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Vikings S02E10: "The Lord's Prayer"

Vikings' Season 2 finale was a classic case of "great result, rough time getting there." And depending on what you want out of your television, your feelings about it will vary. Ragnar's utter demolition of King Horik's face toward the end of the hour was awesome, and a real money shot for Vikings' bloodthirsty fans. But the supposed "twist" and long con that paved the way for that brutality was a bit wishy-washy, and it undermined some of the confusing set-up from earlier in the season. 

To sum things up—and they were definitely a little confusing—Ragnar and Floki were apparently in cahoots all along, with Ragnar asking Floki to get close to Horik to keep an eye on him for the whole darned season. So all the time we spent watching Floki grow frustrated with Ragnar, during which he came to resent his old pal, was as much a ruse to misdirect us as it was to misdirect Horik. I think Floki is one of Vikings' most fascinating characters because he scares the bejeezus out of me. I've always seen his unpredictability as one of his defining traits, making the apparent side-switching somewhat believable (even though deep down inside, no one really thought Floki would betray Ragnar). But apparently that wasn't the case. (Rollo, who one would think would be the most loyal, actually turned out to be more of an untrustworthy character.)

Loyalty, to Ragnar specifically, is Floki's chief characteristic. Throughout Season 2, I must have said, "Floki, what the hell are you doing?" so many times that it became a mini-mantra, and when you're consistently questioning a character's motives and actions, it means something was not working. So when Floki stepped out and told Horik, "No, King Horik, I only betrayed you," it was a fist-pump moment—because Horik was going to get what he deserved—but it also let the air out of the balloon because we saw it coming. Unfortunately, the plan never came off as clever as it was intended to be. 


Granted, these are mostly simple men. And the simplest of them all ended up being Horik, a waffling character whose thirst for revenge and retaining power clouded his cunning and made him do stupid things. You know, like run into an ambush or think he could possibly sneak one over on Ragnar. Ha! Dummy. And since he was supposed to be a main player in the last big fight of Season 2, his not-so-threatening presence diminished things a bit. 

Vikings has a habit of offing Ragnar's scariest competition in the middle of the season (Earl Heraldson in Season 1, Jarl Borg in Season 2), which is great for drumming up interest when it happens, but tends to put the show in a weird place going into the finale. Horik and the plan to kill him fell a bit short of a truly memorable closing hour. But even though it wasn't perfect, we got the result we wanted as Ragnar made mincemeat out of Horik's head. 



NOTES FROM THE GODS


– There seems to be some confusion with regard to Floki's mushroom plan, and you're not alone! I agree mostly with what @davidspencer and @Vicky8675309 said in the comments below: Torstein was given the mushrooms as a way to fake his death, while Rollo was given the mushrooms to... ummm, I don't even know. Get strength from the gods, I guess? It's odd that one dose would make a man vomit his brains out and another would make an injured man feel better. Check your measurements, people. 

– There's also a bit of confusion with regard to what happened to Horik's family. Well, they were mostly slaughtered because screw them! Kill the family line! But either we didn't see the death of Erlendur—the Joffrey to Horik's Robert Baratheon—or the writers didn't think it was necessary to point out his death. He must still be alive. (Horik begged for Ragnar to spare his son's life.) As for the women who were huddled over the dead kids, either Ragnar spared Horik's daughters or they were his servants. Like I said, it got pretty confusing. 

– Man, Viking parties look awesome. Even Aslaug was getting down and throwing her drink on people!

– Bjorn and Forunn's foreplay of beating each other up is a Viking tradition I will never understand. 

– I really wanted to see Athelstan play a bigger role in this finale. 

– I loved that last shot of Ragnar as king. All hail Ragnar!

– The headline of this review is a nod to The Wire, and indeed, Horik missed. Badly.


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maybe floke knew that the mushrooms were toxic when taken with alcohol but helpful when not
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I think you may want to go back and watch the episode more carefully. He fed different mushrooms to Rollo. The scene where he's shown picking them, they come from different places and aren't the same. Different mushrooms have different properties. The ones he fed to Rollo were medicine to help him heal faster so he could participate in the final battle (they needed him). But Floki knew no one (least of all Rollo) would trust him to heal Rollo because Rollo almost killed him.

