January 19, 2017

Vikings: Revenge - Review!

Spoilers up to Season 4 Episode 18 of Vikings follow.

Oh, how the little piggies will grunt
when they hear how the old boar suffered...
I can't believe how fast these past 8 weeks went by. There are only 2 episodes left of Vikings now, and this is only my first review of the second part of the season.

Retribution. Ragnar was the greatest Viking of all times, a hero of his people, an icon. All his sins are forgotten, all his mistakes became lessons. With his death, he achieved his biggest scheme, all the Vikings came together in what is known as the Great Heathen Army, a coalition of Norse warriors that eventually invaded the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms that constituted today's England. Game on!

Things start with some highly appreciated Viking traditions in Kattegat, we see Ubbe getting married with former slave Margrethe, bloodied rings and all, and then sharing her with his brother Hvitserk, when asked why isn't he jealous, he simply said "We are Vikings!", that's so Viking... We also get to see yet another sacrifice, this time a human one, because the greater the offer to the Gods, the better the results, and this time they're not taking any chances. It was poetically beautiful, specially mixed with Bjorn and Astrid's affair taking place at the same time. The show is going back to that mysticism that made it so great, without the tedious religious wars in every episode.

This is the kind of things we want to see!

At some point, all the Vikings are together celebrating before departure for England and we get what was one of the best scenes in this episode. King Harald sees a ghost from his past, a princess he loves, the reason he's set to become King of all of Norway, and he learns she married an Earl. "I was a King. And I was not good enough for you", I wish I could go and tell him "she just doesn't like you". It's the first time we see him so sadly, pathetically human. Weak, angry, emotions getting the best of him, and he still was scary as hell. I was convinced he was going to stab her, in Halfdan's words, she dishonored him. But he ended up sparing her life, and, based on what we know, I bet he's still set on becoming King of Norway in hopes she will choose him. The poor bastard. At the same time, their plot to conquer Kattegat keeps rolling, according to the next episode's teaser, it's not going to be an easy battle for Queen Lagertha.

Cute? Sure. But worth fighting Bjorn?

A ridiculous amount of ships set sail towards England and land in Northumbria. We don't get to see the battle, but it's pretty obvious that the size of the Great Heathen Army vastly outnumbers that of Northumbria's, which was the smallest one in England for that matter. Wessex's army, now merged with Mercia, is supposed to be much bigger, better prepared and under the leadership of a seasoned warrior, Aethelwulf, the confirmed unloved son of King Ecbert. In the promo for next week's episode, we get a glimpse of the fight to come, and by the look of Bjorn and Co. faces, vengeance has just begun. I'm guessing by the end of the season we will have an outcome to the Viking's invasion on Wessex.

"Daddy, do you wuv me?" * Awkward silence * Ouch!

By the end of the episode, the army already defeated King Aelle of Northumbria, ultimately responsible of Ragnar's death. The King is brutally murderer, although he didn't get the blood eagle, and left hanging near the grave of Ragnar, possibly as a sign of what will come next to the rest of England. Ivar said it right, this time isn't about silver or gold, this time is about pure revenge, and you can only pay that in blood, a lot of blood.

The little piggies...

Justice demands retribution!

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