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Vikings: Valhalla - Everything You Need To Know

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The flagship "Vikings" series kicked off back in 2013 and quickly established itself as one of History's most successful shows while also blazing a new trail for the network as its first scripted fiction project. Though billed as a historical drama, "Vikings" has a largely invented narrative that inserts real and legendary figures from Norse culture into actual historical events, having them interact in ways that historians deem unlikely. In the early seasons, the series followed Ragnar Lothbrok (Travis Fimmel), a historically-debatable figure and folk hero of Scandinavia, and his wife Lagertha (Katheryn Winnick), a legendary ruler whose historicity is also debated. ("Vikings" gets a lot of things wrong when it comes to history.) Later seasons of "Vikings" focused more on the offspring of Ragnar, most notably Bjorn Ironside (Alexander Ludwig) and Ivar the Boneless (Alex Høgh).

"Vikings: Valhalla" picks up 100 years later, at the beginning of the 11th century, as the Norse people begin an even bloodier war against the English as they move westward. Here's everything you need to know about the first season of "Vikings: Valhalla."

Who stars in Vikings: Valhalla?

As we previously mentioned, "Vikings: Valhalla" takes place 100 years after the original, so don't expect to see any characters from the History series. Starring in "Vikings: Valhalla" is Sam Corlett as Leif Eriksson, Frida Gustavsson as Freydís Eiríksdóttir, Leo Suter as Harald Sigurdsson, Laura Berlin as Emma of Normandy, and Bradley Freegard as King Canute The Great. These five will lead the charge on the series, but they're surrounded by a stellar supporting cast.

The ensemble also includes Jóhannes Jóhannesson as Olaf "the Holy" Haraldsson, David Oakes as Earl Godwin, and Caroline Henderson as Jarl Haakon. Other recurring characters include Pollyanna Mcintosh as Queen Ælfgifu of Denmark, Asbjørn Krogh Nissen as Jarl Kåre, Julian Seager as Jarl Gorm, John Kavanagh as The Seer, Pääru Oja as Arne Gormsson, and Louis Davison as Prince Edmund.

What's the plot of Vikings: Valhalla?

Per Netflix's official synopsis, "Vikings: Valhalla" is "Set over a thousand years ago in the early 11th century, VIKINGS: VALHALLA chronicles the heroic adventures of some of the most famous Vikings who ever lived — the legendary explorer Leif Eriksson (Sam Corlett), his fiery and headstrong sister Freydis Eriksdotter (Frida Gustavsson), and the ambitious Nordic prince Harald Sigurdsson (Leo Suter). As tensions between the Vikings and the English royals reach a bloody breaking point and as the Vikings themselves clash over their conflicting Christian and pagan beliefs, these three Vikings begin an epic journey that will take them across oceans and through battlefields, from Kattegat to England and beyond, as they fight for survival and glory."

There's still a lot to cover, with at least two more seasons confirmed, and it will be some time before we see the end of the Viking story.

What is Vikings: Valhalla rated?

As if there was any doubt, "Vikings: Valhalla" is rated TV-MA. The original series was given a TV-14 rating, mainly because it aired on History, where you couldn't get away with the things you can on Netflix. As far as "Vikings: Valhalla" goes, the sky is the limit when it comes to mature content. Netflix gave it the TV-MA rating for sex, nudity, and violence. As each episode starts, the viewer will be issued a warning at the top left corner of the screen. This will indicate what mature themes will appear in that specific episode. But since this is "Vikings: Valhalla," you can expect to see sex, nudity, and violence almost every time.

This is certainly not a series we'd recommend letting children or young teens watch. TV-MA generally means the show is not suitable for those under the age of 17.

Where to watch Vikings: Valhalla

"Vikings: Valhalla" is a Netflix original, so you can only stream it on the platform. The streamer is also known for being territorial over their originals, so you cannot purchase "Vikings: Valhalla" for rent or download anywhere. 

As far as the original "Vikings" is concerned, the entire series is available on Amazon Prime Video. Don't have a Prime subscription? No problem, because "Vikings" is also available in its entirety on Hulu. The original series is also available for purchase on DVD and Blu-ray from sites like Amazon and Walmart. 

How did critics and audiences like Vikings: Valhalla?

There is quite a big divide between critics and viewers when it comes to "Vikings: Valhalla." The series sits at a 90% critic score and 51% audience score on Rotten Tomatoes. Critics have pointed out there's more fact than fiction regarding the show but have applauded it for being a bloody good time. Although some have suggested it doesn't have much depth, but the action is enough to keep viewers glued.

As far as those viewers go, their biggest issue is how different it is from the original series. "What an utter disaster. Revisionist history, atrocious acting, ridiculous script, I didn't care who lived or died, much less remember names," one viewer wrote on Rotten Tomatoes. Per the responses, if you're looking for an accurate portrayal of history, you might need to look elsewhere. But if you're looking for a great swords and beards fight fest, "Vikings: Valhalla" is your best bet,