After six seasons "Vikings" finally said goodbye to its fans on December of 2020. Although the story that began starring Ragnar Lothbrok seemed to have ended, his story will live on thanks to the new spin-off created by Michael Hirst, 'Valhalla'.
We have been hearing about this new Netflix series for months, but the two big questions are: What will this new series be about? And when can we watch?
Charlie Brooker’s latest venture is “a half-witted interactive heist” in the form of a golden-era cartoon – think Black Mirror’s Bandersnatch but with the dystopian misery replaced by cheery knockabout fun. Your job is to navigate a criminal cat, Rowdy, through an audacious attempt to steal the most valuable painting in the world. By answering a series of random multiple choice questions you can either doom or pilot Rowdy to success. It might reflect poorly on this writer’s basic common sense, but it’s actually quite tricky – thankfully, the cartoon itself is beautifully realised, so spending time exploring Cat Burglar’s extensive internal workings is perfectly enjoyable in itself.
Vikings: Valhalla Season 1 Episode 1
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The image of the Vikings that would continue in the popular imagination was established then. As the Chronicle continues, soon after, "the harrowing inroads of heathen men made lamentable havoc in the church of God in Holy-island, by rapine and slaughter". The Vikings were here in all their terrifying, pagan glory, and would remain key to the history of western Europe until the late 11th Century (even if the name "Viking" itself was not coined until well into the 19th Century, likely drawing upon the Old Norse word Víkingr and the Anglo-Saxon word Wicing).
Accounts – initially recorded through poem-like Eddas – lyrically describe the pantheon of Gods, such as Odin, Thor and Loki, who have become wholly sanitised by Marvel
Etymology aside, the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle's depiction of Vikings has stuck. Later, in 865 AD, "the heathen army" arrived in Thanet, "stole up the country, and overran all Kent Eastward". From here, they went on to establish dominion across swathes of the midlands and East Anglia – thereafter known as Danelaw.
By the 13th Century, much of the contents of Vikings' oral storytelling tradition had been written down by Norse settlers in Iceland, even if this cohesive sense of "Vikingness" is a much more modern imposition. These tales – initially recorded in poem collections called Eddas – lyrically describe the pantheon of Gods, such as Odin, Thor and Loki, who have recently become wholly sanitised by Marvel.