I also think it's important to remember that Floki isn't loyal to Ragnar because he likes him. He's loyal because he believes the gods favor Ragnar. He considers it his job to keep Ragnar on the straight and narrow with regard to the gods, which is why he has problems with Athelstan... he knows Ragnar is curious about Christianity and believes it could cause the gods to turn their backs on him.

Floki's a loner. He doesn't care about power except how it affects his ability to do as he so chooses. He doesn't want to be earl or king. Any friendship he does have with Ragnar is based on Ragnar's recognition of his genius boat-building skills. Could he turn on Ragnar? Absolutely. The only person he's loyal to absolutely is Helga (and likely now his daughter). He loves Ragnar in his own messed up way, but his friendship with Ragnar comes with conditions.

He's extremely religious, and if he believed Ragnar was turning his back on the gods, Floki would anticipate the gods' anger and he could very well conspire with Horik based on that because he would believe that Horik would become favored by the gods if Ragnar did that. And if he wants to keep building his boats, he has to go with the guy who the gods favor.

Floki does get irritated with Ragnar, too. He doesn't care about power, but he does care that Ragnar's starting to buy into his own hype. Floki considers his overconfidence a detriment and he dislikes that Ragnar doesn't take every possible opportunity to make sure everyone knows that Floki's advanced (and gods-favored) boats made all this possible in the first place. He'd probably even be satisfied with Ragnar acknowledging it privately, but it's been a while since he did that. He believes Ragnar would be nothing without him and it rubs him the wrong way that Ragnar seems to forget that. That in and of itself isn't enough to cause disloyalty, but it likely made it pretty easy to play the part (in another article somewhere, Gustaf Skarsgård said he thinks Floki is a method actor... he used his real frustration with Ragnar to fuel his performance).
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I think that Loki fed the mushrooms to Rollo first because as we know he doesn't like Rollo in the first place. So, if Rollo had died from the mushrooms, Loki would have known to find a different way to fake the death and he would have been able to settle a score that was obviously irking him throughout the episodes.
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can anyone tell me where the last scene was shot ?
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I really wanted to get caught up on season 1 before the 2nd premiere, but that didn't happen. I wasn't going to let the same mistake happen twice. If asked to describe Vikings to anybody looking to watch, it's Sons of Anarchy circa 790AD Scandinavia, and that's a GOOD thing...even if it means some of Ragnar's plans stretch reason, but only just a little.

Floki's distain for Athelstan and Rollo is real, but his loyalty to Ragnar trumps all. And while him flipping over to Horik's side has been a theme for a number of episodes, until it became clear that Horik was going to try and kill Ragnar, Floki's main purpose was just to keep an eye on him. There was a brief seen in episode 9 when Horik went sulking off to his tent, Ragnar gave Floki a look and he went after him. "SWEET! Floki hasn't switched sides, they're just playing him {phew}". Though I seriously second guessed that during the mushroom fiasco.

Speaking of, what did Floki say, "It's the food of the Gods"? I think that's probably legit. A medicinal mushroom, no more, no less. While I'm sure he'd quite like to kill Rollo, he knows that loyalty to Ragnar and his clan come first and Rollo is important, so why not help him get better? And maybe take advantage of a sick man to f*ck with him a little.

As for Horik's family, they're all dead with the possible exception of Lil' Joffrey. I think this particular bit demonstrates the disadvantage of network censors. Sure, sometimes the violence and nudity of say Spartacus or Game of Thrones might be unnecessary, but sometimes it is. For as much as I appreciated the discretion in the Blood Eagle scene, watching the scene of those kids being slaughtered would have added gravitas to the proceedings (can't believe I just said that). But, I still think it's true. Now, it's hard to tell if Erlendur is alive because Ragnar showed mercy, if he's dead but his execution wasn't shown for "decency" reasons or if it was left hanging intentionally.

