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S04.E14: In the Uncertain Hour Before the Morning

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The scenes with Ragnar and Ecbert were outstanding.  Some fantastic acting there, particularly at the end.  TF and LR play so well off of each other.  And of course, it just reaffirms the one true love triangle on this show was between Ragnar, Ecbert and Athlestan.  Ragnar meeting the son of Athelstan was very touching.  Great music as well during those scenes.

But good lord, poor Magnus.  Aethelwulf is such an asshole...please tell me someone will get him before the end.

I have to admit, this was the first time I felt bad for Aslaug and was annoyed at Lagertha.  I thought Aslaug's time was coming to an end but not like that.

I just can't take Astrid seriously.  She looked like a hairdresser tonight.  Just a bad idea for a character by Hirst.

Edited by benteen
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My Lagertha love died tonight, what killed it was an arrow in the back of someone who had surrendered. I also don't give 2 cents now for Lagertha's longevity.  Ivar will be coming for you, Lagertha.

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I was somewhat shocked when Lagertha shot Aslaug in the back but I understood why she did it. She's going to have to watch her back leaving the sons alive. 

I liked the drunken and sober conversations between Ragnar and King Ecgbert. I wish Ragnar didn't have to die. I've enjoyed the character and the actor who plays him. Ragnar meeting Aethelstan's son was a poignant scene. 

Poor Magnus! He gets kicked out of the house for nothing and he looked only 13-14 years old. 

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Whoa.  I didn't think Lagetha would actually kill Aslaug.  I don't think that was wise, strategically.   Aslaug has too many son's running around for my taste, Ivar is out of his mind and doesn't strike me as a man who allows slights to pass.   Astrid is not nearly enough to stop the wave that's heading Lagetha's way.   I think the writers should have emphasized more than Ragnar  though.   Didn't Bjorn's first child die because of Aslaug's negligence?   And this is certainly going to put Bjorn in a VERY complicated dynamic with his brothers.

Speaking of Brothers or not, Magnus. Whoa.  Unless I'm missing some sort of nuance here, that was a pretty rough turn of events for the kid.   Aethelwulf didn't look terribly broken up about casting him out either.   Though the hate runs deep in that one, which is strange because I definitely got the impression he loved Alfred when he was younger.   Things like this are to remind us, just how truly cold-hearted Echbert and the English set are.

Ragnar and Echbert have a very complicated dynamic.  Two Lions always circling each other but never fighting to the death.   I've said it before and I'll say it again, Lagetha and Aslaug should each just pack it in.  I don't think either of them ever got their hooks into Ragnar as deep as Athelstan did. LMAO.   I felt bad for Echbert (Who I'm now convinced was in love with Athelstan on some level) he was truly heartbroken to get confirmation of Athelstan's demise.   His assertion that despite enemies in Wessex, he would have made sure no harm came to him says a lot and also echo's Ragnar's words to Athelstan before he was murdered.    You could also tell it still, after all this time, broke Ragnar's heart to think about Athelstan.  When ever the characer references or thinks about Athelstan he always smiles and then looks gut punched.   Despite how it all ended, you can tell he's very glad Athelstan chose to return to Kattegat with him instead of staying in England.

His meeting with Alfred was also moving, thanks entirely to Travis's acting.   He's glad a part of Athelstan get's to live on.

Ivar is going to kill everyone isn't he?

Edited by Advance35
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Geez, once Ecbert found out that Magnus wasn't Ragnar's he sure had no use for the boy. He wasted no time in having Wulfy run him off.

Yeah, I think Lagertha is losing it what with her 'you're a witch; you bewitched Ragnar' nonsense. I'd actually love this show if they just went full blown 'drunk with power' with her. They've treated Lagertha as some kind of sacred creature thus far, that I'd be thrilled if she actually gets some kind of downfall.

Astrid trying to be intimidating is laughable. I wish one of those boys had just jumped her and I don't know, strangled her or something. Preferably Ubbe. Sigurd's hair is just so bad I can't take him seriously. That hair would've been considered bad even in the 80s where horrible hair was du jour.

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3 minutes ago, Advance35 said:

Ivar is going to kill everyone isn't he?

He is certainly going to try. I hope he starts with Astrid, ha.

