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Archive for April, 2015

SPOIL ALERTS:

VIKINGS

I have been watching the television series Vikings and have been intrigued by its depiction of an ancient people who were violent warriors, settlers, farmers, and very superstitious. Writer and historian, Michael Hirst’s amazing story telling of the Norse legendary figure Ragnar Lothbrok whose exploits are at once compelling, fascinating, and riveting.  Some things the Vikings do are so grotesque and deplorable, you feel as though you have to have a bucket beside you.

For those of you who like Game of Thrones, I am sure you will like Vikings.  I have had a hard time following Game of Thrones many twists and turns; luckily I have had help from my son to fathom what the heck is going on sometimes and what family did what to whom.  With Vikings, it is complex, but I did not feel as though I can’t wrap my mind around it fully.  I really enjoy that feature!

Vikings characters are well cast.  I think the main character Ragnar Lothbrok, played by Travis Fimmel; he is an amazing actor who depicts the complexity of his character.  The character Ragnar is portrayed as an exceptionally smart, driven, corrupt, and a compassionate man, who may just spare your life … that is, if he feels it serves his purpose.

What I really like is the portrayal of women, in particular Lagertha.  She is a “Shield Maiden”, or a woman warrior.  She was once married to Ragnar, but decided to divorce him because he wanted to take a second wife.  According to this legendary view women were allowed to divorce their husbands.  Lagertha has many attributes; a mother, a warrior, a diplomat and a grandmother.  She can single handily kill a multitude of men, then farm, govern, and pillage with the best of them.

One of the main characters who struggles with his Christianity and passion for the Viking people and their Gods is, Athelstan.  He enlightens Ragnar to a world beyond the realm of the Vikings.  Ragnar is then torn in the opposite direction of believing in his Gods, but wondering about Christianity of the time and its power, corruption, and grip it has on so many foreigners.  Ragnar and Athelstan’s relationship is one that transcends religion, there is a brotherhood of thoughts, ideas, and dealing with conventional beliefs of the time.  They are each other’s equal from opposite realms.  I have found that intriguing.

I could go on forever writing about this television series, but there would be more spoil alerts than I have already presented.  I encourage you to watch it, from the beginning and in sequence.  It will engross you, and invite you to witness a historic people who weren’t just raiders and maleficences who worship strange gods, in an odd manner.  It will enlighten you to people who built ships that sailed the high seas, and built communities like no other.

If you have seen Vikings, let me know what you think!

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