Thursdays 10:00 PM on History
Vikings-season-2-premiere-pic

Vikings Review: All Hail King Ragnar

by at .  Updated at . Comments

Now that's how you do a season finale!

Unlike last year's ender, which left us hanging for 10 months, Vikings Season 2 Episode 10 gave us some actual closure.

Of course, we're well aware that Vikings has been renewed for Season 3, but this week brought an end to Ragnar's chapter as Earl. It's good to be the King.

"The Lord's Prayer" opened with Floki meeting his newborn daughter and behaving very strangely as usual. Though Floki's oddness led us to believe he had a few loose screws, we now know that was all part of the plan. Still, why did he want to name his daughter after Loki's first wife? Helga claimed she was evil, I'm going to have to look that one up.

King Horik's entire family arrives in Kattegat and I knew right away things were going to end badly for them. Though Horik's speech painted a very positive picture, we know he was lying through his teeth. Lagertha telling Horik's wife casually how she killed her husband and took his lands was hilarious and the two shared a laugh. Guess we know now who is more badass right?

Floki inquired about that proposition Horik mentioned last week.

Horik: Forgive me Floki. I know I should trust you but I need proof.
Floki: Proof?
Horik: Yes, prove to me I can trust you. Prove to me you are on my side.
Floki: How can I prove it?
Horik: Kill someone. Someone who matters.

He later taunts Athelstan telling him no one wants the "priest" there. Now that we know it was all an act, is there any truth to Floki's mistrust of Athelstan? He later visits Rollo and stuffs some magic mushrooms in his mouth. Floki is definitely an odd bird.

The cruelest thing he did (well aside from betraying old King Horik) was scare Ubbe with that creepy story when he asked the boy to take some more mushrooms to Torstein. Tell me you didn't hate Floki when it appeared Torstein died in the next scene? What about Rollo I thought? He took the same damn mushrooms.

Horik, now convinced he can trust Floki tells him the plan is to kill them all. Wipe Ragnar's family from the face of the Earth. He tasked Floki with killing Bjorn. Though it seemed Floki had joined the dark side, part of me couldn't believe he'd kill Bjorn. I was so disappointed in Floki at this point.

Next Horik attempts to get Siggy to do his dirty work for him as well. Kill Ragnar's young sons he tells her. Did anyone else wonder if she had not chosen a side until this conversation? Ragnar had spared her life, as well as her daughter's when he became Earl. Didn't she owe him some loyalty?

What was up with Porunn anyway? Was she just playing hard to get and did she really think Bjorn would fight her? Ok so she was demanding respect, but until his quick comment about having any woman he wanted, he hadn't disrespected her or did I miss something? The fighting leads to kissing and soon they're getting naked out in the fields, with a sneaky Floki watching.

Horik shows his son the sword of the King. He tells the boy they must overcome the magic of Ragnar Lothbrok and kill his entire family.

While Horik's attack begins, Ragnar and Athelstan share a peaceful moment. What a unique friendship these two characters share.

I've seen you pray to your God. Will you teach me one of your prayers so I can learn?

Ragnar

Ships loaded with warriors dock in Kattegut, Horik's wife puts on her armor and the sneaky King marches toward the great hall in search of Ragnar. Aslaug stares out thoughtfully as Siggy runs for cover with the Lothbrok boys. She didn't need a vision to know how all this would end.

Lagertha and Horik's wife battle it out and it didn't surprise me that Lagertha won. What did shock me a bit was Lagertha turning toward Horik's young children. Sure, as Horik explained earlier, if any family were left alive they would one day return to seek vengeance. I'm just glad Ragnar had made arrangements of his own and that blood was not on Lagertha's hands.

Floki comes to Bjorn's aid and when he tells him he's been looking after him as he promised his father, everything finally fell into place.

I admit, when Horik entered the great hall I expected Ragner not Torstein to greet him. However, it was so much better realizing that Torstein was alive. I was wondering how Floki would explain that death. It was now clear the mushrooms were harmless and Rollo was safe as well. Floki played Horik well.

