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Sweatpants & TV | Vikings, Season 5, Episode 9: “A Simple Story”

By Lesley Gayle

This week on Vikings, Hvitserk has a great idea to shift the outcome of the war. England has a major shift in power. And both Torvi and Lagertha take new lovers.

Harald and Ivar’s troops go all the way back to the whaling town to regroup. Lagertha and the Sami stay on the battle ground, not returning to Kattegat. Why? Is Lagertha not worried Kattegat will be attacked? Or did we need to give Torvi and Ubbe alone time to start an affair. Speaking of the affair, Margrethe either assumes the worst, or she is our next Seer. She has a vision of Ubbe and Torvi together.

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Margrethe takes out her suspicions on the mistresses’ children, telling Torvi’s children that their mother is probably dead. I hope the camera cuts we see, mean the child actors didn’t hear her words, unlike when Bjorn yelled at Torvi in front of the kids last season, sending a baby on set into a screaming fit.

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Lagertha starts a relationship with Heahmund. He preaches to her about the love of God versus the love of eros. He’s not good at spiritual love. Lagertha has no problem loving the spirit and the flesh. He’s envious of her reconciliation of the two. He convinces her that, unlike all the other men in her life, he’ll devote his life to her. I have to hand it to Heahmund, he is good at figuring out what people want to hear. I think he’s only devoted to his magic sword.

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Harald still hasn’t figured out women. He doesn’t understand why his wife is unhappy. She wants to go into battle again, despite being pregnant. She’s upset they lost. Is she still worried about the baby daddy issue? Or is she upset that Harald didn’t die in battle. She would be queen if that happened.

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Favorite moments:

Hvitserk’s idea

All Hail Hvitserk! All Hail Hvitserk! He’s thinking what every Viking fan is thinking, “We need Rollo!”

While Ivar licks his wounds (metaphorically since he never sees battle), Harald tells him he won’t be so quick to trust his ideas again. But Harald has no ideas of his own. Hvitserk suggests they ask Uncle Rollo to fight with them. Rollo promised to help if Hvitserk ever needed him.

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And damn, for who knows what reason, Hvitserk’s idea works! Rollo sends men. He doesn’t show up himself because he has “too many responsibilities.” (Translation, Gisla won’t let him off his leash.) He wants the boys to come back and celebrate with him. Rollo only asks that they spare Bjorn’s life.

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Interestingly Rollo doesn’t ask them to spare Lagertha. (Maybe Gisla was in the room when he laid out terms.)

Bjorn visits Harald’s kingdom to speak to Rollo, who isn’t there. Bjorn huffs and puffs with Ivar to stop the war again. Ivar is onto Bjorn. He knows they haven’t the strength to defeat the Norman troops.

Bjorn had insisted Lagertha couldn’t visit Rollo, fearing Ivar would kill her. But Ivar isn’t discriminatory, he’s happy to kill anyone, and makes moves to take Bjorn out. Harald stops him. Bjorn was given safe passage in his kingdom. Despite kidnapping his wife, invading other countries and territories, Harald still holds true to Viking traditions and “higher morals”.

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Floki’s lost again

Eivind’s group doesn’t want to pay for the temple. No one is making him pay anything, but he picks fights anyway. Floki knows that Eivind wants a fight so he can easily take power. The cycle of revenge has started up again.

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Eivind’s son sets fire to the temple and kills someone. These guys are definitely NOT true believers. Or have the god abandoned Floki again, just like in Paris.

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Is Floki worried the end of their world in coming regardless of what he does?

The Old Guard

All Hail Aethelwulf! All Hail Aethel…oops. After an impassioned speech and promising, God willing, to entertain all ideas on the Viking incursions, Aethelwulf is stung by a bee. I guess God decided Aethelwulf wasn’t the one to handle the Vikings. He dies.

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I have to give Aethelwulf some love before he goes. He wasn’t the most forward thinking man, but he was a good father to Alfred considering the situation. He was a devoted husband too, who respected Judith, even if he didn’t listen to her. In the end, he made sure his sons took counsel from Judith.

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Bye, Wulfy! (Sniff)

The New King

Judith tells Aethelred to give the crown to his brother. He’s pissed, but in the end, he relents. He even convinces the crowd, all of whom probably know full well who Alfred’s real father was, to accept Alfred as King.

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Even though his isn’t outwardly ambitious, Alfred knew he’d be in this position eventually. He had faith and I’m sure Ecbert told him to get there by hook or by crook. Judith gives him an easy in. He doesn’t have to wait for his brother to die. Unlike his foster-grandfather, Alfred is more reverent and hesitant to take up the crown.

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Brothers

In the end, we have to wonder how Aethelred will truly handle all this. While everyone is hailing Alfred’s coronation, Aethelred is silent. He was the older brother and the rightful heir. We know how well that ends.

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There is only one episode left before a break. Will Ivar finally defeat Lagertha? And will we finally see Rollo? I hope the answer to both, is “yes.”

The only other question is “Why would Rollo do it?” Who knows with Rollo. Ivar thinks it’s because Rollo sees the justice in it, after Lagertha killed Aslaug. Maybe Rollo wants to completely crush Ragnar’s legacy, as Bjorn thinks this war will do. Rollo never got the chance to end Ragnar’s legacy in Paris. Or perhaps it is as simple as Rollo promising to help Hvitserk, like Hvitserk said. Rollo’s a pretty simple guy sometimes. Or maybe he wants to die like a Viking, and he knows pissing Lagertha off will be his death sentence.

Picture source: History & Vikings

Leslie Gayle

Leslie is a one time CPA, wife and mom of twins. She’s an over thinker who loves karate, thunder, and travel. Her sweatpants are yoga pants and she takes her coffee with milk.

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