Vikings is an Canadian-Irish period drama television series created by Michael Hirst and inspired by the epic saga of Viking King Ragnar Lodbrok, one of the most popular Norse heroes who was a great Viking commander and the scourge of France and England, which tells the tale of the epic and violent world of the mighty Norsemen who raided, traded and explored during the early medieval period.
It follows the exploits of semi-legendary viking figure Ragnar Lodbrok and the gripping sagas of Ragnar's Viking crew and family as he struggles to become 'king' of a large part of modern day Scandinavia and Europe.
His ambition initially puts him at odds with local chieftain Earl Haraldson (Gabriel Byrne), who insists on sending his raiders to the impoverished east rather than the uncharted west.
When Ragnar teams up with his boat builder friend Floki (Gustaf Skarsgard) to craft a new generation of intrepid ships capable of conquering the rough northern seas, the stage is set for conflict.
Vikings is a series high on adventure, exploration, conflict, warfare and bloodshed - for these were extreme times - but, at its heart, it is also a family saga.
It follows the adventures of Ragnar Lothbrok, a historical figure, and the greatest hero of his age - and the gripping sagas of Ragnar's band of Viking brothers and his family - as he rises to become King of the Viking tribes.
Ragnar Lothbrok (Fimmel) is based upon the real-life Viking leader who literally exploded out of Scandanavia and onto the world stage in the 8th Century.
A young Norwegian farmer with a wife and family, Ragnar is deeply frustrated by the unadventurous policies of his local chieftan, Earl Haraldson (Byrne), who continues to send his Vikings raiders east every summer, to the Baltic states and Russia, whose populations are as materially poor as themselves.
Lagertha (Katheryn Winnick) is the first wife of Ragnar's and their marriage is a love-match. Ragnar was first attracted to Lagertha when she came to fight for a local Norwegian ruler against an invading Sweden.
Floki (Skarsgard), based partly on the Norse god Loki, is an impish character and ship builder who designs and builds the prototype of the new generation of Viking ships which can sail across the open ocean but also up the shallowest of rivers. He is a design genius and he allows Ragnar to fulfill his dreams of sailing west and discovering new lands and new civilizations.
Siggy (Jessalyn Gilsig) is Earl Haraldson's beautiful wife and an enigmatic character. She performs her duties impeccably and with style, but she may not be completely loyal to her husband.
Rollo (Clive Standen) is Ragnar's cousin and initially one of his closest friends, involved in his early raids. But he soon becomes jealous of Ragnar's fame and success.
Joining Fimmel and Byrne are Katheryn Winnick (Bones, Love and Other Drugs, The Black Marks) as Lagertha, a fierce shield maiden and Ragnar's wife; Jessalyn Gilsig (Glee, Heroes, Nip/Tuck, Friday Night Lights) as Siggy, Earl Haraldson's beautiful wife; George Blagden (Les Miserables, Wrath of the Titans) as Athelstan, a young, innocent Christian monk captured by Ragnar on his first raid on England, Clive Standen (Camelot, Robin Hood) as Rollo, Ragnar's impulsive, wild, care-free brother and Gustaf Skarsgard (The Way Back) a ship builder who designs the new generation of Vikings ships.
Created and written by Michael Hirst (Academy-Award winning film Elizabeth; and the Emmy and Golden Globe nominated series The Tudors), Michael serves as Executive Producer along with Morgan O'Sullivan of World 2000 (The Count of Monte Cristo; The Tudors), John Weber of Take 5 Productions (The Tudors; The Borgias), Sherry Marsh, Alan Gasmer, James Flynn (The Tudors; The Borgias) and Sheila Hockin (The Tudors; The Borgias).
Vikings is an international Irish/Canadian co-production which is co-produced by World 2000 and Take 5 Productions.