Things are coming to a head, now–this is the last episode where all of our characters are in their separate corners, preparing for the fight. The full moon is nearly upon them, and save for the relatively separate storylines of Iceland and York, things are fixed on Vestfold and Kattegat, as we prepare for what Bjorn calls, “our personal Ragnarok.” This episode was well executed, bringing a great deal of emotion to the table, and brought back the ghosts of characters long since past…like my darling Aethelstan, who, as readers know, I’ve never forgotten.
We see little of the preparations here, but we do learn that Astrid is pregnant (from who, it’s unclear), and Harald is happy of course. Astrid is less so, but there is little she can do about the situation.
Ivar and Heahmund continue to have philosophical discussions regarding their respective religions and about why they are fighting. It is clear that Ivar both respects and mistrusts Heahmund, and I am starting to get the distinct feeling that the Bishop has Ivar’s number. I fully believe that he is manipulating the situation to his advantage–even though I do also believe he thinks God wants him to be here.
Most of the drama within Kattegat is born from relationships breaking and reforming. Bjorn, while back, isn’t coming home to everyone–he admits that he doesn’t love Torvi anymore, and that she doesn’t deserve that. Halfdan (who has grown on me this season) says, “what you deserve and what you receive are never in balance. The Gods aren’t interested in fairness.” I genuinely appreciate how honest and stoic he is about the world: it simply is how it is.
Lagertha has invited the Sami to assist her in the fight, and the King has a beautiful daughter–one that Bjorn is very interested in. Torvi, to her credit, lets him go. I genuinely love her character–this is a woman who has been wronged/abused by three husbands. She deserves so much better, Bjorn is right–but what she will receive…Ubbe? That’s right–Ubbe attempts to comfort her, and in the process, kisses her. It’s…interesting, and I honestly could get behind it, but Ubbe needs to get rid of his crazy wife, first–especially since she thinks she will be made Queen of Kattegat if Lagertha is gone.
Bjorn, thinking with his dick again, decides to marry the Sami princess. They have some strange, kinky sex, and honestly, I don’t understand the point of it. But hey, I guess Bjorn is now ‘married’ again.
In more positive developments, Halfdan states that he will stay with Bjorn in the fight, as he owes him a life debt–even if it means killing his brother. Again, he is one of the few men on the show I can genuinely say has some honor left.
My favorite moment of the episode, though, is a quiet one between Bjorn and Lagertha. It’s clear that she is exhausted by everything. She simply wants everything to be over, and like Ragnar had wished before her, she laments that they ever left the farm. Bjorn attempts to rally her, and tells her that she can best Ivar–that he may try to bring Ragnarok down on her–but she is stronger, better than this–and he will be by her side.
She isn’t so sure.
Nothing overly eventful happens in Iceland; there are clearly two factions of people now–those that believe in what Floki is doing, and those that don’t. What I find interesting is that while Floki truly does believe that this is a place of the Gods, he also is seeking to set up a democratic sort of government. The split between groups happens when one set thinks that Floki is lying, and will want to rule, regardless of what he says. Given how Floki has been acting recently, I genuinely believe he has no sights on a throne of any sort, but it will be interesting to see how this plot plays out.
Back in England, Alfred reaches the monastery where his father had studied before being captured by the vikings. It’s amazing to see the young man so willing to be open and accepting of other ideas–that all people have good and evil within them, and their religion doesn’t matter. We already start to see echos of the man he is to become (the man of history) as he tells the Priest to start doing sermons in English, since most common folk no longer understand Latin–and people should be allowed to understand.
We are also graced with the voice of Athelstan visiting Alfred in the night, saying the Lord’s Prayer with his son–as the voice over continues, the camera pans over people who once knew our now dead priest, including Bjorn and the forlorn Lagertha. Like most of the moments the show has done post Athelstan’s death, it’s poignant and well done. People may be gone, but they are never forgotten, here.