts). Her role in the 2009 film Cold Souls, together with her co-stars Paul Giamatti, Emily Watson, and David Straiham, resulted in a nod for Best Ensemble Cast at the Independent Spirit Awards. On television, Winnick is known for her juicy recurring role as David Borneaz’s love interest in Fox’s series Bones.
Winnick is not only a rising star in Hollywood, but an accomplished martial artist as well. After receiving her first Black Belt at age 13, she competed in the Canadian Nationals, opened a handful of Tae Kwon Do schools in and around Toronto, and trained to become a licensed bodyguard. She currently holds a third-degree Black Belt in Tae Kwon Do and a second-degree Black Belt in karate.

Jessalyn Gilsig “Siggy”
Jessalyn Gilsig has had lead roles in hit series Glee, Nip/Tuck, and Boston Public, and recurring roles in Heroes, Friday Night Lights, CSI: NY, Prison Break, The Practice, and NYPD Blue. On film, she recently appeared in the hit remakes of Prom Night and Stepfather. Additionally, she starred in the action/thriller XIII alongside Val Kimer and Stephen Dorff. She worked with Robert Redford on The Horse Whisperer, and appeared as Sally Field’s daughter in A Cooler Climate. Next on the horizon is the indie film Somewhere Slow which she served double duty on as star and producer.
A Montreal native, Gilsig studied at Harvard’s American Repertory Theatre. She currently resides in Los Angeles.

Gustaf Skarsgard “Floki”
Gustaf Skarsgard is one of Sweden’s most prominent and prolific actors. He began acting as a 9-year-old opposite his father Stellan in Cod Name: Coq Rouge. After graduating from the Stockholm Academy of Dramatic Arts in 2003, he became an ensemble member of the Royal Dramatic Theatre. Skarsgard starred in many Swedish cinematic successes: Evil (nominated for Guldbagge for Best Supporting Role, the Swedish equivalent of the Academy Awards), The Invisible, Kidz In da Hood (earning a Guldbagge for the lead), and many more. In 2007 he received the European Film Academy’s Shooting Star Award. His latest films include Peter Weir’s The Way Back (co-starring Ed Harris and Colin Farell) and the Norwegian adventure drama KonTiki.

George Blagden “Athelstan”
George Blagden was last seen in Wrath of the Titans and recently completed filming the co-starring role of Grantaire in Universal’s star-studded musical, Les Miserables, with Academy Award-winning director Tom Hooper. He attended the prestigious Guildhall Drama School on a full scholarship. Immediately after graduation he began shooting his first film, The Philosophers, starring opposite Rhys Wakefield, Sophie Lowe, James D’Arcy, and Darryl Sabara.

Gabriel Byrne “Earl Haraldson”
Gabriel Byrne began his acting career with Ireland's Focus Theatre and the world renowned Abbey Theatre, later joining London's Royal Court Theatre and the Royal National Theatre, where he played leading roles before moving to the United States.
On Broadway, he received a Tony nomination for his performance in Eugene O'Neill's Moon for the Misbegotten and won the Outer Critics Circle Award for Best Actor for his performance in another O'Neill play, A Touch of the Poet.
Byrne has worked with some of the cinema's leading directors, including the Coen Brothers, Wim Wenders, Costa-Gavras, Jim Jarmusch, Ken Loach, John Boorman, David Cronenberg and Bryan Singer. He has starred in more than 35 feature films including Excalibur, Miller's Crossing, Into the West, The Point of No Return, Little Women, The Usual Suspects, Dead Man, The End of Violence, The Man in the Iron Mask, Vanity Fair, Jindabyne and Wah-Wah.
His television credits include HBO’s Weapons of Mass Distraction and In Treatment. For his work on In Treatment, he was nominated twice for an Emmy and received the Golden Globe for Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Series – Drama.
His producing credits include the Academy Award nominated In the Name of the Father and Into the West.
2011 saw him work on All Things to All Men directed by George Isaac and Costa Gavras’ Le Capital. Most recently he completed Jérôme Bonnell’s Adventuretime, the Irish Channel 4 mini-series Secret State directed by Ed Fraiman. Upcoming work is the screen adaptation of Benjamin Black’s Quirke series, in which he plays the lead role.

Clive Standen “Rollo”
Standen will soon be seen in Vertigo Films Hammer of the Gods in early 2013, however, he is best known for his portrayal of Sir Gawain in the Starz original series Camelot alongside Joseph Fiennes and Eva Green, and his starring role in the BBC America series Robin Hood. Prior, he played Private Carl Harris in the award-winning sci-fi BBC series Doctor Who and starred in the drama Operation Barras, about the infamous SAS mission in Sierra Leon.
Standen was trained as an actor at the National Youth Theatre, the National Youth Music Theatre, and the London Academy of Dramatic Art, and appeared in theatrical roles at the Royal Albert Hall and Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre, as well as in the critically-acclaimed revival of Tom Stoppard’s The Invention of Love.
Born on a British Army base in Hollywood, County Down, Northern Ireland, Standen moved to England at the age of five. He discovered stunt-work and sword fighting, and by his teens was working as part of a professional stunt team, mastering skills such as horse riding, jousting and swordplay. A keen martial artist, he also studied Muay Thai boxing, and quickly became the undefeated national champion.

Show Credits


HISTORY and Metro-Goldwyn-Meyer PresentIn Association with Take 5 Productions and Octagon Films



Ragnar Lothbrok                                                   Travis Fimmel

Lagertha                                                              Katheryn Winnick

Rollo                                                                   Clive Standen

Siggy                                                                   Gustaf Skarsgård

Athelstan                                                             George Blagden

King Horik                                                           Donal Logue


Earl Haraldson                                                    Gabriel Byrne


Casting by                                                       Frank Moiselle and Nuala MOiselle

Costume Designer                                          Joan Bergin

Visual Effects Supervisors                       Julian Parry, Dennis Berardi

Music Composed by                                      Trevor Morris

Production Designer                                     Tom Controy

Director of Photography                               John Bartley ASC,CSC

Editors                                                           Aaron Marshall, Michele Controy CCE

Co-Producers                                               Bill Goddard, Séamus McInerney

Produced by                                                Steve Wakefield
                                                                      Keith Thompson

Executive Producers                                    Michael Hirst

                Morgan O’Sullivan

                Sheila Hockin

                Alan Gasmer

                Sherry Marsh

                James Flynn

                John Weber

Created by                                                  Michael Hirst

Written by                                                     Michael Hirst

Episodes 101, 102, 103 Directed by       Johan Renck

Episodes 104, 105, 106 Directed by      Ciarán Donnelly

Episodes 107, 108, 109 Directed by      Ken Girotti

Executives in Charge of Production            Dirk Hoogstra
                                                                      Julian P. Hobbs           

An Ireland-Canada Co-production


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