History Channel Enters Into Scripted Television With ‘Vikings’

Published 2 years ago by

Vikings History Channel  History Channel Enters Into Scripted Television With Vikings

Add yet another familiar name to the growing list of cable networks dabbling in original scripted content, with History looking to make its mark with the ambitious historical drama, Vikings.

Headed up by writer Michael Hirst, who has worked on similar adaptations such as Elizabeth, Elizabeth: The Golden Age, The Tudors and most recently, Starz’ short-lived sword and sorcery series Camelot, Vikings will be a 10-episode series expected to air on History sometime in 2013.

The story will follow Ragnar Lothbrok, a real historical figure, as he rises from the Viking tribe’s greatest warrior to their eventual king. According to History, the series will “will boast a polished, stylized look that pushes the boundaries of television drama” highlighted by “imaginatively choreographed battles that emphasize individual points of view, strategies and ruses rather than mindless, graphic slaughter.”  So it’s safe to say that Vikings won’t be completely like Starz’ historically based hit series, Spartacus: Vengeance.

History channel general manager Nancy Dubic had this to say in regards to the upcoming series:

“This is an amazing crossroads for History embarking on our first scripted series. People think they know about the Vikings – we see references to them all the time in our popular culture from TV commercials to football teams – but the reality is so much more fascinating and complex, more vivid, visceral and powerful than popular legend.”

History Channel Logo History Channel Enters Into Scripted Television With Vikings

Vikings marks the first series from MGM TV since the studio emerged from bankruptcy. The series was ordered last year with the intention of having Vikings go straight to series upon order. Hirst will oversee the production as executive producer on the series, which will be filmed at various locations across Northern Europe and at the recently erected Ashford Studios in Ireland.

This will be the second Norseman-related project to be announced in recent weeks, following news of the comic adaptation Cowboy Ninja Viking, which may turn the spotlight back on to such projects as Mel Gibson’s proposed Berserker film – which, at one time, had Leonardo DiCaprio attached to star. Although DiCaprio is no longer involved, should History’s series and Cowboy Ninja Viking prove successful, it may not require such star-power to get Berserker off the ground.

History’s ambitious project may serve to not only reignite interest in Vikings, but also forever alter the network’s course.


Screen Rant will update Vikings with casting and filming details as they emerge.

Source: Deadline  

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  1. I’m sold. Will give this a shot when it comes on next year.

    • Hmmm, sounds interesting. Count me in, I’ll give it a watch!

    • I love this show so awsome

  2. Finally a reason for me to watch the History Channel again. I’ve actually forgotten what channel it is because it’s been so long since I tuned in.

  3. It will probably have more facts and history than most of the shows on the History Channel nowadays :D

    Seems interesting though, I love me some Vikings

  4. Yeah, more Vikings. Have done my far amount of research and know what people say and how it was. Interested to see what comes of this.

  5. Hell yes, Vikings are one of my favorite cultures, next to the Celts, but I sm half Irish so I’m kinds biased

  6. Sorry…But the Vikes where little more than a murdering gang of thieves who not only robbed everything you had but killed everyone in the process. I used to think the Vikings were something special until I discovered they were just a band of vicious thieves.

    If they want to do a show on true warriors with a leader who concord the world….Genghis Kahn and the Mongol Warriors would be far more interesting. There’s still enough blood and violance for those who look foreward to that, but the story of how Genghis Kahn took over the known world and incorporated the different cultures into the empire is far more interesting in my opinion….

    • how was Ghengis Khan any less of a murdering thief than your average viking, what, because he did it in the name of building an empire its ok. Pppppffffttt whatever, dude.

      • The Vikings did raids along shore lines and rivers…First it was monestaries. They came ashore and took everything and left everyone dead. Then they just did these major raids wherever they found a village, town or monestary within close proxmity to their boats….They weren’t some noble fighting army squaring off against another kingdom. They were just a bunch of murdering theives. An yes that is a far cry from someone who actually built a nation. They too did some viscious acts, but generally that was to get the next kingdom to fear them enough to either surrender or negeotiat a ransom to not be attacked but under the guise of the empire. The Vikings cared less about incorporating. They did take over the Irish and managed to keep some of the women alive where took over…I guess there’s a lot of Norskie blood running through many of the Irish, but that’s about as close to nation building they ever came.

        They were not the noble warriors some want them to be. If the time line was different and they ever came against the Mongols their time of terror would have been cut short very fast. They wouldn’t have lasted very long at al….In fact they really didn’t last that long once they actually had to fight trained armies instead of towns people with few weapons and basically no training…

        • Maybe do some real research before you go making drastic assumptions a fair amount of the vikings ended up ruling in other European countries.

