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S05.E06: The Message

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Lagertha is betrayed, and Bjorn must find a way to support the distraught queen; Floki and his settlers arrive in a new land, but it is far from what they expected.

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Another really good episode.  Ivar's plan to get the Bishop to fight for him is an intriguing and surprisingly logical one.  As for Floki's followers, well, that's what you get for following Floki!  I liked that scene between Lagertha and Floki but that poor woman just can't garner any large-scale loyalty it seems.

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Hvitserk has to know at this point he picked the wrong side.  Ivar only cares for himself and his legacy. 
I'm surprised the Bishop chose to fight for Ivar, so much for his hardcore faith.

For the first time, I felt sorry for Astrid.  That piece of shit fisherman and his crew should all be castrated, I'm surprised he kept his word and warned Lagertha.  The visions Astrid's having of Lagertha is sad.  It looks like her time is running out.

I wish someone will take Margrethe out.  She's constantly running her mouth, but clams up when Lagertha confronts her.  I guess the only reason she's still alive is so that Lagertha can keep Ubbe as an ally.  From the previews next week, she still hasn't learned anything.  Ubbe better ignore her poison!  Bjorn is the only one that gives a damn about him.

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I have never liked Astrid and I only tolerated her for a little while because of Harald who has really grown on me this season.  So I don't like it one bit that she betrayed him after marrying him and pretending to be loyal to him.  It was a dumb thing to do anyways because it could have so easily ended in her being betrayed by those fisher men.  I was pretty amazed they actually conveyed her message. And as much as I loathe her I certainly didn't want her gang raped.  "I enjoyed serving her" - yeah, I hope his dick falls off..

Lagertha looks so weak putting up with Margerethe and her passive aggressive, backhanded whining.  I know Lagertha can't afford to alienate Ubbe but I am rooting for him to become a widower soon.

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2 hours ago, peridot said:

I'm surprised the Bishop chose to fight for Ivar, so much for his hardcore faith.

 

Why?  Ivar isn't forcing him to convert and he still gets to keep killing lots of "heathens" this way so his "hardcore" faith is still good to go.  Also Hirst considers him a major character so it was in the script for him not to get killed at this point, heh. 

BTW for me the actor paying the Bishop is still terrible.  I haven't BELIEVED anything he has said since his guilty romp in the woods over messing with yet another woman until now.  He just seems to be doing a paint by numbers, sleepwalking "acting" job and it continues to show.  Meanwhile the actor playing Ivar had me sold about his pov from the very beginning.

I like that Alfred is starting a pilgrimage to try and connect with his father, Athelstan, who I still miss on this show.  He will always remain my favorite character.

Weird how large time gaps strangely fly by in seconds this season.  Floki comes back then returns to Iceland in record time as well as Bjorn returning to Kattegat from the Sahara.  These weird time skips of what would have taken months and months (especially Bjorn's journey back) are throwing me off. 

(Touching scene where Lagertha and Floki say good-bye to each other for the last time ever.  The very last two of the show's "original generation" parting ways forever.  Their last scene together ever, sniff).

Glad Guthrum stayed true to his mum and Lagertha.  Unlike M-something who should just be run through with several swords by this point.  And doesn't she still have the hots for Hvitserk over her hubby, Ubbe, anyway?  Oh Lagertha, you have gone soft.  M-something is your Judas.

I still don't like Astrid but no one deserves to have what happened to her happen to her.  Will the little kid that saw this through the cracks in the door run off and tell Harold now?

So this episode was the big set-up for the big throw down next week it looks like.  Except for Floki, the whole Ragnar Clan Plus Friends (and Enemies) will all attend.  Which side will Halfdan choose?  I presume the silly blood stuff will make him go with his brother over Bjorn since Vikings can't seem to think for themselves beyond family revenge crap.

Anyway it will be a family(s) reunion of sorts, Vikings style.

Edited by green
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5 hours ago, green said:

Anyway it will be a family(s) reunion of sorts, Vikings style.

For which they bring out the good axe.

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The time skips are getting Game of Thrones style cringe worthy.  One scene Bjorn is somewhere in North Africa and the next he's almost home while the action there seems to be continuing at a normal pace and in the same amount of time it take Floki to travel from Kattegat back to Iceland.  Either way, resolving last week's cliffhanger as oh Bjorn and Halfdan got away because the sand blew up was kind of a nonender to that story.

I can't make heads or tails out of what Astrid's motivations are supposed to be.  I could buy that becoming Harald's queen was preferable to probably being killed in his whale-carcass strewn port where she has no allies, but am I supposed to think she's genuinely enjoying it or him?  Because the recurrent visions of Lagertha and trying to warn her might suggest otherwise.  But then you have thigh baring Harlequin novel cover rolling around in whatever to further muddy the waters.  Color me as surprised as anyone that rapey fisherguy actually kept his word to deliver her message, but the grossness that happened there only reminds me how loosely these people seem to be throwing the word queen around.  They kept saying they wanted to "have sex with the queen."  Maybe it's because the show has never really troubled itself to define what the actual Scandinavian kingdoms are even as clearly as it's laid out the political situation in England, but it seems like anyone ruling over half a dozen hovels and a whale skeleton gets to be queen here.

