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Tara Ariano

S02.E06: Unforgiven

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King Horik returns to Kattegat with a surprising proposition for Ragnar; Lagertha runs into a less-than-enthusiastic homecoming from her new husband; Athelstan becomes confidant to king Ecbert.

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This show is fun and addictive: Vikeodin, as it were. (without the constipation!)

Best line reading of the ep: Floki's giggling/snorting "No" in response to Siggy's "Can you keep a secret?"

I'm starting to 'ship Athelstan and Ecbert. The marriage of true minds admits no impediments!

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Best line reading of the ep: Floki's giggling/snorting "No" in response to Siggy's "Can you keep a secret?"

I loved it. His line reading caused me to giggle.

Lagertha, Lagertha, Lagertha....One, I didn't realize she left with warriors without her douchecanoe husbands knowledge or"permission". Two, she held her own against 4 men for a good minute. Three, I knew she was going to do something but I was shocked when it was stabbed the douche husband in the eye. Four, when she stood there waiting & prepared to fight after stabbing the douche & became her bitch.

I can't believe there are only 4 episodes left. Next week Blood Eagle!

Edited by BestestAuntEver
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This episode’s Darwin Award goes to Lagertha’s new husband. [Did we ever learn the guy's name? I can remember)

Your wife is a shield-maiden who just finished personally leading all your warriors in battle and not so long ago she kicked your ass with her bare hands. And you think exposing her breast for all your people to see after you were so much of a coward that you sent half a dozen guys to beat her up for you is a good idea?

The dude was lucky that the other warrior cut off his head when he did, or Lagertha was liable to start going to town on him with that knife.

It was also nice to see that after she led them in battle, New Husband’s troops are apparently more loyal to her.  Not only the dude who dispatched the husband, nobody else so much as got up from their chair when she stabbed him in the eye.

Another thing that has me thinking is if Ragnar got the idea to burn all of Borg’s men in the barn from Asslaug’s nagging and namedropping about her father. Weren’t her father’s killers dispatched using the same method?

Edited by AzureOwl
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LOVED this episode. I let out a loud cheer when Lagertha stabbed her "hubby" in the eye. There was a louder cheer when "hubby's" head was sliced off. Seems that the warriors prefer the lady leader.

I like the way the series is shot. The angles tell as much as the dialogue. At times words aren't need, just the facial expression tell it all. I swear I sit glued to my chair for the entire hour.

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This episode’s Darwin Award goes to Lagertha’s new husband. [Did we ever learn the guy's name? I can remember)

Your wife is a shield-maiden who just finished personally leading all your warriors in battle and not so long ago she kicked your ass with her bare hands. And you think exposing her breast for all your people to see after you were so much of a coward that you sent half a dozen guys to beat her up for you is a good idea?

The dude was lucky that the other warrior cut off his head when he did, or Lagertha was liable to start going to town on him with that knife.

It was also nice to see that after she led them in battle, New Husband’s troops are apparently more loyal to her.  Not only the dude who dispatched the husband, nobody else so much as got up from their chair when she stabbed him in the eye.

 

Well, that's alcoholism for you.  Leads to taunting a woman who can and will stab you in the eye, and also to having all your men be glad to be rid of you.  Hail Lagertha!

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Hubby and I were both wondering if it wasn't a little silly to burn all of Jarl Borg's men, considering how they're so low on warriors. I'm no expert on Viking code, but isn't there a chance they would have decided to join Ragnar's forces after learning that he killed their leader? Rather than being burned alive? Maybe? Dunno. 

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Hubby and I were both wondering if it wasn't a little silly to burn all of Jarl Borg's men, considering how they're so low on warriors. I'm no expert on Viking code, but isn't there a chance they would have decided to join Ragnar's forces after learning that he killed their leader? Rather than being burned alive? Maybe? Dunno.

  Well, they WERE short of food, having destroyed stock in the previous episode, and you can never really assume loyalties from those who are forced into being loyal to you. Look at Siggy's earlier consult with the seer.

 

Okay, it's time I asked this: Is Jarl a title or a first name?

I thought it was a cheese, and that therefore the Jarl would be the Big Cheese. I could be wrong.

 Loved Lagertha's solution to the husband problem, but hated what she had to go through to get there.

