- Ascended Fanon: For all of season 4 & 5, Harald was said to be from "Tamdrup" (which is a real place in the middle of Denmark despite being treated as a Norwegian king) and no other mention of what this kingdom encompassed. This did not stop fan from referring to him as king of Vestfold in the Fan Wiki, which eventually made it's way into Wikipedia's articles on the various seasons of Vikings. Then in "The Ice Maiden", the producers threw in a brief location subtitle making it clear that the Tamdrup of the show was indeed located in Vestfold.
- Acting for Two: In an interesting piece of casting John Kavanagh plays both The Seer and Pope Leo. There's also Alicia Agneson playing both Freydis and Princess Katia, something which is Lampshaded in-universe.
- Acting in the Dark: Amy Bailey was not told why Queen Kwenthrith was so sexually aggressive until season 3, when Micheal Hirst wrote it into the show.
- Cast the Expert: The Action Girl Lagertha is played by Katheryn Winnick, who is a lifelong martial artist.
- Cast the Runner-Up:
- Clive Standen said that he was actually more interested in the part of Rollo, but nonetheless auditioned for Ragnar, which would turn out to be the lead role for the first four seasons of the show. (Despite early drafts that planned to kill Ragnar in the first season.) After Travis Fimmel was cast as Ragnar, Standen did wind up playing Rollo.
- Ivan Kaye originally auditioned for earl Haraldson, with it coming down to either him or Gabriel Byrne. Byrne ultimately got the part of Haraldson but the producers liked Kaye so much they offered him the part of Aelle instead.
- Channel Hop: For most of the series, it aired on The History Channel. For the second half of the sixth season, it's airing on Prime Video. Then Vikings: Valhalla moved to Netflix.
- The Danza: Eric Johnson as Erik Thorvaldsson.
- Disabled Character, Disabled Actor: Tadhg Murphy who plays Arne "One-Eye" is really one-eyed in real life after a bow-shooting accident.
- Fake Brit: A good number of Anglo-Saxon characters are played by Irish actors: Aethelwulf (Moe Dunford), Bishop Edmund (Philip O'Sullivan), Alfred (Ferdia Walsh-Peelo), Aethelred (Darren Cahill) and Bishop Heahmund (Jonathan Rhys Meyers).
- Fake Nationality:
- The majority of the Norse are played by actors and actresses who are not Scandinavian:
- From Ragnar's family, Ragnar himself is played by Australian Travis Fimmel, so are Gyda and Aslaug played by Ruby O'Leary and Alyssa Sutherland respectively. Rollo is played by Northern Irish Clive Standen, Lagertha and Bjorn by Canadian Katheryn Winnick and Alexander Ludwig respectively (the former having Ukranian ancestry), Ubbe by Scottish Jordan Patrick Smith.
- As for the Norse, it would take less to list those who are played by actual Scandinavians. Floki, Erlendur, Astrid, Freydis (by Swedes Gustaf Skarsgård, Edvin Endre, Josefin Asplund and Alicia Agneson respectively), Ivar, Hvitserk, Earl Sigvard and Margrethe (by Danes Alex Høgh, Marco Ilsø, Morten Sasse Suurballe and Ida Nielsen), Jarl Borg (by Norwegians Thorbjørn Harr) and Gunnhild (by Icelandic Ragga Ragnars). Then the overwhelming majority of the Norse are played mostly by British, Irish and Canadian actors. Few exceptions include Erik Marteinn (Czech-born Vladimir Kulich) and the Norwegian brothers Harald and Halfdan (Finnish Peter Franzén and Jasper Pääkkönen).
- Emperor Charles of France is a downplayed example, since Lothaire Bluteau is not French but still a French Canadian from Quebec. Count Odo instead is a straight example, portrayed by Irish Owen Roe.
- The Byzantine (Greeks) Euphemius and Kassia are portrayed respectively by Portoguese Albano Jerónimo and English Karima Adebibe. The latter does have Greek ancestry though.
- The Sami king Svase is portrayed by the English actor Anthony Brophy.
- The majority of the Norse are played by actors and actresses who are not Scandinavian:
- Fake Russian: The only Rus characters portrayed by actual Russians are Oleg the Prophet, played by Danila Kozlovsky, and Dir, played by Lenn Kudrjawizki, who was born to Russian parents who migrated to Germany.
- As it should be, since there was no Russia in these times, and the people called Rus were still Swedes.
- Follow the Leader:
- It was made in the wake of the monster success of HBO's Game of Thrones, and shares that show's focus on political intrigue and blood shedding in a medieval setting. Vikings places a far greater emphasis on battles and swordplay and has less intricate subplots, with much less fantasy involved.
- Vikings itself probably inspired the making of BBC's The Last Kingdom, though the books that show is based on predate Vikings by several years. The Last Kingdom features the Viking invasion of England after Ragnar's time, led by the warlord Ubba who is supposed to be another son of his (though only the books point out the relation).
- The treatment of history in Britannia also seems to have been inspired by Vikings.
- Thrones of Britannia: A Total War Saga was clearly inspired by the show and The Last Kingdom in terms of setting and characters.
- Assassin's Creed: Valhalla owed quite a bit of influence to Vikings with series composer Einar Selvik doing the soundtrack for the game and the Viking characters having punk-ish looks. It even has some of the same characters as part of the cast, since it covers the very same era and some of the same places.
- I Knew It!:
- Anyone who remembered Ragnar's death in the saga and the Seer's prophecy knew that Ragnar was not actually dying during the siege of Paris.
- Fans correctly guessed that Hvitserk was the one that would kill Lagertha.
- Killed by Request:
- Siggy's death was written in at Jessalyn Gilsig's request as she could no longer handle the long filming periods in Ireland away from her young daughter.
