March 11, 2015

Vikings – The Really REALLY Bad Boys

By Elizabeth Shore

Two years ago I wrote a post about the hotness factor in gladiators. At the time, the show Spartacus was on and gladiators were having a resurgence of sorts. But that was then and this is now, and it’s time we talked about Vikings.

If you haven’t seen the show, by the gods remedy that – pronto! It’s a delicious feast for the senses – entertaining, compelling plotlines and visually stunning scenery … and I’m not only talking about the jaw-dropping views of mountains and fjords. I’m talking about the gorgeous cast. Travis Fimmel, anyone?

Travis Fimmel young Here’s Travis in his early days when he was just a young ‘un modeling for Calvin Klein. Even back in the day it’s easy to see why he was eventually cast as legendary Norse ruler Ragnar Lothbrok. The chiseled face, blond hair and piercing blue eyes make for a pretty picture as a model, and an intimdating one as he gets older and plays the fearless leader who believes  he’s destined for greatness. Now, admittedly, Fimmel isn’t the greatest actor to ever grace the screen. But seriously, with that face – and those abs! – who cares?

Travis Fimmel Vikings

Although Fimmel may be the star of the show, he’s not the only gorgeous guy in the cast. Let’s take a moment and talk about Clive Standen. Never heard of him? Well, ladies, let your eyes raid this:

Clive Standen

Clive Standen Rollo














Any complaints? I thought not.

Ragnar Lothbrok also has a pretty hot son, played by Hunger Games actor Alexander Ludwig, who now in Vikings’ 3rd season is all grown up and ready to plunder.

Alexander Ludwig

Katheryn Winnick Vikings

The females in the cast are just as beautiful. I particularly adore Katheryn Winnick as Lagertha, Ragnar’s former wife. She’s as badass as they come, fighting right alongside the men during the fiercest of battles. Actress Winnick is perfectly, cast, too. In real life she’s an accomplished martial artist, obtaining her first black belt at age 13. She’s also a licensed bodyguard and owns a string of taekwondo studios. In other words. don’t f**k with her.

It’s true that historical vikings were nothing to admire. They raided, they pillaged, they raped women, they killed innocents, they took what wasn’t theirs. They weren’t bad boys to be admired, they were truly bad boys from which to run far far away. And to be fair, the History Channel’s series doesn’t entirely look the other way when it comes to the harsh reality of what vikings were and did. A friend of mind, in fact, doesn’t watch the show because she says it’s too violent. The battle scenes are bloody, it’s true, although for me the most gruesome scene of the entire series thus far was the “blood eagle” ceremony from season 2. If you don’t know what that is, brace yourself. Or hit the fast forward button.

Alongside the beautiful cast and scenery, the plotlines keep me hooked. There’s really compelling subtext going on in the character of Athelstan, a former monk who was captured and later befriended by Ragnar. Athelstan suffers pangs of spiritual crisis, hovering between his former Christian identify and his new Pagan one.

So grab a cup of glog and giving Vikings a try. It’ll bring out the warrior in you.


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  • Post authorMegan Morgan

    This is one of my favorite shows right now! I eagerly await each week for the next episode. I had a hard time wrapping my head around Travis going from Calvin Klein to Ragnar Lothbrok at first, but it’s amazing.

    Reply to Megan Morgan
    • Post authorElizabeth Shore

      I did, too! But I think he pulls it off. I, for one, have nothing to complain about. 🙂

      Reply to Elizabeth Shore
  • Post authorKemberlee

    I love Vikings! It’s partly produce by an Irish company and partly filmed here. My hubs works with a man who’s twin sons are in the show (they swap ‘acting’ as Ivar the Boneless baby). Lots of interesting tales coming off the set when they’re there with the boys. I’d love to be an extra, as Vikings in Ireland is my area of interest. If anyone is in Ireland gets a chance, the Viking Room in the National Gallery on Kildare Street is AMAZING!

    Reply to Kemberlee
    • Post authorElizabeth Shore

      Oh, Kemberlee, with that kind of connection can’t you nab a spot as an extra in the cast as a fierce warrior viking ready to charge into battle? That would be so cool!

      I’ll definitely keep the Viking Room in the National Gallery in mind. I haven’t been to Ireland in several years. It may be time for another visit.

      Reply to Elizabeth Shore
      • Post authorKemberlee

        Wouldn’t that be amazing? I’d love it. Unfortunately, I’m not young or thin enough to be on telly 🙁 Plus, I might molest Rolo. My hubs might be a little miffed at that 😉

        If you’re over before September, let me know and I’ll meet you at the museum. I’ve been known to get lost for hours in that place. The National Gallery is behind the museum, as is the Dead Zoo. Between the three, an amazeballs day…for a history nerd 😉

        Reply to Kemberlee
  • Post authorMadeline Iva

    Great post!!!

    Well, except the ‘historically nothing to admire part’ — hmmm. I mean, I’ve read some history books written by Nordic peoples who talk about those new fanatics aka the Christians who led raids against the Scandanavians *first* because the Scandanavians were pagans doncha know, and heathens and had to be put to the knife if they didn’t convert.

    Some of the Scandanavians started fighting back. Some of them started converting, and some did both. They were brilliant boat designers, brilliant navigators, and they did not keep their women down as much as a lot of other cultures. They had slavery for a wee bit — mostly from picking up slaves from other countries in their raids–but they got rid of it before all the rest of Europe did. They have always intuitively leaned towards a more democratic egalitarian society–even from the very first. In fact, it used to be that their ‘kings’ were people elected and then–if the crops went poorly–burned to appease the Gods.

    And a lot of times they didn’t kill people — they took them back to Sweden or where ever. Or if they liked a place they just intermarried and settled down right there.

    Okay, I’m getting off my Swedish soap box now…

    Reply to Madeline Iva
    • Post authorElizabeth Shore

      Hey, I have no problems pointing out the good. They were brilliant seafarers for sure. But they kept slaves (thralls), and they did raid and pillage, which is not so good. Still, we’re all about equal opportunity at Lady Smut, but far be it for me to exclude the aspects of vikings. 🙂

      Reply to Elizabeth Shore

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