What Vikings Gets Wrong About History

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The History Channel has become somewhat infamous in recent years for showing less and less history than it used to. This popular historical drama Vikings hasn’t exactly gotten them back on track. Sure, the Vikings on the show don’t wear helmets with horns like they’re in some Wagnerian opera, but they still make a lot of other fashion choices that are definitely not period accurate. The series does features some real historical figures, but their stories are drastically changed for the show, and the timeline is not exactly in accord with real-life events. Let’s take a look at some things that History Channel’s Vikings gets wrong about history.

Brothers in arms | 0:00
Saint Cuthbert | 1:18
Ragnar's voyages | 2:30
Goin' Viking | 3:29
Dressed to kill | 4:27
Tresses and manes | 5:21
Athelstan | 6:24
Blood eagles | 7:26
Around the world | 8:26
Out of time | 9:21

Read Full Article: www.grunge.com/162740/what-vi...

Published on


May 23, 2020




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Comments 503
Grunge Year ago
What's your favorite thing about the show?
Eazy E
Eazy E 5 months ago
All of it
Mees Spijkerman
Mees Spijkerman 6 months ago
@IPG well I like ivar better too, but Lagertha is just great. I think it’s quite funny that an old woman can still fight that good.
IPG 6 months ago
@Mees Spijkerman I liked her in the beginning. But she was just too selfish for my taste. Also It was quit annoying seeing a 60+ age woman fight and defeat huge men on their 20's. Too unrealistic. Loool PS: go PSV!! 😜
Mees Spijkerman
Mees Spijkerman 6 months ago
@IPG Lagertha? Man everyone loves lagertha
IPG 8 months ago
@John Creighton I hate her! 😂😂😂
James Bodnarchuk
James Bodnarchuk 4 days ago
Don’t take it seriously . It’s a tv show.
Balleklorin 7 days ago
Load of crap. Greetings Norway
Peter 18 days ago
Not to mention that in old norse, their word for saturday translate to washing day. It was the day of the week were they would wash and bathe themself. Dig sites and even grave sites were found with many hair grooming accessories. When meeting other cultures, the Norsemen should be the cleanest in the room, with washed clothes and hair.
American Beowulf
Anglo Saxons were not push overs as the show depicts.
Its.... a... show l9l
Russ Hoffman
Russ Hoffman 2 months ago
Was the show inaccurate? Yes. Did it peak peoples interest in that era of history? Yes. Did the show entertain people? Of course. Did it make people want to learn more about them? If it did, then the show did its job.
Hvy Duty
Hvy Duty 2 months ago
not even close
Kristian Dannevang
Kristian Dannevang 2 months ago
Don't forget Ragnars multiple wives and Bjorn (Bjørn) is the youngest and Ivar is the eldest, Hvitserk (Hvidsærk) where his nickname due to his wardrobe choice. And on and on and on.
Jay Williams
Jay Williams 2 months ago
The most annoying thing about this show is how weak they show the Anglo Saxons both were Germanic so wouldn't be much different between them also Anglo Saxons won more battles than Vikings/Norse
Darshan Niroula
Darshan Niroula 2 months ago
So all my confusions were worthless
Mocking Micah
Mocking Micah 2 months ago
Ragnar was for a fact at the siege of paris so he is real but the ragnar that dies in northumbria isn’t
vio eu vio
vio eu vio 2 months ago
well its time for spoilers ;d
We are playing uno right now
Imagine spending this much time on a video like this... it’s a tv show man chill out and just enjoy it. If they made it historically accurate it would probably be boring
William 3 months ago
I love the depictions of sacrifice and the religion of the Vikings in the show, originally produced by the History Channel. There was actually a disclaimer I read somewhere about the hairstyles being guesswork, as there really is no evidence as to what they actually did with their hair.
Shubert McWilbur
Shubert McWilbur 3 months ago
This show is a fun amalgamation of Viking stories.
Warren Peace
Warren Peace 4 months ago
This cartoonish crap is just as historically accurate as anything else that the "history" channel poops out. Funny how some people will never question what they're fed. Near 70% of highschool graduates can't read so they really believe they're learning from TV.
