The Revelation starts off where Hirst left us, with Ivar rolling into Kattegat. His version of Kattegat is degraded more than when Aslaug ruled. The great hall is filled with public fights and drunks. It isn’t a place where town families go to greet neighbors or settle disputes with the wise words of a king. But it is a place to pick up women. Ivar’s slave girl, Freydis, went to Kattegat after he freed her.
Rollo arrives to strike a trade deal with Ivar, after he helped secure Ivar’s victory over Lagertha.
Harald is beating himself up about killing his own brother.
Lagertha’s surviving group has taken refuge, in the same place Rollo hid Ragnar’s family from Jarl Borg. (Ironically, it’s where Ivar was conceived and he knows nothing about it!) They decide to run to England under Heahmund’s protection. Then Rollo arrives and offers them safe passage to Francia. When Rollo arrives, Bjorn wants to kill him. Lagertha hears him out.
Rollo reveals the backstory of Bjorn being his son – maybe. Lagertha won’t confirm or deny the claim. And she won’t go with Rollo, who just declared he always loved her.
In Iceland, Floki’s offer to sacrifice himself is voted down by the son of the head malcontent. The son is rational enough to know Floki is too important and his father is a power hungry idiot. Sorry, I haven’t learned the character names in Iceland because nothing interesting has happened. Iceland is the new Paris. Remember when every scene in Paris was Rollo reaffirming his loyalty to Charles, and Gisla calling Rollo simple? Every scene in Iceland is Floki reaffirming they must trust the gods and stop cycle of revenge, and people calling Floki a fraud. I think Hirst is bored with the story, and will let them starve to death in a few episodes.
Back in England, King Alfred announces plans to secure the borders and start building a navy. He has pissed off the church by demanding they educate commoners, and conduct mass in English, so God’s word is understood by all men. That’s may not the best first move for the bastard son who leap-frogged the legitimate heir to the throne. His mother, Judith, wants Alfred married immediately, to ensure his heir. Aethelred does the same thing his father before him did, blindly fight Vikings at the request of the king. But does he have his father’s faith or his own ambitions?
Rollo tells Ivar where Lagertha is. But Lagertha gets out of town before Ivar arrives. They steals a boat, in what looks like Harald’s port. Did Rollo tell them to get out of Norway immediately? Upon arriving in England, Heahmund learns for the first time that his old friend, Aethelwulf, is no longer king. Lagertha, Bjorn and Ubbe are taken prisoner. Oops.
My Favorite moments:
The slave girl Ivar freed, is in Kattegat! He’s trying hard to hide his excitement. He covers his mouth to hide his emotions. Remember that tell for future reference.
Ivar’s Old Girlfriend
At the end of midseason, I hoped Margrethe would wonder off, like Porunn did, never to be seen again. But she’s now really intriguing. She swings from rabid possum to doe-eyed fan girl. Ubbe hasn’t been treated so kindly by her since the day he married her. Unfortunately, I doubt she’ll kill off Torvi, but she’ll be entertaining.
Mouse & snake
With no one to see him, Ivar doesn’t cover his mouth to hide he frustration at losing Lagertha. And it looks like Margrethe will bear the brunt of that frustration.
It reminded me of Ragnar playing with the mouse before feeding it to his snake – minus Ragnar.
The possibility of Rollo being Bjorn’s father is no real revelation to fans. It was vaguely hinted at throughout the series, but no storyline developed. And we get no resolution on this theory. Bjorn chooses the man who raised him. Remember Bjorn chose Lagertha over Ragnar when he was twelve. So he’s really only her son.
But there is another revelation when Rollo meets the refugees… Rollo is full blown Christian. I, for one, am more disappointed in this revelation than in Bjorn’s reaction to Rollo. The Duke of Normandy is apparently no longer conflicted when he hears thunder. He asks Heahmund to bless him for his sins. Hopefully we will learn Rollo is conflicted on his death bed, as legend says he was.
Bjorn fails to kill Rollo, not wanting to dirty his sword. Rollo leaves. “We will never meet again,” is all he says. With this look I wonder if Lagertha is having second thoughts. All her ties to Ragnar and her old life are disappearing.
She chooses to go with Bishop Heahmund, who just told her he’s ending their relationship and going back to the church in England. Rollo has always shown loyalty to her and Bjorn. But Lagertha chooses the guy who failed as a priest and a warrior. What is she doing with him? He’s lost every battle we’ve seen him fight and he failed at celibacy. Lagertha doesn’t like disloyalty, and this guy raises his sword (literally and figuratively) for whomever took him captive last. He’s loyal only to his God, unless he can get laid. The writing on this story line leaves me like this:
Rollo’s trade deal has little to do with the army he lent to defeat Lagertha. Uncle Rollo has the upper hand, knowing Lagertha’s whereabouts, and Ivar’s insanity. I wish the writing had done a better job of highlighting Ivar’s ever increasing sickness to get Lagertha. Ivar’s revenge is going to cost Kattegat’s people a ton of raids. But the scene plays slightly comical as Rollo rattles off his exorbitant demands… “Yearly tribute of 6,000 pounds of silver, 2,000 gold, 5,000 pounds of furs, tusks and pelts, 1,000 slaves, 200 tons of meat,” and keeps rattling… “And every year 300 precious stones, 100 ells of silk, and 500 of your best warriors for my personal guard… And each of you must swear on your arm rings that you will come to my assistance if I’m ever attacked.”
I like that Hirst finally fixes the historical problem he created when he abandoned Rollo in Francia, a lone Northman in Normandy, translation – “Northman Land”. He finally gives Rollo an army of Viking warriors for his personal guard. I also like, the reappearance of Ivar’s tell. It is the only glimpse of tension over the price he’s willing to pay. He can’t show Rollo his weakness over Lagertha.
Will Kattegat be happy about this price? Ivar’s obsession is as crazy and costly as a trade war with China. Will Ivar’s tell, become a tick, as it did with Ragnar? Have Harald and Hvitserk come to the revelation that Ivar is going mad? And with Alfred on the throne, will Lagertha and Bjorn be safe? Find out next week on Vikings!
Picture source: History & Vikings