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Hi guys, new around here -- I'm another transplant from TWOP and it's been a bit rainy, lots of storms, so the voyage via longboat took longer than I thought it would.

Anyway, Jarl is a title. It's a lot like Earl, but with a Scandinavian flair.

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I thought Lagertha was going to swing around and stab hubby in the neck, but I'll take the eye.  Worked for me. I didn't expect the guy to slice his head off, so that was icing on the cake.  Good on him.

I, too, am feeling some chemistry between Ecbert and Athelstan.  I wouldn't mind that at all, except that Ecbert is cunning and dangerous and I would worry that poor  Athelstan would be in over his head.  : )

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I freaking love this show. The Vikings definitely know how to bring the crazy.

Did anyone else think the servant girl that Bjorn is crushing on was all drunked up for a human sacrifice? She had some crazy eyes going on there.

Yay Lagertha! She's such a badass. I can't wait for her to rally the troops once more and join the Ragnar Raid. The we can have more baby mamma drama.

Major squicks during the scene with Siggy, King Horik and his son. I'm not sure what he's playing at.

I'm not sure if Ragnar was planning on revenge from the start or if his conversation with Aslaug tore at his ego enough to change his mind. Maybe he realized that he could try to team up with Lagetha instead (boy won't he be happy when he finds out what's going on over there!). All I know is that if it were me I all Rollo would had to say was "gets ruling advice/makes out with dead wife's skull"

Although there is a lot of drama on this show, I appreciate the way this show handles it, without as much exposition and anvil dropping as one of my other favorite shows, Nashville.

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I think Ragnar and Rollo had planned all along to take care of Jarl Borg once they lured him in.  I loved Rollo's face when Borg was chatting with his skull, like, mmmkay?  I always like to watch it a second time to pick up on everyone's expressions and little hints that happen during the show.  Ragnar definitely had a look of mischievous glee in his eyes when Rollo came sailing up with Borg. 

And I'm not gonna lie...I could watch Rollo burst through the doors of The Great Hall, well, a lot of times.

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"Can you keep a secret?" - "Teehee. No." the best line.

And angry badass Rollo is just amazing, he stole the show in the episode, close second is Lagertha.

Now when Hirst says a major character would die in episode 7, I think it's Borg... he's been major since near end of season 1, so I think it might be him. Otherwise who else then? I really can't see anybody else... Floki? Too soon right?

Edited by CommodusMad1

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Wow! Lagertha! Rollo! Ragnar! What a trio of kick ass warriors! That is one intimidating family. And beautiful. That shot of Fimmel holding the eagle? Youza.

I really enjoyed the conversation Ecbert and Athelstan had, but I have to disagree with the monk. The Vikings certainly did have art! Every episode I marvel at the gorgeous carvings, jewelry, and embroidery.

Edited by Haleth
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I, too, am feeling some chemistry between Ecbert and Athelstan.  I wouldn't mind that at all, except that Ecbert is cunning and dangerous and I would worry that poor  Athelstan would be in over his head.

 

I found King Ecbert's fascination with Roman history, er, fascinating -- he is so much more like Ragnar in this respect than I imagined he would be.  I thought that remark by Athelstan only meant that King Ecbert was crafty and ambitious, and he is those things, but he also apparently shares Ragnar's curiosity about the world.  I don't think he observed Ragnar checking out all the statutes as he walked to the bath because he couldn't see him then.  If King Ecbert had observed Ragnar then, I wonder what he would have thought.  I was carried away myself by King Ecbert's desire to preserve history and understand it, and his frustration with the superstitious lies and myths the people believe, I presume at the encouragement of the Church, which does not want to admit the grandeur and success of pagan Rome.  KIng Ecbert's fondness for the Roman bath now has a deeper meaning than before, as does his insistence that other people join him there -- he seems to want to subtlely force them to accept some of the positives of the mysterious pagans who came before.  I think King Ecbert has somewhat more selfish motives in learning about the past, as I think he probably sees the potential to increase his own power with that knowledge.  Ragnar would see that too, and he is definitely ambitious, but we are also shown that Ragnar does have strong consideration for his family, friends, and the well being of his people.  King Ecbert?  Remains to be seen.  In any case, while everyone else in Wessex is mindlessly treating Athelstan like an apostate and pariah, I think King Ecbert finds the unthinking religiosity of those around him very frustrating, and sees a lot of potential knowledge in Athelstan, just like Ragnar.  I also had the brief impression that King Ecbert was lonely and frustrated in wanting to know the truth about history, and has to conceal it, because even the King of Wessex is subject to the power of the Church to a degree, and dare not be labeled an apostate.  I think that grates him -- not only because he doesn't like limits on his power, but because he also doesn't care for superstition or for superstitious fear of non-Christians.  It made me like him a lot more.