Horik: Floki you have betrayed the Gods.
Floki: No King Horik, I only betrayed you. I was always true to the Gods and Ragnar.

When Horik realizes he's lost and begs for the life of his son, I thought there's no way Ragnar is going to let this kid live. He'll be fueled with rage and vengeance until he settles the score for the death of his entire family. I didn't see Horik's son die though, will we find out more next season?

Horik had to go, I've been saying this for a while now in my reviews but watching Lagertha, Bjorn and Torstein take a stab at him was brutal. Floki didn't take his turn, he had done his fair share either way. I've got to say I'm happy this was Ragnar and Floki's plan from the start. We can like the trickster again.

What really shocked me was Siggy walking up to Ragnar and handing him the blade Horik gave her to kill Ragnar's sons with. Apparently, she was grateful to Ragnar for sparing her life. Besides, she seems to have formed a strong bond not only with Lagertha but Aslaug as well.

When everyone slowly cleared the room, you knew something serious was coming. Ragnar doesn't just stab Horik, he goes full out berserker on him. That was something else wasn't it? Bjorn arrives to find all of Horik's family slaughtered. I'm assuming the girls he allowed to leave were their slaves right? It was a necessary but vicious sight to behold.

Thank the Gods Floki was on Ragnar's side from the start. This prepared them for Horik's betrayal and they one-upped him. I had a feeling King Horik would meet his end in the finale, especially since Donal Logue is starring in FOX's Gotham in the fall.

So Ragnar is now King and from what I've heard so far, Season 3 promises to be even bigger and better than this year. The Vikings invade France with hundreds of ships and warriors. Amazing that Floki originally built just two ships, then eight and soon hundreds. Now we're forced to wait patiently for the next nine months or so until Vikings returns to our living rooms. That said, I will be following the cast via Twitter and sharing their tweets from the set over the summer. If you're not following our twitter account yet, follow us: @VikingsTVF

I want to thank everyone that has taken the time to comment here at TV Fanatic and for all your kind words. This might be my last review of the season, but at least we've got next year to look forward to right? Hope to see you guys over at Twitter. Have a wonderful summer and remember you can watch Vikings online right here at TV Fanatic!

What did you think of Vikings Season 2?

 

Review

Editor Rating: 4.7 / 5.0
  • 4.7 / 5.0
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
User Rating:

Rating: 4.5 / 5.0 (50 Votes)

Henry A. Otero is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter and on Google+.

Tags: ,
Avatar

Floki! Yes!!! I loved the season and the finale. My favorite part of the finale was Floki's deception. It was a bitter pill watching Floki align with the king. When he was watching (over) Bjorn getting close to his lady I finally realized what was going on. FLOKI rules!

Nae-faust

Total fanatic for this show.
This is something very small but I really would like to know why during the battle against Jarl Borg did Ragnar and Lagertha have the slow mow hesitation during battle to look at their son bjorn fighting??

Avatar

If Floki & Siggy revealed Horik's plan to Ragnar, then why were several of Ragnar's men, at least 5 initially, surprised and killed as Horik's army stormed Kattegat? Was this Ragnar's plan (sarcasm)? Sacrifice a bunch of his own people, as a plot device for the TV viewer audience? What's up with that?

Avatar
@ Mike M.

Yes actually lol. A small sacrifice considering the payoff. Ragnar needed to make sure Horik made his way to the great hall. By placing men out around the village, Ragnar created the illusion everything was normal and that he was not suspecting an attack. Thus not tipping Horik off that he had been fooled

Avatar
@ kyle c

I don't buy it. Ragnar selected "friends" for death, without revealing his plan to them? Or, less likely, Ragnar asked for volunteers, that would pretend nothing was amiss, and then bite the arrow...? I think not. The writers aren't telling us something. Probably, something got filmed, and then cut.

