Happy New Year, fellow heathens! Before we get into our Vikings recap of the episode “The Key,” let’s review where our characters landed before our mini-break. King Bjorn (Alexander Ludwig) and King Harald (Peter Franzén) decided to go along with King Olaf’s (Steven Berkoff) plan of choosing one King for all Vikings. Meanwhile, Lagertha (Katheryn Winnick) and the villagers were going to stay to fight another day against the bandits. Additionally, Prince Oleg (Danila Kozlovsky) was ready to set his sights on Scandinavia, while Ivar (Alex Høgh Andersen) had plans of his own.
King Olaf’s Kingdom
King Olaf summons all the Kings and Earls. He seeks to unite all of Norway under one King. While the other leaders are wary of losing their power, he is adamant that they need this. There is too much infighting that weakens them against their common external enemies.
Rather than elect King Bjorn without contest, they feel there should be a real election where anyone of the other leaders can also campaign for votes. King Bjorn agrees with this.
“I have no desire to wear a hollow crown.”
As more ships arrive for the election, King Olaf is looking forward to seeing his vision for Norway come to fruition. They gather all the Kings and Earls, but before the election ceremony begins, Kjetkill (Adam Copeland) stops King Bjorn to tell him something; however, he hesitates and wishes him good luck instead.
Each of the leaders begins to place their vote in front of the people.
Since Ivar and Prince Igor (Oran Glynn O’Donovan) have become better friends, Ivar feels comfortable enough to bring him in on one of his plans.
Ivar and Prince Igor use Prince Dir’s (Lenn Kudrjawizki) wife to distract the guards while they quietly help him escape his prison. Consequently, when Prince Oleg finds out that he is gone, he beheads the guards and serves them to Ivar and Prince Igor. He was not able to get much out of them before their deaths and is suspicious of everyone.
Despite this unfortunate event, he has some big news to share. He is getting married again. Prince Oleg then introduces Ivar and Prince Igor to his bride-to-be, Princess Katya (Alicia Agneson), who looks exactly like his dead wife, Freydis. Ivar can’t help but stare in utter disbelief.
Later, Ivar approaches the Princess in the market and lets her know that he believes Prince Oleg is playing games with him. He thinks she is Freydis, to whom he was married. When he tells her this, she doesn’t believe him, but she doesn’t seem to be thrown by the statement either.
“Were we really? And what happened to us?”
Ubbe (Jordan Patrick Smith), Torvi (Georgia Hirst), and the rest of the Kattegat watch Hvitserk (Marco Ilsø) behaving irrationally. Despite Amma’s (Kristy Dawn Dinsmore) efforts, Hvitserk attempts to protect himself from Ivar. He continues to hallucinate and see his dead girlfriend, who tells him that she wants him to kill Ivar for her.
Hvitserk can’t stop his addiction to drugs but has no money to pay his dealer. Because he has no other choice, he gives up the bracelet that was given to him by his father, Ragnar.
Meanwhile, Torvi notices Gunnhild’s servant, Ingrid (Lucy Martin), sitting by the docks. As they talk, she learns that she is waiting for her lover, King Bjorn. Ingrid doesn’t believe that Torvi could understand what she is going through, but Torvi sets her straight.
“Then, believe me, I do know. I stared out to sea and waited for Bjorn many times and each time he came back he was always further away.”
Ingrid states that it will be different with her. However, Torvi knows this is not the case.
Later, one of the men that Ubbe had sent on a mission to the Silk Road returns to Kattegat with some important news from Rus. While they were on their trading mission, they learned that Ivar was staying in Kiev with Prince Oleg. This information confirms that Ivar survived the battle. Ubbe instructs Amma to tell Hvitserk – for better or worse, he should know.
Gunnhild (Ragga Ragnars) arrives at Lagertha’s place and learns that her dream was real and that Hali (Ryan Henson) has died. Lagertha tells Gunnhild that the bandits attacked. She is sure that they will return since they were unable to get what they wanted. Even though Gunnhild has her shieldmaidens, Lagertha is not confident that it will be enough.
Can Lagertha and the villagers withstand another attack even with Gunnhild’s help? Will the election for a new King of Norway go according to King Olaf’s plan? What is Kjetkill scheming? Is Prince Oleg messing with Ivar’s head? What will Ubbe do, now that he knows Ivar’s location?
Vikings airs Wednesdays at 9 p.m. EST on History.