90.9 WBUR - Boston's NPR news station
Top Stories:
PLEDGE NOW
Vikings! On And Off Screen

Reimagining the Vikings, where history meets drama.

From the new History channel series "Vikings"

From the new History channel series “Vikings”

Picture the Vikings, and you’re instantly riding a lot of poetry and imagination.  They didn’t leave texts behind.  Anthropologists didn’t visit.  Their runes are a riddle.

But that didn’t stop balladeers and Wagner from painting the picture.  Bearded warriors from the North, in long ships and horned helmets.  Except they didn’t wear horned helmets, we’re told.

Pillagers and wayfarers, savages and tech innovators.  A new historical drama lets the Vikings sail again.

This hour, On Point:  the Vikings, in our imaginations and in history.

-Tom Ashbrook

Guests

Michael Hirst, creator and writer of the new History channel historical drama “Vikings”, which debuts on Sunday.

Anders Winroth, professor of medieval history at Yale University. Author of “The Conversion of Scandinavia: Vikings, Merchants, and Missionaries in the Remaking of Northern Europe.”

From Tom’s Reading List

The New York Times “They are akin to NASA astronauts or the pioneers of Silicon Valley — except they lived 1,300 years ago, and it was the high seas that demanded navigation, not outer space or the Internet. The Vikings, who like those later explorers were driven by curiosity and armed with the latest innovations, also set out to conquer an uncharted world, the breadth and possibilities of which could not be entirely conceived.”

Los Angeles Times “Have the Vikings gotten a bum rap? At least according to popular imagination, they were fearsome barbarians in horned helmets who pillaged their way across Northern Europe during the Dark Ages. And while it’s true these seafaring Norsemen were hardly a bunch of peaceniks, the new History scripted series “Vikings” will attempt to bring some nuance to the caricature of the bearded brutes when it premieres Sunday.”

Trailer for the New “Vikings” Series

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
ONPOINT
TODAY
Oct 24, 2014
Ottawa police officers, with Parliament Hill in the background, guard the area around the National War Memorial in downtown Ottawa on Thursday. (Reuters/Landov)

Gunfire in Canada’s capital. Billionaire millions hit the midterms. Huge airbag recall. Ben Bradlee is dead. Our weekly news roundtable goes behind the headlines.

Oct 24, 2014
Andrew (Miles Teller) and his often demanding conductor, Terrence (J.K. Simmons) in a scene from the new film, "Whiplash." (Courtesy Sony Pictures Classics)

The new movie “Whiplash”. The thin line between obsession and abuse on the road to greatness. In music, the arts…sports.

RECENT
SHOWS
Oct 24, 2014
Andrew (Miles Teller) and his often demanding conductor, Terrence (J.K. Simmons) in a scene from the new film, "Whiplash." (Courtesy Sony Pictures Classics)

The new movie “Whiplash”. The thin line between obsession and abuse on the road to greatness. In music, the arts…sports.

 
Oct 24, 2014
Ottawa police officers, with Parliament Hill in the background, guard the area around the National War Memorial in downtown Ottawa on Thursday. (Reuters/Landov)

Gunfire in Canada’s capital. Billionaire millions hit the midterms. Huge airbag recall. Ben Bradlee is dead. Our weekly news roundtable goes behind the headlines.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
The Explicast, Episode Two: Why Is Election Day On A Tuesday?
Friday, Oct 24, 2014

The Explicast is back for another round. This time, we’re looking at Election Day, and why we all keep voting on a random Tuesday in early November.

More »
Comment
 
Our Week In The Web: October 24, 2014
Friday, Oct 24, 2014

On comments, comment sections, and ROY G BIV.

More »
Comment
 
Introducing The Explicast: A New Podcast From On Point Radio
Friday, Oct 17, 2014

Confused about the news? Don’t worry: so are we sometimes! Introducing a new On Point Radio podcast: The Explicast. You can find Episode One right here.

More »
3 Comments