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Jose Mitchell
Jose Mitchell

Vikings Season 1

Vikings is a historical drama television series created and written by Michael Hirst for the Canadian television channel History.[1] The series broadly follows the exploits of the legendary Viking chieftain Ragnar Lothbrok and his crew, and in later seasons those of his sons. The first season premiered on March 3, 2013 in Canada and concluded on April 28, 2013, consisting of nine episodes. It begins at the start of the Viking Age, marked by the Lindisfarne raid in 793, and follows Ragnar's quest to become Earl, and his desire to raid England.

Vikings Season 1

An Irish-Canadian co-production presented by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Vikings was developed and produced by Octagon Films and Take 5 Productions. Morgan O'Sullivan, Sheila Hockin, Sherry Marsh, Alan Gasmer, James Flynn, John Weber, and Michael Hirst are credited as executive producers. This season was produced by Steve Wakefield and Keith Thompson. Bill Goddard and Séamus McInerney are co-producers.[2]

The production team for this season includes casting directors Frank and Nuala Moiselle, costume designer Joan Bergin, visual effects supervisors Julian Parry and Dominic Remane, stunt action designers Franklin Henson and Richard Ryan, composer Trevor Morris, production designer Tom Conroy, editors Aaron Marshall for the first, third, fifth, seventh and ninth episodes, and Michele Conroy for the second, fourth, sixth and eighth episodes, and cinematographer John Bartley. PJ Dillon served as second unit director of photography.[2]

The musical score for the first season was composed by Trevor Morris in collaboration with Steven Richard Davis, Steve Tavaglione, Brian Kilgore, Tina Guo and Mel Wesson. The opening sequence is accompanied by the song "If I Had a Heart" by Fever Ray.

The first season of Vikings received positive reviews. The review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes reported an 81% approval rating with an average rating of 6.9/10 based on 27 reviews. The site's consensus reads, "Vikings makes up for its lack of historical accuracy with a heaping helping of violence, romance, and striking visuals".[4] Metacritic assigned a score of 71 based on 20 reviews.[5]

Vikings is a historical drama television series created and written by Michael Hirst for the History channel, a Canadian network. Filmed in Ireland, it premiered on March 3, 2013, in Canada. The series concluded on December 30, 2020, when the second half of the sixth season was released in its entirety on Amazon Prime Video in Ireland, ahead of its broadcast on History in Canada from January 1 to March 3, 2021. A sequel series, titled Vikings: Valhalla, premiered on Netflix on February 25, 2022.[1]

Vikings is inspired by the sagas of Ragnar Lodbrok, a Viking who is one of the best-known legendary Norse heroes and notorious as the scourge of Anglo-Saxon England and West Francia. The show portrays Ragnar as a farmer from the Kattegat who rises to fame by raiding England and eventually becomes a Scandinavian king, with the support of his family and fellow warriors. In the later seasons, the series follows the fortunes of his sons and their adventures in England, Scandinavia, Kievan Rus', the Mediterranean and North America.

An Irish-Canadian co-production, Vikings was developed and produced by Octagon Films and Take 5 Productions.[2] Michael Hirst, Morgan O'Sullivan, John Weber, Sherry Marsh, Alan Gasmer, James Flynn and Sheila Hockin are credited as executive producers.[2] The first season's budget was of US$40 million.[3]

The series began filming in July 2012 at Ashford Studios in Ireland, which at the time was a newly built facility.[4] This location was chosen for its scenery and tax advantages.[3] On August 16, 2012, longship scenes were filmed at Luggala, as well as on the Poulaphouca Reservoir in the Wicklow Mountains.[5] Seventy percent of the first season was filmed outdoors.[3] Some additional background shots were done in western Norway.[6]

Two new series regulars were announced on June 11, 2013: Alexander Ludwig, portraying the teenage Björn; and Linus Roache, playing King Ecbert of Wessex.[11] The second season undergoes a jump in time, aging the young Björn (Nathan O'Toole) into an older swordsman portrayed by Ludwig. The older Björn has not seen his father, Ragnar, for "a long period of time". Lagertha remarries to a powerful jarl, a stepfather who provides harsh guidance to Björn.[12] Edvin Endre [13] and Anna Åström signed up for roles in the second season.[14] Endre had the role of Erlendur, one of King Horik's sons.

This season was produced by Steve Wakefield and Keith Thompson; Bill Goddard and Séamus McInerney acted as co-producers. The production team for this season included casting directors Frank and Nuala Moiselle; costume designer Joan Bergin; visual effects supervisors Julian Parry and Dominic Remane; stunt action designers Franklin Henson and Richard Ryan; composer Trevor Morris; production designer Mark Geraghty; editors Aaron Marshall for the first, third, fifth, seventh and ninth episodes and Tad Seaborn for the second, fourth, sixth, eighth and tenth episodes; and cinematographer PJ Dillon.

