Vikings script
Vikings  Season #1 Episode #1 (2011)
Synopsis: Vikings is an Irish-Canadian historical drama television series written and created by Michael Hirst for the television channel History. Filmed in Ireland, it premiered on 3 March 2013 in the United States and Canada.

THE VIKINGS. EPISODE 1: RITES OF PASSAGE

TEASER:

A young Viking, RAGNAR LOTHBROK is engaged in a fight to the

death with two LATVIAN WARRIORS, distinguishable by their

eastern-looking clothing. Ragnar has been fighting a long

time. His torso is smeared with blood, like his sword, and

the bodies of the dead lie scattered around.

The Latvians are bigger and heavier but we quickly appreciate

Ragnar’s weapon skills and speed of thought, blocking the

blows of the axes with sword and shield and weaving out of

range. We also see that one of the Latvian’s is already badly

wounded, with blood streaming from a wound in his head.

Ragnar concentrates on him for a moment, thrusting, turning

him, twisting away so the warrior wastes his diminishing

energy slicing thin air with his axe and bellowing angrily.

Finally he stumbles and Ragnar drives his sword into his

chest.

But at the same moment the second Latvian attacks from

behind, swinging down his axe for a mighty blow. Ragnar

pivots round, his shield taking the full force of the blow,

leaving the axe-head embedded in the wood.

Aghast, unable to free his weapon, the Latvian abandons it

and starts to run. Very calmly, Ragnar pulls a spear out of

the body of one of the dead and hurls it after the running

man. Speared clean through the back the warrior falls.

Ragnar, suddenly as weary as death, trudges a few yards up

the slope and surveys the rest of the battle field. In the

gathering gloom an eery silence has fallen. Scores of bodies,

hacked, mutilated and speared lie on the ground. And

everywhere flocks of crows and ravens flutter down and feast

upon the corpses. And there is not one living human thing

moving over that field of death - except a solitary figure. A

TALL MAN with a long cloak and a wide-brimmed hat, holding a

spear, he moves slowly between the bodies of the Viking dead,

seeming to note and inspect each one. He is a spectral

figure, strange, disturbing, powerful, with ravens sometimes

perching upon his shoulders...and Ragnar watches him like one

transfigured, like one who has come face to face with his

god.

The tall man pauses by one of the Viking dead and points him

out with his spear. At that moment the air around appears to

shimmer and two or three almost transluscent, almost naked

YOUNG FEMALE VALKYRIES appear and gather the slain warrior

into their arms. In great brightness the young women lift

into the liquid air...and vanish.

Ragnar watches this miracle in silent awe, then looks over

again at the tall man. For a brief moment the tall man lifts

his head, revealing his face beneath the wide-brimmed hat.

The face is indescribable - except for its single eye, which

stares back at Ragnar with a pitiless and terrible intensity.

And then he is gone, as if he had never been, leaving Ragnar

to survey the darkening, mysterious scene.

END OF TEASER:

These words appear on the screen:

NORWAY, LATE 8TH CENTURY.

The wooden and turf house is dark and almost window-less, the

rooms lit by tallow candles. From outside comes the dull

rumble of summer thunder.

Somewhere in the darkness a WOMAN is breathing heavily and

groaning. We hear the sound of other WOMEN’S VOICES, low and

sibilant, almost chanting.

A YOUNG MAN - RAGNAR - fretful and anxious, crosses the place

where the colored war shields are fixed to the wall like

eyes, and looks into the chamber where his wife, LAGERTHA,

the shield-maiden lies upon their bed giving birth,

surrounded by three or four OLDER WOMEN, one of them ancient.

ANCIENT WOMAN:

What do you want?

RAGNAR:

Isn’t it here yet?

The ancient woman doesn’t bother to respond, spits on the

floor and places her hands again on Lagertha’s swollen

stomach and resumes her low, strange chant.

One of the other MID-WIVES speaks more kindly.

MID-WIFE

Not yet, Ragnar. Go away and do

something useful.

Outside the storm breaks, the thunder louder and rain hissing

on the ground.

RAGNAR moves away, into another chamber, and crouches down

beside a small wooden statue set in a niche beside the fire,

very crudely carved from a piece of wood: a statue of a nude

female figure,wearing just a necklace, with large breasts.

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Michael Hirst

Michael Hirst is an English screenwriter and producer, best known for his films Elizabeth and Elizabeth: The Golden Age, as well as the Emmy Award-winning television series The Tudors and Vikings. more…

All Michael Hirst scripts | Michael Hirst Books

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