Vikings "Breaking Point" Review: Bath Time for Ragnar

Vikings S03E09: "Breaking Point"

You'd think that after taking one right between the legs in the war-mongering feat that was "To the Gates!" the Vikings would lick their wounds and pick on someone who wasn't hiding behind massive walls. But nope, the Northmen rubbed some dirt on their puncture wounds and went back at it, showing the French that persistence is a Viking virtue.

The Vikings' ability to adapt and try new things is what makes them particularly dangerous during a siege. Well, that and their dreams of Valhalla, which make them absolutely fearless. The night raid led by Lagertha and Kalf showcased their ability to attack without the bluster of an all-out war, and it was a smart move because even though the Vikings' losses had soared into the quadruple figures with their previous attack, each new attempt on Paris weakens the French forces and chips away at their supplies, eventually rendering them too weak to defend themselves.

Of course, that's not to say they were completely defenseless this round. During the Vikings' sneak assailing of the front gates, the French unleashed another amazing medieval nightmare: the world's largest rolling pin converted into a Viking-impaling death machine. WHERE'S MY .GIF, INTERNET?!?!?

Shirtless Rollo, a.k.a. the best Rollo, put an end to the tumbling cylinder of destroyed torsos, and the Vikings' assault continued until both parties decided to take a breather. But by then, the French knew the end was near and suggested a truce. Ragnar the Reluctant delivered a kick-ass speech to his bickering men about how he came into power and how he was responsible for the Vikings' final decision, but ultimately agreed to a meeting to talk treaty.

Ragnar's actions aren't going to sit well with the troops, who believed they could finish off the City of Light if they'd kept up their onslaught. The French were low on supplies (and complained about a lack of fresh veggies, sheesh), and a plague was killing them off as they sat behind their walls, cowering. But Ragnar signed the treaty anyway, and if you think about how amped up he was about taking Paris, it was an odd decision on his part. Was he simply acting inconsistently? Did he look at the losses his forces had sustained and decide to pull back? Or were the internal injuries he suffered during the first battle enough to make him think twice?

Or... perhaps Ragnar's obsession with this so-called "God" was his driving force. Ragnar is still aching in the wake of Athelstan's death, and has taken it upon himself to honor his dearly departed friend by adopting Athelstan's beliefs. Ragnar's one demand to the French in accepting their ceasefire was to be baptized, which totally blew me away. It's one thing to see Ragnar wear the crucifix, it's another thing to see him take a holy bath and be blessed by the enemy's bishop. The reactions of his fellow Vikings said it best, especially Floki's:

I'm still not sick of Ragnar experimenting with Christianity, and each step he takes toward the faith is striking. How far will he go, and how long will Floki let him believe in the false god before he totally flips?

There's one more thing about "Breaking Point" that I want to discuss before I wrap things up, and that's Earl Siegfried's capture by the French and his parting message to his captors. Slated for beheading at Princess Gilsa's request, Siegfried requested that someone hold back his long, flowing locks so that the executioner could get a clean cut. Some dumb French idiot was assigned the task, and as the axe swung down, Siegfried pulled his head back, yanking the poor sap's hands into the path of the blade. BEST PRANK EVER. Where's my .GIF, internet?!?!? [UPDATE: I MADE THE GIF]

Of course, the French have no sense of humor and rewarded Siegfried like this:

The interesting and bloody "Breaking Point" was aptly named. The French and the Vikings (well, Ragnar) reached their limits with the siege, opting to call a truce rather than shed more blood. And Ragnar hit a wall with his own men and possibly his religion. I'm not sure "Breaking Point" primed us for a very eventful finale unless one of the two sides backs out of the treaty, but maybe we'll exit Season 3 in a spot that sets the table for Season 4 as Ragnar looks for his next conquest.


NOTES FROM ODIN

– Over in Wessex, Ecbert is being slimy to Judith by saying his protection comes with a price: SEX. His declaration made for an awkward dinner as they sat at the table with Aethelwulf, Judith's husband and Ecbert's son, and chatted about how Aethelwulf resisted Queen Kwenthrith's sexual advances.

– In Kattegat, Queen Aslaug dealt with a Christian missionary who demanded the Vikings stop following their own gods and bow down to his. Aslaug gave the guy a chance to prove that his faith was true, and asked him to carry a red-hot piece of metal. He visualized the feat and it went perfectly, but when he tried it in real life, his hands were seared like meat. That was pretty funny. There was some great and hilarious hand torture in this episode.

– Will Ragnar find out that Aslaug sentenced the missionary to die, and will he care? Is Ragnar interested in saving Christians now, or is he just exploring the faith for himself?

– For a long time, I thought Sinric, the Viking wanderer who spoke French, was a woman. I'm still wondering if he is.


Comments (118)
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Apr 06, 2016
The Only True God*, you mean, Lord Willing, He Above Known and Shown In Scripture/Word/Bible, and throughout Creation; Father Son Spirit Known amd Shown

http://Bible.cc
"For God So Loved the world He Gave His Only Son..."

Read Share Live Believe. Thanks and thank God Amen
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Apr 29, 2015
I complexly jumped when they said the missionary's name was Ansgar, cause holy shit he's superfamous in Scandinavia. He's considered the guy who first tried to christen Sweden and is sorta credited with founding Christianity in Sweden
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Aug 01, 2015
... and Denmark.
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Apr 26, 2015
I think Sinric is Bruce Jenner.
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Apr 24, 2015
I blame Daredevil (and too many other shows to watch) for only now catching up on Vikings' penultimate episode.

