Vikings plot hole: Bjorn fell victim to major historical inaccuracy – here’s how

Michael Hirst’s epic saga of myth and history claims to be drawn from the real lives and legends from Vikings of old. Unfortunately, as the History Channel series continues, also on Amazon Prime, the show has drawn some major criticisms from history buffs.

As countries around the globe continue with lockdown restrictions amid the coronavirus pandemic, the entertainment industry has been dealt a major blow.

Television productions for major series across the States have been forced to be put on hold, with many audience favourites expected to face month-long delays before upcoming seasons are released.

News regarding the upcoming second half of Vikings’ sixth season has been limited, but star Katheryn Winnick has confirmed filming for new episodes has been halted for the time being. 

Normally expected to return in November or December this year, fans are preparing for a lengthy wait before the thrilling final battle for Viking stronghold Kattegat is resolved.

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As Bjorn Ironside (played by Alexander Ludwig) is left bleeding to death near the shore, Ivar the Boneless (Alex Høgh Andersen) and the Rus prepare to advance into Bjorn’s territory.

Although the epic battles and Viking sword fights are largely drawn from real life events, screenwriter Michael Hirst often lets inaccuracies slip through the cracks.

History buffs and fans of the show have taken to the online forums to discuss some of the murkier aspects of Viking life between the eighth and eleventh centuries as depicted on the series. 

One fan noticed Bjorn’s log house in season four challenged their suspension of disbelief with its advanced woodworking techniques.

They said: “Bjørn is living in a log cabin in the mountains. This logging technique was not common until 2-300 years later.”

During season four’s third episode, Mercy, Bjorn is still living in the mountains to prove his worth to his father, Ragnar Lothbrok (Travis Fimmell).

Despite Vikings being ahead of the curve of other civilisations in terms of technology, Bjorn’s wooden cabin in the woods seems to push the limits of what was possible during his lifetime.

Showrunner Michael Hirst and the production designers tend to represent Viking society as accurately as possible throughout the series, however this fan argues Bjorn’s self-isolation hut is just a little advanced for the time he was living.

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Rather than sawing through wood, Vikings used a splitting technique known as riving to construct tree trunks into planks used for rudimentary houses and other buildings.

The iconic episode of Vikings already bewildered some fans when Bjorn proved himself as a worthy warrior by fighting off a gigantic grizzly bear by himself.

Additionally, Bjorn’s advanced logging was by no means the first time fans spotted inaccuracies in Michael Hirst’s scripts and the design team’s work on the show.

In the very same episode, media outlet Den of Geek highlighted a major anachronism when Rollo (Clive Standen) sat down for a fancy meal with the Parisians.

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They said: “The tables of the Franks are set with both forks and cloth napkins, and they exhibit modern Western dining etiquette while he gnaws meat from the bone and wipes his mouth with the back of his hand.

“But the fork and cloth napkin would not be introduced to French tables until centuries after Vikings is set.”

Luckily, most viewers have been able to overlook the historical inaccuracies, and the second half of the sixth and final season is expected to be a worthwhile conclusion to the epic History Channel saga.

Vikings is hoped to return to History and Amazon Prime at the end of 2020.


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