10 Reasons to Plunder Vikings Before the Start of Season 2

By Tim Surette

Feb 20, 2014

When History Channel (is it still History Channel, or just History now?) first announced Vikings a year or two ago, I was all, "Laaaaaaaame." But a few weeks ago, I decided to give the show a chance after hearing some good things, and I quickly realized that it was I who was laaaaaaame. I feasted on the nine-episode first season after History made the series available on demand, and I'm glad I did. Vikings may not be the best show on television, but it's a fun series with plenty of strengths and few weaknesses. Season 2 starts next Thursday, February 27, which means you've still got plenty of time to catch up. And here are 10 reasons why you should. 

1. Vikings are very cool...

You know what Vikings do? They get on a boat, they sail somewhere, they get off the boat, they kill everyone they find, they take their victims' stuff, and they sail back home. They worship Norse gods, they eat with their hands, they go to Valhalla when they die, and they do psychedelic mushrooms in the forest. Now THAT's the life for me. Vikings depicts these hulking barbarians in all their plundering glory, but it also shows off more respectful qualities like loyalty, the importance of family, and respect for the old ways.  

2. ...but Vikings doesn't glamorize them.

C'mon, they're still Vikings. That means they're prone to having their way with the women of the lands they conquer, their legal system is laughable, and sometimes they'll sacrifice their own friends to the gods. It's a brutal society, and Vikings never lets you forget that.

3. Ragnar Lothbrok

Vikings' main character is an up-and-coming warrior named Ragnar Lothbrok, and he's one of television's better leading men. While others Vikings thump their chests and bellow earth-shaking roars to prove their worth, Ragnar gets ahead by intelligently thinking things through and questioning the old ways. But the most striking thing about the man is his sense of curiosity. He doesn't just level the towns he pillages, he makes an effort to learn about their people and their customs, in order to understand the world a little better. And then he kills 'em. He's like the Viking version of Sons of Anarchy's Jax Teller. And he's played by...

4. Travis Fimmel

Ladies! The Australian Fimmel was once one of the most sought-after male models in the business, serving as Calvin Klein's main man for a number of years. You may also remember a clean-cut version of him starring opposite Patrick Swayze in The Beast or a longer-haired version starring as Tarzan in The WB's Tarzan. But now he's grown a bearded and been butchered by a barber to play Ragnar, and it's his best look yet. What's more, Fimmel is more than just a pretty face, and as Ragnar, he adds a perfect mixture of ferocity, cunning, and playful cockiness to Vikings' cast. 

5. Katheryn Winnick

Canadian actress Winnick plays Ragnar's wife Lagertha, and she's hot like the sun. She's my current TV crush, so keep your filthy hands off. 

6. Vikings is simple

I love that today's top-tier television is so intricately woven that every single detail matters, but sometimes it's nice to sit back and watch two grown men in animal skins bash each other's brains in because they don't like each other. Vikings isn't THAT basic, but it's mastered the art of producing simple television without dumbing things down. The characters are well drawn and the storylines clearly connect and resonate without the need for a cheat sheet or repeated trips to a Wiki, which makes for a perfect palate cleanser after the mental acrobatics required to watch "challenging" series like True Detective or Breaking Bad or unnecessarily convoluted ones like Sons of Anarchy. And don't worry, there are plenty of "Oh sh*t!!!" moments. 

7. It's nicely paced

The first seven or so episodes of Season 1 are comprised of one- or two-episode arcs that have full beginnings, middles, and ends and they just fly by; most of them also involve English kings pissing themselves out of fear. There are no dragging storylines that take forever to materialize; Vikings starts something and then finishes it, which makes it perfect for micro-binges. And if you make it to Episodes 8 and 9, you'll see things open up as the series prepares for a more immersive Season 2. 

8. Ireland is pretty

The series is filmed in the land of leprechauns, and it's gloomy, misty, and gorgeous. (Yup, that giant tree is CGI.)

9. This guy!

Who IS this guy!?!?!?!?

10. Bigger-budget LARPing

There is nothing cooler than a bunch of dudes in armor smashing each other with swords, and there's plenty of that in the first two-thirds of the first season. The blood of spineless Englishmen will run!

