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S05.E13: A New God

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Airdate 2018.12.12

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Heahmund must convince King Alfred that his actions are in defense of the crown. Ubbe and Torvi strengthen the position of the Vikings, but not all in the Viking camp support their strategy. Another settler disappears in Iceland.

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Ivar needs to change his name to Caligula. What a lunatic. I’m Team Harald in this corner of the saga. I wondered where the Seer had gone. He obviously senses a disturbance in the Force.

Magnus! Long time no see.

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1 hour ago, bluestocking said:

really wish there was still someone likable on this show

I really like Alfred, Ubbe and Torvi.  Glad they are all three locked into a close alliance now too.  I'm all Team AUT!  (But yeah not so much anyone else).

Welcome back, Magnus.  Bjorn will be using your life up no doubt fostering his own agendas but nice to see you.  Too bad you don't know better and just go and talk to Alfred first since he was just a young kid and probably simply forgot you like most of us viewers likely did.

Aethelred, why can't you stay out of stupid plots?  You were kind of sympathetic at first since you had the same fate as your father being stuck as the loyal second banana and all.  But as we all know there is only one king in all of English history that gets "the Great" added after his name and it wont be you so stop with the backroom treason meetings, okay.

I have no idea who these people are with Floki.  I have never learned a single name.   And it doesn't seem worth it to even start.  It is so weird an inter-cut when we go there to see a 30 second clip of yet one more of Floki's In Great Distress speeches of sorrow and sadness.  Even Iceland went from spectacular scenery to totally miserable looking.  Please end this silly plot line.  It is going on forever and no one cares.

Edited by green
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I cannot root for Ivar, he represents the things I loathe about Viking culture, this unchecked and insane cruelty.  I am always repelled by their practice of human sacrifice.  Ivar reminds me of the Aztecs. He is an Aztec all the way.  It comforts me that Vikings like Ivar were on the way out at that point in history.  The future belonged to a king like Alfred who had a vision, and to Vikings like Ubbe who were willing to assimilate into a new culture so they could thrive.

I don't understand why Bjorn is so pissed at Ubbe and Torvi "converting". He didn't bat an eyelash when Uncle Rollo did it back in the day with the same sincerity.

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2 hours ago, magdalene said:

I cannot root for Ivar, he represents the things I loathe about Viking culture, this unchecked and insane cruelty.  I am always repelled by their practice of human sacrifice.  Ivar reminds me of the Aztecs. He is an Aztec all the way.  It comforts me that Vikings like Ivar were on the way out at that point in history.  The future belonged to a king like Alfred who had a vision, and to Vikings like Ubbe who were willing to assimilate into a new culture so they could thrive.

I don't understand why Bjorn is so pissed at Ubbe and Torvi "converting". He didn't bat an eyelash when Uncle Rollo did it back in the day with the same sincerity.

Yeah I don't think anyone is rooting for Ivar.  Well maybe Putin since the show is really popular in Russia.

And Bjorn has been pissed about any and everything since they lost the big battle.  I have no idea why Hirst has changed him as a character so much of late.  Sulk and look pissed.  Then look pissed and sulk.  I don't know why Hirst has changed Bjorn into an old grump so suddenly.  But then I never understood why he turned him into a lust machine starting a few seasons back either.  Neither make sense.  Poor writing.  Bjorn deserved better.

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Wow, Freydis is just as bat-crap crazy as Ivar. Just goes to show that there truly is someone for everyone out there. The two of them are a perfect match. 

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7 hours ago, green said:

I have no idea who these people are with Floki.  I have never learned a single name.   And it doesn't seem worth it to even start.  It is so weird an inter-cut when we go there to see a 30 second clip of yet one more of Floki's In Great Distress speeches of sorrow and sadness.  Even Iceland went from spectacular scenery to totally miserable looking.  Please end this silly plot line.  It is going on forever and no one cares.

Count me disappointed with this Floki storyline. There's not much to it, although I do understand the REAL Hrafna Floki storyline. All I can figure is that Gustaf Skarsgard had a filming conflict because of his role on Westworld and had limited time.

https://www.geni.com/people/Flóki-of-the-Ravens/6000000004147782162

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Good episodes.  I liked some of the developments.

I do actually like the Ubbe/Torvi development.  The guy playing Alfred is doing a pretty good job.

Was definitely surprised to see the return of Magnus.  He looked pretty good for someone who has "been in the wilderness."  Ragnar shot down his claim to his face about being his father though I imagine when you have been thrown to wolves, you cling onto any kind of "truth" to survive.  Bjorn latching onto him is an interesting choice.  As for Bjorn, yeah...he's been wandering around with an angry smurf face for quite a while now.

I'm definitely rooting for Harald myself.  He was a character I had no interest in during his first few seasons but since last year, the actor has really delivered and become my favorite on the show.

Amazed the Seer is still alive.

Ivar has definitely gone into Caligula territory and his wife ain't much better.  Killing the true father of her child is understandable from her sick point of view but it didn't make much sense not to do it herself.  She wanted to hide what she had done, makes sense.  But hiring someone to randomly kill someone that he had just SEEN HER KISS means there's yet another person alive who will likely be able to put two-and-two together and figure out that she's not carrying Ivar's kid.  Idiot.

I'm so over, Ivar too but the actor was quite good with his scene with Brother Whatever His Name is when he decided he was a god who needed a sacrifice.

Aethelred...oof.  I felt sorry for this guy last season when he got jumped as King.  But Aethelred AKA Not Tom Felton's acting has been downright AWFUL these past two weeks.

