If you are interested in the rise and fall of kingdoms and empires, the power play and the role of religion, then these historical drama series streaming on Netflix will pique your interest.
In “Vikings,” curiosity did not kill the cat. Rather, it led a farmer to become king. “Vikings” is inspired by the sagas of Ragnar Lothbrok, a Viking who is one of the best-known legendary Norse heroes. Ragnar believed the world was much larger than his village and he wanted to explore it. The show portrays Ragnar as a farmer who rises to fame by raiding Anglo-Saxon England and eventually becoming a Scandinavian king, with the support of his family and fellow warriors. Among lessons on loyalty and knowing your assets, it was also interesting to see how empowered medieval Scandinavian women were compared to the Anglo-Saxons. “Vikings” ran for six seasons from 2013 to 2020.
The Last Kingdom
Wessex was the last kingdom in England to be raided by Ragnar in “Vikings”. “The Last Kingdom” is based on the relationship between Vikings and Anglo-Saxons. Although both series are fiction, research suggests that “The Last Kingdom” might be a more accurate historical account of the relationship the Vikings and the Anglo-Saxons. However, the Ragnar character in “Vikings” portrayed by Travis Fimmel is more charming and sure to steal your heart, and Alfred in “The Last Kingdom” is certainly not lily-livered. The show follows the fictional protagonist, Uhtred of Bebbanburg, an Anglo-Saxon who was adopted by the Danish King, Ragnar the Fearless but returned to Wessex to reclaim his title and lands. The series ran four seasons from 2015 to 2020.
The opposing beliefs of Christianity and paganism were a major feature in “Vikings”. Similarly, “Knightfall” is set in an era when the Knights Templars are charged with defending the Christian faith. “Knightfall” recounts the success, fall, persecution, and suppression of the Knights Templars, as orchestrated by King Philip IV of France in the 1300s. The series depicts the relationship between the church and politics. It ran for two season, 2017 to 2019, before it was cancelled.
This historical drama series is inspired by Marco Polo‘s early years in the court of Kublai Khan, the Khagan of the Mongol Empire and the founder of the Yuan dynasty (1271–1368). A teenage Marco decides to embark on a journey with his father from Venice to the east as an opportunity to bond with him. Marco is met with surprise when his father leaves behind in the Mongol Empire as collateral that he would return. Interestingly, the venetian did not become collateral damage but instead found favour with Kublai Khan because of his storytelling skills and honesty. Another interesting thing about the series is discovering that the Chinese were not always the dominant force in Asia. The historical drama series ran for two seasons before it was cancelled by Netflix.
Rise of Empires: Ottoman
As a young boy, Mehmed II nursed an ambition to be greater than Alexander the Great. So he set his sights on Constantinople, the Eastern Roman capital. “Rise of Empire: Ottoman” is a six-part docu-series that tells the story of how 21-year-old Sultan Mehmed II conquered Constantinople, which is now known as Istanbul, after a 53-day siege.