This totally feels like the show is sweeping out a lot of cast and a changing of the guard in the next episodes.

Aslaug got a beautiful funeral.

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I think the writers should have emphasized more than Ragnar  though.   Didn't Bjorn's first child die because of Aslaug's negligence?  

Yep, little Siggy and the show has completely forgotten about her.  If this had been Lagertha's motivations for his actions and if this is the reason that Siguard hates his mother (he told her about Siggy's death and she couldn't have cared less) then I would understand.  But little Siggy apparently never existed anymore.

The end is near for Ragnar.  I'm going to miss him and TF very much on this show.  It's clear that's where this is headed.

Aethelwulf saved Magnus and Crazypants last season but it's clear he doesn't love the boy like he does Alfred.

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2 minutes ago, benteen said:

But little Siggy apparently never existed anymore.

I get the feeling the show just got rid of her so there'd be no ties left to Porunn.

And I'm fine with that because she's right up there with Judith and Yidu in characters I never saw the point in.

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I wasn't expecting Lagertha to kill Aslaug, I thought Aslaug would slime her way back by manipulating her sons.
Lagertha sounds deranged when she goes out of her way to put down Aslaug, it was foolish to let her sons live.

It was kind of weird that Ivar cursed in Norse, but the subtitles were FCC-approved.  What was the point of the curse in the first place?

I was hoping Ragnar would meet Alfred, I'm glad Ecbert didn't keep him hidden. 

Poor Magnus! 

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This episode was over too soon for me. TF is mesmerizing. His scenes with Linus Roache were impeccable. Ragnar meeting Alfred was a beautiful moment. Aethelwulf is a cruel, vindictive man. Poor Magnus being thrust out into the world so abruptly. As for Lagertha killing Aslaug, I say it's about time. She would have killed Bjørn if she could, unlike Lagertha who spared her sons. 

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I love Lagertha but I hate this storyline.  It's cheap and cliche to have her wait 20 years to get revenge on the "other woman" especially when in earlier seasons, she and Aslaug had seemed to come to an understanding. Lagertha appeared to accept that Ragnar was to have more sons but not with her  and that her destiny lay elswhere.

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1 minute ago, FlowerofCarnage said:

I love Lagertha but I hate this storyline.  It's cheap and cliche to have her wait 20 years to get revenge on the "other woman" especially when in earlier seasons, she and Aslaug had seemed to come to an understanding. Lagertha appeared to accept that Ragnar was to have more sons but not with her  and that her destiny lay elswhere.

It feels somewhat like intentional character assassination to me.  Anyways, whatever it is I won't mind much now when Lagertha goes the way all characters eventually go on the show.

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In my mind this has been Lagertha's plan since the day she left. She's been playing the long game this whole time, biding her time, building her power. She had a long memory and she doesn't forget. Killing Aslaug (about time) was a good move because she would have regrouped and came back. I just didn't like that it was in her back. But I think Aslaug expected it. ETA I just rewatched that scene and the way it played out it seemed to me they both knew she was going to kill Aslaug no matter what.

This whole episode was about wrapping up dangling plotlines. Ragnar confirming that Magnus (poor kid) wasn't his was surprising. I really did thought the two of them had sex. I didn't think he was the father but I thought they had sex after she peed on him. What a thing to tell a kid, lol.

I'm going to miss Ragnar so much. Almost as much as he and Ecbert missed Athelstan.

Edited by TiffanyNichelle
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I'm still Team Lagertha. Good riddance to Aslaug.

Linus Roach and Travis Fimmel gave a master class in acting. Two old guys drinking and reminiscing...

When Aethelwulf said something to poor Magnus about there were "animals" in the villa, I wondered if he was actually helping him, but in that case, why wouldn't he have given Magnus a servant and more supplies before sending him off?

The Real Vikings episode showed a clip of the snake pit in next weeks episode. OMG! I sure hope the boys blood eagle Aelle as the legends say.

I'll really miss Travis Fimmel.

