The first words spoken on Vikings Season 4 Episode 4 were chilling:
I can not stop thinking about death.Ragnar
Yeah, that is some serious foreshadowing. I have touched several times on Ragnar's fate in my reviews, but the way Travis Fimmel delivered his opening monologue is a testament to his talent and one of the reasons we fell in love with his character.
That said, Bjorn kicked all kinds of ass in this installment. He is a changed man.
Quiet moments like the one between Ragnar and Yidu are some of my favorites. Sure, the big battle sequences are thrilling and historically key. However, it's those intimate moments that give us a real glimpse into the character's soul and how they view the world.
Though I'm not sure where Yidu's arc is going yet, I find the storyline compelling. One last love for King Ragnar? Was she royalty? Aslaug brought the two together, will she use the slave to weaken the king? The sly queen is obviously up to something.
Weren't the little glances between Queen Kwenthrith and Aethelwulf priceless? I'm not as invested in the goings–on in Mercia, but King Aelle reminding us of his oath to kill Ragnar was important. Naturally, he hates the thought that Magnus might one day rule Mercia. Is the boy truly Ragnar's son though? I'm just not sure he is, how about you?
Doesn't the thought of King Aelle standing over Ragnar's corpse make you ill?
I once swore an oath before God and all his angels, that one day I would kill Ragnar Lothbrok.King Aelle
Floki lurking in the shadows away from the celebration was appropriate. I never imagined I'd be pleased the guy is still around. Ragnar spared his life, but they are not about to be best pals again any time soon. Will Floki share Aslaug's request of him with the king?
What did you make of the quirky shipbuilder's meeting with the Seer? Is Floki a God? Could he be Loki? "You finally came" the Seer told him and later licked his hand. What was going through your mind during that scene? Please share your thoughts in the comments below.
Rollo and Princess Gisla's rocky courtship was fun while it lasted. I'm glad it did not take the first half of the season for the two to consummate their marriage. Their love scene was beautifully filmed. Rollo putting that pompous ass of a Cardinal in his place by speaking French was terrific. Isn't it crazy how we can despise Rollo one minute and sympathize with him the next? Clive Standen is doing some of his best work this season.
How about that epiphany rendezvous later in the episode? What a great scene. Ha!
Bjorn's battle with the berserker assassin didn't last long, but it was brutal. Those hooks to the face... Ouch!
Kalf: We heard you took yourself away into the wilderness. Why?
Bjorn: I went to find someone.
That's right, Bjorn proved himself cunning and capable. I, for one, forgot all about that young man we met way back in Vikings Season 2. Alexander Ludwig has come a long way, hasn't he? This is a guy we should fear now, he's much more savage and unpredictable. Ripping out those entrails was a nice touch too.
It's always fascinating to me that History is allowed to show that, yet a bare bum is some big deal. Anyway, I think Bjorn will carry the series into the future with no problem.
His arrival in Hedeby was impressive. There was such confidence in his step, as well as that little craziness in his eyes like his father. Erlendur's vengeance is understandable, but Bjorn is going to rip him to shreds. Will Lagertha take Kalf out? What will her relationship with her son be like from this point forward? Alexander Ludwig discussed this and more in a recent Q&A.
In England, the king's and queen toasted their alliance, but things will soon take a nasty turn. I loved the way Judith stood her ground when her father scolded her. Like Sansa Stark on Game of Thrones, Judith is someone who has grown tremendously while learning to play the "game." Of all the Anglo-Saxon characters, I'm most curious about Judith.
King Harald Finehair is clearly a threat, as historians name him the first King of Norway. Will Aslaug and Harald form an alliance? He's got his sights set on Ragnar, but we know King Aelle's role in Ragnar's demise. Either way, this new player's arrival will cause some definite tension in Kattegat.
What did you think of those trippy sequences in "Yol"? Did Bjorn impress you? What is wicked step-mother Aslaug up to? Is Ragnar forming a deep connection with Yidu? Your turn Vikings fanatics, go ahead and sound off in the comments below!
As always, watch Vikings online via TV Fanatic if you missed this episode or want to re-live every moment.
NOTE: Vikings Season 4 Episode 5 is titled "Promised" and airs on March 17.