This week’s Vikings is a painfully dark episode. No one is happy. Everyone in town openly hates Ragnar, even spitting on him. He’s become a telemarketer, selling a crappy raid no one wants to join. Villagers hang up on him over and over again. But he doesn’t blame anyone. He simply replies with, “Thank you for your time.” The gods have deserted him. He knows he has to earn back some respect. Then Ragnar denigrates himself in front of everyone, bribing people with his entire Vikings horde. Ivar warns him, it will only attract the worst people. (Ivar used stronger language.) There’s tension between Ivar and Sigurd, that spills over into a family dinner. Ivar’s brothers all learn of his impotence. Lagertha shows up in Kattegat to wish Bjorn well on his journey (And maybe to stake a claim?) And Aslaug has a vision that Ivar will drown in a storm on the way to England.
Our Favorite Moments:
Ivar claims Margrethe as his personal servant/slave. Awww, he wants a playmate. Margrethe seems super thrilled about her situation. The Lothbroks are becoming more dysfunctional than Paris. If you look closely, you can see Margrethe twitching in the background as the family discussions get heated. And is that jealousy on Aslaug’s face, when she says she is happy Ivar has found a woman? Mommy was banking on Ivar never being able to run away from her.
Sigurd announces he would have claimed Margrethe for himself. Is he honestly jealous, or just a pain in the ass? Then Sigurd goes on to insist his mother bewitched their father and only ever loved Harbard. (Sigurd has so much animosity, I wouldn’t doubt he joins Lagertha in her quest for the throne.) When Ivar insists that mommy always loved little Ivar, Sigurd says mom only felt pity for her crippled son and everyone wishes Ivar had been left out to die. Then we see Ivar stand for the first time. He is taller than his brothers. Ivar goes after Sigurd, relying on the support of table and chairs. Sigurd knocks over the chairs and walks out of the hall- at a pretty brisk pace considering Ivar can’t walk. Sigurd is SO weak that he won’t stay to fight a cripple? Something tells me that Sigurd doesn’t make it out of Season 4 alive.
Co-sacrifice? Yeah right.
Lagertha arrives to see Bjorn off on his raid to Rome. She insists Aslaug and she need to stand together since their sons will be traveling together. Lagertha suggests that they both make a sacrifice. (Have things gone well for anyone who tries to share the podium with Lagertha?) Aslaug thinks otherwise since she is the queen. She’ll make the sacrifice. Aslaug sacrifices a deer, then goes into a trance. Lagertha doesn’t approve of any of it. Lagertha says she can never forgive Aslaug for taking away Ragnar and her world. I hope Lagertha has reasons other than jealousy for being upset with Aslaug. Lagertha says Aslaug is not queen, no matter what she calls herself and she isn’t happy about what Aslaug has done with Kattegat, “Look what you’ve done with it!”
Last week we saw Lagertha as Athena, the goddess of enlightenment with her white owl. Aslaug, however, has gone Darth Maul. Is Lagertha incensed by the cultural decay she sees? Aslaug allows her sons to be irresponsible, despite their title as King Ragnar’s sons. When Aslaug tells Ubbe that he ‘should already have children’, he laughs, “I probably already have.” I can’t help but remember Lagertha’s sacrifice of a beautiful prized cow in Wessex. She covered a pretty nice dress in blood for the gods too! And over the years she has seen her own people sacrifice themselves at Uppsala. Yet despite Kattegat’s wealth and position, Aslaug sacrifices a wild beast, and a small one at that. When Aslaug is in a trance, Lagertha approaches her; we can see that Aslaug is feigning her enthrallment and hears everything Lagertha says. The gods aren’t on her mind at all; the little faker.
Appreciation at Long Last
Aslaug has been much hated throughout the Viking fandom. They blame her for Lagertha leaving and being a bad mom and cheating on Ragnar. (Ok, there’s good reason.) Ragnar finally meets with Aslaug and tells her that they were not a marriage of love, but that she never turned his boys against him. For that he is grateful. It is the least he can do considering he’ll be taking her baby away. I am happy Mr. Hirst finally gave the fandom a solid reason to not judge Aslaug too harshly. He gave her a little love and sympathy. This probably means her number is up VERY soon.
Ivar helps his father dig up his loot. Ragnar needs the gold to bribe people to raid England. Ivar grabs one of the coins and asks whose image it shows. It’s Ecbert. Ivar asks if he can keep it. Later the blacksmith creates armor and crutches for Ivar. When asked who will be paying for all of it, young Ivar simply shows the coin. Oh, yeah, King Ecbert is going to pay for it. He’s gonna pay for ALL of it. His own deal will come around to bite him in the ass. Karmic poetry.
Ivar Gets His Boarding Pass
Aslaug insists Ivar can’t go with his dad to England because she had a vision he’d drown. But Ivar doesn’t want pity – he only wants to be a man, even for just one day before he dies. We finally see Ivar walk upright in public for the first time, no tables or chairs to lean on. He rises like a cobra about to strike on his new spikey crutches. And when he can no longer walk, he drags himself the rest of the way to the boat. Dad tells him they have a tide to catch, as if to say, “hurry up.” I love that Ragnar continues to treat his son like a lazy teenager.
In the end poor Ivar gets seasick and admits he is terrified of water. Ivar is awesome because he openly admits his fears while he is plunging headlong into them. Aslaug’s prediction comes true, a storm topples the boat and Ivar goes under. Everything will be fine. Just fine. Next week we see Bjorn in Normandy with Rollo! And we’ll learn if Ivar drowns. Wild guess here, I bet he doesn’t.
Picture source: http://www.history.com/shows/vikings and @TeamParmenter