        • 3,000 Vikings took over almost all of UK, I think that makes them pretty good warriors. And you can see it on Scandinavian people today, that they were bigger and stronger than most of the world. Long, big muscles without training, big dicks, strong legs and broad shoulders. And they were excellent ship builders. They have been at almost every continent and still today in the “viking-countries” there are less than 20 mill people. They have found traces of Vikings in Konstantinopel and Northern-Africa as well as Nort-America, Asia, Europe, UK, Iceland and Greenland. And if they had faced the Mongols, in equal numbers, the vikings would have won, 1,000 years ago there were much greater difference in height. Vikings were nr.1 and would have been giants in front of a Mongol.

        • Also they didn’t fear death. They were more feared of dying quitly in their beds, because then you would not enter Valhalla and drink and fight with heroes and the gods.

    • Your Eurasians might be far more interesting if you’re from Mongolia or one of the “stans”. Many of us aren’t. We’re genetically linked to Northern Europe and carry ancestries blending Norse, Scotch/Irish, UK and Germanic cultures. For that and other reasons we find the Vikings intriguing and arguably mislabeled as you describe them. During that age, life had little meaning generally all over the globe. Incredibly brutal by modern standards, Vikings voyages, conquests, assimilation, justice and trade were often characterized by warfare, vengeance and subjugation of others but they also were in many ways, an interstate highway out of the dark ages. Peace.

  7. The vikings raids were acts of necessity. They lived in some of the harshest environments imaginable, agriculture was nearly nonexistent. The monguls didn’t just “incorporate” peoples. They wiped out entire cultures that refused to be assimilated, like the Sarmatian’s. Just because he left people to enforce his rule on what few survivors he left, it’s called empire building.
    The Northmen pioneered sea travel, they sailed all over the world. Archaeological evidence suggest the vikings reached the Americas 500 years before Columbus got lost and “discovered” America. While the rest of the world thought the earth was flat the vikings were traveling to different continents. And their descendants the Normans defeated their share of trained armies.
    Ghengis Khan was a barbarian and a dictator, no different than Hitler.

    • No sense arguing because we can find plenty of unessary blood with both groups. I’ve just been facinated with Kahn for some time and the book series by Conn Igglude (Not sure if that’s spelled right) about the Kahn empire helped me see him and his hoard in a much different light…..Then again his books covered mostly the battles and expansion, but not so much the ruling….

      One thing about his killing off everyone in a kingdom…..It was harsh, but it did set up a presidence. He’d set up a different colored tent for about four days or so….You never wanted to see the red because then everyone died. After dealing harshly with some other’s were willing to pay ransom to avoid being wiped out. It was a horrible thing to do, but in the end the strong arm approach did save a lot of lives too….How that sits in the balance is anyones guess.

      Also: I did forget about the Vikings exploration around the globe….I live in ND and besides being a football team that hasn’t seen too many good years for a long long time…The Vikings ledgened about making it as far as MN is something we’ve always heard of…Apparently they have some ship remains somewhere in the Twin Cities…

  8. I and my brother like history channel vikings tv show yman so much. We never miss any of its programs. Its sound interesting, funny, horrible and exiting in every moments. Thanks :)

  9. Wow, awesome weblog structure! How lengthy have you ever been blogging for? you make running a blog look easy. The entire look of your site is excellent, let alone the content material!

  10. I definitely will watch the series because Alexander Skarsgard older brother, Gustaf will be on the series.

  11. just finished working on the vikings the production values are through the roof .wait and see going to take the world by storm

  12. Vikings on the History Channel
    Hollywood’s latest offering for the feminization of the male in todays’ political correct society. Did you ever look at the paintings of the Viking Norsemen and think of a man whose waist line was smaller than a wooden barrel? Do you really think that the cast of Viking’s could row across the North Sea and then raid a foreign country? I have looked at the trailer a few times in the movie theater and laughed out loud. In today’s Hollywood it’s all about being political correct, but I am ashamed of the History Channel they are supposed to be historical accurate. It’s not the actor’s they are being paid to do a part, just because the casting director never read a history book or gathered information about the time period this story was being written about, come on a Viking looks more like an offspring from a bear not from a white tail deer. Really most of these guys don’t look like they could row across a pond and the only raid they could really accomplish would be a panty raid at a college.