I also liked that Bjorn freely admitted that he grew to love Athelstan.  See?  Bjorn just says what he thinks, and let's the chips fall where they may.  He cracks me up.  He likes a girl and wants to sleep with her, so what does he do? Finds them a spot and says, "here, you can sleep here."  Heh heh.  A little delicacy and diplomacy might have served his goals better, but that was funny.  I don't think Bjorn realizes that that poor girl has probably basically been raped by masters who have exploited her servant status in the past.  At least that's what I took from her actions and demeanor.  In his defense, I do think both Ragnar and Bjorn are more sensitive to the lives of servants since they were farmers of no particular account until Ragnar's recent adventures, and seemed to be used to either doing things for themselves or just accustomed to Athelstan, who was not a regular servant.  Hence Bjorn's complaint about all the servants at Earl Sigvard's home two episodes ago, and desire to get away from it.  No Princess Aslaug attitude there.  Anyway, I know that the "highborn boy in love with a servant girl" and vice versa is a trope, but at least there is this nuance, and we'll see what kind of man Bjorn becomes.

By the way, Aslaug is dumb, still spoiled, and I still hate her.  Her advice to Ragnar was based solely on her personal discomfort and humiliation, with no consideration of the suffering of anyone else who was killed in Kattegat when Earl Borg took over, nor did she care about the potential blowback to Ragnar of refusing King Horik, which remains to be seen. 

As for Earl Sigvard (Lagertha's late, unlamented husband) --  good riddance, asshole.  But what does the fact that that dude chopped his head off mean?  Does that dude mean to become Earl, or will Lagertha be in charge?  I thought the Viking way would mean that he would take over, but it would be awesome if it were Lagertha.  Go Lagertha!!

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I'm not sure Athelstan really believes that the Vikings are artless. I think he's very well versed in self-preservation at this point and is just telling Ecbert what he thinks he wants to hear.

I too wasn't expecting Lagertha to stab that jerk of a husband through the eye. I expected it right in the neck. I love that that guy decapitated the earl. It's easy to understand why his subjects would prefer Lagertha.

 

I also liked that Bjorn freely admitted that he grew to love Athelstan.

That kinda bugged me a bit. Young Bjorn was a surly little brat. I agree that he probably learned to care for Athelstan (esp. since Gyda, who he loved, adored Athelstan), but love is a bit too strong imo.

Floki still pisses me off (and I still want Athelstan to shank the bastard), but his scene with Siggi was hilarious.

Once Aslaug has son #4 can she just die already? I really tried to give her a chance, because I'm not the type to hate on characters without giving them a chance, but she's just isn't written in a likeable way. I give the actress a little credit. She's way better than I thought she'd be. It's not her fault she's given very little to work with beyond being Ragnar's nagging broodmare of a wife.

Edited by Gumdrops
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That kinda bugged me a bit. Young Bjorn was a surly little brat. I agree that he probably learned to care for Athelstan (esp. since Gyda, who he loved, adored Athelstan), but love is a bit too strong imo.

 

Well, you're right, he did say he wanted to sacrifice Athelstan that one time.  And he kind of threatened him for being soft at the Viking funereal of Earl Haraldson -- but they're Vikings!  That doesn't mean he didn't love him -- that's how they show it.

Anyway, I liked that however Bjorn has decided he feels now about Athelstan, he wasn't afraid to say it in front of a table full of people.  I also liked that Ragnar still asked about him, even after everything that's happened, and didn't just write him off.  How Ragnar feels about Athelstan now remains to be seen, but it's interesting that he is still on Ragnar's mind, and that Ragnar seems interested in returning to Wessex. 

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Ragnar's affection for Athelstan is probably the one thing that keeps me from outright hating him (instead of just disliking him :D).

