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Winter is Coming.. and the Vikings are here

The Love of the Game

By Mary McDonaldPublished 2 years ago 5 min read

We all know that it will be difficult to find a show that is as well done as Game of Thrones again in our lifetime. For those of you who are in the know about lemon cake, wildfire, the Lord of Light, the faceless man, the Wildlings and the wall then you have watched Game of Thrones and I’ll bet, loved it.

Game of Thrones is one for the history books of tv. There are so many truly exceptional characters in the show. There are characters that we love and characters that we love to hate, and those who we once loved and grew to hate or hated and have come to love, which only shows us how exceptional the show actually is. From Jon Snow, Arya and Sansa Stark to Cersei, Daenerys and Little Finger we see the depth of the character development as this show progresses through the seasons. One of the most hated characters is likely Joffrey and the relief is almost palpable when Joffrey is poisoned. Or maybe it’s Ramsey Bolton, he was a brutal character, one who you wanted to see perish early upon meeting him.

Game of Thrones shares with us an intimate view of the opulence of the life of Kings and Queens and dramatizes the difference between the rich and the poor. We see the poor starving while the nobles gorge themselves on delicacies like chocolate covered figs in the castle. The period costumes are quite intricate and help to paint the picture of times long ago and help us to feel immersed in the experience. And who could forget the dragons. Everyone always loves a show with dragons.

There are a great many battles of love as well throughout from Cersei and her brother Jamie to the love Jon Snow has for a Wildling and the caring forged between Sansa and Tyrion. There are a number of love stories in Vikings and quite a few stories of many loves.

If you love battle scenes and even more so the strategic planning that is a constant thread throughout Game of Thrones then you have found your next show in Vikings. Vikings shows the immeasurable lengths that Vikings may have gone to to win a battle or to raid a village. Vikings cannot be measured against Game of Thrones as no show really can be, but it does begin to fill the void left when Game of Thrones ended. Many believe it ended too early and there has been a promise for a prequel so we will see what that brings.

By Steinar Engeland on Unsplash

In the meantime, you should seriously consider Vikings as your next binge watch. Vikings offers long term character development in Ragnar and his sons and a number of other important characters. There are excellent if not gory battle scenes reminiscent of Game of Thrones glorious battles.

Most important though is the essence of both which is “the game”. In Game of Thrones there is a constant yearning for the throne at Kings Landing and it comes from many as they all work their way toward the throne. Friends become enemies and brothers forsake brothers for the power they desire in the throne. This is paralleled in Vikings as there are many attempts to take over the similar looking throne at Kattegat with battles between allies and families.

If you found yourself sitting on the couch every week waiting to see who might land the iron throne and the name Jon Snow is a household word then you will become an avid fan of Vikings as well. If Game of Thrones made you feel like you were there living as a knight’s watchman or a peasant villager you will enjoy being immersed into the lives of the Vikings.

By Gigi on Unsplash

There are many parallels between Game of Thrones and Vikings, such as the constant clamor for the throne: be it in Kings Landing or Kattegat. There are noble and the working class in both. There is the incredulous rise to power by a supposed bastard son or a farmer to the likes of a King that let you fall in love with the characters and root for them as you watch from the edge of your seat. There’s also a great character loyalty in both shows as watchers have those they love and support and others they hope will be destroyed.

Another important parallel is the strength of the female characters. Cersei Lannister is a strong willed and clever warrior in her own right even though she has an evil streak that runs thickly though her makes you hope for her fall from grace. Lagertha Lothbrok from Vikings is a true warrior is every sense of the word and she will earn your respect and your love with her strength and the source of goodness in her.

There are many reasons that you most certainly will binge Vikings if you’ve watched Game of Thrones such as the costumes and the scenery and the impressive character development. Isn’t it always about the character development? You will begin to take sides and then the allies will turn foes and allies again. There is so much fighting for power for the Kingship of the entire land that you may expect to see Sersei Lannister make an appearance to fight for her seat at the throne again. If you love fight scenes with swords and axes and the drama between family members as they fight to rise to power then you will binge through Vikings in record time.


About the Creator

Mary McDonald

Professor, behavior analyst, writer, artist. Her doctorate is in behavioral psychology. She works with individuals with autism and their families.

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