The creators of the Vikings series, starring Travis Fimmel, Katheryn Winnick, Alexander Ludwig and Gabriel Byrne, were faced with the challenge of bringing the story as close to reality as possible and of course adding some of the Norse, Scandinavian and European mythology to make it believable and attractive. The references to the gods were always present as an essential part of the plot, capturing the lovers and researchers of this field full of mysticism and magic, but how much was attached and how much was modified during all the seasons?
Created and written by the Emmy-winning and English screenwriter Michael Hirst for the History Channel and became one of the best historical fiction television series set in the 8th and 9th centuries BC. In addition, to recreate the story much better, it was filmed in the most beautiful and remote landscapes of Ireland, to tell the life of the legendary Viking chieftain Ragnar Lothbrok (Fimmel).
In an interview with an American newspaper Hirst said: “I especially had to take liberties with the Vikings because nobody knows for sure what happened in the Middle Ages… we want people to see it. A simple historical account of Vikings would reach hundreds, sometimes thousands, of people. But here we have to reach millions.”
Travels, battles, kings, queens, loves, betrayals and much more unfolds alongside this culture in which the Vikings characters had to interpret until 2020, when the series ended. The truth is that they were precise with respect to the appearance of some historical regions such as Wessex or western France, but they did not always have the leading role of battles or important events.
Indeed, Lagertha (Winnick), despite being presented as a main character as an Amazon warrior, very brave and of great beauty, is not actually the mother of Bjorn Ironside; therefore, he could not be an earl and his role in the real story is secondary and of little relevance. Similarly, the great character of Floki is almost entirely fictional, but is based on the founder of Iceland, Floki Vilgerson (9th century AD).
As a fact very close to the truth, we find that the Vikings believed in the ability of some gods to change shape and become animals such as a raven, an owl or a wolf. In fact, in the old Norse scriptures the god Odin was always accompanied by animals that were once men, two wolves (Geri and Freki) and two ravens (Huginn and Muninn) and during the series he sometimes had a raven that appeared to him. Ragnar, as he was said to be a descendant of Odin.
In general, this series respects the historical truth in terms of the timeline and the characters, although the plot is not as historically accurate, so some situations do not match the dates that were raised for to be able to continue the dramatic thread that the story requires.