There’s been seven years and 89 episodes, but Ragnar Lothbrok’s and his sons’ saga came to an end in 2020. The best news about it was the fact that the Vikings’ end didn’t cause a stir, although there were some complaints. Overall, it was excellent, a rarity nowadays.
Vikings, premiered in 2012 when we first met Ragnar Lothbrok. A true legend, Ragnar was curious and ambitious as well as his sons. After him.
The series originally was to be told through King Alfred’s story, but showrunner Michael Hirst, fresh from his work in the movie Elizabeth, and the series The Tudors, looked for Alfred’s major enemies – the Vikings – and found himself more interested in knowing about them.
Ragnar made Australian Travis Fimmel a star. Yes, he left the cast on season 4, making radical fans consider this to be the “last” season. He was missed but the story moved on. Photography and production value increased with the passage of the Vikings saying goodbye with the most beautiful shots yet.
Besides Travis’ particular way, Gustav Skaargard’s Floki was also iconic. most of all, newcomer Alex Hogh Andersen had the difficult role of a disabled character that was to be the antagonist and managed to not only stand equal to the stars of the cast but to become the most important asset of the series after Travis’ departure. He is the star of the last episodes and as expected, he delivers it. Can’t say enough he should be nominated for as many awards as possible.
One of the curses Vikings had was to be Game of Throne’s contemporary. They were shot even at the same studios in Ireland. The stories couldn’t be more different and yet comparisons between Lagertha and Daenerys or Ivar and Bran were usual. Unfair.
It should be noted, though, that fans feared the same frustrating conclusion for Vikings and its last season was not a disappointment. It’s due to the most significant difference between narratives. While GOT kind of became addicted to finding ways to subvert expectations, such as not giving its hero the most important victory of the story, Vikings obliged its fans. It is not to say that there weren’t twists and poignant surprises, there were plenty, but they didn’t feel forced. It was very clear in its conclusion.
The last 10 episodes made sure to at least try to address a few of the fans’ confusions, such as Katya or Freydis’s illusion, and even finally other doubts that were not explained in the first half.
The last episodes do have unnecessary new plots here and there but are sustained by the excellent performance of the cast. Most importantly, the series said goodbye before losing its timing.
Vikings did feel the absence of its original cast, but the void was part of the plot. Ivar’s fate isn’t as divisive as Daenerys and in fact, it is very emotional, thanks again to the actor. (Spoilers here)
An important shout-out to the soundtrack author, Trevor Morris who not only found the perfect music but used it wisely. The last scene is one of its brilliant choices.
Overall, it was a deserved ending, worth its tears and praises. Looking forward to its spin-off, the confirmed Netflix’s, Vikings Valhalla!