Bring on season 3!
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so rolo didn't die when loki gave him the fake poisonous mushrooms... didn't horik find out he didn't die? confusing the whole mushroom bit
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Love this show sorry to see it end again. Great team of actors. Hope to see some reruns I don't think they did for season 1. Best thing to watch on tv.
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I think there is something to consider when it comes to the death of Horik. Ragnar had plenty of reasons to waste Horik long before the true treachery of this plot to also murder his children was revealed by both Loki & Ziggy. To find out that Horik ultimately was going to have his family slaughtered & then asking for mercy for his own son seemed to have left him speechless till his more then dark angry scream & bloody face smashing of Horik. This King was a duplicitous, egotistical, selfish, & not the best of allies / thankless guest considering it was Ragnar who initially invited him to the raids.
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I love the show, but in real life, King Horik outlived Ragnar, Ragnar didn't kill him.
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Why does Ragnar have such a smug grin on his face...?

...Camera pans out to reveal he just had a threesome with his wife and ex-wife. His legend knows no bounds.
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where can I see that scene?? I know it is in the international version
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There's an international version?
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still have one question, if Ragnar knew the whole thing from the beginning, why the guards in kattegat are caught by surprise and killed??
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the surprise attack had to seem genuine or else King Horik wouldn't have walked completely into the trap. A necessary sacrifice if you may.
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i wondered the same MM
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Not only that my friend, he let his ill, bedridden brother Rolu to fight for his life without protection at all! He let the entire army of King Horik to invade his village fully armed without a plan to incapacitate them like he did with Jal-Borg. That seems to be more stupid than King Horik himself. The way he killed Jal-Borg was boring and very treacherous to be honest. Nothing heroic about it. And you are right, e let his people die - the guards - for no good reason.
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I think that he didn't trust guards.. I think nobody knew of the plan except for his most trusted..would be kinda stupid to tell everyone that the king was going to attack..big chance there could be spies.
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seems reasonable, but Lagertha appears in the middle of the night with her warriors...
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That is a very good question, guess they were sacrificed to sell the ruse.
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could be, but doesn't make a lot of sense to me, better not to put guards at all if you want to sell the ruse instead of sacrifice your men.
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Got me there, you are 100% correct sir.
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we have to ask the guionists!
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Okay, did anyone else think the dead kids that Bjorn walked in and saw al over the beds were Ragnar's boys? They were little boys and Horik said he only had girls so I was very confused by that whole scene. I love this show but the writers make the viewers do alot of guessing on what actually happened!
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Horik had boys..He asks Ragnar to spare his eldest in the final scene in the great hall. He says he has many girls at the feast not only girls. From what I saw...it was Horik's family slaves tending to his slain children.
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Will admit it was almost 100% what I was thinking, especially when Bjorn released who I also at the time thought were Horiks actual daughters - even thought they killed Ragnars sons initially. I think much of the confusion now lies with the fact that Horiks daughters were the younger ones that like me many thought were boys - the curly haired one I now hear was absolutely a girl. The older females were either slaves or servants that were later released by Bjorn either as a nod to his own ex-slave love interest or as innocents. A couple of dresses & flowers in the hair might have helped but not the Viking way I guess.
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SO glad it turned out to be a ruse! AllordWatson called it last week and I was hoping this commenter was right. It was becoming obvious the more I watched the finale but I'm still glad it turned out this way. I admit to still being a little confused over the mushrooms too but oh well maybe it was Floki's extra flourish over Rollo that went more towards healing than anything else. Maybe Rollo did vomit. We certainly saw him seemingly choking and then we went to another scene so it's possible that he did vomit off screen. 2015 is too far away! ALL HAIL KING RAGNAR!
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I heard that the US version of the finale didn't have a post-threesome scene featuring Ragnar, Aslaug and Lagertha.
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ok now i'm pissed that i didn't download the 'uncut' version which must have been the UK version. lesson learned and next year i'll be downloading the UK one. had no idea it was different
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I hope you are trolling, because if not then I am very disappointed because I live in the US.
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Just finished season two on Amazon UK's streaming service and yep it does include the scene. The best part of it is Ragnar's grin post-coitus. Mind you who can blame him?
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I am afraid that was not trolling. I read another article where the writer talked about the us version and european version. And apparently the european version has additional scenes and is longer includin the threesome scene
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I agree with one of the comments about Athelstan. I would have liked to have seen more of him in this episode. He really is one of the most interesting characters in this series, as is his friendship with Ragnar. One of the main thematic elements of the show - the meeting and mingling of two different cultures - is to a large degree carried by Athelstan and this friendship. Quite fascinating.
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I agree, but since the England storyline is not over, I'm confident we'll see more of the cultural and religious clashes in season 3. And Athelstan's character is right in the middle of those clashes. He'll probably play a big part in the story going forward and he'll probably be forced to take sides even though he really wants to combine both these worlds, or cherry pick what he likes from them.
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Actually season 3 will continue the england storyline. And the writer is aldo going to send ragnar and company to paris do there will be a new storyline to start
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If any show deserves a spin off its Vikings!!

