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History Channel Gets Vikings Precisely Wrong
The American Spectator ^ | March 12, 2013 | Lars Walker

Posted on 03/13/2013 10:42:29 AM PDT by PJ-Comix

It’s 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. We’ve 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 Douglas’s film in portraying of one of the most exciting and colorful eras in human history.

The History Channel’s new series, Vikings, is not it.

(Excerpt) Read more at spectator.org ...


TOPICS: Culture/Society
KEYWORDS: historychannel; vikings
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In the last episode, I noticed that the hero, Ragnar Lodbrok, conveniently did not participate in the slaughter of the British monks along with the rest of his crew. They had to change reality in order to make their hero more palatable to the viewing public.

Oh, and yeah, it is RIDICULOUS to present the Vikings as being unaware of the existence of the British isles.

1 posted on 03/13/2013 10:42:29 AM PDT by PJ-Comix
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To: PJ-Comix

All I know is A.P. is PO’d they got rid of Percy Harvin.


2 posted on 03/13/2013 10:44:27 AM PDT by TurboZamboni (Looting the future to bribe the present)
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To: PJ-Comix

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.


3 posted on 03/13/2013 10:45:23 AM PDT by Joe Boucher ((FUBO))
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To: PJ-Comix
Oh, and yeah, it is RIDICULOUS to present the Vikings as being unaware of the existence of the British isles.

I was thinking the same thing. The Vikings would have been pretty stupid planning a plundering raid on 5,000 miles of open ocean.

4 posted on 03/13/2013 10:46:52 AM PDT by catfish1957 (My dream for hope and change is to see the punk POTUS in prison for treason)
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To: PJ-Comix
Oh, and yeah, it is RIDICULOUS to present the Vikings as being unaware of the existence of the British isles.

Yeah I struggled with that one myself. I'm also not so sure Vikings were that firmly controlled by their chieftains.

Outlander was a better Viking flick. LOL
5 posted on 03/13/2013 10:47:50 AM PDT by cripplecreek (REMEMBER THE RIVER RAISIN!)
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To: Joe Boucher
kill most of the men folk and take the ladies for their own pleasure and plunder or destroy what they left.

,,,,and ask "What's in Your Wallet?" :)

6 posted on 03/13/2013 10:48:03 AM PDT by catfish1957 (My dream for hope and change is to see the punk POTUS in prison for treason)
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To: PJ-Comix

Allegedly, Mel Gibson is producing a Viking film.


7 posted on 03/13/2013 10:49:32 AM PDT by Gene Eric (The Palin Doctrine.)
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To: catfish1957

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.


8 posted on 03/13/2013 10:49:58 AM PDT by PJ-Comix (Beware the Rip in the Space/Time Continuum)
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To: PJ-Comix

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.


9 posted on 03/13/2013 10:52:21 AM PDT by wolfman23601
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To: Gene Eric

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


10 posted on 03/13/2013 10:52:26 AM PDT by SevenofNine (We are Freepers, all your media bases belong to us ,resistance is futile)
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To: SevenofNine

Remember when the History Channel was called “The Hitler Channel”?


11 posted on 03/13/2013 10:53:01 AM PDT by dfwgator
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To: PJ-Comix

Thank God “How to Train Your Dragon” got it right!


12 posted on 03/13/2013 10:53:04 AM PDT by freedumb2003 (Establishment Republicans don't like that totalitarian thing unless it is THEIR totalitarian thing!)
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To: PJ-Comix

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.


13 posted on 03/13/2013 10:53:46 AM PDT by Dead Corpse (I will not comply.)
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To: Gene Eric

>>Allegedly, Mel Gibson is producing a Viking film.<<

Everyone will speak carefully reconstructed Vikingish.


14 posted on 03/13/2013 10:54:09 AM PDT by freedumb2003 (Establishment Republicans don't like that totalitarian thing unless it is THEIR totalitarian thing!)
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To: wolfman23601
It is a great series. Some liberties are taken for sure.

"Some" liberties? Read the article. They got the Viking political structure completely wrong.

15 posted on 03/13/2013 10:54:40 AM PDT by PJ-Comix (Beware the Rip in the Space/Time Continuum)
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To: PJ-Comix

I watched two episodes and then I was done. Stupid beyond belief.


16 posted on 03/13/2013 10:55:16 AM PDT by Valpal1
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To: wolfman23601

Its enjoyable enough to watch. I watch the Walking dead and they’ve taken one or two liberties with reality too.


17 posted on 03/13/2013 10:55:18 AM PDT by cripplecreek (REMEMBER THE RIVER RAISIN!)
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To: Dead Corpse

>>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)...


18 posted on 03/13/2013 10:55:32 AM PDT by freedumb2003 (Establishment Republicans don't like that totalitarian thing unless it is THEIR totalitarian thing!)
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To: catfish1957

too funny,
good job


19 posted on 03/13/2013 10:55:53 AM PDT by Joe Boucher ((FUBO))
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To: PJ-Comix
Oh, and yeah, it is RIDICULOUS to present the Vikings as being unaware of the existence of the British isles.

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

20 posted on 03/13/2013 10:56:12 AM PDT by FatherofFive (Islam is evil and must be eradicated)
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To: PJ-Comix
The problem was that there were no ATM machines in Great Britain and some of the Vikings didn't bring enough Dane Gelt with them. The monasteries were the only available option to get enough scratch to get back home.

They were victims of unscrupulous Spring vacation tour operators.

21 posted on 03/13/2013 10:56:35 AM PDT by Paladin2
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To: PJ-Comix

>>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)!


22 posted on 03/13/2013 10:57:23 AM PDT by freedumb2003 (Establishment Republicans don't like that totalitarian thing unless it is THEIR totalitarian thing!)
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To: cripplecreek
Its enjoyable enough to watch. I watch the Walking dead and they’ve taken one or two liberties with reality too.

