Saturday, August 8, 2015

Vikings Season 1: The Binge Begins

vikings season 1

Once we were about 3 episodes in to the first season of Vikings, on Amazon Prime, my wife found out that the version we were watching was the edited American version, not the original from Canada. We were both instantly disappointed but too deep inside to turn back. If you watch it on The History Channel, you're seeing this version as well. So, less blood and no titties for us, I guess. We'll just have to double up on Game of Thrones.

This guy!
Anyway, the show is interesting because I guess it's supposed to be somewhat historically accurate, I mean it's on The History Channel, after all (HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!) Seriously though, it seems accurate. Nobody's running around in a horned helmet or anything. Instead our main character, Ragnar (who reminds me of Charlie Hunam's Jax from Sons of Anarchy), is just a simple guy who dreams of more, because the fucking beautiful, vast land by the water and mountains that he lives on just isn't enough. So he defies his leader and sails west to discover/raid England for the first time. And that act changes the path of history. And of course as things get bigger they get more complicated. It's not quite Westeros, but it's still intriguing. 

There's something very weird about finding yourself in a position where you want to root for characters who are raiding and pillaging innocent people. It's easy to say they are reprehensible and the show doesn't pull (m)any punches in how it depicts their willingness to kill and otherwise terrorize the nameless peasants. But we spend so much time seeing their humanity that by the time we get to the raids, this is our team. At the same time, we're dealing with a society that is much less patriarchal than you'd think. Women go on raids with the men and can be warriors as well. This society does not treat them as property, though there are slaves and prostitutes and arranged marriages. But a strong woman is still honored and respected. And that leads to the best character on the show, by far: Ragnar's wife, Lagertha. I could give a few examples, but basically, she is not to be fucked with and at the end of the day, the main reason to watch the show. I suggest discovering for yourself if you haven't already. I'm late to the party, though, so no spoilers.

Do not fuck with her. 

The end of season 1 leaves us at a cliffhanger and a crossroads that I won't spoil. We have actually seen the first episode of the second season and can tell you that while that cliffhanger is resolved pretty quickly, the crossroads was very real and the show is headed in a very different direction for all the characters. In particular I sense huge things for Lagertha, which is fine with me. If we were in too deep by episode 3, there's absolutely no turning back now. I'm all in. 

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