Return of the Vikings

The Vikings are back with a vengeance, writes Jeffrey Richards

The Vikings are back. There are bestselling novel series by writers such as Giles Kristian, Tim Severin and V.M. Whitworth, their success owing something to the current vogue for quasi-medieval sword and sorcery sagas like Game of Thrones. There has been a clutch of films – Pathfinder, Valhalla Rising, Severed Ways – depicting the Vikings as exponents of ultra-violence. The Norse god Thor has been reborn as a Marvel Comics superhero, brought to the screen in a film directed by Kenneth Branagh. A television series on the Vikings is in development by the producers of The Tudors, something which may well give historical purists pause for thought.

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