Welcome back for episode six of Vikings season four! Once again please note this recap contains heavy spoilers! By the order of Earl Ingstad, you’ve been officially warned.
Last week’s episode was titled “Promised,” and I feel like it wasn’t until the start of this episode that we really got a sense of the meaning behind it. Lagertha (a.k.a. the eternal Earl Ingstad of Hedeby) gave a simple explanation for Kalf’s murder—she made a promise to kill him. And all great sheildmaidens keep their promises. It also became apparent that Lagertha has been blessed with a certain kind of intuition which many of the characters of Vikings either lack or ignore. She’s also certifiably pregnant with Kalf’s son, so raiding in France will be especially difficult for her this time around. She spoke of death and betrayal to Torvi’s son as the only true outcomes in life. And as we know beforehand, that’s what awaits everyone in Paris.
Speaking of wee ones, let’s welcome little Hvitserk and Ubbe to the raiding ranks! Ragnar made it clear that their loyalties should always remain with him, as their father and King, but there’s something rebellious about Ubbe that has yet to rise up. [Sidenote: if you know what was said in the song that was sung in Kattegat to bid farewell to the raiding party, let us know in the comments below!] Meanwhile, the younger pair of Ragnar and Aslaug’s sons, Sigurd and Ivar, got to keep their childhood innocence in Kattegat. Oh, wait—never mind! Ivar already killed someone last episode! A little trivial—the IRL saga of Ivar noted that he was often sighted on the battlefield strapped to the back of a giant shield. This was his first appearance prophetic appearance strapped on a shield. And how about that long-awaited return of Harbard! Be wary of his cryptic connection to Ivar.
Yidu is proving to be a cunning character, after she successfully blackmailed Ragnar with the promise of more “medicine” (and other things, like speaking French) if he let her join the Paris raid. And while Ragnar’s addiction to Yidu and her mysteries continued, so does his obsession with his own death. “When the blind man sees” was yet another vague answer to add to the pile of Seer prophecies, but as Ragnar said, “Don’t waste your time looking back. We’re not going that way.” Perhaps this blind man—metaphoric or physical—has yet to be challenged by Ragnar in Paris or Northumbria. His “medicine”-induced vision of Kattegat, as we knew him in season one, was deeply sentimental. He’s come so far in the world from losing his only daughter and best friend and older brother to becoming King of Vikings raids. And a white horse galloping along the coast of France might be super symbolic for Odin’s eight-legged grey horse Sleipnir.
We haven’t been covering much of the Mercia/Northumbria storyline in the last few recaps, but its time to shine is approaching. At the heart of Mercia and Northumbria are Judith and Kwenthrith with their sons and heirs at the mercy of King Ecbert’s overly religious decrees. Judith’s young son with the late Athelstan, Alfred, was pushed onward towards a holy pilgrimage to Rome with Aethelwulf, who’s in turn pushed away from his chance of glory in the upcoming war with Mercia. Things are moving quite fast for the generations to follow King Ecbert and King Ragnar.
At least the first return encounter in France went down smoothly. Halfdan and Finehair were right in their element in France, joyfully burning some Francs alive with Floki recruited to their side. Duke Rollo and Count Odo’s planned defense of Paris will be tested soon. And Odo’s true opinion of Rollo was revealed: he believes that Rollo will betray Paris and Princess Gisla. He’s not a very trusting kind of guy, and he really wants to become the Emperor. But could he be right in this matter?
Image Credit: The History Chanel
GIF Credit: VikingsHistory/Tumblr