Time to conquer new lands!
Thanks to Fox Home Entertainment, we had the chance to see the second season of Vikings in glorious Blu-ray quality.
Viking farmer and warrior, Ragnar Lodbrok (Travis Fimmel), returns alongside King Horik (Donal Logue) to face Jarl Borg (Thorbjørn Harr). Borg is now aligned with Ragnar’s brother, Rollo (Clive Standen), who has betrayed his people after tiring of living in his brother’s shadow. When Rollo is unable to defeat his brother, he surrenders in the middle of the battlefield, presenting an opportunity for Lodbrok, Horik and Borg to form an alliance. They vow to cross the sea together, in order raid the Christian world (England).
Ragnar’s fate suddenly changes when Princess Aslaug (Alyssa Sutherland), with whom he’d once had an affair, shows up pregnant with his son. Totally humiliated, his warrior wife Lagertha (Katheryn Winnick), leaves their land, taking their firstborn, Bjorn, with her.
Four years later, Ragnar and Horik decide to break their agreement with Borg and exclude him from their plans. The pair travels across the sea to raid new lands, a journey that takes them to Wessex (South of England), a land ruled by the enigmatic King Ecbert of Wessex (Linus Roache), who will soon retaliate against the pagan invaders.
To make matters worse, Borg decides to take revenge and attacks Ragnar’s domain in Kattegat, where only a few warriors, including Rollo, remain alongside Aslaug and her sons, who are forced to escape to the mountains until Ragnar’s return.
Written and created by Michael Hirst and filmed mostly in Ireland, Vikings Season Two follows the style of its predecessor (check our review here), delivering an intense plot, full of twists, betrayals, epic battles, fantastic performances and stunning photography.
Vikings Season 2 seems to take the series to the next level, focusing mostly on broken alliances and the attack of the Norsemen in a foreign land, while the first season was preoccupied with finding a way to go beyond the ocean’s limits. Moreover, the addition of a romantic triangle subplot around Ragnar seems to work well. Princess Aslaug and Lagertha have opposite personalities that tear at Ragnar, who is determined to raise as many kids as possible to keep is legacy alive.
In addition, the Blu-ray release includes exclusive special features, starting with “The Viking Sagas”, an interactive archive which allows the viewer to select different sagas and find out more about Viking history, all told by historians. Furthermore, history addicts will also enjoy a wealth of information in “A Warrior Society”, where historians delve deeper into some specific aspects of the Viking story, including rituals, the shieldmaiden’s preparation and more.
The extra features continue with “My Family, My Enemy”, a look at Season Two with series creator, Michael Hirst, followed by “Imagining and Executing Climatic Battles,” a behind-the-scenes peek at every battle featured in Season Two.
Finally, Season Two includes audio commentaries for the episodes “Blood Eagle” and “The Lord’s Prayer”, making this home entertainment release a complete package and a must-own for fans of the series and Nordic history alike.
Vikings, Season 2 is available on DVD and Blu-ray from November 5, 2014