I don’t make a point ofÂ reviewing or writing aboutÂ digital initiatives. Not because I don’t enjoy them, but because theyâ€”and webisodes and online exclusivesâ€”all fall into a grey area. They’re not TV shows in the traditional sense and some come off more like DVD extras.
Vikings: A World Revealed plays like something you’d find at the end of a DVD or Blu-ray set, but presented in a much more entertaining way. The special websiteâ€”bowing Thursday for fans to preview before Season 4 on History next monthâ€”is very much like an interactive documentary. Immersing those who visit into the world of Ragnar Rothbrok, his followers and enemies, it offers four viewsâ€”Kattegat Village, The Great Hall, Wessex Chamber and The Courtyardâ€”of the world occupied by these adventurous souls. Music sets the tone and vibrant animation accents informative video extras into how the Canadian-Irish co-production is made.
Click on Kattegat Village and actress Katheryn Winnick, smeared with blood and crud, takes visitors on a personal journey around the encampment. Along the way, clickable on-screen arrows go deeper, exploring how Viking ships are built for the series (and a sneak peek at Bjorn’s ride), the role of Viking women, how the series’ gallons of blood is created and what inspired those wicked hairstyles. Alyssa Sutherland (Princess Aslaug) takes visitors on a tour of The Great Hall, where set decoration, the hand-made costumes, Bjorn’s mystery map and the creation of the series are covered. Moe Dunford’s (Aethelwulf) humour is the highlight of The Courtyard tour, where he breaks down the Romans’ influence on King Ecbert and gives some hints as to where Aethelwulf’s head is at in Season 4.
The best segment of the lot is the trip into the Wessex Chamber, where Linus Roache and Travis Fimmel joke their way through describing the intricacies of King Ecbert’s inner sanctum. Beards, directing and series creator Michael Hirst are covered when Fimmel isn’t highjacking everything Roache is saying.
Fans of Vikings will findÂ Vikings: A World Revealed to be an entertaining sidestep away from the series and it’s really a must-see for anyone looking to dive into the world of the vikings.
Vikings: A World Revealed can be found on History’s website.
Vikings airs Thursdays at 10 p.m. ET/PT on History beginning February 18.