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The best TV shows with vikings to stream right now

Katheryn Winnick, Travis Fimmel and Clive Standon.
Katheryn Winnick, Travis Fimmel and Clive Standon. (Image credit: Amazon Prime Video)

Want to know what the best TV shows with vikings are? Then you've come to the right place!

If you like your TV shows to be full of plundering and pillaging with plenty of blood-spurting battle scenes, plus you prefer your heroes hairy, dressed in fur and with a soft spot for lashings of eyeliner, then chances are you’ve been glued to the History Channel series Vikings for the last six seasons. 

If you haven’t been watching, then check out our guide below, plus our recommendations for other shows featuring the dastardly Danes that wreaked havoc across Europe in the late 8th century. 

We’ve also added a few series with the same Vikings vibe and a trailer for the much-anticipated upcoming Netflix series Vikings: Valhalla.

The best TV shows with vikings

'Vikings'

Travis Fimmel as Ragnar.

Travis Fimmel as Ragnar. (Image credit: Sky)

A blood-covered face surveys a body-scattered battleground in the first few moments of the epic series-opener to Vikings. A few enemies still dare to think they can take down this battle-worn warrior, but he deals with them easily, driving a sword through the torso of one and throwing a spear across the blood soaked ground to kill another trying to flee. 

The hero of the battlefield is Ragnar Lothbrok, (Travis Fimmel) a fearless farmer, warrior and protagonist of the series. Over the course of six seasons viewers follow his adventures as he embarks on a daring voyage across the unknown sea from his Scandinavian home to England. 

In episode one we meet his family, his equally strong and fearless wife Lagertha (Katheryn Winnick) and his two children. Life is hard, tough and dirty but Ragnar is ambitious and has plans to explore new lands to the west, where he believes great riches will be found. 

After defying the chieftain, Earl Haraldson (Gabriel Byrne), he takes a boat, a crew of gnarly men and a new way of navigating to discover what can be found if they set their sail for the west. They land on the island of Lindisfarne, which as you can imagine, given the Vikings reputation, is not a good day for the monks who already call it home. 

Why watch: The characters are strong and fearless and it’s hard not to get caught up in their sense of adventure and single-minded determination to explore, conquer and rob. It’s fast-paced and full of action, but it’s also violent and explicit, so it’s not for the easily offended.

Where to Watch: Amazon Prime Video, plus more options below.

Seasons: 6

Episodes: 89

Avg Running time: 43 mins

'The Last Kingdom'

Alexander Dreymon stars as Uhtred.

Alexander Dreymon stars as Uhtred. (Image credit: Netflix)

The most obvious next series for Viking fans is The Last Kingdom. The character of Ragnar is there again, but the focus is different, this story is told from the perspective of the Saxons as they are attacked by the invading Vikings.

The action begins as a Saxon fort is destroyed, actor Matthew Macfadyen briefly plays the King before his youngest son, Uhtred, is taken as a slave by the victorious Danes. But the courageous young boy eventually enjoys life with his new viking family, who respect his warrior-like character and bravery.

Tragedy strikes however when the viking settlement is attacked the night before a wedding and only Uhtred and another former Saxon slave called Brida survive. Uhtred wants revenge on the murderers of his adopted family, which sets him on a bloodthirsty course that will see him fight his own family to honour those he lost. 

Why watch: Vikings can get a bad rep and there is certainly plenty of violence and bloodshed in this series, but we also get to see another side as they settle in Northumbria and make a life for themselves. Uhtred (played by Alexander Dreymon) is a strong and interesting character as he must fight his own family to win back what he lost, a nice conflict of interest that adds to the complexity of the series. 

Where to Watch: Netflix — and more options below.

Seasons: 4

Episodes: 36

Avg Running time: 60 mins

'Norsemen'

A comedy about vikings, yes we know, it’s unexpected. Vikings are usually too busy throwing axes at one another to crack many jokes but this Norwegian series is all about the lighter side of plundering and pillaging. 

It looks great, full of properly hairy and dirty vikings but they worry about hurting each other, ponder if their pillaging went too far and if ritual sacrifice of slaves is enough of an exact science to please the Gods?

In the first episode a long boat of brave warriors returns home, laden with slaves. The chief is not particularly pleased to see his wife who is much stronger and braver than he is (he couldn’t join them in war due to his bad back), but a great feast is thrown nonetheless to celebrate a successful if angst-ridden raid. 

Why watch: A show that makes fun of many viking traditions is a refreshing change from the usual bloodthirsty battles and violence. It’s light and silly so may not please all die-hard Vikings fans, but it’s certainly something different. 