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I'm not sure Athelstan really believes that the Vikings are artless. I think he's very well versed in self-preservation at this point and is just telling Ecbert what he thinks he wants to hear.

I agree -- it will be so interesting to see if Athelstan chooses Ragnar or Ecbert once Ragnar comes back. I also wondered if Ecbert's son tried to tattle on Athelstan about the communion bread, and it totally backfired on him. I do think that Athelstan enjoys his talents being appreciated more than they were during his Viking stay.

And I'm not gonna lie...I could watch Rollo burst through the doors of The Great Hall, well, a lot of times.

You're not alone.

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I do think that Athelstan enjoys his talents being appreciated more than they were during his Viking stay.

 

They are also being appreciated more than when he was only a Monk, I think.  His talents are being appreciated by King Ecbert only because he had the Viking stay, which is interesting too.  As to whether he would choose Ragnar or King Ecbert -- I guess it will depend how he is treated from here on out.  I cannot tell if he chose to stay with King Horik over Ragnar, or whether he was choosing England over Ragnar, or whether he was just trying to continue to represent Ragnar's interests in Wessex while Ragnar was gone.  If he was trying to choose England, since that choice, they've crucified him, and he seems to lack the companionship he had in Ragnar's company, Floki's glaring notwithstanding, so maybe he would choose differently in the future.  I honestly think Ragnar likes him enough to take him back, even though he seems to feel a little betrayed.  Of course, Athelstan is valuable beyond his worth as a friend, because of what he knows about multiple cultures. 

I also wonder if he got laid during his life as a Viking, and if he misses that.  Though now, with all the death threats, that is probably the least of his concerns.

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The former Roman Empire wasn't a hush-hush "need to know" secret back then.  Besides the Romans, after Constantine issued his official convert or else edict, were Christians for the last century or more on their empire in the west anyway.  That was pretty silly.  That and having Christians out crucify folks when they could avoid the ultimate mocking of Jesus by just simply burning them at the stake or drawing and quartering them?   Of course they would be mocking his teachings of love and forgiveness still but hey that's humans for you.  Always in the shallow end of the understanding pool.

I really like this show a lot but I have to be honest here about the Rome and crucifying things.  Really bad choices by the otherwise very talented writers.  They do history pretty darn well but because of that when they do suddenly throw totally dumb and false stuff at us it takes me out of my viewing enjoyment. 

Stop that, writers.  You got a really good thing going here.  Yeah it is historical fiction and if they want to make the real Ragnar and the real Rollo brothers in this series to increase the drama I'm fine with that.  But replacing the memory of the entire freaking Roman Empire with a race of giants is close to jumping the shark.  Enough.  Next we will be told that aliens from outer space invented the wheel according to the local legends. (Oh me bad, that's the History Channel's version of history).

Anyway I mean Ecbert could have been into something else he needed to keep hidden like say alchemy which was frowned on by the Church.  Chemisty 101 Dark Ages style would have made for fun viewing.  Athelstan could have been merrily blowing up stuff in the super secret squirrel hidden lab in his quest to seek knowledge.  But hiding the existence of ancient Rome?!?  Come on.

Thanks to posters at another forum who had all the real histories of these guys down I knew Lagertha was going to be the new Earl (Earlette?) soon so glad to see that finally. 

Anyone ever think that Floki doesn't just hate Athelstan because Floki is a Norse gods fundamentalist who cannot tolerate other religions but also because he grew jealous of Athelstan going from slave to Ragnar's BFF and chief confident?  Outside of Rollo, in the old days Floki kind of held that relationship with Ragnar. 

Speaking of Floki, I liked the great delivery of that "No" line to secret keeping too.  Also interestring to see Ecbert's son is being set up to serve as Floki's Christian counterpart on the non-religious toleration front.  And about secrets.  Who thinks Athelstan accidentally spills the beans about Rome having existed to said son?

Edited by green
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But replacing the memory of the entire freaking Roman Empire with a race of giants is close to jumping the shark

 

I wouldn't go that far but I agree that it was kind of a puzzling comment.  Granted the Romans left 300-400 years before, but the invasion by the Saxons is part of the reason the Romans abandoned Britain.  (I know it was more complicated than that.)  Wouldn't the Saxons have remembered their history of conquest?