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I always love Ragnar and Ecbert scenes, and this was no exception.  In fact, this might be my favorite one yet.  Travis Fimmel and Linus Roache are just magnetic together, completely own the screen, and sell this twisted relationship, which seems to range from sometimes hostile and intense, to a strange trust and even friendship between them.  This is one of the best duo on this show, and probably one of my favorites on television the past few years.  Love them getting more and more drunk as it went on, and some of their fights and barbs, especially when they both started arguing over who's version of the afterlife is more ridiculous.  And, of course, they wind up talking about Athlestan a.k.a. the true love of their lives!  I liked Ecbert acknowledging that he is/was jealous that we went back with Ragnar and then Ragnar admitting he feels guilt over how he died under his watch.  If this is to be it for their big scenes, at least they went out on a high note.

Not surprised that Ragnar's plan seems to be wanting Ecbert to kill him, because it really feels like he has given up, and wants to take his place in Valhalla, and lets his sons take their rightful places in the world.  Also not surprised that Ecbert couldn't bring himself to do it, but Ragnar's back-up plan over having Ecbert send him to Alle instead, is a good one.  I can see that working.  Even then, I have to imagine it will still weight heavily on Ecbert.  

Man, did Magnus get a raw deal.  Aethelwulf didn't even seem all that bent out of shape over tossing the kid outside.

Meanwhile, back overseas, Aslaug's reign is finally over thanks to an arrow to the back.  I had a feeling she wasn't getting out of there alive, because there rightfully would be a fear that she would try something, but I was thinking that Lagertha was just going to stab her instead.  Not sure what to think.  It feels like this was purposely done in a way to make Lagertha come off kind of shady and unlikable.  Again, I get wanting Aslaug gone, but they made it seem like it was more about Ragnar then all the other stuff that Lagertha rightfully could have issues with.  Not sure what direction they are heading with her now.  At least she allowed Aslaug do have a proper funeral.  I also noticed that Aslaug's smile seemed to widen, right before she died, so I guess on some levels, she wanted Lagertha to finish her?

Interesting seeing the different reactions from the sons.  Ubbe was your normal rightfully angry one (I did love him not being afraid at all over Astrid's threats), but Sigurd seemed really indifferent, since he (rightfully?) thinks Astrid only really loved Ivar out of the group.  But I really can't wait to see what Ivar's reaction will be.

I read somewhere that next week's episode hasn't been screen for critics, so I'm guessing some major shit will be going down!

Edited by thuganomics85
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Was Magnus thrown out on the kings orders or did the king son do it on his own!  

Edited by gwhh

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21 minutes ago, gwhh said:

Did they throw little Alfred out of the villa on the kings orders or did the king son do it on his own!  

That wasn't Alfred they threw out, it was Magnus.

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1 hour ago, LittleIggy said:

When Aethelwulf said something to poor Magnus about there were "animals" in the villa, I wondered if he was actually helping him, but in that case, why wouldn't he have given Magnus a servant and more supplies before sending him off?

Might have made him more a target.  But yeah it seemed like Aethelwulf was showing some 800's-style love to Magnus since the boy no longer had any value not being Ragnar's son.

And good riddance to Aslaug.  No one believed she would just walk away and not plot revenge with her sons.  She didn't deserve a warrior's death so it was as good a way as any to dispatch someone who wasn't respected.

But this episode was first, last and always about two of the most incredible characters in any show ever and their improbable love-hate-love relationship reaching it's climax.  The last time we viewers got such a satisfying episode was the end of season 2 with the Shakespearean-like killing of King Horik and Ragnar's ascension to kingship.  This was even better.

Next week the obvious will come to pass.  But this week we get the true emotional climax to the life of Ragnar Lothbrok as he and Ecbert drunkenly shared both their great "truths" and especially their love, and ours, for Athelstan.  These two men were truly brothers from different mothers. 

I wondered how they could have a decent send off for Ragnar but Hirst pulled it off giving us fans the scenes we could only have dreamed of between these two great actors and their characters.  Not rushed and an after thought like many a show would do but long and lingering in the best way possible.  The heart and soul of this episode and, indeed, this whole series.  And then layering on wonderful icing with Ragnar meeting Athelstan's son Alfred.  That sweet hug between them ... just wow.