The Lagertha Diaries
Game of Lagertha
Lagertha (like Banshee! or Spartacus!)
Breaking Lagertha
Lagertha's Demons
Sons of Lagertha
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50 shades of Lagertha :D
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Or the show where she moves to England and becomes a crime novellist.
Lagertha Christie.
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my only sort of beef with this ep was so much of it was filmed in dark places and made it really hard to follow the action. All Hail Ragnar!!!
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Also, I'm curious about the final scene. I thought it was supposed to be some leap forward in the future showing Ragnar at some brand new location. Possibly Greenland? (England is getting a little old afterall). By the lack of mention I guess most people just assume it was a cool closing scene showing him as King of his own lands.

Now that the show has legs and a budget to match, I'd expect to see a little expansion.
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Well instead of greenland, the writer will be adding paris to ragnars horizon
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Hi Laserwolf412_XL,

the last scene does represent a leap forward in time (3rd series) showing Ragnar as the new king sitting on what most likely is a very famous Norwegian tourist destination called "Prekestolen" or in English Preacher's Pulpit or Pulpit Rock.
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the fact that floki did betray ragnar was a really turn off... :/
and i wanted sigi to kill ragnar's kids..but nothing happened!!
i found Thorunn's flirting with bjorn hilarious...i guess the girl is kinky!!
overall it was ok..nothing much!
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Actually I thought the twist was quite clever. Most TV Shows go too over-the-top which makes it obvious. Once Horik started calling for a Massacre it was clear that Floki was going to betray his plan to Ragnar, but since they built such a foundation of his bitterness starting with his pardon of Rollo. I never thought Floki's deception went all the way back. In fact, I'm sure that his early bitterness and resentment was somewhat real, just not anywhere near enough to cause him to be disloyal.


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I was worried when Horik was amassing his raid at the end. I was really fearful that Ragnar had not been up on what was happening.
But when I was Lagertha in her full battle gear, I knew that Ragnar and everyone knew what was going on.
It was the same tension I had when I thought that Horik was helping Borg escape...but it just turned out to a whole mind game on Borg....maybe...at least that what it appeared to be in the end. The reality could have been that Horik REALLY wanted to free Borg in order to overthrow Ragnar.

I really thought that Floki had turned. The question I always had on my mind was "Why would anyone turn against Ragnar? What did he do to them?" Ragnar had been nothing but fair to all of his people and even those who aren't his people.

All hail King Ragnar!
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RE Borg: I think Horik really wanted to free Borg but all changed when Ragnar find the ally in Lagertha to raid.
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Ok, after reading the review twice and so far all of the comments, there is a scene that needs(to a certain degree) clearing.
Horik's wife prepares for the ambush:

Meanwhile, Lagertha approaches with a few men:



Lagertha and her men kill Horik's wife and the guards and when they look for other fighters they find the mostly(only?) female rest of the family:



Lagertha leaves with seemingly no further intention but the other guy really lingers with his dark glare...