It might've been a little on the macabre-ish side of things, but Earl Siegfried's prank was truly hilarious. To everyone but the citizens of Paris, at least. As for the Earl himself, it probably wasn't that smart to take their "map of the city" guy to the front lines, but it served as a convenient means to lay foundation for peace talks.

Didn't expect Ragnar to get himself baptizied in front of such publics, but perhaps he is playing a longer game there. His failing health concerns me, though, unless he is that good at pretending.

Looks like Aethelwulf may not be as stupid, after all. Or he has learned by now that his father is not to be trusted under any circumstances.

I thought that the scene with the Christian missionary was rather unclear; I couldn't tell that he was just visualising his success at first.
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Apr 22, 2015
The Ragnar character is a composite and while the producers follow a general thread of history they love to throw in some classic Viking mythology - the guy who was holding the hair at the beheading and consequently getting his hands cut off is a classic example (and hilarious if you were the guy who was getting his head cut off and wanted the last laugh).

Historically there is a happening where a "Christian Viking Chief" wanted to be consecrated for burial and was carried inside the city for that sacrament - only to suddenly come to life and with the help of his pall-bearers hold the gates open until his warriors could storm the city...

That sounds like a Ragnar trick to me ;-)
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Apr 21, 2015
It feels like once Hirst decided he wanted to kill of Athelstan he spent half the season trying to tie up his loose ends. The character was a fascinating one and had a lot more mileage. The loose ends have been tied up ludicrously especially the rushed relationship between Athelstan and Judith. At least if they continue to Alfred the Great I hope they get Blagden back to play his own son.
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Apr 20, 2015
Ragnar can't die if they want to hold true to history. Historically Ragnar dies from being sent into a pit of snakes by King aella back in northumbria. It more likely that he is faking this conversion for several reasons. To fake a truce and gain a surprise advantage over paris. To test the loyalties of floki and some of the others. And as a way to reunite with athelstan. You have to remember that most of Ragnar commanders are immediate family members. His son, rollo, lagertha.. it's unlikely they'll betray him just because he took a meaningless dip. Also remember that rollo himself has done this babtizin already himself and received very little backlash in from anyone except floki who is obsessed. And this was also done in an attempt to gain a truce that paid out very well to Ragnar and the others. I feel that there is something else going on underneath the obviouse. I feel that they will try to take the city again and fail and then they will leave to raid somewhere else and rollo will marry the princess.
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Apr 19, 2015
I believe that Ragnar's "conversion" has more to do with his love of Athelstan than anything else. I loved how they showed Odin "raven-blocking" him from following Athelstan's spirit into the hereafter. But that may have more to do with Odin having other plans for Ragnar than keeping him from his dead friend. I personally don't believe there's any rancor between all of the Gods' versions of a rewarded afterlife for their heroes. Personally, I can see Athelstan in heaven, and Valhalla keeping an open door policy for him in case he ever wants to visit his Viking friends once they pass over. But that's just me.

Ragnar is having some serious medical issues and is most likely weakened by his internal injuries. He's also probably fighting off a very serious infection that would kill a less stubborn individual.

Floki has got to get over his religious bigotry already. I can get surprise from Rollo and Lagertha, but Floki looked like he was about to die from shock. Ragnar had obviously been open to Athelstan's christian influence, which is why he wore Athelstan's cross. So why would he be so shocked that Ragnar would've been willing to convert? Besides, Ragnar plays the very long game. I can see him using this "conversion" in his pursuit of gaining an advantage over the Parisian forces.

Rollo is the hottest sex on a stick I've ever seen!! I think he could seduce the entire city of Paris given enough battles.

Auslag was very canny in how she dealt with the zealot.
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Apr 19, 2015
I smell somehing funky here.. I think its all around Ragnars 'scam'. He probably just 'fake' his christianity.. and 'split' his people.. and everyone think he has no army left. Suprise will be, when all is coming back in the supprise attack! Has Ragnar tricked us before? Yes, he is a clever guy.. and he said to the others.. "Your ways has failed!"..
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Apr 19, 2015
I'm in denial about this too. I'm hoping it's just a trick as well. While Vikings is an awesome show its no GOT so offing your main character doesn't really work well here unless this show's last season is next year. Will Rollo rise to the renown that he once coveted and start fighting with Bjorn? Deep down I think Ragnar is dying. 😓
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Apr 19, 2015
Wow, the thought of the Vikings without Ragnar is not appealing to me, but it seems there is that possibility. If that means more Rollo, Lagertha, and Ragnar's wife (her name slips me), then I suppose the show will survive. But it just wouldn't be the same.
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Apr 18, 2015
* It's possible that King Ragnar simply realizes that in order to rule a Christian land, one must 'convert' to Christianity.

King Ragnar won Mercia for King Ecbert and essentially got nothing in return for that. In fact, King Ecbert slaughtered the Vikings who stayed in the settlement.

-- Also interesting is that Rollo has already 'converted'. Perhaps the French know of that or will soon learn of that. We'll see how the series deals with Rollo but it seems he's the historical Rollo.

* King Ragnar essentially agreeing to what Bjorn Ironside wanted -- to come to terms with Paris -- is also a sign that Bjorn is King Ragnar's heir. In addition, King Ragnar asked him what Kings do.

