The History Channel’s Vikings was a hugely important offering, as it led to a slew of new historical epics on television. At its peak, the series about the legendary Norse raiders was even compared to HBO’s Game of Thrones. The latter is considered one of the best shows ever made, so Michael Hirst will have felt honoured that his offering was in the same discussion. Thanks to the overwhelming success of Vikings, Netflix recently released Vikings: Valhalla to continue its legacy.
Caption: A Trailer for Vikings: Valhalla.
Original Series Had an Enormous Influence on the Entertainment Sector
Vikings began on Canada’s History Channel but soon grew so popular that online streaming services including Netflix and Amazon Prime Video bought the rights to be able to show it. After season three of the series was released, it was clear that Vikings was growing as a franchise. It spread out into related games, with the Vikings slot now one of the top online casino games on the market. It features Lagertha and Floki on the thumbnail, two much-loved and instantly recognisable characters.
The slot game was a welcome title for people who already enjoyed the show and wanted to experience it in other ways. It also helped to introduce the series to online casino players who may not have heard about it until they’d seen the slot game.
There were numerous other games on different platforms that served the same purpose but weren’t directly associated with the series. However, it’s clear that the developers were clearly inspired by Vikings when they made them. One such game was Vikings: Wolves of Midgard, which featured similar characters to the series.
Along with now having an ever-expanding franchise, Vikings also had a huge influence on other offerings in the entertainment industry and helped to bring back Norse mythology with a bang. For example, God of War and God of War Ragnarök took the God of War franchise in a new direction and focused on the gods that Vikings worshipped.
Prior to the 2018 title, the games had always used the stories of ancient Greece for inspiration. The recent God of War games were the two most successful offerings in the entire series and have been dubbed by many as two of the greatest games ever made.
Vikings have also clearly had a massive impact on television. In the years since the release of Hirst’s epic, there have been numerous other hugely popular history-themed shows. One of the best of these was The Last Kingdom, which was based on Bernard Cornwell’s The Saxon Stories. It ran for five seasons on Netflix and was followed up by a feature-length film, Seven Kings Must Die in 2023. Some other recent history-themed series that grew up in Vikings’ wake include Knightfall, Barbarians, and Marco Polo.
Caption: A trailer for Knightfall.
How Did Vikings: Valhalla Offer Something New?
After the immense success of Vikings, it wasn’t surprising that Netflix picked up the rights to create a spinoff. The streaming service released the first season of Vikings: Valhalla in 2022, and it swiftly moved to renew it for a second and third season.
Showrunner Jeb Stuart stuck with the tried and tested formula that made the predecessor so well-loved, but also attempted to offer something new. The writing team also opted to cover a much later period in Viking history, which opens up the possibility of exploring a whole host of new locations that didn’t feature in Vikings.
Indeed, Valhalla is set more than 100 years after the events of Vikings, and it aims to chronicle the later days of the legendary seafarers. According to reports, the series will lead up to the end of the Viking Age which culminated with the Battle of Stamford Bridge in 1066. This means that it could be set for at least five seasons if it remains popular and the ratings stay high.
Because Valhalla is set in a completely different era to Vikings, it has a fresh new cast with plenty of potential future stars. Just like the original series turned the likes of Travis Fimmel and Alexander Ludwig into household names, Valhalla could do the same for its cast. Some of the standout names in the Netflix offering include Sam Corlett as Leif Erikson and Frida Gustavsson as Freydís Eiríksdóttir.
Valhalla has been lauded by critics so far thanks to sticking to the formula that worked so well for Vikings. Numerous publications praised it for its straightforward adventure storytelling and stunning battle set pieces.
The first season has a 90 percent approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes, while the second holds an impressive 100 percent. If it follows the trajectory of its predecessor, it could get better as it goes along.
Where are the Best Places to Watch Vikings: Valhalla in Canada?
Vikings was a cultural sensation that had a huge impact on the wider entertainment industry, but Valhalla has the potential to be even bigger. When Vikings was first released, it was only available on the History Channel. It gained mass attention after season three when it was made available on various streaming services including Netflix and Amazon Prime Video.
Valhalla already has a head start on Vikings in this regard, as it was released to the world on Netflix from the start. There are numerous ways for people to enjoy it in Canada. With a full subscription, it’s possible to stream all the episodes uninterrupted.
There’s now also the option of Netflix Basic, which has been described as a great plan for frugal individuals. It’s possible to watch all the popular Netflix shows, but there are advert breaks within them. These aren’t the only options, though.
Viewers can also buy the series as a download on Apple TV, Google Play Movies, or the Microsoft Store. With all these avenues available, Valhalla has the potential to reach a vast audience.
Vikings: Valhalla has continued the legacy of Vikings by offering a lot more of the same. However, there’s enough that’s different about it to keep viewers on their toes and attract some new ones. It could lead to its own franchise that also spans out into related games.