When fighting is over, Bjorn walks by, all kids are slaughtered, only three girls survived ...
So that psycho killed only the youngest kids and Ragnar's son maybe thinks now that his father's order killed Horik's kids, right?
I'm interested to see if there are consequences to this scene and what those will be. I don't think it's considered a crime or something but Bjorn didn't like what he saw and he probably has a problem with the slaughter of a king's family... and maybe he cares for the why and who, IDK.
When I watched the scene for the first time I thought Lagertha killed them or gave the order to kill them or didn't care and let it happen. Now I'm not so sure anymore.
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Lagertha leaves as the guy at the door tells her that he has orders from Ragnar. Ragnar gave the order for the family to be killed.
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Another piece to the puzzle, thanks!
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So Lagertha beats the infamous Broom Hilda (sorry if I got the name wrong)..their fight was so cool! Go Lagertha!
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Whoops, got it wrong...her name was Gunnhild.........

GO LAGERTHA!
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The women that Bjorn tells to go are slaves girls only, thought that was the case in an earlier post but read it elsewhere from the director.
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If that's true I believe that Lagertha knew what "had to be done" and left it to her shield-brother, the grim looking dude to do the deed. That way it would explain that the slaves/servant girls were spared. And although Bjorn was shocked it doesn't necessarily need to have immediate consequences next season.
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great observations!
I just hope they don't rely on some miscommunication between Bjorn and Ragnar next season as a result of this ambiguous scene.
I think Bjorn would have a problem with the slaughter of innocent children (probably would include all "innocents")
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Thanks! It was all a little messy in the end, Ragnar killing Horik was shown in between but I like to give Vikings the slack for having something planned with this. Either Bjorn blames Ragnar or his mother but in the end neither gave the order and it was the single deed of that mean looking asshole. But why did he spare some of them? Or did they ran off and came back shortly before Bjorn entered the longhouse? Maybe it was intentional too leave it ambiguous paired with a forgivable amount of muddiness...
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the thing that frightened (and still bothers me!) me was when ragnar prayed with athelstan, he becomes a little too interested in christianity for my taste... i really hope that he doesn't convert, this would kill it for me.. hail VIKINGS!
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That was actually the point where I started to think that Ragnar knew what was going on and was preparing for the coming battle. Just covering all of his bases, so to say.. It was a nice touch that Athelstan repeated the prayer before stepping into the battle.
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You obviously don't know your Viking history! (Maybe just as well as it would be a spoiler!)
Just sayin!
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In regards to Floki and the mushrooms....if you watch when he collects the mushrooms it is two different kinds of mushrooms. The first looked like a regular mushroom and the second had the long stems. Mind you when we see him feed them to Rollo and then give them to Torstein they both look like the same kind.
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Generally, I am disappointed with where the season has gone. Characters I once respected, or at least understood, have become impossible to watch. The writing has become disjointed, the level of gruesome beyond what is necessary. I am done with the series.
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I would not quit just yet but I do think Season one was better than Season two. There is still hope for a better Season three.
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S1e1 Floki believed that divine intervention had brought him and Ragnar together, right from day one Floki believed they were blessed and had a destiny - when he said he thought the gods were with horrik what reason did he have to believe that? None. Horrik didn't come to him with a sunstone. I never thought Floki would betray ragnar but they sure had me leaning :)
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scriptwise, it was an awful, confusing, and quite boring episode. It had some nice scenes though, Skarsgård's overacting is highly enjoyable, and I found myself oddly intrigued by Horik's wife. But generally it was a big letdown
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Dam! Ragnar went full beast mode on Horik and loved seeing Lagertha owning Horik's wifey
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* King Horik either completely forgot that Ragnar had no problems with killing his own Earl when that Earl went against him, that Ragnar had no problem killing a fellow Earl who had attacked his Earldom, and that Ragnar had already clearly heavily hinted to King Horik that he considered Horik a possible enemy.

- So, Horik simply had either the ego to think that Ragnar wouldn't try to kill him or that he would succeed in killing Ragnar. And Horik was dumb enough to bring his entire family to Ragnar's Earldom.

* Ragnar Lothbrok didn't kill Earl Heraldson's wife or daughter. That wife ended up being in Earl Ragnar's inner circle, sat at Earl Ragnar's table, and was dating Ragnar's brother. Ragnar didn't kill the new wife of Earl Jarl Borg. And so again Ragnar didn't kill the daughter of King Horik. And probably the only reason the wife died is because she was fighting against Ragnar's forces. Ragnar had all the sons of King Horik killed probably simply to not have any princes around who would technically still be King instead of Ragnar. And unless Horik's eldest son renounced his claim to the throne, he would probably be killed.

