By Leslie Gayle
We are seven weeks into the Vikings’ hiatus! Rumors are swirling around the internet that Season Four will return as early as July. I refuse to listen to these sirens, only to have my hopes dashed upon the rocks. Instead we’ll finish up Season One highlights in Uppsala and Gotaland and get ready for a leisurely cruise into Season Two.
After another successful raid on England, Ragnar feels grateful and wants to pay respect to the gods. Or maybe he wants to earn more favors from the gods. While he was away Lagertha miscarried their son that Ragnar desperately wanted. He decides they will go to the great temple at Uppsala for the nine-year sacrifice to the gods. In this first scene Ragnar consults Athelstan and asks if Athelstan would like to attend. Athelstan says “yes”. Then Ragnar reminds Athelstan of his position in life, by adding, “Good, I would have force you to go anyway.”
As the groups arrives in Uppsala, Ragnar is in awe, hoping for benefits for his devotion. Lagertha looks pained, asking “Does he know?” Know what? And who?
We get glimpses of character backstory while in Uppsala. Lagertha tells Gyda that the gods gave her everything she desired the last time they visited. Her glance at Bjorn hints that she became pregnant after Uppsala. Deleted scenes popped up on the internet, leading fans to wonder whether or not Bjorn is Rollo’s son. I wonder if he was conceived in a drug induced orgy at Uppsala, especially after Rollo’s comments to wide-eyed Helga. What happens in Uppsala, stays in Uppsala. Get away from Helga, Rollo! She’s taken.
The Seer has Athelstan speak to the high priest. Athelstan is questioned three times if he is still Christian, and three times he denies Christ. The priest informs Athelstan that he is Ragnar’s chosen human sacrifice for the ceremony. The priest exposes Athelstan’s true beliefs when Athelstan instinctively consoles himself with the cross hidden under his cloak. Gotcha! Not only have you betrayed Ragnar and Odin, you also just denied Christ, you Judas. Wait, that was Peter. Athelstan won’t be a suitable sacrifice because he is still Christian. The former monk hates himself for having so little faith in either religion.
We’ll skip ahead to the conflict with Jarl Borg in Gotaland. King Horik arrives in Uppsala and convinces Ragnar to help him negotiate with Jarl Borg over land rights. Let’s face it, Horik was hoping one or both earls would kill each other. Borg is a horrible host and keeps his guests waiting. While waiting, Ragnar readies his look.
Floki is sent back to ask Horik to discuss terms. While everyone awaits Floki’s return, Ragnar takes his men to visit the Great Ash Tree. (Wow, they were really hurting for tourist attractions back then.) When Borg asks for a good-faith hostage, Ragnar gives him Rollo, who’d tried to participate in the negotiations.
At the Great Ash Tree, Ragnar, who is sick of dried fish tells One-Day to get them some fresh fish. When One-Eye leaves, Thorstein volunteers to go as well, stating, “Because everyone knows, three eyes are better than one.” One-Eye is not amused. After seeing Princess Aslaug bathing naked the men return to Ragnar. Aslaug has demanded an apology from Ragnar personally. Ragnar is irritated with them. They reply innocently, “We just saw her bathing what were we supposed to do?” And Ragnar responds, “Fish!”
Ragnar tells the men he will apologize to Aslaug if she can arrive, “Neither dressed, nor undressed. Neither hungry or full. Neither in company, nor alone.” She arrives to the letter of his request. Then he offers her some “horrible salted fish. You can get tired of fresh fish.” Such a charmer.
Back at Jarl Borg’s, Bjorn is furious that his father has been cavorting with Aslaug. He tells One-Eye, “If Lagertha were here, she would cut his balls off.” Little did we know back then, he *really* wasn’t joking about that threat! Then after only one night with Ragnar, Aslaug tells Ragnar that she will have his child. At this point we don’t know she has the gift of sight. Ragnar is clearly kind of excited and kind of worried about another child.
I will end this week where Season One ends. In the back room of Jarl Borg’s hall, Ragnar is still intrigued and terrified by the possibility of another son. In the front hall, Jarl Borg incites Rollo’s insecurities and promises the possibility of Rollo’s own kingdom and fame. When asked if he will join Borg against Horik and Ragnar, Rollo says “I say, yes.”
Next week: Highlights from Season Two!
Picture source: http://www.history.com/shows/vikings