Warning Major Spoilers if you haven’t seen this episode!
This week is about Lagertha’s funeral. I waited for Hvitserk to be pegged for her murder, but that didn’t happen. Let’s be honest, Hvitserk prevented a long and painful death for Lagertha, from that side wound.
Ubbe is now seeing the Seer, along with Bjorn and Hvitserk. He is given a clue to Ivar’s role in Lagertha’s death. Finally, one we call understand!
Hvitserk is found in the woods, freezing to death. Ubbe questions Hvitserk about the death.
After seeing Lagertha dead, Torvi finally looks for her children. She learns of her son’s death and brings an ailing Gunnhild back to Kattegat. They plan Lagertha’s funeral.
Ivar is celebrating Christmas in Russia. Princess Katya wishes for a hot spring. Ivar wants a new pair of legs. And Prince Oleg wants to float in his mother’s womb and be reborn, or some crazy thing. Ivar gets word that Prince Dir is on the mend and is willing to assist Ivar in any way he can.
Ubbe questions Ingrid about her feelings for Bjorn. He’s suspicious of her intentions.
After Gunnhild and Torvi arrive in Kattegat, grand funeral preparations begin.
Ubbe, Gunnhild and Torvi say their goodbyes before horses (more than I’ve ever seen in Kattegat) drag her funeral ship out to the deep waters over ice. Four horses are sacrificed. Archers break the ice (that was thick enough to support all those horses and a ship) with flaming arrows. Instead of sacrificing those four horses for the Valkyries, all the live horses should have fallen through the ice with the ship.
Bjorn arrives in Kattegat to find the entire town at his mother’s funeral, confirming what he already felt. His grief is juxtaposed with Hvitserk’s torment of the gods fate for him.
My Favorite Moments
Bjorn felt his mother’s passing. He never had a feeling when losing any of his children, mostly recently Hali, or any of his wives. The only connection he has ever had, since he walked away in his parents’ divorce, was with Lagertha. Maybe now he can be his own man.
Ubbe is the first to say his peace to Lagertha. He clearly still had some resentment for her. Since the Viking way is to avenge a loved one’s death, can Ubbe be too upset with Hvitserk.
Not the Fate I Wanted
King Harald demands Olaf’s fidelity. Olaf had promised to abide by the election results. At the very least, Olaf suffers from hubris, assuming the King of All Norway was his choice to make. He no longer believes in the god’s fated decision. At worst, he is a dishonest Viking, who goes against his word. A Vikings word is everything Harald throws him in jail. I think Harald is showing remarkable restraint, considering.
Everyone makes wishes for Christmas in Russia. Queen Katya wishes to bathe in a hot spring. Ivar’s wish is more of a challenge to the Christian god for working legs. Oleg seems determined to fulfill everyone’s wish. Oleg fulfills Katya’s wish. Does he have plans to help Ivar?
I Volunteer as Tribute!
When Gunnhild asks for a volunteer, every woman in the room volunteers to be Lagertha’s handmaid in the afterlife, even Torvi. Gunnhild denies her request, since she is pregnant. I hope the child she’s carrying never hears about how mom wanted to kill herself before it came into the world.
The maiden Gyda goes through the same ceremony we saw in Season One with Earl Haraldson’s death. The Angel of Death has a new look, and the victim seems to be less inebriated than all those years long ago.
The Ice Maiden(s)
Hirst likes his parallels a little too much is this episode.
Lagertha’s funeral is one for the sagas. She is the Ice Maiden. She was found frozen and she was sent to a frozen grave. In a way, she was always an Ice Maiden, with Hirst freezing her beauty in time until the year before her death.
Queen Katya, a.k.a. Freydis, is also the Ice Maiden. She wishes to bath in the springs, surrounded by ice. She is also immeasurably cruel and cold to Ivar.
And there is finally Asa. I’m more convinced that Hirst has marked Asa as the only survivor to the Lothbrok bloodline. She has taken up the tradition of spying, like all of Ragnar’s sons. She looks on, absorbing Viking ways. She is the only one who sees Lagertha descend to the Valkyries and Ragnar, beneath the ice and waves.
Lagertha is carted off by the Valkyrie. She can now feast with Ragnar and smack him around daily in Valhalla. Will Aslaug be there too?
I have all the same questions from last week. Will Harald attack Kattegat for Bjorn? Will Gunnhild survive her injuries? Will Hvitserk be punished for killing an already dying Lagertha? And will Hvitserk survive after Ivar learns he got to Lagertha first?
Picture source: History, Vikings, Bernard Walsh & Johnathon Hession