“Vikings may partly owe its existence to the popularity of Game of Thrones — it debuted two years after HBO’s fantasy first premiered — but across its six seasons the series established its own devoted fanbase and respectable ratings," says Melanie McFarland. "Nevertheless, some have outright rejected Vikings since its 2013 debut mainly because it isn’t Game of Thrones. It never aspired to be, but that doesn’t matter. Here there be no dragons, only shield maidens and conquerors. In some cases, they are one in the same. Here we have a cast of actors mainly known for their TV work (other than Gabriel Byrne, who appeared in the first season). And here we have a program running on a basic cable network that for years was synonymous with cheeseball re-enactments. Vikings never had such low standards and in fact, steadily improved with each passing season. No matter; those who refuse to watch are free to stay that course, although they’ll be missing out on a final season I suspect will be more satisfying and fully baked than anything Game of Thrones creators D.B. Weiss and David Benioff presented during their finale run." ALSO: Vikings creator Michael Hirst isn't surprised by the show's large female fan base.