I would love for this to last long enough for Vikings: The Next Generation.  Ubba, Ivar the Boneless...

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I really like this show a lot but I have to be honest here about the Rome and crucifying things.  Really bad choices by the otherwise very talented writers.  They do history pretty darn well but because of that when they do suddenly throw totally dumb and false stuff at us it takes me out of my viewing enjoyment. 

 

 

Anyone ever think that Floki doesn't just hate Athelstan because Floki is a Norse gods fundamentalist who cannot tolerate other religions but also because he grew jealous of Athelstan going from slave to Ragnar's BFF and chief confident?  Outside of Rollo, in the old days Floki kind of held that relationship with Ragnar. 

Cosign on everything you said about the crucifixion and Rome in general.  It veered into Ancient Aliens territory.  I sometimes feel like this show doesn't know how it wants to handle the Christian angle of the story.

And,yes, I agree about Floki's jealousy.  I've thought all along that that's what his animosity toward Athelstan is really about.  I think he hates the Christians in general, but with Athelstan, it's personal.  Especially since Athelstan's done nothing but help Ragnar and his people.

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I thought Aslaug's bedtime story was a nice moment. She doesn't get a lot of character development other than as the Not-Lagertha, so: good for that. I wanted to hear the end of it: damn that kid for falling asleep!

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  Well, they WERE short of food, having destroyed stock in the previous episode, and you can never really assume loyalties from those who are forced into being loyal to you. Look at Siggy's earlier consult with the seer.

Fair enough! Although, if I was those guys.... I'd be eager to join the team of a guy who doesn't talk to a skull before making important decisions, heh. 

Did anyone else think the servant girl that Bjorn is crushing on was all drunked up for a human sacrifice? She had some crazy eyes going on there.

...

Major squicks during the scene with Siggy, King Horik and his son. I'm not sure what he's playing at.

She looked absolutely insane during that dance, it cracked me up. Bjorn likes a little bit of crazy I guess. And yeaaaaah, that whole Horik & Son scene was icky. Asking Siggy to sleep with Junior was gross enough, but then sitting back and having a front row seat? 

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I wouldn't go that far but I agree that it was kind of a puzzling comment.  Granted the Romans left 300-400 years before, but the invasion by the Saxons is part of the reason the Romans abandoned Britain.  (I know it was more complicated than that.)  Wouldn't the Saxons have remembered their history of conquest?

I would love for this to last long enough for Vikings: The Next Generation.  Ubba, Ivar the Boneless...

But in a pre-literate world didn't priests, powers that be, etc. tell stories to explain away things they didn't want people to know?  or couldn't explain?  Stories also get exaggerated or twisted...the guys who beat grandpa had to be giants don't ya know?

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But in a pre-literate world didn't priests, powers that be, etc. tell stories to explain away things they didn't want people to know?  or couldn't explain?  Stories also get exaggerated or twisted...the guys who beat grandpa had to be giants don't ya know?

 

Yes, they would want to elevate the accomplishments of Christian Rome and the Church, and diminish the accomplishments of pagan Romans any way they could.  Also, they may have had to contend with assimilating existing folklore and beliefs.  While your guys' arguments that "not knowing about the Romans and their accomplishments" are full of logic and sense :), alas, even today, in 2014, in America, you can go to a creation museum and see exhibits featuring people interacting with dinosaurs, who are represented to have lived within the last 6000 years, because that is what the Bible says is the age of the world.  In fact, I work with an attorney who is very bright and well educated who nevertheless is not convinced that evolution is a real thing, because his Church says it is not.  There are a number of animals that are endangered in no small part because there are significant numbers of people who believe that their body parts are effective medicines, such as in Chinese remedies.  Today!   Plus, there are references to beings in the Bible (Nephilim for example) that some interpret as references to Giants.  It is my understanding that they supposedly drowned at the time of Noah because of the Flood.  (I have no idea if that's in the movie.)  But that might be what the Show is referencing, though I certainly could not claim to know if that's what priests were teaching people in Wesex at the time of Ecbert. 

Wouldn't the Saxons have remembered their history of conquest?

