User Reviews (324)

  • pianys4 March 2013
    10/10
    The Gods Heard Me!
    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!!!
  • bueandre15 March 2013
    9/10
    Finally a Viking series!
    I've been waiting for someone to make a good series about the vikings. I'm from Norway myself, and I'm naturally interested in our history. I've only seen two episodes so far, but I have to say - it really looks promising. The surroundings and nature in the two first episodes is exactly how it looks in "Vestlandet", the western parts of Norway. Stunnings fjords with waterfalls cascading down the sides. It really looks authentic.

    The acting is mostly top notch, a few short scenes aren't that great but it's hardly mentionable. It seems like in the beginning, people are speaking an incomprehensible Norse/English mix, and then they continue speaking a modern English. It's pretty clever actually. Fun fact: When the Vikings invaded the British isles they could understand each other's languages.

    The story itself is really exciting, and I just want to watch more.. I can hardly wait for the next episode to be released.

    I don't know so much about the Ragnar Lodbrok character, but Rollo (Gangarolf) is a very famous character in the Norse sagas.

    I highly recommend this show, and I really hope they continue making this for several seasons.
  • daniel hauptmann10 May 2016
    Trying to pretend first half of fourth season did not happen
    Warning: Spoilers
    First of all let me say the first 3 seasons were good, in fact the first two were just great. There is Viking tradition, there are interesting social and cultural differences between Northmen and others, there is vibrant Viking society and mainly, there is Ragnar; cunning Ragnar, who would "give far more than his eye to acquire knowledge". He is a man of progress, whose logic and wit wins against rigidity and stupidity. He is the man, who comes up with new ideas and surprises everyone who wants to defeat him. Finally, he is the only one capable of carrying this show and pushing it forward.

    The third season is also pretty good, although it had slowed down a little bit, dragging the story slowly around, but who cares when Ragnar is going to raid the Paris whatever the cost!

    As much I like the first three seasons, there is one thing that kept bothering me throughout second and the third one especially. Every time Ragnar kills some of his enemies (earl Haraldson, king Horik), he creates some kind of vacuum in the society he is not able to fill. Yes, he becomes earl and than king nominally, but he doesn't quite behave like one! I mean as Haraldson had been an earl, he had counselor Svein for the dirty stuff and his guard, he was a judge (in fact), blessed children etc. and all in all there was a lot of things happening around him in Kattegat. Not so with Ragnar; he is just kind of there, not ruling whatsoever, and sometimes it just feels like anarchy there, which I find not entirely plausible. Additionaly, as I have mentioned, there is a feeling of emptiness because of this, emptiness, which I am not quite able to describe. Maybe it is happening, because the second and third series already follows more story lines and can't concentrate on Vikings more, which is in my eyes a threat for this show.

    Season 4 takes the good things from its predecessors - throws them away - and builds on flawed stuff of the first three seasons - which is emptiness, story distraction and fade-away from Ragnar. Starting with the most serious issue - Ragnar, it was perhaps the worst decision in the whole show to screw him up. For the entire season 4a, he feels old and tired, doesn't have any desire to explore and raid, doesn't care for his people and children much, and as if it wasn't already too bad, we have to watch him as he becomes a drug addict. This alone is just enough for me. The writers basically take the character majority of viewers cares about most and flush him into toilet. I know he must die eventually, but instead of seeing him suffering for about 9 hours (!!), it would be better to kill him off at his zenith.

    Another issue, that hardly appeared in the first three series - there are many meaningless scenes which just kind of fill the time. Consider the whole Wessex feminist thing with Judith - so much time is wasted on her becoming tough and independent, but I don't see a reason why - this is something suitable for 20th century, not 9th. On the other hand there is not much explanation on key events such as why Rollo gave up on his manhood and turned into french nobleman and loving husband so easily.