I also can't make myself care all that much about yet another endless battle over Kattegat.  Lagertha telling Margarethe the first time to knock shit off was fine and even a little unnerving.  But continuing to give her chance after chance when she knows she's just going to keep shit talking her is making her look weak.  Especially when Margarethe has absolutely nothing to back it up beyond "Ubbe won't like it."  Yeah, well, Ubbe has already been sent home from England with his tail between his legs and pretty passively accepted his mother's killing, even now becoming bestest allies with her killer.  Ubbe may be nicer than his brothers, but he's yet to show that he's got any real fortitude when not being led by one of them.

JRM does still seem like an odd fit for the role of Heahmund.  He's still playing a story that should be far more interesting than it is coming off as very one note.  He's been taken captive by people he regards as little short of demonic. They're demanding he fight in their civil war or die horribly after admitting that this is all about my father's other wife killed my mommy and he can't seem to muster more of a reaction to that?

It was at least mildly amusing to watch Floki's followers bitching about not being led to the promised land after all.  You followed Floki, who's always been at least half crazy on a good day.  What were you expecting?

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I actually liked Astrid for a brief moment in this episode -- when she and Harald were fooling around in the forest. She had her hair down -- literally and figuratively. She actually smiled, didn't have her resting "I'm going to gut you" face and didn't seem so severe and humorless. 

Part of the problem with her character is that she's never seemed that in love with Lagertha. She already cheated with Bjorn. So, the idea that she would warn Lagertha didn't seem that sincere to me. Her plan was so risky. I think the price she paid for warning Lagertha, while horrible, would have seemed even worse if I believed that she was truly a faithful person, but she always seemed like she'd turn on anyone on a dime to get what she wants. Those whalers were truly vile. 

One other thing -- when Floki was in Iceland, wasn't there some lush, green areas? It did seem ethereal -- or am I imagining it? Was it that Floki saw it as some paradise, but it isn't really? I could be not remembering it correctly -- but my take is that Floki saw this amazing lush landscape and the reality is that it is pretty barren.

Edited by jackjill89
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Interesting question about Floki.  Although he was sick and probably famished at times, I think the land he saw was the land he saw.  He did note that he was taking them through the more barren landscape so that they would hate them and then come to the same realization about the place that he did.  Agreed though...these people are willingly following the craziest man in Katteget.  What the hell did they expect was going to happen?

I had forgotten Astrid had cheated on Lagertha with Bjorn and I suspect the show has to.  Her character has literally been all over the place and a mess to boot.  She seemed to shine a little bit with Harald but was that just a total act?  Harald has definitely shined this season.

I agree that Lagertha should have come down a lot harder on what's her name but that seems to be par for the course for her of late.  She bizarrely kept Harald alive even after she learned of his attempt to kill her.  She let Floki go with several of their warriors.  Add to that her ridiculous belief that Aslaug had bewitched Ragnar and using that was justification for her taking of Katteget.  I like Lagertha a lot and she is still a great fighter but really seems to be in decline when it comes to her judgment and decision making.

I assume that Bjorn will return to Africa at some point.  Otherwise, this would be a pretty pointless storyline (although I've enjoyed it).

Ivar's attempts to gut Heahmund to fight for him and his admitted jealousy is fascinating.

I'll be interesting to see what side Harald's brother Halfdan chooses.

Edited by benteen
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^^^^ugh! Sorry, don't know how to get rid of this.

they are really warp speeding through these events. Bjorn leaving Africa, Ivar leaving England and Floki leaving Kattegut and back in Iceland all in one episode. 

I don't know what Astrid is trying to accomplish, she's all over the place, but I didn't want her to get gang banged. I thought the little boy who saw what was going on would have ran for help. Apparently he didn't. But I think that's going to come back to haunt her. 

Lagertha needs to do something about that sneaky Margarethe, I think she's trying to get Ubbe on the thrown so she can be queen.

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I'm preparing myself for Lagertha's demise this season (I haven't been spoiled, just speculation) and it makes me sad.  But before whatever happens to her, I want her to look M-something in the eye and gut her like a fish. 

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Astrid has always been a mess of a character.  We were introduced to her as Lagertha's sudden new girlfriend and sparring partner.  No backstory, no hint of where she came from or what might be motivating her in anything.  And that's pretty much all we got until she screwed Bjorn seemingly out of the blue, also for unclear reasons.  I could see how after years of being Lagertha's unofficial consort, she might now find herself reveling in being THE queen even if it is queen of Harald's stinky little fishing village, but I honestly don't know if that's what we're supposed to be seeing or how we're supposed to be reading any of this.  Letting her stew as a nonentity of a character for so long and then plunging her into this story as maybe a major player isn't really working.

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40 minutes ago, nodorothyparker said:

Astrid has always been a mess of a character.  We were introduced to her as Lagertha's sudden new girlfriend and sparring partner.  No backstory, no hint of where she came from or what might be motivating her in anything.  And that's pretty much all we got until she screwed Bjorn seemingly out of the blue, also for unclear reasons.  I could see how after years of being Lagertha's unofficial consort, she might now find herself reveling in being THE queen even if it is queen of Harald's stinky little fishing village, but I honestly don't know if that's what we're supposed to be seeing or how we're supposed to be reading any of this.  Letting her stew as a nonentity of a character for so long and then plunging her into this story as maybe a major player isn't really working.

Completely agree. Plus, the actress playing her isn't very compelling, so I feel no connection to her at all. I don't care about her or about her feelings that she apparently has for Lagertha. It's a shame, because they could have created a good storyline there. 

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Ughhh...

Agree with all of you!  The time jumps this show gave me a headache.

Unfinished plot lines and WTF abound.

Queen Skankhair is not my favorite character by any means, but to see her abused by the ship mates of "Scandinavia's deadliest catch", made me want to hurl.

As always, I will re-watch it again today before I lay down my weekly rap! :)

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Slow your roll Margrethe, you don't go from the mailroom to the corner office overnight.  And I think you overestimate your importance to Ubbe.     

But then again, maybe not.  Ubbe is playing coy about where his true alliance really lies, or maybe he isn't sure himself.  Does he even want to be king? 

Right now, it doesn't appear that Bjorn has any inclination to rule Kattegat.  He could probably have ousted Aslaug if he'd really wanted to, but didn't, and he seems content to explore.  Ubbe could try to take power from Lagertha at some point, but despite the recurring betrayals, she does have a lot of people who would come to her defense.  In the meantime, they seem to coexist fairly well, and it's not unreasonable that she'd will him the kingdom if he sticks around and dumps Margrethe.  (Didn't the previews allude to a Ubbe/Lagertha connection last week?)  If Hvitsirk decides to return to his senses, it would be a hard sell to Ubbe that he could be trusted as an ally, much less a co-ruler. 

And maybe Ubbe is just playing the long game, and will make a move when the time is right.  Or maybe he just wants to farm. 

People I Can't Believe I Feel Sorry For:  Judith, Astrid, Aethelwulf.  Who'd have thought they'd earn my pity?  

Like others, I'm not really sure what the point of Cassia and that journey was.  It was a lot of buildup for nothing.  Kind of like Magnus, assuming we've seen the last of him.  

I feel like they finally "aged" Lagertha last night.  She looked tired.  

And again, Ivar's walking is bugging the crap out of me.  He's going to be sprinting across the battlefield at the rate he's going.  

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SotN's Recap in 19 Acts ~

 

Act 1: The Cray-seeee Nun and her Concu..boy strike - Well the kill order was given a week ago; no wonder she had to repeat it as the sands came flying over the dunes.  Bjorn reacted just as expected with his well aimed shive and stabs the guy in the sack!  H the B acts just like I assumed and picked up the attack.  The traveler shows that his mouth has more uses than he lets on and takes a pork free bite of Muslim meat.  The sand then hits, just before you see the Nun and her "lackey" run for the comfort of the magic tent.  In the swirl of sand you can hear the words "run, run".  Seconds later the trio of 'what the hell was this storyline about', take off on the fastest camels in the cosmos!

 

Act 2: Fairhair and Skankhair/love in the rain forest- they tricked us into a few seconds of thinking this could be a happy couple (have they even 'sealed' the marriage?).  SH seems to almost be enjoying everyones new fan fav Viking King, then the horn of new coming arrivals in the Fjord blows, and you almost think she is relieved.  They run to watch Ivar the Boneless (ItB) arrive, as we get a close up on their ship and see the fanatical bishop acting like the wind and weather on the trip was far worse for him than any of the others.  Man Up son!

 

Act 2/part 2: Ivar lets everyone know his thoughts on the Bitch! - Well FH seems to be almost happy to see ItB, Sh, not so much. Ivar's bro "boy band", has to open his yap about ItB being king.  Shut your trap dufass!   When ItB says; "That murderous bitch Largertha", King FH seems unfazed, but SK seems to take it well (just an act?).  They drag in the shivering christian Bishop and looking at his eyes, I truly believe he is a fanatic!  Unlike many of you; I have never seen the guy before, and to me, he looks crazy!  I think even Athelstan would think this guy is a little too gung ho for JC.  We end the act on a repeat of the crucify joke (amazingly enough, it works again).

 

Act 3: The King and his cross - Baby king bucks up, but when it comes down to it; it shows that the king's pappy had it right when he foresaw Alfred as the King someday.  You start to get the hint that he is the ruler (to be) that the British will need going forward.  Thinking ahead; our Viking bro's need to worry more about him than any crazy bishop or civil war.

 

Act 4: ItB and his sword - You can see as he "slays the hanging meat" that he really regrets that he cannot be a great warrior.  Even though he is and will become a great leader; as a young man, being a warrior is more important to him.  You also see that Revenge on Lady L is the most important thing in his life... She killed the only person in the world that truly loved him.  She will be revenged!...sorry L fans. :(

 

Act 5: The trickster, the weak leader, and Jarl Borg's ugly son - Agree with other posters.  You can really see L's weakness taking over. Friend or no friend, she should of punished Floki.  M will kill her I predict!  Let's wait and see.

 

Act 6: ItB's reveals his inner feelings - I really liked the fact that Ivar showed his 'weakness' admitting that he wishes he could be a great warrior like the bishop.  Above all, he desires to be a true man!

 

Act 7: Iceland part 1:  At first glimpse it isn't much.  Time will tell.

 

Act 8: Hvitserk's blah blah blah:  Did anyone pay attention to this part?  "I don't know you, do you want to be greater than father, blah blah, blah".  Almost fell asleep on boy band whining all the time.  But I woke up just in time to hear the best line of the show; "I will be greater than father.  People will forget him, but no one will forget Ivar the Boneless"! 

 

Act 9: The Bishop prays:  The point of this part is.........................?

 

Act 10: 70 ships! - You can see why people all over the world are falling in love with FH.  From Flair, to song, to poetic verses, he is becoming a favorite.  You can also see that at least ItB don't trust SH one bit.

 

Act 11: Alfred is leaving tonight on a horse, I can see the red..... - Alfred stepping up to find his daddy's roots.  This young character is growing on me, and I think I am not alone.

 

Act 12: Baby king shows he can fight (with people scared to hurt him) - The king is a little too excited to watch his kid fight.  He reminds me of a soccer/futbol dad that see's mostly no wrong in his son's game.  He stops to add a few words of advice; but still a soccer dad in the long run.

 

Act 13:  Enter the Blubber Hunter! -  SH dishes out the gold, but, blubber captain reminds her he came for the stank as well.  I don't know why she sharpened that knife so well, she didn't even get a chance to use it (like when she first walked in there).  "Everyman wants sex with the queen"...truly the most gagging line in the show.....Ewwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww!

 

Act 14:  Iceland and the land of the Gods Part II - You promised it would be Milk and Honey (or at least Milk and Mead).  I think the Edge and the rest of the WWE rejects will be in for a big surprise soon.  Believe in Floki!

 

Act 15: Skank Hair joins the Crew of the Deadliest Ewwwww! -  As I said earlier in a post, I don't condone what happened to SH.  But a weird thought came to my mind.  What if the little boy did not spy so he could tell the King; but instead, he ran off to tell the crew that is was their turn!?!?!?!  Yuuuucccckkkkkkk

 

Act 16: The Tuna boys arrive in K - Can't believe he showed up.  Must of been the sworn oath thingy.  L says that U will be the leader of the army of K?  Is she trying to kill all the sons off?

 

Act 17:  M strikes again -   I too am sick of hearing her back stabbing plots.  Unfortunately, I predict she will do just that and stab L in the back.  With the courage of a shield maiden though; L will not die until she grabs M by the throat, and rips out her tongue as her dying act!!

 

Act 18: Bjorn and the crew are on the fastest long ship (speed boat) in the world, rushing back to save his mommy! - Nuff said!

 

Act 19:  The black Bishop to Queen's 6 - We see how the bishop has chosen.  He killed that "one guy" that we all knew at a party in our life (the dork rooting for a fight, but not participating in it).  Will he be the death of L the queen?  Stay tuned CVFs!!!!

 

SotN out!

Edited by Son of the Norse
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I really, really got the sense that the Lagertha/Floki scene is setting it up to be their last one.  Granted, it doesn't necessarily mean one of them will die (although, I'm preparing for the worst), but I have a feeling their paths will not cross again.  A nice moment though.  I'm pretty sure they're the last of the originals still around other then The Seer (and Bjorn technically, but he was only a boy in the first season and obviously played by a different actor.)  Only moment that did make me laugh was her "You're a good man, Floki", because somewhere in the afterlife, Athelstan is like "I really disagree with you on that one!"

At least Floki's storyline is getting more interesting now that he is interacting with others again.  Curious to get to know more about his new followers.  Right now, it looks like Kris Holden-Ried's character is the doubter of the group, while Edge.. er, I mean Adam Copeland's character is more of a loyal believer.  But so far, the woman in the group seems to be the smartest.

Really, if anything, Lagertha doesn't make herself look with with how she handles Floki or what went down with Harald, but how she has let Margrethe get away with so much shit.  She needs to shut this down, now.  And Ubbe better be careful too, but she could totally end up actually ruining things for him.

Bjorn and Halfdan's sudden escape and already heading back to Kattagat was underwhelming and rushed, but I'm guess this is to set up all the major players for the final battle (baring Floki.)  Curious to see where Halfdan will fall into this.

I guess Astrid still has feelings for Lagertha.  Still not wild about the character, but she didn't deserve getting gang-raped by that captain and his crew.  Hope something nasty is in store for that lot.

So, Ivar's grand plan for Heahmund is to get him to fight for him, because, hey, he is still killing heathens even if it is for heathens!  So far, Heahmund seems OK with it, complete with some classic Jonathan Rhys Meyers overacting and camp (not exactly a slam.  I kind of love it whenever he goes all hammy!)

Hvitserk is the worst at negotiating.  You don't automatically tell the other guy your endgame!  Loved Ivar's reaction and how he seems like he's wishing he just tossed him back to Ubbe.  It would be like a hot potato game, where Ubbe and Ivar keep trying to hand off their useless brother to the other one!

I respect Aethelwulf's decision to not just go back into hiding, even though I suspect it will be a moot point.  Alfred leaving for a pilgrimage is probably the best decision he could make at this point. 

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I'm glad I'm not the only one who doesn't feel anything for astrid. I mean it was horrid with what happened to her, but I can't help but feel if the character was better implemented I'd feel sorrow or anger.

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Meh, not a good episode.  I'd so much rather have spent time with Bjorn and Halfdan exploring new cultures.  That story arc was too rushed and seems pointless.  The only thing that has me looking forward to the upcoming battle is that Ivar doesn't know Bjorn and his warriors have returned.  Hope it prevents that psycho from seizing power.  (I noticed in this episode that the Ivar actor must have studied Fimmel's mannerisms.  He moves his head and focuses those brilliant blue eyes just the way Fimmel did.  Good job, but I still hate the character.)

Astrid being raped by the crew was really disturbing.  I almost liked her after the early scene with her and Harald being playful in the forest.

Hvitserk really is a useless little shit, isn't he?

I know the actor playing Alfred is supposed to resemble Aethelstan, but he really could be Judith's son.  They look very much alike.

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1 hour ago, Haleth said:

Meh, not a good episode.  I'd so much rather have spent time with Bjorn and Halfdan exploring new cultures.  That story arc was too rushed and seems pointless.  The only thing that has me looking forward to the upcoming battle is that Ivar doesn't know Bjorn and his warriors have returned.  Hope it prevents that psycho from seizing power.  (I noticed in this episode that the Ivar actor must have studied Fimmel's mannerisms.  He moves his head and focuses those brilliant blue eyes just the way Fimmel did.  Good job, but I still hate the character.)

Astrid being raped by the crew was really disturbing.  I almost liked her after the early scene with her and Harald being playful in the forest.

Hvitserk really is a useless little shit, isn't he?

I know the actor playing Alfred is supposed to resemble Aethelstan, but he really could be Judith's son.  They look very much alike.

I noticed the Ragnar-ness too! I think the actor that plays Ivar is really good. I know I'm in the minority, but I think Ivar is compelling. Fimmel's head movements were almost bird-like. I noticed that with Ivar as well.

I'm confused by your last sentence. Alfred is Judith's child. He should resemble her as well as Athelstan. Are you talking about the king guy whose name is another Ael-something? 

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21 minutes ago, jackjill89 said:

I'm confused by your last sentence. Alfred is Judith's child. He should resemble her as well as Athelstan. Are you talking about the king guy whose name is another Ael-something? 

I'm talking about the actors.  They could be mother and son.

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Astrid has kind of grown on me over the past few episodes but, unfortunately, I don't see things looking good for her in the future.  First, Ivar put that little nugget in Harald's ear about her relationship with Lagertha, and you could tell from the look on Harald's face that he did not like what he was hearing. at. all.  Then, when the kid saw her and the whaler getting it on, not realizing that she was being raped, and probably running off to tell Harald.  Not good for Astrid or the whaler, and somehow Harald will find out that the whaler warned Lagertha about the attack. 

In short, I believe that Astrid and the whaler are toast.    

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17 hours ago, Son of the Norse said:

Unlike many of you; I have never seen the guy before, and to me, he looks crazy!  I

I'm surprised you haven't seen him before.  You're not far off to perceive that he's a little crazy, as he has quite a reputation for loving the drink.  He has quite a filmography and is well-known.  Most relevant is that he played Henry VIII in The Tudors, also written by Michael Hirst.  Maybe you will recognize some his filmography.  I enjoy your enthusiastic posts, BTW.

http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0001667/?ref_=nv_sr_2

Edited by Babalooie
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22 minutes ago, Babalooie said:

I'm surprised you haven't seen him before.  You're not far off to perceive that he's a little crazy, as he has quite a reputation for loving the drink.  He has quite a filmography and is well-known.  Most relevant is that he played Henry VIII in The Tudors, also written by Michael Hirst.  Maybe you will recognize some his filmography.  I enjoy your enthusiastic posts, BTW.

http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0001667/?ref_=nv_sr_2

Thank you!  I enjoy being silly and writing what is in my mind and heart (with little or no filter LOL).

TY also for the filmography.  I think the only thing I ever saw with him in it was Bend it like Beckham! LOL  That was years ago, and only because my Futbol Loving oldest daughter made me go; to be honest, I don't even remember him in it!

I watch very little TV except for Sports, Food Network, History Channel, and a few TV series I have watched:

Vikings, Game of Thrones, Mad Men, Breaking Bad, Sopranos, and the Walking Dead ones.  I also on occasion will watch Cartoon Network as well with my kids! :)

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6 hours ago, Babalooie said:

I'm surprised you haven't seen him before.  You're not far off to perceive that he's a little crazy, as he has quite a reputation for loving the drink.  He has quite a filmography and is well-known.  Most relevant is that he played Henry VIII in The Tudors, also written by Michael Hirst.  Maybe you will recognize some his filmography.  I enjoy your enthusiastic posts, BTW.

http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0001667/?ref_=nv_sr_2

Thanks for the link but I never saw any of those shows either.  I only watch a handful of fictional TV shows along with Survivor and Amazing Race for reality shows.  (I tried out Big Brother this summer and it was a total waste). 

I mainly watch baseball, football and the news otherwise or binge on Futurama, The Simpsons or South Park when I want to escape said news.  Binged on Breaking Bad when they brought a marathon back a few months ago but hadn't seen it before. 

Among shows with new episodes I only currently watch Vikings and Mr Robot (the latter now just done for it's season) and tried out Knightfall but that show is pure crap and only worth mocking at best.  So I do not in any way shape or form keep up with pop culture of endless actors.  Especially ones like the really bad one playing the Bishop who is totally 100% terrible.

All of this is to say that not all of us here keep up with this or that actor, hah.  At least Son of the Norse and I don't.

Back on topic:  So the so-called nun (bet she isn't ... "things are not like they seem" yadda yadda) and the emir story-line is dropped until Bjorn's next Med Vacation?  That was a really REALLY bad way to break it off.  And the sandstorm arriving like the cavalry to the rescue was poor story writing compared to Hirst's usual excellent fare.  I bet there will be some "Rus Vikings" in the Med in the future too given Bjorn's over-the-top jealousy about them so far.

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I never made it through more than a couple of episodes of The Tudors because while I don't mind a certain amount of liberties in my historical fiction, it was just so ridiculously far off of a much better known history.  Wolf Hall in its telling of the same story at least troubled itself to cast an actor who looked like he plausibly could be Henry VIII.  So while I knew who he was, I'm mostly familiar with JRM from the last year's Roots remake where he did a very credible job playing a terrible character.   But I'm thinking it helped that we were never supposed to like him.  At this point, I'm honestly not sure how much of it is the writing and how much of it is the actor himself in my continually feeling like there's something I'm not getting that I'm supposed to be getting from this character.   The show was clearly going for something big this episode with Heahmund's showy struggle over accepting Ivar's "offer" but it just wasn't landing much for me.  I was mostly distracted by how much spitting he was doing when he was yelling at God.  It's hard not to contrast that scene with a similar one in season one of Athelstan frustrated to the point of tears in trying to understand how his god would let him be dragged off to this terrible heathen place that was so quietly moving in cluing us in on the internal struggles that would mark so much of his story and feel like this one comes up lacking.

I'm realizing part of what I've enjoyed so much about the show over the seasons is that most of these actors were either entirely or mostly unknown to me.   JRM on the other hand is just famous enough that we're aware that we're watching someone who is supposed to be a bigger name.  The fact that he's an entirely new character not connected to the core family or history we've been watching for seasons yet is prominently featured in all the promo ads only highlights this.

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11 hours ago, Babalooie said:

I'm surprised you haven't seen him before.  You're not far off to perceive that he's a little crazy, as he has quite a reputation for loving the drink.  He has quite a filmography and is well-known.  Most relevant is that he played Henry VIII in The Tudors, also written by Michael Hirst.  Maybe you will recognize some his filmography.  I enjoy your enthusiastic posts, BTW.

http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0001667/?ref_=nv_sr_2

My fave JRM movie is “Velvet Goldmine.” His kiss with Ewan McGregor is so freaking hot.

I want the formula for Judith and Lagertha’s youth potion.

Astrid didn’t have the neck tats before she married Harald, did she?

I miss Lagertha the Shield Maiden. She wouldn’t have let people like Harald and Margrethe live another instant. I adore Lagertha, but I think it is time for her to join Ragnar in Valhalla ( I’m tearing up as I type this).

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On 28/12/2017 at 7:39 PM, magdalene said:

I have never liked Astrid and I only tolerated her for a little while because of Harald who has really grown on me this season.  So I don't like it one bit that she betrayed him after marrying him and pretending to be loyal to him. 

I have zero problems with Astrid marrying and then betraying Harald. He kidnapped her!! She was in an impossible situation and would have surely been killed if she'd refused him. At least this way she gets some intel on what he's planning and can forewarn Lagertha. And after all Lagertha's talk about how so many people have betrayed her, I'm glad that Astrid has (so far) remained true. I know she's not a popular character, but I'm hoping she can be salvaged (worse characters on plenty of other shows have been course-corrected).  

