Once upon a time, you could turn on the History Channel and be relatively sure that you’d find a show on World War II, Nostradamus, the Civil War, or Hitler. Now? Well it’s either Swamp People (a favorite in this house), Pawn Stars, or the incredibly stupid Big Rig Bounty Hunters. Do not even try to tell me how awesome Big Rig Bounty Hunters is because you would be wrong, show is as dumb as dumb gets. Either way, there is nothing remotely related history about Big Rig Bounty Hunters no matter
how much History Channel touts that “History is made everyday”. That’s a cop out of epic proportions.
Thankfully they seem to realize that they are full of crap right now and look to return to something closer to their roots with two new shows premiering tonight, The Bible and Vikings. Granted both these shows will be taking liberal artistic license but still they have some basis in history unlike the station’s current line-up. While The Bible looks interesting, it’s a story most everyone has heard and seen before so I can’t say I’m all that excited to see it again. However, Vikings is one I’ve been looking forward to since it was announced.
Vikings will tell the story of Ragnor Lothbrok, a man who actually did exist, but the historical accuracy will likely stop at that. Played by Travis Fimmel, Lothbrok is a character that is filled with what can only be described as Norse wonderlust. While the leader of his village, Earl Haraldson, played by the always incredible Gabriel Byrne, prefers to do their raiding in the safe and always reliable east, Lothbrok longs to head west.
As is typically the case, the older Haraldson bristles as the young buck’s audacity to defy him, and therein lies our tension. When Lothbrok decides to leave the village, he takes with him a monk, Athelstan (George Blagden in his third credited role), who he makes his slave. While I love Gabriel Byrne and have for as long as I can remember, it’s actually the relationship between Athelstan and Lothbrok that I’m looking forward to most because being a monk, Athelstan believes in one god while Lothrok is firmly entrenched in his belief of the many Norse gods.
Add in Lothbrok’s ex-warrior wife, Lagertha (Katheryn Winnick)and his family and friends, headed up by brother Rollo played by Clive Standen (who was great as Robin’s brother in Robin Hood), and Vikings look sure to be an entertaining ride.