* I wonder if Kattegat is going to become nicer. It's now not merely the seat of an Earl but of the King of the Vikings. The princes sleep on essentially a mat on the floor.

* It seems a little weird that Rollo doesn't wear any armor when fighting.
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Apr 19, 2015
Women do not want him to wear armor. Its more eye catching without armor. I vote no armor for everyone but Floki. Dress him head to toe always LOL
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Apr 19, 2015
As to this:
* It seems a little weird that Rollo doesn't wear any armor when fighting.

---------

A 'berserker' ie. 'going berserk' comes from the Norse language.

'Berserk' has been interpreted in at least two ways.

First part of the word 'ber' meaning either bear (the animal) or bare (as in naked). Second part 'serk' meaning shift (clothing) or pelt (animal skin/fur).

So, a berserker - someone going berserk - is maybe someone who is wearing a bear's pelt or someone going bare (ie. not wearing any pelt/shift).

In modern Danish, serk or særk has become the word 'sæk' meaning sack or bag. I guess, cutting 3 holes in a sack/bag will give you something to wear :) (a shift).

Language is funny that way. Most 'daily use' English words have their origin in Norse/Scandinavian. The English words that have to do with ruling come from French - ie. from the people or Normandy (Northmen) ie. Vikings who settled in France (that would be Rollo) and later attacked and conquered England in 1066 and ended the Viking Age in England.

History is interesting - it needs to be understood...
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Apr 18, 2015
The character of Ragnar is semi-mythical it need be a compilation of several people. All this comes from the Icelandic SaGAS which were written down by Christians centuries later. A show of course is a historical fiction, so don't expect absolute accuracy even of the stuff we probably know, much less the stuff that's dubious.
Scandinavia was Christianized by a king St. Olaf, who in typical medieval Christian fashion gave you the choice convert or die. The exact same choice Charlemagne gave to the Saxons and when they didn't convert he killed 4500 OF them. None of the Viking characters based on historical people converted to Christianity in this drama. Those historical people being Ivar, Bjonr, Sigurd Lagerhrope etc.

There is a story about Bjorn Ironside that he once faked being on his deathbed and requested to be brought in to an Italian monastery because he had a vision he had to be baptized. Then on his deathbed he whipped out his sword killed a bunch of them and opened the gates for his biking comrades. So I wonder if good old Ragnar is up to some tricks.
Historically the Vikings did take payments in lieu of sacking places and that was called Dane Geld.

I I identify much more with FLoki, than the Christian flunky Applestand he bumped off. Why because the old Nordic religion was 3000 years old even at the time of the eighth century. Turning your back on it is the same as spinning on the graves of your ancestors.It's curious to note that the first Temple to Oden in 1000 years as being built in Iceland is, take that Athelstan.
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Apr 18, 2015
It's hard to do a gif from such all the action involving the spike-pin, but here ya' go...

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Apr 18, 2015
Very shitty too see that the beheading scene was not shown on TV and i had too find out about this 3 seconds ago.
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Apr 18, 2015
Ragnar etal are fantastic characters - not the exact persons but complex expositions of the men/women of the times and the changes and events of those times; source material taken from history and made into Infotainment; -)
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Apr 18, 2015
That spike wheel was cool!! didn't know Rollo was pretty smart! and Siegfried's prank was hilarious! Ragnar wanting to be baptized surprised me!
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Apr 18, 2015
I keep thinking about Ragnar fondling that bishop's face... it was like a thinly veiled sexual threat. Who but TF could pull that off?
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Apr 18, 2015
Say what you will about the French now but back then...........DAMN. They were f*cking people up. That rolling pin of spikes is a horrible way to go.
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Apr 18, 2015
It is only 76 years ago the held the last public guillotine execution in France:

http://rarehistoricalphotos.com/last-public-execution-guillotine-france-1939/
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Apr 17, 2015
Looking at Floki hyperventilate while Ragnar getting Baptized is the funniest thing I have ever seen and will see. 2 great actors.
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Apr 17, 2015
I like Ragnar yes. But I truly have never understood him much. I get his motivations but I dont get him. I wouldnt mind it if he died and the show revolved around Lagertha, Rollo and Bjorn. But eitjer way, I'll never forgive Loki for killing Athelstan.
Also why are we still caring about the people in Wessex? I want more Vikings time.
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Apr 17, 2015
First off Ragnar is the show. He's the only one who only ever is reasonable among the Vikings. He is the moral compass. We care about Wessex because they betrayed Ragnar and those who betray Ragnar usually tend to get dead in a horrible fassion.
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Apr 17, 2015
For what it's worth, according to legend Ragnar dies in Northumbria after his invasion of Paris. King Aella finally gets his revenge and throws him into his nice snake pit. So my guess the series will let him live through this season.
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Apr 19, 2015
I never considered the series continuing without Ragnar. But I will say this- if Ragnar goes, I bet Floki goes too. I'm sure Ragnar will get his revenge.
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Apr 17, 2015
It was my favorite (currently running) tv show and now I'm so bored with it...
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Apr 17, 2015
Why??!?! The Show is amazing in this 3rd season
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Apr 17, 2015
because it doesn't really follow any sources - myth or history; it's made to be sensational (and nothing more)
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Apr 17, 2015
The series belong to them so they can do with the story what they want. Is the people who focus to much in the real history Im enjoying the ride for me its the most important thing
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Apr 17, 2015
Actually, the story of a viking tricking an executioner to cut of his colleague's hand is straight from a source - The Saga of the Jomsvikings (available for free online). Some of the sagas were just as sensational as the show, even more so...
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Apr 17, 2015
This episode and whole season had very little to do with what actually happened, that is if we were to trust the history books.

