Skip to comments.History Channel Gets Vikings Precisely Wrong
Posted on 03/13/2013 10:42:29 AM PDT by PJ-Comix
Its been more than fifty years since Kirk Douglas and his production company produced what most people still consider the best Viking movie ever made, The Vikings. Within the limits of the information available at the time, they made a good faith effort to do the thing relatively authentically. Weve learned much in the years since, especially due to advances in archaeology, and many reenactors around the world (of whom I am among the least) work hard to re-create authentic Viking Age life. Dozens of accurate replicas of Viking ships have been built and put to sea, to the wonder and delight of many. The time would seem to be ripe for a depiction of the Viking Age that would surpass Kirk Douglass film in portraying of one of the most exciting and colorful eras in human history.
The History Channels new series, Vikings, is not it.
(Excerpt) Read more at spectator.org ...
Oh, and yeah, it is RIDICULOUS to present the Vikings as being unaware of the existence of the British isles.
All I know is A.P. is PO’d they got rid of Percy Harvin.
From what I remember being taught the vikes use to travel to the British isles and for the most part sneak in to their small coastal towns at night, kill most of the men folk and take the ladies for their own pleasure and plunder or destroy what they left.
I was thinking the same thing. The Vikings would have been pretty stupid planning a plundering raid on 5,000 miles of open ocean.
,,,,and ask "What's in Your Wallet?" :)
Allegedly, Mel Gibson is producing a Viking film.
Vikings (via Denmark) would definitely have known about the British Isles since their Angle and Saxon relatives had invaded that island hundreds of years earlier.
It is a great series. Some liberties are taken for sure. I don’t know if the early Vikings knew of the British Isles or not. It is clear they did in fact raid into Russia first. I don’t think whether that or not the Earl knew is really relavant, though it the conflict should make of a better story.
That I hear right now Mel Gibson try do Viking movie
This is History channel same channel bring you Iced Road Trucker Ax men and Swamp people
Remember when the History Channel was called “The Hitler Channel”?
Thank God “How to Train Your Dragon” got it right!
Ragnar wanted Intel. He got it. Sounds about right.
From what I’m seeing, they are getting a lot more of the details right than I’ve seen in a long time. Even current research on weapons use and manufacture.
A few anachronisms, but nothing that ruins my enjoyment of the show.
>>Allegedly, Mel Gibson is producing a Viking film.<<
Everyone will speak carefully reconstructed Vikingish.
"Some" liberties? Read the article. They got the Viking political structure completely wrong.
I watched two episodes and then I was done. Stupid beyond belief.
Its enjoyable enough to watch. I watch the Walking dead and they’ve taken one or two liberties with reality too.
>>Ragnar wanted Intel. He got it.<<
Good move in the early going. AMD is still trying to keep up and TI just does utility chips (good ones, though)...
The Danes came to Ireland with nothing to do
But dream of the plundered old Irish they slew
"Yeh will in your Vikings", said Brian Boru
And threw them back in the ocean
The sea, oh the sea is the gradh geal mo croide
Long may it flow between England and me
It's a sure guarantee that some how we'll be free
Oh! thank God we're surrounded by water
They were victims of unscrupulous Spring vacation tour operators.
>>They got the Viking political structure completely wrong. <<
Everyone knows obama was Viking #1! And moochele led them into battle (and bowled the enemy over with them hips and boob-belt)!
LOL. Good one.
If they wanted to put out a crappy Viking story they could have saved a bunch of money and just shown “The Norsemen” starring Lee Majors in a porn ‘stasche and Roman centurion costume.
Their amazingly seaworthy yet shallow draft ships enabled the Vikings to sail far and near, up rivers to raid inland cities such as Paris, down the rivers of Asia to interact w. the Arabs, raid Constantinople (or was it Istanbul by that time?). I’ve read that they pacified the warring tribes of the Rus, thus establishing the Russian nation. Vikings liked to establish civic order, after having had their way by force of arms, so to speak.
Suggest reading “The Vikings,” by Rob’t Ferguson, 2009 Viking Penguin.
I guess that’s why my clan all have Viking DNA. I’ve always had an urge to plunder and pillage.
“Allegedly, Mel Gibson is producing a Viking film.”
He’s allowing Angles and Saxons to be in it but no Jutes allowed.
However, the Viking Age did not begin until the day the Norse got a boat design that would take the pounding of the sea and the great rivers they were to travel in the future.
There is, off course, a reason the Greeks in the Classical Age came to the Northland on the routes out of the Black Sea ~ even they didn't have ships capable of handing the North Sea.
However, the Sa'ami had clinker built boat hulls that could handle the wild rivers in the far north AND the Arctic near the coast. Permanent contact began between the Sa'ami and the Norse sometime in the 8th century, but some place it later when it comes to trade. Still, a Norseman tired of rowing around in the Baltic region raiding his neighbors could see the advantages of that improved design.
With a few efforts at scaling up, the Norse finally mastered a real ocean going boat that could handle the worst that could come on large inland rivers. The Viking Age began ~ and life was never the same again in Scandinavia.
The remains of ancient Sa'ami built clinker built boats have been found along mountain rivers ~ they are obviously not as big as the later Viking craft, but they could handle mountain streams ~ which nothing else could.
