Recommended: Vikings: Valhalla on Netflix
What's Vikings: Valhalla About?
Set 100 years after the events in the long-running History Channel series Vikings, this sequel is focused on historical figures like King Canute, Leif Erikson and his sister Freydís Eiríksdóttir and on the events leading up to the end of the Viking era in 1066.
Why (and to whom) do we recommend it?
Although it shares the DNA of the original Vikings, this series is less Outlander at sea than it is a rather talky action drama centered on the Norsemen (and women) known from the historical record. The storyline isn't complicated and even if you skipped most or all of the long-running History series, you can slide right into this (although if you wind up enjoying Valhalla, you owe it to yourself to go back and watch Vikings in all its Travis Fimmel glory).
After the English crown launches an offensive against Vikings living on the British Isles, a raiding party led by Prince Harald (Leo Suter) plan their revenge. But the Vikings themselves are divided between pagans and Christians. “Revenge is the motive of the heathen,” declares Olaf (Jóhannes Haukur Jóhannesson), a self-righteous raider, though the dispute largely seems to be whether the enemy should be stabbed and beheaded in the name of Christ or another god. Women factor strongly in Valhalla, including Leif’s sister Freydis, who has a revenge storyline in the first episode. The real Freydis is said to have played a larger role in her brother’s discovery of the New World than history has given her credit for.
Speaking of history, the most glaring fallacy behind Valhalla — other than those model-thin Scandinavian women and sweaty men with their enigmatic English accents — is that the Vikings were a people driven largely by war and plunder. American popular culture promoted a similar myth about Indians for generations, until archaeologists discovered that they lived quietly in towns of up to 50,000 people. The notions of marauding Norsemen makes good TV — again — but like its predecessor, Vikings: Valhalla doesn’t make good history.
The vast audience for Vikings is clearly the target for Valhalla, and those viewers won’t be disappointed, but they also won’t be blown away; the show takes a while to find its way. (A second season has already been filmed.)
Pairs well with