By Leslie Gayle
We are eight weeks into the hiatus with no news of a return date, so let’s start sailing through Season Two highlights! So much was condensed into the first few episodes of Season Two, Ragnar needed a therapy animal just to help him cope.
Season Two opens in Gotaland on the morning of the battle over Horik’s land rights. Ragnar is wondering if Rollo will truly betray him. He does. But, after killing One-Eye and badly wounding Floki, Rollo surrenders to Ragnar because he can’t kill his brother.
Back in Kattegat, Ragnar bribes the judge to pardon Rollo for his actions. Rollo seems like he’d rather have been killed. Siggy convinces him that he doesn’t need to “go anywhere” to become famous and he spends the rest of the episode famously drunk.
During the men’s absence in the land war, a plague hit Kattegat and Ragnar’s daughter, Gyda, died along with Siggy’s daughter, Thyri. After dealing with Rollo, Ragnar finally takes the time to mourn his daughter at the waterfront. “A man can be jealous of his sons. But a daughter can always be the light in his life.”
He falls asleep on the beach and when he awakens, his past comes back to haunt him. This scene seems a bit like Rip Van Winkle. We’re not really sure how much time has passed. A very pregnant Aslaug arrives by boat. Another truly great Ragnar look is this fine line between fear and fascination.
The introductions to his wife need no words.
The whole messy business upsets Ragnar so much that he needs a therapy animal to deal with it. Poor Ragnar.
He even needs that lamb to speak with Bjorn. He knew he wouldn’t get sympathy for his actions, even from his own son. Ragnar carries that baby sheep around until King Horik shows up in the second episode.
Lagertha and Aslaug get to know each other over dinner. Everyone is intrigued by Princess Aslaug. But other than beauty, she doesn’t seem to have any qualities that would earn her the same respect that Lagertha has as a mother, wife and shield maiden. First Aslaug, the daughter of mythic heroes, but not a hero herself, inadvertently insults Lagertha by saying, “Surely no one is just a farmer.” “Yes, princess, that is exactly what some people are. And proud of it.” When food arrives, Lagertha is surprised that Aslaug can cook. To which Aslaug replies, “Oh, I can’t. I just bought the ingredients. My servants prepared everything.”
Ragnar tries to convince Lagertha that it will be in everyone’s best interest for him to take Aslaug as a second wife. Lagertha thinks differently. Without word one to her husband she packs up and leaves. Bjorn decides on his own to go as well. We all hate that Lagertha and Ragnar aren’t together, but I, for one, respect Lagertha for her decision.
Basically Aslaug’s long-term relationship with Ragnar can be summed up with this scene. She is the means by which Ragnar obtains sons, nothing more. I never felt sorry for her character until I started looking frame by frame for these recaps.
Next week, King Horik arrives as the Vikings prepare for another raid on England! Then, Athelstan gains and again loses his freedom, and Rollo gains some self-respect.