'Vikings' star Clive Standen says comparing the history-sourced drama to 'Game of Thrones' is unfair
The actor said unlike 'Game of Thrones', the dead remain dead and Vikings' fantastical elements are grounded in pagan belief rather than flying dragons
As Vikings' fandom expands, especially with its fifth season, fans have been drawing comparisons with the cult-favorite 'Game Of Thrones,' simply because both the shows are set during medieval era. Clive Standen, who plays Viking warlord-turned-Duke of Normandy Rollo, points out why that is an unfair comparison.
In an interview with Fox News, Standen said relating 'Vikings' to 'Game of Thrones' is “a bit unfair really." Citing an example, he said unlike Jon Snow, Ragnar (Travis Fimmel) isn’t returning to the show. “Vikings isn’t Game of Thrones. You know this is history. In history, everybody dies. When you’re dead, dead means dead," he pointed out.
He further went on to add "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," he concluded.
But fans were quick to point out that Ragnar was a creation of Viking Age sagas and Old Norse poetry so he likely never existed. Added to that Hirst wrote Rollo and Ragnar as brothers when in reality, they didn’t exist during the same time period or in the same part of the world if Ragnar even existed at all. When it comes to the fantastical elements in 'Vikings', there may not be flying dragons but Ragnar claimed to be the son of the god Odin and his second wife, Princess Aslaug, claimed to see the future.
However, Standen defended that pointing out "with the type of people that Vikings are, I suppose with their gods and monsters and the pagan religion, it does seem quite fantastical at times.”
“This is what this race of people really did believe in. They believed the gods walked the earth with them,” he added. But with that argument, fans cited that George R.R. Martin drew on historical events like the War of the Roses when writing 'A Song of Ice and Fire', so it’s also inspired by history.