 

No one alive would remember anything about it, nor would their parents, grandparents, or great grandparents.  What you would know about it would depend entirely on what people told you.  I don't know that they have schools -- I think they do not, and that many, many people are not literate.  So what you know comes from the Church and oral history.  Just as with "big fish" stories, story tellers would undoubtedly take enormous liberties with the truth if it suited their purposes, and because no one has any first hand personal knowledge at this point.  If the written histories, such as they exist, are written in Latin, even fewer people would be able to read the few written histories, resulting in pretty much mass ignorance.

Also, If you believe in witches and the devil and are willing to burn people at the stake for it, which will be true even hundreds of years after the time of our Show, is it really a stretch to believe in Giants?  I don't think so.  Plus -- some of the people in KIng Aelle's Court thought the Norse men were evil devils sent by Satan to persecute them, and all of the Scandinavians readily accept that Princess Aslaug's father killed a dragon.  I find that equally strange. 

Remember, not everyone believes the whole "Giants painted these secret works of art" thing -- King Ecbert knows for a fact that the Giant thing isn't true, and so does Athelstan, and so do probably most of the small number of educated people.  King Ecbert seemed to be frustrated that the Establishment was trying to re-write history to eliminate the grandeur of the pagans and replace it with bogus stories that do not threaten the Church.  I do not find it suspicious that the Church might try to do this in the heart of the "Dark Ages," and there are things like that going on right now.  Some people may believe it, and others may think it's a crock, but no one is going to challenge the Church if that's what they're saying.

Alternatively, the show may be taking artistic license to say something about our contemporary times.

Edited by lawless
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I thought Aslaug's bedtime story was a nice moment. She doesn't get a lot of character development other than as the Not-Lagertha, so: good for that. I wanted to hear the end of it: damn that kid for falling asleep!

I thought that was a nice and rare moment of likability for Aslaug and those kids are adorable.

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I'll grudgingly admit that I kind of liked Aslaug during the bedtime story moment.  Otherwise, I hope she's gone after she delivers baby #4.

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Was I the only one who thought the bedtime story while her husband and brother-in-law are slaughtering people was a little creepy?

I thought it was cool.  The story was about rivals, and one ate all the meat but left the bones (didn't go all the way: Borg), and the other ate all the meat, the bones and even the trencher.  (Ragnar)  Ragnar is the winner.  Jarl Borg is toast.

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I love how, up to this point, we have come to accept Ragnar as the "nicer" Viking, since he doesn't like to kill as many people on raids as the others. Everyone seems to understand that Ragnar is a forward thinker and may not necessarily do the obvious thing a Viking would usually do, like get revenge on people, so I can somewhat see why Jarl Borg believed he could come back and work with them (still, should've been skeptical). But when it comes to messing with Ragnar's family... wow, don't. Jarl Borg is going to learn a very painful lesson. Where does he even come up with this spreading the ribs business? And how did he know the seer said that? Did the seer tell him what he told Jarl Borg afterward? I had kinda thought it was like talking to a priest, where whatever is said between the seer and the townsperson is kept confidential.

Lagertha's husband is the most noticeable person who keeps doing this, but it's hilarious how he keeps referring to Ragnar as RAGNARLOTHBRUK, like even when it's not necessary. If you've already said his full name earlier in the conversation, you can just say the first name from that point forward. Unless there is another Ragnar in town? 

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I looked up Lothbruk on Wikipedia (I know) and it means "hairy breeches."  Okay then.  I guess using the descriptor with the name was a formal way of speaking of someone.  Whoever wrote the article says that there is some question as to whether or not Ragnar was a real individual or an amalgam of a number of Viking heroes. His sons were all verified real people however.

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Lagertha, Lagertha, Lagertha....One, I didn't realize she left with warriors without her douchecanoe husbands knowledge or"permission".

I can't think it would take much convincing to get "real" Vikings (not the psychophants who hang out in the hall with her husband and laugh at his jokes) to go a raiding with her.

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Where does he even come up with this spreading the ribs business? And how did he know the seer said that? Did the seer tell him what he told Jarl Borg afterward? I had kinda thought it was like talking to a priest, where whatever is said between the seer and the townsperson is kept confidential.

 

That is called the "blood eagle" and is something Vikings really did as a form of torture.

