National Geographic’s Vikings: The Rise and Fall reinvents the Scandinavian invaders
From popular TV dramas such as Vikings and The Last Kingdom, to Chris Hemsworth’s blockbuster portrayal of the Norse God of Thunder Thor, depictions of the Vikings and their culture are all the rage. In 2022, those brutal ninth century Scandinavian invaders could not be more on trend.
Vikings in popular media are often painted as one-note barbarians, merciless and without empathy or rule of law. National Geographic’s transformative new series Vikings: The Rise and Fall hopes to dispel some of the myths, while also bringing their epic escapades to life.
Airing Tuesdays at 9pm, Vikings: The Rise and Fall is the definitive story of the Norse conquerors, from their arrival on British shores to the final battle at Stamford Bridge. The series illustrates the events that changed Britain forever, such as the out-of-the-blue attack on Lindisfarne and the emergence of the vengeful Viking king, Ivar the Boneless. It explains the unique geography and innovation that both aided Viking campaigns and doomed Britain to countless devastating raids.
Check out the promo for Vikings: The Rise and Fall:
Well known accounts, such as the Icelandic Sagas, merge with newer discoveries like the mass Viking graves at Repton to depict a nuanced (and honestly much more interesting) portrayal of the Vikings. Yes, the Vikings valued warriors. They buried even small children in graves with weapons. Yes, some of the violence really was as gruesome as the TV dramas depict (the bloodbath at Portmahomack and the ritual torture of British king Ælla come to mind).
But Vikings also came to Britain to settle, hoping to make the easy weather conditions and acres of arable farmland their permanent home. They wanted to be involved in its politics and they wanted to leave their mark on the country. And they succeeded. British architecture, language and culture all bear Viking influence to this day, and Vikings: The Rise and Fall explains where to look for it.
Vikings: The Rise and Fall is a fresh new documentary series on the Vikings, combining the high-octane drama that fascinates us about the otherworldly warriors with decades of painstaking research. Sometimes, the facts really are as thrilling as the fiction.
Vikings: The Rise and Fall airs Tuesdays at 9pm, only on National Geographic.
National Geographic is available to watch on Sky, Virgin Media, TalkTalk and NOW.