To be perfectly honest, I haven’t written much about Vikings before. Especially about games like Northgard. I know, I know. While zombies, mutants and serial killers are regular topics in my posts, the Vikings are a topic that I don’t have much experience in. I mean, the closest I’ve ever come to writing about Vikings was in my Ancestors Legacy post. And even there I missed my mark.
Northgard And The Lore Of The Vikings
Indeed. Before I continue with my humble yet honest review of the Vikings, the TV show I feel that a word or two about the game itself is in order. Because it’s precisely Northgard that led me to The Vikings. Developed and published by Shiro Games, Northgard is a fantastic simulation/strategy game. After years of tireless explorations, brave Vikings have discovered a new land filled with mystery, danger and riches. Their discovery is Northgard. Moreover, the boldest Northmen have set sail to explore and conquer these new shores. And to bring fame to their Clan. And of course to write history through conquest, trading, or devotion to the Gods.
That is if they can survive the dire wolves and undead warriors roaming the land. Or to befriend or defeat the giants. And survive the harshest winters ever witnessed in the North.
I mean here are some of the gamer’s comments on Steam about the game:
– AOE and Civ had a child, said Conzo about the game.
– -While Sitting Bull noted: Northgard is a fun and entertaining game that is a delight to play for hours.
And yes. As you can probably tell by now, we do have Northgard here at IndieGala, just waiting for you. Feel free to check it out, and indulge in it.
Northgard And The Upcoming Vikings Spin-Off
Yes. Right after the conclusion and eventual end of the Vikings, Netflix announced the upcoming spin-off series. Indeed. A spin-off series called Vikings: Valhalla is in production, and the fans of the original series can rejoice. First and foremost, the action cinema legend Jeb Stuart is the showrunner of the spin-off series. While the brand new series will have a different production studio (Netflix), the new series will a different cast and crew as well. And according to Stuart, the reason for the transfer to Netflix is censorship and creative differences with the original network. The History Channel.
According to him, the first season of Viking Valhalla is already done, and it will have brand new characters. Not to mention, it’s expected to air sometime in late 2021. Or early 2022.
So, the all-new series begins in the early 11th century. And chronicles the legendary adventures of some of the most famous Vikings who ever lived. Such as Leif Eriksson, Freydis Eriksdotter, Harald Hardrada and the Norman King William the Conqueror. Are you excited? I am.
What Was So Great About Vikings?
Well in a nutshell, because it had the thrills, and the quality of any historic saga, without being too obnoxious about it. Let’s face it, much like with plenty of costume drama TV shows (historical or otherwise), Vikings also lost the momentum. Near the end of the run that is, but that’s not entirely Ragnar’s fault. Or his „absence“ in the later seasons. However, Vikings was never a water-cooler type of a TV series.
Even when it was at its peak of popularity. Unlike say…. Game Of Thrones. It never got that status. It was more of a word-of a mouth type of a show, and with that it gathered some strong cult following. Indeed, in that following, you can include, your basic Norse culture aficionados and historical drama fans. However, I belong in both brackets. Heck, I even named my dog Loki, but I digress here. But I’m a sucker for a good historical drama too. For instance, I adore Rome and I equally adore The Last Kingdon. Another TV show with Vikings in it. It’s rather good, and you should check it out.
But Vikings was an epic saga as much as it was a family saga. At the start, we saw the rise of Ragnar Lothbrok (Travis Fimmel) and his conquests in England and France. Later on, his sons conquests different parts of the world. Including North America.
Accuracy Doesn’t Really Matter?
Much like with any other TV show, Vikings had creative freedom to change and meddle with the historical accuracy of the facts. Regardless if it’s about the Norse people or their culture. And it’s precisely because of those slip-ups that the show caught the wrath of some of the scholars and historians, but that didn’t matter to the fans. The epic battles, fantastic costumes and well-executed set pieces were far too great to ignore. Oh, and the acting too.
Good Actors And Decent Script Is All You Need
You can gloss over the show as much as you want, but if you don’t have good actors to fill the roles and a decent script… You basically have nothing. And it’s the sad truth. Fimmel and Katheryn Winnick were a true jackpot from the start. And so were Alexander Ludwig, Clive Standen and Gustaf Skarsgård I might add. But the supporting cast never lacked quality too. Linus Roache and Gabriel Byrne are personal favorites here. While Jonathan Rhys Meyers and Ray Stevenson are other personal picks from the later seasons. Oh and in regards to the ladies, Morgan Polanski (Roman Polanski’s daughter) was also great as Princess Gisla of West Francia.
But the decline of the show quality really began to show right after Ragnar’s demise at the end of season 4. I suppose he was so scenery-chewing presence that no one could match up to him. I suppose he was that compelling and larger than life character. The melodrama got bigger afterward, and my interest got smaller. But the showrunners really did their best with Ragnar’s sons. Ubbe and Ivar continued to be my favorites, while Hvitserk remained the sketchiest. And dare I say the most ill-defined.
A Satisfactory End? (spoiler ahead)
I’d be the first to agree that the final season was a bit all over the place. But overall it’s decent enough I would say. And I especially loved the last scene too. For a show that’s known for violence and brutality, it had a fairly calm and quiet moment of comradery.
Are You A Fan Of Northgard?
How about of Vikings? Let us know your impressions of both of these projects. Why do you like/hate them and why? We’d love to know.