Allen Knott
Allen Knott 4 months ago
Michael Hirst is a dumbass, who put too much of his own personal bias into his shows.
Victor Dalecarlia
Victor Dalecarlia 4 months ago
As a swede and general defender of true history, I still enjoy Vikings, its not a documentary its just like Lord of the rings where Tolkien borrowed themes, just enjoy it as entertainment
ssc clan
ssc clan 4 months ago
No shit Sherlock. I thought it was all totally true. Glad you uncovered the truth. What would we have done without you pointing out the errors. At least I can watch Batman and no that's based on real history.
BirdWell 5 months ago
"Lagurtha" you can tell this guy hant watched vikings lmao
FreakHazard 5 months ago
Dude you missed a lot of historic inaccuracies 😂 Then again to defend the show the director did say the show was not meant to be a history lesson.
Cheryl Farmer
Cheryl Farmer 6 months ago
In season 6, when Lagertha's village is being assaulted by bandits, the warriors defending the village were all women and the men were hiding or doing things behind the scenes. What's a politically correct load of feminist horse hockey.
Gautland Creations
Gautland Creations 6 months ago
The only thing written down about what vikings did on a daily basis, and what they looked like is from Ahmad Ibn Fadlan who met vikings and actually wrote it all on paper. The idea that vikings didn't shave their heads seem wrong. Fadlan says in his stories that they often shaved the back of their heads and saved long bangs. So the younger Björn Ironside had this pretty much typical hair. Fadlan also tells us vikings loved colourful clothes of the best fabrics from other countries. Their very weird way of cleaning themselves in the same bowl of water mixed with everyone's snot and spit also seem to be true. There are other stuff to, like only rich vikings had swords, but most people know this by now. Other things about the Viking series is that Kattegatt looks nothing like the place in the series. Kattegatt is the part between Denmark and Sweden along the coast almost to the south of Norway. No such mountains can be found there. In the first season they are travelling by foot to thebnine years blot, which seem to be held in Uppsala or actually Upsala, Sweden. There are troubles knowing if this particular Upsala was located near today's Stockholm as Uppsala is, or if it's the Upsala closer to Östra Götaland. No matter where Upsala was located, and no matter where the series "Kattegatt" was located, it would be a very long trip on foot. I have seen the norwegian mountains from the west to the east from the air, and you don't just walk over them like nothing. From the swedis west coast to wherever Upsala were, they would have to force theor way through thing forest with lots of trees laying in their way. The woods were very different from today. For those of us living in Scandinavia, the series is just nice and entertaining violence, not very historically correct.
Cheryl Farmer
Cheryl Farmer 6 months ago
Lagertha and her all women warriors defeating the men twice their size is so believable, LOL. The political correct social warriors are taking girl power a little too far, haha.
David Fanai
David Fanai 6 months ago
But most of the historical writings were written by english. No? If vikings have written ones... Your facts gatherings might be different. The clear thing is Vikings destroys them back then.
David Vampyre
David Vampyre 6 months ago
Jimmy A
Jimmy A 6 months ago
did you pronounce her name... Lag-ERTH-a? haha you never watched this show have you?
Mr. NOBODY 6 months ago
What about Kievan Rus in season 6? They mixed Chinese, Mongolian and Arabic warriors and call it “Rus army”😅
Goole8 Tigers
Goole8 Tigers 7 months ago
The Viking armies been half women and Viking queens are the biggest lies neither of these were true
x. kasiouris
x. kasiouris 7 months ago
Kentishmen are descended from Jutes which are scandinavians which invaded ion the 5th century way before the viking age
Tony Goodman
Tony Goodman 7 months ago
I'll tell you this much. It beats the reality TV crap they are putting on UK TV at the moment. I thought the acting, scenery and stretched truths made good entertainment. If I want facts I won't be looking on TV for the answer I'll tell you that much. Trust the media for the truth? That's like trusting The Bible is fact not fiction.
S H 7 months ago
Literally everything wrong
Dhruva Shah
Dhruva Shah 7 months ago
Well, you can't make a show extremely accurate if the events they are based on were not properly recorded. If the vikings had kept records, I bet most of what we know about them is false.
