The World Will Be Ours…
Vikings, the hit History Channel series that has been raiding our airwaves is stepping it up a notch. Based on actual events in history, Vikings is one of the best television shows currently on the air. I’ve been a fan since before season one even premiered and each season keeps getting better and better.
Vikings: The Complete Third Season has just arrived on Blu-ray, and this season there will be be battles, bloodshed and yes babies. These are Vikings after all. As we open, Lagertha (Katheryn Winnick) is talking to the seer about her future. How would be know that this would set up the season so completely. “I see a harvest celebrated in blood. I see a trickster whose weapon cleaves you. I see a city made of marble and a burning broiling ocean.”
Last season ended with Ragnar (Travis Fimmel) on the top of a snow peaked mountain, when we see Ragnar this season he’s on the same mountain but he’s with his son Bjorn (Alexander Ludwig) who is growing to be a powerful and mighty warrior. Ragnar is trying to show Bjorn the world and open his eyes to what’s out there.
Lagertha has some shady dealings in her world, her second in command Kalf (Ben Robson) is planning to try and takeover her position and lands which isn’t going to sit well with Lagertha. Athelstan (George Blagden) is having a crisis of faith, he’s a Christian and a Pagan, and trying to find where he fits into the entire world. He choice between the two is what leads this season into a frenzy that will forever alter the course of the series.
Floki (Gustaf Skarsgård) is bored with family life. He’s actually happy… Not that it will last in Viking life, his daughter is beautiful and his wife is getting blamed for being too “reasonable.” Rollo (Clive Standen) is on his own search and is told that if he could see what’s in store for him he would be dancing on the beach.
The thing with Vikings is, one episode has so much going on, it an be a full season. So much is jammed packed into every episode it’s hard to even start a full season recap. That’s personally what I love about the show, it’s so rich, it’s full of plot but never sacrifices character development or the characters themselves for the sake of the plot. Creator and writer Michael Hirst has done such a phenomenal job. Because Michael writes every episode theres a consistency in the overall series that you just don’t see on any other show.
In terms of the acting, you will never see a performance as strong, vulnerable and stunning as Katheryn Winnick. Her performance as Lagertha is not only Emmy worthy, she should have been nominated this season. The thing that strikes me most is that there is never a false note in her performance, she can be kicking ass, fighting for her family or in a struggle for her future and everything rings true to the character.
As Ragnar, Travis Fimmel once again leads the series with strength and wisdom. Just watch the finale this season. It’s stunning. Clive Standen does an equally great job bringing Rollo to life. I love Rollo, and this season Clive has a lot to deal with because Rollo goes through such a journey, especially towards the end of the season. He betrays his friends and family (again) and yet you kind of understand why. Not that there won’t be consequences in the upcoming season, this is Vikings after all.
Are you sold yet? If not, you should be.
Vikings: The Complete Third Season comes to Blu-ray in a wonderful high definition transfer. The details are crisp and clear with especially fine color in the close up shots. I’ve said this before but watching a television series in high definition is such a treat after seeing the broadcast version simply because you get the crispness and clarity in the picture that you don’t see otherwise.
The special features on this set including uncut versions of every episode of Vikings. Mainly small things that were trimmed for broadcast that are allowed overseas and in Canada, however seeing small amounts of nudity and a touch more violence only adds to the gruff and real nature of the Vikings world. It adds something and is not there for simply shock sake.
Special features on this set include:
Guide to the Gods: This is a nice short feature spotlighting the different Nordic Gods in the series. It’s nice because, for a casual viewer it might be tough to separate the different God in the show. You get to click through each God at your own pace which is kind of cool as opposed to lumping all the information into one giants featurette.
Other featurette’s include, Heavy is the Head, which helps detail the politics of King Ragnar and happened during this rule and A City Under Siege, which is a behind the scenes look at the battles in Paris.
There is audio commentary with Michael Hirst and Linus Roache on two episodes and Athelstan’s Journal (Parts 1 and 2) and both included here. Athelstan’s Journal was previously released when this season aired but it’s nice to see it included here.
There are also deleted scenes for some of the episodes, they don’t really add a tremendous amount to the episodes but I’m always up for having them included.
Overall, as any casual reader of Mike the Fanboy knows, I love Vikings. If you haven’t started watching, stop what you’re doing and get involved. It’s one of the best and most unique shows on television today. If you love Game of Thrones, you will love Vikings. The thing is, Vikings is based on actual events and to me that just adds even more resonance and intrigue to the show.
Vikings: The Complete Third Season is out now on Blu-ray!
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