Vikings, Season 4, Midseason Break Fun – “25 Memorable Deaths-Part 2”
By Leslie Gayle
This is my all-time favorite line from Zen master Rollo.
I started out making a top 10 list of memorable deaths last week. I immediately found 20 and then 25. I could easily push this to 30, but for the sanity of the editors, I’ll keep it at 25. Let’s start where we left off last week.
- Leif (Priest at Uppsala, throat slit): When Athelstan is rejected as a human sacrifice, someone has to step up or risk damning Kattegat. Everyone wants to die gloriously in battle, but no one wants to sacrifice themselves after a bunch of goats. Leif heroically steps up and puts everyone to shame, especially Athelstan.
- Thorstein (killed by English, various puncture wounds): Thorstein, incredible warrior that he was, took three episodes to die. After losing his arm to infection, he wanted to die a warrior’s death. He sacrificed himself doing recon for his men, and managed to take a few English with him. Poor Thorstein, at least he won’t have to deal with his two pregnant girlfriends. I miss his sense of humor.
- One-Eye (killed by Rollo, impaled on a spear and shock from betrayal): One-Eye’s only crime was trying to make peace between Ragnar and Rollo. That backfired. Rollo didn’t want to kill One-Eye, but he’s a berserker, no backing down. This death took some adrenalin out of Rollo’s sails. If Rollo hadn’t calmed down, only the gods know how many more men would have died.
- Athelstan (killed by Floki, axe wound): Everyone misses Athelstan. He had a great death. Athelstan martyred himself. He prepares for it. He is finally a willing sacrifice to both religions, unlike at Uppsala. And Floki makes the ultimate sacrifice for Ragnar. Ragnar never appreciates the people who have his back.
Wow, this is getting depressing. Let’s move onto some people who deserved to die!
- Earl Sigvard, Lagertha’s second husband (killed by Lagertha and Einar, eye-gouging and beheading): Lagertha has learned to have witnesses. This one was self-defense. Sigvard had Lagertha beaten, and was then going to strip her in front of everyone. She knifes him square in the eye socket and then goes into her crazed “Carrie” mode.
- Burgred, Kwenthrith’s brother (killed by Kwenthrith, poisoning): This was an awesome victory party up until Kwenthrith spiked the punch. Poison is such a predictably girlie way to go about her first kill. She is torn. Would she have done it if Ragnar hadn’t convinced her that her brother was her downfall? (I wonder if Rollo heard any of that conversation.) “All Hail the sole Queen of Mercia!”
- Einar (killed by Lagertha and Kalf, castration and arrow to the throat): Einar was technically killed by Kalf’s men. But I’m sure those men didn’t contest Lagertha after what they saw. Einar is another weasel who thought he could rape Lagertha. His death proves Kalf’s loyalty to Lagertha and perfects Lagertha’s techniques for punishing any man who tries to dominate her. Kudos to Kalf, for supporting his woman, but he of all people shouldn’t be encouraging this behavior. Did he actually get into bed with her after this?
- King Brihtwulf, Kwen’s uncle (killed by Floki, axe to the head): I added this one because we always see Floki being crazy and fun-loving; rarely do we get to see him as a crazy killer. Floki reminds me of Caesar in Rise of the Planet of the Apes in this scene.
- Kalf (killed by Lagertha, stabbing): Poor dumb, unambitious Kalf. This is a case of pulling the wrong girl’s pig-tails. Everything he did, he did to impress Lagertha, even usurping her earldom. Smooth move. You could have just gone raiding with her, buddy. She was even impressed with King Ecbert’s big plow. Hell, she flat out asked you to ask to marry her, when we first met you! He does love her, but she’s been on auto-pilot since Ragnar betrayed her. In this moment Lagertha has given up on men, on love, and even on babies. Poor Lagertha.
- Jarl Borg (killed by Ragnar, Blood Eagle): The blood eagle. I’m not going to describe the method. Even casual fans know, and new fans will undoubtedly see it again under Ivar. The horrifying part of Borg’s death was that we all had time to think about it. Like when you need a root canal in a week. Just pull the Band-aid off and do it already! Borg went totally insane, not that carrying around his dead wife’s skull, was exactly normal. To his credit, he never uttered a peep. He’s in Vahalla.
- Horik (killed by Ragnar, stabbing and skull pulverizing): Horik got Ragnar caught up with his politics. It messed up his relationships with Lagertha and Rollo. We never see the body, but we can imagine the carnage based on Ragnar’s face! Eek. Chill, dude! You weren’t even on uppers at this point.
- Wolf Guy (killed by Francs, arrow to the skull): Let’s end this on a laugh. I loved this guy. We never knew his name, but you immediately wanted to go partying with him. Hazah! Oops, too late. We would have mourned him, but oooh, look, there’s Rollo and Paris! Gotta go scale that wall.
I kept it to 25. But I have to give an honorable mentions. The first one goes to Bjorn’s bear and berserker. Bjorn had a major “failure to launch” last season. Who can blame him with Ragnar as a father and a mom who’s an earl in her own right, and everyone always watching his back? The only proof of his manhood was a wife and child. And now there’s no evidence of those. After killing his bear and a berserker he came back a real man. Everyone has noticed it. I have no picture of the berserker because fish hooks and faces are where I start to get queasy.
I also have to give props to all the men who died on the spikey wheel in Paris. Rollo wouldn’t have been noticed by the Franks if he hadn’t stopped such an effective weapon. And Eirik, who claimed Ragnar would avenge his people. He was so very valiant and oh so very wrong. And finally, an honorable mention goes to all the Christians Rollo desperately killed in Season 1 to counteract his baptism. Is this Rollo gone for good?
I’m waiting for inspiration from the gods for next week’s list. See you then.