Small Screen

Vikings: An Era Resonating in the Present

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The fifth season of the TV series “Vikings” premieres on 29th November this year. The TV series has been a phenomenon travelling back to the time when swords and stones brought power.

Vikings is a TV series based on the saga of Ragnar Lothbrok, one of the most popular Norse heroes the world has known. The series portrays the rise of Ragnar (Travis Fimmel), a farmer who became the king of Kattegat. The story is set in the 13th century and noticeably has very distinct features. One cannot help but draw similarities from these features.

Regarding law, the land has its own judicial head known as the ‘Earl’. The Earl hears the cases and gives his verdict on who is guilty. He is the most respected figure in the area. Villages today still have Panchayats where cases are discussed, and the head delivers his verdict. The jurisdiction today has a lot of law institutions, but it all still comes down to the judge who acts as the sole decision maker. The Vikings follow their God called ‘Odin’. He is believed to be the first of them and is known as the ‘Father-of-All’. All the people strive to go to Valhalla, an enormous hall where Odin resides. One must do good deeds and be a true warrior to be eligible to go to this place after death. This does not sound very different from what we know as heaven. We too strive to go to the place where we believe the God resides and all of us want to do great deeds for the same. There also happens to be a Seer, a person who can foresee the future. People go to him to find answers to their questions and know more about their future. We have our seers in the astrologers who claim to foresee our future. The people also make human and animal sacrifices to please their God seeing it as a way of inviting luck and glory. We make offerings of our own kind for the same reasons. Sounds familiar, eh?

Ragnar is an ambitious man. His ambitions lead him to create a secret team and be the first person to successfully discover and raid the North(England). This is what leads to the people hailing him as a leader. He is the one to do something that no one ever has done. The formula for creating history remains the same even today. Talk about being envious, Rollo, the brother of Ragnar is jealous of his brother’s fame and wants his share of popularity. How he wishes to kill his brother by using his brother’s trust in him. Betrayal and using people’s trust is not an unfamiliar concept. It won’t be wrong to say it is still very much in use.

The entire journey of Vikings deals with how Ragnar comes to power fending off the people who want to snatch it from him. The series is a magnificent display of how he attains and protects his power learning about men and life during his dynamic journey.

These are just instances highlighting the features depicted in the series which seem to be common in the present day scenario. We have moved from Earls to Supreme Courts, from swords to guns, and from Valhalla to heaven. The medium of beliefs and values have changed, but these beliefs and values remain the same. We have come a long way from using stones to smartphones.  However, the taste of power still lures us all. The desire to attain authority and enjoy power resides within all of us.

The human behavior is so unique yet seems to be so simple. All of us have our own features, and yet jealousy, backstabbing, and fragility towards power have been prevalent even after all these years. The thing about human behavior is that we are all humans and we ought to share some similarity. Be it the 13th century or the 21st, those who can go beyond limits are the ones who are hailed. It is just that the criteria have shifted from discovering new lands to discovering new ideas. Modern day has brought with it the modern ways of doing things, but the motive of doing things seems to have remained the same. We claim to have come far from our past, and yet we seem to be just repeating what has already been done.  This historical drama takes us to the past, and you’ll be surprised to know that although a lot has changed, our core values remain the same.



Image Credits: The Mind Reels

Karan Singhania

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Journalism has been called the “first rough draft of history”. D.U.B may be termed as the first rough draft of DU history. Freedom to Express.

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