    The emptiness and anarchy I was talking about is really apparent in season 4. It is no more the king Ragnar and his people or the vibrant society from early seasons, it is a mixture of random characters with no depth being around. Typical ruling day of king Ragnar consists of throwing knives, ignoring everyone, doing crazy stuff and taking drugs in the shack, stalking on the rooftop and making a foreplay with that Chinese girl. Björn tries to look as serious as possible, which makes his character so flat it makes me wonder about Ragnar's successor's ability to lead the show (I doubt any of the sons is capable of that). Than the whole thing with Erlendur's revenge is wasted, as everybody knows from the start Björn will not die and Erlendur has even got no plan; when Kalf was still alive, there was a chance to take advantage of it, but now he wants to kill Björn and then will see what's next, probably.

    I totally agree with others that it has become a soap opera. Consider king Finehair's arrival. It peaks at the end of an episode, when he basically says in front of everybody he wants to overthrow Ragnar, but that situation is not expanded in the next episode, which is typical for soap operas. Speaking of new characters, they are very uninteresting, and especially Yidu is a complete waste of time, and besides I find presence of a Chinese in the fjord disturbing, she just shouldn't be there; her only purpose is to be a drug dealer anyway. Then there is lot of uninteresting talking about family, children (everybody is with a child now, hearing this gives me an allergic reaction) and how it is being a father, which is just boring. And I can't help myself, but the families look like projections of 21th western family values - different from earlier seasons where we could see more freedom in sexual life and less sensitivity about children and death. Overall the episodes are too talkative and while basically nothing happens in most episodes, everything must have happened in the last one and it created a big mess, but I will not comment on that.

    For me, Vikings end with the season 3 and the 4a just does not exist. I am actually reviewing the first season recently and friend I enjoy it as never, because I have found the old Ragnar again and the true nature of Vikings with him.
  • Keith Penisburg19 March 2017
    7/10
    Season 1-3 are 10/10, season 4 is just meh.
    Warning: Spoilers
    First of all: I really loved this show and this is the first review I write on IMDb is about this show, because it's simply my favorite show. I would gladly give it a 9/10 or 10/10. But the last season, season 4, ruined it for me.

    The first 3 seasons had everything: a good story line with many twists, incredible characters, cool fights and of course the mighty story of the rise of Ragnar Lothbrok. I recommend everyone I know to watch the first 3 seasons, but that's it. Stop there while you can.

    I know what you think right now: "This guy just hates season 4 because *SPOILER ALERT* Ragnar became an old man and died in this season". But no! I actually agree that Ragnars part was done and he reached his end, and I agree that the episodes of Ragnar death were well executed. The episodes that disappoint me, are the 15 episodes before that.

    They made this season twice as long what I think is the first bad move they made. The fast pacing of season 1-3 was in my opinion one of the things that made Vikings so special. But yet this wouldn't really be a problem if it didn't feel like they did it on the same, or even smaller budget; The fights were very badly choreographed that I even had to laugh when Kattegat was attacked and of course don't forget how disappointing the bear fight was.

    Another point that really disappointed me were the useless subplots that the producers decided to make: Like Rollo's love drama with a french princess, some random drug dealer Chinese princess and Ragnars drug addiction. If you think about it, doesn't this just sound like some shitty MTV drama show?

    But the bad things aside, the new protagonists, the sons of Ragnar, are well received and good actors. I'm surely excited for the adventures that they will undergo. I just hope that season 5 will go back to it's roots and not continue with the direction that the show took this season.
  • missionjjk28 March 2016
    7/10
    Losing Steam and Accuracy
    Warning: Spoilers
    As other users noted, it is becoming a soap opera. The whole thing with Rollo also doesn't make sense: why kill your own followers if the Emperor wants you to prevent other vikings from sacking Paris? How does that fit with the history of settling Normandy with a viking band whose leader is named Rollo? By the way, what happened to England (besides the rubbish going on in Wessex)? Ragnar Lothbrok is getting spread a little thin here. Worse than that, the constant infighting, betrayal and Ragnar's weird mind trips is really bogging this show down. If they don't get back to pillaging and exploring soon, I may not stick around. The show started off strong, but I get the feeling that nobody expected it to make it to the 4th season. The first 2 seasons were strong, and I recommend them. However, the project is now so diluted by the four different story lines that it is now lost its way.
  • Jonas Clementiné5 March 2013
    10/10
    Thanks, History Channel!
    I've watched the two first episodes of the series and I can say that I'm POSITIVELY surprised.

