The vikings are (finally) here

Nikhil Bhave
Friday, 22 September 2017

The series is based on legendary Scandinavian hero Ragnar Lodbrok and his clan. Ragnar is mentioned in various epic poems and sagas. He is said to have terrorised ancient Francia and the Anglo-Saxons, forerunners of today’s Britishers. 

Here’s more about History channel’s drama, Vikings, that debuted on our television screens.

Three years and four seasons after its premiere, History channel’s historical drama Vikings has debuted in India this month. The series is based on legendary Scandinavian hero Ragnar Lodbrok and his clan. Ragnar is mentioned in various epic poems and sagas. He is said to have terrorised ancient Francia and the Anglo-Saxons, forerunners of today’s Britishers. 

As for the Vikings, they were seafaring warriors from mainly Norway and Sweden. They raided towns and coasts along Europe and Russia, terrorising the local populace. Yet back home, they were involved in various professions, including farming, and the series shows Ragnar (Travis Fimmel) as one.
The pilot opens on the Baltic coast mid-battle. Ragnar and his brother Rollo are the sole survivors of a battle and are finishing off the survivors. Then, Ragnar has a vision. What it means, is left unanswered, but may well play a big role as the series goes ahead.

A warning here: While the Vikings were fierce warriors and pirates, the episode does not feature much brutal battle. So don’t expect a Game of Thrones-style carnage. We also get to see just how skilled Lagertha (Katheryn Winnick), wife of Ragnar, is in the episode, when she fights off two armed wannabe rapists, initially unarmed. She is a former shield-maiden. In ancient Scandinavia, shield-maidens were said to be women who chose to fight as warriors. 

We are then offered a glimpse of ancient Norse life and customs, as Rollo, Ragnar and Ragnar’s son Bjorn travel to the town. Bjorn is at odds with local chieftain Earl Haraldsson (Gabriel Byrne) about raiding locations. Their conflict will span the rest of the season. 

As far as the pilots go, their main intention is to test whether the audience will like the concept realised in the content. On that front, this episode feels a little underdone. The characters look a little undefined.

Also, it is a little hard to root for the concept of finding new lands as the old ones are running out of the loot. On the other hand, Bjorn’s ‘ring’ ceremony offers a good insight into the codes this warrior culture operated with. Fimmel is unlikely hero material, while Byrne adds heft to Haraldsson’s villainous character.  

While the pilot falters on some fronts, it is refreshingly simple with relatable characters, and free of nudity, too. Overall, a solid beginning to a great series.

And the winners are....

The popular historical television drama Vikings is being aired on AXN from September 18. Written and created by Michael Hirst, Vikings is inspired by the saga of Ragnar Lodbrok, one of the legendary Norse warriors who was the scourge of England and France. Travis Fimmel essays the role in the series.
Sakal Times had printed a contest on September 16 asking three simple questions based on the series. 

The winners of the contest are:  
- Sunil Tarachand Melwani  
- Dhiren Kamle
- Ketan Mutha
The winners will get a chance to participate in Gold’s Gym special Vikings Warrior Workout where special trainers will guide them on ‘How to get a body like the Warriors’. The offer will be on till October 3. 

Do not forget to watch  season 1 - 4 every Monday - Friday at 10 pm on AXN. 

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