Okay, so nobody out there really believes that History Channel's hit series Vikings is all that historically accurate, but you might be surprised just how many liberties the show takes with the truth. Here are some of the biggest inaccuracies and mistruths you'll find in Vikings.
In season one, Vikings introduces Ragnar Lothbrok and his brother Rollo, and they're kind of a big deal as far as the show's story goes. Both were historical figures too, though Ragnar himself was more of a mythic, King Arthur-style figure while Rollo is more firmly grounded in actual historical record. But one thing is for sure: they definitely weren't brothers.
Rollo was born in Scandinavia somewhere around 845 A.D., and he lived until around 930. It's true that he was a Viking, and it's also true that he participated in raids in the Kingdom of West Francia [FRAWN-kee-uh] and eventually became the first ruler of Normandy [NORE-mun-dee]. But he was almost certainly not related to Ragnar Lothbrok, and it's unlikely the two ever even met. Ragnar, if he was indeed a real person, probably lived from around 820 to 865, which means he's at least 25 years Rollo's senior, so he would have been approaching the end of his life just as Rollo was entering adulthood.
So why does the show commit to this particular historical error? Well, both men are fascinating figures, and it's easier for a television audience to invest in two divergent storylines if they're introduced at first as two parts of the same storyline
Watch the video to see what 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
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May 23, 2020