Vikings Season 3 sails into The History Channel on Thursday, February 19th at 10pm. Although liberal with the historical accuracies, this sexy, political, dirty (wait am I describing Scandal?), ax-wielding, Odin-worshipping, village-pillaging show is well made and exciting every single episode. Get ready for the upcoming new season by catching up or revisiting Season 1 (Blu-ray | DVD | Instant Streaming) and Season 2 (Blu-ray | DVD | Instant Streaming).
Not convinced? Well, continue reading for the 10 Reasons To Binge-Watch Vikings Before The Season 3 Premiere, which includes videos with scenes from the first two seasons, as well as promos for Season 3 (down at the bottom of the article).
10 Reasons To Binge-Watch Vikings Seasons 1 & 2
10. The outdoor sets: Don’t get me wrong. The indoor sets are great too with an attention to detail that is superb in its simplicity and roughness (while still not exactly historically accurate), but when the camera pans the countryside, mimicking Ragnar’s eyes when he is in thinking mode, the view is breathtaking and the effect is exactly as intended. I love the dismal atmosphere when he talks to Gyda after her death. I dare you not to cry during this scene.
The Beauty of Ireland:
9. Utter belief in their gods and Valhalla: It seems quite freeing to truly believe that death cannot stop you, and that the point of life was to ensure you would feast in the halls of Valhalla after your death. Also liberating is the belief that whatever happens, the gods wished it so. Warriors were proud of those who died a good death. Only Ragnar started to become confused about his beliefs, but for him — only because he thought there could be a possibility of other gods besides his.
Let the old man in this clip convince you that Valhalla is real:
8. The bloody scenes: The Vikings were a bloodthirsty lot. Their whole economic system is based on raiding for gold and expanding their land. Their entire political system is corrupt with strife and the struggle for power almost always leads to some intestinal spillage. The quieter scenes are no less bloody. When Ragnar finally reveals to King Horik (Donal Logue) he cannot forgive Yarl Borg (Thorbjorn Harr) for what he did to his family, he subjected him to the “Blood Eagle,” the most brutal death one could endure.
Or THAT sacrifice scene (NFSW):
7. Siggy (Jessalyn Gilsig): Siggy is the ultimate survivor. She uses her body and secrets for trade in possible intrigues, with the sole goal to be back on top when she was an Earl’s wife (and beyond). You never know of her true feelings when interacting with Lagertha, Aslaug, and Ragnar, but I truly believe she loves Rollo (how could she not?). In “Unforgiven” she says, “Everything I do, I do for Rollo.” Now that could be because of his political power potential, but again….look at him!
6. The Seer (John Kavanagh): Creepy as fuck, but seems to be the real deal. This guy would fit right in on Game of Thrones. “You seek answers. But I have no answers, only truth.” Missing his eyes, which are probably in the way of truly “seeing,” and thick black lips set in a wrinkled and scarred face, it is his voice that is even scarier with ominous warnings.
5. Floki (Gustaf Skarsgard): He is a quirk, this one! His mannerisms and boat-building skills made him not only a huge asset to Ragnar, but made us love this yet another talented Skarsgard (this family is an acting dynasty). Floki almost broke our hearts last season when we thought he was betraying Ragnar, and willing to kill young Bjorn (Alexander Ludwig). But when we were finally let in on the little secret that proved Floki’s loyalty to Ragnar and his family, we breathed a sigh of relief.
4. The brothers’ relationship: Ragnar Lothbrok and Rollo (Travis Fimmel and Clive Standen) have a complicated relationship. They start off quite estranged and volleyball back and forth from there. The underlying love is apparent. Rollo just wants his brother’s respect and approval (and maybe his stuff too). Rollo says in “An Eye for an Eye,” “My brother forgave me, something I thought impossible. When I searched my heart, I discovered that I always loved him. That I’d grown to hate myself.” The acting displayed by these two is superb, that love/hate rivalry is authentic. It also helps that Aussie Fimmel and Brit Standen are extremely easy on the eyes, and many of their scenes show off their warrior ferocity.
3. Shieldmaidens rock: Factual in history, the shieldmaidens were badass chicks that fought alongside the men and were just as dangerous. Lagertha (Katheryn Winnick), the biggest badass of them all, refusing to share Ragnar with Princess Aslaug (Alyssa Sutherland) even though that was a perfectly acceptable practice at the time. When Athelstan was captured to babysit, she hopped right out into the field alongside Rgnar. Getting out from under the thumb of a domineering second husband, Lagertha becomes earl, leading her own men to help Ragnar take back his land. Go feminism!
2. Athelstan (George Blagden): The hostage who became family, wormed his way into Ragnar and our hearts with his kindness and tolerance (and later displaying some Vikings viciousness). “Their Gods are very old. And sometimes I could not help noticing some similarities with our own God, and his son.” And, “In the gentle fall of rain from heaven, I hear my God, but in the thunder I still hear Thor. That is my agony,” from The Choice. That he questioned his own faith and caused Ragnar to question his, made perfect sense to viewers, even if it still doesn’t make sense to them. Ragnar’s BFF has been literally crucified, but it did not stop him from trying to protect and make his way back to his “family.”
1. Travis Fimmel: Fimmel, Winnick, and Standen have all been lauded on this list for their outstanding performances. All three deserve their own mention. But it is Fimmel, the star, who makes viewers weep and rage with his range. Fimmel causes Ragnar to be just as believable skewering an enemy, as when the tears pool in his eyes at his family leaving him. The character is cunning in war and (brief) peace, and we can give credit to the writers, directors, and fellow actors for enhancing Fimmel’s performance, but it is he who breathes life into this complex character. Only known for some small shows and movies before (The Beast, Tarzan), this guy is going to be huge. Just wait.