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‘Vikings’: Episode “Baldur” Recap

Photo by Jonathan Hession

Have you recovered from the gruesome massacre that occurred in Iceland? We aren’t sure that Floki (Gustaf Skarsgård) has either. A new Viking threat heads towards King Alfred’s (Ferdia Walsh-Peelo) kingdom, and he relies heavily on Ubbe (Jordan Patrick Smith) for assistance. Tensions are also rising between King Ivar (Alex Høgh Andersen) and Hvitserk (Marco Ilsø).

If you thought you could rest easy this week, you would be sorely mistaken because Vikings is not done with us! This week was just as intense and gave us the feels! Keep reading to find out why!

Wessex

Photo by Jonathan Hession

Queen Judith (Jennie Jacques) seems to be having some remorse over her part in her own son’s death. She is with an old woman who is trying to soothe her. There is a noise from the back, and the woman abruptly stops, telling Queen Judith to leave. She refuses, and when she gets closer to the woman cowered in the corner, Queen Judith notices that the scared and frail woman is the one and only, Lagertha (Katheryn Winnick).

There is almost nothing left, but a shell of a woman. He is frightened, dirty, and her hair is chopped up. Queen Judith quickly takes her home.

Lagertha is hallucinating and sees Ragnar’s (Travis Fimmel) death and as well as flashes of King Ecbert (Linus Roache). She witnesses Ragnar’s last declaration as if she was there at his execution.

“I shall not enter Odin’s hall with fear. There I shall wait for my sons to join me and when they do I will bask in their tales of triumph. The Seer will welcome me. My death comes without apology. And I welcome the Valkyries to summon me home.”

She then sees him plunge to his death in the snake pit.

Quickly after seeing her late husband’s death, she seems to come back to the present as she remembers Heahmund. Later she joins King Alfred, Queen Judith, and Queen Elsewith (Roisin Murphy) at dinner. Lagertha seems to have regained her strength. King Alfred updates her on where everyone has gone. She sadly responds.

“Everything changes. As I have changed. I am no longer Lagertha, Shieldman. Since my shield is gone. I have nothing to protect myself with.”

Afterward, when the women are alone, Queen Judith reveals to Lagertha and Queen Elsewith that she is dying because she has found a lump. Lagertha acknowledges that she has fought her own battles and she doesn’t think that is the end for either one of them.

Meanwhile, Ubbe and Torvi (Georgia Hirst) head out to meet the three Danish Kings. Ubbe proposes to speak with them rather than risk a battle. The Danish soldiers chant his name as he arrives online. He is, of course, well-known for being a son of Ragnar.

The three Kings don’t understand why Ubbe is siding with King Alfred. He explains that they have made an alliance in the hopes of a future. He talks about the settlement they have and offers for them to join them and build a new life on this land rather than fight a bloody battle. While two of the Kings are willing to accept his proposal, there is one that would prefer to continue the raid. Ubbe figures the only way to resolve this is to challenge him to single combat which seems to please the Danish King.

Kattegat

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Hvitserk arrives at King Olaf’s home. He is then made to completely strip and taken through the icy walkways into a steam-filled cabin. King Olaf is waiting for him, aware that Hvitserk was on his way. They drink and eat as they sit by the steam.

King Olaf looks forward to raiding England with King Ivar. He then asks Hvitserk a critical question about what kind of ruler King Ivar is. Hvitserk doesn’t hide his true feelings.

“My brother has declared himself to be God. He is no longer the Ivar I knew, the brother I knew. He’s a tyrant.”

He tells King Olaf that he doesn’t want him to join King Ivar. He wants him to overthrow him instead. But the King instead takes Hvitserk into custody.

Hvitserk is tied up and held as a prisoner in the same steam room that he first met the King. After a bit of time in there, one of the King’s men asks him if he has changed his mind and if he will join his brother and King Olaf. Hvitserk responds by saying he will not change his mind.

“I wish I could agree. This is a ridiculous way to die. Too hot in a cold climate. I’m sure you appreciate the irony.”

He leaves his fate up to King Olaf. In the end, it seems he made an impression, as the King decides to support Hvitserk.

Meanwhile, in Kattegat, King Ivar sees before him his vandalized statue. His men violently gather the people. One of them happens to be Hvitserk’s girlfriend, Thora (Eve Connolly). He explains to her that he is trying to rule his people well, and doesn’t understand why people still dislike him. She bravely responds.

“In Ragnar’s time, everyone was free. They could say what they wanted. They could do what they wanted. Ragnar never forced them to do anything. And above all, he never forced them to worship him. He knew he was only human, just like the rest of us.”

When King Ivar lets her go, she notices that his men are following her. As she runs through the woods towards home, she sees soldiers rounding up her family. Thora fights to try and save them, but they stop her. She is forced to watch her family be burned alive in front of her and then she is set on fire. King Ivar is ruthless as ever and doesn’t seem phased by ruling with utter terror.

Meanwhile, Queen Freydis (Alicia Agneson) gives birth. The midwives share a worried glance. As they bring the child to King Ivar, he is overjoyed, but when he looks at the baby, he is shocked. Queen Freydis then states:

“Did you not believe me when I said that deformity is a true sign of the God’s favor?”

King Ivar later does what his father could not do. With tears in his eyes, he does the unthinkable and leaves his child in the cold wilderness. His actions after the birth of his son speak to the lengths that he is willing to go.

Iceland

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Floki buries Aud (Leah McNamara) who jumped off a cliff last week, while Kjetill (Adam Copeland) antagonizes him. Floki describes to him what the ‘old’ Floki would have done to him and his family, but then lets him know that the ‘new’ Floki has changed.

“For even though you and Evyind and everyone else in this cursed settlement have shown me that I can’t change other human beings, I have changed myself. And I intend to stay this way. I owe it to the dead.”

He seems to be fed up with trying to make things work at the settlement. Floki goes in search of the gods who seem to have stopped coming to him. He feels lost but still holds onto a small glimmer of hope. He ends up wandering around and winds up in a familiar spot. At the end of the episode, he enters the mouth of a cave in the mountains.

York

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Bjorn (Alexander Ludwig) and Gunnhild (Ragga Ragnars) get married in traditional Viking style as King Harald (Peter Franzén) daydreams putting himself in place of Bjorn. When he snaps out of it, he congratulates Gunnhild.

King Harald then goes to Bjorn and admits that he wanted Gunnhild, but she chose otherwise. He thinks it’s because of Ragnar’s name, but Bjorn says it is not.

“You will never be King of Norway. And you want to know why? It has nothing to do with power or titles or your army. It is in the gift of the Gods.”

Even though King Harald is envious of Bjorn’s new bride, that won’t stop them from working with each other. Bjorn then gets one the last dig in as he emphasizes the fact that he won the heart of a woman that King Harald will never have.

For long-time fans of the show like us, we have to say that the Lagertha and Ragnar sequence of scenes that intertwined old footage of Ragnar from season 4 and mixed in new footage of the current Lagertha witnessing his death hit us in the guts. The moment that they shared in private might have made us well up a bit. It was probably one of the best moments this season!

With only two episodes remaining, what will become of all our characters? Will Ubbe be able to beat the Danish King? Will Lagertha become the brave Shieldmaiden we once knew? What will Queen Freydis do when she finds out what King Ivar did to their son? Will King Olaf follow remain by Hvitserk’s side? What does Floki find in that cave? And finally, will King Harald continue to deal with Bjorn’s insults for a common goal?

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