Norwegian music group Wardruna provided much of the background music to the series. Wardruna's founder Einar Kvitrafn Selvik also appeared as an actor in the show during the third season, portraying a shaman.[15]

Michael Hirst announced plans for the fourth season before the third season had begun airing.[16] The fourth season began production in Ireland around the Dublin and Wicklow areas in April 2015.[17] Additional location photography featuring Ludwig took place in Canada.

Finnish actors Peter Franzén and Jasper Pääkkönen, as well as Canadian actress Dianne Doan, joined the cast of the fourth season. Franzén played Norwegian King Harald Finehair, a potential rival to Ragnar. Pääkkönen was cast as Halfdan the Black, Finehair's brother. Doan portrays Yidu, a Chinese character who has a major role in the first half of the fourth season.[18]

WWE wrestler Adam Copeland was cast in a recurring role for the fifth season as Kjetill Flatnose, a violent and bold warrior. He is chosen by Floki to lead an expedition to Iceland to set up a colony.[22] Irish actor Darren Cahill plays the role of Æthelred of Wessex in the fifth season.[23] Nigerian actor Stanley Aguzie told local media he had landed a small role in the fifth season.[24] The fifth season also features Irish actor, musician and real-life police detective, Kieran O'Reilly, who plays the role of "White Hair".[25] In April 2017 it was announced that Danish actor Erik Madsen would join the cast for the fifth season, as King Hemmig.[26] He spent several months of 2016 on the set of The Last Kingdom, portraying a Viking.[27] Season 5 involved location shooting in Iceland as well as Morocco, the latter standing in for Sicily and Egypt.

Russian actor Danila Kozlovsky joined the series for the sixth season, as Oleg of Novgorod, the 10th century Varangian (east European Vikings) ruler of the Rus people.[28] Katheryn Winnick, who portrays Lagertha in the series, directed an episode of the season.[29] Music for the series was contributed by Scandinavian artists with strong Nordic folk influences, including Wardruna and Danheim.[30][31][32]

Vikings premiered on March 3, 2013, in Canada[33] and the United States.[4] Vikings was renewed for a fourth season in March 2015 with an extended order of 20 episodes, which premiered on February 18, 2016.[34][35][36] On March 17, 2016, History renewed Vikings for a fifth season of 20 episodes, which premiered on November 29, 2017.[20][37] On September 12, 2017, ahead of its fifth-season premiere, the series was renewed for a sixth season of 20 episodes.[38] On January 4, 2019, it was announced that the sixth season would be the series' last.[39] The sixth season premiered on December 4, 2019.[40] The second part of the sixth and final season was released in its entirety on December 30, 2020, on Amazon Prime Video in Ireland, the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany, and Austria;[41] and aired in Canada on History from January 1, 2021.[42]

In the UK, Vikings premiered on May 24, 2013, where it was exclusively available on the streaming video-on-demand service LoveFilm.[43] The second season premiered on March 24, 2015.[44] The third season began airing on February 20, 2015, on Amazon Prime Video.[45]

In Australia, the series premiered on August 8, 2013, on SBS One.[46] It was later moved to FX, which debuted the second season on February 4, 2015.[47] Season three of Vikings began broadcasting in Australia on SBS One on March 19, 2015.[48] Season four of Vikings began broadcasting in Australia on SBS One on February 24, 2016.[49]

The nudity and sex scenes are regularly edited out for American audiences. For example, the sex scene between Lagertha and Astrid in the fourth-season episode "The Outsider" only showed them kissing. The scene continued for airings in other countries and on home video releases.[50][51]

Many characters are based on (or inspired by) real people from history or legend and the events portrayed are broadly drawn from history. The history of more than a century has been condensed; people who could never have met are shown as of similar age, with the history amended for dramatic effect. Season one leads up to the attack on Lindisfarne Abbey of 793 (before the real Rollo was born). In season three the same characters at roughly the same ages participate in the Siege of Paris of 845. By this time, Ecbert was dead and King Æthelwulf was already on the throne. Rollo is shown having his followers killed and fighting his fellow Vikings, whereas in history they were granted what became Normandy and continued to co-operate with their Norse kinsmen.

In the fourth episode of the second season, the bishop of Wessex is shown inflicting crucifixion as punishment for apostasy, while it had been outlawed more than four centuries earlier by Emperor Constantine the Great,[71] and it would have been blasphemous for the Christian population.[72] 041b061a72


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