The Floki storyline could be really interesting (and the scenery is gorgeous) but on this show, it's just a distraction and not much is happening.  Honestly, they might as well cut the cord at this point.  Add me to the list of people who have no idea what the name of the other characters are around Floki.

Edited by benteen
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The only ones I care about now are Ubbe, Torvi and Alfred.  Lagertha acts like she's being drugged by the mere scent of Heahmund and I'm so disappointed in her. 

I did feel bad for the poor bastard who was the father of Freydis' child.  He should have known better though and gotten the hell out of town.  If she miscarries, it will be interesting to see how she will 'splain that to Ivar.

I'm intrigued with the story of Harald and his new "friend" who agreed to go raiding with him.   Someone's not coming out of this alive and it's going to be brutal.  I'm rooting for Harald.

"Ivar the God" his wife are disgusting.  Way to be king, Ivar.  Just scare the bejesus out of children and terrorize all the people you rule over.  I'm looking forward to him finally finding out about basic sex ed and realizes that he's been played for a sucker.  Assuming he disposes of her, he'll really be pissed off when he finds out that the father is dead, so he can't torture him to death.  

Edited by Ohwell · Reason: can't type
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Ivar has really gone full on Caligula on us. I mean, Ivar has always been all kinds of bloodthirsty psychopath, but now he is moving into full on "terrifying the populace and probably murdering his own brother" levels of crazy town. And it really stands out, as most of the human sacrifice stuff seems to be getting phased out of Viking culture at this point in history, making this whole big ceremonial sacrifice even more crazy. I feel like when Harald and his new friend decide to depose Ivar, the people will be cheering him on as he comes raiding in. Ivar and Freydis are not making a whole lot of friends with this whole "I AM A GOD" thing.

I am really enjoying the Ubbe, Torvi, and Alfred story, and am glad that the three of them are in an alliance. Maybe Ubbe and Torvi will come back and be a part of the bridge between Christianity and the Norse religion, and they will take over after Ivar has been deposed. I mean, he has Son of Ragnar qualifications too, and is significantly less crazy than Ivar. It was kind of funny watching Ubbe and Torvi trying to grapple with being Christians now (like awkwardly joining in the Amen chants) even knowing that this is all for political gain, even though Ubbe clearly isnt really ready to give up the old ways. 

I admit, it was decently smooth of Heahmund to use the assassination plot to cover up the real reason he killed Bishop Dumbass. 

I cracked up at Bjorn kind of rolling his eyes when he heard that Magnus was another of Ragnars sons. Like "Damn it dad, another one!?" I am kind of interested to see where it goes, and I really hope it means Bjorn can get a decent plot going now. He has basically spent all season stomping around being pissed off at everyone for stupid reasons. 

Still dont care about Floki and his whinny Viking cult. Cant we just do something else with them, or move on?!

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I'm tired of the overused shot of Ivar half rolling his eyes in the back of his head.

I'm tired of all of them. The actors all now have  their own quirky way of speaking and are relying on it a bit too much.

This show is starting to drag.

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6 hours ago, benteen said:

Ivar has definitely gone into Caligula territory and his wife ain't much better.  Killing the true father of her child is understandable from her sick point of view but it didn't make much sense not to do it herself.  She wanted to hide what she had done, makes sense.  But hiring someone to randomly kill someone that he had just SEEN HER KISS means there's yet another person alive who will likely be able to put two-and-two together and figure out that she's not carrying Ivar's kid.  Idiot.

I never understood what Freydis hoped to gain, and now I'm going with her just being bat crap crazy.  Yes she's queen, but the price of that is Ivar.  

I'm actually looking forward to seeing Herald's coup.  I'm starting to like the character, so I hope Ivar doesn't find out and blood eagle him.  

Re Bjorn's cranky face- he really needs something to do and perhaps more fiber in his diet.  I didn't expect him to buy into Magnus's story so easily.  Where will they go with that?  Magnus has no claim to anything, since whatever kingdom Kwenthrith was from was taken over by Wessex, wasn't it?  He's pretty far down the line for Kattegat, even if he thinks he can prove that Ragnar was his father, and although Ecbert liked him, he didn't provide for him in any fashion.  He's at a dead end.  

Hvitsirk is another dead end as well.  He's disenchanted with Ivar, but has no where to go.  I suspect he's going to be dangerous.

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Ivar expected angry Hvitserk to stomp off and go somewhere else after Margrethe's murder, but I did like Hvitserk telling him that he wasn't going anywhere.  I noticed that Harald nodded when he saw that scene, like he was proud of Hvitserk, and perhaps he could sway him to his side.  

The thing I like about these actors, like Harald, Hvitserk, Bjorn and Ubbe especially, is that they have a way of doing things with their eyes so that sometimes I can't really tell what's really going on with them until they actually do something, which is the opposite of what I initially thought.  Basically, they're shifty and deceptive, and I like that. 

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So what odds are we laying on it not being Hvitserk under that tarp as Ivar's big planned sacrifice?  The camera work seems to want us to think so, but it also smells strongly of a deliberate misdirect.  If it is, I at least enjoyed his full body eyeroll at Ivar's pronouncement that he's in fact a god.  There was a whole lot of delusion  going on in that scene between that and talk of the nonimmaculate immaculate conception.