- Also, Bjorn was prophesied to marry the daughter of a King and so Ragnar probably had that in mind when he decided not to kill King Horik's daughters. Although I still consider that Bjorn is going to marry Princess Kernswith.

* Probably the biggest questions is who is going to be Earl of Ragnar's Earldom? And who is going to be Earl of Jarl Borgs Earldom? Will Ragnar give these Earldoms to Rollo and Bjorn? Will Floki get an Earldom?

- I reason Rollo is going to become Earl of Ragnar's Earldom and that maybe Floki will get the other Earldom.
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Sorry it was confirmed elsewhere by the director the daughters are indeed dead, the women Bjorn tells to go are slave girls only which is probably more a homage to ex-slave girlfriend.
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Wow, I guess it makes sense since a daughter would still be rightfully Queen.

Still, that's a change for Ragnar.

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Well Floki had me fooled also. But I knew something was up when he kept asking King Horik what the plan was. I also knew when he was collecting the mushrooms from two different places. The ones he gave Rollo were probably a stimulant and pain killer and the other ones were to knock the guy out and to make it appear he was dead. I am like Tim, Floki scars me and I love his character. But I know he has great love for Ragnar and would never betray him. If you remember when king Horik was up talking about his kids he had three little girls one had curly hair and there were three women servants who were holding the little girls hands. So the little kids were killed except his son and we don't know what Ragnar is going to do with him yet. The girls Bjorn let go was the slaves of Horik's. I loved how the ruse took place even though I knew it was going to happen. Horiks head becoming mince meat was gross but cool...got to love that bloody faced Ragnar. The last scene with Ragnar as king setting on that cold barren mountain was awesome. I really love this show.
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Floki is clearly seen gathering mushrooms in two different spots which I'm assuming means he gave different types of mushrooms to Torstien and Rollo. When they showed the scene I was assuming some were commonly eaten and the others were deadly mushrooms that resembled the safe ones but now it seems like one type was a pain numbing agent and the other was one that would let Torstein fake his death.
They should have made it clearer that the survinging people in Horik's room where his servants. The dead included both boys and girls so all children were killed. I'm thinking that Horik's son is going to be a present to King Ecbert in order to secure the land that Ragnar was promised by him.
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So Ragnar didn't have any lines this episode, I'm about as shitty as understanding symbolism as you can be so did someone that's not me get it? Also does anyone know why Athelstan was missing a hand in the promo they release awhile before season two began? I was waiting all season for him to lose his hand and he never did, that too much be symbolism I missed so again if anyone understand it I would appreciate them sharing.
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It's not you. The writing this season has paled in comparison to last season. Many confusing, disjointed, and unresolved plot lines.
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Tim, you are not that smart and acting like all this stuff you figured out is a joke. The show did exactly what it was supposed to do, make you question Floki until the end. I am really starting to think the reviewers on this site are trying to over think what is happening or trying to place their own, unrealistic expectations on shows. You are nitpicking here and really, if you going to get that specific and act all high and mighty, drop out of the review business and get into government, you'd fit right in.

This was another great season and they made you question several characters loyalty until the end and the above comment about Rollo makes no sense.
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In sports they call it armchair coaching. Sadly this type of response is the American way - it takes an opinion to a whole new level.
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im confused are you trying to insult mdoz34, or the guy who posted the article?
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Agree with you. I think we are all sufferinga little bit of "game of thrones syndrome" and we expect every serie to have over-complicated tramas and crazy history-line changes. I think a lot of people were expecting a "red-wedding" stuff in the las episode lol
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I was questioning Floki right until i realised they didn't show him murdering Bjorn.
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I always had my doubts about Floki duplicity, so it wasn't surprising when he didn't betrayed Ragnar. Siggy, not so much, but I accept the explanation that she wasn't going to take Horrik's crap.
I missed the parts where Alesthan comes to Rollo's rescue or the guy who was poisoned comes back, BECAUSE EVERYTHING WAS SO DARK! Come on!!! I get it, there was not electricity back then, but it's frustrating not being able to see what is going on.
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It was chilling how calm Ragnar was before he gave finally into his feelings:

And Floki is just the best.

