Our new crew hosts a Viking burial for dear, departed Sigurd Snake-In-The-Eye. Then Bjorn Ironsides departs, Floki the Widower departs, and King Harald Finehair departs.
Ivar the Boneless laments that he didn’t mean to kill his brother. Sigurd insulted his manhood. Anger made him do it. He did what any Viking would do. I guess that’s a good defense, when everyone feels sorry for you, or is too afraid of you to seek revenge.
Floki the Boat Maker gives himself to the gods in his new “toy” boat. Bjorn the Explorer, decides he has to get to the Mediterranean without stopping in Kattegat. Sorry Queen Lagertha, your son’s “destiny” is too important to visit his worried mother. Halfdan the Black sails with Bjorn, instead of his brother, Harald “IMMA be King of All Norway” Finehair. Halfdan is probably sick of hearing his brother bellyache about women, and he plainly says he never dreamed of “being the brother of the King of all Norway.” Now why couldn’t Ragnar and Rollo have had a relationship like this?
Ubbe the Non-Descript, wants to settle the land that King Ecbert the Abdicated “gave” them. Ivar the Big Thinker has bigger plans. He wants to raid York, securing their lands and giving them access to the sea. Hvitserk the Middle Child walks a fine line, trying to placate both brothers. He agrees with his little brother on the York strategy.
Ragnar’s sons have a decisive victory at York. Ivar the Gory, kills a priest with the melted gold from the priest’s own cross. Daddy did tell him to be ruthless.
Ubbe the Regretful was less than thrilled with Ivar’s brutality and the killing of innocent people. Apparently he just wants to be Ubbe the Farmer. Each son inherited very different traits from dad. But they all got the eye rolls.
Aethelwulf the Self Righteous, in his new role as King of Wessex and Mercia, is hiding from the Vikings in a swamp with his family. Way to hold onto dad’s vision, Wulfy. Alfred the Sick Bastard (I’m not being mean. He’s the product of an extramarital affair and he’s deathly ill.) has a vision delivered by his real father, Athelstan the Most Beloved, that the Vikings have taken York. The people need their King to lead them.
King Harald Finehair, knowing Queen Lagertha doesn’t have Bjorn as backup, “brings news of the victory” to Kattegat. He pretends he didn’t expect to see Egil the Bastard (I’m not being mean here either. That’s his actual name.) on the throne. Queen “Why Hasn’t She Aged” Lagertha takes King “Loser in Love” Harald prisoner when he arrives. He wants to form an alliance with Lagertha through marriage. Lagertha the Man-hater further lowers herself in fans’ eyes, by raping Harald. She also can’t control the jealousy and dissension within her ranks.
Astrid the Jealous stomps off when Lagertha agrees with Torvi’s opinion. Astrid the Hot Head is kidnapped by Harald’s men. Harald’s men free him and they easily sail away from Kattegat. Harald has plans to make Astrid his Queen. She’s understandably not interested.
Hirst is starting Lagertha with a weak storyline. Why the hell were Harald’s men and his ships not taken into custody? Why didn’t she kill him on the spot?
Aside from the cat fight in Kattegat (pun intended), the rest of the premiere was wonderful. Here are some of my favorite moments.
Ivar the Heartbroken
Ivar doesn’t want Floki to leave. He’s just a scared boy, dragging himself in front of Floki’s toy boat, hoping people will love him. He’s heartbroken that he killed his brother and he knows nobody likes him. How can Floki say “no” to that face?
Judith the Unrepentant
I love Judith’s defiance. She hasn’t completely fulfilled Ecbert’s wish of going back to Aethelwulf. She’s supporting the family. But she’s sticking to her principles with her husband, as she did against her father. Aethelwulf believes the Vikings and Alfred’s illness are God’s punishment for England’s sins. Are you blaming this on Ecbert and Judith? Alfred’s sick because rotting bodies are floating in the bog you call home. The Vikings are just smarter and stronger than you. Don’t blame sin for your own personal failings as a man.
King Ecbert the Sainted
Bishop Heahmund’s men discover Ecbert’s body in a wine barrel. The Bishop holds a funeral and prays to Ecbert as if Ecbert were a saint.
It’s a poetic moment for the Bishop to take counsel with Ecbert instead of God. Somewhere Ecbert is smiling. You made it, babe! Pickled and canonized is the perfect ending to your story.
Bishop Heahmund the Law Suit Waiting to Happen
Heahmund assures the people that Wessex is safe again – taken back in the name of God. When a young female thanks him, it’s clear he shouldn’t have this job.
The bishop runs half naked through a briar patch for his impure thoughts. Are we sure he isn’t a werewolf?
Floki the Wayward
No one wants to lose Floki, not Ragnar’s sons or the fans. Ivar sneaks the sunstone into Floki’s pack. But Floki is determined to leave his fate to the gods and winds. I swear I heard every Viking fan collectively scream as Floki unceremoniously tossed the holy grail of Vikingdom overboard.
Ivar the “Defenseless”
Ivar hires body guards and is making decisions without his brothers. He tries making Ubbe and Hvitserk feel sorry for him again, and promises he isn’t trying to take charge. Neither brother is buying it. But you can tell, neither brother has any idea how to stop this train.
King Aethelwulf the Blind & Bishop Heahmund the Blindingly Egotistical
In assessing York, Heahmund’s man thinks the Vikings have proven to be “industrious people”. Heahmund dismisses the Vikings purely on ideological grounds.
When Aethelwulf joins Heahmund, the Bishop insists the fight for York should be spearheaded on a back wall that the Vikings AREN’T repairing. Heahmund will monitor the wall to make sure it remains weak. Our new King Wulfy the Overly Confident, is all for it, relying completely on this warrior monk.
Ragnar’s last words to Ivar are echoing in fans’ heads. Can’t any of the Saxon’s see the flashing neon sign:
This is why daddy never put you in charge, Wulfy! Ivar spun you ‘round like a record last season, and you’re still underestimating him.
Floki the Delusional
After losing the wind and fearing his death, Floki lands on an inhospitable island. Was Floki living off mushrooms all this time? Floki thinks he’s in Asgard with a rainbow and waterfalls and Loki – yes, look closely, it’s Loki.
Ultron the Upright
There’s a philosophical question as to whether or not Jesus, Buddha or Gandhi would have killed a young Hitler before he gained power. Ivar killed his brother, then pulled off a victory greater than anything Ragnar envisioned. He’s surrounding himself with bodyguards. And now he’s figured out how to walk on his own.
Are Ivar’s remaining brothers asking themselves any philosophical questions right about now? Stay tuned next week to see if anyone learns from their mistakes!
Picture source: History Channel and Vikings