All of Ivar's big ceremony anointing him as a "new god" could have been any stock footage of any random exotic we've seen onscreen the last 60 or so years.  One of my recurring favorite things about this show was always how it took these terrible alien rituals and made them something horribly beautiful while not backing down from the reality of animals or humans being hacked to pieces to appease their gods.  Of course, it helped then that we got those small scenes of Ragnar or a young Bjorn explaining what we were seeing to our handy Vikings to the rest of us translator Athelstan.  I mean, I have no idea of what I'm watching here or if this is typical stuff to these people or just something new and horrible Ivar and Mrs. Ivar dreamed up to give themselves an excuse to paint themselves up like this, so I have no idea how I'm supposed to react to it.  Compare this to the first season's Sacrifice episode that saw the gang all head to Uppsala where they also engaged in human sacrifice, but it was laid out well enough and tied deeply enough to the rest of the plotting to make it horribly compelling.

Other than that, welcome back, I guess, Magnus?  Bjorn initially seemed a little quick to embrace him as the real deal with very little to go on but by the end with his ranting about how child Alfred had wronged him and been equally responsible for his exile when he was in fact still a child who had no say in it, Bjorn was giving him the patented Bjorn side eye that maybe he had his doubts after all.  I get that Bjorn is bored and frustrated sitting around on "Alfred's mercy," but I really hope they're going somewhere with this.

I'm surprised as anyone to realize that I'm kind of enjoying the actor playing Alfred and how he's carrying this story.  He's believably selling being raised by Ecbert in court machinations even if it's not second nature to him.   Elsewith still looks older than him AND Judith and I could only snort when she was going on during Alfred's stilted marriage proposal about how she wouldn't want him to think her predictable.  Yeah, Bjorn already knows all about that. Ubbe and Torvi shrugging that they didn't feel any different after becoming officially Christian or really knowing the specifics of what it meant was a hoot.

It's not lost on me that Harald was introduced on the show as a fairly enthusiastic rapist and murderer in contrast to Ragnar, as well as a murderey stalker dude bro, and now he's being presented as the more palatable option to Ivar.  Did like the Jarl's response to his saying that Ragnar's legacy will soon be forgotten that no, they're all sons of Ragnar.  They wouldn't be there or anywhere except back in their stinky little villages if he hadn't come first.

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All I cared about in this episode was who was under the hood at the end for the sacrifice. Probably not Hvitserk which I think they wanted us to think. 

I’m more interested in what Harald  is going to do now. At least he’s DOING something. Lagertha, Bjorn, Floki, his cult, and oh hey it’s Magnus come back from the ‘wild’ , are sitting around sulking and not doing anything productive. Torvi, Ubbe and Heahmund are at least thinking of getting ahead somehow. 

The actor playing Alfred is a good actor but he’s got such a baby face I can’t picture him as a king and his Lords don’t seem to respect him. His new bride looks older than his mother. I’m tired of crazy Ivar constantly gnashing his teeth and screaming too. 

I’m hoping for a future raid or battle, something exciting. 

Edited by Straycat80
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It's a pity the guy playing Aethelred was more compelling before he had actual dialogue.  He shouts most of his lines.  I don't like him being a conspirator against Alfred, it's so predictable.  I would have preferred if he was king first, died and then Alfred succeeded him.

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I agree the Aethelred's actor's line readings are terrible.  He's doing an awful lot of shouting and the same gravelly whisper thing that JRM is doing for most of his line reads.  I also hate that they did a quick reveal that Aethelred is apparently part of the conspiracy against Alfred.  It would have been so much more compelling had this conspiracy been swirling about without his knowledge, only for him then to discover it and have to wrestle with his own issues with Judith basically muscling him off the throne he was rightfully entitled to and a brother he believes is making a lot of wrongheaded moves in whether he should accept their backing or reject it.

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This episode gave me whiplash.

Ubbe and Torvi convert with barely any discussion; didn't they at least talk to each other about it?  Ivar decides he's a god and throws a big party.  Harald teleports to York and starts to stir the pot.   Alfred and Princess Not a Virgin talk for 5 minutes and poof! are married - by Bishop Bad Actor of course (just like the baptism) so that he could growl on.  Lagertha is apparently just there to support her man and wear a mop on her head.  Magnus is here, sure, hey why not?  Hvitserk and Bjorn sulk.

If anyone's planning, we're not seeing very much of it.  Things just kind of happen and there's no subtlety.   The writing is very disappointing for me.

The Ivar the Boneless on Wiki is pretty interesting so the direction the show is taking is also a disappointment for me.  Though I still think the actor is doing a good job, megalomania isn't really interesting to me.  Harald at least is doing something Viking-y but I don't really like him and had no memory of the jarl who is running York.  At least we have some pillaging to look forward to!  Though probably the show will talk about that and not show anything.

I don't even care if it's Hvitserk under the hood because he hasn't done much except glare and mope.  I was remembering the episode where there are a group of young men, including a side character I cared about, that were sacrificed to the gods and how much better that episode was.   To me, the show is trying to pull in too many different directions so no story is getting the attention it deserves.

The Loki plot needs to be wrapped up.  I don't know who any of those people are, someone's pregnant, yay?

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Aethelred looks and sounds very much like his father.  It's uncanny.  His shouting just gives me a good laugh because he just oozes "I hate being #2!" It was interesting when he said he'd also found a bride and his mom basically said "Uhhh. Ok"  

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5 hours ago, nowornever said:

Hvitsirk is another dead end as well. 

