History Channel’s Vikings details the saga of the mythic hero Ragnar Lothbrok and his sons. The compelling tale of the farmer who became Earl, the Earl who became King, the King who became a legend, and how power corrupted him into a downward spiral has spanned for nearly six seasons - with the second half of Season 6 expected to (hopefully!) release soon.
There has been enough blood, sex, and mead across the series' run so far that it is difficult to pinpoint who will come out on top when all is said and done with Vikings. The Vikings at the centre of this hugely popular show have certainly taken their fair share of holidays around the globe, with visits to England, France, Russia, Iceland and even the Mediterranean. This globe-spanning takes inspiration from real events, of course, as the real Vikings of old visited much of the world, but with enough artistic liberty to keep you guessing.
Vikings saw a major shift following the end of Season 4, with the death of Ragnar a pivotal moment which nicely moved the focus to his many sons vying to fill the power vacuum Ragnar left behind.
With generations of characters coming and going, the epic scope of Vikings proves it is truly worthy of entry into Valhalla as one of the best historical action dramas on television.
As for each season of the show, this is how they match up.
8. Season 5B
Season 5B stands out like a sore thumb in an otherwise solid line-up of television. It's biggest weaknesses lie in the writing, and many decisions made during this season lack direction. Paternal lineage is used for two separate plot points that do not take the story anywhere.
Magnus, the so-called son of Ragnar, is introduced only to be unceremoniously killed off without contributing anything to the plot. In an even more bizarre turn of events, Rollo finally returns only to proclaim he believes Bjorn - a character who has always been Ragnar's eldest son - is actually his son.
This decision feels even more out of place when you factor in Rollo has just aided Ivar in ousting Bjorn from his home, although he does have a knack for betrayal at this point. Rollo may come to regret his decision, however, as Ivar goes from being a ruthless antihero whose cruelty stemmed from his disability, to an absolute tyrant without any real agency. When Ragnar told him to “be ruthless”, he meant towards Ivar’s enemies - not his own people!
Thankfully, these odd writing choices don't seem to be affecting anyone in Wessex. Alfred and Heahmund get some of the best moments of the season as the young king treading in his grandfather's footsteps and the warrior bishop struggling with his faith, respectively.