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Tara Ariano

S02.E05: Answers In Blood

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Lagertha and Ragnar unite to try to win Kattegat back from Jarl Borg; Aslaug must face the truth of her prophecies; Athelstan struggles to define his faith; Bjorn must once again make a choice.

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"Hi. The Vikings aren't home right now, but if you leave a message, we'll get back to you IN BLOOD!"

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"Hi. Helga Mays here. Have you married what you thought was going to be a mighty berserker warrior but you ended up a Viking wimp? For only half a lamb, we'll express deliver you a goblet of fresh human BLOOD to throw on your family and loved ones before community meetings. Don't delay, order today!"

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It's a great idea, Dave, but if you're cutting a lamb in half to pay Helga, you've already got your BLOOD problem solved.

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Poor Athelstan needs to make up his mind about which side of the religious fence he's sitting on right quick, 'cause this in-between stuff is NOT going to work out well for him.

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I think Lagertha might be my favoritecharacter on television at the moment. She is just the best. I loved how all the women of the town went up to her and left Aslaug all by herself. She has her own fanclub! Hopefully her leaving doesn't mean we won't see her in the upcoming episode.

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Seeing Lagertha, Ragnor & Bjorn fighting together gave me more joy that I can say. I watched those fight scenes twice & will probably watch the whole show again today. I love that Lagartha gets to continue to be strong & kick ass.

I know Aslaug was apart of the actually history but man I can't wait until her story arc is over & done.

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This was the first episod I ever watched and though I have no clue what's going on I am HOOKED! I want MOAR!

Who is the husband Latherga is returning to? Not crazy about Asalug. Hopefully there will be a marathon soon so I can figure this show out!

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Any other TWoPers over here yet? 

Love the Ecbergt character. I cannot tell what he's going to do next, and he has such a malevolent undertone.

Was surprised by Siggy asking if Rollo is still in love with Lagertha. I guess they're going to go there!

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Anyone else end up scratching their heads as to why burning the winter stores was going to be such a great idea?  Now they've won and returned to take up residence, what are they going to eat?

I love this series, and generally haven't had a problem with the plot devices and can suspend disbelief for the sake of enjoyment, but this one struck me as a bit startling.  I guess we have to believe that Ragnar has his own secret stash...

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You're not the only one DHDancer. I thought that was a really bad idea and if I were one of the villagers that had been left behind I'd have said something along the lines of "Yeah we're really glad you're back but did you have to burn the stores?! Really?"

I loved this episode and never more when they were taking it to Jarl Borg. Seeing Ragnar and Lagertha protecting Bjorn and then him fighting like a BAMF made my whole night.

I only wish we could have gotten rid of Jarl Borg and then English had killed King Horik because what I really want to see is Ecbert and Ragnar going at each other without those other two blowhards involved.

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I loved this episode and never more when they were taking it to Jarl Borg. Seeing Ragnar and Lagertha protecting Bjorn and then him fighting like a BAMF made my whole night.

I have friends who have a family game night on Fridays, Wii, Mario, card games...  Ragnar, his ex wife, and son crank it up to a supreme badass level.  Loved watching the three of them fighting together; it was the best part of the episode.

Edited by GreyBunny

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Any other TWoPers over here yet?

Yes, yes there are! 

Count me amongst those who love Lagertha dearly, and who were delighted to see the warm, relieved greeting the village women gave her, while ignoring Aslaug.  I hate Aslaug.  Not merely because she intentionally pursued Ragnar so as to hitch herself to his rising star despite the fact that he was married to Lagertha and happened to do so at a time when Lagertha had to watch her own daughter and many friends and comrades die of the plague, but also because she just sucks.  I understand that she is a princess and the daughter of famous Vikings, but given her supposed lineage, you'd think she'd be a little more hardy and stoic about the conditions while running for her life with her children from Earl Borg.  Apparently she hasn't made a lot of friends in Kattegat since she arrived, which I choose to take as further evidence that she sucks.  Lagertha, on the other hand, rocks!  I was proud of her for being too proud to accept Ragnar's sister-wives offer even now, when we know her current husband is a jerk and that this means she will be separated from Bjorn.  I am trying to avoid historical accounts so as to stay unspoiled, but I hope this is not the last we see of her, because she fills the gap left by Buffy and Xena for me. 

Regarding the winter stores -- this concerns me as well.  I guess Ragnar will have to use the money/booty he acquired on this raid to buy grain and food for everyone for the winter.  I would assume that given the loss of two ships and all their men and booty, the deaths caused by Earl Borg's takeover, and the loss of the grain, that this year's raid ended up being pretty unsuccessful on balance, even though they found so much gold in Wessex.  Which I really think is largely King Horik's fault -- the dispute between Ragnar and Earl Borg all stems from King Horik's rivalry with Earl Borg, and Ragnar hasn't gotten much from aligning with King Horik.