- Likely the case with Jonathan Rhys Meyers, who suffered some tragedies in his personal life during the first half of the filming of Season Five, including his wife having a miscarriage and him falling off the wagon. There were no facilities available to treat him in Ireland, so he had to come back to the U.S. for help. Hirst had already said there was quite a bit of backstory planned to be revealed for Heahmund, but instead he's killed during the second half of Season Five.
- Björn's death was requested by Alexander Ludwig because most of the friends he made on the show had left the show.
- Method Acting: Freydis' actress asked to be actually strangled in the scene where Ivar kills her. There was a medic standing by on-set to ensure she didn't receive any permanent damage, but what you see on-screen is her actual reaction, which accounts for why it also takes much longer then most scenes where someone is trying to strangle someone else to death in TV shows.
- Misplaced Wildlife: Animals that, by the time the show is set, would only be present in the Americas, such as the macaws seen in the Mediterranean Sea arc and the llamas in the Rus episodes.
- Orphaned Reference: Rollo ranting to Gisla about still hearing Thor's hammer when he hears thunder is a call back to a deleted scene from season 1 where Rollo spoke to Thor's image in Uppsala. You can still see him putting his hand on the statue when Lagertha goes to pray to Freyr.
- Playing Against Type: Ferdia Walsh Peelo plays King Alfred, marking a huge difference from his breakout role in Sing Street.
- Prop Recycling:
- The most noticable example is Björn's gambeson in season 5, which is the same used by Micheal Fassbender in Macbeth. It's especially noticable in episode 5.7 and 5.8, but later they make modifications to it which makes it less obvious.
- Harald's armour in season 4B & 5 is Nicolas Cage armour in Season of the Witch, like with the Macbeth-example above it get's a modification to make it more unique. Olaf's armour was made for Ron Perlman in the same movie.
- Kjetill's belly warmer/leather belt is a Dothraki belt.
- The armor used by the english, especially the Wessex-soldiers is the same used by the english mooks in Braveheart.
- A lot of cloaks, coats and armour is recycled from Tristan+Isolde.
- Many shields were recycled from Kingdom of Heaven.
- Some of the men on Ragnar's first raid in England wear the armor the roman militia wore in The Last Temptation of Christ.
- Many of the costumes used in Marco Polo where repurposed as costumes for the Rus. Oleg's armor is the same Ariq Böke wore, but with the mongol-crest removed and additional studs added to the lower part of the breastplate.
- A clever example happens with Lagertha. In season 4 and 5, the shieldmaidens protecting Lagertha (like Astrid) wear armor worn by Lagertha in earlier seasons, as if she handed it over to them as gifts.
- Hvitserk's vest in season 6A is from Valhalla Rising.
- Real-Life Relative: The characters of Helga and Torvi are played by real-life half-sisters Maude and Georgia Hirst, who are also the daughters of Michael Hirst, the show's creator. It shows.
- Real Song Theme Tune: "If I Had a Heart" by Fever Ray.
- Recycled Set:
- Observant viewers will catch on to that the cliff where Ragnar stages the portage scheme is later reused as the location of Harald's capital.
- Any great hall which is not the one in Kattegat, be it Borg's, Lagertha's, Harald's or Olaf's is clearly the same set, redressed.
- Romance on the Set: Although we are not sure about what was going on between their characters, George Blagden and Elinor Crawley fell in love during the production.
- She Also Did: Irish professional wrestler Becky Lynch did stunt work on this show before she was signed to WWE in 2013. Fellow Irish professional wrestler Katey Harvey was also one of Aslaug's guards.
- Trolling Creator: Michael Hirst regarding the nature of the supernatural elements of the show, saying stuff like: "If you show dramatisation of the crucifiction to a Christian, would they say it's a fantasy?" Hirst has also all but confirmed the fan theory that Floki is the god Loki.
- Underage Casting: The actress who plays Queen Judith is only 10 years older than the actor playing her son Alfred in the fifth season.
- What Could Have Been:
- Clive Standen originally auditioned for the part of Ragnar, but actually wanted Rollo. Travis Fimmel then came along and was cast as Ragnar and Clive Standen got to be Rollo instead. So in the end, everybody got what they wanted.
- The show was originally about Alfred the Great fighting the Great Heathen Army. It did eventually get there though.
- Ragnar was supposed to die in season 1, which is why King Aelle's snake pit is introduced so early in the series. The rising conflict with King Aelle is unexpectedly cut short in season 1, given a minor resolution in episode 7, leaving the final 2 episodes to set up new conflicts. Producers realised they had created an icon with Travis Fimmel as Ragnar and it would have been a waste to kill him off so early in the show. In the first half of the season you can see that they are setting up Ragnar's death with Lagertha's pregnancy (so Ragnar will have sons to avenge him), the introduction of Aella's snakepit and Ragnar comment about pigs (setting up his "Facing the Bullets" One-Liner).
- The script for the first episode of season one features a number of things that didn't make it into the cut such as Sinric appearing and telling Ragnar of England.
- Aslaug's death was originally supposed to play very differently, as Aslaug was supposed to put on armor and fight Lagertha herself. However Alyssa Sutherland objected that this would be wildly inconsistent with the character's portrayal up to that point and the scene was changed. An allusion to the original idea still appears in the filmed scene when Aslaug says that if she were the warrior her mother and father were, Lagertha would already be dead.
- There was going to be at least one episode devoted to Heahmund's backstory and what led him to become a priest in Season Five. These plans appear to have been jettisoned when the actor left the show due to personal reasons.
- The Wiki Rule: The Vikings Wiki.
Trivia / Vikings