This week the battle for York’s soul begins. The Saxons underestimate The Great Heathen Army and are too confident about the unsecured wall.
This part of town was rigged with spiked trenches and hidden barricades that make the Saxons easy pickings for archers and fire. It is a crunchy, bloody loss for Bishop Heahmund.
In other parts of the Viking world, Astrid arrives in her new home. Harald smells his home a few fjords over, because his entire town is drenched in the sweat and blood of its people’s labor. King Harald’s people are whalers. Yuck! After living in the comparatively haute digs of Kattegat, Astrid is not impressed.
Floki’s hand becomes infected and he sees Helga, then he sees Hel. He assumes he’s going to die despite his prayers to live among the gods. After a near death experience, or his fever breaking, his hand is healed.
We meet up with Bjorn and Halfdan. Halfdan explains he wants to live with “intensity”. Better to burn out than fade away, eh? I personally think he has a crush on Bjorn. And, with no explanation of how, Sinric the Weird Little Wanderer is back with a haircut! Sinric cautions Bjorn to appear as “a trader rather than a raider” in the strange new land they are going. Oooo. Intrigue.
Ivar the Compassionate
Ivar the Boneless, shows a softer side with a slave. Is she the goddess, Freya? This pretty thing says he’s special, like Margrethe did. But she’s not afraid of him, like Margrethe was. She’s more than happy to be sacrificed before the battle. Ivar tenses up when she kisses him. Does Ivar miraculously have feelings below the waist? He frees her and sends her away before we know.
Was she let go to spread the word that he’s a real man and a sweetheart? Or does she remind Ivar of his mother?
Harald the Charmer?
Harald’s a different person with his people. He loves them and they love him. They reek of whale guts, but they’re prosperous and happy. Harald’s off raiding all the time, and no one has usurped his throne. That says something for him.
His attempts to impress Astrid fail. I hate to admit it, despite that awful face tattoo, he’s endearing himself to me. Don’t get me wrong, he’s no Rollo, by any stretch of the imagination. But he’s growing on me, the way Rollo grew on Gisla.
When drunk, Harald thinks he has a chance with Astrid and she decks him. He walks away and self-deprecates himself in front of the Great Hall. Maybe if he cuts his hair and learns Frankish, she’ll come around.
#PoorRollo #PoorHarald Just Saying…
Ivar the Stunning
When King Aethelwulf calls him a coward, Ivar has to join the fight. The King leaves with his sons before Ivar’s on scene.
After being thrown from his chariot, he becomes a sitting duck. He starts screaming at them that he can’t be killed. The Saxon soldiers are too confused, mesmerized or terrified, by the hell spawn bellowing at them, to advance. Is he a demon or is this another trap? Ivar stuns the Saxons long enough for Ubbe’s men to arrive. Even Ubbe seems taken aback by what’s going on. With or without protection, people are too bewildered by this charismatic hellion to kill him. Did Ubbe pause to assess the situation? Or to see if the Saxon’s would kill his baby brother?
Ivar still has no interest in peace and farming after the victory. So Ubbe sneaks off with Hvitserk to negotiate peace. An intense posturing goes down.
Aethelwulf and Alfred want to give Ubbe the land. But Heahmund decides to beat up Ubbe and send him on his way. How will King Aethelwulf react to this?
The Eyes have it – Ivar the Leader of the Great Heathen Army
Ivar is ruthless in his insults to Ubbe after the negotiation attempt. He insists Ubbe recognize him as leader now. Ubbe is further insulted when no one backs him up. He decides to leave for Kattegat.
Is Hirst echoing back to past seasons again? Moments of great character insight are usually marked by a swollen eye in Vikingdom. Odin lost his eye to gain knowledge. Lagertha’s brow was bashed before she wised up and become an Earl. Rollo had his eye beaten shut to gain the truth about his brother. Ragnar’s eye swelled shut to finally get out of this crazy life. And now Ubbe shows off a damaged baby blue as he leaves. Does he finally see his baby brother’s true nature?
In the end, Ivar relentlessly insults Ubbe and Hvitserk as they depart. Hvitserk jumps off the boat at the last minute. Does he want a life of intensity too? Does he know he’ll always be Ubbe’s underling? Maybe he’s upset Ubbe married Margrethe. Ubbe does use that “older brother” excuse a lot.
Tune in next week to see if Harald wins Astrid and if Ubbe is welcomed back in Kattegat.
Photo Source: History Vikings