Vikings: The Rise and Fall


Season 1


An unstoppable force for more than 300 years saw the relentless and far-reaching growth of the Viking Empire. Throughout history, Vikings waged war from the seas, notoriously ruthless and with their own set of rules.


Season 1
  • The Road to Lindisfarne


    An attack on a small religious community on the holy island of Lindisfarne in AD 793 heralded the start of the Viking Age of conquest and expansion but before this, we look at the Vikings’ beginnings in Scandinavia.

  • The Great Heathen Army


    The Siege of York occurred from 866 when the Great Heathen Army laid claim to the Northumbrian capital of York. We look at the major battles, players and strongholds in 9th Century England.

  • As Far East as Baghdad


    The Silk Road opened up a world of trade for the Scandinavians in the East. Hungry for more than their share of the profits, the Vikings known in the East as ‘the Rus’ attacked Constantinople in 860.

  • The Fall of Francia


    The siege of Paris in 885 was the culmination of the Viking invasions of Francia. We look at the persistent Viking attacks on Francia and the enduring presence of the Scandinavians on the frankish Empire and beyond.

  • The Wild West


    Political turmoil in Norway leads a voyage of discovery west. The Vikings discover Iceland where they established lasting settlement. Further exploration from Iceland leads to the discovery of Greenland and to the shores of Newfoundland, making them the first Europeans to discover America.

  • The Second Viking Age


    The mid-10th-century reign of Harald Bluetooth as king of a newly unified, powerful and Christianized Denmark marked the beginning of a second Viking age. But the reign was not to last with the Normans finally winning the English Kingdom in 1066. We look at the final days of the Viking empire.