Brian Fuller
Brian Fuller 7 months ago
Short answer, the programme was very inaccurate in everything from it's pseudo-history to the costumes. It's solid evidence that the History Channel doesn't care about actual history.
Wayne Purcell
Wayne Purcell 5 months ago
@Seventh Prodigy Yeah and that's why there are so many ignorant and ill informed people out there. The whole entire "Viking" era is interesting enough as it was (if someone would actually read and explore the real history they'd know that). It doesn't NEED help to make it interesting. Why do people have to make up crap when the reality is just as good if not BETTER? That's stupid. When it comes to the Viking era you could easily make a show that's both entertaining AND accurate. Why not just DO that?
Seventh Prodigy
Seventh Prodigy 6 months ago
Still entertaining with great characters like Ragnar and Ivar the boneless,not everyone watches TV shows for historical accuracy
Gi Gglez
Gi Gglez 8 months ago
The Shield Maidens destroying men 3x their size o_o !_!
MalecuDoco 8 months ago
This man just said Kattegat isn't real....
Wayne Purcell
Wayne Purcell 5 months ago
As a CITY. Kattegat is the straight between Denmark and Sweden and the name Kattegat is Dutch meaning "cats hole" (or gate). So Kattegat AS DEPICTED IN THE SHOW doesn't exist.
L M 8 months ago
There's virtually nothing in the show which is historically accurate.
Sage123 8 months ago
The reason Ragnars timeline was all over the place in history on the show is because it was all over the place. He was a semi mythical figure like King Arthur and showed up in all different battles in old text which create an impossible timeline. Nobodies really sure about a lot of his life but his sons are more tangible historical figures and they did get their story much more accurate although it's not %100 either.
Vasily Arkhipov
Vasily Arkhipov 8 months ago
Vinland saga is a lot better than this
Cole Marullo
Cole Marullo 9 months ago
I did not expect the show to be accurate. It was entertainment.
Ray B
Ray B 5 months ago
You do not, we do !
Ray B
Ray B 6 months ago
I do not agree, I was expecting at least a minumum of accuracy ! Yet, I understand that today , it seems that people need drama and love scenes...however , it would have been as interesting to see the Monk/King Alfred fighting the Viking Warlord Guthrum than Ivar, which was already dead in ( 873 ) ....and making Ivarr Ragnarsson walking normally with his own ''legs'' than making him a '' crippled'' Viking berserker ! And, we all know that Alfred was clean-shaven.....please ....
Daniel 10 months ago
This is all Trump's fault...
Hainero2001 10 months ago
If Ragnar discovered England then where did the west germanic Anglo-Saxons come from? LOL! Heck they weren't even the same people themselves, technically. Angles, Jutes, Saxons, Frisians all came from the same general part of NW Europe. They and the "vikings" were distant cousins.
Sean Carroll
Sean Carroll 11 months ago
I love this show ragnar and ivar r my favorite
Nina Dragonborn
Nina Dragonborn 11 months ago
thanks for this to know the true history
professor Year ago
Some phew where right but you where wrong about many thinks which i cant explain here
Squiffilect Year ago
I will watch this video once I've finished Vikings... on 502 ep8 at the moment, but I wanted to come here and say that Vikings, although a fun show to watch it takes liberties.
Definitely not The Federal Bureau of Investigation
*I don’t think a lot of the stuff on the history channel is historically accurate...* *In the early AMs at least*
The monks as shown on the show are wrong. Lindisfarne was founded by Saint Aidán and was part of the Celtic church from Ireland. Irish monks did not shave the tops of their heads as was the custom later in Europe. In Ireland monks shaved the whole front half of their head and left the back long. This was known as a Cúlann. At this point Lindsdisfarne was already over 100 years established and although many of the monks there at this point would have been Saxon converts, they were still part of the Celtic church and would have followed the customs of the Irish church and so would have adopted this Irish hairstyle.
Jamie Rueffer
Jamie Rueffer Year ago
Since when is TV historically accurate? Its too bad because that's where most people get their "facts".
Ray B
Ray B 6 months ago
That is why a ''minimum of accuracy'' would have been as much as interesting , than people in history that never met !
