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‘Vikings’: Episode “The Message” Recap

Photo by Jonathan Hession

More alliances are formed in this week’s episode, and everyone has their agendas.

Bjorn and Halfdan

When we left the last episode, Bjorn (Alexander Ludwig), Halfdan (Jasper Pääkkönen), and Sindric (Frankie McCafferty) were on their knees and were on the verge of being beheaded thanks to Kassia (Karima McAdams). The storm was on the horizon and right before the men could strike, Bjorn stabs one of them with a small piece of wood that he had conveniently swiped before being detained.

Both Kassia and Ziyadat Allah (Khaled Abol Naga) retreat into their tents before the sandstorm descends upon the camp. Halfdan and Sindric take this opportunity to break free. They manage to escape thanks to the storm and are later seen sailing back to Kattegat.

King Harald and Astrid

Photo by Jonathan Hession

As King Harald (Peter Franzén) and Astrid (Josefin Asplund) seem to be getting to know each other in the woods, they are interrupted by horns sounding the arrival of Ivar and his men. King Harald greets Ivar and introduces him to his Queen, Astrid. Ivar notes this development because he is fully aware that Astrid and Lagertha (Katheryn Winnick) used to be together.

King Harald asks for confirmation that Ivar and his army will fight with him against Queen Lagertha, to which Hvitserk (Marco Ilsø) interrupts, “But only if Ivar is made King.” Ivar throws a glance towards his brother and reassures that all he wants is to regain control of his father’s lands from Queen Lagertha. His words seem to appease King Harald temporarily, and he asks to see the infamous prisoner. When he inquires as to why Ivar has kept Bishop Heahmund (Jonathan Rhys Meyers) instead of killing him, Ivar informs him that it is because he is a great warrior.

Even through Ivar continues to reiterate to King Harald that all he wants is to avenge his mother’s death, King Harald doesn’t seem to trust him fully. Ivar likewise doesn’t believe that King Harald won’t come after him as well after they have overpowered Queen Lagertha. His cautiousness is apparent in his conversation with Hvitserk. He lets him know that the things he has been telling King Harald are just words and that there are no real alliances because anything can change at any moment. When Hvitserk questions Ivar’s real motives, Ivar declares,

“I want to be the most famous man who ever lived.”

He believes that though Ragnar was famous, he will soon be forgotten. “No one will ever forget Ivar the Boneless.”

Photo by Jonathan Hession

Ivar also spends time with Bishop Heahmund and tells him the history of Kattegat and the impending battle. He then offers him the choice – fight alongside him, or he will kill him. Bishop Heahmund tells him, “I’m not afraid to die for my faith.” Ivar responds by informing him that he is not asking him to renounce his faith or fight against other Christians but to just kill more heathens on the opposing side. When questioned as to why Ivar wants him to fight, Ivar divulges that it is because he admires him and is jealous of his strength.

Photo by Jonathan Hession

While King Harald and Ivar plan for their attack in two moon’s time, Queen Astrid has an agenda of her own. She decides to approach the captain of a whaling ship and see if he can get a message to Queen Lagertha. Queen Astrid offers money, but unfortunately, he wants more. To get the message to Lagertha, she has no choice but to give him everything he wants. She pays a hefty price for keeping this treachery a secret from King Harald.

By the end of the episode, Bishop Heahmund has to let Ivar know his decision. He makes it by stabbing a screaming Viking right in the neck with the knife that Ivar had handed to him. Looks like he’s joining Ivar’s army!

King Aethelwulf and the Saxons

The aftermath of their battle with the Vikings, the Saxons are left debating whether they should leave or go back home to their lands. King Aethelwulf (Moe Dunford) declares that they will return home and Queen Judith (Jennie Jacques) agrees with her husband despite the threat of the Vikings possibly returning. Prince Alfred (Ferdia Walsh-Peelo) seems to be looking for some guidance and decides to go on a pilgrimage. He needs help to understand things and wants to find out more about his father.

Queen Lagertha

Photo by Jonathan Hession

Queen Lagertha discovers Floki (Gustaf Skarsgård) just as they are about to embark on their trip. It turns out that one of the people gave them up. Floki requests for a quick death instead of imprisonment. She questions each of them as to why they are leaving when Kattegat needs them. Although Floki’s betrayal hurts Queen Lagertha, she decides to allow them to go. There is no point in keeping them there against their will. It is clear that she still cares for Floki as they have been through so much together.

Margrethe (Ida Nielsen) still does her best to persuade Ubbe (Jordan Patrick Smith) that Queen Lagertha doesn’t know what she is doing. Something tells us she better watch what she says. Queen Lagertha finally puts her in her place when she tells her, “But if I hear that you have spoken against me one more time, I will cut out your tongue and enslave you once more.”

The repulsive captain does manage to keep his word and get Queen Astrid’s message to Kattegat. With the news of the impending attack, she enlists Ubbe to lead her army.

Floki and the Colony

Photo by Jonathan Hession

Floki and his colony find their way back to the island and begin to trek inland. They start to question whether they made the right choice following Floki, because from what they can see the land doesn’t seem to be as productive as he had described. Floki tells them that will not be an easy journey, but they will thank him later.

We miss having our warrior gang all together. They are so far apart and each fighting for power and survival, that we aren’t sure who will come out on top. What will Bjorn do once he hears of the impending war? How will the relationship between Ivar and Bishop Heahmund develop as they fight side by side? Can Astrid keep her deceit from King Harald? Where will Alfred’s pilgrimage lead him? Will The Seer’s prophecy for the sons of Ragnar come true? How well will Floki and his colony settle into their new surroundings?

Vikings airs on Wednesdays at 9 p.m. EST on History.

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