The original Vikings series ran for six seasons on The History Channel. Now, the sequel series, Vikings: Valhalla is about to debut on Netflix. Embodying the Game of Thrones rulebook, Vikings: Valhalla offers a competent successor to the original series while allowing a new, wider audience to appreciate what this show has to offer. It’s not all roses, but Valhalla is a great start to what will likely be a new hit franchise for Netflix. Let’s take a closer look at our Vikings: Valhalla review.
If you’ve never seen the original Vikings series, don’t worry. There’s nothing in Valhalla that requires knowledge of the original series to understand. In fact, for all practical purposes, Valhalla is a sequel series in name only. There are a couple of Vikings characters from the original series who are name-dropped once or twice in passing, but if you know nothing about the original series, you’ll be perfectly fine starting with Valhalla.
The new series picks up 100 years after the events of the original Vikings series. The St. Brice’s Day massacre has made the Vikings a new threat to England as we follow Viking King Canute (Bradley Freegard) on a path of revenge. Many key Vikings from history take part in the series, with the lead being Leif Eriksson (Sam Corlett). It’s not the most historically accurate show, but it’s entertaining nonetheless.
As an eight-episode series, Vikings: Valhalla starts off a little slow. It takes some time to introduce all of the important characters and what role they play in the story. If you’re not immediately into Valhalla, don’t worry, you’re not alone. However, once you get to the third or fourth episode, things start to pick up considerably. By the time you reach the eighth and final episode of the season, you’ll be itching for more.
Game of Thrones fans should also take note of Vikings: Valhalla. The political theater that goes on between the various houses in Game of Thrones is very similar to the politics that take place in Vikings: Valhalla. Luckily, there aren’t dozens of characters and houses that you need to keep track of in Valhalla. By the end of the first season, there are really only about half a dozen key characters you need to know.
Similar to Game of Thrones, Vikings: Valhalla is a mature show with plenty of bloody battles and a bit of sexually explicit content. There isn’t as much sexual content as Game of Thrones, but the battles are more violent. And while Valhalla does have some historical events, there’s also a bit of magic and mysticism to keep viewers on their toes.
The entire cast of Valhalla turns in worthwhile performances. Each of the main characters has a commanding presence any time they’re on screen. By the end of the first season, you’ll want to see more of these characters and their adventures. Luckily, season two has already wrapped filming, and season three has been ordered by Netflix. Within the next two years, you’ll be getting at least 24 episodes of Vikings: Valhalla divided up over three seasons.
As a whole, Vikings: Valhalla still has a lot to live up to when compared to the original Vikings series. But it’s difficult to compare a full six-season run to just the first season of a new series. If you look at the first season of Valhalla and only compare it to the first season of the original show, all of the important aspects are there and Valhalla compares favorably. Fans of the original show, fans of Game of Thrones, and fans of Vikings, in general, should find a lot to enjoy in Vikings: Valhalla.
About Vikings: Valhalla
Synopsis: Follow-up series to ‘Vikings’ set 100 years afterward and centering on the adventures of Leif Erikson, Freydis, Harald Hardrada, and King Canute.
Directors: Steve Saint Leger, Hannah Quinn, Niels Arden Oplev
Writers: Vanessa Alexander, Declan Croghan, Eoin McNamee
Stars: Sam Corlett, Leo Suter, Bradley Freegard, Jóhannes Haukur Jóhannesson, Frida Gustavsson, Laura Berlin, David Oakes, Caroline Henderson, Asbjørn Krogh Nissen, Pollyanna McIntosh
Average Runtime: 1 Hour
Releases: February 25th, 2022 (Netflix)
Bryan Dawson has been writing professionally since the age of 13. He started his career as a video game writer and has since worked for Random House, Prima Games, DirecTV, IGN, AOL, the British Government, and various other organizations. For GNN, Bryan taps into his passion for movies.