Gsel vl
Gsel vl Year ago
Nice be friends
tommy anderson
Am I late? Yes I am. This video is as inaccurate as the show
Felix Davidsson
Not watchin it for the truth, wathin it for the entertainment. But still, nice to know the truth!
David Fox
David Fox Year ago
how about tiny women killing battle hardened men on their droves? Physiologically doubtful, to say the least.
Marc Witorsch
Marc Witorsch Year ago
pretty much everything
Tarsan97 Year ago
Vikings did not speak English ! They did not even speak broken modern Norwegian like heard some times on Tv, they speak norrønna, now just preserved in some words in Scandinavia and more preserved in Iceland. Vikings did not lit up rooms with candle lights from the mal. They used seal or whale oil with a floating something as a smokin wik. VIK= bay in Scandinavia. Ading "ings" is like say and add football-ers...It is just a description on people living along the bays, fjords and the coasts. Metal was labourintensive to extract so armoring with metal would be not often to see. Leather much more. We know from a viking battle in Norway that the same people in north gave one of the sides reindeer skins to use as ponchos against arrows and swords. There wil also bee a hugh difference on viking piracy from the earlier ages and the hugh viking amys under some king later. It is this soldiers people picture in their heads. On Tv vikings use creative torture methods. This is not in the culture of vikings, they was much pragmatic. They just wanted you stuff and smashed your head in if you was in the way. By the way, Norwegians do not like at all be referring to as "norse". They do not like the mixing on what they did from their maritime expertise and what Danish or Swedish did that was something different. Just so you will not end up hanging from a tree somewhere in frozen Norway.
Definix11 Year ago
I am from norway, there is literally vikingships in my hometown. the nature in the series is very much like exactly where im from
MrSigele 7 months ago
Yes, but Rollo, Ragnar and his sons were not from Norway
I knew that the show mostly made shit up from the getgo. This first episode was already incredibly inaccurate.
Jan Helge Hammer
Vikings dont claim to be factional correct. Its a drama made around the Viking age, and they take a lot of freedom to make it interesting and make the characters likeable for the wiewers despite the fact that the raids where terrible and the Viking culture harsh.
Ray B
Ray B 5 months ago
A minimun of historical true events could have been as interesting and entertaining . The problem, which you do not seems to see, is that most younger viewers do not know HIstory at all and the producers of the Vkings Show, by using historical characters in totally fictional situations, many and many are starting to believe such events are true events ...they will not bother to go and verify.
Ray B
Ray B 6 months ago
your statement is not totally correct .... is that most people, especially the younger viewers of today, do not know any History.... by making these ''historic'' TV series from the HISTORY Channel , thousand and thousand wlll now believed this must be real , this has to be real, being called a 'masterpiece' , and you can see it all over the Internet .... You could have created as much excitement and passion , making it very interesting, for example, the battle between the armies of King Alfred and the Viking Warloard Guthrum...
I could be wrong, but I swear that there was a scene where Sigurd was sharpening his ax with his blade facing the opposite direction, which would have the opposite effect of sharpening.
I honestly hate the hair choices in the show. Most of the hair design resulted from what the directors thought Viking style may have looked like. There is really no evidence that recounts hairstyles for the Norse at that time period. However, it seems unlikely that most of the men would have a giant braid following down their back. Why? For the same reason that having a horned helmet is a bad idea. It gives your enemy something to grab hold of that would provide leverage for your enemy to cut your throat.
Ray B
Ray B 6 months ago
If you look at the '' Vikings'' or Norsemen on the Bayeux Tapestry , there are all clean-shaven and the hair are cut extremely short at the back of the neck. Only some the Anglo-Saxons have long hair and a beard. They had the same ''Raven' image on their flags... the Raven most important in the Viking Mythology. We know that the Monk/King Alfred was clean-shaven....The Viking TV series could have made a small effort to show King Alfred , correctly....so easy, but not done !
Shaun X
Shaun X Year ago
I don’t think Vikings really studied history. They were probably more interested in exploration and pillaging.
So Soaply
So Soaply Year ago
Can't be bothered to watch but I'll say one thing. Forks.
David McKay
David McKay Year ago
FFS Dude, it's a TV series!
