Vikings season 6: Fans expose huge ‘plot hole’ with the ships in series finale

Katheryn Winnick: Vikings star prepares for photoshoot

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The epic medieval series often caught flak from fans thanks to its loose interpretation of Norse tales and historical records. After the last season of Vikings was finally released at the end of last year on Amazon Prime Video, some viewers couldn’t help but spot some baffling issues with the legendary warriors’ iconic longships.

Several fans of History Channel’s Vikings have noticed yet another unmistakable historical blunder throughout the series.

Showrunner Michael Hirst often flubbed some historical details or let minor errors fall through the cracks, though most viewers were able to forgive the occasional mishap.

Unfortunately, this particular error has caught the attention of a number of fans as it appeared to pervade throughout all six seasons of the series.

The historical plot hole was picked up on last year when Amazon Prime Video released the final ten episodes of the series, including Vikings’ long awaited finale, ‘The Last Act’.

One particularly attentive viewer took to IMDb message boards when they realised something didn’t quite add up about the Vikings’ signature mode of travel.

On the ‘goofs’ section for the episode, they posted: “The ships have tillers on the left.”

The Vikings used tillers, a type of lever attached to the ship’s rudder post, to steer their boats and explore the oceans well before motorised boats had been invented.

However, as this fan explained, the show’s version of the Viking longship differed from the real thing in one crucial aspect.

They continued: “Since most people were right handed, the tiller was on the right, or starboard side.”

While it’s hard to tell in most scenes, some more nautically-inclined viewers would have easily been able to tell that the tiller was on the wrong side.

A harmless mistake for most, but this fan pointed out the crucial error flew directly in the face of the history of ocean exploration.

Finally, they added: “Board refers to the tiller. The tiller prevented ships from docking on their right side; hence the other side (left) was called PORT.”

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Port and starboard have been fixed terms to describe each side of a ship practically since seafaring began.

As ships traditionally dock on the left hand side (port), the Vikings’ longships would have always placed the tillers on the right (starboard).

This unforgivable historical blunder was also noted on Reddit, years before the finale aired, so the tillers’ inaccurate position has clearly frustrated fans since the start of the series.

Another viewer wrote: “They had the rudder on the left side on the show. I’m pretty sure that is wrong… they were on the right side.”

“Not trying to be picky, but ships have it on starboard. Even the word starboard comes from the Vikings.”

Throughout the series, Vikings fans have frequently picked up on several historical errors, from minor character mistakes to glaring issues that threatened to completely upend the show’s whole timeline.

Some fans may choose to believe that unconventional boatbuilder Floki (Gustaf Skarsgård) simply decided to do away with traditional Viking methods when constructing these particular vessels.

However, more critical viewers would agree this explanation is far too convenient, and sadly had to chalk this mistake up to a simple instance of poor research.

Vikings seasons 1-6 are available to stream on Amazon Prime Video.

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