New ‘Vikings’ knocked me off my seat!

No one messes with Freydis

Why isn't “Vikings: Valhalla” getting enough marketing, publicity and PR? I was a big fan of History Channel's much loved “Vikings,” though as the podcast “Post Show Recaps” puts it, it became less interesting when it lost that “Travis Fimmel energy.”

His character, Ragnar Lothbrok, died in the second part of season four. There were Lagertha and Ragnar's sons, including Ivar the Boneless, to carry on, but the series ultimately ended in the sixth season. It ran for eight years, with a total of 89 episodes. The last one aired in December 2020.

I had to find out about Vikings: Valhalla via the Netflix menu. The streaming platform is now in the thick of the three-season, 24-episode follow-up to Vikings. The original Vikings creator, writer and showrunner, Michael Hirst, is an executive producer. The reins are now handed over to Jeb Stuart — the man who wrote action classics, “Die Hard” and “The Fugitive.”

Ragnar became a central focus of the OG Viking. For this iteration, we have a trio of Viking legends to follow: Leif Erikson (Sam Corlett), Harald Sigurdsson (Leo Suter) and Freydis Eriksdottir (Frida Gustavsson). The events here take place about 100 years after Ragnar, starting with the St. Brice's Day massacre in 1002, is supposed to conclude at the end of the Viking age. The Vikings contend with the English both in their quest for power and territory and with a rift between those who have embraced the Christian god and those who remain faithful to the old ways (with the notions of Odin, going to Valhalla after death in battle, the sacrifices and rituals, consulting seers, interpreting runes and so forth).

The first season is exciting — full of brutal fights, lots of action, plotting, intrigue, big set pieces, heroes to cheer for as well as ruthless, sometimes downright evil, sometimes cunning and ambitious villains. If you think Lagertha was badass — Freydis turns up that warrior spirit several levels up. She's a survivor, defender, warrior and a woman with a mission. Other interesting, standout characters include King Canute, Emma of Normandy, Olaf Haraldsson, Earl Godwin (all based on historical figures) and Jarl Haakon (fictional). Frida Gustavsson, who plays Freydis, is a 6'1 model/actress who gives it her all in her many very physical scenes.

Vikings: Valhalla season one earned more than a billion minutes watched shortly after its release last year. The best episode of the season is episode 4, “The Bridge.” If you want to know the origins of that children's song, “London Bridge is Falling Down,” there you have it in the most thrilling way possible.

Season two was just released, and they have already filmed season three, which awaits a date. There's always something good about a series that knows when and how to end, instead of aimlessly shambling along. But if the writing, story, acting and production keep close to the level of the first season and if the eyeballs on it meet Netflix's numbers, it's good to know Mr. Stuart says he has ideas and material to continue.

Credit belongs to :

Check Also

A hellish pre-Halloween horror experience

Fifty years ago, “The Exorcist” history landed on screens and shocked audiences around the world. …