Story Spotlight: Vikings – Michael Hirst

I was late in starting this one. Actually, I took it up a couple of years ago, but was in the middle of so many other things that I had to drop it soon after. I only just recently picked it back up, so I’m late.

In short, it’s good. Very good. I have a soft spot for historical fiction, and this show delivers to that end. It takes its liberties on many fronts, but comes out with the major details in place. I don’t mind that. While I’d love to watch a show that’s little more than a documentary, I kind of enjoy studying the history for myself and filling in the blanks.

The dialogue feels right. There’s nothing exceptional about it, but that’s not what I crave in historical fiction. Part of this “rightness” is due to the casting of Nordic actors, their regional accents shining through. This makes even a simple sentence feel more like a viking sentence–more realistic.

The characters are diverse and robust. Rarely do you find two people who seem to have the same motivations or the same personalities. Even when the show tries to make a comparison, there’s still enough distinction to feel like you’re watching two different people.

Of note, the female characters are usually refreshing. They aren’t morally good much of the time, but few people in this show are. They’re enjoyable, however, in that they usually aren’t portrayed as the bland stereotype of strong women who fight against oppression in a patriarchy, yawn, etc.. Instead, they’re just women who do interesting things. As I’ve often mentioned, that’s a good character, and if it happens to be a woman, then it’s a good female character.

 

5 out of 5 stars

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