Edited by lawless

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Loved seeing Ragnar and Lagertha rush over to shield Baby Bjorn when he had some trouble. The Vikings who slay together, stay together...or not, in this case.

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Jarl Borg didn't seem to bring any of his peasants with him to Kattegat, only his warriors and his wife, so where is his original jarldom?  Did he leave that town unprotected?  I'd suggest Ragnar raid that town for its grain stores, but that would make the innocent suffer along with the Jarl.

I can't blame Aslaug completely and give Ragnar a pass for the situation.  It took both of them to create the mess.  Aslaug wanted the father of their child to take care of him.  That said, I too loved how everyone greeted Lagertha so warmly and ignored the princess.  And I loved, loved the Seer asking Ragnar what made him think the choice was his.  Good advice for anyone involved with more than one person.

Athelstan better stop inhaling the incense.  Some serious hallucinations there.

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Jarl Borg didn't seem to bring any of his peasants with him to Kattegat, only his warriors and his wife, so where is his original jarldom?  Did he leave that town unprotected?  I'd suggest Ragnar raid that town for its grain stores, but that would make the innocent suffer along with the Jarl.

I don't think that's a viable option. Borg's jarldom is pretty far away, from what I remember of season 1. And the vikings's longships aren't exactly designed to carry bulk cargo like grain.

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I think it is great that this show has so many people hooked.  It was (and still is) appoinment television for my boyfriend and myself.  And now the promos talk about season three!!

Princess Auslaug should be grateful that Lagertha was so grateful over the warm greeting she gave her......not so sure I would be so nice to the woman who seduced my hubby.   But it does take two to tango so Ragnar gets some blame there, too.

I did not understand burning the stores, either.

I love Floki:  A favorite line from last season:  "Don't waggle your maggot in her face.....she is taken!"  This was when Rollo was making more than a friendly look in his eyes towards Floki's girl.

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Love the Ecbergt character. I cannot tell what he's going to do next, and he has such a malevolent undertone.

 

I am purely speculating, but I thought that maybe King Ecbert was going to feel Ragnar out (snerk) about hiring the Norsemen to take on rival English kings and take over their land, and in exchange, he would give them some of that land.  I know nothing, nothing! But given that the conversation occurred because Ragnar said something about staying, and King Ecbert is not the King of all of England, but rather only the King of Wessex, and given Athelstan's comments that King Ecbert is like Ragnar (cue the song from the credits "moooore, I want more, I want more"). . . that's what I think was happening.  Of course, KIng Ecbert doesn't know what these guys are like, and whether they can be trusted with such a deal, so he was taking the opportunity to get a sense of Ragnar first.  Genuinely curious Ragnar was trying to take King Ecbert's measure as well.  Unfortunately for them, Ragnar had to take off abruptly, and with only half the Norse forces, I guess King Ecbert just decided to get rid of the remaining Norse invaders, as surely that was the expectation of his people.  But I get the sense that he's a pretty mercenary and ambitious King, and I think he sees a potential opportunity here.

Question -- do you guys think the Anglo Saxons built King Ecbert's bath, or is it left over from the Romans?   

I'd suggest Ragnar raid that town for its grain stores, but that would make the innocent suffer along with the Jarl.

 

Yes -- it seems like the Show is consistently portraying Ragnar to be less bloodthirsty than the other Viking Earls, at least with his own people.  In this ep, he was merciful in court to whatever guy those other two guys were accusing of something that would result in his land being taken from him.  We didn't really get much of the dispute, only that Ragnar declined to take the guy's land away  and instead made the other guys give him three sheep.  ("Everyone in favor, say Baaa")  It's interesting to see Ragnar's leadership style in contrast to other Earls.  He uses camaraderie, compassion, and humor a lot more than the other Viking leaders we've seen.  Doesn't mean he won't chop your head off in battle, or just as a sacrifice, of course, but Ragnar doesn't seem to want to hurt anyone if it isn't necessary.  This quality helps me tolerate his other, less noble character traits, like hooking up with Princess Aslaug to enhance his reputation and that of his sons. 

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Question -- do you guys think the Anglo Saxons built King Ecbert's bath, or is it left over from the Romans?

 

Definitely Romans.  The city of Bath is in Wessex, isn't it?

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Me watching Athelstan at church:

"Is he going to take communion?"

"He took it. BUT HE DIDN'T EAT IT! Oops, Ecbert's son saw him."

