Vikings are among the most vile people ever to inhabit the planet. To see them portrayed as noble heroes defies logic. The only viking show I would ever watch is one which correctly shows the vikings as the merciless, vicious fiends that they truly were.
They were great explorers' though, & reached as far as Turkey.
They built superb sailing vessels.
As you said, I agree, they were a cruel & barbarous people. One wonders why, as their current Scandinavian descendants' don't seem to be of the same ilk.