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Vikings: Final Season Review – IGN

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History’s Vikings (now streaming on Amazon Prime Video for its final season), is an epic saga that’s spans decades, and has long been the stoic underdog of quality TV. It’s not quippy or quotable. And it’s never exactly been “water cooler” material. Vikings exists to present a haunting, insightful, and often mesmerizing take on Ragnar Lothbrok and his sons as they grapple with culture, conquests, and the ever-confounding “will of the gods.”Vikings is a rare series that actually became stronger after losing its lead (Travis Fimmel) several seasons ago, but it now stumbles slightly here with its final breaths as it wraps up the fates of Bjorn, Ivar, Ubbe, Hvitserk, King Harald, and the stronghold of Kattegat.

Since the first half of Season 6 saw Katheryn Winnick’s Lagertha leave the series, these final chapters were already operating under a deficit. There were still a few important characters left, but maybe not enough to fully carry a 10-episode haul over the finish line. In the end, Vikings still makes the absolute most of its narrative remnants, introducing us to the lush and fruitful “New World” with a gorgeous, and sometimes harrowing look at exploration for the sake of peace-over-pillaging.

Ubbe and Torvi’s wild trek into the unknown, with Ray Stevenson’s Othere and Adam “Edge” Copeland’s unhinged Kjetill Flatnose, gives us some of the show’s best final moments as the series explores what it truly takes to change one’s ways and create an agreeable, working society. Kjetill, as usual, represents the jealousy and evil that lies just beneath the surface of humanity and threatens to topple and ruin the balance of a community.

Ubbe comes closest to achieving what both Ragnar, and eventually Floki, were seeking to achieve as explorers and settlers. “Do you really want to live by the Old Ways?” he’s asked, in what now becomes the show’s most profound question. Because if you bring Old Ways to the New World, it becomes just like the “land you left behind.”

The rest of the season finds some success by bringing Ivar and Ferdia Walsh-Peelo’s King Alfred back into each others’ orbits, as the return of Wessex and the characters there operates as a nice bookend for the show (for those fans looking for elements from the first few seasons to return). It’s here you’ll find the bloodshed and warfare and final gasps of legendary Viking lore that one might expect from the series’ last stand. And it works really well when contrasted with Ubbe’s more open-minded and wide-eyed search for paradise.

Despite there being a bit of drag in the middle of the season, these two storylines really help to send the show out on a strong note with the final three episodes. Yes, Season 6B does become a bit of a trudge at points.

Vikings Final Season Exclusive Photos

After the first episode – which proudly and profoundly wraps up Bjorn Ironside’s storyline in awesome ways – the season lapses into a bit of cold confusion for a bit. Ivar and Hvitserk’s remaining time with Prince Oleg, Princess Katia, and Igor stumbles into slog territory while the Kattegat drama — involving Queen Gunnhild, Ingrid, and Erik the Red, as they play their own dull “Game of Thrones” back home — is a mild misfire as well. And the Kattegat escapades continue all the way to the end, giving us too many moments with characters we’re just not as invested in as the rest.

Vikings’ final season slumps during the middle, struggling to tie-off certain storylines with characters who never quite grabbed hold as they should have, but the final few chapters, which juxtapose the serene settlement of a new land, with old lands being soaked in blood for the sake of “glory,” make for a thrilling and poignant climax. For those of you in need of more epic Viking tales, Vikings: Valhalla is currently in production for Netflix — and is set roughly 100 years after the events depicted in Vikings and will include appearances by famous Vikings from history like Leif Erikson, Freydís Eiríksdóttir, Harald Hardrada, and William the Conqueror.

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