It is entirely possible that the Norse were generally unaware of England in the early 8th century, but by the 9th century they were engaged in gripping encounters with Irish settlers moving into Alba! Eventually all those problems were worked out so today your typical highlander has no idea where his ancestors came from or how they got there! (See: MacBeth, his wife. He's a typical laird of his day ~ probably of mostly Irish and Welsh ancetry but his wife is the daughter of a Viking king ~ meaning a guy from Norway ~ and she's practicing the old tymme religion where you mix up an evil brew and see visions).
Iceland seems to have had some 8th century monks, but there's no sign of human habitation there before that time ~ of course 100% of everything on that island is regularly destroyed by massive overflows of lava.
5000 miles? To the US maybe... To Northumberland, it’s a straight shot of about 200 miles dead West from Denmark.
From what I understand, the series takes place around 800 AD. This is about when raiders started hitting the Isles.
At the end of the day, it’s a fictional series with the trappings of historical research. Don’t take it as gospel.
The History Channel has become a joke....much like National Geographic.
I saw a TV Show on a man who rebuilt one of their ships. It was based directly on an "original" that was found off the (Danish?) coast.
It was very unstable at low speeds. However, the faster it went, the more stable it became. Exactly the opposite of what you'd expect.
It was interesting enough to keep me up a couple of hours past my bedtime. :-)
Many years ago we were taught that the vikings were little more than barbarians whose first act upon meeting a new group of people was to hit them with a sword or axe to see if they were gods. We also learned that they cared nothing about personal hygiene, education, modesty or authority. It would be interesting to hear if any of that is considered accurate these days.
Sa'ami meaning Laplanders?
The Anglo-Saxon Chronicles say Viking raiders struck England in 793 and raided Lindisfarne. That's LATE EIGHTH CENTURY ~ again, in the early 8th century they didn't have Viking Boats ~ which is the point. Without those boats they couldn't get away from the Baltic and were pretty much stuck with control over only a small bit of even the Norwegian West Coast.
Vikings did not have a single political culture. It is a loose term to describe barbarians from the North. They came from Denmark, Sandinavia, and Russia. No matter how their political culture was portrayed, a similar article could have been written. The biggest issue I had was not even mentioned in the article: the pact that they would all be equals in their journey. Very entertaining nonetheless. Beats American Idol.
The Author of that piece watched one episode and feels within rights to map out, and condemn, the entire series.
He’s wrong too... Yes, later political structures were much more democratic and refined. Earlier, they were just as warlordish and feudal as anywhere else.
Stay tuned, the season is exactly 3 Episodes old.
After that first violent contact, they often settled down and adapted to the surroundings. Normans are really Vikings who invaded Northwestern France, picked up the language, and within a few generations crossed the channel to become the rulers of England in 1066. Ironically, most of the Latin words in our language came to us via Frenchified Vikings (Normans).
They at least didn’t put horns on their helmets, did they?
Remember that the ancient Saxons (who would have most likely would have arrived via Denmark) were part of the British establishment by the 870 a.d. era depicted in the movie.
The Vikings raided Russia (or more precisely, the Baltic States) first not because they didn't know about the British Isles but because it represented a closer and softer target.
You do realize that in Roman times it was necessary for most of the coastal populations along the Baltic to evacuate the area due to a stretch of really bad climate change ~ they relocated to Freisland in what is now Nederland. All of those islands were much larger at the time ~ but that's where the ANGLES originate ~ the really blond haired crowd. Through time as the climate changed to the better they rowed their tiny boats back across the Baltic to Southern Scandinavia.
Through that period whatever Sa'ami had lived in the South (they had been met by the Greeks BTW) withdrew further North to the Arctic where it was apparently nicer ~ lots of game, reindeer ~ etc. More like the Norwegian coast is today up in the North.
At the moment only Finland's Sa'ami use the term Lapland ~ and I don't believe they're the folks who passed on clinker building tech to the Norse. That'd be more likely the Northern Sa'ami.
“Oh, and yeah, it is RIDICULOUS to present the Vikings as being unaware of the existence of the British isles.”
I don’t know. It seems kind of reasonable to me given that so many liberals are unaware of the existence of the United States Constitution.
Yes, I was stupid and gave them a 2nd chance. I’m still mad at myself.
Going to Russia was much easier than going to Britain ~
1066 is 400 years later ~ lots of stuff can happen.
The History Channel also brought us “Nazi UFO Conspiracy” and “Ancient Aliens.”
“I’m not saying it was aliens, but it was aliens.”
I haven’t watched in quite a while. Let me know when they have a show about Elvis’ clone revealing Justin Bieber’s secret Bigfoot diet.
On Iceland the Y chromosome is predominantly from Norway and the X chromosome is from Whales.
I enjoyed the movie “The Vikings.” However, I describe that movie as featuring 2 Jewish Viking brothers with an Italian father. Check out the cast and you’ll know what I mean.
That is what I am saying. Vikings knew where they were going. Making it look like an exploration is ludicrous, and the writers should have known better.
They show up later as Vikings ~ but they were not terribly well educated when they left Europe ~ a real Dark Ages type people.
So, Freis who went West ended up in England (that's the 'en' in England, and those who went North suffered the punishments of hell with recurring famines, plagues, and all that. Their technological prowess declined substantially until they got the boat design that enabled them to RAID EUROPEANS ~ which is another couple of hundred years later.
The Vikings are a 'culture', not a genotype.