Paulette-andria-hamilton

loved the season finale of vikings, and your review was good. I knew flocki was a trickster but siggy was the surprise one for me, she was feeding king Ho-rick false info all along.. We will have to see next season to see if king Horrick elder son is still alive and glad to see Ales than embracing his dual faith's.. Largetha needs a good and equal husband for season 3... Plus I want more for Rollo in season 3

Avatar

Great Review Henry. I think in the future you should point out after the introduction that the accounts Ragnar Lodbrok can historically be attributed to several Early Viking leaders at the dawn of the Viking Age. That said, it was kind of funny seeing Ragnar do away with one of those early Norse leaders that some historians have pegged with as being Ragnar

Avatar

Wow, so I must be the only one who hated (most of) this season and especially the final two episodes. We'll start with last week. How poor that the writers couldn't let us dangle until next season to see if Rollo even survived! Instead, we need to hurry up and appease the dullard westerners. Also, Aethelstan is an unbelievable flake, leaving his home, his people, his new king, and his life doing what he loved - illuminated manuscripts. He's not Norse. He's not a pagan. He's just going with the only human he's ever had a real relationship with, Ragnar. And don't even get me started with Þorunn. Last week she magically receives freedom after wielding weapons with some man. She was a slave - at best barely treated better than the livestock she cared for and lived with, at worst much worse than livestock because you can't eat people. She would never have been touching weapons as a slave and she wouldn't have told her mistress that she wants to be like Laegertha. This week we have her making Bjorn laguh at her feeble kick-boxing while he struggles determining how much he has to kick her ass in order to sleep with her. The best part of this season has definitely been King Ecbert. Excellent actor - great facial mannerisms. It's a shame that it has to be King Aelle who kills Ragnar, as he's nothing but a fat drunkard frat boy. Ecbert and Ragnar are truly men cut from the same cloth. This week we have an ahistorical scenario from the HISTORY channel in which King Horik is killed by Ragnar. In reality, King Horik attempted to stop Ragnar's raids, apologized to France/Jutland for them, and massacred Ragnar's followers after he died. But we can't have history on the history channel, can we? Nope, we need to dumb things down and compete with "Game of Thrones" for the dullard western audiences who want drama and romance when they could have edutainment with violence. Even the dates are wrong - Horik's wife the shield maiden Gunhild of Wenden who was married to King Sweyn I Forkbeard didn't live until just before the year 1000. This show is set in about 800. And Aslaug was supposed to be a warrior princess, not some pris. And where is Ragnar's (out of order) second wife Þóra Borgarhjǫrtr? What about his other sons? And why are his sons born out of order and to the wrong mothers? Would it be so hard for the HISTORY channel to make this as historical as possible? These details may seem like nothing, but they're teaching people the wrong things. Then we have the really excellent job done by the show staff to recreate Norse life, religion, society, values, etc. and a near complete failure of the western judeo-christian audience to grasp it, to attempt to live it while they're watching, or to make it their own. "Glad Laegertha didn't kill the children of her enemy" What the hell are you thinking? That's weak and pathetic. Laegertha should have rejoiced and blessed herself in their warm blood because she destroyed the seed of her enemy. That was the Norse way. Look at that scene a couple weeks back where there is a sacrifice and Floki hurriedly, almost frantically rushes in to wash his hands in the warm blood and smear it on his face. THAT is how Norse pagans behaved. The fact that fans don't appreciate things like that means they're not really attempting to enjoy "Vikings" in the fullest extent possible. They're being typical "ugly Americans" enjoying their 60 minutes on the boob tube before they go on to "Honey Boo Boo", "Jerry Springer", "Jersey Shore" or whatever other vapid entertainment exists to rot their minds. I will admit that I enjoyed the way Ragnar was actually the puppet master the entire time, and relieved that Floki was not a turncoat - though I could do without Siggy. I think she would have betrayed Ragnar in a heartbeat except for the fact that she still feels Ragnar is more valuable for her to be socially mobile. Hopefully she'll die, along with Aethelstan. I wish we had more battles and raiding in England. Historically, there was much more success there than what these past two seasons showed. Henry, to increase the entertainment value of your reviews and to foster deeper discussion, I suggest you attempt to get your readers to appreciate the fullness of Norse mythology and society by bringing forth such topics for intentional discourse and deep philosophical debate as to what the contrast between paganism and christianity means to the reader in their modern lives. Hell, how does the contrast of medievalism and modernity affect the reader? Something like smashing a man's face to a pulp as you rage at his corpse surely deserves more than a hastily multi-tasked "I liked it".

