A Vikings Community
Thursday 10:00 PM on The History Channel

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?


Previously Aired Episode

AIRED ON 4/21/2016

Season 4 : Episode 10

144 Comments
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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...
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That's my family history you're watching people. Normandy France was 'given' to the Vikings so they'd stay there!!
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Vive Rollon et Guillaume Le Conquerant!!!!!!!!!!!!
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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.)
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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!
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I will watch it. Been ignoring it for some time.
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Thanks for bringing this show to my attention Tim! I'm at episode 7 now and dont regret it! :D
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Don't forget Vikings orgies!
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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..

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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 !
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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.
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wut
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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.
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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!
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Go play with your mommie..
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Typical boy-ish reply. Real men don't lower themselves like that.
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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...
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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!
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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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I've loved Katheryn Winnick since she was on Student Bodies in the 90s but the only reason I really started watching this was for another Canadian actress, Jessalyn Gilsig.
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Both a nod and a slam of 'Sons of Anarchy' in a write up for a different show, huh? {shrug}

Vikings is in the queue, but there's a lot of good shows in the queue. I'll get to it eventually.
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This show is great I thought it was going to be bad at first but is truly a great show. And it tries to get history right, it has spent more time at sea than Black Sails.
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They had me at the moment Ragnar was speaking Old Norse (with subtitles) to the English monk who was speaking Old English (with subtitles). I thought I had died and gone to (mostly) historically-accurate geek heaven!!
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And hail to Thor, nobody speeks american.
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Katheryn Winnick is mine, I called dibs last year.
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fight fight fight
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Exactly, can't just come moseying along after just watching the show only two weeks ago and suddenly lay dibs on Ms Winnick like some rich old pickled herring eating Swede with a sense of entitlement. Gotta earn your Shield Maiden in combat and then hope she doesn't clean your clock after as well.
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I CHALLENGE YOU TO COMBAT TED2332!
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OK, the loser gets Princess Aslaug (Alyssa Sutherland). :)
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Damnnnnn! Princess Aslaug can have my bloody axe wearing corpse anyday, win win!
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Love the creepy blinded seer with the stained tongue, I guess it's reminiscent of how Odin gave up one of his eyes for the the ability of prophecy/foresight.
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Sounds a lot better than I originally though. I'm going to have to check it out.
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This was one of my favourite shows from last year, it's a shame that so many people missed it. To be fair, I don't remember the History Channel promoting the show either, so there's that. Over the last month or so, I've seen a few season 2 trailers, so I'm hoping that more people will tune in this year.
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Yeah this slipped under the radar big time, I was lucky I saw Gabriel Byrne on the cast list and thought OK then, this is not some cheesey show where the 20-somethings who weren't cast as vampires got roles as vikings.

Then the show surpassed all my expectations with each successive episode and with just how much they had happen in a single episode was mind bending, especially when I'm used to shows that stick you on the same cliffhanger for 3 episodes and you're like over it by the time of the "big reveal".

As the reviewer says this show is the opposite of what is generally out there and is not just a guilty pleasure but immensely satisfying in this old world tale and the immersion in detail and strangeness of this Norse world.

I watched each episode and though it gives you plenty of satisfaction I still found myself jones-ing for the next episode.

If you haven't seen it yet I envy you immensely, I recommend organising some uninterupted time for yourself, roast up a boar, pour yourself some meade and binge watch this fantastic show as a great way to escape all the petty drama of lesser shows.
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better late than never I guess.....

Though coverage would of been great when we was asking for it months ago...
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I was hooked in the first 10 minutes of the first season. Actually one of the few shows I continually checked the return date for, just so I didn't miss it.
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Just a note: Viking legal system was a lot more complex than what the show depicts, not to mention very democratic. What is depicted here with the jarl passing sentence and that sentence being death is wrong on two accounts; the jarl would not have such power, a crime as serious as this would be brought before the Thing. Secondly, the vikings didn't practice death penalty, all penalties were fines, or exile for the worst of crimes.

