• Death’s drama: mortuary practice in Vikings Season 1–4

      Williams, Howard; University of Chester (Equinox, 2019-01-01)
      Inspired by later medieval sagas and Viking Age historical sources, but underpinned and enriched by archaeological evidence and themes, the History channel’s Vikings (2013–) is a unique drama series explor- ing the late eighth/early ninth century conflicts and culture of the Northmen, aimed at a global television audience. This chapter introduces the series and its varied portrayals of mortuary practice. From the por- trayal of the deaths of chieftains and those slain in battle to family members and children, I identify key archaeological themes behind the depiction of death. This prompts discussion of mortuary archaeology’s influence on popular perceptions of the Early Middle Ages, the programme operating as education, enter- tainment but also reflecting on present-day anxieties over the nature of human mortality.