The Coffee Table Book of the Vikings TV series
I had been coveting this book on Amazon for a year or so, hoping someone would buy it as a gift. As it’s a hardcover and buying it new I sort of don’t blame them for not getting me a copy, but I wouldn’t have minded a used one. I bought mine used …I think (with birthday money) and so it only cost me $7 plus whatever shipping. (A big difference from the 30-50 dollar price for a new one and it was still like new anyway (thankfully).
The book is full of full color glossy pages, with many pictures. Many of the characters are covered as well as places, set pieces, and other areas pertaining to the show up to the end of season 3 actually I think even some of the first half of season 4 is included.
I have been slowly reading it between books, or while I’m reading another book for a break. It seems to finish off with what was covered up to the end of the first half of season 4. (as aside from Bjorn, the Sons of Ragnar are not included so I hope there will be a 2nd book maybe when the series concludes.
Order via Amazon
Would be best for me to list some rather than just using the sort of blurry photo of it.
Part 1 Scandinavia,
Viking Scandinavia, Chapters 1-7 which consist of Home, Family,People, Gods, Legends the law and the Sea with their own topics under each. The stories of each character, designing the village and Dressing Ragnar are other samples of things this book covers.
part 2 England- chapters 8-10 Christian England, Christians, Kings, Rivals and finally part 3- Frankia who has the last 2 chapters. Creator and writer of Vikings Michael Hirst wrote the Forward and afterword
(if you would like me to detail the contents a little more drop me a line)
There’s also a section of sources if you’d like to read the sags, myths and legends yourself. After all the show is part history part fiction. So Hirst did take some creative liberties like making Ragnar and Rollo brothers. I watched a Youtube video that said the sons on the show are not really in the order of the historical figures being born (one in which Ivar is the first born of Aslug)
In the Forward and I do quote… Creator Michael Hirst Explains
“The First thing I need to say about my own work on the vikings is that it is a drama and not a documentary. The second, and equally important, thing to note is that drama is based on historical research and historical record. These two ideas are not, as some might think, contradictory.
Long before I start to write, I spend weeks, even months, rummaging about in account of Viking life, society, and culture, teasing out story lines and watching as various characters eging to emerge from the material and claim my attention. In this process I’m helped by our historical adviser, Justin Pollard, an expert on the Dark Ages. Justin carefully guides me though the labyrinth of Vikings myth, legend and historical account so that I know my narrative is as credible and as authentic as I can make it.
There are some seriously epic pictures in here as well (I took mine with my kindle as its easier to upload them)
They explain the Blood Eagle with a short interview with ‘Jarl Borg’ and the director of the season 2 episode 7 titled Blood Eagle as well as the Director of Photography. Designing the boats, there’s a section on the different tongues of the series and ‘swearing’ in old Norse. Which is more insults than what one would consider swearing. For instance some sound more like someone was playing with a Shakespearean insults kit…. just a lot less poetic, and sounds more childish.
“You have ugly sticking-out teeth, bug eyes and a wide mouth”
I hope they will make another book when the series ends (or after another 3-4 seasons) this way then I’ll have Ragnar’s sons stories as well. Which as much as I love Travis Fimmel and absolutely dreaded the death of Ragnar (which was originally going to be the end of season 1) The sons especially Ivar and Ubbe , have made the loss of Travis on the show much less.
This is a great look into the Tv series for any fan. As I re-read this to add any other comments I’m thinking they didn’t mention anything on Hedmund played by Kevin Durand, and am now looking through the book to see if my hunch is correct (I’ve looked through it a bunch of times before I even started to read it, so I don’t think I can even call it a hunch that it’s not in there.) Nope No Kevin Durand. Yes his character was a minor one, which had an impact on Sigurd as well as Aslug and the women of Kattegat
Oh I left off to read on Jarl Borg and the Blood Eagle. I don’t know about how other ‘coffee table’ books are but the way this one is written I don’t think you have to read more than a page or 2 plus you have the beautiful photography to break things up besides the character spotlight and behind the scenes explanations.
I’m wondering if I should do a video flip through of the book to add to this post; now that I have a laptop.
If this book doesn’t interest you as a fan of the show… Rollo says you are Berserk!