Other than that yes, they were plundering, slave-taking bastards and quite rightly feared as terrible scourge on the rest of Europe; and yes, this is a very enjoyable show.

Just wanted to add that it is probably at best 50% accurate in its depiction (as somebody else noted, the geography makes no sense either; whenever the show gives me a clue, I am in turn clueless as to how that would fit a map of Scandinavia. And Scandinavians invaded England many centuries before the viking age began, they knew perfectly well that it existed, where it was, and how to get there. The true achievement was crossing the North Sea without land marks, sailing on the open sea for many days).

But glad the show is getting some spotlight on tv.com, looking forward to seeing season 2 myself.
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You have to be fair - fifty percent accuracy is off the charts for depictions of the Viking/Norse culture on TV... If not for a few excellent shows like Rome, it would be off most charts for accuracy in depicting any ancient or medieval culture on TV.
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That's certainly true, it's a lot closer to anything else I can recall seeing on the screen. Just wanted to remind people that even though this show does it a lot better than others, it's still miles away from being accurate. Most importantly, while some stuff in this show may be true, it's difficult to distinguish it from the stuff that isn't. You pretty much have to know already whether something is accurate or not.

So if you don't know your Viking history, you won't know either when this show is being correct or not; and if you do have the knowledge to tell the fact from the fiction apart, well, then you already know more than this show can teach you. :)
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Late note here, but if you do not know, the show, for me anyway, makes me want to learn. It's too bad I don't have the time though. If the show can do the same for others, more power to it.
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I love this show, it is right up my ally. Can't wait for s2. I'm glad i decided to give it a shot
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Fans of Reign wont like it though, it is too real and no gushy romance! To Valhalla!
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I love Reign and I love Vikings. People are complex and layered individuals capable of enjoying both smart writing and mindless entertainment.
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zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz
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Recently showed this series to my family during Christmas. They all loved it and devoured it shortly thereafter. This is definitely one of those shows I tell everyone about. It's fun, its enjoyable, its history, its goddamn vikings. It manages to make a really compelling story about a viking legend pillaging England really interesting without tits and gore. It's seriously worth the watch for those who haven't seen it.
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What? No mention of Travis Fimmel in The Baytown Outlaws? Arguably the greatest action movie to come out in 2013?
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Out-rage-ous!... [said in speak and spell voice]
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Shame on you for taking so much time to see :)
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And I'm probably a bit biast as the guy who plays Ragnar Lothbrok is from the same state I live in Oz

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This show is awesome. The creator has a lot to do with it, who is Michael Hirst who created The Tudors and Elizabeth and Elizabeth The Golden Age.
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The first season was great, it might take a few episodes to really hook you but once the first fight comes along (well, technically the second fight because the series starts with a fight scene) you're all in. I just re-watched season one in a day and a half last week so I'm all ready for it to return, Thursday can't come soon enough.
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It is a good series, and I am from Norway :-)
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Why would Tim automatically think that a serialized story about Vikings on the history channel would be lame? Does he only criticize and find negativity with everything?
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Because the History channel produces history documentary and not shows. It could have been too complicated, too boring, too historical. But it's the perfect mix.
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Yeah, mostly it's History's spotty record and the fact that early write ups on it all felt it necessary to compare it to Game of Thrones (which is a bad comparison, really). Midseason is a really busy time of year for TV now, so this just fell through the cracks for me.
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Reason number one: Ragnarok, the Viking apocalypse, is scheduled to go down this weekend. Get prepared son.
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If I had a dollar for everytime Fengris the wolf was predicted to swallow the sun...
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I watched first 2 eps. Nope.
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Are you a crazy person?
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YAYAYAYAY i forgot that it was coming back and i just thought about it and then you wrote this article. its such a good show
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Tim, are you going to review season 2?
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Probably not. My plate runneth very full. Possibly an episode here and there, or maybe just a photo gallery of Lagertha.
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I can't believe you forgot to mention Floki. Personally I'm not a fan of his (I just don't like sinister, marginally insane character types), but a lot of people who watch the show love him. And he is Eric Northman's brother.
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See, I like him, but not as much as other characters. Like you said, he fills that weirdo insane character role. Personally I liked the old dude who just wanted to go to Valhalla better. That guy RULED.
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Lol tottally forgot about this show, I will definitely cheack it out:D
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Well I took your recommendation for Orphan Black from your midseason cram article and that was a damn good show so I'll definitely have to try this one.
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I have been ready to watch this since the end of season 1.
Ragnar could be the baddest character on television.
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Good on you! I quite loved season 1 but even I couldn't come up with 10 things to promote the show.
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Can't wait. Got my DVR is all ready to go
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#9 THAT'S THE DUDE FROM TEEN WOLF! "Everybody has it, but nobody can lose it." LOL
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I LOVE Vikings and Ragnar's blue stare is my one true crush. The only criticism Ive got is that Scandinavia in the show looks nothing like its supposed to. I know its a fairytale, but it is based on real history....so that bugs me a bit. Im a Viking decendant and always feel the blood pumping watching the show. No, Im not insane (LOL), just a viking.
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I second that crush...he's so damn sexy!!!
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I'm a dude and I third it!
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Looks like you're not the only dude with a man crush!
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Ragnar and his steel blue stare, forefather to Zoolander
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And so Vikings becomes yet another show tv.com neglected and now takes all the credit for it.