-Ragnar and VIkings attack Paris in 845. with 120 ships and over 5000 men.
-French king (king of West Frankia that is) split the troops in two on both sides of the river. Vikings defeated one group and took 111 prisoners whom they hanged on an island near Paris to honor Odin.
-Then, Vikings entered Paris on Easter (28/29 march) and plundered it.
-There was a plague (that happened in the show), but on Vikings' side.
-Vikings and Franks worked out a treaty, and Vikings left with 7000 livres (2570 kg/5670 pounds) of gold and silver.
-This was the first of total 13 payments to Vikings.
-Ragnar burned down Abbey of Saint-Germain-des-Presedes-Pres.
-Before all of this happened Vikings already had territory given to them by Franks in Frankia (in Turholt, Frisia), and their attack on Paris and this high payment was in part due to Franks taking this land by force (just like the show showed it happened in Wessex).

-King Horik was alive when Ragnar and co returned to Scandinavia.
-When Ragnar returned he reported to Horik that the only resistance he had met was by the long deceased saint (Saint-Germain...).
-Ragnar died.
-King Horik ordered the execution of remaining survived Vikings from the raid on Paris and released Christian captives.
-Horik received Archbishop Ansgar on "friendly therms" in his kingdom.

-Vikings return once again to Paris and loot it in 860s.

-And again in 885-886. when the walls remained unbreached.


This is in part quoted and in part rephrased from Wikipedia article called Siege of Paris (845), here's the link:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Siege_of_Paris_(845)

Also, I hope Floki kills Ragnar in the season finale.
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Aug 01, 2015
There is also the fact that the first raid they made on the English monastery was shown to take place in 794 (and did historically).
So if it was to follow the historical timeline Ragnar would have been over 70 years old when they went to Paris.
It's historically based fiction and Ragnar is a conglomerate character.
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Apr 19, 2015
From what I've read, Ragnar's authenticity as a real person is highly speculative. So I'm sure that TPTB will have his history follow whatever the highest ratings decree.
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Apr 17, 2015
all the Ragnar stuff is conjecture/theory/myth/compilation. There is no definitive a eveidence a "Ragnar" existed.
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Apr 17, 2015
Ok, I agree, but Vikings definitely attacked and pillaged Paris, and the man who led them (some say it was Ragnar from myths, some say it wasn't him) did what was stated above. He hung those French men, he entered Paris on Easter, he got sick there and then died back in Scandinavia where Horik still ruled. If they assumed that man was Ragnar (and they did since they show him attacking Paris) then they should follow the story of that man wherever it went. So by that logic Ragnar returns to Scandinavia alive and then dies.

In the end, there is no point in argument, it's just a TV show that is more fiction then actual history in part because of the person it chose as a main character is probably more of a fictional character himself whom they identified with one (or more) historical figures (in this case with the person who led the attack on Paris).

So, back here in Europe it's almost midnight so I'm off to rest a bit...
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Apr 17, 2015
I read Ragnar was killed in england in a pit of snakes, historicaly speaking. Of course the show is different from history but the vikings did eventually adopt christianity.
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Apr 17, 2015
I agree about Christianity but for a king to be the first to convert. It's a bit of a stretch don't you think?

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Apr 17, 2015
it was a king who did convert first in order to gain support for retaking his lands from another viking king, there were several kings in Denmark at the time.
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Apr 17, 2015
This is 50% based of real History but the other 50% the writers can make changes to the story and I think for the best
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Apr 17, 2015
Don't know man, that's like making a TV show of yourself and your life story and then saying you're batman in it. Or something like that. It's either history or fiction, whenever it leaves the historic boundaries it becomes fiction. There's no in between just poles.
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Apr 17, 2015
The series belong to them so they can do as they want! I think that is wonderful. You should enjoy the ride thats is the most important thing not focus in the real history. Just my humble opinion
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Apr 17, 2015
I thought Erlendur was dead, taken down in the drawbridge scene in To The Gates, but there he was sulking around during the TB Speech. ???

We should all hope to go out with the kind of style Earl Siegfried pulled out of his breeks at the last mo. He's killing in the Catskills of Valhalla now.

Ragnar doesn't take the faith seriously, he's just desperate to see Athelstan again and doesn't want to risk Odin raven-blocking him. Not hard to sympathize with.

As much as the previews want us to think Ragnar is dying ASAP, I cling to the fact that they slipped in preview teasers designed to make us think Aslaug ordered Athelstan's death ("what shall we do with the Christian?"/"kill him"), so I'm going to stick with the hope that Ragnar doesn't leave us until the generally-accepted legends tell us he will because I'm not even close to being ready for that. (You know, I didn't mind Aslaug in this episode. She didn't come across like a spoiled ex-princess but more like a queen ruling in her husband's absence, and her expressions after the test of signs and wonders were pretty funny. Almost expected her to pat the poor singed zealot on his head and tell him to go get his boo boos looked after, but I guess they've had enough trouble over Christians in town to go taking another one on as a pet, especially a yapper like this one. It would be nice to know how he wandered into Kattegat and knew the language. Maybe the rest of his story will arrive on another bus, along with his real hair.)

