Monday, April 15, 2013

Vikings (TV Show)

I'm sure you all know by now that hubby and I are big Minnesota Vikings football fans, but this post is about a new TV show that we've been watching.  Let me tell you a few things about our Viking interest first.  Way back when hubby and I first got together, he was not a football fan at all.  I was a casual fan at that time, and the Raiders were my favorite team.  (That's funny when I think about it now ... Raiders, Vikings, hehe.)  Our first 'date' was supposed to be to meet at the local high school homecoming game but I didn't go because I hadn't thought he was serious about showing up.  (He did go.  DOH!)  Somewhere along the way his interest in football started growing and after a mild stint as a noob Packer fan, he settled on the Vikings as 'his' team because of his family ancestry.  I mean, c'mon, the family name is Engebretson.  Doesn't get much more Scandinavian than that.  It took several years but I eventually jumped the Raiders ship and climbed aboard the Vikings ship.  Hey, they have cooler colors, alright?  =P

Over the years, when I've dabbled in genealogy, I've really wanted to focus on hubby's side of the family because it's just so different from anything in mine.  We know his ancestors came from Iceland, Sweden, Norway.  It's probably going to be harder to trace anything there than in places like England or Germany or France.  And now watching this show has got me wanting to try hitting the genealogy sites again.

This show called Vikings is on the History Channel, Sunday nights at 9pm/Central.  When hubby first started seeing previews for this, he was all over it, couldn't wait for it to start.  I wasn't interested enough to watch so we'd just been recording the episodes each week and he would watch them on evenings I was at work.  I'd kinda been thinking I'd wait for the DVD set to eventually come and I'd watch them all then, since that seems to be my way of doing TV shows these days.  Well, we got a DVR recently and hubby managed to get all of the episodes recorded so I could watch them and get caught up if I wanted.  I put it off until this weekend when our weather was crap and we had nothing else to do.  Through some marathon viewing, I am now caught up.  And while I can't say I love this show like I've loved others (like Game of Thrones, or The Tudors), I can say I'm enjoying it.

The show takes place in the years around 795 AD, the beginning of the 'Viking Age,' and follows famous Viking warrior and leader Ragnar.  I like this guy.  Blond hair, blue eyes is usually not my thing but this guy is . . . uh, pleasant enough.  I don't like how he's acting now in the later episodes though, all overly cool and trying to be scary, like with his head down stare and sort of smirk on his face.  Almost like he's trying too hard now.  Liked him much better in the first few episodes.

Lagertha is Ragar's wife and a very accomplished shieldmaiden.  A lot of people love her because she's strong and kicks ass for a woman.  I don't like her much and usually see her as a bitch.  Once she and Ragnar come into power, she's suddenly this soft-spoken and girlie mannered lady that seems so out of place.

Bjorn and Gyda are the children of Ragnar and Lagertha.  History tells us that Bjorn will rise to fame where is father leaves off.  Hubby says as the show goes on he thinks Bjorn is getting meaner and snottier, and is starting to remind him of evil boy king Joffrey from Game of Thrones.  I don't really see it but I guess it makes sense, if he's going to become a powerful Viking later on.

Rollo is Ragnar's brother in the show.  Although there is a very famous Viking named Rollo in history, I don't know if he was actually brother of Ragnar.  Anyway, in the show this is Ragnar's brother.  I'm undecided about him.  He seems faithful to his brother but there also seems to be an underlying danger that he wants equal power and fame.

The evil leader, Earl Haraldson, is a horrible man.  I did not like him at all and was glad when Ragnar eventually defeated him.  I don't like his wife much either and wonder if she'll redeem herself or be a traitorous character.  (I couldn't find a good in-character picture of her.)

Athelstan is the British monk that Ragnar's group captured during their first raid, on a monestary.  They took several monk back home and sold them as slaves.  Ragnar was able to keep Athelstan as his own 'slave' and has used him to learn about England and other lands, and to learn the English language.  I really like this guy.  He remains kind and faithful and begins to grow fascinated by this new land and culture.  From what I've seen in previews of upcoming episodes, he might even renounce his Christian beliefs.  I don't know if this character is based on anyone real in history but he's quite interesting in the show.

And Floki.  Oh how I love Floki.  This guy is crazy!  He is a ship builder and faithful friend of Ragnar.  He's quite intelligent in his weird scary way.  All the other guys are big, burly, hairy dudes, and here is Floki . . . super tall and skinny, and scary with his crazy makeup and short spiky hair.  He's quite a fighter though when he has to be.  Love this guy!

There are other characters but these are the main ones.

I'm surprised how many people I know that watch this show.  I wouldn't have thought it would be that interesting to anyone but maybe history geeks.  I know there is a second season in the works but I can't help but wonder how long they can make the show last.  Yeah, they can bring in all sorts of fictional characters and events, but really . . . how many episodes can be about the latest raid?

Have YOU watched Vikings at all?

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