Avatar
@ Hrothgar Hausaklufr

Coming across as a bit of an arrogant brat there mate. Just because they use "our" mythology to make Vikings TV show, does not necessarily mean they are going to sacrifice a good narrative in favor of historical accuracy. This is not a documentary but a TV show, and they have a story to tell. In my opinion you glorify inhumanity of the Vikings too much, killing defenceless children and "bathing in their blood" was not acceptable at all in Norse societies and would have lead to dire consequences for the perpetrator. And what the hell is up with the insulting tone? Chill the hell out dude. You are not superior to anyone with that attitude. ~ Norwegian history graduate.

Avatar
@ Påsan

Excellent rebuttal. Thank you, some of us Norse are now, "ugly Americans." Translations of Elder Futhark demonstrate we've been here a while.
- Peterson/Gottland

Paulette-andria-hamilton
@ Hrothgar Hausaklufr

Wow yes you are the only one, this westner likes how history channel and Michael Hirst is writing this show because it's a loose based historical account of inspired by the tales of the raiding, trading, and exploring Norsemen of early medieval Scandinavia. It follows the exploits of the legendary Viking chieftain Ragnar Lothbrok and his crew and family, as notably laid down in the 13th century sagas Ragnars saga Loðbrókar and Ragnarssona þáttr, as well as in Saxo Grammaticus's 12th century work Gesta Danorum. I f you want real true form historical fact go and buy a Norse mythology book and allow us westerners to enjoy this show.. u do know that Game of thrones is a fantasy book and not based on historical facts what so ever Right.. that's why the show is so popular and if you remember the Tudors took some liberties with it's show but the core facts were still in place like king Henry and his eight wives.another great show with loosely based historical facts was the white Queen based on Philippa Gregory books. the Same can be said for vikings.. So sit back and enjoy the show or change the channel I almost forgot Empire boardwalk is loosely based on historical facts as well.. Finally history channel and history buffs have found a way to make history interesting beyond bloody facts figures and dates...

Avatar
@ Hrothgar Hausaklufr

You do realize that what Viking history we have is sketchy at best? We actually don't know exact dates and names, and some events didn't transpire as recorded by the scribes.....it was often greatly embellished by the victors, or written by the enemy, and scribes were often illiterate. Norman Duke, William the Conqueror likely did not employ feigned retreat to defeat Harold II at the Battle of Hasting...yet it was recorded by the scribes that he did, and the Bayeux Tapestry was from the Norman perspective.