Here's the short bio of the real "White Shirt".           At least the show inspires some of us to research the real history.  When I taught elementary school, the only mention of the Vikings was Leif Erikson and the Vinland Settlement in N. America.

     https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hvitserk

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7 hours ago, nodorothyparker said:

So what odds are we laying on it not being Hvitserk under that tarp as Ivar's big planned sacrifice?  The camera work seems to want us to think so, but it also smells strongly of a deliberate misdirect.  ...

It's not lost on me that Harald was introduced on the show as a fairly enthusiastic rapist and murderer in contrast to Ragnar, as well as a murderey stalker dude bro, and now he's being presented as the more palatable option to Ivar.  Did like the Jarl's response to his saying that Ragnar's legacy will soon be forgotten that no, they're all sons of Ragnar.  They wouldn't be there or anywhere except back in their stinky little villages if he hadn't come first.

Liked all of your post as always.  Yeah it looks like Hvitserk should be the sacrifice given he wasn't in any of the shots and Ivar wants someone prominent but it would be disappointing if it was because the episode ended as the big reveal started.  To tease the obvious seems dumb.  Also Ivar is left with no counter in Kattegat and his scenes with "Mrs Ivar" (your trademark here) would become just asides like the Floki story.

And I too am not forgetting that Harold was one of the most base Vikings to ever rape and murder.  I still see what he did to that poor French farm family.  I will always root against him.  Not that history cares of course.

 

6 hours ago, raven said:

...  Harald at least is doing something Viking-y but I don't really like him and had no memory of the jarl who is running York.  At least we have some pillaging to look forward to!  Though probably the show will talk about that and not show anything.

I don't even care if it's Hvitserk under the hood because he hasn't done much except glare and mope.  I was remembering the episode where there are a group of young men, including a side character I cared about, that were sacrificed to the gods and how much better that episode was.   To me, the show is trying to pull in too many different directions so no story is getting the attention it deserves.

The Loki plot needs to be wrapped up.  I don't know who any of those people are, someone's pregnant, yay?

Liked your post a lot too.  Yeah there would be no memory of Ivar's -- well FORMERLY Ivar's now -- lieutenant running York for him because he is a totally new character.  Also minor spelling point if I may.  It's Floki, not Loki who is a Norse god.  But even if it was god Loki himself running around in Iceland this sad, depressing, angst-filled, over-the-top soap opera has to stop asap.  Floki needs a better exit than this drip, drip, drip of a whatever.

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5 hours ago, Babalooie said:

Here's the short bio of the real "White Shirt".           At least the show inspires some of us to research the real history.  When I taught elementary school, the only mention of the Vikings was Leif Erikson and the Vinland Settlement in N. America.

     https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hvitserk

Thanks for the link.  Hilarious that a mouth full like Hvitserk may have been his nickname and Halfdan his real name.  Guess Hirst liked the name Halfdan well enough to use it when he made up Harold's brother instead.  From the article:

Quote

After having avenged his father together with his brothers, he went to Gardarike (Garðaríki). Hvitserk also pillaged with the Rus. He was, however, opposed by such a large foe that he could not win. When asked about how he wished to die, he decided to be burned alive at a stake of human remains

Burned alive?  Hope this doesn't mean Hvitserk actually is the sacrifice next episode but that Hirst has him go out and fight with the Russians instead.  Or did he pillage them?  Sentence seems unclear.  Oh what am I thinking?  Hirst gave up on most of the real history somewhere in Season 3.  Hvitserk will probably end up joining Floki in Iceland just to drive me crazy.

I have to add that I've been pretty tough on the series of late not that it doesn't deserve it.  But I've come up with a pet theory that a drama really can't last more than 3 seasons max without suffering a terrible falling off and even the dreaded jumping the shark stuff.  Even then the first two season seem it's peak with the third starting to expose major problems while trying to cover them with chrome and trim.  Nature of the beast.  Same thing happened with Battlestar Galactica and even The West Wing. 

You get to the point where the showrunner keeps trying to top himself otherwise they fear the viewers will become bored with the same old same old.  Said person is also now dwelling in the forest of their own creation and has a hard time to step back  and look at the whole but only the trees around him/her.

And I can't really blame Hirst or any other showrunner completely for not just terminating it before it goes down hill either.  It is their child.  It's hard to kill off your own child.  At least it would be for me if I poured years of sweat and blood and loving attention into something I created.  It's just, like I said, the nature of the beast.

Edited by green
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Great, Ivar thinks he is an actual god now.  Totally a logical conclusion!  It also looks like Freydis is showing herself to be just as brutal and deadly, although more cunning right now too.  I suspect that Hvitserk won't be the sacrifice despite the tease, but Ivar said it had to be someone important, so I wonder who it will be?

The Floki plot continues to spin its wheels.  It basically feels like it's always about the two families; whose names I don't even know, so I just call them House Viking Edge and House Viking Dyson (because Kris Holden-Reid will always be Dyson from Lost Girl); squabbling, killing one another, trying to make peace, and then it all falls apart again.  Sounds like the pregnant daughter is now missing, so everyone is going to blame each other for it, while Floki sits by a waterfall and mumbles to himself again.  Yawn!

Ubbe and Torvi being baptized could be interesting.  Bjorn's still being a whiny prick, but hopefully Magnus returning might shake things up with him.  Lagertha seems to only be here to moon over Headmund, which is disappointing.

Totally rooting for Harald now, even though I suspect that it ain't going to happen.  But he has gotten way more interesting lately.

