Another reason we love Vikings is because the show isn't only about the battles and bloodshed (although there's a lot of that in there!), it also demonstrates the spiritual side of ancient Norse cultures. In this upcoming season the deeply religious Floki takes to the seas, submitting himself to the will of the gods.
Worship of the Norse gods was central to viking culture. They believed that these supreme deities controlled all aspects of their lives and their environment. And what a fascinating collection of gods they were. Here's a few you may have heard of.
Chief amongst them is Odin. He is the god of slain warriors, and oversees everything that passes on earth from his throne. Each night retires to Valhalla in Asgard. Valhalla allows the souls of all those brave warriors killed in battle to enter. Inside this ridiculously large hall they wait until Ragnarök, the battle at the end of the world, when they will fight alongside Odin himself.
Then there is Thor, stronger than any other god. While he lost an eye and befriended a talking raccoon in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, there is much more to this deity than you saw in The Avengers!
He rules the sky and governs thunder and lightning, winds and storms, but at the same time he and was believed to be the god of the common man. Thor's half brother is Loki the trickster God, a shape-shifter who both helps and hinders. In sharp contrast to Thor is Freyr, who rules over the rain and sun, and is the god of fertility and the harvest who brings peace and pleasure to the mortal realm.
Of course, most of these names will be familiar thanks to the MCU, but remember that these epic sagas filled with heroes and villains were not born in the pages of Marvel Comics, but in bedtime stories told round the campfire by the ancient Danes. (Photo: HBO Nordic)