Are YOU ready for Vikings Season 2?

  • Comments (114)
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  • Derlowemann Apr 27, 2014

    I love the show, it is an awesome show. I liked the HBO series Rome too, very graphic about their way of life. Vikings is one of my favorite shows on TV, every Thursday night you know where I am at...

  • lauramlabelle Feb 27, 2014

    That's my family history you're watching people. Normandy France was 'given' to the Vikings so they'd stay there!!

  • Kerkesh Mar 01, 2014

    Vive Rollon et Guillaume Le Conquerant!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • BosleyMcGilla Feb 23, 2014

    That was some good stuff, marathoned the first season. I guess you don't suck as much as I have always thought Tim (as much.)

  • Misao_83 Feb 23, 2014

    I can wait to see season 2!!!!I love this show sooooooooooooooo much! But you forget to name Floki, he is one os the greatest characters this days!

  • MarlboroMagpi Feb 23, 2014

    I will watch it. Been ignoring it for some time.

  • HakonDWrsch Feb 22, 2014

    Thanks for bringing this show to my attention Tim! I'm at episode 7 now and dont regret it! :D

  • segarion Feb 22, 2014

    Don't forget Vikings orgies!

  • BabeRuth Feb 22, 2014

    I lost interest as soon as I saw chicks with swords, the woman libbers are happy.

    Woman made to look like bad ass warriers? We see it on the shows where the social engineering writers and producers have this formula where the woman is portrayed as stronger than the man. Men on most shows are demoted to nitwits or the woman takes the lead as the men cower and act helpless in the background. You don't need to make a strong woman character by belittling or demeaning men. It is a subtle way the writers use to appeal to a lower class urban and female audience who can't notice reverse sexism..

  • lauramlabelle Feb 27, 2014

    uh Babe, nothing sexist there, I'm going outbon a limb here, but I think women knew how to fight with a sword then. Especially if your ol' man was away during raiding season !

  • Tanniel Feb 24, 2014

    While to some extent I agree that Tim's comment is all the response this merits, I will nonetheless risk sullying myself because I do believe that blatant ignorance such as this should be combatted with facts.

    There are numerous, numerous, numerous, irrefutable, unquestionable examples of shield-maidens and women being warriors in Viking society. In fact, many graves have been found with bodies buried with their personal weapons, where the archeologists assumed they were men until the bones were examined and found to be women. There are also many examples from the sagas and other written sources about female warriors.

    You may have a point that Hollywood has begun stereotyping women into always being strong characters rather than multi-faceted characters, but I think the presence of a single female warrior on a TV show is hardly a case of that when we have plenty of other female characters who do not conform to this stereotype.

    Furthermore, considering the historical evidence backed by this, I see no wrong in the portrayal of Lagertha. Kindly take your ignorance about Scandinavian culture and history elsewhere, it is tiresome to be confronted with yet another example of such.

  • TimSpot Feb 22, 2014


  • Ugmiwatogla Feb 22, 2014

    Shield maidens did exist. I guess you need a few history lessons. Try google for starters. Men who are confident in their masculinity do not feel threatened by strong women.

  • claudia40 Feb 28, 2014

    I applaud everyone who took the time to respond to him...all I could think was that Babe is a sad misinformed person and not worth our time!

  • BabeRuth Feb 23, 2014

    Go play with your mommie..

  • Ugmiwatogla Feb 23, 2014

    Typical boy-ish reply. Real men don't lower themselves like that.

  • complexinternationalarmsc Feb 23, 2014

    Lagertha is a semi-historical figure and Viking sagas did feature women in combat roles.

    And its really one woman in the whole show. The rest are...not exactly some sort of feminist ideal. The Jarl's slave comes to mind...

  • Ujpesti Feb 22, 2014

    You finally talk about Vikings, it was about time! Last season's most ignored show. It's true, it's not a masterpiece, but it's very strong & pleasant televisione, without the usual horn-cliches about the vikings a lot of realism. Welcome!

  • BobTFish Feb 21, 2014

    A good, not great show. Being from the North East of England it especially interests me. And yes, Gilsig and Wiinick are stunning.

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