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This episode has left me cold.  I find extreme characters (which Ivar has always been) going to extremes just don't illicit much comment from me.  There isn't really anywhere to go with that.  

The interesting thing from my perspective is that the last time they did an extreme thing along these lines - I thought it was ridiculous and now find it interesting in the contrast.  When Floki killed Athelstan we had actual supernatural things take place.  Floki (I recall) literally shape shifted in the night mist into a wolf.  He embodied the old religion trying to fight off the new one.  (What I didn't like was that Athelstan's extreme vulnerability made Floki's act cowardly and merely shitty rather than present a social struggle.)

In this case, we have the old religion really being gutted (pun intended) and dying from within.  There is no threat presented from the outside world.  This is the "King" of their major city going mad and (potentially) killing his own family in a religious ritual glorifying his own deity.

Floki would hate this turn of events for his favorite Ivar, I think.

In the immortal word of the US "Precedent", "Sad!"

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16 hours ago, nodorothyparker said:

So what odds are we laying on it not being Hvitserk under that tarp as Ivar's big planned sacrifice?  The camera work seems to want us to think so, but it also smells strongly of a deliberate misdirect.  If it is, I at least enjoyed his full body eyeroll at Ivar's pronouncement that he's in fact a god.  There was a whole lot of delusion  going on in that scene between that and talk of the nonimmaculate immaculate conception.

All of Ivar's big ceremony anointing him as a "new god" could have been any stock footage of any random exotic we've seen onscreen the last 60 or so years.  One of my recurring favorite things about this show was always how it took these terrible alien rituals and made them something horribly beautiful while not backing down from the reality of animals or humans being hacked to pieces to appease their gods.  Of course, it helped then that we got those small scenes of Ragnar or a young Bjorn explaining what we were seeing to our handy Vikings to the rest of us translator Athelstan.  I mean, I have no idea of what I'm watching here or if this is typical stuff to these people or just something new and horrible Ivar and Mrs. Ivar dreamed up to give themselves an excuse to paint themselves up like this, so I have no idea how I'm supposed to react to it.  Compare this to the first season's Sacrifice episode that saw the gang all head to Uppsala where they also engaged in human sacrifice, but it was laid out well enough and tied deeply enough to the rest of the plotting to make it horribly compelling.

Other than that, welcome back, I guess, Magnus?  Bjorn initially seemed a little quick to embrace him as the real deal with very little to go on but by the end with his ranting about how child Alfred had wronged him and been equally responsible for his exile when he was in fact still a child who had no say in it, Bjorn was giving him the patented Bjorn side eye that maybe he had his doubts after all.  I get that Bjorn is bored and frustrated sitting around on "Alfred's mercy," but I really hope they're going somewhere with this.

I'm surprised as anyone to realize that I'm kind of enjoying the actor playing Alfred and how he's carrying this story.  He's believably selling being raised by Ecbert in court machinations even if it's not second nature to him.   Elsewith still looks older than him AND Judith and I could only snort when she was going on during Alfred's stilted marriage proposal about how she wouldn't want him to think her predictable.  Yeah, Bjorn already knows all about that. Ubbe and Torvi shrugging that they didn't feel any different after becoming officially Christian or really knowing the specifics of what it meant was a hoot.

It's not lost on me that Harald was introduced on the show as a fairly enthusiastic rapist and murderer in contrast to Ragnar, as well as a murderey stalker dude bro, and now he's being presented as the more palatable option to Ivar.  Did like the Jarl's response to his saying that Ragnar's legacy will soon be forgotten that no, they're all sons of Ragnar.  They wouldn't be there or anywhere except back in their stinky little villages if he hadn't come first.

I think if it had been Hvitserk, there would have been no need to hid his face, especially given his last conversation with Ivar.  It seems to be someone of note though or from the family of Ragnar, considering how the Seer was frekaing out about it.

I think Bjorn was eager to latch onto another "brother" considering all his brothers have left him in their own ways.  Kind of like how Ragnar told Magnus he wasn't his son but Magnus still latched on to the idea.  It probably helped him survive.

I'm also surprised with how well the Alfred storyline is turning out this season.  Hirst did such a TERRIBLE job setting it up.  Instead of going the far more interesting historical route (Aethelred as King who dies and Alfred, after years advising him, takes over), he chose the most boring way imaginable to make Alfred king.  Judith said that Ecbert wanted to make Alfred king because he was Athelstan's son and Ecbert pretty much because Ecbert had a raging hard on for Athelstan.  That was the only qualification to make Alfred the king.  But the actor has definitely been delivering.  He's not David Dawson, who does an amazing job as an older Alfred on The Last Kingdom but the actor is doing a good job.  Though that crown Alfred wears looks like something out of Burger King.  Please fix that, show.

On the subject of Floki, I thought he was going to go the "Kool-Aid" route with his followers in this episode.

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3 hours ago, benteen said:

Though that crown Alfred wears looks like something out of Burger King.  Please fix that, show.

In defense of the crown:

I love it.  It looks bronze which would be far more realistic.  Much better than some stream-lined, modern golden-colored one with stupid gems in it that didn't exist back then.  And it is the same crown Ecbert always wore.   Or it was the one Ecbert wore that came from Mercia that he got from that guy in the catacomb-like structure when said guy gave him his rights to Mercia.  Yeah I think that is it.  They made a really big deal about that particular crown replacing the old one in that episode.  I thought then what a really cool crown and far more period-like.  I still think that.