Also, though someone last week pointed out that Bjorn actually means 'bear', they gave us the pretext for the seer's reference to the bear being Rollo, and I'm totally ready for King Robert. Even Odo can't stop thinking about him.

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Apr 17, 2015
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ragnar_Lodbrok
This is based on true history, not a made up story like GoT

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Apr 17, 2015
ASOIAF (GoT is just one part) is based mostly on Wars of the Roses with several other historical events sprinkled on. Wall = Hadrian's wall, Targ invasion = 1066 etc.
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Apr 17, 2015
It's basically Ice Zombies vs Dragons now, with some King Arthur in the mix. I feel pretty sure the Targs are just Martin's version of elves-going-orc.


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Apr 17, 2015
No, Targs = Normans and Targ dragons = mounted knights
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Apr 17, 2015
The inspiration probably, not saying no to that, but the feel of the books and the tv thing now... In comparison to Vikings, GoT and ASOIAF is near pure high fantasy.

"Historical fiction" or "Based on true events" isn't going to be the first or even tenth tag you add to ASOIAF unless you really just want to add it because you're reading it with history in mind.
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Apr 17, 2015
These past two episodes have been amazing.
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Apr 17, 2015
I am not read for Ragnar to die, I hope he recovers. (I know he has to die eventually) I think he really thinks he's about to die, and he wants to be with Athelstan when he does... but I also think this is partly a ruse so that he can get into the city. I seriously doubt he's given up on conquering Paris.

King Ecbert is one devious mofo, lol.
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Apr 17, 2015
100% agree!! However Ecbert is just "jucked up with his power". As with virtually any man in power, you always try and get/ achieve what is the hardest to get! A sons wife? Wow that must "top the list"??? For me personally it was my X wife's younger sister. LOL Coodos to the story writers as I couldn't imagine any one doing it better. Just don't kill off Ragnar any time soon as that could be the end to the series. Wait a few years please!!!!
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Apr 17, 2015
If we are to trust history Ragnar survived to return back to Scandinavia and then died, but also king Horik was still alive and still rulling the Vikings, so... Not much history here.
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Apr 17, 2015
You do know this is a history show right? On the history channel!

All the main characters must follow the path that the true person the're playing supposedly took, that includes dying.
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Aug 01, 2015
The Vikings first raid on the English monastery took place in 794 and, according to history, the raid on Paris in 845. Over 50 years apart making Ragnar over 70 years old.
So much for the true path.
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Apr 17, 2015
...you are right - they must, but they don't. Check Athelstan in Wikipedia.
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Apr 20, 2015
If you mean Athelstan the Anglo-Saxons king, you need to check the dates. He obviously is not the same Athelstan portrayed in this show. Vikings were recorded to start exploring Europe around 793 AD.
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Apr 17, 2015
Very little history here, sorry.
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Apr 17, 2015
You keep posting that. Ragnar is still a ways off of dying accoding to what's known about him. Even then, a lot of it is speculation since there's very little record about it, which leaves plenty of space for them to create. Besides, Ragnar doesn't die in Paris. He dies in England. Plus his sons would have to be of age by the time, since they avenge him.
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Apr 17, 2015
No, he dies in Scandinavia when he returns to king Horik. Then Horik kills all of the other survivors from the siege of Paris and accepts Christian preachers...
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Apr 18, 2015
Sorry, mixed up the Kings. You are right of course.
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Apr 17, 2015
Horik was a historical person as well and yet his story is vastly different on show than in reality. Plus he didn't become GCPD detective either, so that's that.... =D
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Apr 17, 2015
Right, when Vikings return to Scandinavia Horik still rulles (if we are to believe the history books).
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Apr 17, 2015
Thanks, I really hope they stick to whatever documented truth there is.
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Apr 17, 2015
Just a quick question, it's been bothering me for a while now...Sooo....was Ecbert in love with Athelstan and is now trying to vicariously have sex with him through Judith...because he had absolutely zero interest in her until he found out her illegitimate baby was fathered by the viking er...monk...? Or was it just a whole "she's open for business deelie?"

Also is Ragnar getting baptised simply because he wants to meet Athelstan in heaven

Is everyone in love with Athelstan? Like romantically because he seems to invoke a weird obsessive response in powerful men, like a dark ages Marylyn Monroe

Shirtless Rollo…still the best thing ever? I think so! Also is it just me or is there hints that the princess with the awful French accent and our favourite shirtless Viking might have something going on soon enough? She seems to zero in on him on the battlefield not that I blame her and also she appears to be able to see in slow motion, I wonder how she could put that superpower to use?
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Apr 19, 2015
I say no to your first question. I think Ecbert gets it on with Judith because she is hot and because her husband is away, hopefully getting killed.
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Apr 18, 2015
According to the show, Judy has had at least one child before she shagged Athelstan. You see the baby briefly the first time she is onscreen in Season 3 and Aethelwulf says that she and he hadn't had sex since she last gave birth, which is how he knew her current pregnancy wasn't from him. The whole thing's a big fat mess.

In actual history, Aethelwulf's 5 children (including Alfred) were mothered by Osburga and him. After Osburga dies Wulfy goes on pilgrimage to Rome and on the way back marries Judith of Flanders, the daughter of the king of France and Holy Roman Emperor. The king hiding behind Count Odo and Gisela in Paris? Is Judith's father in history. The character of Gisela is actually his granddaughter. Confused yet? Good, that means you're paying attention.

