Sunday, September 29, 2013

History Asia Kicks Off A "Vikings" Raid On September 29th!

The juxtaposition of cozy eclectic Japanese cafe and barbaric b(r)aids of a Viking nature was a little jarring at first.

But as the cool rainy evening wore on, and Red Dot Diva was plied with decent food, drinks and was comfortably nestled in an armchair, she was somehow successfully lulled into the Nordic world of History Channel's first scripted TV series so aptly called "Vikings".

The series created by Michael Hirst ("Elizabeth", "The Tudors"), was already screened in the USA earlier this year. In fact, "Vikings" has been renewed for a second season consisting of 10 episodes. It is now finally arriving at our shores, and will be premiering on the History Asia channel later tonight, 29th October at 10 PM.

Exclusive screening at L'etoile Cafe - so comfy!

"Vikings" is based on the popular legend of fearless hero/ warlord/ king Ragnar Lothbrok (he is called Lodbrok in the series), who raided France and England. Many historical figures - like Bjorn Ironside, Ubba (Ubbe/Hubba), Halfdan Ragnarsson and Ivar the Boneless (Inwaer) - were said to be descendents of Ragnar, although his actual existence is uncertain and could be a mish-mash of similar warrior characters of that age.

In the first two episodes that Red Dot Diva watched, Ragnar (played by gorgeously blue-eyed Travis Fimmel who used to be a Calvin Klein model) yearns to head West to raid the lands there for treasure and glory. While doing so, he runs the risk of going against his lord, Earl Haraldson (Gabriel Byrne) - a cunning ruthless but rather insecure ruler, who is unlike the hardcore Conservatives of the US political minefield.

Ragnar team includes his equal and more morally questionable brother Rollo (Clive Standen) who fights alongside him. And then there's the best part of the series in Red Dot Diva's opinion - a female character to whom Diva would gladly tip her hat off in utmost respect - the shieldmaiden and first wife of Ragnar - Lagertha (Katheryn Winnick).

Actress Katheryn Winnick not only looks lovely as a mother and wife helping to take care of a family farm, but with a steely glint in her eyes and strong agile moves, she would turn into a badass Freyja-like warrior in just a few seconds. Diva thought that those were the most beautiful scenes to look at on screen.

The other key female character in the series is Haraldson's main consort, Siggy (Jessalyn Gilsig). She is a temptress of the more devious kind, and not someone to mess with either.

As the series progresses, Red Dot Diva thinks that it would be interesting to see how Ragnar uses his smarts and creative tactics to conquer France and England... and at what price. One of which, must probably be Catholicism. Due to the many monks and slaves brought back from those lands, there must have been some kind of subtle religious indoctrination backlash.

Red Dot Diva has to admit that she is used to way lot more nudity, bloodshed and glorified violence in her selection of action-adventure drama series. So she felt that the fight or raid scenes in "Vikings" were very measured, and all that plundering looked quite restrained (as in no lingering views of beheadings, copious spurts of blood, etc) - which is not a bad thing by itself.

Despite that, and its slower pacing, the series would be of interest to those who want a peek of Viking culture and Anglo-Saxon history. And/ or admire the cool rock-punk like hair fashion of the Vikings (probably not so historically accurate).

Plus pop-culture fans out there who are still a-buzzing with "The Avengers" or "Thor" might like to know that there is a whole lot of reverent mentions from Norse mythology - Valhalla, Odin (ravens), Thor and...... Loki, of course! (Might as well learn a few more things from the History Asia channel! After all, "Thor: The Dark World" is going to be released soon!)

Check out the "Vikings" trailer below:

So don't miss tuning in on "Vikings" later tonight to see if you might get ensnared into a more educational and balanced look of historical "facts" vs fiction. You might enjoy the drama series more than you'd think.

Is there such a thing as an Asian Diva Valkyrie?

Get your man action on!
1. Tune in to "Vikings" on History Asia Channel tonight
2. Look out for the CODE WORD that will flash on screen during the show
3. Submit your entry at
4. And you might just win a Harley Davidson!

 And if you want to tweet about the show, use the hashtag #VikingAsia

Vikings Twitter:
History Asia Facebook:

History Asia Twitter:


Red Dot Diva thanks History Asia Channel and SPRG for the special screening invite!

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