    I didn't know if this would be any good but I'm most certainly intrigued. It's well written, exciting and charming. The show is very enjoyable, especially if you're interested in Scandinavian/European history.

    I love Norse Mythology and I am very happy that this show aired, I just hope it continues going in a good direction. :)

    All in all I can't wait for the remaining episodes and if you're considering picking this show up I'd definitely recommend it.
  • mc2-15 March 2013
    10/10
    Fantastic new show really shows Viking world
    I really enjoyed this first episode. Writing is strong. Acting is good and more importantly I am really fascinated by the characters. The most impressive thing however was the look of the show. Photography, art direction and just whole look is so lush and rich looks like a feature film. Cant wait for episode 2! Both Travis and Gabriel Byne both shine in their roles. I do hope a season 2 is in the works. I have read a lot about vikings and I can see the makes really went to great lengths to bring the true viking ways to the screen. Especially the religion and gods. I am a fan GOT and this show is great that it delves into the ancient world, but this show has a different flavor. More raw and intense, but still with a nice magical feel to it.
  • pkelly1200210 March 2013
    10/10
    Good show
    There are some Hollywood liberties taken during the show this is to be expected it is a show. If you made a show about everyday life during the vikings time most would be dull and not exciting it is not like they went to battle everyday. The show has a lot of historical basis with some liberties taken to liven the show up. It is well produced and has great cinematography . If , you are however looking for a straight fact based view on vikings go to the library and pull anthropology research journals out. For everyone else if you like battles with historical styles, understandings of how they navigated and views on the social structure of the vikings then you will get a understanding. You will also see how laws and ethics were for the vikings so yes there is some historical accuracy to the show . All in all if you want entertainment mixed with history it is a great show.
  • Robin Clarke6 March 2013
    9/10
    Great entertainment
    As usual on IMDb fictional dramas set in a particular period in history attract the bores that insist on bleating 'its not historically accurate'. Well just ignore them as this is a fantastic and exciting look at the relatively unexplored Viking world. In the same vein as other fictional historical dramas such as Spartacus or Rome the plot centres around a single character and their family. We then take a brief look into their world and are shown how dangerous a place the world was at this time. The show has a quality feel to it not like some of the more poorly made historical drama around today (sorry but Camelot was just awful!). The sets are impressive and believable and the direction and framing of each scene is obviously set by a skilled hand. The characters are all interesting and likable and the acting is top notch. The only negative I could draw on was that there could have been a bit more action in the first episode but what action there was was very well done. My advice to you, just watch and enjoy it for what it is and don't be out off by the history buffs. If we insisted on only ever watching historical drama that was 100% accurate I'm pretty sure we would be watching none at all. Great show, a solid nine out of ten.
  • loufalce17 March 2013
    9/10
    A Medieval "Godfather"
    Maybe it isn't real 100 percent history. Some liberties were taken, but for the most part is seems to ring true.At times it almost seems like a contemporary crime drama, but the facts are there-the raids on British monastaries that did occur in the late 8th century, a fairly realistic depiction on what Norse life was probably like at this timeline, the spectacular countryside with its majestic forests and rivers, and the depictions of the Vikings themselves. Savage, eager to loot and plunder, but nevertheless bound by a sort of code of honor. Their acts are savage and the chieftan seems more like a medieval Godfather who uses his power for his own personal gain and who is not above killing somebody on the spot if he is displeased with his actions. The storyline is fairly literate and not the usual mindless adventure that too many of these movies present to us, and the characters are convincingly drawn and likely motivated. The music is good and the full size replicas of the ships are very accurate. Even the deliberate pace works to its advantage, we are never rushed and the story develops as it moves along. It is never dull and there is plenty of interest to engage the viewer. However, if you are put off by graphic violence , don't watch it. Those times were fairly brutal. Fine entertainment . Enjoy it.
