Vikings Season 1 Review “Burial of the Dead”

There are many action shows on television that focus entirely on explosions, blood spray, and mutilated bodies. There are many shows that think they are delving into the deeper questions of the human mind, while they are actually presenting a superficial thought imbued with pretention. The thing I like about Vikings, and Michael Hirst projects generally, is that there is a balance between fast-paced action and esoteric ideas. The fact that it has an incredibly talented cast and beautiful setting is just gravy. We’ve been building up to a conflict between Ragnar and Earl Haraldson all season. The Earl never understood Ragnar; he only saw him as a threat to his soft, easy life on his fur-covered throne. It is easy to imagine how things would have been different if the Earl had supported Ragnar’s initial request to go west and rejoiced in his success. The episode begins with a look back at an earlier confrontation between the two men, where the Earl announced to the crowded room, "This is an ambitious man, and he resents the fact that he owes me loyalty and obedience as his chieftain." In this moment, the Earl miscalculated because he didn’t comprehend Ragnar’s true motives. From what we’ve seen of Ragnar, he is driven by curiosity and a sense of adventure. He never seemed like he secretly longed to be the liege-lord. READ MORE...

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