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Vikings: Valhalla

Were the Vikings really this crude? Must a television series about the Vikings rely on such crude plots? I’ve watched only the first episode of this new season, but so far it’s all about revenge, jealousy, lust, and greed.

It begs the question, is there any continuous thread of human character from the medieval Vikings to the super-civilized Scandinavian peoples of today? I don’t know nearly enough to even try to answer that question, but somehow it seems likely. For example, consider Viking art, or this article on the Viking attitude toward animals. According to the article:

“‘The hierarchy we see today, where people dominate animals, did not exist,’ says Hanne Lovise Aannestad, an archaeologist and researcher at the Museum of Cultural History.”

The Vikings, it seems, saw animals as divine kindred. Whereas the Christians taught them that animals are feelingless and inferior beings to be used in any old way — dominion theology. Which idea is more primitive?

This crudeness of plot and dialogue is one of the mistakes that Game of Thrones did not make. In Vikings, where are the artists, the storytellers, the ship engineers, the ocean navigators, the people who learned and taught other languages? Must everyone swing a blade, including the women? And the hair! Scroungy hair at sea is one thing, but must we imagine that the Vikings couldn’t tame their hair, and make it beautiful, when they were indoors, feasting or debating?

I’ll probably watch an another episode or two before I bail. The best fun I get from Vikings, I confess, is cheering for the pagans against the obnoxious Christians.

Vikings: Valhalla can be streamed on Netflix.


  1. Henry Sandigo wrote:
    Monday, March 7, 2022 at 7:16 pm | Permalink
  2. daltoni wrote:

    Hi Henry: There must have been a problem saving your comment…

    Monday, March 7, 2022 at 8:27 pm | Permalink
  3. Henry Sandigo wrote:

    I don’t recall what I said
    Though I find the Viking lore fascinating. A book I read Sarum, I think. Made the Vikings into blood thirsty warriors – killing everything in their path. However the Turks during WWI were just as vicious, so maybe they have a bit of Viking in them?

    Sunday, March 27, 2022 at 2:10 pm | Permalink

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