Vikings is an Irish-Canadian historical drama television series. Let’s see some awesome facts and trivia!
1.It is written and created by Michael Hirst for the television channel History.
2. The series is inspired by the tales of the raiding, trading, and exploring Norsemen of early medieval Scandinavia.
3. It follows the exploits of the legendary Viking chieftain Ragnar Lothbrok and his crew and family, as notably laid down in the 13th century sagas Ragnars saga Loðbrókar and Ragnarssona þáttr, as well as in Saxo Grammaticus’s 12th century work Gesta Danorum.
4. Norse legendary sagas were partially fictional tales based in Norse oral tradition, written down about 200 to 400 years after the events they describe.
5. Further inspiration is taken from historical sources of the period, such as records of the Viking raid on Lindisfarne depicted in the second episode, or Ahmad ibn Fadlan’s 10th-century account of the Volga Vikings.
6. The series is set at the beginning of the Viking Age, marked by the Lindisfarne raid in 793.
7. An Irish-Canadian co-production, Vikings was developed and produced by Octagon Films and Take 5 Productions.
8. Michael Hirst, Morgan O’Sullivan, John Weber, Sherry Marsh, Alan Gasmer, James Flynn and Sheila Hockin are credited as executive producers.
9. The first season’s budget has been reported as $40 million USD.
10. The series began filming in July 2012 at Ashford Studios, a newly built studio facility in Ireland, chosen as a location for its tax advantages.
11. In August 16, 2012, longship scenes were filmed at Luggala, as well as on the Poulaphouca Reservoir, in the heart of the Wicklow Mountains.
12. 70 percent of the first season was filmed outdoors.
13. Some additional background shots were done in western Norway.
14. According to actor Clive Standen (Rollo), future seasons may feature characters such as Alfred the Great, Leif Ericson, and Ivar the Boneless, as well as travels to Iceland, Russia, France, and across the Atlantic.
15. Several Swedish media sources reported that actors Edvin Endre, son of Swedish actress Lena Endre, and Anna Åström had signed up for roles in season two.
16. It was confirmed that Endre had obtained the role of Erlendur, one of King Horik’s sons.
17. Jeff Woolnough and Kari Skogland joined Ken Girotti and Ciaran Donnelly as directors of season 2.
18. At the same time that the series was renewed for a fifth season, it was announced that Irish actor Jonathan Rhys Meyers would be joining the cast for that season.
19. The series received very favourable ratings by critics after the first episode had aired, with an average rating of 71% according to Metacritic.
20. According to Nielsen, the series premiere drew 6 million viewers in the U.S., topping all broadcast networks for viewership amount in the 18- to 49-year-old range.
21. An earlier claim of over 18 million viewers was later retracted by the channel with an apology.
22. Some critics have pointed out historical inaccuracies in the series’ depiction of Viking society. Lars Walker, in the magazine The American Spectator, criticized its portrayal of Viking Age government (in the person of Earl Haraldson) as autocratic rather than essentially democratic.
23. Joel Robert Thompson criticized the show’s depiction of the Norse peoples’ supposed ignorance of the existence of Britain and Ireland, and the use of the death penalty instead of outlawry (skoggangr) as a punishment for heinous crimes.
24. Monty Dobson, a historian at Central Michigan University, criticised the show’s depictions of Viking Age clothing, but went on to state that fictional shows like Vikings could still be a useful teaching tool.
25. Zenescope partnered with the History Channel to create a free Vikings comic book based on the series. It was first distributed at Comic-Con 2013 and by comiXology in February 2014.
26. The comic was written by Michael Hirst, features interior artwork by Dennis Calero (X-Men Noir), and is set before the events of season 1.
27. In addition to featuring Ragnar and Rollo battling alongside their father, the comic depicts the brothers’ first encounter with Lagertha.
28. Rollo was based on a real Viking called Hrolf (latinized as Rollo) who went on to conquer parts of France. Those parts are now known as Normandy: “Land of the Norsemen”. Hrolf was the ancestor of William the Conqueror. Actually being William’s Great-Great-Great Grandfather.
29. The detail that the Norsemen were tattooed is not necessarily speculation. Eyewitness accounts from the Viking Age report that Vikings were, indeed, tattooed. This was also a feature of Celts and Slavs, supporting the idea that the practice was widespread in Pagan Europe.
30. The women in the opening credits are supposed to be the 9 daughters of Rán, the personifications of the waves.
31. The title sequence is supposed to show the separation of a viking from the living, with the ornaments of his life (gold and weapons) floating down around him. During the shot of the rolling thunder there is a single frame showing Hel Lokisdottir: the goddess of death.
32. Travis Fimmel (Ragnar) is only 13 years older than Alexander Ludwig, who plays his son Björn. Katherine Winnick (Lagertha) is only 15 years Ludwig’s elder.