‘Vikings’ Season 6 Premiere Recap: Episodes “New Beginnings” and “The Prophet”

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Photo by Bernard Walsh

Vikings season 6 has begun, and the gods did not disappoint! The two-hour premiere blessed us with two episodes: “New Beginnings” and “The Prophet.” We have a ton to recap, so let’s get started!

Silk Road/Kiev

Photo by Jonathan Hession

The opening of the show begins Ivar (Alex Høgh Andersen) on the Silk Road. On the run, he is forced to live among the vagabonds. No longer a great king and utterly defeated, he travels the strange lands and encounters people from all walks of life. Unknown and with nothing to lose, he stays under the radar as he goes from city to city. Along the way, he notices a man who appears to be following them.

As they continue their travels, soldiers attack the group. As Ivar defends himself, one of the men notices that Ivar travels differently than the other people on the road, and asks who he is. The strange man who has been following them offers some information for a price. The man reveals to the soldiers that Ivar is a ‘Viking King.’ Amused that the disabled person could be a king, the soldier decides to take him as a prisoner to their capital, Kiev. Ivar finds out from this man who happens to speak Old Norse that they are Rus and their ruler is Prince Oleg (Danila Kozlovsky), the Prophet.

Vikings season 6 premiere recap
Photo by Jonathan Hession

As they enter the hall, Prince Oleg is wiping some blood off an ax, and they throw Ivar in front of the bloody mess on the floor. The men tell Prince Oleg that they have found a Viking who claims to be a king. As Ivar explains that he has a disability, he takes note that Prince Oleg speaks Old Norse. Prince Oleg explains he is Rus Viking and that he has heard of Ivar the Boneless. The Prince wonders why Ivar is traveling like a thief, and Ivar explains that he has nothing. He has no plans and did not mean to trouble the Prince with his presence. Prince Oleg decides to let Ivar stay.

Ivar stares through the window of his room as he is more of a prisoner than a guest. Meanwhile, the Rus tortures his companion so Prince Oleg can get some information. When he gets frustrated with the lack of proof, the tortured man tells him that Ivar is a god. This statement amuses the prince but does not satisfy his need to know what Ivar truly wants. As a result, Prince Oleg has his men kill Ivar’s companion right in front of him by tearing him apart. This act ends up shocking Ivar.

Photo by Jonathan Hession

Prince Oleg then decides to take Ivar on an adventure in the sky. Ivar and the Prince are strapped to the balloon ropes and set loose above the city of Kiev. He tells Ivar that he brought him up there because Ivar is a god. This statement hits Ivar as tears well up in his eyes. He did believe he was a god. As the balloon starts to descend, they both panic. Luckily, ‘the God’ and ‘the Prophet’ come crashing down safely and laugh with sheer delight.

Later, Prince Oleg takes Ivar to the mausoleum of his dead wife, who he had killed because she had been unfaithful. This revelation prompts Ivar to commiserate. He understands the feeling of being betrayed by someone so close. They share a poignant moment where each man displays a sliver of vulnerability.

“I think you and i are going to have a very special relationship. I truly think so.”

Ivar’s arrival is an omen for Prince Oleg, and he decides it’s time to look west to Kattegat, the place of his ancestors.

After bonding in the mausoleum, a play is put on by puppeteers. The story is of love and betrayal. Ivar is keenly aware that the story bears an eerie resemblance to the story he had just heard Prince Oleg tell of his wife’s death. At the end of the play, Prince Oleg tells Ivar he has to travel to see his brother and deal with some family business.

When the group arrives at Prince Oleg’s brother’s place, Ivar and the Prince wait for his brother. While they wait, Prince Oleg tells Ivar why he is called “The Prophet.” His tale reveals that amid a power struggle, he was invited to a feast. The night before, he dreamt that he was going to be poisoned by wine. He took that as a warning, and when he went to the feast, he decided not to drink the wine. His friends did not do the same, and they died a horrible death.

Photo by Jonathan Hession

As he says this, he carefully puts his wine down on the table. Ivar takes note of the indirect action. Just at that moment, Prince Oleg’s brother, Prince Askold (Blake Kubena), and the young heir of their kingdom arrive in the hall. There is some apparent tension between the Prince and his brother. Despite the awkwardness, they all sit down for a meal. They raise their glasses to a toast, and Ivar notices that Prince Oleg does not drink from his glass, so he pauses. At that moment, they hear fighting from outside. Prince Oleg jumps and demands they play music as he dances in the middle of the room. His brother starts to choke, then and bleed. Ivar sees what is happening and puts his wine down.

As Prince Askhold dies in the middle of the room, Prince Oleg’s men rush in. Everyone stares in fear as Prince Oleg grabs the young boy, Igor (Oran Glynn O’Donovan), and takes him outside. He does not seem phased by killing his brother, along with all his men.

The following morning, Prince Oleg’s other brother, Prince Dir (Lenn Kudrjawizki), arrives. He is furious over the murder of their brother, Prince Askold. Prince Oleg reminds him that he is ‘The Prophet,’ and he foresees his death unless he lets them safely leave. Since Ivar does not have a choice in what happens, he looks to befriend young Igor by way of magic tricks which the child seems to enjoy.

The time then comes for Prince Dir to make a decision. To test his brother and his abilities as a prophet, he asks him to reveal the identity of his new wife’s name. To make his point, Prince Oleg not only tells the name of the new bride, but he also brings her into the room. Disturbed by this, Prince Dir gives in and releases his brother, Ivar, and Igor.