    • Your ‘panty raid’ quip made me laugh out loud — kudos to you on that one. And I’ll agree that a lot of the cast members definitely don’t look Nordic or strong and fit enough for the job. However, possessing a bearlike physique or a “barrel”-like waistline does not make you fit for the job either.

      Given the scarcity of foods in those parts, I would doubt that many of the Vikings were fat. Burly, perhaps, but definitely not plump around the midsection. Thick, maybe, but not portly. Even today, when people from Scandinavia are far more sedentary than they were in those days, obesity in those parts is much rarer than in most others.

      If you want to talk about historical accuracy, I wouldn’t invoke images of Vikings from “paintings”. Not sure which sources you’re looking at, but the few examples of figurative art I’ve seen from the Norse culture features lean figures. If you can provide contrary examples, I’d love to see them.

      Also, I’m not sure whether you’ve done a lot of cardio in the past, but having the cardiovascular fitness to row long distances — let alone across seas — generally doesn’t go side by side with a “barrel” belly. Even lean guys with really bulky muscles (like bodybuilders) tend to wane in the later rounds because it takes a lot of oxygen to fuel those muscles. That’s why sprinters tend to be bulky but marathon runners tend to be spindly.

      In sum, MOST Vikings were likely big, strong guys who had a good balance of muscle mass and cardiovascular fitness, with considerable strength and power but without a crazy amount of bulk. You might get the odd one who looked like he walked out of a strongman competition, but this would be a rarity and more likely than not he’d be one of the slenderer competitors.

      Finally, I’m not clear on how this show contributes to the “feminization of the male”. The main character is muscular, has facial hair (and a very irritating smirk, I might add), but nothing feminine other than, arguably, his braids. And if the villain (Gabriel Byrne) is feminine in appearance or manner, then that’s one hell of an ugly woman.

      Perhaps in your view Vikings are some extinct species more closely akin to bears than people. But in reality their descendents probably look a lot like they did — a little less muscle and a little more fat, but pretty close.

      • great comment. I agree with your reasoning.

        (I’m not really awake enough to look up any sources for this,) but I doubt there were scarcity of food in Norway. (by the look of the mountains and fjords these are Norwegian Vikings depicted, not danish/swedish/icelandic) the oceanic coastline and fjords are ideal for fishing, and the vikings are known to be part of a developed agricultural society. (I mean, bull-horns were used for everything, from flutes to drinkingcups, so that should reveal something about domestication/agriculture) the whole reason why people could engage in warfare and exploration is because there was a plentitude of food. (if there was not enough food, then most people would have to work as farmers or fishermen or hunters or gatherers.) the same is seen all over the world, like the maori of New Zealand. they had an extensive horticulture, and were warriors and raiders as well, while smaller surrounding islands had enough to think about just to get food for the day..

        • Icelandic people are Norwegians. Norwegians discovered Iceland and Greenland during the viking age.

      • if you talk about historical accuracy of this comedy, then what about the presence of women fighters in the Viking army. It is completely wrong from historical point of view. Woen were not participating to any viking raid and it was strictly forbiden to women to wear masculine outfits of weapons.

        and here it seems vikings suddenly adopted affirmative action, showing their will to feminize their army… lol.

        • Vikings are known for their respect to their own women. Women could vote and had always a say.

    • raiders were whoever was around, Viking is an act not really a group of people,
      like we are going viking. Most were farmers and townspeople for the better part of the year when they werent raiding, the series has a bunch of little historical tidbits, like the sun stone which was discovered in iceland and allowed to travel and navigate on sunless days, there are many things the people of scandinavia to modern western culture, they were the last to become christians and plus, just like with any army they were mostly young and probably expendible.

      • Iceland were discovered by Norwegian vikings pretty early.

  13. Absolutely Fantastic, Vikings changed everything, created a new Europe, created Russia(The Rus) and clashed with ancient paleo-eskimos ‘Skraeling’ around 980 AD. Oldest Viking word still used in modern Norse…Skraeling

    HOT NEW Amazon ebook SKRAELING( PRION APOCALYPSE TRILOGY). Read this VIKING THRILLER -ancient Berserkers thaw out in 2018 AD hunting down the last Skraeling, a modern boy rescued on an ice flow. His genes hold the key to Longevity and the promise of finding Bifrost, the legendary bridge to Valhalla, $1.99 on Amazon ebooks

  14. aloha my name is brian Yonezaki the history channal
    tv program vikings is a exciting tv movie

    Aloha history Channal
    Brian Yonezaki

  15. for a review of Vikings, see http://paullevinson.blogspot.com/2013/03/vikings.html

  16. Here is a really nice review:


  17. Alcuin of York was already in Aachen (the capital of Charlemagne’s empire) at the time of the raid on Lindisfarne (England). Alcuin, as we recall from 7th grade World History Class, was asked by the Frank King to run the Palace School in Aachen (France).
    Therefore, without doubt, these Norse Vikings already knew of the lands to the west of them, i.e. Jarvic, York, Lindisfarne, Northumbria, etc.
    It is important to note that Lindisfarne Priory was very important to Alcuin, and was home to several close friends. Alcuin actually wanted to return to Lindisfarne prior to the Viking Raid, but was prevented
    from doing so by Charlemagne. The Frank King wanted Alcuin to stay in Aachen and administer the Palace School.