And speaking of Mercia, no Magnus you are not Ragnar's son.  But given the brief tryst Aethelwulf had with your mum, Queen Krazy Pants, you could well be the half-brother of Aethelred though not blood related at all to Alfred. 

I always thought Aethelwulf sent Magnus into "the wilderness" to save his possible son's life after Ecbert learned Magnus was NOT Ragnar's son thus Ecbert had no more interest in keeping him alive and being of Krazy Pant's blood could be a minor threat in the future as well so was going to kill him.  Aethelwulf couldn't admit or wasn't totally sure of Magnus being his son 100% but still felt an obligation to at least physically save him.

Edited by green
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50 minutes ago, green said:

I always thought Aethelwulf sent Magnus into "the wilderness" to save his possible son's life after Ecbert learned Magnus was NOT Ragnar's son thus Ecbert had no more interest in keeping him alive and being of Krazy Pant's blood could be a minor threat in the future as well so was going to kill him.  Aethelwulf couldn't admit or wasn't totally sure of Magnus being his son 100% but still felt an obligation to at least physically save him.

That's what I thought too.

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It certainly didn't look like Alfred was ready to consummate the marriage, but I guess he did.  He and Ealhswith are in my family tree as 34th ggrandparents, as they probably are also for many of you on here.  

Here is a portion of my information on ancestry.com regarding Alfred and his  wives.

Alfred "The Great" King of England

849–899

Birth 9 MAY 849 • Wantage, Berkshire, England

Death 26 OCT 899 • Winchester, Hampshire, England

34th great-grandfather

 

Ealhswith Alswith "Temple Strength"of Mercia and Gaini, Queen of England

852–5

Birth 852 • Mercia, , , England

Death 5 DEC 05 • Winchester, Dorset, , England

Edited by Babalooie
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2 hours ago, green said:

I always thought Aethelwulf sent Magnus into "the wilderness" to save his possible son's life after Ecbert learned Magnus was NOT Ragnar's son thus Ecbert had no more interest in keeping him alive and being of Krazy Pant's blood could be a minor threat in the future as well so was going to kill him.  Aethelwulf couldn't admit or wasn't totally sure of Magnus being his son 100% but still felt an obligation to at least physically save him.

I could see that.  I'd forgotten that Aethelwulf did have a bit of a thing with Princess Crazypants.  So at the time I remember thinking that he figured even chucking a young child out alone defenseless in the rain to take his chances was still probably safer than letting him stay at court where Ecbert probably would have him disposed of after Ragnar disavowed him and he had no value to anyone there.  It was Aethelwulf's line that "there are animals in the villa" that really sold that.  As always, there remains the possibility that Ragnar was lying although my gut says no on that.  We never saw Ragnar and Crazypants together and he really had no reason to lie at that point.  We only had Crazypants's word for it, although I have no trouble believing Magnus probably truly does believe it to be true because his mother said so.

 

15 hours ago, green said:

And I too am not forgetting that Harold was one of the most base Vikings to ever rape and murder.  I still see what he did to that poor French farm family.  I will always root against him.  Not that history cares of course.

I don't generally get too caught up in rooting much for or against characters that way because it's just not how I watch TV.  The show has always asked us follow along and empathize with people who did some pretty terrible things.  But it is a sign to me of how the show is losing any sense of shading and sliding scale that Harold who was introduced to us to as a terrible no good very bad meathead Ragnar mostly treated as a necessary evil kind of alliance is now looking pretty good comparatively and one of the more rootable characters of what's left.

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2 hours ago, Ohwell said:
3 hours ago, green said:

I always thought Aethelwulf sent Magnus into "the wilderness" to save his possible son's life after Ecbert learned Magnus was NOT Ragnar's son thus Ecbert had no more interest in keeping him alive and being of Krazy Pant's blood could be a minor threat in the future as well so was going to kill him.  Aethelwulf couldn't admit or wasn't totally sure of Magnus being his son 100% but still felt an obligation to at least physically save him.

That's what I thought too.

Maybe I'm remembering incorrectly, but I thought that Kwenthrith had Magnus when she met Aethelwulf.  She was pregnant with Aethelwulf's child when she was killed by Judith, I believe.  

But I do agree that Aethelwulf sent Magnus out to protect him since Ecbert (and Magnus) had learned that the boy wasn't Ragnar's son.  That was the only reason that Ecbert was interested in him.  Magnus seems to have either forgotten that Ragnar told him that he'd never been with Kwenthrith or he didn't believe Ragnar.  

Edited by nowornever · Reason: add punctuation
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I suspect Ragnar denied paternity because he thought it safer to do so.

Magnus certainly believes it so, and in the episode in the conversation between Bjorn and Magnus, Bjorn acknowledges hearing that Ragnar had a son in Wessex, so I’m willing to take that at face value. It also serves Bjorn’s interest to do so in dealing with Alfred.

And to that point from the time of the loss in the battle to Ivan and the ark ward situation that his group faced on arrival in Wessex, it makes entire sense for Bjorn to be angry and distressed about his predicament. Ragnar would have waited for an opening to change things up, and that is exactly what Bjorn is doing. Bjorn wants to get Alfred to keep Ecbert’s promises, and any combination of factors including more issues to hold against Athelwulf that will aid Alfred, the better. So I don’t see a problem with this storyline.

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58 minutes ago, nowornever said:

Maybe I'm remembering incorrectly, but I thought that Kwenthrith had Magnus when she met Aethelwulf.  She was pregnant with Aethelwulf's child when she was killed by Judith, I believe.  

