Comparing 'Vikings' to 'Game of Thrones' isn't fair given different budgets, genres
When 'Vikings' came out in 2013, following 'Game of Thrones' in 2011, people likened the show to be a "rip off" of its predecessor
When 'Vikings' season 5B returned to television November 28, comparison with cult-favorite 'Game of Thrones' was spurred again, so much so Clive Standen, the star of 'Vikings', had to tell people in an interview the comparison is "a bit unfair, really."
Set in a medieval milieu, both the shows depict swordplay and dirty politics, and premiering two years apart, 'Game of Thrones' and 'Vikings' replaced each other when a particular season was off. Fandoms of both the shows took to social media to compare the shows and argue one above the other. Now with the ongoing season 5B of 'Vikings' and Game of Thrones' season 8 slated to premiere next Summer, the obvious comparisons have been out and about on the usual social medias.
However, the comparison is unfair. As Standen, who plays 66-year-old Rollo, Duke of Normandy, pointed out in the interview that "Game of Thrones is a fantasy show. It has dragons and things. It all comes from the imagination of one man’s mind. Whereas Vikings is a historical drama. It’s documented in history. It’s a very, very broad spectrum of history. But… these are all real characters that lived and breathed and walked the earth. They’re all worthy of the history books. Michael Hirst obviously spins his writing imagination to kind of put it all into one TV show. We’re not going to have flying dragons around."
Fans quickly responded by saying that as much as history the show 'Vikings' features, there's an element of fantasy with the character of the Seer, who sees the future and as much of a fantasy 'Game of Thrones' is, it has historical elements too, for example, the War of the Roses inspired George R.R. Martin's 'A Song of Ice and Fire.' It is a granted argument that there are ample similarities between the shows, especially when it comes to powerful women characters; Daenerys in 'Game of Thrones' and Lagertha in 'Vikings'.
But as both the shows progressed, it has become more than evident 'Vikings' has its own route and does not deserve a comparison to 'Game of Thrones'. When 'Vikings' came out in 2013, following 'Game of Thrones' in 2011, people likened the show to be a "rip off" of its predecessor.
The story of Ragnar Lodbrok was not an instant hit with season one, but along with the show's renewal, 'Vikings' got a voice of its own capturing the audience with Ragnar and his brothers while 'Game of Thrones' had many characters and developments, before coming to where we are now, center stage: Jon Snow, Daenerys Targaryen, and the White Walkers.
While the quest for the all-time favorite show set in medieval times is a face-off, 'Vikings' fans argue that the History Channel show has done its best with limited resources compared to 'Game of Thrones' whose finale budget skyrocketed to approximately $90 million or more, according to Variety. Reddit users have been quick to point out that the only reason why 'Game of Thrones' is hyped more than 'Vikings' is because of the sheer monetary power HBO wields over History Channel.
However, scrolling through the ample arguments online, the bottom line is about preference. One user commented he prefers 'Vikings' solely because he is a fan of the Norse Sagas while a 'Game of Thrones' fan commented that the love for the show revolves around Dragons and fantastical elements. Another user quipped "Why not both?" In a world full of options to choose from, aren't we supposed to be glad that we have these two amazing shows, both with distinct essence of its own, catering to the viewers with diverse interests?
To each its own, let's just be glad we have 'Vikings' and 'Game of Thrones,' both on a roll, thank the old gods that they are new and refreshing to watch.