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I've always loved Lagertha, but this move of hers is questionable. Shooting an arrow into Aslaug's back seemed cowardly...not at all her style. This is the woman who took out Kalf at their wedding...a straight up kill. And killed Einer while looking him in the face. And now she's shooting an arrow into Aslaug's back after promising her safe passage...seems out of character, and weak, as well.

And not killing Aslaug's sons? Why not? Generosity on her part, or stupidity? 

Poor Magnus...treated royally until he was found not to be a son of Ragnar...then tossed out like trash. Now I have to google what happens to him. Poor bastard.

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Aethelwulf saved Magnus and Crazypants last season but it's clear he doesn't love the boy like he does Alfred.

I don't expect it to get much play but that dynamic really does interest me.   Aethelwulf struck me as VERY protective of Alfred when he was a small boy so I assumed all the time he spent with Magnus would have allowed a similar bond to form, if not made easier, since Magnus wouldn't carry the Athelstan baggage like Alfred.   And I am of course interested in seeing the dynamic between King Echbert and Alfred.   

Ragnar totally knows that his Son's will never allow England any peace once he is dead.   

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I was hoping Ragnar would meet Alfred, I'm glad Ecbert didn't keep him hidden. 

TF's acting was so moving in that scene.  I'm telling you any genuine love either Ragnar or Echbert were capable of, was spent on a lone monk who had little warrior prowess, little guile and was about as ruthless and vindictive as an especially passive koala.  There is a certain poetry to that I think.   So many people in both of these men's lives have tried to influence, ensnare and outright control them and the one that could have done it in his sleep, never had any interest in doing so.

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I'm over Lagertha. I know Aslaug isn't a popular character, but I don't think anything she did was worthy of being shot in the back. Ok, Siggy died on her watch, but neither Lagertha nor Bjorn paid any attention to the kid, so why was Aslaug expected to be some sort of surrogate mother? In the end though, Aslaug did get the better mic drop by pointing out how she was the one to give Ragnar many sons and not Lagertha.

Ecbert and Ragnar are just beautiful, poetic and brilliant together. They're like the ultimate drinking buddies and I can't believe Ragnar is going to die next week. I'm not ready.

Magnus getting tossed out on his ass was brutal. I mean, damn, they couldn't have gotten the kid an apprenticeship within city walls? How the hell is a sheltered boy going to survive on his own out in the countryside with barely enough food to last a week? Poor thing didn't even get a horse to make the journey easier.

Astrid can go anytime now. 

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What chafes me about the way this went down between Lagertha and Aslaug in the episode that the writing did like a 180 turn that makes no sense.  I remember from prior seasons that while Aslaug and Lagertha were never besties they had first learned to co-exist  and later to respect one another.  I know I didn't hallucinate this.  Also, it's very easy to blame Aslaug for the break-up of Ragnar's marriage with Lagertha.  Hello, Ragnar didn't just accidently fall onto Aslaug's vagina - he chose to be with Aslaug so he could have the sons Lagertha couldn't give him.   But Aslaug is the evil hag while Ragnar just made an oopsie.

Is the Magnus on this show supposed to be the same character from "The Last Kingdom"? Anybody here watch that show?

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thuganomics85, Yes! I was about to post the same idea of Aslaug---that she seemed to smile in a grim yet satisfied way that her "safe passage" would be the one she meant: on a flaming funeral boat fit for a Viking queen. 

Ragnar and Ecbert = Vinny Terranova and Sonny Steelgrave ("Wiseguys"), ca. 9th C. Two mesmerizing Alpha male "frenemies" whose relationship will, and must, end in tragedy. 

I wish the entire history of England could follow! Alfred DOES become "the Great," after all!

Edited by LennieBriscoe
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OT:  Anyone who brings up Vinny Terranova and Sonny Steelgrave is OKAY! in my book.  Wow.  Brilliant comparison to any bromance because they defined the entire genre.  (Except the whole thing about Jonathan and David but....you know....no one hardly reads that story anymore.  LOLOL)

ETA:  Jason Morgan and Sonny Corinthos on General Hospital are homages.

Edited by Captanne
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Just a thought: Could Ragnar have lied about the possibility of being Magnus' father? By lying he's protecting him from being used or murdered when the sons come for revenge. I will have to watch again but there seemed to be the flicker of a smile on Ragnar's face when he saw the boy. 