 As for Borg, I think in his conversation with the seer, he said something about his symbol being the eagle (the way Ragnar's symbol is the raven, which he has sewn onto his clothing, etc, to represent his supposed descendence from Odin).  So either the seer is really supposed to have had a prophetic vision of Ragnar using the blood eagle on Borg, or it was a really good guess based on what he knows, and/or the seer is pretty much Team Ragnar.  Jarl Borg did attack their village.  (I also think he's Team Lagertha, lol)

"Like wings."

That about made the hair stand up on the back of my neck.  

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I thought it was cool.  The story was about rivals, and one ate all the meat but left the bones (didn't go all the way: Borg), and the other ate all the meat, the bones and even the trencher.  (Ragnar)  Ragnar is the winner.  Jarl Borg is toast.

Peach-

It reminded me of the Christening scene from The Godfather (which I know is a stretch).   I mostly hope that Ragnar hasn't made a (Bond Villain like) mistake by waiting to deal with Jarl Borg. 

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Okay, it's time I asked this: Is Jarl a title or a first name?

Jarl=Earl, so yes it's a title. I believe this was stated upthread (another episode)

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I too wasn't expecting Lagertha to stab that jerk of a husband through the eye. I expected it right in the neck. I love that that guy decapitated the earl. It's easy to understand why his subjects would prefer Lagertha.

 

I was looking for the neck stab also.  They eye shot was pretty good though.

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I wouldn't go that far but I agree that it was kind of a puzzling comment.  Granted the Romans left 300-400 years before, but the invasion by the Saxons is part of the reason the Romans abandoned Britain.  (I know it was more complicated than that.)  Wouldn't the Saxons have remembered their history of conquest?

Long Story short, the Romans left Britain in the early 400s when the emperor told them to look after themselves.  They were raided by Irish and Scots and someone thought they could hire the Saxons to defend them (what could possibly go wrong?)  The Saxons then took over and forced the native Britons out.  There is even a theory that there was a plague that wiped out most of the British population.  The Saxons were pagan and illiterate for about the next 200 years.

The idea that a race of giants built various monuments mainly Stonehenge was a folk belief until early modern times.  I could see the idea conflating it with some of the Roman ruins around.  And this would be a belief of the laypeople.  Anyone with any learning at all would know who the Romans were.

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Good point about Stonehenge.  I'd forgotten the legend of giants having erected the standing stones.

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Book learning was only for interested noble men and those in the hierarchy of the church. The majority of the population were ignorant of anything outside of their own small world and they were extremely religious/superstitious.  They would believe anything they were told by their overlord or their priest.

 

Lagertha stabbing her drunken prick of a husband in the eye was totally unexpected and fantastic at the same time. 

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Book learning was only for interested noble men and those in the hierarchy of the church. The majority of the population were ignorant of anything outside of their own small world and they were extremely religious/superstitious.  They would believe anything they were told by their overlord or their priest.

 

Lagertha stabbing her drunken prick of a husband in the eye was totally unexpected and fantastic at the same time. 

I'd say not just the hierarchy of the Church but most monks as well.  They were the ones copying and illuminating the manuscripts.  They all had to know Latin and some Greek as a result.  They perserved both the Biblical as well as the ancient Greek and Roman texts.  They were the ones that saved both hertiages for future generations.  The Church didn't try to hide Roman or pagan history from the people.  They weren't some evil group trying to manipulate the peasants.  They, like all orgainizations, had bad apples but it was never a policy to deceive anyone about actual history.

So I'd say yeah the Saxons were well aware they conquored the Roman/Briton peoples when they were brought in to "help out".  Oral traditions of battles and victories are always perserved by even the most illiterate in societies.  Exaggerated in the re-telling perhaps; but never forgotten.  But more important there was by then a famous history of England that the learned could read and share with the unlearned.  It wasn't some hush-hush book.  It was Bede's famed history.  And Bede died in 735 AD so his 5 book history of the English was already around by the time this series is set in.  And that history began early enough:

"The first of the five books begins with some geographical background, and then sketches the history of England, beginning with Caesar's invasion in 55 BC." (Wikipedia entry on Bede).  So not only did people know about the Romans in England but they knew in pretty fine detail as well.

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They were the ones copying and illuminating the manuscripts.

Copying doesn't mean they can read or understand it. Once again most people were not educated and didn't care about history. Look up today. You can find hundreds of million of people worldwide that don't know humans have set foot on the Moon or that it was an Americans. 

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