  • pk187311 March 2013
    10/10
    Something a bit different and very enjoyable.
    There have been one or two negative reviews posted about this show and I have to say that after 2 episodes, I really like it... nit pickers may say that there are historical inaccuracies, but there are also many myths dispelled ... and with the appearance of Valkyrie on the battlefield at the very beginning of ep1 to take fallen warriors souls, unless you are deluded and believe in that being factual it was clear from the very outset that there was always going to be some dramatic license used. Others say the show is too Hollywood, this has to be the case to some extent but by no means is this another mass produced piece of garbage, unless you want the show cancelled after the pilot it must appeal to a mass American audience as entertainment it isn't a documentary. I personally feel that the show DOES have a European feel which is absent in many historical dramas, the locations are beautiful, the cast has been well selected and act their parts fantastically well. The good guys are instantly likable where as the bad guys you just can't wait to see them get whats coming to them, that is always a good sign as far as I am concerned as i want to see what happens to them and am looking forward to the next episode. So don't be put off by the pedantic armchair historians out there give vikings a chance.. it is what it is.
  • memayrinck18 April 2018
    8/10
    Seasons 1-3 are a must see, the rest not so much
    Warning: Spoilers
    Vikings is fresh, smart, as historically accurate as it can be considering the people they're talking about had runes as an alphabet, but the charisma of the story was the rise of Ragnar and his precise & quiet war strategy and tactics. Once that was gone and a bunch of Disney kids took over, it fell flat and stale. Unfortunate really because seasons 1-3 are possibly the beat thing on TV since The Sopranos. Killing Athelstan was also a bad choice because his dynamic with Ragnar was the real love story of the show. Still, a big fan, but now I watch it more out of obligation then pleasure, which is a sign that maybe I should stop? Tell me Seer! Should I give up on Vikings?
  • belishabeaconite27 February 2017
    9/10
    Legartha's age
    Warning: Spoilers
    I have a major problem with Vikings. How come Legartha, Ragnar's first wife still looks like she's 25 when Ragnar's 70? Right I have to write more about this so I'll go on, Floki is an old man but his wife too has retained her young woman good looks. This is fascinating, obviously the Gods were much kinder to women than they were to men at this time in history or maybe I could dare to venture that this is so far from the truth that it ruins what would otherwise be a very interesting and historically vaguely accurate series.
  • matty_da_bull24 January 2018
    5/10
    Loved it, then hated it.
    Seasons 1-2 absolute belters. Thoroughly enjoyed the first two seasons. By season three I can only assume the show is being financed by Saudi Arabian money men. The vikings all of a sudden turn from ruthless cold calculating super warriors to civil rights activists when they happen upon a mosque. And this from Flokki the viking who is most in-tune with the viking gods...really?
  • attila-1679529 October 2016
    6/10
    too intertwined with modern day politics
    Warning: Spoilers
    Starts strong, battle scenes are great, but it gets weaker story wise as the seasons progress. Also, too political. In it's effort to create female characters that are on parity with the men, it ends up being a preach. It's obviously influenced by Game of Thrones, but unlike GoT, there are too many Mary sue characters. Bjorn is untouchable, Lagertha can't even mess up her hair. An example;The battle scene where Rollo and Ragnar face each other Lagertha gets stabbed. The scene is obviously made to create suspense, but it miserably fails. Lagertha didn't even mess up her hair. In fact the whole scene is like ''that was the most gentle stabbing I've ever scene! doubt she'll even get a scar''. And of course every male main character drops everything to come to the rescue of this supper bad-ass warrior queen, that castrates men for fun. Cringy scene.

