Vikings has returned for its fourth season and three words can sum it up so far: women, power and revenge.
It was made extremely clear in this first episode that season four will be the season of the women. With Ragnar incapacitated from the Paris raids and Rollo staying behind, Bjorn and Queen Aslaug are left in charge. Aslaug pays a visit to the seer to ask if she’ll rule the kingdom someday, but the seer does not give her a definitive answer. Then, after Ragnar comes back from the brink of death – something most wives would be pumped about – Aslaug seems rather disappointed her husband has survived.
Ragnar’s son Bjorn was made acting king in Ragnar’s absence, and his first order of business is to have Floki arrested for killing Athelstan at the end of last season. When Ragnar awakes, not only is he pissed he’s alive, he’s pissed Bjorn has made Floki’s indiscretions public and that he now has no choice but to deal with his friend, who he’s convinced killed Athelstan out of jealousy.
Meanwhile, Lagatha has returned home with her troops and Earl Kalf from the Paris raids. After saving Kalf’s life, Lagatha was granted co-Earldom by Kalf, something not everyone in the village was jazzed about. But Kalf wasn’t into the nay-sayers, so he has them all sniped with arrows to prove a point. Then, to really drive it home, Lagatha cuts off the head nay-sayer’s manhood after he was shot through the throat and pinned to a pole. I expect – and am excited – to see more badassary from her the rest of this season.
Rollo stayed behind in Paris to keep the option open for another raid from his brother, at least as far as Bjorn knew; Ragnar would’ve have left Rollo behind in Paris because he knows too well that he’s not reliable. Rollo actually stayed behind after striking a deal with the French emporer to marry his daughter and become a Frankish noble in exchange for land and power. When Rollo’s men begin to grow weary of his decision, he has them all murdered, including his friend who says with his last dying breath, “Ragnar will avenge us.” Judging by how pissed Ragnar was that Rollo stayed behind, it’s probably not an empty threat. Although, Rollo didn’t seem too concerned after slaughtering all of his people without a second thought. Perhaps when Ragnar takes off to punish his brother, Aslaug will get her time to shine as Queen.
I’m most excited to see what happens for the women this season. I’ve seen the first four episodes already and let me tell you, the women seem to be running the show so far. Some might see it as the men still granting them permission but I see it differently: these women are so good at manipulating their counterparts they don’t even see it happening. That’s real power, at least for the life and times of a viking.