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‘Vikings’: Episode “A Simple Story” Recap

Photo by Jonathan Hession

Last week Ivar the Boneless (Alex Høgh Andersen) and King Harald (Peter Franzén) were defeated in the first battle against Queen Lagertha (Katheryn Winnick) and Bjorn (Alexander Ludwig). Bishop Heahmund (Jonathan Rhys Meyers) survived, and conflict between colony members increased.

Queen Lagertha’s Camp

Photo by Jonathan Hession

This week we begin with the survivors collecting their dead and wounded after the first battle for Kattegat. Bishop Heahmund is healing, and when he questions why Queen Lagertha didn’t just kill him, she replies, “I don’t know. Perhaps we’ll find out.”

It is apparent that he is intrigued by her. At one point he even tries to see her as all the warriors taunt him. Throughout the episode, they banter about their faiths and what they want out of life. He is fascinated by her.

“I think we are equals. I think you know that too. I’m interested in you. Fascinated. I want to know more. I think we have more in common than you know.”

When Queen Lagertha asks if he would fight for her, he makes it clear that he would do anything for her.

“I will fight for you, Lagertha. I would die for you.”

His response seems to rattle her. We know that trusting someone is very difficult for her especially knowing what we know about her past relationships. Would this priest be any different?

Meanwhile Ubbe (Jordan Patrick Smith)  finally realizes that Margrethe (Ida Nielsen) is not the woman he should be with and he finally declares his love for Torvi (Georgia Hirst). She worries about what Margrethe will do with her younger children, but while Ubbe reassures her that she will not harm them, however, we do get a quick glimpse of how cruel she is with what she says to them.

When Bjorn returns from trying to talk some sense into Ivar, he tells the group that they are not willing to make a deal. Ubbe declares that they must fight then and Bjorn agrees. Like a real leader, he tells the group that they are all fighting for his father’s legacy.

“A young farmer from Norway risked his life to explore the world so that our people could farm. That was his life’s purpose. That was his life’s ambition. I want us to achieve that. If Ivar wins, Ragnar’s dreams are lost.”

Since they don’t know Ivar’s plans, the group tries to figure out what the best strategy is to survive and win the next battle.

Ivar’s Camp

King Harald is not pleased with how Ivar managed the battle. While the brainstorm how they can recover from their losses, Hvitserk (Marco Ilsø) remembers that their uncle, Rollo (Clive Standen), once offered his support if he ever needed. They decide to seek out their uncle in hopes that he will stay true to his word and provide his support.

When Hvitserk returns, he not only brings back an army of French soldiers but a message from their uncle, King Rollo. He had one request, and that was to spare Bjorn’s life.

The news of King Rollo’s support for Ivar and Hvitserk brings a concerned Bjorn to Ivar’s camp for a second attempt at peace talks.

“For the sake of our father’s legacy and everything he believes in, I’m asking you Ivar, do not put our people’s lives at risk.”

Ivar sees this as a pitiful attempt at avoiding another fight since he believes they fear that he has the advantage. With a wave of his hand, Ivar’s men draw their swords against Bjorn, but is stopped by King Harald. He holds true to their ways in that the peace talks are in fact peaceful.

Floki and the Colony

Photo by Jonathan Hession

Meanwhile, in Iceland, Kjetill (Adam Copeland) attempts to convince Floki that Eyvind (Kris Holden-Ried) wants to be king of these new lands. They continue to build their temple however a quarrel ensues between the family members of Kjetill and Evyind. Kjetill’s daughter pleas for them to stop fighting as Floki looks on.

Floki was never a great leader. He built his boats and he was more of an advisor. Perhaps he is in over his head with the colony as they obviously need a leader to take charge and manage their fears in this unknown territory.

As the colony carries out their rituals to bless their temple, another argument breaks out between the same two young men from Kjetill’s and Evyind’s respective families. Floki is furious and goes to strike the young man, but stops himself. He is horrified by what he was about to do, and so he runs.

Wessex – King Aethelwulf and Prince Alfred

Realizing that the Vikings will not stop raiding their lands, King Aethelwulf (Moe Dunford) declares that they must prepare themselves.

“Once they would sting us and quickly leave again, but now they stay.”

He vows to fight against the threats that the Vikings bring. However, King Aethelwulf was never really lucky. As he is in his chambers reading, he swats a hornet and is stung. At first, he smiles as he was just talking about them as the hornets that sting them across the lands. Unfortunately, the sting turns out to be deadly, and on his deathbed, he tells his sons to listen to their mother. “She’s wiser than both of you.” He is surrounded by his sons andQueen Judith (Jennie Jacques) as his body swells and he takes his last breath.

This surprising turn of events leaves the Saxons in search for a new King. Although Prince Aethelred (Darren Cahill) is the rightful heir being the eldest son, Queen Judith advises that Prince Alfred (Ferdia Walsh-Peelo) take the throne because that is what King Ecbert had wanted. Why else would he have invested so much in his education and growth? Prince Aethelred does not agree at first, but when the time comes to claim the throne, he follows his mother’s instructions and recommends that Prince Alfred be next in line in his place.

In the last remaining minutes of the episode, we see Bishop Heahmund pledge himself to Lagertha, and Wessex crowns Prince Alfred. A fire burns through the colony’s temple, and one of Kjetill’s men accuses Evyind’s son, Bul, of setting it on fire. Another fight that breaks out between them and Bul gets killed which shatters Floki’s hopes.

We know that another battle is on the horizon, who will win that fight? How much closer will Queen Lagertha and Bishop Heahmund get? What will King Alfred do now? How will Floki lead the colony and help them get through this tragedy?

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

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