But I do agree that Aethelwulf sent Magnus out to protect him since Ecbert (and Magnus) had learned that the boy wasn't Ragnar's son.  That was the only reason that Ecbert was interested in him.  Magnus seems to have either forgotten that Ragnar told him that he'd never been with Kwenthrith or he didn't believe Ragnar.  

 

I remember that Aethelwulf had two possible encounters of the close kind with Krazy Pants.  The first was at her fancy big tent when Ecbert sent him out to negotiate with her.  She kind of mesmerized him and he went back with her into her makeshift bedroom as I recall.

The other was way later when she was queen by then I believe but was being held prisoner by another Mercia faction and he rescued her AND her son Magnus who was cradle age then in that heroic storming of the tower and getting her and Magnus out.  So my take is Magnus came about from the first "close encounter" and was saved by Aethelwulf the second encounter.  The second encounter's aftermath may have lead to the other baby she was pregnant with at the end though.

But whoever Magnus' father is we saw no evidence it was Ragnar.  Krazy Pants claimed she got pregnant by him when she peed on his wound after that one battle.  She and Ivar should have attended sex ed classes for sure because apparently being crazy and delusional also means you don't understand basic biology either.

And of course Bjorn would have heard the rumors about Magnus being Ragnar's son because Krazy Pants was busy telling anyone and everyone that was the father.  But her word sure doesn't make it so.  Ragnar gained nothing and maybe even lost something with Ecbert by saying right out the kid wasn't his.  But then Ragnar got an A in sex ed class.

But the bottom line is Magnus believes this rot and who can blame him since he had a tough life so far.  And Bjorn really doesn't care one way or the other if it is true if he can add a handy ally for himself.  An ally who also doesn't like the ruling family of Wessex and Mercia.  So if Magnus wants to believe he is the love child of the goddess Freya and the Pope, Bjorn will be happy to oblige him.

Edited by green

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So because I'm that pedantic and bored tonight, I went back and looked at the season 3 episode Paris where Princess Crazypants first makes this claim.

At that point, she's blowing off earlier agreements to be a vassal ruler for Wessex and has killed the Wessex nobles Ecbert put in her court as minders.  Aethelwulf goes to see her to set things straight.  We're not given any hint that they've had any sort of relationship up to then when she introduces baby Magnus to him as "Ragnar's son."  He actually pretty emphatically turns her down because Christian, adultery, blah blah blah.  Aethelwulf is fairly astonished at this claim as he says none of those minders who had reported everything else ever reported her even being pregnant, let alone having a child supposedly by Ragnar.  From what we're shown onscreen she and Aethelwulf don't take up until after he's rescued her and Magnus from the rebel Mercians and brought her back to Wessex a few episodes later.

Which begs the question:  Is Magnus actually the child of any of these people and does it even matter in the grand scheme of things?  Ragnar, Aethelwulf, and Crazypants are all dead and can't say one way or the other.  Clearly, Crazypants spread the rumor far and wide enough that even Bjorn has heard it and doesn't consider it out of the realm of possibility.  Magnus can believe what he wants and claim what he wants.  He rightly has an ax to grind against Wessex's ruling family for throwing him out in the cold as a child the moment he wasn't useful to them, and now there are remnants of the family he claims lineage to hanging about court who might be willing to take him at his word and do ... something about it.  And I do realize in mulling this, I've probably just given it more thought than the writers have.

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5 hours ago, nodorothyparker said:

So because I'm that pedantic and bored tonight, I went back and looked at the season 3 episode Paris where Princess Crazypants first makes this claim.

At that point, she's blowing off earlier agreements to be a vassal ruler for Wessex and has killed the Wessex nobles Ecbert put in her court as minders.  Aethelwulf goes to see her to set things straight.  We're not given any hint that they've had any sort of relationship up to then when she introduces baby Magnus to him as "Ragnar's son."

Okay then, me bad.  Well then the only major character we saw Krazy Pants have sex with then is Ecbert himself on that first visit.  Remember he got tired of the all nighter and turned her over to his guards outside his bedroom.  So I wonder how that timeline pans out for Magnus to have a famous daddy after all.  But I'm betting on One Nighter #869 at this point.

 

45 minutes ago, LittleIggy said:

Her name was Kwenthrith not “Crazypants.”

Eh, her name will always be Krazy Pants or Crazypants to me.  She's been that on this board for years.

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On 12/13/2018 at 4:06 PM, raven said:

This episode gave me whiplash.

Ubbe and Torvi convert with barely any discussion; didn't they at least talk to each other about it?  Ivar decides he's a god and throws a big party.  Harald teleports to York and starts to stir the pot.   Alfred and Princess Not a Virgin talk for 5 minutes and poof! are married - by Bishop Bad Actor of course (just like the baptism) so that he could growl on.  Magnus is here, sure, hey why not?  Hvitserk and Bjorn sulk.

If anyone's planning, we're not seeing very ⁿ up.  I don't know who any of those people are, someone's pregnant, yay?

You forgot Laggi has to now speak low and slow to portray being older and wiser while wearing the mop.

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I just realized all these references here to Ivar going full on Caligula is kind of funny given that Michael Hirst is off now with Martin Scorsese starting to make a TV series on the Caesars.  Maybe he was rough drafting his take on Caligula using Ivar, heh.  (Me, I just turn on cable news for my Caligula fix of the day).

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On ‎12‎/‎14‎/‎2018 at 1:55 PM, green said:

In defense of the crown:

I love it.  It looks bronze which would be far more realistic.  Much better than some stream-lined, modern golden-colored one with stupid gems in it that didn't exist back then.  And it is the same crown Ecbert always wore.   Or it was the one Ecbert wore that came from Mercia that he got from that guy in the catacomb-like structure when said guy gave him his rights to Mercia.  Yeah I think that is it.  They made a really big deal about that particular crown replacing the old one in that episode.  I thought then what a really cool crown and far more period-like.  I still think that.

And speaking of Mercia, no Magnus you are not Ragnar's son.  But given the brief tryst Aethelwulf had with your mum, Queen Krazy Pants, you could well be the half-brother of Aethelred though not blood related at all to Alfred. 

I always thought Aethelwulf sent Magnus into "the wilderness" to save his possible son's life after Ecbert learned Magnus was NOT Ragnar's son thus Ecbert had no more interest in keeping him alive and being of Krazy Pant's blood could be a minor threat in the future as well so was going to kill him.  Aethelwulf couldn't admit or wasn't totally sure of Magnus being his son 100% but still felt an obligation to at least physically save him.

I guess it's not the crown per se that I'm criticizing.  But it just looks like a Burger King crown on top of his head.  It's not a great visual.

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I noticed the writing has  a recurring element. Some characters start as interesting, then the writing overuses only an aspect of the character ,making it eventually boring.

For example,I thought Aslaug started off as a very interesting character,she was smart and somewhat of a charming naïve princess.Eventually, the show started showing only the  bad side of her, first a drunk, then a cheater,and then they made her a cause of killing Bjorn's daughter, no other side of her for redeeming the character.Same thing is now happening to Ivar,in season 4b he had many character  sides that made viewers conflicted about him, should we feel bad for him or hate him,but now he's just the "evil" guy,every scene is just to show us how bad he can get,we get it already.

Edited by Hyrrokkin
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I don't think Ivar was ever portrayed as anything else than a very bad guy.  This misunderstood snowflake killed another child as a child with an axe.  He killed his own brother. He had two innocent little boys tortured and killed.  He brutally killed a priest by pouring hot metal in his mouth. 

And Michael Hirst, who has never been a subtle writer, is getting to the part of the story now where he is showing the end of the Viking Age.  They are of course people of Viking descent who will do very well in the countries the Vikings used to raid.  But those are all Vikings who are very much not like Ivar.

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I agree, Ivar was never sane.  But, IIRC, he was blessed by Ragnar at the end of Ragnar's life.  There was a moment of an actual blessing from Ragnar, saying that Ivar would be the future of the Vikings.  Now -- at this juncture, the future seems to be Ivar's insanity devouring their culture from within.  That doesn't seem to me like something Ragnar would place confidence in.  (Ragnar was wrong, in other words, to bless his son as Ragnar knew he was going to his own fate.)

I'd have to watch that scene again.  It was in Ecbert's hall, I think?  

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6 hours ago, Juliegirlj said:

Call me crazy but I think the person being sacrificed is :

  Reveal hidden contents

Either Lagartha or Floki. 

Not calling you crazy, I'm pretty sure its going to be Lagartha also. We'll see tonight though :)

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It occurred to me that Alfred's wife in The Last Kingdom show and books is an extremely religious, uptight disapproving shrew who would never have touched a Viking if her life depended on it.  That sounds more likely than Princess ExVirgin being so enamored with Bjorn.  

The Floki storyline is pointless without any character development for the people around him.  One scene a week isn't going to do it.  Not that I care to see more.

It points to how bad the writing has gotten on this show when many viewers are rooting for Harald over the Ragnarson boys.  Ivar is not fun to watch.  Bjorn and Hvitserk do nothing but pout.  (Hvits should really have gone with Harald.)  Ubbe is the only redeemable character but the writers aren't doing much with him.  I don't care about Magnus. 

Hopefully Harald will overthrow Ivar ASAP and the Ragnarson family can hide out in Jorvik until a Dane becomes king.

I hope this show ends with this season.  It's becoming a chore to watch.  I do get some amusement over driving spellcheck crazy when I post though.  Half my post is underlined in red.

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For me, everything about King Alfred was/is better in "The Last Kingdom" -- including the actor, although Vikings' one is getting better.  (For those interested in The Last Kingdom, there is a board here at PTV.)  

Also, for me, Ivar represents the self-devouring of the Viking culture and to indicate how I feel about that I initially mistyped "also" as "alas."  What I don't remember well enough or at all is the scene in Ecbert's hall when Ragnar blessed Ivar as the future of the Vikings.  It's sad to think he was talking about his own people's ability to deify a madman.

Edited by Captanne
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David Dawson is amazing as Alfred on The Last King.  I don't know the name of the actor playing Alfred on Vikings but I agree he is getting better.

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In all fairness, Ragnar was staring down his own coming torture and execution when he gave him that blessing.  Sure, he'd made specific choices to set that in motion because he wanted that end, but he can be somewhat forgiven for being so self-involved and focused on his legacy and his sons avenging him that for once he probably really wasn't thinking in the long term.  He also wasn't around to see much of Ivar at his worst either.  He knew he was smart and incredibly driven to prove himself in a way that none of his other sons with Aslaug were.  He knew the brothers were mostly a united front.  He couldn't know that in short order, Ivar would kill one brother at dinner, wage civil war against the others, or declare himself a god.  I mean, Ivar initially insists that he's going to stay and die with him, and I honestly think at the time he probably meant it.

Here's their final scene together:

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