Professor defends historical inaccuracies in The Last Kingdom and Vikings

Two popular Viking Age shows have ended in recent years: vikings on history and The Last Kingdom on Netflix. Both of these shows featured dramatic drama, spectacular battles, and realistic depictions of life in the 9th century. Both were very entertaining and both took a lot of liberties with the actual story, although they also integrated with real historical facts.

I don’t think most people watch shows like this thinking that everything they watch is 100% true; they are television series, not documentaries. And those who descend The Last Kingdom and vikings because not checking every historical box may miss the point.

That’s according to Søren Michael Sindbæk, professor of archeology at Aarhus University in Denmark. He spoke to Express how neither The Last Kingdom neither vikings are entirely historically accurate, and that is correct. “They’re not accurate when you look at them from an archaeological perspective,” he said. “But that’s not how you’re supposed to see this stuff.”

If you made them accurate in terms of [for example] dress and hairstyle, the feeling you would get as modern audiences would be dead wrong. A modern drama is always about creating a feeling and I think in terms of feeling, that epic feeling of what it’s like to live outside of a state and to live in that type of society might actually come out convincingly. And that’s also, I think, one of the attractions for modern audiences to see dramas like this.

And watch a drama like The Last Kingdom Where vikings can always lead someone to a real scholarship on the period, so that people learn something one way or another.

Why do we love Vikings so much?

Our love of the Viking Age is going nowhere, with the movie The man from the north caused a stir earlier this year. Sindbæk spoke of the enduring appeal of these seafaring warriors.

“In modern society, the Viking Age probably has an important message for people,” Sindbæk said. “We tend, because of the way the modern world works, to relate to what we call ‘the big guys’. The Vikings were something different, they are a group that is fairly well described in late prehistoric or early historical northern Europe, and in many ways culturally very foreign. But also very recognizable to us, and no one can read about the Vikings and not feel an affinity.

It’s strange, because why would you feel an affinity with someone who is ruthless? Everyone can find something there… It is something that strikes us, that people in the past could do it and that we can do it today.

He’s onto something, because the two vikings and The Last Kingdom receive follow-ups. Vikings: Walhalla is between seasons on Netflix, and a last kingdom movie called Seven kings must die comes to service all the way.

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