From Michael Hirst (The Tudors), History's Vikings -- premiering Sunday night -- about the legendary "Viking who would be Viking king" Ragnar Lothbrok, plays a lot better than you might think. At first glimpse, this $40 million dollar production looks like it might be an ambitious play for Game of Thrones' spot. It also seems, just from a cursory glance, that it falls way short of the dynamic intrigue that makes that HBO series so engrossing and addictive. But the world of Vikings is much simpler, and quieter, than that of a fantasy realm. The culture of these Men of the North is able to resonate with less bluster, although, as a pilot, "Rites of Passage" lacks overall weight. READ MORE...


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