We’ve finally made it to episode 10, the mid-season finale of Vikings season four! Once again, please note this recap contains heavy spoilers! Let this mid-season downpour of defeat wash over you until the conclusion later this year while the Gods laugh in your face… ONWARD!
What started as a quest for glory and exploration has become a timeless tale of revenge. The Brothers’ War opened season two many moons ago, as Rollo joined Jarl Borg to fight against Ragnar and then King Horik—Ragnar was victorious and forgave Rollo. In season four, after many episodes of strategic build-up, the Brothers’ War erupted once more. But let’s take a moment to celebrate the death of two useless characters; Therese and Roland bid this season a long-overdue adieu, leaving Princess Gisla and her father alone with Rollo and his unborn child.
With plenty of big boats, King Ragnar and Rollo finally made contact. (Props to History Channel and this episode’s writer and series creator Michael Hirst for making this boat battle so tense and truly exciting!) Without any barriers or towers to hide behind, the French troops were overwhelmed at the start of this clash by a reinvigorated ferocity of Viking rage and power. Floki in particular was in top form, yelling and slashing at all the Frenchmen he could find. Remember, through some epic form of heroism, he needs to either win back Ragnar or find his own band of dedicated Norsemen in order to destroy the Christians in his way. After defeating a HUGE BEAR earlier this season, Bjorn was also in top battle form, as well as Lagertha.
But halfway through, the French mustered their strength and started landing blows and slices upon our Viking clan. Floki, though he may be a god in human-form, doesn’t tap into any mystical powers to fight, which is a very bold move for the show. This isn’t a superhero movie, after all, and despite mystical implications here and there, these characters are inspired by real-life legends.
Duke Rollo, “betrayer of the gods and the sacred things,” walked back to court with a broken body but a 100% point French advantage. The realization that Ragnar had no further ambitions for concurring Paris didn’t come as a surprise last episode. Bent on revenge, his sole purpose in life slowly became his demise. In the end, it came down to a dozen hard-handed punches between the brothers on a ship. Rollo won this time while Ragnar was forced to retreat. A short time-hop later and Ragnar is missing from Kattegat. For a while, Bjorn (with a super long braid) and Queen Aslaug are the ruling members.
All of Ragnar’s sons are finally together… minus Magnus, whom they just found out about. Hvitserk, Ubbe, Sigurd, and Ivar are all huge grown Norsemen men. After years of training under Floki, Ivar is the most traditionally Norse son of Ragnar, set on protecting the old ways which Ragnar failed to do years ago when Athelstan showed up. Yet, he admitted that he admired his father as well–so, he’s not entirely driven by hate like his mother.
But it’s up to the eldest brother, Bjorn, to take up the task of Viking exploration towards the Mediterranean Sea using improved ships crafted by a skeptical Floki. (Aw! Viking group hug with Floki, Bjorn, and Helga!) Alas, Ragnar did reappear towards the last moments of the episode, asking for a fight to his death. His younger sons seemingly refused to kill him, though I got wannabe-King vibes coming off of Ivar.
So who wants to be King? We’ll have to wait for a while to find out. Release dates for the remaining 10 episodes have yet to be revealed, but I’m figuring we’ll hear some official dates and further info around Comic-Con time in July. Don’t forget we also have Travis Fimmel’s appearance in the upcoming film adaptation of Warcraft. Until then, it’s been a pleasure! May the gods grant you a prosperous mid-season break full of rewatching and prophesying! Leave us all your emotional comments below.
Images: The History Channel