If you're a fan of the Amazon Prime show, then this list of shows like Vikings is just for you.
We have a list of ten great shows that are just as exciting, action-packed and dramatic as the TV show Vikings. These series and movies will keep you on the edge of your seat with their fantastic storytelling and epic battles.
It was a sad day when Ragnar, Rollo, Floki and Lagertha sailed over the horizon for the last time. Fans of the franchise will no doubt be looking for other historical drama shows & movies to fill the void. Don't fret my Norse loving friends, the gods will provide well for us!
Here is our list of ten great shows like Vikings for when you need another fix of Norse mythology in your life.
We have it all covered in this article, from Barbarians fighting the Roman Empire to historical fiction like ‘The Last Kingdom' to the famous historical figure of Henry V in the Netflix drama ‘The King'.
There really is something for everyone on this list, so go ahead and read through it now! You won't be disappointed by these fantastic series that are sure to become some of your favourites along with shows like Vikings.
And once you're done reading about them, why not check out our other reviews of historical series and movies? – there's bound to be at least one show which floats your boat, or should that be longship?
Our List Of Movies & Shows Like Vikings
The Last Kingdom vs Vikings – Which Is Better?
Vikings or The Last Kingdom? It's a tough choice between two great shows. With both being excellent in their own right, but we're going to take a detailed look at both and try to come up with an answer to the big question – which is better, Vikings or The Last Kingdom!
The two shows follow similar story paths but Vikings has taken it to a whole new level. The show ran for 93 episodes while The Last Kingdom only has 36 so far, with the news that Vikings has spawned a new spin-off series ‘Vikings: Valhalla' it seems that this historical epic will not end with the death of Bjorn Ironside after all.
The Vikings franchise has been going strong since the History Channel made it famous back in 2013. When news of the Netflix spin off dropped, Vikings fans were hoping the new series would be every bit as good as the original – time will tell, but it's clear that ‘Vikings' edges out ‘The Last Kingdom' when it comes to the number of episodes and series longevity.
The Last Kingdom has been heralded as a more historically accurate story than Vikings, but that might not necessarily be true. Vikings is a show that explores the deep philosophical impact religion had on both cultures. It presents an accurate version of early Viking society in transition, influenced by Saxons and Christianity but also showing how these new ideas changed Viking history. For that reason, I'm giving ‘Vikings' the nod over The Last Kingdom.
Another area where ‘Vikings' beats ‘The Last Kingdom' is character development. Vikings does a superb job of building connections with supporting characters over a long period of time, which means you care more when it comes time for them to take a central role in the story. Whereas, ‘The Last Kingdom' feels very much like ‘The Uhtred Show'. When you have one character who has such a big central role, it doesn't leave much room for others to shine. Unlike Vikings, which will often spend three or four episodes focusing on a peripheral cast member like Floki or Siggy.
I love how ‘Vikings' has many different story arcs and it never gets dull, The Last Kingdom can get a little repetitive occasionally. For that reason, I'm going to say Vikings is better than The Last Kingdom. However, both shows are fantastic entertainment and if you enjoy intense action in a period setting, you'll love both.
Where Is ‘Vikings' Filmed
The series ‘Vikings' had opening shots filmed in Scandanavia. However, subsequent scenes were shot in County Wicklow, Ireland.
Ireland's beautiful landscapes, mild climate and generous tax arrangements have helped the country become a leading location for the movie industry in recent years.
The village of Kattegat in the historical drama ‘Vikings', is located on the shore of a lake called Lough Tay. Despite appearing as a mighty fjord in the series, the lake is relatively small.
The history books do not record a real settlement called ‘Kattegat' anywhere in Scandinavia. However, ‘The Kattegat' is an important stretch of water between Denmark, Norway and Sweden. The Kattegat is the only sea route into and out of the Baltic region, as such, it became a vitally important scratch of water in early Viking times.
Where To Watch Vikings
If you're wondering where you can watch this series and other shows like Vikings? You'll be please to know that Amazon Prime customers have free access to all six seasons of the Vikings. Along with other series such as ‘Black Sails' and ‘King Arthur – Legend Of The Sword'. Another show on Amazon Prime that bristles with steamy scenes and political strife is the TV Show ‘Borgias'. The series deals with the infamous Borgia family from the Italian Renaissance, many people consider this one of the best historical dramas on TV, it stars Jeremy Irons and a host of A-list actors.
How Accurate Is The ‘Vikings' TV Show
When it comes to actual history, how accurate is Vikings? Well, the story of ‘Vikings' is a creative and engaging account that takes elements from history. However, events in the show are often telescoped or condensed for dramatic effect to create a more compelling storytelling arc
Its characters are based on historic people, and many events did happen to them; although there is still a significant departure from actual historical events, let's call it creative liberties.