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2 memorable quotes from season 2:
1. "Can you keep a secret Floki?" "No."
2. "The gods always favor brave women... like the Valkyries, whose furies men both fear and desire."

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i think Forunn fights as foreplay in an attempt to express equality with Bjorn, also showing her enthusiasm for sparring, thus learning better fighting skills so that she can emulate Lagertha's abilities. This show makes me realize How Rare it is to see such solid, self-sufficient, strong female characters who are completely capable of holding their own. I F*CKIN LUV THIS SHOW!! and very pleased that i didn't have to keep bitching at Floki~clapping and cheering happened here. King Horik - bleh.... screams of delight at seeing his head turned into marshmallows and tomato soup.
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If you remember Floki picked two types of mushrooms. The mushroom he gave Rollo may have been a stimulant because we next see Rollo trying to stand up and use his leg. Torsten May have been given a combination of mushrooms, after all, he knew they were from Floki. As far as Ragnar, I'm sure he has a long life to live before his demise, after all, the History has a great show and I can't imagine them wanting to end it to soon. Besides, after Ragnar's death you have "The Great Viking War", or, as the English called it, " The Great Heathen War", which lasts for 14 years, lol.
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I would't worry about the mythology. I kicked myself for looking Ragnar up on Wikipedia because spoilers can ruin a show for me, but I've come to realize that the show is doing its own thing. Honestly most mythology, whether it's Nordic, Greek, or Native American makes for pretty poor story-telling. I think the show's creators realize this.
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I'm wondering if they are going to kill Ragnar at the end of next season. They've already gone off the historical recond though admittedly there is no proof of a real Ragnar though his 'sons' are historical figures.

Ragnar is supposed to have led many raids against the Franks and I'd like to see them introduce Louis the Pious next season (Louis was Charlemange's son who was given the western part of his conquests that is essentially today's France). I guess they could make that a full season in itself followed by a season where Ragnar's sons find their own success and his jealousy of this leads to his demise in a Northumbrian snakepit.

I really want to see a portrayal of the Great Heathen War and the rise of Alfred along with the Viking raids and conquest of Normandy and in the Mediterranean along with England. There are so many stories they could do I hope the History Channel has the will to follow them to the end.
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And Rollo in Normandy, and Bjorn in the mediterranean sea...
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Honestly, I was let down. It was memorable and props for conception, but the follow-through just fizzled, especially compared to how fluid and impactful the season 1 finale was... it was one of the best on TV last year. It didn't miss a beat, from cinematography to editing, it was seamless. Something felt "off" about this season as a whole. There were gorgeous moments, but can't put my finger on it. It feels like they are cramming so much in, that it's undermining the story. So you feel the holes.

Love it, just hoping for an improved S3
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Pretty positive the women in the room were slave girls. Horik's daughters were murdered- there were quite a few close-ups of them. As for the mushrooms, I think it has to do with Rollo's leg getting stronger because he stood up to fight Horik's men. Like, both legs and ALL. OR Floki needed to test them on someone and decided (since he DID nearly kill him) that Rollo would be the best bet. I suspect Athelstan will get his time to shine in season 3, since he's so wishy-washy at the moment, and they'll be going back to see Ecbert.
Loved the season finale, mostly because it calmed my nerves. And a lot of people are frustrated because it put them off during the mid-season, thinking that Floki's personality had suddenly changed, but I think that kept me even more anxious for the following week's episode. Floki's been my favorite character since the beginning, and I was certainly frustrated, but I'm just thankin' the Gods that Floki is as badass as I hoped and Horik's gotten head-butted to death. Awesome.
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Came here for the Wire reference
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The show has it's quirks. Still the best thing since The Wire though. Great finale.

