Vikings is an epic historical saga spanning cultures and generations that provides some of the most provocative discussions of religion, colonialism and the consequences of war anywhere on TV. But the cast also happens to be really, really hot.

While there are tons of sexy actors on TV (looking at the Greek statue-perfect faces of The CW roster will basically make you feel like an overgrown amoeba), there's something about the Vikings cast that makes them rise above the rest. Is it the overwhelming array of impressive beards? The brawny men who sometimes gift us with their shirtlessness? Is it the dirt-covered faces that somehow make their eyes pop as though they truly are windows into Valhalla? Why not all of these and more!

Because here's the thing: As hot as your Taylor Kitsches and Stephen Amells are, they aren't out there wielding axes, waxing poetic about humanity's insatiable drive to explore the unknown and then eating meat with their goddamn hands in a way that is both sensual and sordid. So I guess what I'm saying is that where all the other hunks on TV are falling flat is that they just aren't Vikings.

via GIPHY

Of course, the crowning jewel of Vikings' sex appeal is the late, great Ragnar (Travis Fimmel). He was our first introduction to this notion that Vikings might actually be the peak of sexiness (when it comes to fictional TV characters of course; Vikings IRL were bonkers problematic). Ragnar just had it from his first appearance in the pilot until even his dying breath, when he was all old and bald and crap.

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Vikings clearly understood just how important Ragnar's sex appeal was to the series because as it transitioned to the post-Ragnar era they knew that one hunk wouldn't be enough to replace Ragnar, so instead they cast an array of hunks to fill the void, including Ragnar's stunner stuns Ubbe (Jordan Patrick Smith) and Ivar (Alex Høgh Andersen), and Jonathan Rhys Meyers as the warrior bishop Heahmund.

Even listing those men above, we're still only beginning to scratch the surface of the hotties in Vikings' massive ensemble cast, which I believe makes my point that much more clear: no other cast can come close to the thirst trap nation that is the Vikings cast because no other show is about as many sexy, bearded Vikings. It's just a fact. See, I made a chart. It's scientific.

Case closed.

Vikings returns on History Channel for the second half of Season 5 later this year. You can stream previous seasons now on Hulu and Amazon Prime.