This week was all about the raids on Paris – the moment when Ragnar and Rollo saw each other for the first time since Rollo abandoned his Viking life for that of a Christian.
But, before we get to the first sighting, let’s backtrack to the beginning of the journey.
After killing Kalf, Lagartha has kept her promise of fighting with Ragnar in the raids against Paris. She and her merry band of badass women have packed up shop and headed out along with Erlander, who claims he wants to fight in the raids, but we know better. We know Erlander is still butthurt after having Bjorn takes his wife away – something he makes apparent when he sees Tolvi for the first time since she chose to leave him and tells her she must kill Bjorn or he’ll kill her (not their?) child. But, little does Erlander know, thanks to Tolvi, Bjorn knows where the berzerker who tried to kill him got that ring. Dare I say Tolvi keeps her loyalty to Bjorn and tells him what Erlander has asked of her so Bjorn has all the more reason to kill him during the raid? It seems like a pretty good bet.
Before taking off for Paris, Ragnar bestows the Viking rings upon his sons, all of which, except for Ivar the Boneless, he wants to take with him on the raids, you know, just to watch. He also demands to take his “medicine” with him but Yidu says he doesn’t get any medicine unless she gets to go with him to Paris. Plus, she speaks Frankish, which no one else in his little group does, so she’s extremely valuable.
As the herd of boats begin to descend on Paris, Lagartha and Ragnar have a special little moment together. He asks her exactly what I’ve been thinking: If she’s actually pregnant, why is she risking her baby’s life to fight in this battle? He also asks her how she’s doing after Kalf’s death, which tells me he has no idea she slayed him herself. She shrugs it off and says her heart had been broken long ago. See, it’s those comments that makes me think these two have some serious unfinished business together. Is it too much to think they will find themselves back together after Ragnar sees what a killer queen Lagartha is on the battlefield these days? Aslaug doesn’t seem to mind sharing him with others, so it doesn’t seem to out of reach. Plus, after Ragnar takes a hit (or chew?) of his “medicine” and he starts seeing visions of, you guessed it, “What Might Have Been” if he hadn’t totally screwed it up with Lagartha.
By the time Ragnar and his army arrives to Paris, the city is already aware of their arrival and posted up at the shore, ready to fight. And, who is it posted up in Frankish clothing atop a high horse but Rollo patiently awaiting his brother’s arrival.
While Paris is dealing with Ragnar’s arrival, Count Odo confesses to his mistress he thinks Rollo will betray the Emperor and he wants to overthrow the Emperor to take his place. I’m guessing we will see Odo’s demise in the very, very near future, perhaps at the hands of Rollo.
Meanwhile, back in Kattegat, we find out Queen Aslaug is still breastfeeding Ivar, which is alarming since he’s four or five years old at this point. But, more importantly, Harbard shows up. Now, if you forget why Harbard is so important, I’ll remind you: Harbard is a wanderer, who has some sort of healing powers – making some believe he is a god in disguise, maybe even Odin himself – that drives all the girls wild, especially Queen Aslaug. Upon his return, he tells the Queen, he will take her pain away. They go to see Ivar the Boneless, who is asleep in his bed. When Ivar wakes up, he begins to laugh uncontrollably at Harbard, leaving me to assume – Harbard is all he’s cracked up to be – he’s going to heal little Ivar’s boneless legs.
Across the land in King Ecbert’s kingdom, things are getting tense with the weird love-square going on between the King, Aethelwulf, Judith and Kwenthirth. King Ecbert announces to the kingdom he will be sending Aethelwulf’s son, Prince Alfred, to Rome on a pilgrimage to the Vatican. He declares a monk will walk with this child under 10 years old and (surprise!) be joined by Aethelwulf, too, for protection. When Aethelwulf protests and tries to reason his presence is needed to take Kwenthirth – aka his new lover – back to Mercia to take the throne, Ecbert says nay and that he will personally do it. Cue shifty glances between all four love-square participants. What is Ecbert up to? Is he planning to have Aethelwulf or Kwenthrith killed so he can be with Judith? With everyone hooking up with everyone, this is beginning to feel a little too Jersey Shore.