The Vikings – Episode 7: A King’s Ransom
Good afternoon my beautiful Vikings! I come to you today from a place of mystery called Long Island. I hope you guys are appreciating the level of dedication I have for you considering I am bringing this to you on my short vacation. But as we all know, Vikings do not take vacations…so I have woken myself up , and drank my hot cup of blood in order to bring you today’s edition of The Vikings!
At the culmination of last week’s amazing episode of the Vikings, we wound up seeing Ragnar and the Earl go toe to toe with Ragnar emerging victorious. Ragnar, now the new lord of our band of warriors, decides to take his men and women back to the west towards more riches and glory. Ragnar also found out in last week’s episode, that Lagertha was pregnant with his warrior offspring, and we have been waiting patiently to see if it cleaves its way out of her womb. Ragnar, taking his whole force and loyal band of brothers, heads west and lands on the shores of where he had already pillaged. Seems rather nonsensical to go to the same place, however, there is a blood debt that needs to be repaid, and they have more gold and riches for the taking. Setting up camp on the shores of where he landed, Ragnar is being spied upon by a group of the King’s men. They know that he is already there, but they do not know what he is going to do. Ragnar, being a patient man, something Rollo does not seem to be, decided to hold off until he knows what they will be doing and would prefer to attack when the odds are in his favor. On a tangent, I am really amused and elated that he brought the older Viking with him in an attempt to grant him what he has been yearning so long for: a death at the hands of a worthy opponent in battle. I am sure we all know what will be going to happen with him, but it is amazingly fun to watch it unfold nonetheless. Especially since that is not something he would be upset about, but ecstatic that finally, someone would be able to end his supposed “curse” of being too fuckawesome of a warrior. I was waiting with bated breath to see what his fate would be.
A party of the King’s men, who I refuse to name at this point, mainly because he is such a good actor, that I hate his guts so much that I do not want to even name him, decides to do a sort of scouting/engagement mission. We find out the king has a brother, and he sends him out with his men to check out the situation. Needless to say, this does not bode well for them as they just simply do not know who they are fucking with. Things turn out just the way we knew/hoped they would, with Ragnar and his men handing them all their collective asses on a platter, even capturing the King’s brother. Keeping the King’s brother as a bargaining tool, Ragnar heads towards the King’s home in an attempt to see what would happen when he shows him that he has his brother captive. We also found out earlier in the episode, that the King and his men had a sit down to see what they should do about these “Northmen” (I fucking love that), even going so far to agree that they would offer them almost whatever they wanted if they would just leave and never come back. How hardass do you have to be for someone with an entire Kingdom, able men and women, and an army of soldiers to defend them, just decides that it would be better to give these other barbarian non christians anything they wanted to leave them alone? Its mind blowing, and really gives strength to the mystique and absolute brutality of the Vikings. It fills my warrior’s heart to the very brim with blood lust. After bringing the King’s brother to the castle, they offer the Vikings a dinner and a sit down conversation with the King to see if we can settle these differences without anymore bloodshed and needless violence. Fat fucking chance, guy.
Ragnar agrees to have dinner and speak with them, in what could very well be a boner inducing moment. Not being one to take things lightly, Ragnar proceeds to pretty much rub his dick directly into the face of the King’s brother, in what could be the History Channel’s first ever dick joke. It made me laugh to tears, mainly because Ragnar does it with such class and panache that even the King’s brother couldn’t look away. Will it touch me? Is seems bigger than mine…..its getting super close to my face…..cannot break eye contact…it touched me…dammit! I am almost positive this is exactly what was going on through the King’s brother’s mind. Not to bash good old Arthur here, but I honestly do not think any moment of my life, besides slaughtering Galaga at a local arcade, could be considered as badass as this. It also adds a bit of comic relief to all the bloodshed and seriousness of the show.