Where to Watch: Netflix

Seasons: 3

Episodes: 30

Avg Running time: 30 mins

'Vikings: Valhalla'

The much-anticipated spin-off to the original Vikings series, Vikings: Valhalla is scheduled to hit our screens sometime in 2022. 

The new series, written by Michael Hirst who also wrote Vikings, is set 100 years after the original show and follows a new generation of Norsemen and women.

While the exact release date is yet to be confirmed, here’s the trailer…

If you liked 'Vikings' you will also like…

While Game of Thrones is the obvious choice, we reckon most people will have already watched and loved every episode, so here are a few more choices of historical dramas that pack a punch.

'Knightfall'

Tom Cullen stars as Sir Landry.

Tom Cullen stars as Sir Landry. (Image credit: Netflix)

A historical drama that follows the trials and tribulations of The Knights Templar, the mysterious legion of warrior monks charged with protecting pilgrims across the globe.

The series begins in Acre in the Holy Land as the Knights Templar lose the city and Christianity’s most precious relic – the Holy Grail. Fifteen years later one of those knights, Landry de Lauzon (Tom Cullen) is in Paris, frustrated by the lack of action of the order. ‘What are we for?’ he asks furiously.

But Landry is soon back in the thick of it after his mentor and Master of the Templars, Godfrey, is assassinated and he discovers a plot to murder all the Jews living in Paris. 

Why watch: A historical drama full of big bloody battles and brave and noble warriors. It lacks the pace of Vikings, but it looks great and is still worth a watch for those hungry for history.

Where to Watch: Netflix and more options below.

Seasons: 2

Episodes: 18

'The Witcher'

Henry Cavill as The Witcher.

Henry Cavill as The Witcher. (Image credit: Netflix)

Henry Cavill stars as Geralt of Rivia, a monster hunter or witcher, in this fantasy medieval drama based on the novels of Polish writer Andrzej Sapkowski. 

In the first episode Geralt is charged with killing a human called Renfi, who a sorcerer called Stregobor believes is evil because she was born during an eclipse and was cursed by the black sun. But Geralt is no fool and doesn’t always do what he is told. 

Elsewhere, the kingdom of Cintra is attacked and the Queen sends away her granddaughter, Princess Cirilla, to find Geralt because as she mysteriously tells the young girl, 'he is her destiny' and the world depends upon it. 

The Witcher season 2 will be released on December 17 2021 and a third has been commissioned so there’s plenty more to enjoy. Check out the trailer below. 

Why watch: It’s exciting and fast-paced with epic battle scenes, plus a hearty dose of magic and mayhem. Cavill is great as the troubled outsider and the special effects are brilliant.

Where to Watch: Netflix

Seasons: 1

Episodes: 8

Avg Running time: 61 mins

'Black Sails'

Toby Stephens as Captain Flint.

Toby Stephens as Captain Flint. (Image credit: Starzplay)

Toby Stephens is Captain Flint, the boss of a motley crew of pirates in this big budget series that’s gone from strength to strength, attracting more fans with each swashbuckling series.

The action begins as Flint and his crew attack a passing ship, but the loot is poor and the crew are getting restless. Flint has a plan for a big haul of Spanish gold but he needs to find it first.

There’s a large cast of salty sea dogs, feisty women and landlubbers who are up to no good and all of them change their allegiances faster than their sails, so buckle up and get ready to ride the waves with this epic series. 

Why watch: A swashbuckling adventure brought up to date with plenty of action and strong characters. It also looks beautiful, it's set in the Caribbean but filmed in South Africa. The huge sailing ships also look fantastic.

Where to Watch: Starzplay - plus more options below.

Seasons: 4

Episodes: 38

Avg Running time: 58 mins

'Barbarians'

A German production based on the occupation of Germany by Roman troops in 9AD. The action evolves around the suppression of the Germanic people that led to a rebellion that stopped the mighty Roman army in its tracks and changed the course of history.

The series begins as Roman troops gallop into a village demanding more taxes than the poor inhabitants can afford. But without unity between the warring local tribes, they have little choice but to pay up to stop the Romans murdering their people and destroying their villages.

Outnumbered by the all-powerful Romans it seems the villagers have little choice but to accept the unfair and violent rule, except for a small group of rebels who just won’t let their way of life be destroyed without an almighty fight. 

And watch out for a nice twist at the end of the first episode, the Romans aren’t always who you think they are…

Why watch: A classic David and Goliath tale that looks fabulous and is full of action and adventure. It is of course violent and bloody, but then you wouldn’t expect anything less from a historical drama about a hard-won rebellion. Barbarians season 2 is also on the way.

Where to Watch: Netflix

Seasons: 1

Episodes: 6

Avg Running time: 46 mins