Vikings Valhalla on Netflix: a spin-off of Vikings more nagging, more rhythmic and also…

The Vikings spin-off is finally here on Netflix! Vikings: Valhalla picks up the torch of the Vikings universe more than a hundred years after the events of the original series. So what is Vikings: Valhalla worth?

WHAT IS IT ABOUT ?

100 years after the first Vikings, the story of their descendants, including the legendary Leif Eriksson, Freydis Eriksdotter, Harald Sigurdsson and William the Conqueror, men and women ready to do anything to survive in a changing Europe… Vikings spinoff.

The first season of Vikings: Valhalla is available on Netflix. Episodes seen: 8/8.

WELL WORTH A LOOK ?

In six seasons, Vikings has left its mark on the serial world thanks to iconic characters (Ragnar forever in our hearts), sequences as bloody as they are moving and an effective and brilliantly conducted revisit of History. Suffice to say that going after Michael Hirst’s series was a major challenge for his spin-off Vikings: Valhalla. And it is screenwriter Jeb Stuart (Crystal Trap, The Fugitive) who has been chosen as showrunner for this new series available on Netflix.

Rather than making a clean sweep of the past, Jeb Stuart has made the clever choice to return to the very essence of what made the success of Vikings in its infancy and to place his new characters in the wake of the legends of yesteryear. under the aegis of the Norse gods, all with the blessing of Micheal Hirst who produces this spin-off.

Vikings valhalla on netflix: a spin-off of vikings more nagging, more rhythmic and also...
BERNARD WALSH/NETFLIX

By telling the story of the descendants of Ragnar, Rollo, Lagertha, Bjorn, Ivar and others, Jeb Stuart is sure to entice early fans with a feeling of coming home to Kattegat. But by spacing the two series by more than a hundred years, it can also hope to conquer a whole new audience on Netflix already seduced by similar series on the platform like The Last Kingdom or Barbarians.

Know that it is not essential to have seen the six seasons of Vikings to understand the history of Vikings: Valhalla since in addition to naming and explaining the exploits of the illustrious ancestors of the protagonists, the spin-off recalls , with a box at the start of the season, the context in which the series is set and don’t forget to locate and name the different strategic places (which season 1 of The Witcher really should have done!).

Vikings valhalla on netflix: a spin-off of vikings more nagging, more rhythmic and also...
BERNARD WALSH/NETFLIX

To be or not to be Viking

Vikings: Valhalla begins with a tragic event, the massacre of Saint-Brice in the year 1002, when the English king Æthelred the Misguided orders the massacre of all the Vikings, however converted to Christianity for the vast majority and settled peacefully in encampments in the Kingdom of England.

This declaration of war with the Viking people will be the starting point for this spin-off which, through the epics of three main characters, the explorer Leif Eriksson (Sam Corlett), his fiery sister with a strong character Freydis Eriksdotter (Frida Gustavsson) and the ambitious prince of the North Harald Sigurdsson (Leo Suter), focuses on recounting the perpetual struggle between the Vikings, already torn between their pagan and Christian beliefs, and English royalty.

By digging into fraternal tensions, religious wars and territorial struggles, Vikings: Valhalla puts back to the heart of this universe questions already present in the first seasons of Vikings on the clash of civilizations, the discovery of the other, respect traditions and the integration of new cultures, political strategies, ingenious invasion plans (of which Ragnar would be proud) as in episode 4, and above all on the own identity of the Viking people, torn between opposing beliefs and different ambitions but always with a common goal: entry into Valhalla.

Vikings valhalla on netflix: a spin-off of vikings more nagging, more rhythmic and also...
BERNARD WALSH/NETFLIX

This bias, which operates as a return to basics, is very interesting in substance but less impacting on the form as there is sometimes a lack of suspended moments, more contemplative sequences and finesse in this spin-off. Instead, Vikings: Valhalla relies on action, a frenetic pace and piquant and effective dialogue launched by strong, endearing characters who are easily followed thanks to an inhabited incarnation of its cast.

Nevertheless, the spirit of the original series hovers over this spin-off which does not skimp on the impressive and bloody fights, the neat costumes, the captivating music and a good dose of sex, as in Vikings, the first of the name. Despite the lack of poetry and a credits without great scale, which made the salt of the original series, Vikings: Valhalla is nonetheless very promising and very entertaining at the end of its first eight episodes.

When we know that Jeb Stuart has already planned several seasons for Vikings: Valhalla, we say to ourselves that this first season only lays the fairly solid foundations for a series that we want to be as intense and powerful as its predecessor, with all the human and philosophical complexity that emanated from it and without a certain simplistic and tasteless Manichaeism that sometimes shows up in this spin-off.

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