Lesser TV shows might boast viewing parties where guests gather to share the experience of a new episode with an array of corn chips, dress-ups, cocktail jugs and live-tweeting, but Vikings demands more from its fans (and stans).
If you dare to consider yourself worthy of Valhalla, here’s everything your viewing party requires.
A mead horn apiece
Ideally filled to the brim with mead, but we’ll accept a frothy VB (or ginger beer for the designated rowers). The important thing is to heft your chalice in raucous celebration, spilling bubbly fluid with no care for carpet-related consequences, whenever something exciting happens on screen. If you don’t own a mead horn, it’s acceptable to drink from a helm or the skulls of your enemies.
A strong aversion to bathing
Some of you may have jobs or other commitments that mean you can’t go the whole season without encountering a mango body wash. So you should try to do something grimy and sweaty between leaving the office and settling in to see what crazy stunt Ivar’s pulling this week. Okay, fine. If you must, you can perfume yourself in scented oils like Rollo.
A feast from a Viking-themed eatery
Whether it's Mjolner, which has outlets in Sydney and Melbourne, or some other place with appropriate cuisine, you – as a true fan – are obligated to go there, eat your fill of trenchers and roast bone marrow, then demand doggy bags for the following night’s viewing. Don’t think you’re off the hook if you’re not in one of those cities, though: either you invade a state capital in longships, or you prepare your own smorgasbord. Here’s something to get you started. Add some IKEA meatballs and you’re away.
A copy of the Blood Rage board game
You don’t even have to be playing this Ragnarok-themed struggle for ultimate domination and glory – it just has to be set up on a nearby table so you can idly toy with the warriors and monsters that make up its playing pieces. Of course, once this week’s episode is finished, you’ll need something to do while everyone polishes off their mead horns and meatballs.
A jerk brother who constantly betrays you
Even if it’s by skolling your mead horn while you’re in the bathroom or stealing the last venison loin. If you don’t have a jerk brother who constantly betrays you, it’s possible you’re him. Make the most of it. That mead and loin should be yours, not your more popular and successful sibling’s. Now is your time.
A selection of weaponry
Keep in mind the OH&S rules around your Vikings viewing party, and consider investing in Nerf swords, axes, longbows and war hammers. Strictly no Blood Eagles, no matter how annoying your brother is being. Why did you invite him again?
Part 2 of Vikings season five starts on Thursday 6 December at 8:30pm. Episodes will stream at SBS On Demand after broadcast.