    These facts were well understood by the Vikings. At this 794 (AD) period, the Dane and Norse Vikings under the rule of Godfred of Hedeby, were upset with Charlemagne’s Iron Embargo against them, his ban on Viking ships from entering Frank ports, and on his explusion of Viking Mercenaries from Frank lands. Mercenaries had aided Charlemagne in his fight against the Saxons, a common enemy. Additionally, The Dane Vikings feared that Charlemagne was about to invade Hedeby and other parts of the then Viking land.

    This topic is covered in Amazon’s e-book, “To Kindle A Fire,” (c) 1999, a Viking novel by Richard Yarus.

  18. Michael Hirst’s VIKINGS depicted an execution by decapitation in the first episode. It is interesting to note that Jarl asked the convicted man for his preferred manner of execution. The condemed chose punishment by decapitation.
    A convicted Viking would most likely request to be executed by the most honored named sword in the warrior community. If death was not rendered by sword, then death was to be by arrow. These two execution forms assured the Viking of his all-important entry into Valhalla. There he would join Odin’s celestial Army for the battle at Ragnarok, the end-times war, against the Giants.
    A true Viking of that time would never select decapitation and the reasons are found in my Amazon e-book, “To Kindle A Fire,” © 1999, by Richard Yarus.

  19. Outstanding entertainment. Engrossing story and sexy. Love it!!!!

  20. The technical advisor/builder of the ship replicas should be flogged! The steering oars are improperly placed on the larboard (left) side of the ships, instead of on the starboard (“steer board!”) side where they belong. C’mon! The word “starboard” comes from the Vikings because of this fact! They couldn’t even get that detail right. I won’t go into the clothing, hair-styles, etc. Sheesh!

  21. I have been totally fascinated and appreciative of the Viking series. Please continue delving into a race of people little has been known about. My husband’s grandparents came from Norway and even after years with them much of their lives and ways are still a mystery. I know they were great fighting warriors. I believe many of the traditions and spirit of these people remain to this day in their ancestors.

  22. We love the show. Wish it was going to be more than 1o episodes!!!!

  23. I love “The Vikings” tv series. It is so well done and engaging. Please let it continue after original 9 episodes are done. There is a huge, dedicated following for this show.

  24. Well we can all be happy that Christianity was victorious over the Norseman or else we would still be sacrificing human beings to appease wooden gods like Oden and the others. These humans did not sacrifice themselves willingly as they show falsy depicts-they were tied down and murdered unwillingly. There are a number of historical inaccuracy’s in this program,am Norwegian myself,and have traced my family line back over 600 years there. Women did not go to war and the attire, along with the tatoos, is entirely false. Most of the clothing was wool. Agriculture was important. As in all cultures, most people were peons for the elite, and were sacrificed to the gods if they stepped out of line. The vikings were brutal and picked on small villages with little defenses.

  25. So disappointed in Ragnar, how can he do that to Laertha whose being with hint though everything. His daughter dying I see it as a punishment from the Gods for his betrayal. If the show keeps going like this, it’ll lose me as a fan….one of the greatest things about Ragnar’s character was his devotion to his family and the love for his wife….how sad that as soon as another pretty face passes by he has to go and cheat

  26. I cant believe any person would watch a show that takes 10 months to come back with new episodes. like you would remember what happened, all these shows get the wait for the series to be over and watch them all at my time but not watch 9 episodes and then wait 10 months and watch some more, its 2013, everybody has ADHD and i cant have them do this to me. i have yet to see all the good shows that have this god awful schedule and only wacth when completed, bring back 20 to 24 episode season and only have the summer break PLEASE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  27. We just watched all of Season 1 and the first two episodes. Can’t wait for the next one.

    Very well done!

    I would recommend watching Season 1 first!

  28. reviewing second season of Vikings http://paullevinson.blogspot.com/2014/03/vikings-21-2-upping-ante-of-conquest.html

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