Set in the dark ages of the 8th Century, Vikings follows the adventures of Ragnar Lothbrok, an actual historical figure and the greatest hero of his age. As well as being a fearless warrior, Ragnar embodies the Norse traditions of devotion to the gods.
Vikings will be a series high on adventure, exploration, conflict, warfare and bloodshed – for these were extreme times – but, at its heart, it will also be a family saga. It follows the adventures of Ragnar Lothbrok, a historical figure, and the greatest hero of his age – and the gripping sagas of Ragnar’s band of Viking brothers and his family – as he rises to become King of the Viking tribes.
Ragnar Lothbrok is based upon the real-life Viking leader who literally exploded out of Scandanavia and onto the world stage in the 8th Century. A young Norwegian farmer with a wife and family, Ragnar is deeply frustrated by the unadventurous policies of his local chieftan, Earl Haraldson (Byrne), who continues to send his Vikings raiders east every summer, to the Baltic states and Russia, whose populations are as materially poor as themselves. Lagertha (Winnick) is the first wife of Ragnar’s and their marriage is a love-match. Ragnar was first attracted to Lagertha when she came to fight for a local Norwegian ruler against an invading Sweden. Floki (Skarsgard), based partly on the Norse god Loki, is an impish character and ship builder who designs and builds the prototype of the new generation of Viking ships which can sail across the open ocean but also up the shallowest of rivers. He is a design genius and he allows Ragnar to fulfill his dreams of sailing west and discovering new lands and new civilizations. Siggy (Gilsig) is Earl Haraldson's beautiful wife and an enigmatic character. She performs her duties impeccably and with style, but she may not be completely loyal to her husband. Rollo (Standen) is Ragnar’s cousin and initially one of his closest friends, involved in his early raids. But soon becomes jealous of his fame and success.
Writer: Michael Hirst (Academy-Award winning film Elizabeth; and the Emmy and Golden Globe nominated series The Tudors)
Format: One-hour series (premiere 2013)
Broadcasters: History Television (Canada), rté (Ireland), History (US), MGM Television (R.O.W.)
An Ireland/Canada Co-Production produced by Take 5 Productions, World 2000 Films and Octagon Films in association with Shaw Media and the Irish Film Board. Just to be clear, this is not a co-production with AETN's History channel; History is simply the American broadcaster. People, both amature and professional, seem to often get that wrong saying a show is co-produced with a particular channel when really it is a(n international) co-production that is possibly for a specific channel in a certain country. With does not mean the same thing as for. And some times a show is produced neither for nor with a particular channel but the channel simply acquired rights to the show. That is the case with Vikings and the American History channel. Outside of Ireland and Canada the show is owned and distributed by Metro-Goldwyn-Meyer Television.
Johan Renck (Breaking Bad, The Walking Dead) and Ken Girotti (Rescue Me, Law & Order: Criminal Intent) are set to direct multiple episodes of the series.
Executive Producers are Michael Hirst, Morgan O’Sullivan of World 2000 (The Count of Monte Cristo; The Tudors), John Weber of Take 5 Productions (The Tudors; The Borgias), Sherry Marsh, Alan Gasmer, James Flynn (The Tudors; The Borgias) and Sheila Hockin (The Tudors; The Borgias).
How does one know if they are looking at something regarding the American History channel's broadcast of the show or the Canadian History channel)'s (fka History Television broadcast of the show? It can be a bit confusing since the channels are now named the same and the logos are so darn similar and the show is on at the same time on the channels. It is really quite simple. Vikings is the first scripted series to be shown on the American channel but the Canadian channel has a long history of scripted series so any time you find "History's first scripted series" it is American. At that the American History channel is just the rights buyer for the market. The Canadian History channel's owner is actually one of the production companies making the show. That is why you will see MGM owning the show in all of the world save for Ireland and Canada. Some mislable this as Shaw having 'pre-bought' the show but that isn't true. If you actually look at the credits for an episode you will see it is both an Irish programme and simultaneously satisfies the requirements for the CanCon classification and those require Irish and Canadian owners in Ireland and Canada respectively. MGM is essentially piggy-backing on that, just like many American companies have been doing for years now.