Avatar
@ Hrothgar Hausaklufr

I'm sorry that you feel that way that dullard westerners just won't get this. This show is actually stepping across a couple of time periods they are just discovering lands across the ocean. So this actually took place in June of 793 that was when the Abbey was taken. As for hurrying to appease us westerners that is not the case this is a show with a very short season it could definitely be longer and still have the ratings hold it is also a very expensive show to.produce. As well Rollo's survival was a minor factor in the scheme of things. We know historically he survives, this was Aethelstan's chance to prove his loyalty to Ragnar. In that time many poor children were sent to the "church" which was long on endocrine and short on love. Yes he was a slave, but became an accepted member of a family and a community. Under his new king he was tucked away in a room to transcribe papers. He was conflicted in his beliefs and love family and a sense of belonging is a powerful draw. As to Porunn she did not magically get her freedom. She was favored by Bjorn and Aslaug saw this as an opportunity to make nice with Bjorn. I can appreciate your ire with the historical inaccuracies. With Aslaug's lack of fighting skills as I cannot see other than her ability to birth many sons what Ragnar sees in her. I must admit a bit of surprise at the killing of the children. I understand the reason but would they not have been more valuable as slaves? We do not live in a time nor have we really ever lived in a time where it has been acceptable for women to kill children. The Viking way of life with women having rights to inherit, the ability to leave their husbands ect. was not acceptable except to the Celtic peoples before Christian religion mostly a greedy bunch of small minded power hungry men. I had the Floki thing figured out because it made no sense for Floki to suddenly be disloyal to Ragnar. I knew Ragnar was planning something and that Floki was part of it. I also knew Siggy would not kill Ragnar's children just the look on her face when he said it. I am of Norse decent so this has awakened my interest in this part of my heritage and why you keep calling us Ugly Americans is beyond me. Is it our spirituality that you see as ugly? our lifestyles? what? I for one have never watched any of the shows you mentioned. Edutainment I like that word. If Aethelstan is killed off how is anyone going to see a compare/contrast Paganism and Christianity? As for Siggy she loves Rollo and he her she is not an intrinsic part of the show at this point she could be killed/married off/banished and a new love interest could be brought in. I think she could also be better developed and bring interesting twists to future shows. Michael Hirst is trying to be as accurate as possible while still keeping interest in the show as well as keeping in mind the censorship rules that apply. I too understand Aethelstan because I live between Christian and Pagan. Do not paint us all with the same brush and this show opens a door of interest and to those curious enough true knowledge will follow.

Avatar
@ Devon

His calling Americans ugly is just a display of his ignorance. I for one am of Germanic/Celtic decent and this show has inspired me to go out and pick up the Poetic Edda, and Icelandic Sagas to better acquaint myself with the amazing history of one of the World's most white washed civilizations.

Avatar
@ Hrothgar Hausaklufr

In fact - If you bother to read the beautiful Saga's that tell of the Viking Age, you'll realize that Hirst follows a very similar format. The scribes who wrote the deeds of the Vikings (Many years later) certainly embellished. It was that embellishment that some how suited their culture best. Also this is Historical FICTION loosely based off the early historical leaders of the Viking Era and not some play by play historical documentary. The latter of which would honestly do Viking history zero justice.

Avatar
@ Hrothgar Hausaklufr

You really don't understand HISTORY do you? If you knew anything about the Viking Age or Ragnar you would know that the historicity of Ragnar is very flimsy. In fact some Historians believe that King Horik is one of the historical figures who the semi legendary Ragnar is based on. Do your research before calling out the historical inaccuracies of a subject you're ignorant on.

Avatar
@ Hrothgar Hausaklufr

The deeper exploration of the actual history can be done in another venue on History. Building the mystique as this show does is similar to the Anglo myth building of the all too familiar Robin Hood, King Arthur, Wyatt Earp, Buffalo Bill, etc. The establishment of these archtypes as cultural heroes does much to garner the interest of the general public, the Madding Crowd, the Jerry Springer sods, and creates that interest in exploring the actual history you so crave to be front and centre. The masses need the Archtype before that level of interest surfaces. Nothing wrong with that. Hunter Thompson had it right: "some things are true even if they never happened."
As a fifth generation Montreal Irish -- all I can say on a personal note is this - we continually kick Norse ass in hockey arenas worldwide, so as intellectual and erudite as you wish to be - give it a rest. Enjoy the violence and the character development.
So no, we don't turn to Jersey Shore after a Vikings episode -- we watch Hockey, the last true warrior sport left in this world, where Swedes and Finns are universally know as wussies.
Erin gu Brath

Hanko9
@ Hrothgar Hausaklufr

It's quite clear this show is not for you. My question is... why torture yourself by watching it?

