BLU-RAY REVIEW: Vikings

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Journey to a thrilling ancient world in this epic new series about history’s bravest and most brutally fearsome warriors… VIKINGS. Ragnar, a would-be Viking chieftain, longs to fulfill his destiny as an explorer and conqueror, alongside his ambitious brother Rollo and loyal wife Lagertha. But as Ragnar leads daring raids in distant realms across the ocean, treacherous forces in his Norse homeland conspire against him. Faced with shocking betrayals and the temptations of a mysterious seductress, Ragnar must wage war on the battlefield – and within himself – to protect his freedom, family and life.

If like me, you missed Vikings on the TV, and a fan of gritty, visceral historical drama in the vein of Da Vinci’s Demons etc, then I strongly advise you check out this series. The show details the adventures of Ragnar Lothbrok: a great hero of his age, and tells the saga of Ragnar’s band of Viking brothers and his family as he rises to become King of the Viking tribes. I have to warn you the show is harsh and pulls no punches – if you want to get a real sense of what it must have been like to have lived during these times, watching children taught to fight at a young age, wondering where the next meal is coming from, surviving the elements, and living under the fear of the world around you that you still don’t fully understand. There is also captured a wonderful sense of discovery, particularly in the scenes where Ragnar first figures out how to build navigational tools in order to travel to the lands farther away (the British Isles), thus defying the incumbant chieftain (Gabriel Byrne), who would rather stick to raiding the nearby lands.

The casting is excellent – the director managed to get the ensemble to really immerse themselves in their roles – in fact the only one who looks a little lost at times is Gabriel Byrne. And the characters are well written: Ragnar himself, his strong-willed wife, his totally untrustworthy brother who has designs on said wife, and the earthy but completely batty ship-maker (watching him teaching sniffing the trees with Ragnar’s sons to find the best wood). The production quality is first-rate – clearly they got historical advisors who know their stuff – the sets, clothes, props etc all look the part… roll on season 2!

Special Features include:

  • Blu-ray Exclusive Deleted Scenes
  • Blu-ray Interactive Exclusives: The Armoury of the Vikings
  • Blu-ray Interactive Exclusives: Conquest and Discovery: Journeys of the Vikings
  • Audio Commentary on Select Episodes with show creator Michael Hirst
  • A Warrior Society: Viking Culture and Law
  • Birth of the Vikings Forging the Viking Army: Warfare and Tactics

Source: 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment

GS Rating: 5/5

GS Reviewer: SilverFox

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