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It has recently been confirmed by the History Channel that the next season of “Vikings” will be the last. The epic story has taken place over 69 episodes to-date, and the sixth season is expected to comprise of another 20 installments. This would put the episode count higher than some shows that aired for nine seasons, so it does make sense that the creators would want to wrap it up. But is it the right decision to stop making something which is continuing to grow in popularity?
When “Vikings” first aired in 2013 in Canada, the viewing figures were modest. The average number of viewers per episode for the initial adventures of Travis Fimmel’s Ragnar Lothbrok was just 942,000. But as the series progressed and was made available on other networks and services (including Amazon Prime), it surged in popularity. Some viewers were drawn to the historical show as an alternative to “Game of Thrones” during the off-season of the HBO fantasy. Most viewers swiftly realized that “Vikings” wasn’t just there to keep them entertained while waiting for more Westeros-based action. It was actually worthy of emerging as a rival to “Game of Thrones”
Now that “Game of Thrones” has finished, “Vikings” has the potential to go down in history as a better overall series. Few would dispute that the HBO offering was superior when it was still going from George RR. Martin’s source material. But when David Benioff and DB Weiss were charged with writing the story themselves, the show dropped in quality faster than a dead dragon sinking into an icy lake. Michael Hirst now has the opportunity to end his creation in a satisfying way, and one that will be remembered for many years.
Even so, it is a shame that “Vikings” is ending, as it has proven to be a strong franchise. Aside from the TV series, the epic drama has been represented in other media. In the iGaming industry, there is the hugely popular “Vikings” slot game, which is one of the great free spins games you can find reviewed after the click. There is also a mobile game based on the series, as well as a number of games which have been clearly influenced by it. An example of one of those titles is “Vikings: War of Clans,” a popular MMO. Hirst has even talked up the possibility of an open-world console game which allows players to enter the series and actually play as some of the legendary characters.
It is clear that there is a lot of potential to maximize the “Vikings” franchise and make money in different sectors of popular culture. Despite this fact, it is probably a wise move to wrap up the series after six seasons. If it were to go on any longer than that, it would risk becoming a soap opera, which would certainly damage its legacy as one of the best historical series ever.