Luke Harman
Luke Harman Year ago
This isn't even half of them
Sebastian Chantre
I hate when Shows, movies and games depicting historical events gets watered down and Hollywoodiest for the sake of broad appeal. I love the show but man it could've been so much more.
Popa Mihai
Popa Mihai Year ago
Almost everything
Jasmine Year ago
The premise of this show isn’t the fighting and battles. The how show is about the strength of enduring friendship that overcome life’s difficulties. Rewatch the show and keep this in mind.
Faerli Kreepi
Faerli Kreepi Year ago
I love “try to enjoy the violence” like we’re not watching the show for exactly that 😂
Prs Grind
Prs Grind Year ago
History Channel "Vikings" is PURE Hipster Bullshit...
JBean / INTJill
They did either braid their hair or they had dreads, possibly both. There are scripted accounts of people mentioning them having snake like coils for hair.
Hesher 5 months ago
@JBean / INTJill could have been braided hair, looks more snake like then dreads IMO. Also with dreads they would have a huge problem with lice, which why they used combs and washed regularly to prevent that.
JBean / INTJill
JBean / INTJill 5 months ago
@Hesher then how do you account for it being documented?
Hesher 6 months ago
They didn't had dreads, they valued Combs quit much, they even put them in their graves for the afterlife. So dreads a rather unlickely.
Crazy Destroyer
honestly who gives a shit, is the show entertaining and looks the part is all that matters. Not a great show but why pile on at this point.
Daniel Thompson
Not only is the show historically inaccurate, which is expected considering the History channel airs it, but I couldn't even enjoy it as merely entertainment; the show is just crap. Watch the show called _Norsemen_ instead if you want entertainment.
Bluebelle51 5 months ago
I like them both
CALISVN 111 Year ago
Up next, what game of thrones gets wrong about history.
Ehimen Etinosa Junior Akhimien
Game of thrones is fantasy not history. Vikings got everything wrong with the history of the Vikings.
CALISVN 111 Year ago
Mohammed Uddin only the war ark the rest was completely accurate
Mohammed Uddin
I thought he was doing Dragon Ball next...
Nicolai Larsen
The town of Hedeby is depicted with mountains in the background. The real Hedeby is in occupied southern Jutland, where there are no mountains.
Rasmus Kock
Rasmus Kock 6 months ago
Exactly. I also hate how Denmark and Southern Sweden is depicted as havinbg mountains, when they don't in real life. They could just have made a quick google-search to get it right
Dr Atlan
Dr Atlan Year ago
4:50 the Vikings were purple - that’s where I stopped bc I’ve realized how much bs he is talking 😂
Jorge Johnson
Jorge Johnson Year ago
wdym? He said vikings WORE purple and other bright colors, which they did.
Lamonte Jones
Lamonte Jones Year ago
Even tho there wasn't an accurate account of the Blood Eagle I Still Wonder is it physically possible?
thekeefer522 Year ago
Its like this,you have to crack a few eggs to make an omellette,you will eat imitation cheese if it looks good,you will go for the most entertaining over the most truthful persona if your a normie,a bland grey chair is not as attractive as an embellished piece of furniture.Most of humankind looks for those...shiny things,yet actual History is beyond shiny,,,its invalueble.
James Aron
James Aron Year ago
What Vikings Gets Wrong About History - you mean aside from everything?
Dionysios Year ago
There were no women fighting, no women earls, lesbians... don’t even talk about it, they wouldn’t show it.
lunsen 402
lunsen 402 Year ago
the main problem i have with them having this many foults is that it airs on "the history channel" and sure i know they stopped making real history stuff a long time ago but it´s still frustrating, if they gonna not make akurate history stuff then they should change their name.
Phelan Pawly
Phelan Pawly Year ago
Your a moron. It was never said it was a historical series. It was loosely based on historical figures. It’s fictional drama.
Salma Mohsen
Salma Mohsen Year ago
Pretty much everythig
Sarah James
Sarah James Year ago
I’m sorry but if people are watching this hot historical accuracy then people are idiots. All it should do is entice you to research more into Viking culture, lore, and the people. It should entertain you.