Anyway, the real Aethelwulf died before he and Judith had any kids, but her story ends up happy. Eventually she eloped with Baldwin of Flanders and had kids with him. Her descendant Matilda of Flanders was married to William of Normandy, aka William the Conqueror who became king of England in 1066. So Judy was the ancestress of kings, just not Saxon kings. To say that Hirst likes to play with the timeline is quite the understatement.

I think that Egbert had romantic and sexual desire for Athelstan and is shagging Judith to experience that vicariously. There's no other way to explain it. Ragnar is in love with him too. If Athelstan were called Aethelflaed or Aethelwynn (female names; in other words, if he were a woman), no one would be surprised at people falling for him. At the very least, those huge blue eyes are swoon worthy.
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Apr 17, 2015
Did they ever show us that Judith had already had living children? Because they suggested there was a difficult labor (and maybe the child was lost, can't be sure) and that she had been out of commission for a while. I wondered if there was some question of fertility in the marriage and when Judith was able to bear a child to Athelstan, it may have suggested that Aethelwulf was the problem, and Ecbert decided to keep the line going... for the good of the family of course, and because he wanted to. Maybe he will insist that Judith and his son continue relations (such as they are likely to be) to explain any future children. That's all speculation that depends on Judith not having had surviving children before Athelstan, though.
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Apr 17, 2015
Heh. "Where's my GIF, internet!?"

It's like Compuserve died in vain.
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Apr 17, 2015

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Apr 17, 2015
I'm afraid to watch this.
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Apr 17, 2015
Personally, I was really enjoying the episode until I was aware that the possibility of Ragnar dying was an option. I don't think this will happen (or I hope it doesn't) because we are yet to see how Ragnar developes throughout the season (and show), after the death of Athelstan. His story is not over yet, and so I think the producer(s) would be making a huge mistake if they took him off the show. Not only that, but he is one of the main reasons (if not the only reason) that a lot of the fans watch the show and are addicted to it. If Ragnar goes, so will the fans.
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Apr 17, 2015
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ragnar_Lodbrok
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Apr 17, 2015
You do know this is a history show right? On the history channel!

All the main characters must follow the path that the true person the're playing supposedly took, that includes dying.
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Apr 17, 2015
People who cease to believe in God or goodness altogether still believe in the devil... Evil is always possible. And goodness is eternally difficult.

damn son.. you turning to the christian devil.. Odin gonna be maaadddd.

ok..okay..i know its the History Channel, and certainly there has been some artistic license to all this.. but having a king bow to a false God is a kick in the dick.

..historically though, the viking's of lore did have a pagan + christian mix of religious tolerance.. & from this shows perspective.. there has always been an exploration of the enemys faith,.. from Athelstan turning to Norse gods [and back again to that mexican dude] ..king Ecbert's intrigue in paganism of the romans Gods [chk out episode unforgiven]...i always presumed there would be headway with the Norse clan leaders looking to flip the faith.

however,... having Ragnar's vision of both Odin and Athelstan visit his dying body in a pool of blood ..was quite symbolic & hopefully a sign of the conflict / End yet to come.

... but its still a kick in the dick to see Ragnar get baptised by those french christian devil's. ..why heyZeus why???..is that you satan?..you pulling a prank again right??... explain yourself Lucifer.

:P

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Apr 17, 2015
..and im loving King Ecbert. - that dude would be fun to hang out with.
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Apr 17, 2015
Ragnar is definitely going to die soon, I'm guessing next season. There are two different deaths for him depending on which myth/legend you read. The most common and consistent is the snake pit (which we got a look at in season 1) and the other less dramatic and disappointing is the sickness he gets in France which is like gastro apparently. I can't see them killing him off with a sickness, that's just too average a way to go for such an epic character.
I think they're covering both bases by having him almost die from this and then they'll do the snake pit later. I wonder if maybe Ecbert will give him to Aella when Ragnar goes back to England to get Vengeance for Ecbert's betrayal, maybe he gets captured because his army is too small after all of this loss in France. Apparently in one version his ship goes adrift on his way back from France and he is captured by Aella, and in another, he is captured when he leads an attack in England with a small force in an attempt to outdo the success/fame of his sons (in this case it would only be Bjorn though, seeing as the others are so young). If you remember, Floki even mentions this in Season 1 when he first meets Bjorn and looks into his eyes, and says to Ragnar that he'll hate him for being as better as him or something along those lines.