Really Tim - where were you last year?

Lagertha, Siggy, Ragnar and Floki are along with The Jennings my favorite new characters of 2013.

I'm just sad Gyda won't be in season 2 - she was adorable :( I'll miss her :(
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Hey, don't be so negative!
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During the first season I and many others were weekly putting Vikings into FTW. However tv.com acted like the show didn't exist.

I'm glad you finally discovered Vikings - better late then never - but we all already knew it.

I would prefer it if this article was like "10 things why I fell in love with Vikings" and not "10 things why you should fall in love with Vikings". We all fell in love with it long time ago.

Since you obviously like Vikings (good for you!) I suggest you to watch other "Lame" (aka the ones tv.com doesn't speak about) shows: Haven, Longmire, Devious Maids.

Also since you're late you have no right to Lagertha.
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I've never even heard of Vikings until today. But now I'm intrigued and will check it out, thanks to this article (and all the comments). And honestly, if the title was "10 reason why I fell in love with Vikings", I would have been much less compelled to read this.
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I hear ya. We say "you" because it's a show I think most people didn't catch the first time around, so we're trying to get their attention. It's just semantics.

It's getting more and more difficult to cover all the TV out there, especially with all these new networks trying out original programming, but we're trying. I watched a handful of Longmire episodes when it came out and I thought it was okay but nothing special. I wanted to call attention to Vikings because I think it's great.

And like I said above in another comment, I challenge anyone to combat for Lagertha. Let the gods decide.
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Also, we consider ourselves TV fans and not authorities, so we don't mean to sound high and mighty!
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I forgot "The White Queen" in the "Lame" show category. Rebecca Ferguson was gorgeous as Elizabeth Woodville.
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Yes she was (that whole cast was two standard deviations above most other generic casts and historical/fiction based shows) and what show is complete without a petulant and sacastic kingmaker or a devout/crazy indominatable mother of a future king.
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Late to the party, like a second raid to lands of King Aelle (not as fun as the first raid cause it was forbidden)
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Welcome to the world of Vikings Tim Surette!
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Thanks!
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i cant wait for second season :p
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Number 9. sold it for me, great article. Will be checking it out.

Then number 10. hurt my English pride, although that "spineless [heroic] English blood" is your ancestry as much as ours....sort of....mostly.......damn.

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Heil, Earl Ragnar!!
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This series is so good, I can't wait to watch the next season :D
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Glad to hear you're onboard now, Tim. Loved the first season. But you forgot one of the things that makes this show so great: Floki! Love that dude.
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When Ragnar and Lagertha had sex in front of the monk and then invited him into their furs for a little three-way action, I knew this was the show for me.

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Better than all 10 other reasons.
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