Vikings Season 5 Episode 8 Review: The Joke

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Well, we finally got the battle on Vikings Season 5 Episode 8 that we've been leading up to all season. 

Was it everything we expected? 

The battle may be over, but that doesn't mean the war is. 

Ivar and Hvitserk Lead the Army - Vikings Season 5 Episode 8

Ivar decided to split the army, and his group never even ended up fighting at all. Instead, Harald and Hvitserk quickly found themselves surrounded by Lagertha and Bjorn's forces and had to retreat. 

Lagertha lives to fight (and rule) another day, but it's hard to imagine that Ivar just gives up. 

Will Harald and Ivar regroup and plan a second attack? If so, when? We have two episodes left before hiatus, so it would make sense if the midseason finale was their second attempt. That could be too soon though, so we may have to wait a while longer.

What was the point of Ivar agreeing to peace and then immediately changing his mind? He couldn't have thought they'd just surrender Kattegat. It all felt very anticlimactic. For a whole 30 seconds, we wondered if there'd be any battle at all.

Could you imagine if we had just spent the last seven episodes building to nothing? 

The battle itself was pretty exciting, and I'm glad Halfdan didn't switch sides. I was a little worried there for a second when Harald and Ivar were trying to convince him. 

The brothers versus brothers made the whole situation more interesting because it wouldn't be shocking for someone to turn on their side at any moment.

Halfdan is fighting his only brother, while the Lothrbok brothers are split in half. For them it is not a matter of choosing a brother or a friend, it's which brother to pick. 

Bjorn: Are you ready my friend?
Halfdan: Of course.
Bjorn: You have to fight against your brother.
Halfdan: It is the same for you. Some trees have to fall in the forest.

Ivar made some excellent points too by saying that Halfdan was putting too much stake in Bjorn saving his life. Some cultures may feel that they'd be forever indebted to that person, but the Vikings aren't one of them. 

Hvitserk may have stayed and fought on Ivar's side, but he's wavering. It would not be shocking if he eventually decided to switch sides. Perhaps he'll be the one to show up in Kattegat with a message of warning for Lagertha regarding a second attack. 

Astrid - Vikings Season 5 Episode 8

Is Astrid firmly on Harald's side now?

She wanted to stay and fight, despite being pregnant, and even tried to convince Ivar that they needed to go back. 

Astrid: I think we should go.
Ivar: And I think we should wait. Good things happen to people who wait.

Is that just the warrior in her not wanting to be relegated to the sidelines and missing out on the action, or was she legitimately worried about Harald? 

Or, perhaps she wanted to be part of the battle to protect Lagertha somehow. The fact that she sent her that message warning her of the attack proves that she still cares about her.

Her stance is intriguing.

If she wanted Harald to win, she wouldn't have sent the message, unless that was just some way of appeasing her guilt for betraying Lagertha by marrying Harald. 

Bloody Lagertha - Vikings Season 5 Episode 8

Bishop Heahmund is one lucky guy. 

For whatever reason, none of his enemies want him dead. First Ivar saved him, and now Lagertha has, but why?

Ivar respected him as a fierce warrior and skilled strategist, but Lagertha doesn't know much about him at all. She said herself she doesn't even know why she's saving him. 

She made the mistake of letting Harald live when she had the chance to kill him, will this decision come back to bite her in the ass too? 

Or, perhaps Heahmund will merely switch sides and fight alongside her. It's not like he has any actual allegiance to Ivar. He only fought with him to prolong his lifespan. Getting him to agree to fight with her shouldn't be too hard. 

I can't wait to see the look on Ivar's face when he discovers that Heahmund is still alive. 

King Harald - Vikings Season 5 Episode 8

Floki's settlement seems to be hitting a few snags. 

Most of the people who followed him there are on board, but not everyone. Will they all eventually get in line and work together to build their new settlement, or is a battle going to break out there too? 

As much as I love Floki, his whole Iceland storyline has been less than thrilling, and I find it hard to care about what is going on there. Hopefully, it leads somewhere soon, but I miss him interacting with the other main characters. 

The idea of watching this small group of Vikings settle a brand new country should be more interesting than it is, but it's just not the same as having Floki interact with Ivar, Lagertha, and Bjorn on a regular basis. 

Do you guys agree? 

Will Ivar and Harald plan a second attack? What will Lagertha do with Heahmund? Hit the comments and let us know your thoughts!

Don't forget, you can always watch Vikings online anytime!

The Joke Review

Editor Rating: 4.5 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.5 / 5.0 (11 Votes)

Stacy Glanzman was a staff writer for TV Fanatic. She retired in March, 2019.

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Vikings Season 5 Episode 8 Quotes

Ivar: Are you ready to deal with Ubbe? Will you kill him if you have to, even if he is your own flesh and blood?
Hvitserk: If I kill Ubbe, won't my fate be assured?

Bjorn: Are you ready my friend?
Halfdan: Of course.
Bjorn: You have to fight against your brother.
Halfdan: It is the same for you. Some trees have to fall in the forest.