Tuesday October 14
Antonio Banderas plays an exiled Arab who joins a group of 12 Norseman to vanquish an unspeakable evil. That’s right, a Spanish actor plays an Arabic man who learns Norse and fights with Vikings. The plot may seem dubious, but it was directed by John McTiernan, best known for directing Die Hard, so it’s safe to say it’ll be a half-decent action film.
Erik the Viking
If you’re looking for something a little less serious, Erik the Viking is a comedy, adventure starring classic comedic actors Tim Robbins, Mickey Rooney, and John Cleese. Tim Robbins plays Erik, who is tired of pillaging and plundering and sets off on a quest to end the Ragnarok. It might not be at the same level as the Monty Python films, but if you enjoy that style of comedy check this out.
If you’re looking for something a lot more serious, here is a movie with some of the most brutal combat I have ever seen. The story follows One-Eye, who is played by Mads Mikkelsen (best known currently for playing Hannibal Lecter in the television series Hannibal). One-Eye is a slave who is placed in fights against other slaves until he escapes and I’ll let you watch the rest. The film was directed by Nicolas Winding Refn, so don’t expect a typical Hollywood film, but it’s a great movie.
This DC published series ran a total of 50 issues between 2007 and 2012. It follows a number of stories all set within the Viking age. The story, characters and art are all dark, gritty, often violent, and beautifully done.
While Viking only ran five issues it follows the arc of two criminal brothers looking to make a name for themselves. Imagine a modern day mob story with two guys trying to climb the ranks, but they are Vikings. The comics were written and created by Ivan Brandon, published by Image and have greatly detailed art by Nic Klein.
Volgarr the Viking
This retro-style action platformer is for the Xbox One and PC. You play as Volgarr, a muscular Viking who uses his spears and sword to vanquish mythical creatures. The combat, enemy variety and difficulty reminds me of Castlevania and the game takes a unique approach to health where you collect power-ups as you play through each level. Each upgrade acts as a point of health and when you take a hit you get taken down a power peg. Fight your way through each level and watch as your loot pile continues to rise.
Banner Saga is a tactical RPG with a beautiful art style. Three former Bioware developers created it, and you can see the influence of that work in this game. You control a your own Viking caravan, interacting with NPC’s you choose dialogue options that shape the game. Combat is turn-based and tactical with similarities to Fire Emblem. Banner Saga is set to be the first in a trilogy of indie titles created by these three guys, now known as Stoic.
It’s hard to think of a list you couldn’t put Skyrim on. If you want to live like a Viking though this is probably your best choice. Drink virtual mead, eat virtual meat and pillage the Norse inspired lands of this mountainous and frigid region of Tamriel.
For those of you in the Greater Toronto Area, the Firkin Group of Pubs has teamed up with Vikings the show for a special promotion until November 30
Those looking to get a current, ongoing show that follows the adventures of Nordic warriors should check out the aptly titled Vikings, on History Channel. The show follows the often ultra-violent escapades of the platinum blonde axe wielding Ragnar and his clan as they attempt to expand their territory into the British Isles. Featuring Canadian actress Katheryn Winnick as the shield maiden Lagertha, if you’re looking for a more historically accurate Game of Thrones, definitely check this series out.