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7 hours ago, Knuckles said:

I've always loved Lagertha, but this move of hers is questionable. Shooting an arrow into Aslaug's back seemed cowardly...not at all her style. This is the woman who took out Kalf at their wedding...a straight up kill. And killed Einer while looking him in the face. And now she's shooting an arrow into Aslaug's back after promising her safe passage...seems out of character, and weak, as well.

And not killing Aslaug's sons? Why not? Generosity on her part, or stupidity? 

Poor Magnus...treated royally until he was found not to be a son of Ragnar...then tossed out like trash. Now I have to google what happens to him. Poor bastard.

I think the shooting in the back was meant as a final insult. You straight up kill an equal face to face... a problematic dog you just put down and forget about it. 

As for sparing Aslaug's sons, Lagertha said so herself. She just can't kill Ragnar's sons, even though she is well aware that it's a risk that might get her killed. So it is not a case of her underestimating the risk, it's a case of her deciding to live with it.

And the most interesting thing about Magnus is that he is completely fictional, so they can do absolutely anything they want with him. As a character all posibilites are open to him. 

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I'm not bothered that Lagertha killed Aslaug.  That's always felt like an inevitability to me no matter how many years they played nice for the sakes of their sons and various alliances.  What bothers is the writing that reduces it almost Jerry Springer style to Lagertha killing her because "you bewitched and stole my man" and shooting her in the back.  Both characters deserve better than that.   I honestly wasn't surprised though that Aslaug wasn't allowed to just walk away, I guess to go wander the earth the way Ragnar has apparently been doing the last so many years, and I don't think Aslaug was either given the over enunciated way she was speaking after dropping the sword.  It was obvious she wanted it publicly heard that she had surrendered peacefully and asked to leave so Lagertha would forever be cast in the role of the usurper in the stories and in the minds of her sons.  I guess this neatly ties up all the loose ends to who's ruling back in ye olde country while the boys will be out raping and pillaging.

The real story was of course the magnificence that was Ragnar and Ecbert's long goodbye.  Both actors really brought their A game as two wily former adversaries who nonetheless found great comradery and even some affection for each other in their shared intellectual curiosity to see the world for more than it was and their shared love for Athelstan.  The reviewer for the AV Club described all three characters as having a "great greedy joy" for discovery and knowledge and the possibilities of an expanding world, and I loved how evident it was in Ragnar and Ecbert's scenes together that that had largely been missing in their lives since Athelstan's death.  Ragnar's been on a mostly downward spiral ever since and that joy will likely be extinguished for Ecbert forever by Ragnar's imminent passing.  Aelle may be a fellow king but he's very paint by numbers and no sort of visionary.  The quiet scene of meeting Alfred was lovely for all the right reasons, although part of me was really wishing Ragnar had at least had a line or two to him about what an incredible journey the little backwater monk had undertaken or something similar to his speech at Athelstan's grave.

As interested as I am in seeing the show take up the sagas of the sons moving forward, I can't imagine the show ever being able to capture that kind of magic and wonder at what the world could be again.  The sons' stories will be more about vengeance and conquest.  It was an inspired touch to make Ragnar fully cognizant of both the fuse and the gift he was handing Ecbert in asking him to let Aelle take the fall for killing him.  He may not be able to see far enough to realize just how profoundly the Vikings will shake the world but he knows full well what his boys, including Ivar, are capable of in avenging him. 

Edited by nodorothyparker
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I got the feeling that Aslaug knew that Lagertha was going to kill her, and was actually asking for what she ultimately received - safe passage to Valhalla/afterlife, via the Viking funeral boat.  But that's going to leave an awful gulf between Bjorn and his half brothers, after all this time of them bonding.  Too bad Lagertha didn't bother to think about that.  I'm glad Aslaug got a nice funeral at least.  I know she wasn't popular on this site, but she did play her part in history and did give Ragnar the sons he so desperately wanted.

 

Loved the scene with Ecbert and Ragnar - so awesome.  Those 2 actors are just wonderful.  And yes, poor Magnus.  But he's probably safer out in the woods with the bears and wolves, rather than being a nobody/possible threat to the Wessex throne in the castle.

