Warning Major Spoilers if you haven’t seen this episode!
No really, this week is a really big spoiler. Make sure you’ve seen the episode before reading.
Gunnhild and Lagertha defend the village against the bandits again. They win, but only after Lagertha sustains a nasty blow. She heads back to Kattegat to see Bjorn. Gunnhild is injured too. She stays behind to watch Bjorn’s daughter and to rest, since she’s pregnant.
Bjorn loses the election for the “King of All Norway”. He seems most hurt that his charms didn’t sway the one female earl.
After losing, Bjorn is attacked and chased out of town by Harald’s supporters. I think Harald was just hurt that Bjorn didn’t come to congratulate him. They did have great respect for each other.
Flat Nose revealed his ultimate goal to Harald. He wants settlers, but he also wants to be named King of Iceland. It is unclear why Flat Nose sides with Bjorn in the end. Bjorn didn’t trust Flat Nose and called him a murderer. Did Flat Nose assume Harald would reject his request to be Iceland’s king? I’m disappointed that Hirst made Harald succumb to madness before his first full day as king. He has gone a long time with little food and water though, and was bent on revenge against Olaf for his actions. But he wouldn’t have assumed Bjorn, who came to his rescue, would attack him.
The princess Katya marries Prince Oleg. Oleg reveals he knows Ivar had a child with his wife, Freydis. How he learned this is unknown. Did Oleg get the information out of Ivar’s old assistant? Or is Katya really Freydis reincarnated? I suspect some of Ivar’s story with Katya is on the editing room floor.
Knowing Katya reminds Ivar of his dead wife, Oleg consummates his marriage in front of Ivar. It’s cheap writing from Hirst in Ivar’s story – an additional reason for Ivar to turn on Oleg when they return to Norway. He is Ivar the Boneless, scourge of the world. He needs no additional reason to betray Oleg.
I suspect Hirst’s love of Ivar is waning. Ivar’s had a decrease in screen time and storyline do far this season. And considering how much screen time Bjorn’s daughter has gotten, my guess is that Hirst is setting her up as the only remaining Lothbrok bloodline. I’m so confident of it, I learned her name. Asa – her name is Asa.
My Favorite Moments
This dude sacrifices himself, as a small obstacle on the bandits way to the village. He knew he wouldn’t live. His death reminded me of first season, with old men falling in battle, rather than die in their bed.
Hair & Makeup
Here is my snarky comment for the week. I shouldn’t speak ill of the dead, but I will speak ill of their director. How imminent was this threat from the bandits? Lagertha hears a sound and warns Asa that they have to go. Yet in the next scene it seems, Lagertha had time to get her war braids and makeup done? That is no short task. A girl’s gotta look her best, when she meets Odin.
This battle scene, with a horned helmet and maze, was clearly set up to represent the labyrinth and minotaur defeated by Theseus. Theseus was the enlightened founder of Athens. Lagertha must be Athena, with her pet owl from past seasons. Seven boys and seven girls, were sacrificed to the minotaur, every seven years, until its death. It’s the same as at Uppsala. Does this mean the end of sacrificing to the gods?
I love a solid martial arts move. Lagertha loses her sword and has only a small sliver of her shield remaining. She concedes the fight, opening herself up for the bull’s kill strike, like a matador. But as the bandit moves in, Lagertha is close enough for a blow to the neck with her broken shield and then uses this own sword for the final. It is the same death as the legendary minotaur. Lagertha however, sustained a massive wound to her side.
The King of All Norway?
Harald, not Bjorn, proves to be the better politician. He wins the election with his negotiating and promises behind the scene. Olaf is worried about what he has done, with a throne won by empty promises. Welcome to modern democracy!
I agree with Harald though. Bjorn and Ragnar’s other sons had no divine right to a throne. Even their father, King Ragnar, criticized the idea that might makes right, or an inherited throne. I don’t believe Bjorn wanted to be burdened by leadship. He can’t sit still long enough.
But I wonder if Harald will want it for long. He’s already going mad. And while celebrating Harald seems chained to the throne, just like when he was Olaf’s prisoner.
Hvitserk’s Repurposed Purpose Revealed
Hvitserk believed the gods meant for him to kill Ivar. And the Seer told Lagertha a son of Ragnar would kill her. It worked out for both. The Seer said “The purpose is beyond the end you figured. Altered in fulfillment.” So Hvitserk, not Ivar, is the Ragnarsson who, in an altered mental state, kills Lagertha. He thinks he’s killing Ivar. She forgives him for his role in her fate. Hirst must have had that plot point lined up for a long time. How will Torvi and Ubbe see this killing? And how big will the funeral be? Hirst probably devoted half the season’s budget for her burial.
Bjorn is saved from Harald’s thugs, and returned to Kattegat by Erik the Red. Erik is a banished outlaw who survives as a mercenary. He’s essentially a redeemed bandit, no different than the outlaws Bjorn banished – the ones who later attacked Lagertha’s village to survive. This is starting to sound like an after-school special, where everyone learns to be more tolerant, after living a day in someone else’s shoes.
Will Harald attack Kattegat to capture Bjorn? Will Gunnhild survive her injuries? Will Hvitserk be punished for killing, an already dying Lagertha? And will Ivar kill Hvitserk, when he learns Hvitserk got to Lagertha first? Tune in next week to find out!
Picture source: History, Vikings, Bernard Walsh & Johnathon Hession