are invading America on Sunday nights! History introduces its first scripted drama series with the epic show written and created by Michael Hirst (The Tudors).
The show takes a look inside the Viking culture through Ragnar Lothbrok's (Travis Fimmel) family and his quest to sail to the west in search of new worlds.
Most often the Vikings have been seen through the eyes of the outsiders they have conquered. This series takes a look at the Viking culture on a personal, familial, and societal level to see how they live, love, and survive.
With so many choices of what to watch on television, especially on Sunday nights, a new show may not be something you are looking to watch. Vikings season 1 has completed filming and since it is the first drama on History, there's little risk that the show being pulled off the air. Plus, it's a small time commitment with only 9 episodes.
Those facts probably aren't enough to convince you to give the new series a watch, so here are five reasons why you should consider watching Vikings.
Vikings! Vikings! Vikings!
Why should you watch? It's about Vikings! Okay, sure that's not reason enough, but it's a place to start. The premiere episode starts with a battle, which sets the tone for the Viking society that the series will be revealing.
It's a relatively unexplored culture in entertainment, which allows for surprises and provides a unique basis for a family drama. The culture was a brutal one, with battles, exploration, strife, but at the core, it's about living life and love for family.
The Women are Strong
In history, women across the globe have been seen as subservient to their fathers and husbands, but not in the Viking society. Women were seen as equals and partners in a marriage. Ragnar's wife, Lagertha, is a shield maiden. She fights beside the men and goes on raids.
On television, there aren't enough strong-willed, independent women seen, but especially on historical dramas. Vikings provides a look at a culture where one's gender was not an indicator of what they could or couldn't do. And, surprisingly, Ragnar is even seen doing the wash.
Despite Lagertha's strength and independence, she does suffer at times because she is a woman. Those scenes are just as telling about the innate disadvantage women have to men.
Check out the video clip to see Lagertha show off her fighting skills.
It's Based on Historical Fact
Vikings are taught in school as brutal conquerors that invaded on ships. And, while that's true, there is much more to the Viking culture than that. And, the series provides an inside look at their society.
Many of the characters are based on historical figures. Ragnar is based on a real-life Viking leader that explored during the 8th century. Athelstan, was inspired by a Christian monk from that time.
The Vikings were pagans who believed in the ancient Gods. The dichotomy between their beliefs and those of the Christian monks that come to live with them provide an intriguing look at religions.
Vikings succeeds at entertaining, while also educating the audience about this society's history. It proves that sometimes reality is even more enjoyable than fantasy.
It's About a Family
At the core of the story is Ragnar's family, including: his wife, Lagertha; his son, Bjorn; his daughter, Gyda; and his brother, Rollo. And, later, the monk, Athelstan, who comes to live with the family.
The love within the family is strong, but not without big and small conflicts. As Ragnar's brother, Rollo, does not always remain loyal and at times takes advantage of the family.
The focus on this family allows for a personal look at the Viking lifestyle and humanizes them in a way that hasn't been seen on television before. It provides a balance to the brutality of the raids and within their society.
It's Visually Appealing
An epic drama like the Vikings is expected to have amazing scenery and be visually appealing and it succeeds with both. From the battles, to the sea voyages, to conquering the new lands, the sights are breathtaking to watch.
For more on the show, check out the photo slideshow below that introduces the show's many characters.
Vikings premieres Sunday, March 3 at 10 pm ET on History.
(Image and video courtesy of History.)