Can't wait till season 3. I can see a few more seasons of Ragnar and his son's if the quality keeps up. It gets much more exciting too!
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I'm confused. The dead boys looked like Ragnars sons,not king Horiks I thought King Horik had only daughters.
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This is what I just wrote too. The dead children were definitely boys, i rewatched the scene just to make sure.
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Funny I re-watched & came up with the same conclusions as you. BUT turns out they are not boys, was confirmed by the writer on another site. The one with the curly hair is absolutely a girl as are the rest of the dead children. As I stated before a few dresses & some flowers in the hair might have helped - just not the Viking way I guess.
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I enjoy the series very much and can't wait until season 3. Couldn't understand Floki turning against Ragnar and the twist at the end. Floki feeding mushrooms to Rollo.....and then Torstein...there were a lot of twists and it all came out at the end...including King Horik's own knife that he had given Siggy, killing him. Come on season #3!!
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Remember the Snake Pit in Northumbria?? According to most of accounts this is where Ragnar will meet his end. Stay away from the pit!! Interesting enough there are other accounts of him being killed by King Horik outside of Paris!! Who knows. Limited evidence is available for reconstructing history from that period.. For the most part, the producers have been fairly loyal to those events that can be confirmed. I think it's an excellent series so far.
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This whole season was okay, but I didn't enjoy it as well as the first. Misleading the audience is okay, as long as it's believable. Floki's apparently turn against Ragnar never made any sense, and ever since he started getting an attitude about Ragnar, I was confused and wondering what Ragnar had done to make him act like this. I finally settled on jealousy, because of how popular/powerful Ragnar was becoming, because that was the best I could do. But it never fit Floki's character. Now I see that it didn't fit his character for a reason. However, misleads work best when the apparent motives of the character doing the misleading make some sense. If there had been some reason for Floki to turn on Ragnar, this season would've been better for me. As it was, it was a bit of a stumbling block. It feels like not a lot happened this season compared to last, but on closer inspection, I'm not sure why. Sure, a few things did happen this time, but mostly the show kind of plodded along, but when I really think about s1, I'm not sure a whole lot happened there either. It's kind of a plodding show, maybe? Maybe because s1 was so new and fresh and exciting to me, it felt like more was going on? I dunno. The whole story arc for s2 felt like something that was about 5 eps worth, max, not 10. Still.....better than 90% of what's on TV, and I'll continue to watch and look forward to s3.
More+
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well, Floki got me fooled.
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Was that an Ulfberht sword Ragnar had at the end of the episode? I do believe it was, and if so, it shows just how much care the History Channel is taking to try to put some real history into this show.

For those who haven't heard of Ulfberht swords, there was a PBS show last year called Secrets of the Viking Sword that was a completely fascinating look at them. Below I copied the text from PBS that descibes the show:

"The Vikings were among the fiercest warriors of all time. Yet only a select few carried the ultimate weapon of their era: the feared Ulfberht sword. Fashioned using a process that would remain unknown to the Vikings' rivals for centuries, the Ulfberht was a revolutionary high-tech tool as well as a work of art."

Maybe I'm more excited by this than most because I'm a real history buff, but it's cool to see stuff like this show up in an episode after seeing it in an actual documentary. Vikings is an awesome show, and my only complaint about it is that it is over too soon.
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Seen a show of a modern remaking of the sword in the way they may have made it back then, pretty impressive. According to the show the timeline seems a little off, as a matter of fact it is ultimately the raiding & their trading that leads to them acquiring the steel needed to make the sword. But it is a TV show & I agree it does indeed look like one of those amazing swords.
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"– Bjorn and Forunn's foreplay of beating each other up is another Viking tradition I will never understand."

You need to rewatch Mr and Mrs Smith, Nikita. Apparently beating each other up is great at setting up long-term relationships.
More than Floki's game, the real satisfaction came for me from Siggy who's been playing Horik (and us) all along, for Ragnar. Her thirst for power and position was entirely believable. And... she took the game very far.

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Love The Vikings but this season finale was a bit too trite. Can only imagine what will happen next season now that Ragnar is KING. I miss Lagertha being central to the story even though she is now an Earl.
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I honestly felt like she was more central to the series in this season than in the previous one. In the first season, she got left out a lot, while now as 'earl ingstad', she played a much more pivotal role in the events of the show.
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