It’s been since December of 2020 that fans of Vikings have been without the historical epic, so it’s with great anticipation that the Netflix sequel spinoff Vikings: Valhalla makes its debut. Taking place a century after the original series, Vikings: Valhalla will show what has become of the lands previously conquered by Ragnar Lothbrok and his descendants, all through the eyes of some of the most famous explorers of that era. Critics have had the opportunity to screen the series ahead of its release, so let’s check out what they have to say after a bit of background info.
Sam Corlett leads the upcoming Netflix series as legendary explorer Leif Eriksson. Alongside Eriksson are his headstrong sister Freydis Eriksdotter (Frida Gustavsson), and the rank-rising Nordic prince Harald Sigurdsson (Leo Suter). Vikings: Valhalla takes these explorers and other noteworthy leaders on an epic journey as their people clash with the English and beyond over conflicting Christian and Pagan beliefs. So what are the reviews saying about the Netflix sequel series?
Hannah Shaw-Williams of SlashFilm says there are times that the series sacrifices substance for simplicity, and it doesn’t have quite as interesting a story to tell as Vikings did. However, the consensus is that it’s still wildly entertaining — come for the vikings, stay for the battle sequences.
Matt Fowler of IGN rates it a 7 out of 10, or “Good,” also noting that the circumstances that the sequel’s characters are facing are much different than those of the History series. Seeing the vikings conquests at the end of Britain’s Viking Age requires a different approach than Vikings, which was set in the beginning of the era.
Bradley Russell of GamesRadar scores it 3.5 stars out of 5, agreeing that the battle scenes are one of its many strengths, along with its magnetic characters. In this reviewer's eyes, however, Vikings: Valhalla lacks nuance and flickers out in the end.
Thelma Adams of The Wrap says creator Jeb Stuart succeeds in following up on Michael Hirst’s Vikings, providing Netflix viewers with a road to epic escapism as exciting as the series that preceded it.
Kate Sánchez of the But Why Tho? podcast rates it 9 out of 10, saying the first season references the past world of Vikings without overwhelming the stories of the new characters.
Overall the critics seem to enjoy the way Vikings: Valhalla continues the epic that was started in Vikings’ six seasons. Naturally the sequel adapts a different tone, as it’s set 100 years after the original, but it has maintained the character development and bloody battle scenes that were among what attracted fans to the epic in the first place.
The eight-episode first season of Vikings: Valhalla premieres Friday, February 25, on Netflix. Be sure to check out these other shows on Netflix, and stay updated with what premieres are coming with our 2022 TV Schedule.
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