    I would say, overall watchable, starts out strong, but wouldn't buy the series for re-watch, or recommend.
  • C. Walker6 March 2013
    8/10
    Delighted and eager to see how the show matures
    I am delighted to see all the reviewers energetically debating the merits of "The Vikings" first episode----it demonstrates that they acknowledge the historical value of the period the show is portraying. Yes, there were historical inaccuracies in the plot. This will enlighten the scriptwriters to the fact that viewers ARE paying attention! That being said, I thoroughly enjoyed the first episode---all that lush eye candy for a novice historical student of the Viking culture! This episode has chosen to jump in at some point in time, and chose the year of 793----without all the back story of a long and comparatively stable history of trade with the "southern lands". The Scandinavian countries were undefined and fluid at that time, and were generally lumped into the "heathen" northmen.

    In order to impress the pope and to be acknowledged as the holy Roman Emperor of Europe, around the year 772 Charlemagne took a great interest in converting the heathens to Christianity. In his campaign to forcibly convert the northmen, he first baptized, then brutally murdered the recalcitrant civilian pagans----many, many thousands at a time. The northmen who managed to escape to their more northern cousins told of the brutality (and extraordinarily rich) Christians. The attack on Lindesfarne was undoubtedly vicious, but did not occur without previous provocation.

    We all watch the show for different reasons, but if the producers can keep a reasonable level of historical accuracy, and weave in the interest and action needed to balance the whole show out----I can see a long run for "The Vikings". I am watching.
  • vldmlnk21 January 2018
    5/10
    Vikings is the opposite of wine, was the best when it was made.. and got worse every season.
    It is my first review on IMDB, with such disappointment i felt like i had to do it and as a big fan, it is really hard for me to rate this gem so poorly but here is my reasons:

    First seasons was so great, i was telling everyone that this show is way better than Game of Thrones and was so hyped about it,and i guess this is the reason for the big failure followed by next seasons. Not sure whether the producers decided to make it as provocative and shocking as GoT or they were out of ideas and decided just to add random boring side stories and dialogues. I wont mention specific scenes to avoid spoilers, but the last season is such a waste of time, there is like 10 percent progress and the rest is boring, emotionless, banal dialogues with characters who you got no emotional bond with and even question their existence in this series (not minding the horrible acting from some of these).

    * I would like to mention, that those who just started watching or about to start, please mind that the first 3 seasons are excellent and worth watching.

    **Sorry for my poor English as it is not my main language.
  • Ciubotariu Anca25 March 2016
    3/10
    What happened with this series?
    What happened with this series? First season was great, couldn't wait for next episode to air. Second season not so bad, third, not so great, but this season got from bad to worse. It looks more and more like an soap opera with cardboard characters dressed only by coincidence as vikings, because no real history is respected here. So many pointless violent scenes with sole purpose to schock audiences, with no real importance for the scene. Ragnar became some kind of paranoid junkie, Laghertha a cold heart killer. And what was with all those exotic snakes? They barely made it to Europe but they made a quick trip to Australia to bring some pitons and keep them so lively in a stone cold shack without any heating in the middle of winter. Also there are some birds that are in changes one minute and absent in the next, only to appear by magic again. Really? Anda a Chinese slave in a viking world? So far fetched. I am really sorry about it because used to be so good but I think episode 5 from this season will be my last as this became ludicrous.
  • ArrayThis24 February 2017
    4/10
    Poorly Written and Executed Hollywood Soap Opera
    Vikings is extremely over rated. Pros include cinematography and action sequences. Other than that this show is essentially a bad soap opera about vikings with empty characters and shallow dialog. People do not stay in character, the plot and immersion is weak and poorly written lines are poorly delivered. I struggled through 4 seasons but just barely.
  • sunex18 May 2016
    3/10
    Season 4 is a mess
    This season is a nonsensical, illogical, poorly thought out, poorly conceptualized mess.

