If you weren’t watching the History Channel’s Vikings, which ended its first season on Sunday, you should’ve been, or at least you should now. It doesn’t match the level of complexity in Game of Thrones — the universe is smaller, there are fewer characters, and the plotting isn’t as dense — but it was a solid, if not sometimes spectacular drama that got progressively better over the course of the season.
It began as a fairly straightforward look at the power of brute force — there was crunching violence, and lots of axe play — but by the end of the season, the politics also came into play, the villains (including Donal Logue) become more compelling, and the scheming began to take shape. I don’t want to spoil the show for those who haven’t seen it yet, but I seriously encourage you to check it out, especially if you like shows like Game of Thrones or other historical dramas (Vikings, obviously, plays fast and loose with history, but it’s rooted, at least, in Norse legend).
You do not have to have seen the show, however, to appreciate the differences between what a character looks like on the show, and what the actor looks like in real life. It’s not always as striking as the Game of Thrones characters without their beards, but there are plenty of instances where the actor is virtually unrecognizable from his or her character. Let’s take a closer look at the cast below: