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S04.E15: All His Angels

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1 hour ago, magdalene said:

The History Channel is not sending out screeners for this episode - we can probably guess why - so all the online reviews will be delayed.

Yes we can though the emotional climax was this past episode.

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15 hours ago, magdalene said:

I wonder if 

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his little girl will appear to him as one of his angels? And Athelstan of course.

That would be really nice, I'm hoping it happens.

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Fuck, that was brutal.   Looking at Aelle's smug face remember 

Spoiler

Ivar and the other sons blood eagle him for Ragnar.

Travis Fimmel, all the best to him. 

If they wanted to prime us for Ivar to reign hell on England, they have succeeded.

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Well, we've known it was coming ever since Season 1 when we got interested in history and read up on Ragnar, but it was still painful to watch.  Is Lagertha next?    Can't wait for Floki and Bjorn to turn on the two brothers (I hope).  Looking forward to following Travis in his new projects. 

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I was surprised to see Ragnar turn on Ecbert, but I forgot he has a very long memory.

Aelle is one smug bastard.  Can't wait for him to die.

Also, did Ecbert really save Aethelson's old outfit? That's creepy as hell.  I didn't get the "walking barefoot on rocks" thing either.
Since when is he so penitent?
 

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That was intense! RIP Ragnar. I'm going to miss him and Travis Fimmel. 

Lagertha is going to be sorry she left his sons alive, I think she might be next to go to Valhalla. 

The end scene close up of Ivar was scary. He's going to cause all kinds of hell. 

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I feel like the show is really trying to make Astrid happen what with the weird focal points they keep giving her, like when Ivar arrived back in Kattegat. She wasn't necessary in that scene at all, much less to get a fairly prolonged camera shot.

I know I keep harping on this, probably to the point of annoyance, but jeez, someone in TPTB must have a hard-on for Judith's actress, because she is continually shoe-horned in where she just doesn't need to be.

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Ecbert is slightly more penitent than Aelle, but I think he mostly wanted to go see Ragnar off, and dressing as a monk meant he could do it without dragging the other half of his guards (because at least half of them went with Ragnar) along too.

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That was VERY hard to watch.  Ragnar's brutal treatment at the hands of King Alle made me literally look away.  When he sliced his face, UGH.  Not surprising to see Ragnar's last reflections centered on Lagetha, Athelstan, Bjorn and Gyda.   He loved his children by Aslaug but, as was shown last season, the happiest time in his life was when it was He, Lagetha, Bjorn, Gyda and Athelstan on the farm.

I was very surprised to learn that Ragnar had kept Athelstan's cross with him all this time.   His reflecting on his first meeting with Athelstan was definitely bitter sweet.   But Ragnar is Ragnar, his instructing Ivar to gain revenge on King Echbert was him at his most ruthless and true self.  The fact that King Echbert isn't going to see it coming probably gladdens Ragnar all the more.

It was also interesting to see Ivar, who has displayed nothing but contempt and disdain for all things English and Christian was able to play a game with Alfred.   And actually looked like he was enjoying himself.   His self-satisfied smile when he thought he won, his smirk when he watched Alfred trying to figure out his next move and then him going from aggravation to sportsman like amusement when Alfred won was interesting and surprising.   As was his accepting Alfred's little toy as a gift, though he was clearly enraged and grieving when leaving Wessex.  Though that final shot of Ivar holding the toy is proof that Alfred should make sure Ivar NEVER gets his hands on him because I don't think anyone in Wessex is going to be safe from his wrath.

I don't know what I'm going to do without TF.  Such a wonderful actor. 

All I can articulate right now.

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Shallow: The flashbacks reminded me of how hot Ragnar was.

Man... I knew it was coming, but it was still painful. OTOH, I'm also kind of glad they killed a character when he should die, and not just for a shocking death. Looking forward to Ivar's reign of terror. (Please spare Lagertha, please please)

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So many feelings after this episode. Brilliantly written and acted. Loved the flashbacks, and very happy they focused solely on Ragnar and didn't cut away to other stories. And appreciated that Athlestan only showed up in the past and not reaching into Aelle's Snakepit 'o Doom to lend our king a hand into the afterlife. 

Travis Fimmel is an acting god, or is that an Odin?  He played Ragnar as world weary with no future in any country.  I will miss Fimmel, he was amazing. He made this show for me. 

And thank you Michael Hirst for not making this a cliffhanger! 

Soon the sons will unleash hell, I'll be here waiting for it all. 

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17 minutes ago, gwhh said:

How poisonous are the snakes in England??

This is what I'm wondering. Aelle has not one, but two, snake pits, if memory serves me correctly (didn't he have one in town where he pushed some guy in a few seasons ago?). Where did they get all those snakes? Some of them were huge! They looked like constrictors of some type. When I think of England, poisonous snakes don't immediately come to mind.

Well, I am so sad Ragnar is gone. I will miss him on this show. Travis Fimmel brought such extraordinary nuance to him. I'm ready for his sons to avenge his death. I loathe Aelle. Echbert is ruthless and cunning, but there is something about Aelle that just sickens me. When he was praying and also gloating to Ragnar that God anointed him the agent of death for the horrible, violent Ragnar, I couldn't help but think how hypocritical he is. The torture and murder of Ragnar was sanctioned by God? Um, how twisted is that logic? (I know it was common back then, and even continues today, but I find violence in the name of God disgusting.)

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Farewell, Ragnar Lothbrook and best of luck to Travis Fimmel.  It’s a disgrace that he has never gotten any kind of award recognition for his amazing work on this show.

Great episode.  I knew that the end was near but I’m going to miss Ragnar on this show and Vikings will never be the same again.  No one can replace Ragnar but I look forward to seeing more of Ivar.

Great performances by Fimmel, Linus Roche, Ivan Kaye and Alex Hogh.

It’s jarring to see how different Ragnar looked at the beginning of the show in the flashbacks.  In one flashback I mistook him for Bjorn.  The make-up on him has been outstanding and TF can really sell the physical acting to make himself look old and move around old.

I’m glad Ragnar and Ivar got one more great conversation.  Ragnar is NOT letting Ecbert off the hook for the colony.  I thought Ecbert was going to commit suicide and he’s going to wish that he had.

Seeing Alfred playing chess with Ivar was unexpected but really cool.  Ragnar giving Alfred Athelstan’s cross was very moving.

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Also, did Ecbert really save Aethelson's old outfit? That's creepy as hell.  I didn't get the "walking barefoot on rocks" thing either.
Since when is he so penitent?

Well, Athelstan was Ecbert's (and Ragnar's) true love.

I liked the old blind guy too, whom I assume was the actor who plays the Seer without his usual make-up.

Edited by benteen
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Well, damn!  They really didn't hold back on this episode, did they?

I knew it was coming, but man, was this a hard but amazing episode to watch.  Ragnar knew his time was coming to an end and didn't heroically fight off his captors, but he went out like a champ.  Even after all of the torturing and beating, he did not give Alle the pleasure of "atonement."  Loved Alle's smirk being wiped from his face, when he realized that he wasn't going to break Ragnar.  Even though Ragnar is gone now, this victory will remain hollow for Alle on some levels.  Suck it, Alle!

I will certainly miss Travis Fimmel going forward.  He has to be one of the biggest turn arounds in my mind, after being less then impressed with him on that WB show, Tarzan, numerous years ago.  He was nothing short of magnetic on this show though, and tonight, was a tour de force performance.  It's too bad this show will always be looked over come award season, because, to quote a common phrase, Travis Fimmel deserves all the trophies!  It was time though, and I'm glad the show didn't delay the inevitable, but he will be missed.  I really can't wait to see what he does next.  My preference would be for him to team up with Benedict Wong; now that Marco Polo is done; and they both star in another historical show of some kind, being their awesome selves.  Either way, I can't wait to see what he does next.

Great performances from Linus Roache, Ivan Kaye, and Alex Hogh as well.  Every scene they had with Ragnar was fantastic, and really defined their relationships with him.  I love that Ragnar sold Ecbert out, because even though I still believe he respect and maybe even like Ecbert on some levels still, he wouldn't forgive him for what he did.  Plus, I imagine he knows that Ivar and the rest of his sons will be even more famous if they take out Ecbert as well.  And despite only being in maybe three or four episodes together, Fimmel and Hogh really have sold and made me believe in the bond that Ragnar and Ivar had, and why Ragnar believes he will be the true legacy going forward.  And judging from his reaction at the end, it might already be happening.  I rarely say this, but Lagertha better watch her back!

The flashbacks were used well; especially seeing how much younger Ragnar/Fimmel was back when he first started out.  And I noticed how much a lot of his sons look like he did back then.  A lot of great casting, all around.  And the shot of young Bjorn and the actor was a nice touch, even though Alexander Ludwig has been great as the current one. 

Not surprised that Athelstan still got mentioned quite a bit, but I certainly didn't predict that Ecbert would use his robe to sneak and watch Ragnar's execution.

Probably not only one of my favorite episodes of the series, but one of my favorites of this year.  I will mourn the loss of Ragnar, but I can't wait to see where they go with Lagertha, Bjorn, Ecbert, and especially Ivar.  Still, congrats on making Ragnar such an amazing, compelling character, Travis Fimmel.

Edited by thuganomics85
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Farewell, Ragnar Lothbrok.  It was time but still we wanted more.

There is a great interview with Michael Hirst about this episode in the media thread that Babalooie found.  It discusses a lot of things especially Hirst's point this is a history and not a fantasy and Ragnar was going to die like he indeed did die all along.  Only originally Hirst had him slated to die in Episode 10 of Season One!!!  When he saw what he had with Fimmel and his other actors he re-wrote his show bible on the spot.  So thanks to Fimmel we had him for over three and a half seasons instead of only a half of a season.  That is testimony in itself to his acting skills.

http://www.ign.com/articles/2016/12/29/vikings-creator-on-this-weeks-shocking-turn-of-events

Putting it here cause sometimes people just go to the episode thread of a show only.  But there are a lot of good links and stuff in the media and spoiler threads here that are well worth your time.  But if not, here is this link anyway.  Thanks, Babalooie!

Edited by green
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I liked the old blind guy too, whom I assume was the actor who plays the Seer without his usual make-up.

Great observation!

I sincerely hope that Travis Fimmel lands on his feet and finds another role to excel in.  TF pretty much floored me early in the series because I never expected so much talent.  He truly made Ragnor a charismatic and mesmerizing character.  Here's to Hirst for recognizing Flimmel's potential and I have hope that he will bring out the best in the young actor playing Ivar.  Seriously,  Alex Andersen has been riveting in his scenes thus far and I look forward to more of him.

Edited by ShannaB
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1 hour ago, Advance35 said:

That was VERY hard to watch.  Ragnar's brutal treatment at the hands of King Alle made me literally look away.  When he sliced his face, UGH.  Not surprising to see Ragnar's last reflections centered on Lagetha, Athelstan, Bjorn and Gyda.   He loved his children by Aslaug but, as was shown last season, the happiest time in his life was when it was He, Lagetha, Bjorn, Gyda and Athelstan on the farm.

I was very surprised to learn that Ragnar had kept Athelstan's cross with him all this time.   His reflecting on his first meeting with Athelstan was definitely bitter sweet.   But Ragnar is Ragnar, his instructing Ivar to gain revenge on King Echbert was him at his most ruthless and true self.  The fact that King Echbert isn't going to see it coming probably gladdens Ragnar all the more.

It was also interesting to see Ivar, who has displayed nothing but contempt and disdain for all things English and Christian was able to play a game with Alfred.   And actually looked like he was enjoying himself.   His self-satisfied smile when he thought he won, his smirk when he watched Alfred trying to figure out his next move and then him going from aggravation to sportsman like amusement when Alfred won was interesting and surprising.   As was his accepting Alfred's little toy as a gift, though he was clearly enraged and grieving when leaving Wessex.  Though that final shot of Ivar holding the toy is proof that Alfred should make sure Ivar NEVER gets his hands on him because I don't think anyone in Wessex is going to be safe from his wrath.

I don't know what I'm going to do without TF.  Such a wonderful actor. 

All I can articulate right now.

I thought it was so interesting what Ragnar was doing by bringing Ivar along with him. It was an exercise to get Ivar to use his brain. Ragnar's brains and curiosity is what got them to England and France. Ragnar's not the strongest or fastest viking, but he's certainly smarter than most of them. I think he recognized a like mind Ecbert and Ivar. It was important to Ragnar that Ivar have an opportunity to learn about the Christians and English the way Ragnar did with Athlestan.

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Ragnar remained such a contradictory man to the end. He played Ecbert and set him up for brutal revenge by his sons, especially Ivar. But he also did him  a great kindness by telling him that Athelstan had chosen the Christian Faith - knowing that would mean a lot to Ecbert.  And he gave Athelstan's cross to Alfred, that was a very touching moment.   The game between Ivar and Alfred was interesting too, considering 

Spoiler

their future relationship as enemies.

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I'm probably in the minority here, but Ragnar's death wasn't an emotional moment for me. I love TF, but Ragnar was tired, worn and getting the shit kicked out of him on a regular basis. It was like watching an old, mangy dog finally be put out of his misery. I only got misty eyed during the flashback montage.

For me, Ivar has totally taken over the show. He's very similar to TF where he conveys so much in his body language and facial expressions. I thought the chess playing scene with Alfred was brilliant. No dialogue but so much communication between the two characters. 

I was kind of bummed we didn't get a final scene of Ragnar entering Valhalla and meeting up with all his dead warrior buddies, but I appreciate Hirst not going totally over the top cheesy with the imagery. Overall, well done.

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57 minutes ago, BitterApple said:

I love TF, but Ragnar was tired, worn and getting the shit kicked out of him on a regular basis. It was like watching an old, mangy dog finally be put out of his misery.

He went out on his own terms, and he will get his revenge.  Bring on the Great Heathen Army, it's gonna be massive.  

Edited by henripootel
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I feel like I've been through some sort of emotional ordeal. Good Lord that was brutal. 

I'm definitely looking forward to seeing Ivar settle his debts. 

Add me to the list of people who doesn't understand why TF is consistently overlooked during award season. 

3 hours ago, benteen said:

I liked the old blind guy too, whom I assume was the actor who plays the Seer without his usual make-up.

Oh, I totally didn't catch that. Nice touch. 

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4 hours ago, FlowerofCarnage said:

The guy on the boat at the end, was that supposed to be Odin?

I had almost forgot about that. I... guess we're meant to assume he is? Unless this guy pops up again and has a larger role to play.

 

4 hours ago, benteen said:

I liked the old blind guy too, whom I assume was the actor who plays the Seer without his usual make-up.

It's actually not the same actor, though now you have me wishing they had gone that route.

I will miss the hell out of Travis Fimmel. The actor playing Ivar is aces, though. I look forward to Ivar, Bjorn, and Ubbe --the other two sons leave me cold.

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7 hours ago, dbell1 said:

Travis Fimmel is an acting god, or is that an Odin?  He played Ragnar as world weary with no future in any country.  I will miss Fimmel, he was amazing. He made this show for me. 

Agree, of course.  And where have his Emmy nominations been?  He's been brilliant since season 1 - mesmerizing, sometimes.

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OK, I cried right there at the end. Maybe for the farewell of the character or just the sweet release from having to watching that torture.   It was a death and a half with the snake pit (squeezing, slithering, hissing, biting), and he deserved it really when you think about the atrocities he carried out there (well, if a lion deserves a death like that for following its nature). Was glad Ragnar had a friend in the crowd, but he's so damn tough, he didn't need it.  Pretty much nil reaction at all the brutality. It was his destiny - chosen or fated. 

I guess this will be the episode where many viewers stop watching. It could be a finale. But not me -  that shot of Lagertha tells me that she's not long for this world and she sensed the danger. Even though she's always been a favourite of mine, I wanna see that shit play out. 

I find Ivar quite mesmerising compared to the other sons. There's something about the thought of him being carried around while ordering mass destruction that could be quite something to watch and not something that's been seen on TV before. He has a vulnerable side too, so I'm glad we got so many scenes with his father. He's not a total sociopath then.   However, I'm not to keen on all the 2nd gen actors and characters yet. They will need to be built up.  I feel like they need another good character.

The flashbacks were perfection. I guess his other sons didn't make the cut. 

I hope there's more to them that what's been shown so far (just googled the actor who plays Ubbe and was surprised to find out that he played Andrew Robinson on 'Neighbours'. I remember him now. He used to play opposite Margot Robbie and had really bad hair on that show too.  I didn't recognise him.  Aussie/Brits with bad taste in soaps might know of him).

I wanna see Rollo's reaction when he hears of the nature of his brother's death. I guess he will smile and think it fitting.  Flocki too.

I got my Dad into this show and I know he's not history spoiled. I bet he'll think Ragnar will somehow be back next week.  Bold move to kill off the lead character, but it's true that it couldn't be left much longer.

Am anticipating next week.

Edited by insubordination
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What a perfect send off for both Ragnar and Fimmel. They gave him an hour truly worthy of his character. The flashbacks, the goodbyes with Ivar and Ecbert - I was in tears. This is an actor who has mastered the art of subtlety. He never made Ragnar into a "character", but a real and relatable person, as relatable as such a legend could be. I am fine with his death, as there are many more "Viking" stories to be told, but he will be sorely missed. 

I was a bit disappointed that his death wasn't done in QUITE the same fashion as the sagas 

Spoiler

, with Ragnar scurrying about in the pit, biting and killing as many snakes as he could, before he died, but I can think of a few reasons why that wouldn't work for the show. 

Hands down, my favorite thing about the episode was Ecbert showing up at his execution. I noticed it was him, of course, on the road. And my first thought was just wanted to officially see Ragnar off. But when I realized he was (IMO) doing it to be the one friendly face Ragnar saw before he died, it hit me right in the feels. Those two had such a beautifully complicated relationship. I was a bit disappointed that Ragnar intended to send his sons after Ecbert after all, but I get why - and I don't think it says anything about how he ultimately feels about the King. 

This whole episode was just incredibly well done. The acting, the cinematography, the music. Probably one of my favorite hours of television ever.

11 hours ago, peridot said:

Aelle is one smug bastard.  Can't wait for him to die.

Ugh. I cannot STAND that guy. Praying to a gold cross, wearing a gold crown atop his head - and criticizing the Vikings for worshiping "silver gods"? Give me a fucking break.

11 hours ago, Advance35 said:

It was also interesting to see Ivar, who has displayed nothing but contempt and disdain for all things English and Christian was able to play a game with Alfred.   And actually looked like he was enjoying himself.   His self-satisfied smile when he thought he won, his smirk when he watched Alfred trying to figure out his next move and then him going from aggravation to sportsman like amusement when Alfred won was interesting and surprising.

The actor that plays Ivar seems to really be able to do a lot with his facial expressions, much like Fimmel. They did well in casting him as the next badass viking.

I also want to say - I know many people are upset about losing Ragnar, but death is so different in this culture. Ragnar may be dead, but he is not gone. The way he died, he will live on - through his memory and his sons now living FOR him. To avenge him. To make themselves a name as worthy as his. That is how a real Viking wants to go out. Death is not such a final thing. When Ivar is leading the Great Heathen Army, when Bjorn descends upon the Mediterranean; he is there. A true Viking never dies, but lives on forever, and I really do see that in Ragnar's death. 

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That was hard to watch, but kudos to the showrunners for staying true to the sagas and killing off the star of their show. I'll miss Fimmel and am angry that this show doesn't get the media attention and award recognition it deserves. However, I do think Fimmel might show up in an occasional episode in a dream or flashback.

Speaking of, I loved seeing his flashbacks to earlier times. Seeing Bjorn at different ages, and Ragnar too, shows how brilliant the casting is on this show.

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Not surprising to see Ragnar's last reflections centered on Lagetha, Athelstan, Bjorn and Gyda.   He loved his children by Aslaug but, as was shown last season, the happiest time in his life was when it was He, Lagetha, Bjorn, Gyda and Athelstan on the farm.

Sure, he was happiest then, but he obviously wasn't satisfied. He left it all to go adventuring and raiding, again and again.

Was this the season finale? 

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I wonder if they'll bring Ragnar back in a limited role . . . such as in visions/dreams, guiding Ivar?  Probably not.  That would be too corny.

The torture scenes were difficult to watch and I did squint a couple of times.  The acting was wonderful.  Loved the way Ragnar never cried out in pain, just grunted, similar to the way Jarl whatever responded when he was blood-eagled .  Ragnar told Ecbert he didn't believe in Valhalla, and that he was only pretending so as not to destroy the faith of his sons and people.

I didn't know if he was going to double-cross Ecbert or not, but I wasn't surprised when he whispered to Ivar to reign terror upon Ecbert instead of Aelle.  Ragnar was never known to keep promises.

I'm looking forward to see how Ivar grows in his role as Viking warrior.

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1 hour ago, ghoulina said:

 I was a bit disappointed that Ragnar intended to send his sons after Ecbert after all, but I get why - and I don't think it says anything about how he ultimately feels about the King. 

I was too but I understood it as well.  Ecbert has to pay the price for what he did to the colony and that can't be forgotten.  I think Ragnar was sincere in considering Ecbert his friend but that doesn't change anything.

To answer Shermie, we still have five episodes left.  I suspect killing Ragnar now instead of at the end of the season is a way to keep audiences watching and get used to the new status quo.

Was that Jonathan Rhys Meyers as the one-eyed Viking at the end? 

Edited by benteen
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Well, that was a fair bit more torture-y than I generally like in an hour of teevee. May you feast like the mofo you are in the halls of Valhalla, Ragnar.

I foresee the second generation of the Athelstan/Ragnar bromance brewing between Alfred and Ivar. And as we know, it's a very thin line between love and hate.

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I will miss Ragnar...but I was happy to see him go out like a champ. Why the actor has so consistently been overlooked by the Emmy's is beyond me, but it did take years for them to catch up with Orphan Black, so it is possible there will be something for him in the spring. Flimmel has made this man so believable, and so cunning and yet charming...I loved that Ecbert has no clue he has been played, for the last time by Ragnar. The debt for the settlement will be paid, and he is a fool for thinking that Ragnar would ever let that go. Talking Ecbert into letting Aelle play executioner, makes it certain that both kingdoms will be in a world of hurt when Ragnar's sons come for revenge. 

The actor playing Ivar is wonderful...hard to make one of the most brutal Viking leaders sympathetic, but this actor has managed it...with subtlety. Well done. And Bjorn and Rollo return next week to make mincemeat of some former Roman territory, so good times await.

Lagertha may be down for the count...Ivar will remember his mother alone kept him alive, and Ivar is a man who pays his debts.

I do love this show. 

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Sorry to see Ragnar go but as many here have said, it was time. Best wishes to TF and many thanks for helping to bring such an amazing character to life. You will be missed.  

Add me to the list of people that were shocked by how young Ragnar looked in the flashbacks and how much Bjorn and Ubbe resemble him. There were a few times I wasn't sure who I was looking at.

This is pure speculation but I think Lagertha is next. The previews for next week show Ivar challenging her to a duel and Ragnar made such a point of telling Ivar that people will underestimate him because of his legs, etc.  Don't underestimate Lagertha!   

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Man, I'm going to miss Ragnar soooooooooo much!  I hope TF finds a new awesome role soon - he NEEDS to be onscreen, and often.  He's just fab!  And Ragnar went out in true Viking fashion.  Long may he feast and fight in Vahalla!  I so enjoyed his and Ecbert's frienemy relationship, and the way the two actors really fed off each other.  I can't wait to see Ivar's revenge, for both his dad AND his mom.  I rather think Legartha will be content to go, now that the true love of her life is gone as well.  What will be interesting is how Ivar and Bjorn exist together if indeed Ivar kills Legartha.  I could totally see Ivar duping one of his other brothers into doing the deed and then sacrificing that brother to Bjorn's wrath.  He's just that psychotic.  LOL

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That was a tough watch but it felt realistic for what Ragnar's situation was and where his mindset has been.  As he said in his speech to the blind man/seer, he had orchestrated all of this from start to finish and he was going out in a way that could be considered a good death to pave his way to Valhalla even if he told Ecbert he didn't believe in it in the end and to spur his sons on toward their greater destiny.  It called to mind both the blood eagling of Jarl Borg, who took his death without a sound, and Tostig, the old warrior in the first season who begged to go on one last raid because he too was ready to move on to the afterlife.

There was a great theme of blind men and one-eyed men running throughout, with both kings in their own ways blind to the parts they were playing.  Aelle, who has never been particularly clever or imaginative praying before all of his gold to be God's chosen instrument in carrying out this execution, never once in all his gloating realized that he only had Ragnar in a cage in the first place because Ragnar had chosen it and only belatedly realized that he wasn't going to break him into some babbling confession of guilt or begging for mercy.  Ecbert for all his wiliness seems to have bought wholeheartedly into the idea that Ragnar was sincerely his friend in the end, leaving him blind to the reality that Ragnar was also his equal in his willingness to undercut or double cross him if it suited his purpose.  There was also the obvious blind driver, who "saw" him just as the seer foretold, and Ragnar's own resemblance to Odin at the end with just the one blue eye looking out of the marred face.

The callbacks to the very beginning when it was all new were a nice touch.  Ragnar looked so very young there, and it was clear from what he was remembering that despite his telling Ivar that happiness is nothing that that's where he was happiest.  His final conversation with Ivar was terrific.  He needed to be told again that his mind is his greatest weapon and that Ragnar had chosen him of all the sons as his true heir to exact retribution.   Although it may not have seemed like it, he was also giving him a gift in bringing him to see the English up close to have some familiarity with the players and how they were situated.  I also really liked the chess match between Ivar and Alfred in both mirroring what was happening around them and establishing a relationship between them that goes beyond their fathers as they'll be great adversaries going forward.

Ivar's actor only had a few scenes but he made the most of them in showing that like Travis Fimmel, he's terrific at conveying a lot sometimes without any lines at all.  Like Fimmel, he's got great expressive eyes and they're obviously doing the same lighting thing with him that they've always done with Ragnar.

Edited by nodorothyparker
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I have been really impressed with how Bjorn and now Ivar resemble Ragnar without exactly looking like him physically. I don't know if it's the directing, or if it's the actors deliberately making choices (or both?), but both actors do a lot of the observing andwatching people thing that Ragnar/TF does, where you can see by his facial expressions that he's watching the scene and making mental notes. Ivar has the intense eyes and Bjorn makes some of the same head gestures that Ragnar does.
This show really does not get the critical recognition that it should. I don't know if it's because of the channel it's on, or the subject matter. Travis Fimmel has been amazing and he should be right up there with other actors for nominations. The battle scenes have always been great. The costuming is well done. OK, I haven't talked about the actual episode. I feel like an era of the show has come to an end and now we're starting the next chapter.

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