A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
Strong themes of family loyalty, doing right by friends, and persevering in the face of adversity are present throughout the series.
Positive Role Models
The series features a number of heroic male characters, as well as powerful females who easily match, if not surpass, the men's courage, strength, bravery, and leadership qualities.
One of the main supporting characters is a strong, intelligent woman leader that is Black.
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Violence & Scariness
Plenty of fights and battles featuring blades, arrows, and axes. There's lots of death -- and resulting corpses -- accompanied by blood and gore. A village is burned and civilians, including children, are killed. Graphic physical scars are shown on characters' bodies.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
A couple engages in passionate sex, but no nudity is shown. A woman's bare buttocks shown while she's bathing. Multiple references to rape and sexual abuse.
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Threats of violence and verbal sparring are frequent, but there's little in the way of foul language. The word "whore" is used.
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Products & Purchases
The show is a sequel to the Vikings series.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Alcohol is often consumed during celebrations and social gatherings.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Vikings: Valhalla is a historical action-drama and the sequel to Vikings. It contains plenty of violent combat encounters and physical fights, often resulting in death. Weapons, such as knives, swords, arrows, and axes are used frequently, leading to some brutal, bloody kills. A civilian village is attacked and burned, resulting in the death of women and children. Couples flirt and have sex, but nudity is kept to a minimum (bare female backs, shirtless men.) A woman's buttocks are seen during a bathing scene. Characters sling verbal threats and insults often, but foul language is rare ("whore" is used.) There's also a number of references to rape and physical abuse. Characters regularly indulge in alcohol during celebrations and boisterous social gatherings. Despite the mature, gritty nature of the series, positive messages and themes are present in the characters and their actions. Family bonds, loyalty among friends, and qualities such as courage, bravery, and leadership are represented, often by powerful women characters, including a Black woman.
Is It Any Good?
This sequel to the acclaimed Vikings series gets off to a slower than expected start before gaining momentum a few episodes in. While Vikings: Valhalla immediately checks all the requisite boxes, from brutal melees and mead-swilling celebrations to more majestic beards than you can swing a battle axe at, it takes some time to become invested in its storytelling and characters. The inherent nature of kicking off a new series is largely to blame for this, as settings, timelines, and characters must be introduced and motivations established. But Valhalla sometimes stumbles over this intrinsic hurdle more than it should, presenting a number of similar-looking and -acting characters from the get-go. While keeping track of all the brooding bros with long locks and epic facial hair can be a chore, Freydis quickly stands out as someone you'll want to root for...and have in your corner during a fight. Anchored by Frida Gustavsson's strong, emotional performance, her arch is easily the most compelling early on.
Thankfully, the other characters -- and their narrative paths -- start to catch up a few episodes in. The primary players begin to emerge from their generic facades, new, interesting villains and conflicts are introduced, and the story's plotting and pacing becomes less bogged down in exposition, backstory, and set-up. Vikings: Valhalla might not grab you right out of the gate, but weather its growing pains and the gods just might reward you with a worthy successor to its popular predecessor.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.