They have been building Bjorn and Rollo up as well recently which is suggesting that they will move on to show their achievements in the wake of Ragnar's death, I mean we all know Bjorn outdoes Ragnar when it comes to conquering and becomes legendary, and same with Rollo who becomes the duke of Northumbria after marrying this French Princess which I suppose they'll show since the two have made eye contact in a really obvious manner. That, or they will go completely off course with his death. The fact is though that he will have to die to pave the way for the next step which is Bjorn, Sigurd, Ivar and Rollo's stories which are only set into action when they avenge Ragnar. Plus, the show is called 'Vikings' not 'Ragnar' and I reckon they'll be trying to squeeze as much out of these stories as possible, so they'll be wanting it to go for more than 4 seasons, especially when there's so much content surrounding the characters
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As for why Ragnar has converted so randomly, I'm thinking that yes it's partly because he misses Athelstan, but I can't help but wonder if it's a way of undoing Floki and also gaining the trust of the French, rather than just because he misses his friend. At the end of episode 8 he asked Athelstan if he'd gone too far with Floki and also stated that he is a very patient man. There will be more coming to Floki for killing Athelstan and I think Ragnar is revelling in seeing him go mad. Though I could be wrong and Ragnar himself might just be losing his marbles. I think it would make a much more dramatic and interesting point if it was all part of some clever scheme that none of us see coming though. He seemed pretty sane when he was telling everyone he was king, so I think he has something up his sleeve.
So much to think about, there are soooo many ways this could go, especially if the story doesn't go with the legends!
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Apr 17, 2015
That's a really good theory. I hope they do that, but I also hope they don't take him off the show. Though it's a history channel, not all what they show is true. I think in the very end, Ragnar should deserve to get his ending of being the farmer he always wanted to be. Though he could die, a big possibility that the producers have acknowledged, but he is the character that brings the series together and keeps the fans so interested. If they take him off the show, a lot of the fans would stop watching and that would possibly mean they would have to cancel the show.
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Apr 17, 2015
I agree, it would be great if they keep him alive because he is so charismatic and brings so much to the show. None of the supporting characters are as intriguing as him (yet) and so if they want to get rid of him eventually, they will need to do some serious character building. It would be really nice to end with him proud of his success and being a farmer, though he may be too ambitious to go back to that. Maybe in old age he'd be content though. It's possible they will drag out his story until the younger sons are grown, which could fill another two seasons, and then if they kill his character, there would be room for a final season showing his family getting revenge and becoming conquerors themselves. That could be done in a few episodes of a season though. Whichever way it goes, its sure to be interesting!
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Apr 17, 2015
While certainly the TV saga can go one way or the other vs. the tales, legends, why shy too far from them? After all they already make a good story line!!! I expect Ragnar will nearly die in the final episode of season 3 "the cliff hanger". Then sometime in season 4 will he find out about his "new" son birthed by Princess Kwenthirth and will marry her (his 3rd wife) as tales go. Just makes a good story line and is common since you guys! In addendum, Ragnar is just too big a pert of the series to "off him" in ways others have been throughout the series. In fact he is the main character. Do you all not "see" all the clues already as to what is going to happen? Also expect Rollo to somehow "off" the king of Paris and that he will get with his daughter and become the new king. That is real obvious!!! LOL
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Apr 17, 2015
hmm. the episode was a filler.
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Apr 17, 2015
I'm not sure if Ragnar is going to live or not, but I do not believe the creators have to be wed to Ragnar "theory/myth/legend since that is all it is. Many of us have Googled "Ragnar" and read the Wiki summery of 3 wives, dies in a snake pit etc. But lets remember the part where its not known if he ever actually existed or whether his story is a compilation of multiple people or events. I think that uncertainty frees up the History channel for plenty of poetic license.
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Apr 17, 2015
Interesting ep. Historicaly Vikings becae exposed to Christianity during this siege. Of course ragnar has been flirting with it for a while, ever since he met Athelstan.

Also his speech proved what his plan was all along. Let others conduct sige, let them float their ideas and see what happens. If it fails then nobody can bitch about Ragnar being a piss poor leader. And it worked well. Floki can't complain about his leadership since he was in charge and failed. As were Lagertha and Kalf. And now he stepped in, knocked together some heads and took charge, thus proving that when others fail he is the only one who can save the situation.

Wessex scenes looked boring but I think they were setting things up for later, for eventual showdown between Vikings and Saxons.
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Apr 17, 2015
I hope Ragnar doesn't die - who knows what these writers will do. You can't have intense fighting every episode. We need to tie up some loose ends too - just to keep the storyline alive and going forward. It's interesting how they thought and fought - life was very hard for them. The actors are great in this show!
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Apr 17, 2015
Oh and also he has to marry his 3rd wife that he hasn't done yet. My guess is it will be the princes that supposidly had his child. There has to be a point like that and is why they keep showing the rather boring parts of Wessex??

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Apr 17, 2015
Not to worry. If the TV version follows the "tales" of Ragnar (and so far they loosely have), Ragnar eventually dies from being thrown into a pit of snakes!!!!
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Apr 17, 2015
The movie version with Michael Douglas and Tony Curtis had a pit of Dogs. Loosely is the Key word for all shows.
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Apr 17, 2015
Michael Douglas? Lol. He was like 12 or 13 when the Vikings movie was made. You mean Kirk Douglas.
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Apr 17, 2015
You are right. I loved them both in movies. Kirk with John Wayne was a classic also. Loved Michael also.
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Apr 17, 2015
I believe the French are speaking Latin, or a broken version that's becoming French.
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Apr 17, 2015
they're franks, hence speaking some proto-germanic. at court at least.
with the troops it might have been some sort of gallo-latin.

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Apr 17, 2015
Good penultimate episode, setting things up nicely for next weeks finale. It could be Ragnar's last, but I think they will give him one more season. I sure as hell hope they do, my biggest man crush on Tv.
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Apr 17, 2015
my guess is he would get one more season to give us a grown up Ivar the Boneless...
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Apr 17, 2015
I'm wondering if the supporting cast is strong enough to carry the show without him tbh. It would be great to see the heathen army attack on England but that means Ragnar needs to survive enough to be back in England and it also means he has to be old enough for his 4 sons to get to the size of Bjorn lol! I'm not sure the supporting cast at this stage could hold this show together enough. I'm already feeling the loss of some of the great characters that made the show what it was.
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Apr 17, 2015
Heh they def won't kill of Ragnar. People will stop watching it as he clearly makes the show. Aint going to happen regardless of what history may or may not of been.