Avatar
@ Henry A. Otero

By what leap of Socratic logic do you arrive at "this show is not for you"? In two short sentences you reveal your pseudo-intellectualism and anti-working class bias. Because someone dares challenge your take on the accuracies of the STORY TELLING component of the show you merely shrug it off as it being a dullard who would be better off watching the American drivel that fills the airwaves. I would easily compare Vikings to the best of what AMC, BBC and CBC have produced, and greatly anticipate the arrival of season three. If you were to stick to critiquing the dynamics of the show, the character development and the marvelous costume and setting design instead of insulting vast amounts of viewers by spouting your petty vagaries to couch your insinuated cultural racism, I would have not replied in kind. Do dish what you can't eat, as Momma always said.
He who lives by the sword ......

Hanko9
@ Rick+O'Shea

If you had checked my comment properly before rattling off your nasty remarks... My reply was directed at Hrothgar Hausaklufr's original post. I am not sure why people have this need to insult one another online. Enjoy your weekend Rick+O'Shea!

Avatar
@ Hrothgar Hausaklufr

stfu!

Avatar

What was the writing on the sword at the end? I thought it was an Ulfberht viking sword at first but the writing looks different.

Avatar
@ David

correction: it just says "sword of kings"

Avatar
@ Dave

Is that the sword that was once called the sword of Caesar, later to become Excalibur?

Avatar
@ Dave

Ah ok thanks.

Avatar

A little bit of trivia: That mountain scene at the very end is an actual location in Norway called Preikestolen (Preacher's Pulpit). http://www.huffingtonpost.com/...

Avatar

Loved the finale. My only complaint is how dearly this show needs a longer season! You can tell from watching the story unfold, how they cut rather sharply from plot development to plot development. All dramatically told, and compelling, but it feels a bit too truncated to me. The only thing better than Vikings is more Vikings I say! To your speculation on Siggy, Henry, I think she actually picked sides long ago. I felt toward the end of the finale several scenes from the season flashing before my eyes and rereading them in the context of everyone in Ragnar's inner circle playing the deceiver at Ragnar's bequest. Think specifically about a few episodes back where Ragnar watched Siggy (and all others) through the screen at the banquet. We all watched as if Ragnar was observing how others were plotting to betray him, while in reality we were witnessing Ragnar overseeing his sly agents at work, playing Horik like the 3 string banjo he proved to be. Brilliant storytelling! I liked the contrast between the Blood Eagle ritual with Borg and how Horik was dispensed with. It revealed how, although personally motivated Borg's execution was, it was done for public consumption. Horik's end was a personal, private affair, and done with enormous passion, fury even. Clearly Ragnar's feeling were finally being unleashed when he mutilated Horik beyond recognition. I think this showed how sincere Ragnar's offer of loyalty to the king was and how deep his feelings of betrayal by Horik really were. Will miss reading your reviews Henry but will be following Twitter - you're the man to go to for Vikings news for sure.

Hanko9

Just read an interesting interview with showrunner/writer Michael Hirst. Ragnar does indeed save Horik's son. His warriors killed off ALL of Horik's family except his son. The women who survived were the slaves. Check the Huffington Post for that interview.

Avatar
@ Henry A. Otero

I saw an interview with Michael Hirst that explains why the eldest son, Erlundor, wasn't killed. The scene got cut from the American version but was aired in the European version which is usually a few minutes longer. The cut scene showed Erlundor having some dirt from England in his pocket. Ragnar thinks Erlundor is more like himself, a farmer, rather then like his Dad, Horik. SPOILER ALERT for Season 3. Apparently, according to Hirst, this was a huge mistake in not killing Horik's son.

Avatar
@ Henry A. Otero

It makes no sense that he would kill all of Horik's daughters and his younger son but not kill his eldest son who can already wield an ax.

Vikings Season 2 Episode 10 Quotes

Horik: Forgive me Floki. I know I should trust you but I need proof.
Floki: Proof?
Horik: Yes, prove to me I can trust you. Prove to me you are on my side.
Floki: How can I prove it?
Horik: Kill someone. Someone who matters.

I've seen you pray to your God. Will you teach me one of your prayers so I can learn?

Ragnar
x Close Ad