There are some interesting echoes of Ragnar and Athelstan between Ivar and the Bishop, though it makes me wish they hadn't played up his womanizing as his great "weakness". Clearly it would have been a better choice to have this Man of God conflicted over the fact that he really really likes bloodshed and carnage, despite Christ's teachings. He's more Viking than he'd like to admit.  

That whole Bjorn subplot was utterly bizarre, especially if that's the end of it. I'm struggling to see the point of any of it - I thought they might be embroiled in North African politics for a little while longer at least. 

If that was the final scene between Lagertha and Floki, I'll take it. They never really had much to do with each other, but they both loved Ragnar, and I was moved when he called her "ship-mate." 

Margrethe is a little snit, but she's right - Lagertha needs Ubbe right now, her alliance with him is tentative at best, and killing his wife after murdering his mother definitely isn't going to help. Threats are all she has at the moment. (It's a pity Torvi can't do something about it).

I also liked that Ivar referred to Aslaug as "my beautiful mother". I think she was probably the only person he truly loved, and I'm still disappointed with Lagertha that she killed her. Bad move with terrible consequences. 

Edited by Ravenya003
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I always knew that Lagertha killing Aslaug was going to bite her in the ass one day. It was a terrible idea, and gives her enemy's a rallying point to go against her. Ivar might be a crazy sadist who would certainly have tried to kill Lagertha anyway, but he does have some actual moral high-ground here, and a real reason to hate Lagertha. 

Margrethe needs to sit down and STFU. She sucks at manipulations, and come across as more of a high school mean girl than any kind of political player. The only reason her ass is still alive is because Lagertha needs Ubbe to stick with their alliance, and killing his mom AND and wife would probably be pushing it. Of course, season 1 or 2 Lagertha probably would hate hacked her head off a few episodes ago, screw the politics. I wish Torvi would give her a good punch in the face. 

Gee, you mean going on a voyage with the well know crazy guy isnt going the way you expected? Who could have seen that coming?!?! They have, like, met Floki right? Even on his good days, he is crazy as a sack of angry rhinos, they're lucky he didn't lead them to a piece of driftwood he was calling Valhalla, while everyone tries not to get crapped on by seagulls that Floki insists on calling Valkyries. I think the woman with the sweet jewelry will finally call a spade and spade and lead everyone home in time for the big battle. 

So Bjorn and company are heading home? I guess they wanted him to be back for the big family show down, but...what was the point of all that desert stuff then? 

On 12/30/2017 at 1:24 AM, Ravenya003 said:

There are some interesting echoes of Ragnar and Athelstan between Ivar and the Bishop, though it makes me wish they hadn't played up his womanizing as his great "weakness". Clearly it would have been a better choice to have this Man of God conflicted over the fact that he really really likes bloodshed and carnage, despite Christ's teachings. He's more Viking than he'd like to admit.  

 

I hope this is more of what they end up doing with the Bishop. He thought that his great weakness was women, but, in his heart, he knows that its not his lust, but blood lust, and a desire for bloodshed and battle, despite that being the opposite what what Christ preached. The constant conflict of being a devoted Christian who feels more pulled towards the Viking way of life. Maybe thats why he hates the "heathens" so much? Because he secretly relates to them? That would actually be a really interesting story and character.  

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I've been over Lagertha since even before she killed Aslaug, but gods, I wish she'd just die already. I'm soooooo sick of her. I can't believe she was once my fave. I just want her to go away. She can take Margarette with her. Torvi has been bugging too. I guess I only really liked her when she and Bjorn were being a cute couple.

 

I actually liked Astrid for a minute (only a minute though). I found myself shipping her and Harald during that cute little game of chase in the forest.

 

I can't figure out what the hell is the purpose of Bjorn's adventures in the desert. They seem to just be non-sequitur side plots because they can't figure out anything else to do with him. It's almost fever dreamish the way it was all portrayed. But oh well, he'll be back in Kattegat just in time to save mommy yet again.

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I have to say I have been impressed with Ivar -- he is so twisted (physically and mentally) but I love the actor and the way he portrays him.  Someone said in a review somewhere that they can see the vulnerable side of him and I get bits of that but not a whole lot of it.  (Except this moment here with Tudor guy.  By the way, I also haven't seen a single show that man has been in.  Tudor guy.  I just know he was in Tudors because a work colleague knows him from his performance there.)  The only time I didn't like Ivar's brashness was when he was in the mud an episode ago and no one just flat out killed him dead.  That was a little too supernatural for me.  (I didn't like Floki's shape shifting, either.)

Lagertha is still a hero to me.  Actually, she is probably the most like Ragnar of everyone except, possibly, Bjorn.  But considering Bjorn is a product of both Ragnar and Lagertha, that stands to reason.

As a "slice of Viking life and history", the North African adventure was terrific.  Otherwise, I don't see (yet) how it advanced the plot.  The brotherly shenanigans could have played out the same whether Bjorn was there to control Ivar or not.