I just thought it was funny that someone taking communion or not was a big deal on a tv show.

 

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"He took it. BUT HE DIDN'T EAT IT! Oops, Ecbert's son saw him."

 

I know Athelstan has had a hard go of it, and I know he obviously takes communion seriously, enough to refuse to eat it while his faith is flagging (or whatever), but I thought he was being ridiculously obvious and stupid by spitting it out.  It is comical how significant this will apparently be to his character arc, but I also find it annoying. Athelstan, you're not really a believing Odinist, everyone knows you never have been, so taking communion doesn't violate your faith, and if you're in doubt, well, then it also shouldn't be a big deal, and if you do believe, just eat it!  So, in sum, don't spit out the communion wafer, and certainly not in a place where you're surrounded by true believing Christians who recently crucified you!  Moron.

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Anyone else end up scratching their heads as to why burning the winter stores was going to be such a great idea?  Now they've won and returned to take up residence, what are they going to eat?

I love this series, and generally haven't had a problem with the plot devices and can suspend disbelief for the sake of enjoyment, but this one struck me as a bit startling.  I guess we have to believe that Ragnar has his own secret stash...

My take is Jarl Borg isn't familiar with the Kattegat village and its surroundings, he just attacked it because his ego got hurt and to piss off Ragnar, as he would expect Ragnar to come back, then ambush and kill him. So it may have been a well thought plan to attack Kattegat, but nothing else in terms of organization during their stay by the time they fight Ragnar. Plus his pregnant wife found the place disgusting, so it looks like they really didn't settle, they were just there. But Ragnar is a farmer and he knows his place pretty well so it probably wouldn't have been much of a problem to find a way to get some food supplies back.

Edited by CommodusMad1
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Plus his pregnant wife found the place disgusting

 

You know, I noted that, and, as we know, Aslaug had some complaints about the filthiness of other parts of the community, plus she gave Ragnar a disapproving look early on when he was holding and petting a baby goat at the dinner table.  Is Ragnar, a self-described peasant, a slob?  Is everyone who visits like, yeah, Kattegat, what a craphole that place is?

More seriously, what you said about Ragnar's familiarity with the place is true.  Also, given that Earl Borg killed a lot of the residents of Kattegat when taking the place, and given the loss of all the men on two ships, Ragnar has fewer people to feed during the winter than Earl Borg did, since he was controlling the remaining residents of Kattegat and his own forces.  Also, Ragnar does have his share of the loot from Wessex to buy food with, which Earl Borg did not.

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Love Lagertha and hope we won't have to wait too long to see her again. Definitely ready for Aslaug to squeeze out that fourth kid so we can be done with her, but at least she did thank Lagertha before she left.

I had the same thought about what are they going to eat if they burn the food, but perhaps they will proceed with the plan to "settle" in Wessex.

Favorite part of the episode was Lagertha's "who do you think I am?" Response to Bjorn's admonishment to not "take any more shit."

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I'm kind of disgusted with myself that I'm starting to feel a bit sorry for Aslaug...

Nah, I don't. Not because I don't like her as in fact the way she is portrayed they writers don't give me (and perhaps others) anything substantial enough to particularly care for her character. But I can say she wanted to fulfil the prophecy of bearing Ragnar's son she has to deal with the fact that he loves her mostly for that, and she is now aware of it. I wasn't expecting her to be a badass but I was hoping she would at least show her wit other than being Princess-y and such.

The main issue I have is the lack of chemistry on screen between the actors Alyssa and Travis, it's irk worthy. Sorry but Alyssa isn't really that good compared to the rest of the cast :-/

Edited by CommodusMad1
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"Don't take any more shit" I loved it. I love this show. Show much happens without a stitch of dialogue. When Lagertha returned to a warm welcome and everyone ignored Aslaug.. Athelstan and his Holy Crisis.. I'm glad I have a place to go to fill in the blanks.

The battle scene was well done, I thought. What struck me most was the Jarl's army and their pretty orange and black shields as compared to Ragnar and Lagertha's rag-tag group of warriors. I really liked the dramatic music. 

I was a little confused at the end when Ragnar threw the axe... Holy shit he actually hit him! Wait, there are two blonde guys? Was that Jarl Borg fleeing away? I think so judging by the previews.. but who's skull was he talking to in the previews? 

This is turning into one of my favorite shows. 

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I was confused about who Ragnar actually hit with that axe, too.  At first I thought it was Borg, then it looked like Borg threw someone off their horse, jumped on and got away. 

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I think that was meant to be the idea. Ragnar went over to the blonde head, thinking he was triumphant and.. it was some other guy. 

Lagertha is leaving again :'( My heart can't take this Lagertha!

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