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4 hours ago, LennieBriscoe said:

Ragnar and Ecbert = Vinny Terranova and Sonny Steelgrave ("Wiseguys"), ca. 9th C. Two mesmerizing Alpha male "frenemies" whose relationship will, and must, end in tragedy. 

Yes, this!  Dammit, I'm starting to get the sniffles.

It seemed to me that Aslaug was expecting Lagertha to kill her, and she obliged.  So I didn't see what Lagertha did as cowardly at all.  Like another poster said, the "safe passage" that Aslaug requested was the beautiful Viking funeral that Lagertha gave her.  Rest in peace, bitch. 

I love the way this show has prepared me for Ragnar's death, and in a strange way, I'm actually looking forward to seeing him go out on his own terms.  

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I loved watching Linus Roache have so much fun opposite Fimmel.  A lot of their conversation, however, sounded too familiar to my ears -- like so many awful late-night philosophy debates while in our college dorms trying to be grownups.  "What even is meeeeaning, man?!"

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When Lagartha told Aslaug she understood her request for safe passage, I believe they had an unspoken meeting of the minds. Aslaug smiled as that arrow hit its mark in her back, and either wishes to join Ivar (who she believes is dead), or, wants to ignite the fire of revenge in her sons- much the same as Ragnar is trying to do with securing his own death.

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Lagertha knew that if she let Auslaug go, she'd come back for the kingdom eventually, with her sons as part of the force. It was the best option and dealing with the sons was part of the deal. I also  think Auslaug meant safe passage to the afterlife. I don't think Bjorn cares much who rules the kingdom, and I don't think he ever did.

Could Auslaug have cared most about Ivar because she beleived he was touched or changed in some way by Habard?

Edited by Paradigm14
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2 hours ago, AzureOwl said:

And the most interesting thing about Magnus is that he is completely fictional, so they can do absolutely anything they want with him. As a character all posibilites are open to him. 

Apparently Magnus was indeed a real person.  But yeah so little is known about him he can be used pretty loosely.

And I never thought he was Ragner's son because all I saw was Princess Crazy Pants peeing on Ragnar at the time but I think she really "believed" he was Ragnar's child because, you know, she was called Crazy Pants here on this board for a reason. 

Interesting that Aethelwulf counseled Magnus to keep up the pretense that he was Ragnar's son as well.  There is some foreshadowing in that maybe.

34 minutes ago, Ocean Chick said:

I got the feeling that Aslaug knew that Lagertha was going to kill her, and was actually asking for what she ultimately received - safe passage to Valhalla/afterlife, via the Viking funeral boat.  But that's going to leave an awful gulf between Bjorn and his half brothers, after all this time of them bonding.  Too bad Lagertha didn't bother to think about that.  I'm glad Aslaug got a nice funeral at least.  I know she wasn't popular on this site, but she did play her part in history and did give Ragnar the sons he so desperately wanted. ...

I don't think so.  Hirst put in that dialogue this episode making it clear Sigurd could care less about mommy dearest and said he'd refuse to join Ubbe when Ubbe said they should go to the longhouse and finish if all off.  After that talk even Ubbe seemed less hell bent on revenge. 

Meanwhile Ivar bonded with his father in a few short weeks more than he ever did with his mother.  He is no longer a momma's boy. 

And Hvitserk -- the one off with Bjorn -- won't get the news for years.  A cruise to the Med took much longer back then when tourist stops along the way included battles, sieges, pillages and the like.  And after all that time frolicking together he would have become BFF with Bjorn.

29 minutes ago, attica said:

I loved watching Linus Roache have so much fun opposite Fimmel.  A lot of their conversation, however, sounded too familiar to my ears -- like so many awful late-night philosophy debates while in our college dorms trying to be grownups.  "What even is meeeeaning, man?!"

Actually I think asking the meaning of things is great and it is really sad when people stop having late night talks and settle into a 9 to 5 rut of mere existence and keeping up with silly fads and gathering mere "stuff' instead of knowledge.  The fact that this show's Ecbert and Ragnar never stopped asking and searching and thirsting for knowledge is to their credit.

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Don't get me wrong, I would never want to be on Ivar's bad side, but I find his character fascinating and really like the actor who plays him.  I can't wait until he unleashes hell.  