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Bjorn Ironside built his reputation in the Mediterranean. That, plus Bjorn's announcement to all that was going to lead a sizeable force there makes it mandatory that "something" happen there.  One can use there favorite search engine to learn about Bjorn if you want to delve into the subject and "spoil yourself".

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On 12/31/2017 at 6:23 PM, Silverglitter said:

I've been over Lagertha since even before she killed Aslaug, but gods, I wish she'd just die already. I'm soooooo sick of her. I can't believe she was once my fave. I just want her to go away. She can take Margarette with her. Torvi has been bugging too. I guess I only really liked her when she and Bjorn were being a cute couple.

 

I actually liked Astrid for a minute (only a minute though). I found myself shipping her and Harald during that cute little game of chase in the forest.

 

I can't figure out what the hell is the purpose of Bjorn's adventures in the desert. They seem to just be non-sequitur side plots because they can't figure out anything else to do with him. It's almost fever dreamish the way it was all portrayed. But oh well, he'll be back in Kattegat just in time to save mommy yet again.

I think Bjorn’s desert adventures are just a preview of what’s to come, how he was received by the people there, how he perceived the people there, etc. What I want to know is how did he know or find out that Kattegat was in trouble... Smoke signal? the crow? He was heading home pretty fast, like he got an SOS message. 

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What I want to know is how did he know or find out that Kattegat was in trouble... Smoke signal? the crow?

That's exactly what I was wondering! It's not like anyone in Kattegatt knew exactly where he was going (or how to get there). I actually did a double take when I realized his ships were approaching Kattegatt. Did Lagerthe send him a telepathic message? Or a text? I'm also starting to worry that Bjorn might develop a complex about going on Mediterranean adventures. I mean, the first trip was interrupted by Ragnar's death and he had to rush back to Kattegatt. This time, Lagerthe is in trouble, and he has to rush back to Kattegatt. Maybe he should just stay in Kattegatt. (I jest. I'm looking forward to more of his crazy adventures.)

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5 hours ago, alvajon said:

I think Bjorn’s desert adventures are just a preview of what’s to come, how he was received by the people there, how he perceived the people there, etc. What I want to know is how did he know or find out that Kattegat was in trouble... Smoke signal? the crow? He was heading home pretty fast, like he got an SOS message. 

Michael Hirst sent him a message in a bottle.

Hey I'm still wanting to know what happened to the rest of his fleet minus the three ships they went on with when they reached "the pillars of Hercules".  (The stupid translator couldn't have told us that suggestion BEFORE we set sail with a whole LARGE fleet from England months ago?!)? 

Or what the crews of those three remaining ships did while Bjorn and Halfdan and the translator who popped up out of nowhere went on their desert adventure.  Vikings don't like to sit around and twiddle their thumbs when there is good killing and pillaging they could be doing.

Anyway you cut it the logistics of Bjorn's Med Vacation 2.0 were poorly written.

Edited by green
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On 1/1/2018 at 7:11 PM, Stratego said:

Bjorn Ironside built his reputation in the Mediterranean. That, plus Bjorn's announcement to all that was going to lead a sizeable force there makes it mandatory that "something" happen there.  One can use there favorite search engine to learn about Bjorn if you want to delve into the subject and "spoil yourself".

I'm actually aware of that. But, considering the way the show plays fast and loose with history and cherry picks what they actually want to use I don't tend to care much what the historical characters actually did.

I mean, Horik outlived Ragnar for realsies, but that didn't happen with the show. Real Aethewulf kept the Vikings raiders contained during his reign, but the show don't care about that. A lot, if not the super-majority, of the Saxon stuff is incredibly inaccurate.

 

9 hours ago, green said:

Anyway you cut it the logistics of Bjorn's Med Vacation 2.0 were poorly written.

 

Yeah, I just feel like there's no point to it other than Bjorn needing something to do. There's nothing cohesive about it and it's like it only barely ties into the rest of the show at all.

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In the first season Lagertha was my favorite character.  I loved her and her relationship with Ragnar.  But along the way she became too Mary Sue and  too much Girl power for me.   It also doesn't help that a lot of the characters that made the show for me - Ragnar, Athelstan, Ecbert, Rollo - have exited the show while Lagertha is forever young and unkillable.   It's ridiculous.   Plus the way she disposed of Aslaug ( who was hardly a favorite of mine) was just so skeevy and underhanded. 

I know why Hirst wrote it this way - so that Ivar and the other brothers would have a legitimate blood feud against Lagertha.  But being aware of this still doesn't make me like her any better.

I am assuming that Bjorn will go back to the Mediterranean eventually with more men and with the odds more on his side.  He must have found out about his mommy being in trouble from one of those GOT ravens.

I am also assuming Ivar and Heahmund won't be Ragnar/Athelstan Vol II.  To be able to love the way Ragnar and Athelstan loved one another you must have a certain something that they used to call soul. And there was always a certain amount of of Stockholm Syndrom mixed in on the part of Athelstan.   I am not at all convinced that Ivar has the capability to love or  Heahmund for all his spouting of Christian platitudes.

Edited by magdalene
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