    Almost none of it makes any sense whatsoever. If had been the 1st season, it would not have been renewed.

    The meaningless additional characters they dropped into the show have no purpose and could easily have been ignored. Ragnar the strategist is just loping from one event to the next clearly without any of the spark he had in the first 2 seasons.

    I Think Travis was just too busy working on World of Warcraft to do be bothered to have much interest in what was going on in Vikings.

    Llagatha is awesome, as always, but most everyone else was hopeless.

    If you have not started season 4 yet, don't. Pretend the show ended with the sacking of Paris in season 3. You'll be much happier.
  • tobyambler29 April 2018
    6/10
    The latest seasons let down the high expectations set by the first few.
    Warning: Spoilers
    In the first few seasons there was a decent amount of character development for the main characters. You really felt like you had a connections with the likes of Ragnar, Rollo and Lagertha. There actions and motives were understandable and generally made sense. As a result there was a degree of weight to the series and i would always greatly anticipate the next episode.

    In the latest few seasons, I almost reluctantly watch the episodes out of a past loyalty to the seasons. More and more characters have been introduced, but they have only served to dilute the series and make it weightless. I feel like i have very little connection with any of the characters because there are so many. The only one of new Ragnars sons given sufficient character development is Ivar and they managed to make me hate him, despite the fact that he is most likely going on to take the lead role in future seasons.

    Overall, the last few seasons have been incredibly disappointing. The Battles have become increasingly stupid and unrealistic. The Historical Accuracy has gone out the window. The only character i care out about is Bjorn and even his actions are becoming increasingly unrealistic.
  • nilsonsc16 April 2018
    7/10
    From an excellent TV show to an average one
    The first 3 seasons are excellent. I used to recommend this series to all my friends. Few episodes, good story, unique characters. Then the fame came and brought greed. History Channel decided to double the earnings by doubling the number of episodes in season 4. Without enough content to fill the episodes, the show became slow and boring. I decided to stop watching it by the end of season 4 because I realized it was declining. I don't want to screw up my good memories.
  • KeyserSozeJUDGMENTDAY2 April 2018
    6/10
    so so so bad
    First, second and third seasons are great. Performance of Travis Fimmel is absolutely amazing. Season 4 is awful, forced mix of stupidity and slow slow meanless doing of episodes. Season 5 is even worse, childrens of Ragnar are so anti-Ragnar kids. Only Bjorn have some quality like Ragnar. This just becoming from bad to worse in every episode.
  • dlbartdlb2 February 2018
    6/10
    season 5 is a letdown
    I have been a faithful fan since the beginning. i have previously rated this show a 9 or 10. but season 5 is a huge letdown. lagatha is no longer credible as a leader. all it takes to overthrow a king or queen is to murder them and in real life she would have been overthrown by now. alot of teh new cast is boring. the episodes are boring. the men are weak. and the floakie island scenario is boring . the next season really needs to pick it up or the show won't last very much longer.
  • lennertronaldo29 April 2016
    Season 4 is just so bad..
    Warning: Spoilers
    Three amazing seasons and then this. I am so disappointed. I am praying right now that part 2 of season 4 will be better, actually it has to be better, it can not get any worse.

    Ragnar Lothbrok is a king, not a drug addict. There is no one better then him.

    Then the fight with his brother.. I almost laughed, it was pathetic. At least a sword-fight please.

    The only good thing that happened in this season was the reunion of Floki and Ragnar.

    I hope for the writers sake that the sons of Ragnar will give us some new, fresh action in part 2 of season 4, It will be necessary.

    Season 1: 8/10 Season 2: 9/10 Season 3: 8/10 Season 4 (part 1): 3/10
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