In the show, Ragnar attacks Lindisfarne Abbey and carries off the fictional character of Athelstan. While it's not recorded which Vikings carried out the raid, the attack certainly happen. The character of Athelstan probably didn't exist, but his appearance in the show deal helps deal with the emergence of Christianity in the Viking world. Acting as an avatar for new belief systems sippling into the pagan world of the Norse warriors. So while the character of ‘Athelstan' is fictional, the thrust of the narrative is historically correct.
The major events shown in the series really happened, Vikings attacked and settled in England, the St Brice’s Day Massacre really happened. The Vikings captured and held York, they travelled to Iceland and further afield. They influencing culture from Russia to Turkey, the Norsemen really did ‘discover' North America, centuries before Columbus arrived in the new world – as recent archaeological discoveries have proven. Of course, events in the series have been dramatised for entertainment. Nevertheless, on the whole, the show is grounded in historical reality.
What Is The Vikings Spin-Off Called
There's a new Norse explorer in town! The highly anticipated spin-off show will be called ‘Vikings – Valhalla‘ it jumps forward 100 years from the existing ‘Vikings' timeline and will feature the adventures of Leif Eriksson (Sam Corlett), Freydis Eriksdotter (Frida Gustavsson), Herald Hardrada, and the Norman King William the Conqueror. As a Vikings fan, you can expect more graphic scenes of famous battles, medieval society and political power plays.
How Many Seasons Of Vikings?
In the course of six seasons, 89 episodes of the ‘Vikings' aired. The first season (History Channel) had just nine episodes, season two finished with ten instalments, as did season three. It wasn't until season four that the show moved to 20 episodes per season. The last season covers the showdown between Ragnar Lothbrok's sons following their father's death in season four. The finals ten episodes of Vikings were streamed exclusively on Amazon Prime Video.
How Do The Vikings Cast Put On Tattoos?
Did the Vikings really have elaborate tattoos like the ones shown in Vikings? One piece of historical evidence says yes, at least those Swedish Vikings who raided and traded through Russia probably did. The tattoos depicted on the cast in the show are created by makeup designer Tom McInerney. He researches the tattoos from Scandinavian artefacts and original runic symbols — they have depictions of gods, mythical animals and scenes from the Norse sagas.
Tom explained to SBS website how he gets the whole cast tattooed in double-quick time. “We developed a tattoo paper much like a transfer. It’s actually made in the west of Ireland, and we print it onto decal paper and then use sterilised water to apply to the skin. Removing it is pretty easy as we have a special gel which goes on the skin first and dissolves the adhesive in the tattoo, allowing us to get the actor out faster.”
Despite the shortcut, it can still be a tedious process. With tattoos being applied and removed every day.
What Is The Cast Of Viking Doing Now?
Shows like Vikings have a very large cast, many of those who have featured in the story based on the life of Ragnar Lothbrok can be seen in other series and movies.
Australian actor, Travis Fimmel who plays Ragnar has gone on to bigger things since the death of his character in season four. Travis recently starred in the Netflix war movie ‘Danger Close – The Battle Of Long Tan‘ a true story about Australian soldiers in the Vietnam war.
Fimmel is teaming up with the History Channel to develop a scripted anthology series that tells the stories of Wyatt Earp and other anti-heroes throughout history. The actor, who brought the idea to the network, and wrote a few episodes will star as Wyatt Earp.
Katheryn Winnick who plays Lagertha in the series has recently been seen in the Netflix show ‘Wu Assassins‘. She is also landed a leading role in ‘Big Sky', the story revolves around two female detectives looking for missing women in rural America.
What Is The Song At The Start Of Vikings?
One of the most striking elements of the series ‘Vikings' is the intro music to the show. The song that's played during the opening credits is called “If I Had a Heart” it's performed, written, and produced by Swedish recording artist Fever Ray.
The song has also been used in episodes of ‘Black Sails', a treasure island/pirate style drama that is also available on Amazon Prime.
Roman Empire Dramas
Another era that is popular with fans of shows like Vikings is the ‘Roman Empire' period. If you're looking for a break from medieval England and the middle ages in general, then drama series like ‘Barbarians' and ‘Rome' could be for you. Ancient Rome is full of great stories and famous battles, many of them are depicted in the above mentioned historical shows.
At the core of all historical dramas are real-world events, stories can revolve around political intrigue, a power struggle or historical figures. Real life events can be mixed with fantasy elements and brutal violence. The Middle Ages or Ancient Rome is a favourite timeline for period dramas.
A few historical facts are often ignored to improve the on screen drama. However, historical shows do a great job of bringing history to life. Historical fantasy series such as Game Of Thrones will mix elements from real history with intense drama in a fictional world, so there's never a dull moment for the audience. Of course, GOT doesn't have to worry about historical accuracy in the same way that a show like Vikings must. Nevertheless, Vikings fans will probably enjoy both shows equally.