Back at home, Lagertha is sitting atop the throne in Ragnar’s absence, and is applying herself as a capable leader. A woman is brought to her by her husband, amid cries from him stating how the baby she holds is not his, but another man who they welcomed into their home as a pleasantry, who wound up banging his wife. Most of the time, this would make for a big NO NO in Viking society, mainly because a women belongs to the man she belongs too, even if her husband invited in a stranger to bang everyone. Come to find out though, the stranger they brought in, was named Rig…who if anyone is up on their Norse pantheon, like myself, is another name for Heimdall, who is one of the Norse pantheon’s most important and famous gods. Seeing all and hearing all, Heimdall guards the Bifrost bridge to make sure no frost or fire giants, denizens of Jotunheim, Svartalheim, or Hel and Niffleheim can make their way into Asgard uninvited. Sooooo kind of a big deal. Lagertha, not being an idiot, knows this and shames the man for bringing his wife and child to the attention of the Thing in an attempt to criminalize her, when in reality she was one of the more fortunate ones, even bearing a son of Heimdall. She threatens that if any harm is brought to her or the baby, she will personally see to it that he is made a more “appropriate” example of. Siggy , the late Earl’s wife, returns and requests a favor of Lagertha. She wishes to be her servant as she has shown nothing but mercy towards her and her daughter, and would like to repay the favor. Lagertha, agrees, but only on the stipulation that she will not treat her like a slave, but more as a friend, much to the surprise and delight of Siggy. In all honesty, I am assuming this is smewhat of a ploy to get back into a seat of power by Siggy through Lagertha, but to be honest I just couldn’t see her doing that. Until something happens later on in the episode, which I will get to.
Ragnar and his men show up to the King’s house for the previously mentioned feast and speaking session. Walking through the streets and seeming like absolute monsters to the rest of the christians and peasants, they enter the King’s home with smiles on their faces and rumbles in their bellies. In a scene that had me dying, they do not even wait for the Christians to say grace and pray to god for the bounty presented in front of them. They dive into the food presented to them with beastlike efficiency, tearing and ripping meat, draining goblets of wine, and using their hands instead of utensils. The other diners around them are disgusted, but still cannot take their eyes off them. The King, attempting to make small talk, including Ragnar inquiring about the King’s priest, stating he has a priest of his own , referring to Athalstan, has his mouth shut with casual grace by Ragnar, who says its time to talk business. The King rather nervously, but stoically asks them what it will take to get them to leave them alone, to which Ragnar responds with an absurdly handsome ransom of 2000 lbs of silver and gold. Scoffed at by the supporters of the King, Ragnar simply smiles, as he knows he will get it, and the King acquiesces, much to the dismay and confusion of those around him….but only on a certain condition.
In order to make the payment, the King requests that one of Ragnar’s men become baptized as a Christian. What…the….balls? How serious of a stipulation is that? You are asking a man to completely change his way of life to a new concept almost immediately. That’s a rather tall order. Kudos to the King for having that sort of mind to do that, knowing pretty much full well none of them will accept. But to everyone’s surprise, Rollo stands up and says he’ll do it. GASP! Floki is pissed. Real pissed. Everyone is present to see Rollo baptized in the river, coming back up a newly born Christian, even smiling and joking about it, but the fact is, Rollo is now a Christian. Which brings me back to earlier, with Siggy getting in with Lagertha, makes me believe Rollo going Christian, and her getting in close with the new Lord’s wife, something may happen down the line in terms of some possible mutiny. I love where this is going, but could lead to one disastrous results for both sides. Floki, who feels Rollo forsook Odin and the rest of the gods, is upset with Rollo and makes it plainly known. Rollo, doesn’t back down at all and insists it was all a joke. Floki still feels he is fucking with the wrong shit. Back home, Lagertha, unfortunately has a miscarriage, and Ragnar is not a father once more. It was actually really sad, but Siggy was there to comfort Lagertha (dun dun dun!).
The bounty arrives, but to my dismay, contains nothing but an ambush by the King’s men, who clearly still do not know who they are fucking with. They are all slaughtered, but in the process, our loveable aging Vikings meets his end, but in a moment of glory. Having clearly done his duty, he dies with a smile on his face, and the light never leaves his eyes as he drifts off. This sight, renews Ragnar’s resolve, and he knows what his next move is.We see Rollo killing all of the stragglers in a moment of blood lust, demanding from Floki if he has killed enough Christians in the name of Odin, to which Floki makes no response. Killing the king’s brother and having him dragged into town behind a horse , Ragnar lets the King know he isn’t fucking around anymore. The King sends the appointed amount, and Ragnar and his men sail on home 2000 lbs worth of treasure richer, waving to the King who is standing along the river, swearing that he will have his revenge on Ragnar.
This episode was honestly one of the best pieces of television I have ever seen. I was literally hooting and hollering at the battle scenes, and loving the exchanges between Ragnar and the King. I really cannot wait to see next week’s episode, and relish the thought of possible mutiny and treason on the looming horizon. but for now….we must wait. For Odin! For Ragnar! And for ASGARD!!!
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