5 Reasons To Watch History Channel's Vikings.
When you hear History Channel, you probably think of Adolf Hitler or what you did in Social Studies class when your teacher was hungover. But last month, History Channel took a giant step towards quality non-Nazi related programming with the release of Vikings, a period action/adventure/drama with all the pillaging, mayhem and rape you've come to expect from your history book's grungiest punks.
Surprisingly, Vikings is actually a pretty good show. Here are five reasons why you should tune in!
#1 Regnar Lodbrok and Family
Meet Ragnar Lodbrok, bad-ass Viking sailor and the hero of our tale. He's figured out a way to sail farther than any other Viking sailor and has discovered a new land called England filled with gold to take and weaklings to murder. He's shrewd and intelligent, a schemer with a heart of gold. He's a little Tony Soprano, a little Walter White, but mostly just a Viking rock star.
Ragnar's brother Rollo is less of a sailor and more of a hardened killer and only an OCCASIONAL rapist (which for a Viking is pretty good.)
Ragnar's wife Lagertha is no homemaker (hutmaker?) - she's a badass warrior who can kick it just as hard as the burly boys, and takes a refreshing stand AGAINST mindless raping.
Ragnar's ten year old son is an adorable little punk, who at the age of 10 is now old enough to drink and fight with the grown ups, so there are a few adorable scenes of this little tyke getting wasted. (Ragnar also has a daughter who has yet to show any sign of a personality, but... there's still time.)
To round it all off that Lothgar family has a slave (a white slave, there ain't no Django Unchained in 9th century Denmark). Ragnar captured this monk from an English monastary, and kept him as a pet because he speaks Viking-ese. Slavey-Boy looks after the Viking kids, who kinda hate him, and is CONSTANTLY turning down requests to join Ragnar and Lagertha in a threesome. Yup.
#2 Gabriel Byrne
I don't know about you guys, but I've just spent an entire season of The Walking Dead watching The Governor turn out to be a half-baked villain who is alternately likeable and crazy, depending on what the writers had for lunch that day. The villain on Vikings does not have this problem -- he is bad to the bone. The smolderingly evil chieftain of the Viking clan is Earl Heraldsan, played by Gabriel Byrne, who is an actual actor and elevates the material he's given. There's no attempts to be likable, no showing the Earl's motivations, no exploration of his humane side. He's just a greedy bastard who feels threatened by Ragnar's popularity and access to England, and all its' treasure.
Ragnar is like the Viking Obama, the up-and-coming idealist who wants to spread the wealth around and Heraldsan is the 1% who has a stranglehold on the whole Viking town and wants to keep it that way. I don't think there's been a single episode in which Heraldsan hasn't murdered a child, tortured an innocent, sold his daughter for money, or schemed to kill, capture, betray, or humiliate our hero Ragnar. Since he's the richest guy in Vikingsville, he's constantly eating - and let me tell you this, only Gabriel Byrne can make munching on olives look so threatening.