LOL. Good one.

23 posted on 03/13/2013 10:58:06 AM PDT by vbmoneyspender
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To: PJ-Comix

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.


24 posted on 03/13/2013 10:59:36 AM PDT by Sirius Lee (All that is required for evil to advance is for government to do "something")
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To: PJ-Comix

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.


25 posted on 03/13/2013 10:59:53 AM PDT by Elsiejay
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To: Joe Boucher

I guess that’s why my clan all have Viking DNA. I’ve always had an urge to plunder and pillage.


26 posted on 03/13/2013 11:00:39 AM PDT by Ax
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To: Gene Eric

“Allegedly, Mel Gibson is producing a Viking film.”

He’s allowing Angles and Saxons to be in it but no Jutes allowed.


27 posted on 03/13/2013 11:01:53 AM PDT by Stormdog (A rifle transforms one from subject to Citizen)
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To: PJ-Comix
Not watching this particular series ~ maybe later when it's available on a better schedule.

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.

28 posted on 03/13/2013 11:02:48 AM PDT by muawiyah
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To: catfish1957

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.


29 posted on 03/13/2013 11:03:02 AM PDT by Dead Corpse (I will not comply.)
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To: PJ-Comix

The History Channel has become a joke....much like National Geographic.


30 posted on 03/13/2013 11:04:32 AM PDT by laplata
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To: Elsiejay
amazingly seaworthy yet shallow draft ships

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. :-)

31 posted on 03/13/2013 11:04:59 AM PDT by wbill
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To: PJ-Comix

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.


32 posted on 03/13/2013 11:05:06 AM PDT by Brooklyn Attitude (Obama being re-elected is the political equivalent of OJ being found not guilty.)
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To: muawiyah
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.

Sa'ami meaning Laplanders?

33 posted on 03/13/2013 11:09:38 AM PDT by PJ-Comix (Beware the Rip in the Space/Time Continuum)
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To: FatherofFive
941 – 23 April 1014 ~ Brian Boru ~ that's TENTH CENTURY. By the TENTH CENTURY the Vikings knew about the British Isles. In the EIGHTH CENTURY they probably didn't beyond rumors from strangers they boiled in a pot to add to the village stew.

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.

34 posted on 03/13/2013 11:09:41 AM PDT by muawiyah
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To: PJ-Comix

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.


35 posted on 03/13/2013 11:10:34 AM PDT by wolfman23601
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To: PJ-Comix

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.


36 posted on 03/13/2013 11:10:45 AM PDT by Dead Corpse (I will not comply.)
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To: Brooklyn Attitude
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.

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).

37 posted on 03/13/2013 11:14:09 AM PDT by PJ-Comix (Beware the Rip in the Space/Time Continuum)
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To: TurboZamboni
All I know is A.P. is PO’d they got rid of Percy Harvin.


38 posted on 03/13/2013 11:14:46 AM PDT by JRios1968 (I'm guttery and trashy, with a hint of lemon. - Laz)
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To: PJ-Comix

They at least didn’t put horns on their helmets, did they?


39 posted on 03/13/2013 11:16:22 AM PDT by Boogieman
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To: Valpal1
It only took me one.

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.

40 posted on 03/13/2013 11:16:25 AM PDT by Vigilanteman (Obama: Fake black man. Fake Messiah. Fake American. How many fakes can you fit in one Zer0?)
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To: PJ-Comix
At that time I think they were still about 15 different nations ~ they're down to 10 now ~ the last speaker of one of the Eastern tongues died just a few years back.

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.

41 posted on 03/13/2013 11:17:27 AM PDT by muawiyah
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To: PJ-Comix

“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.


42 posted on 03/13/2013 11:17:45 AM PDT by MeganC (The left have so twisted public perceptions that the truth now appears pornographic.- SpaceBar)
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To: Vigilanteman

Yes, I was stupid and gave them a 2nd chance. I’m still mad at myself.


43 posted on 03/13/2013 11:18:33 AM PDT by Valpal1
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To: Vigilanteman

Going to Russia was much easier than going to Britain ~


44 posted on 03/13/2013 11:18:34 AM PDT by muawiyah
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To: PJ-Comix

1066 is 400 years later ~ lots of stuff can happen.


45 posted on 03/13/2013 11:19:53 AM PDT by muawiyah
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To: SevenofNine

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.


46 posted on 03/13/2013 11:21:15 AM PDT by henkster (I have one more cow than my neighbor. I am a kulak.)
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To: Joe Boucher

On Iceland the Y chromosome is predominantly from Norway and the X chromosome is from Whales.


47 posted on 03/13/2013 11:23:27 AM PDT by allmendream (Tea Party did not send GOP to D.C. to negotiate the terms of our surrender to socialism)
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To: muawiyah

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.


48 posted on 03/13/2013 11:25:50 AM PDT by PJ-Comix (Beware the Rip in the Space/Time Continuum)
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To: Dead Corpse

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.


49 posted on 03/13/2013 11:26:56 AM PDT by catfish1957 (My dream for hope and change is to see the punk POTUS in prison for treason)
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To: Vigilanteman
BTW, just for dating purposes, King Ad gave away the family farm to the Saxons some time in the early 500s. The end of the world arrived in 535. We don't really get a good idea what was going on in what is now England until the 700s ~ about 200 years later, and by then lots and lots of baby Saxons had been born ~ and there were Angles hanging around pretending to be Danish ~ they were from Freisland. Those guys arrived and messed up everyone's neighborhood. Note that's the same crowd that began leaving Freisland to return to Scandinavia ~ about a good 400 year sojourn in Europe.

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.

50 posted on 03/13/2013 11:27:09 AM PDT by muawiyah
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