You don't go killing off the main character of a show unless he is leaving or being fired.
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Apr 17, 2015
I think Ragnar will die. His brothers chance to rule will come with Paris falling. Rollo will take the Parisian King's daughter to rule
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Apr 17, 2015
I wouldn't say that Ragnar is "experimenting" with Christianity (though it has affected him). He said to the French that he wanted to be baptized so he could meet his man-crush Athelstan in "your heaven."






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Apr 17, 2015
Ragnar is clearly playing a game, as he said, he is determined to conquer Paris...gold and silver don't mean much to him at htis point
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Apr 17, 2015
I agree
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Apr 17, 2015
One other thing that crossed my mind.....I didn't understand the point of the missionary in Kattegat other than to generically show life back home and give Aslaug some lines, but then I started thinking....maybe it's a plot device to set up Ragnar's exit from his flirtation with Christianity and put him back in good graces with his people? He gets home, hears about the Christian missionary, learns his god apparently couldn't protect him from scalding iron, decides it's all a bunch of crap after all, turns his eyes back towards Valhalla, and then raids England a few times to take his mind off things. Eh....dunno....probably not, but I'm just spitballing.

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Apr 17, 2015
Well, Christianity was knocking on Vikings' door at that time so misionary is not out of place
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Apr 17, 2015
Ah, okay, good to know. I'm not too familiar with the Viking history, so perhaps it's just part of the writer's intentions to stay true to what we know of their culture at the time. In context of the show, I was still unclear of that scene's purpose, but I'm assuming it will come back into play later on.
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Apr 17, 2015
I think the purpose was to show that Vikings' world is not as isolated and removed from everybody else as they'd like to think. and that while they were reshaping Europe with their raids and settlements their lands were being reshaped by missionaries in turn.
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Apr 17, 2015
I don't know that Ragnar is so much exploring a path of Christianity or obsessed with Christian God as he is missing his friend, thinks he is dying, and wants to make sure he meets him again. That whole scene caught me off guard, and because of Ragnar's friendship with Athelstan, it ranks as the second best scene for me that Vikings has ever done, behind Ragnar's monolog while burying Athelstan (that punched me right in the feels, y'all).

I'm curious as to why Ragnar is dying. Tim mentioned internal wounds sustained in the previous battle, but although he fell down a wall on top of some bodies, he seemed fine when he went to talk to Athelstan in the woods and when he checked on Bjorn after the battle. Plus he's pissing blood, which screams disease/virus/infection to me. I wonder if the flu that's suddenly got the Parisians got Ragnar too.

I'm also wondering about him dying. It's tough to think Vikings would continue without him, but who knows. He's sick enough that he thinks he is dying, and his people are poised to turn on him for getting baptized. I don't think he'll die, but I think the show definitely wants us to be thinking about it.

Great episode. My only complaint is Eckbert and all the Wessex stuff. I have to admit, if the Vikings aren't there in England, I don't really care what's going on over there or the characters there. It's like watching two completely different shows right now, and it's making Vikings disjointed at the moment. I could do without the whole Wessex thing until Ragnar et al come back to take revenge for slaughtering their settlement.
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Apr 17, 2015
don't forget he is also vomiting blood not just pissing it.
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Apr 17, 2015
Yes, he only thinks he's dying. Actual history shows otherwise. And agree totally with your point about Wessex. It felt unnecessary. Without Ragnar to bounce off Eckbert's scheming, that storyline is kind of boring.
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Apr 17, 2015
I think actual history shows no clear agreement as to whether a "Ragnar" ever actually existed or whether he is a mythical compilation.
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Apr 18, 2015
True but the folklore suggests this is not his time yet. From the fall he sustained it looks like he may have broken a few ribs and damaged his kidneys. This does not bode well from him but if the history channel is all about historic accuracy (ish) then we should still have Ragnar around for at least one more season....? Can't help but think about the seers prophecy from the other episode re Rollo being on the path to greatness.
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Apr 17, 2015
Finally Ragnar takes control and tells everybody to shut the hell up. Everyone is talking and making decisions as if Ragnar were invisible. He's the King and althought he is open to suggestion he does have the last say. Did anyone else laugh when Bjorn said winter is coming?
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Apr 17, 2015
So...is Ragnar really going to die? Cuz that would kinda suck.
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Apr 17, 2015
They have roughly followed history. It's thought that Ragnar died soon after the seige of Paris....though I thought the vikings also were hit with the plague that Paris was hit with. So if he survives, it's not for long. It's his son's story now.
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Apr 17, 2015
According to Wiki (which isn't as bad as some make it out to be) its unclear whether a "Ragnar" ever existed or whether he was a compilation of assorted people and their events.
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Apr 17, 2015
but all his sons were older... he had already watched and been jealous of them in battle.... and then they go on to avenge him
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Apr 17, 2015
Of course it's part legend anyway... No one really knows the story says he died in a pit of snakes. Not alot of poisonous snakes in northern Europe
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Apr 17, 2015
England... not Europe :P and there are Adders haha! Plus if the bird from Wessex has Monkeys n stuff I'm pretty sure they could get their hands on a load of snakes to put in a pit!
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Apr 17, 2015
the bird from Mercia sorry, not Wessex!
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Apr 17, 2015
Well, they've already had such scene in season 1 with Saxon commander.
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