Vikings (S04E17) “The Great Army”

To start off, the hole that Ragnar has left is gaping. This has never been more apparent than in this episode. Travis Fimmel was incomparable in his portrayal of Ragnar Lothbrok and it is impossible for especially his younger sons to take his place and fill this huge void that has been created. This all boils down to the fact that Ragnar was killed off too soon and we weren’t granted the opportunity to really get to know Ubbe, Hvitserk, Sigurd and Ivar. There’s no compelling features to the characters and quite frankly I feel nothing for them.

Back to the episode, Ivar is of course still whiny and brooding over the fact that he wishes to kill Lagertha to avenge his mother’s death and it is clear that especially Sigurd doesn’t care much for his plans. I don’t blame Sigurd because he is right, Aslaug only ever really loved Ivar and Harbard. Ubbe ever the voice of reason, much to Ivar’s dismay, says that they must not act in haste to kill Lagertha but rather plan it meticulously.

Lagertha on her end is working hard at fortifying Kattegat, ensuring that the very important trade post is secure. Lagertha is compelling in the way she leads, always by example, working alongside her people. Lagertha’s hardworking attitude reminds me so much of many moons ago when her and Ragnar were mere farmers and at their happiest because they had each other.  Lagertha is steadfast and earnest in her leadership. She is not led by personal ambition but rather by a will to always do right by her people and ensure that they prosper.

The first arrivals are welcomed to Kattegat. They will be travelling to England alongside Ragnar’s sons to avenge his death. During this welcome the moment arrives at which Ivar and Ubbe plan to kill Lagertha as they execute some sort of coup. I must admit that at this point I was not at all worried about Lagertha dying mainly because killing her off at this point in this story would be the dumbest thing ever but also because she is the greatest shieldmaiden and when she raised her newly gifted sword I was sure she stood a very good chance against Ragnar’s sons. But just as it seemed a bloody battle was about to ensue, the door is kicked open and in walks Bjorn just in the nick of time. He makes it very clear to his brothers that if they were kill his mother, they will have to kill him too. He reminds that they have more important things to focus on, mainly avenging their father’s death.

King Harald and his brother Halfdan still have their sights set on conquering Kattegat and in turn of course betraying Bjorn. These two never stop plotting against the Lothbroks.

Floki and Ivar have the most intriguing and compelling scenes in this episode and we see for the first time the relationship between the two. Floki was the one who essentially raised Ivar and taught him the ways of the Odin and the gods. Floki then unveils the greatest gift Ivar could have ever asked for: a chariot to use in battle. As Floki puts it, the chariot will be his legs. Ivar is thrilled at the prospect of finally being able to enter into battle and stand on equal footing, for a lack of better words.We see Bjorn spying on Floki and Ivar and the animosity he feels towards Ivar is clear.This also means there will be a struggle for power regarding who will lead the raid on England.

The episode ends on a very bad note. We see Bjorn and Astrid kissing. Just when I finally thought Lagertha has someone on her side this happens. The kiss does explain the looks Bjorn and Astrid exchanged previously but nonetheless it is still disappointing. The only way in which this can be rectified is if Lagertha is aware of it and has a greater plan at work. It must also be said that Bjorn should be smacked for the way he treats Torvi. Hopefully Lagertha will whip him into shape regarding both these issues.

PS. I am so sad we had to say goodbye to Rollo again.