7 best shows like Vikings on Netflix, Prime Video, Paramount Plus and more

Lagertha (Katheryn Winnick) in Vikings
(Image credit: History)

Created by Michael Hirst (Showtime’s The Tudors), Vikings premiered in 2013 on History. It followed the life of legendary Viking, Ragnar Lothbrok (Travis Fimmel), beginning in the year 793. It was darkly humorous, but the epic war scenes were no joke, and it featured an especially gorgeous-looking cast. 

Ragnar is a politically-minded and ambitious farmer whose story truly starts when he decides to begin leading raids West, to what would become known as England. His foresight and military prowess facilitates his rise to king. By his side are captive-turned-trusted friend Athelstan (George Blagden), an ex-priest, his first wife, the shieldmaiden Lagertha (Kathryn Winnick), and their warrior son Bjorn (Alexander Ludwig). As the decades pass, the show shifts focus to Bjorn, and Ragnar’s younger sons with his second wife, who follow their father’s footsteps and also become infamous. 

The series was one of the many gritty, sexy, historical dramas that debuted on cable, shortly after Game of Thrones blew up. Vikings also helped get History into scripted programming, although it ultimately wrapped its six-season run on Prime Video, at the end of 2020. 

If you’re still missing Ragnar and company, you’re in luck, there are quite a few similar shows that exist to help fill the void, including one canon sequel series. 

Vikings: Valhalla

An archer pulls an arrow back in a bow in the Vikings: Valhalla season 2 trailer

(Image credit: Netflix via YouTube)

Of course, we need to start with this direct sequel, set about 100 years after Vikings, and is the closest thematically. It involves the same mythology, locations, and overarching conflicts– like the continued tensions between the Norsemen and English. 

Whereas the original show kicked off the Viking Age, this one covers the time it started coming to an end. It also features probably the most famous Viking known to American schoolchildren, Leif Erikson (Sam Corlett). He’s an explorer, while his sister, Freydis (Frida Gustavsson), is a shieldmaiden. Their predecessors are legends they’ve grown up revering. Emma of Normandy (Laura Berlin), Ragnar’s great-niece, is also a major player as the Queen of England. 

Watch on Netflix

Black Sails 

Luke Arnold as Long John Silver in Black Sails, looking at a map

(Image credit: Starz)

Set during the Golden Age of Piracy, Black Sails marries real historical figures with fictional ones, this time from Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson. Both also involve marauders rebelling against English society. However, the Starz series was more progressive in many ways. 

It features several fierce, well-rounded, lead female characters. Where Vikings kept any queerness on the periphery or left it at subtext, nearly every character on the pirate drama was canonically queer or gender-nonconforming. There’s also an outright throuple involving the show’s male lead, the fearsome Captain Flint (Toby Stephens), and a married, aristocratic couple. Plus, it has tons of epic battle scenes that take place at sea and on land. 

Watch on Starz

The Last Kingdom 

Aenas Fedaravicius as Sihtric and Alexander Dreymon as Uhtred in The Last Kingdom

(Image credit: Adrienn Szabo)

Time-wise, the beginning of The Last Kingdom overlaps with Vikings, so some of the same characters or events are referenced. Uthred (Alexander Dreymon) is a Saxon, kidnapped and adopted into a Viking family after a battle. He grows into a skilled warrior, and when his family is killed he seeks to claim his birthright, which has been usurped by his bio-uncle. This inter-family conflict mirrors that of Ragnar and his jealous brother, Rollo (Clive Standen), who frequently betrayed his family for financial gain or prestige. 

Both cultures are explored more, as is the conflict of Christianity vs. Paganism. It’s often depicted through the identity struggles of Uthred. The Netflix drama is a perfect companion series for those interested in this period of history. 

Watch on Netflix


Caitríona Balfe as Claire Fraser and Sam Heughan as Jamie Fraser in Outlander season 6

(Image credit: Starz)

Claire (Caitriona Balfe) is a WWII combat nurse transported back in time to 1700s Scotland while on her honeymoon. She has to use her skills and knowledge of history to survive and build a new life with her partner, Jamie (Sam Heughan), as war with the English looms. 

Claire and Jamie have a crackling chemistry, which is reminiscent of Ragnar and Lagertha’s relationship from earlier seasons. They are devoted to one another and she has no problem dispatching of men who’d harm her, or him. Outlander also has great production values, which bring authenticity to scenes of warfare. 

Watch on Netflix and Starz

Animal Kingdom 

(L to R) Shawn Hatosy as Pope, Ben Robson as Craig and Jake Weary as Deron, kneeling, in an image from Animal Kingdom

(Image credit: TNT via Twitter)

Although set in present-day California, the gist of Animal Kingdom isn’t far off from Vikings. The lives of a group of brothers revolve around their family’s ruthless, larger than life matriarch, Smurf (Ellen Barkin). 

She heads their smuggling ring, and they compete for her affections by seeing who can steal the biggest score. While there’s no actual war, the family rivalry can get pretty brutal as they try to outplay each other and their adversaries. One of the brothers is even played by Ben Robson, who starred as Lagertha’s ill-fated, smarmy love interest, Kalf, in season 3. 

Watch on Prime Video


The cast of Ghosts on CBS

(Image credit: CBS)

The half-hour comedy begins when Sam (Rose McIver) inherits a mansion in upstate New York. Soon, she starts seeing the ghosts of all those who’ve died on the property over the centuries. One of these spirits is Thorfinn (Devan Long), a Viking who’s been there the longest. A lot of his anecdotes include concepts introduced on Vikings, like the gruesome execution technique, “Blood Eagle,” Odin, and Norse burial rituals. 

Thorfinn is one of the most prominently featured ghosts, and it’s funny to see how Ragnar might have behaved if he didn’t have to constantly worry about being assassinated or leading an army/kingdom, and could just relax watching reality TV. Despite all the death and murder, it’s a heartwarming show about found family that gives insight into a wide range of time periods. 

Watch on Paramount Plus


Liana Cornell as Ania in Britannia

(Image credit: Sophie Mutevelian - Sky UK Ltd - Amazon Studios)

In the year 43, two Celtic Queens have their feud interrupted by the arrival of a Roman general who wants to conquer Britain, and end their religion. Here, the Brits are the good guys for once, and still Pagan, so maybe they would have gotten along better with the Vikings. 

In addition to the political machinations and war, a Druid prophecy plays a large role in the plot. There’s similarities with Ragnar’s frenemy, Floki (Gustaf Skarsgard), a religious fanatic whose actions were often driven by the gods. The series also leans into the humor, and shows a cheeky self-awareness by using anachronistic music like Donovan’s psychedelic “Hurdy Gurdy Man” and “Season of the Witch.”

Watch on MGM Plus and Prime Video

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Freelance writer

Jenna is a freelance writer who covers TV, film, and all things pop culture. Her work has appeared on Teen Vogue, The Mary Sue, and Women & Hollywood, among other outlets. In her free time, she alternates between watching romcoms, romantic period dramas, and true crime, and is making her way through the list of movies on the National Film Registry.