Vikings is a historical drama television series created and written by Michael Hirst for the History channel. Filmed in Ireland, it premiered on March 3, 2013, in Canada. In January 2019, it was announced that the upcoming 20-episode sixth season, which was ordered on September 12, 2017, ahead of its fifth-season premiere, would be the final season of the series.
Vikings is inspired by the sagas of Viking Ragnar Lothbrok, one of the best-known legendary Norse heroes and notorious as the scourge of England and France. The show portrays Ragnar as a farmer who rises to fame by successful raids into England, and eventually becomes a Scandinavian King, with the support of his family and fellow warriors. In the later seasons, the series follows the fortunes of his sons and their adventures in England, Scandinavia and the Mediterranean.
The series is inspired by the tales of the Norsemen of early medieval Scandinavia. It broadly follows the exploits of the legendary Viking chieftain Ragnar Lothbrok and his crew, family and descendants, as notably laid down in the 13th-century sagas Ragnars saga Loðbrókar and Ragnarssona þáttr, as well as in Saxo Grammaticus’s 12th-century work Gesta Danorum. Norse legendary sagas were partially fictional tales based in the Norse oral tradition, written down about 200 to 400 years after the events they describe. Further inspiration is taken from historical sources of the period, such as records of the Viking raid on Lindisfarne depicted in the second episode, or Ahmad ibn Fadlan’s 10th-century account of the Varangians. The series begins at the start of the Viking Age, marked by the Lindisfarne raid in 793.