Ray B
Ray B 5 months ago
Nonsense ! --- There are not ''idiots'' .... they do not know History ! Period !
Ray B
Ray B 6 months ago
How many younger viewers will take the time to reserach this in real HIstory books... NONE ! And this is why, this is not acceptable from the producers, not to have done a bit more research and come up with a ''minimum'' of true events in the Viking TV series....It could have been as interesting to have the Monk\King Alfred facing the Viking Warloard Guthrum, than Ivar Ragnarsson which died in 873 in Dublin Ireland from an sudden infection..surely dysentery !
boc234 Year ago
Good show except for that stupid "shield maiden" bullshit.
colmhain Year ago
LOL! More than an eleven minute video can cover!
Vestcoast Trashgnome
Maby they wore hats when it got cold?
Cole Parker
Cole Parker Year ago
One minor thing that annoyed me was; how come they never corrected the Steerboard inaccuracy on the ships? I mean I can understand the mistake being in the first couple of shows, but to continue it makes no sense at all.
Ray B
Ray B 6 months ago
Lazyness and doing the minumum of research....making as much $$$ in shortest time, is the goal !
Cole Parker
Cole Parker Year ago
The problem with the show? It became version of the Game of Thrones. It actually got sillier as it went on.
Captain Murphy
"La Girtha"?
Yely Harmony
Yely Harmony Year ago
In my opinion,if a show is gonna be based on historical facts or historical figures then it has to try to be as accurate as possible... Who the hell wanna watch some bent,reshaped history(that wouldn't be history anymore) By the way...History is entertaining as hell just the way it is!
Hornfjell Year ago
"La-girth-a" what.
d0nKsTaH Year ago
I've heard several different theories about Ivar The Boneless.... Some indicate that he was merely impotent and the nickname represented his inability to father a child. Another source suggested it over an incident where he refused to attack and the term boneless (spineless) meant something similar to being a coward. Wikipedia suggests even more ideas on his nickname and death. One story that I do recall that stands out was his death.... and his nickname came about posthumously because his captor(s) beat him so bad there wasn't a hard bone left in his body. Literally crushed by about a dozen rocks over and over in a brutal beating to death. Either way... the show doesn't seem to venture into either of this directions.
Ateyo Year ago
Its “History” Channel....im surprised we didnt see Adolph Hitler come down from a flying Egyptian Pyramid in at least one of those seasons.
Korina 4 months ago
my dad quite literally believes aliens built the pyramids because of the History Channel
mike henthorn
mike henthorn Year ago
you missed my biggest pet peeve. in season 1 Ragnar's ship has the steering board on the wrong side. steering boards go on the right side ( starboard ) and the other side (port ) went to the dock.
Dana Sharpe
Dana Sharpe Year ago
yeah we watch the show because it's ENTERTAINMENT and because Katheryn Winnick is HOT.
M L.
M L. Year ago
Steve Francis
Steve Francis Year ago
Also a bit stupid that Alfred was interacting with King Ecgbert when he was actually born in 849, 10 years after his death and 15 years before the 'great army'! Just saying.
VelkanKiador Year ago
Purple my ass! For a long time purple was a difficult color to produce in clothing, so it was crazy expensive. Anyone wearing purple would definitively be a very rich person of the upper class.
Wayne Purcell
Wayne Purcell 5 months ago
@VelkanKiador Yellows and blues would have been common though.
VelkanKiador 5 months ago
@Bluebelle51 In the video they claim that vikings wore colorful clothes, including red, yellow, blue and purple. And I am calling bull on vikings wearing purple. Fine, there are certainly upper class and wealthy people among the norse, and certainly viking raiders who fit that category. But no viking would ever have worn purple because it is a damn expensive cloth, and no sane person would wear purple when going out to raids as they could either drown or get injured in battle and lose that piece of purple cloth. If you have purple you would without a doubt leave that shit home because that cloth cost a small fortune.
Bluebelle51 5 months ago
so you're saying the Norse didn't have upper class or wealthy people?
Taylor Allen
Taylor Allen Year ago
Go watch a documentary if you want accuracy.
Ray B
Ray B 5 months ago
A documentary from the History Channel ? Good luck !