The Vikings – Episode 2: Wrath of the Northmen
Ooooh doesn’t that title just get you all hot and bothered? Yeah I bet it does. Good Day to you all in Geek Land and the realms beyond! Today I bring to you part 2 in the brand new saga that is History Channel’s “ The Vikings”. Coming off of a solid premier episode which saw the start of an adventure for our protagonist (I use that term somewhat loosely) Ragnar, episode two continues his quest in finding some new lands to rape and some new women to pillage. Yes , the order may be off, but they’ve got priorities. Let’s take a look shall we?
Now most of you I feel are expecting just a sword and shield heavy television romp when you think of “ The Vikings”, but that it is not. There is definitely battle, but at the heart of the story it is a man who is tired of being told what to do, and thinks he can lead his people into shores where the bounties are more plentiful and can provide better for his family. That is the core of the dilemma. A man who is willing to face death and the unknown to make sure his family is able to survive. Not that he does it in the most heroic of fashions, but he does it nonetheless. It’s a tried and true sort of story arc, but it actually makes a lot of sense here mainly because these things actually happened. It isn’t like most works of fiction where a hero has to face so many different things in order to do what is right. This is something that is sealed in history and a man with no super powers or magic is able to just leave one day in search of something that may not even be there. It gives gravity to the decision and also the betrayal the Earl (Gabriel Byrne) feels. He definitely acts the dick, but you can see in his eyes that he does it because he is afraid of what may be out there. No one has traveled to those lands and you never know what may be waiting. He would prefer his people stay where they are and try to make things work there rather than go somewhere where they could essentially be wiped out. But to my delight, and the world’s, Ragnar secretly tells him to go fuck himself, and a legend is bjorn (see what I did there?)
Ragnar decides that he is definitely going to tell the world that his dick is bigger than everyone else’s by casting off with his group in an attempt to locate new raiding grounds. Already owning a boat built by his fellow Norseman Flokki, he commissions an anchor to be made, which Flokki gets the village blacksmith to make under threats of violence towards his daughter. Very heartwarming. The crew sets sail after much pondering, and begins their journey to victory and riches. Along the way, one of the chosen men who came along with Ragnar, suffers a case of the “Smart Mouths” and decides to decree that they are lost. Ragnar, being the just and great man he is, gives him a few chances to kindly shut the fuck up, which apparently he did not understand. A swift dagger to the neck area ends that issue in fine form. But not at all is well on the good ship. Now everyone is starting to feel lost, and so they release the ravens, which if you are not aware, will not return if there is land. The birds stay out, but they are still troubled….until they hear seagulls. Seagulls stay near shores as that is the best place for food, so my boys in fur jump for joy and begin rowing like men possessed hoping to find land…and find land they did.
Now before I go into this part, please excuse any and all religious offenses if there are any. It is part of the show, and mean no ill will because of it. once again, it is a work of television, and I wholly do not encourage getting angry. It is rather pointless. Moving on…The Vikings, led by Ragnar, find land, and it is literally the one place my fellow Viking enthusiasts wished it would be. A fucking church. How glorious a site it is for anyone who knows what the Vikings of history did and appreciate this history, regardless of what the outcome was. The Vikings begin the task of murdering and breaking everything in sight, each of their eyes burning with the knowledge that they told the Earl to go fuck himself, and were right in doing so. This scene is also brilliant mainly for one line of dialogue uttered by one of Ragnar’s men. “Where are the Women?” Yes indeed Mr. Viking….Where are the women? Nowhere apparently as the island is home(formerly, now) to a group of friars, who all get a cold steel injection. However, one of the friars shocks us all by speaking in Norse to the Vikings. Much to the amusement of Ragnar, he is kept alive only because he knows their language, and Ragnar sees some use in home, to the chagrin of Rollo, Ragnar’s brother, who was one second away from cleaving the man in twade. Hell bent on unleashing his fury, Rollo proceeds to do what I consider to be one of the most metal things I have seen in a while and completely demolish a Crucifix with Jesus on it. Like I said, no offense to anyone, it is a show. He splits it into three pieces while the rest of the Vikings continue to taunt the still living friars about how their God is dead on a plank, and the Norse pantheon is alive and well. Be Still my beating heart, for I have a boner and not enough blood. Rounding up all of the non death embraced friars and the Norse speaking one, they decide to set sail back to their Home, riches and booty in tow…..to where a pissed off Earl awaits. Having just put the face of the blacksmith who made the anchor out of fear, directly into a fire, the Earl is eagerly waiting their return, or for them to just sail off to Valhalla. Worried that Ragnar may have been right in going west, the Earl is shown with a troubled face.
The episode ends in a way that I was really hoping it would, with the destruction of the churches and the setting of a fire by Flokki, who by all intents and purposes just discovered what paper was, and how flammable it can be. Now kids, I know you all take me very seriously, and cling to my every word, however, I must strictly implore you to not burn down any churches or anything for that matter. It is simply not a good idea. Next week’s episode is looking to be amazing with a confrontation between the Earl and Ragnar on the horizon. Is the Earl going to take everything that Ragnar brought back for himself? Or will he bite the bullet and just say good job? My guess is not the second choice. Tune in next week for the Episode 3 portrait, and make sure to keep your blades sharp, and your wits sharper. Onward! For Odin! And for Asgard!
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