Vikings: Season 4, Volume 1 (DVD) – Series Review
Follow Genre: Adventure, Drama, History
Distributor: 20th Century Fox
Episodes: 10
Duration: 45 minutes (per episode)

Vikings: Season 4, Volume 1 (DVD) – Series Review

Site Score
Good: Story, Acting, Character evolution
Bad: Not that much happens in this first volume compared to the other seasons
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(2 votes)
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Rating: 8.0/10 (2 votes cast)

Last time the Vikings marched on to Paris, hoping to bring home many spoils of war and legendary stories for both those who came back alive, as well as the brave warriors who were allowed through the gates of Walhalla. Even though Ragnar was able to penetrate the walls of Paris, his campaign cost him dearly, as Floki betrayed him and killed Athelstan, Rollo stayed behind, and even Ragnar himself was only barely alive on the voyage back home. We were wondering how he would recover, and what schemes he would have left up his sleeve.

Vikings Season 4 Volume 1

Ragnar (Travis Fimmel) is returning home from his ‘successful’ campaign in France, albeit at the cost of the lives of many of his trusted underlings. Sadly, his own life holds no more meaning for himself as he lost Athelstan (George Blagden), his precious Christian friend, who was murdered by the hands of Floki (Gustaf Skarsgard), another one of Ragnar’s most trusted friends, who in return idolizes Ragnar. Nonetheless, upon the return of Ragnar and his band of warriors, they are welcomed like true heroes, even though Ragnar sinks into a deep sleep, unsure if he will ever wake up again.

Bjorn (Alexander Ludwig), convicts Floki to be punished, as Bjorn believes his father would have done the same if he were awake. Eventually, Ragnar wakes up, and he can’t turn back Bjorn’s decision out of fear of looking weak, thus he will need some time to recover, rethink his future plans and plan his next campaign to France.

Queen Aslaug (Alyssa Sutherland) is clearly not that impressed anymore by Ragnar, her husband, thus she doesn’t mind his missteps, or the fact that he will be gone from home for a long time again. She clearly favors Ivar, her handicapped son, and wishes him to be brought up like a true Viking, but before long, it becomes clear something evil resides in the young boy.

Vikings Season 4 Volume 1 1

All of this happens while you see Ecbert (Linus Roache) gain more power in England, while setting other plans in motion. On the French front, Rollo (Clive Standen) is slowly being favored by the French emperor Charles (Lothaire Bluteau), as he gets his daughter’s hand in marriage, a top noble position, simply because he might be able to fend off the Viking invaders when he returns. It’s clear that Rollo doesn’t mind betraying his brother, all to gain some power for himself.

Just like the previous seasons, even with the limited time the series has to wrap things up in the course of a season (even though this one is lengthier episode-wise), the flow is still rather slow and timid, making sure you’re properly prepared for the action to come, and that you learn all about the different plots and schemes that are about to set loose on the world. While the last season involved more fighting, this season lets loose the reins on the political side, as it’s more about coming up with sneaky plots, betrayal and pulling off a second raid on Paris. Also, as this season is cut in half for its physical release, you will hardly notice said fact, as the tenth episode feels like a proper season finale, even though it’s only mid-season.

When looking at the cast, there haven’t been any major shifts, just some characters that are getting more screen time, or some shifts in the personalities of important characters. Clive Standen, who plays Rollo, is being converted from a typical Viking warrior to a French noble, which seems unnatural for his original character, but Clive makes the transition rather believable. The actors who play personas on the English and French sides of the fence also get more time of day, making the series a lot more diverse than it originally was.

Vikings Season 4 Volume 1 2

While we expected little to no special features on this first volume of the fourth season of Vikings, as we assumed they would be added to the second volume. We do get a few interesting snippets in the form of commentaries, a small featurette about Rollo and his transformation, and last but not least, about the Viking seafaring skills, which were astonishing for the time. While the two interesting features will only prolong your Vikings experience with roughly fifteen minutes, they offer a fun pastime when you have plowed through the ten episodes of this box.


While scheming and conniving seem to take the foreground again in this fourth season, the Viking warriors never fail to impress. The extra attention being placed on what’s happening in England and France, adds another layer to the series, which provided a welcome change of pace. Even though we couldn’t quite comprehend why this season was split in half, Vikings: Season 4, Volume 1 did manage to feel like a complete season as the tenth episode feels like a proper finale. If you liked the previous season, and can’t wait until both volumes are out, this one might open the gates to a metaphorical Walhalla.

Vikings Season 4 Volume 1 3

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Vikings: Season 4, Volume 1 (DVD) - Series Review, 8.0 out of 10 based on 2 ratings

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