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VIKINGS Recap: All His Angels

VIKINGS Recap: All His Angels

Hug your bromance tight tonight–this episode was a tough one for us all. Beware of all the ruthless Vikings spoilers below.

What is done is done: Ragnar Lothbrok has met his fate and died. Hundreds of poisonous snakes brought the legendary warrior down physically, but mentally he died a man standing tall.

As a refresher, here’s Aelle’s original motivation from season one, episode seven: “I swear before God almighty, I declare war eternal on the Northman Ragnar Lothbrok. I swear to our lord Jesus Christ and to the blessed virgin one day I will avenge myself on him, and bring him to justice and to death, so help me God.” It’s safe to say, Aelle has been hung-up on Ragnar for a really long time, while Ragnar continued along his life’s journey without a mere thought of the English King.

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King Aelle is the kind of guy who’s just looking for a reason to “legally” cause trouble and claim vengeance. At least Ecbert is somewhat upfront about his morals. Behind all Aelle’s nobility and religious rules, he’s just as ruthless as any Viking or Franc, having gladly flung Ragnar into the trails of torture upon arrival. Well, he finally gets his war, but it’s not going to be the holy war he believes it to be. (Release the Floki!)

The IRL legend of Ragnar tells of his demise by Aelle’s hand inside of a snake pit–so let’s be honest, the truth was there all along. We also had that previous Seer prophecy, and the Seer himself, come back to bite Ragnar in the butt: “You will die on the day the blind man sees you.” (Why hello, said blind man seeing Ragnar in a cage!)

Ragnar was never meant to make it past a certain point in his sons’ lives, but we’ve all been hoping Vikings would perhaps take some creative liberties to extend our time with him. At least he went down as cunning as ever delivering great comebacks, bold monologues, and toying with the lame guards.

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Let’s take a moment to hail Travis Fimmel’s grand performance as the battle-born Norse leader. Ragnar went from farmer to legendary explorer in just one season. He had many flaws as a father, husband, leader, etc. throughout his years, which Fimmel magnificently helped bring out during key moments in each season. From dealing with civil war to morality, Ragnar battled all the demons with everything he had and more.

Here are the final words from the great and ruthless Ragnar: “It gladdens me to know that Odin prepares a feast. Soon I shall be drinking ale from curved horns…There I shall wait for my sons to join me…there I shall bask in their triumph…My death comes without apology. And I welcome the Valkyries to summon me home!” Hail our one true Ragnar! Now he can continue his bromance with Athelstan in whatever afterlife they ended up in–Valkyries and angels alike.

Epic symbolic vibes between Ivar and Prince Alfred playing chess. Because, you know, it’s chess and chess is always symbolic. Athelstan’s legacy certainly lives on in Alfred, and with Ragnar’s blessing and Athelstan’s trusty cross. Hopefully it’ll be a benevolent era ahead. Some more Ivar and Alfred budding bromance wouldn’t hurt either, ’cause if anyone needs a friend to show him the ways of peace, it’s jerky Ivar.

It was also bittersweet to have a final moment of closure between Papa Ragnar and Ivar the Boneless. Dead Ragnar and Aslaug–queue Ivar’s ruthless and bloody reign of terror. (Also, who’s that one-eyed fellow on the boat? All-father to the rescue?) But I can’t help but feel gipped on extra moments between Ragnar and his firstborn, Björn. Never forget, this journey began with the pair of them really. Also, I’m interested to see Rollo’s reaction. Everything in Kattegat is already tied-up in a neat little bow for now too, with Lagertha in charge for a while as the three remaining sons seek some sweet, sweet revenge in their father’s name. (Great Heathen Army hype train, full steam ahead!)

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Everything was mirrored nicely with Ecbert’s incognito pilgrimage to Ragnar’s death. The two leaders were certainly like fire and water, mentally challenging one another in the best ways possible. I think they achieved that “you complete me” level a few seasons ago, but only just now came to the full realization here. He was the last person Ragnar saw, staying to watch the very ugly end like a good Viking sending his foe and kin to Valhalla. Ecbert seemed genuinely displeased with the outcome of Ragnar’s death, full of guilt and regret yet hopeful for the fated battle ahead.

And that is the end of one legend and start of another. Next time we catch up with the other Vikings and their quest in our episode 16 recap, “Crossings.” Share all those burning Vikings comments below.

xImages: The History Channel
GIF: VikingsHistory/Tumblr

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