I hope Lagertha doesn't forget about the poor slave girl and protects her from Ubbe and the other son whose name escapes me.  I don't like seeing her constantly in danger with a hand to her throat.

OT:  In the spirit of the holidays, I just wanted to say how pleasant it it on this forum, even if we disagree on some things, like whether we like Floki or Aslaug.  It's just so nice to come here and have intelligent, funny and thought-provoking discussions.  It's civilized.  Unlike the Vikings, lol. 

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Im spent part of the evening wondering if the actress playing Aslaug had other projects coming up and she wanted out because I couldnt think of any other reason that Aslaug would be so cool with Lagertha coming back and taking everything. I just didnt buy how it went down. 

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32 minutes ago, jadecorleone said:

Im spent part of the evening wondering if the actress playing Aslaug had other projects coming up and she wanted out because I couldnt think of any other reason that Aslaug would be so cool with Lagertha coming back and taking everything. I just didnt buy how it went down. 

Let's look at life through Aslaug's eyes.  She knows she can't physically fight Lagertha - as she stated, Aslaug is neither her mother nor father in that aspect.  She knows that Ragnar no longer loves her.  Her sons are grown and no longer need her.  She's had her moment in the sun, and has earned her place in history and myth as the mother of most of Ragnar's sons.  What's left for her, once Lagertha deposes her?  To grow old and die, alone and unloved?  To die at the hands of strangers or animals while trying to live life as a beggar and outcast?  At least this way she gets her Viking funeral and a chance for a good life in the afterlife.  And as we've seen, that afterlife is very important to the Vikings.  Remember the old guy who wanted to die in battle, just so he had a chance at Valhalla?  Dying peacefully of old age was not seen as a good thing for Vikings.

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Podcast with Georgia Hirst (Torvi) and Katheryn Winnick. 

http://www.history.com/shows/vikings/pages/vikings-podcast

I was thinking about Auslaug's dig at Lagertha about being remember for bearing him sons and why that would even be considered a dig in the first place. So Norse women are not celebrated in their own right?  Wouldn't Lagertha's accomplishments be worthy of their own stories? She is a celebrated shield maiden who became an earl in her own right...who helped her ex-husband raid Paris. 

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3 hours ago, Ocean Chick said:

But that's going to leave an awful gulf between Bjorn and his half brothers, after all this time of them bonding.  Too bad Lagertha didn't bother to think about that. 

I don't think so. Bjorn could have taken out Auslaug while the boys were young if he'd wanted to. He'd also chosen from  the beginning to accept his brothers, so I don't think it will have any effect on them. Bjorn knows the revenge game well and I don't think he'd play it.

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11 minutes ago, Paradigm14 said:

I don't think so. Bjorn could have taken out Auslaug while the boys were young if he'd wanted to. He'd also chosen from  the beginning to accept his brothers, so I don't think it will have any effect on them. Bjorn knows the revenge game well and I don't think he'd play it.

I was thinking more about from the other side.  "Your mother killed out mother".  I'd have hard feelings towards Lagertha and any of her family after that, and not want to hang around Bjorn too much.  Especially Ubbe, who's already tried to kill Lagertha in revenge.

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My read of this situation is that Lagertha shot Auslaug in the back for two simple reason. 

One:  she did not deserve to see her death coming.  She not a shield maiden, aka not a warrior woman.

TWO:  By shooting her in back.   She saved her from seeing her death coming.  Clean and quick and she died happy!  Which is Lagertha opinion is more than she deserved. 

Edited by gwhh
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So does anyone remember when Aslaug was having her visions of Ragnar and Ivar's deaths, and then started bleeding?  Do you think she was actually bleeding (maybe from uterine cancer)?  Or was that just another vision, which made her think her death was near?  Either way, I think she knew her time on Earth was limited, and had made her peace with it.  Maybe she and Ragnar will meet up again in the Afterlife and make a better go of things the second time around.  Heh.

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11 hours ago, LennieBriscoe said:

Ragnar and Ecbert = Vinny Terranova and Sonny Steelgrave ("Wiseguys"), ca. 9th C.

So funny. I remember loving that show, and the work those two actors did. Thank you Lennie Briscoe.