Kattegat

Photo by Jonathan Hession

Meanwhile, back in Kattegat, the city celebrates its victory as King Bjorn (Alexander Ludwig) takes his throne. He reiterates that he will be nothing like his predecessor.

“People of Kattegat, I told you that when I became King, my rule would be very different from that of Ivar’s and I mean to keep that pledge.”

He wishes for the city to open its doors and grow through trade. Unlike his brother, King Bjorn encourages his people to speak with him and ensures that he will dutifully listen.

During the celebration, the men who sided with Ivar were brought in as prisoners. Hvitserk (Marco Ilsø) calls them out on their cruelty while in support of Ivar’s evil doings. King Bjorn decides to banish the prisoners for life rather than put them to death. They brand the men and strip them of everything they own. As one of the men charges at King Bjorn, Ubbe (Jordan Patrick Smith) swiftly smacks him down. While Lagertha (Katheryn Winnick) believes that her son did the right thing, Hvitserk does not.

Vikings season 6 premiere recap
Photo by Jonathan Hession

Later, as King Bjorn sits with his family, he shares with them his plans for Kattegat and asks for their support. Lagertha surprises everyone when she tells King Bjorn that she will support him, but she will not be around.

“I have seen enough of war. I have seen enough of death.”

She explains that she wishes to go back to the simple life and build a farm like she once had with their father, Ragnar. Ubbe can’t believe that she can go back to being a farmer. With her mind made up, King Bjorn has no choice but to accept her wish, and they all raise their glasses.

Ubbe and Torvi (Georgia Hirst) travel with Lagertha and locate a piece of land where she decides to build her new home. They offer to help Lagertha settle in before heading out. Torvi reveals that she and Ubbe are expecting.

Back in the great hall, men arrive with news of King Harald (Peter Franzén), who last we saw was injured after the great battle. Gunnhild (Ragga Ragnars) indicates that they thought he had died of those injuries, but the men informed them that King Olaf (Steven Berkoff) had saved King Harald and taken him back. While King Harald was ill, King Olaf took over his lands. The men ask King Bjorns to help rescue King Harald out of obligation and as a man of honor.

“What kind of a king are you going to be?”

King Bjorn decides to think about it. He is at a critical juncture as a new King, and this decision will be crucial.

Meanwhile, Lagertha takes her sword and buries it amid the trees as she gives up her shield maiden past and looks to a peaceful future. Little does she realize that the traitors that King Bjorn had let go are quietly lurking in the woods.

“As the sunsets and in this site of the Gods, I swear I will fight no more. Forever.”

Photo by Bernard Walsh

A while later, to Ubbe’s surprise, Kjetill Flatnose (Adam Copeland) arrives in Floki’s (Gustaf Skarsgård) boat. Ubbe quickly inquires about their quest to find a new settlement. Kjetill tells him about the hardships of discovering new lands in Iceland, but he is optimistic that they will succeed. It seems he has conveniently left out what actually happened.

King Bjorn is still torn between saving King Harald and staying in Kattegat. He sits with Ubbe and Hvitserk to get their thoughts, but in the end, they don’t seem to be much help. Hvitserk is fixated on finding Ivar while Ubbe does not wish to choose. He’s just happy he’s not a King.

After talking with his brother, Ubbe then goes into the hall and tries to get more information from Kjetill about Floki. Kjetill tells Ubbe that he’s recruiting more settlers. He also says to him that Floki got tired of a settlement that wasn’t working and left everyone without any word. They tried looking for him but couldn’t find him. Ubbe seems to question this, but quickly changes the subject and asks about a wanderer who sailed far west and found an island. It just so happens that Kjetill knows who that wanderer is and that he is in Iceland. Ubbe then decides to go to Iceland to find that wanderer and Floki.

Vikings season 6 premiere recap
Photo by Jonathan Hession

Back in the Lagertha’s home, Ubbe returns from Kattegat and tells them that he ran into Kjetill. He tells him that he is going to go to Iceland with him to find the wanderer and Floki.

Since no one was able to help King Bjorn decide what to do about King Harald, he goes up into the mountains and talks to The Seer in the wind. The Seer leaves him with one warning.

“Whatever else do, Whatever you decide, do not betray your own Gods in the process.”

He then goes to visit his mother, Lagertha, and his kids. There he tells them that he has decided to save King Harald. Since Hvitserk is battling his demons, he is not the right person to watch over Kattegat while King Bjorn is away. He asks Ubbe to watch over Kattegat so it won’t be left unprotected. They can then go to Iceland with his blessing once he returns. Torvi and Ubbe reluctantly agree.

King Bjorn returns home and tells Gunhild he is going. He then sets out to find Kjetill. King Bjorn doesn’t believe Kjetill’s story and that Floki just left. He strongly recommends that Kjetkill join him and his army. Kjetkill knows that this is not a choice and agrees.

Now that was a season premiere! New characters and new situations that are sure to challenge Lagertha and the sons of Ragnar. Has Ivar finally met his match in Prince Oleg? Could the decision to let those traitors go come back to haunt the people of Kattegat and King Bjorn? Will Lagertha be able to lay her sword down and live a simple life? What will become of Hvitserk? Will Ubbe and Torvi get to Iceland? So many questions and a whole season to see if we get the answers to them!

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

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