Britannia (S01E04)

The threads which show the parallelism between two sets of characters becomes more clear now as both Keera and Cait try to console their fathers, but in wildly different ways and in different situations.

Cait ultimately confesses to her father that she has been lying to him and that her sister is actually dead. He loses it at this and tells her to move away from him.

On the other side, the Canti royals meet the druids on the bridge to decide Keera’s fate. It’s a very aesthetically pleasing and well shot scene where the bridge acts a medium where the two parties come together. There is a sharp contrast with how the royals are dressed in tandem with the nature and water around them, but the druids are in stark contrast to it. It is more affecting since the druids are the ones who are supposed to be in communion with the gods themselves.  But the gods have some other plans and so instead of Keera, they choose King Pellenor as the sacrifice. This raises problems and the most important, is the issue of succession. Phelan is the rightful heir but his wife wants her other husband Lindon to take the throne and so she goes to sway the druids, but veran tells her that it’s beyond their control now and that the gods decide what they want.

For the sacrifice,  the king is washed clean in the river, then dressed in robes and taken to the main hall. Even in his last moments he refuses to meet Keera or even reconsider his decision to go to war with Rome, inspite of Phelan telling him that the war would be wasteful, instead he is sure that his decisions are true since he has always followed God.

Back to Cait, she is collecting bird nests, bird eggs and rabbit bones which her father claims will turn back time and being their sister back by praying to the Sun God. The ritual is conducted in a circular manner and mirrors the ritual which is being organized in the stongehenge for the king. The contrasts and similarities between the two rituals are absolutely delightful as in one it is being conducted to bring back a life whereas in the other one, it’s being done to take one; in one, the father is the subject of the performance whereas in the other one the father is the catalyst; one father is trying to bring back his daughter and in the other one, the father actively shuns his. The transition shots going back and forth between the two events using the ritual ring of fire has been done well.

For King Phelan, when the runes on his forehead are finally read, they spell out that he has been a foolish king and unkind to his children. Phelan protests that he was just following the gods but in his last moments be realizes the folly of putting all his trust in fate and gods. Nonetheless, he does reconcile with Keera before he is offered up as a sacrifice. So, one ritual is a success, but the other one which was happening in the secluded woods, without any audience or flamboyance has failed and has left only grief and fear for the family.

With King Pellenor dead, the issue of succession rises and the druids in a change of circumstances choose Keera instead of her brother Phelan. This will certainly be interesting to watch since it’s sure to sow animosity between the siblings and also among the sister-in-laws, since Amena wanted Lindon to be king. Additionally, there are the Romans watching and looking for an opening to attack- either by peace or by force.


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