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The entire time Aslaug was speaking, it seemed rather contrived on her part to insult Lagertha in every way possible (especially with dropping the sword in the dirt) so as to insure her/Aslaug's death would be the ultimate end of the exchange...she was manipulative to the end (hence her smile as she was shot), and seemed to think that was the way with all women. As for Lagertha, I was surprised by her speech, but not her action in killing Aslaug - no victor worth their salt would allow such a woman as Aslaug to live (I can still see images of the entire 'Blood Eagle sequence, and the respect Ragnar showed Jarl Borg when he stopped momentarily and moved to raise Borg's arm back into place so the ritual could continue - nice piece of acting, that). The awkwardness I felt in Lagertha's words felt more like she was using a practiced excuse for doing away with a foe who had proven herself to be completely lacking in morality or conscience. It seemed to me as well that Lagertha was perfectly all right with  Aslaug thinking of her/Lagertha as no more than a scorned woman seeking revenge, rather than as a patient warrior who planned not only for her own best interests, but for those of the people in two separate communities whom she would end up ruling - it kept Aslaug from realizing how very dangerous Lagertha really is  Any question of Lagertha's motives in killing Aslaug were, IMO, satisfied by her granting Aslaug a funeral befitting a legitimate queen (which I never considered Aslaug to merit). I remembered the first season when Ragnar denied Siggy the honor of putting the flame to her husbands funereal boat, that was a power play designed to put Siggy in her place....Lagertha needed no such show to cement her place as the one in charge. As for what Aslaug's 'sons' will do - well, as far as I can see, the contrast between them and Bjorn speaks volumes as to their respective worth....had Ivar not turned out to be such a psychopath, I would have considered him the only one other than Bjorn who had the stuff to succeed Ragnar - geez, I'm gonna miss him!

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I think Aslaug was killed off now because all of these people of Ragnar's circle and generation - Rollo, Ecbert, Floki,  Lagertha are going soon one way or the other.  To be replaced by the younger generation of Ragnar's sons, and on  the English side by Aethelwolf,  Alfred and Magnus.

And I am okay with that because the coming historical events are fascinating.  Also, all this means that Astrid will hopefully die soon - I am rooting for that big time.

Next season this show will look completely different.

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12 hours ago, LennieBriscoe said:

thuganomics85, Yes! I was about to post the same idea of Aslaug---that she seemed to smile in a grim yet satisfied way that her "safe passage" would be the one she meant: on a flaming funeral boat fit for a Viking queen. 

Ragnar and Ecbert = Vinny Terranova and Sonny Steelgrave ("Wiseguys"), ca. 9th C. Two mesmerizing Alpha male "frenemies" whose relationship will, and must, end in tragedy. 

I wish the entire history of England could follow! Alfred DOES become "the Great," after all!

Great comparison!  Nothing much more to add to the already posted raves about the Ragnar/Ecbert scenes.  They were truly a pleasure to watch.  And Ragnar's reaction when meeting Athelstan's son blew my socks off.  Two lines of dialogue out of Judith's mouth were plenty--all I could stand actually. What a waste of space.  As far as Aslaug is concerned, I thought she showed maximum disrespect when she threw the sword at Lagertha's feet instead of handing it to her.  I'm sure that didn't make Lagertha feel like doing her a solid.  On reflection, I think all that safe passage talk was code.  There was no way in hell Aslaug was getting out of Kattegat alive and (since she wasn't a fighter to begin with) I think the arrow in the back was akin to covering someone's eyes with a blindfold before they're executed.  At any rate, I don't care and she did get a fancy Viking funeral which she really didn't deserve.  I just want to see what the fall-out is going to be when Aslaug's sons decide what to do.  Still, I'm of the opinion that Bjorn should be the HMIC as the eldest son after Ragnar/Lagertha.  I thought Magnus was Athelwulf's kid.  Wasn't he screwing around with Princess Crazy Pants?  If so, he's even more of a son of a bitch than previously thought.  How is he just going to throw a gently reared child out into world like that?  Jerk off.  Okay, I'm in love with Torvi's braids and I'm never one to comment on hairstyles.  Still hate Astrid.  Why didn't Ubbe just jump up and choke her to death?

Edited by taurusrose
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