It feels like forever since we hung out with Ragnar and his fellow Vikings in the Dark Ages, but Vikings Season 3 Episode 1 picked up pretty much where we left off. The transitions from season to season have always been flawless and this one was no exception.
Ragnar is now King and struggling with the power that title affords him. It's crazy to think he was just a farmer in Vikings Season 1.
This is going to be an eventful (and from what I hear, heartbreaking) season. I hope you guys join me weekly to talk Vikings in the comments!
The opening moments of tonight's episode were fairly creepy, I don't like hearing Lagertha mention her own death. Still, I can help but wonder if that scene is setting the tone for the entire season. Which of our favorite characters won't make it to Vikings Season 4?
From what I've read, creator/writer Michael Hirst is only halfway through Ragnar's story. That means he, Lagertha, Bjorn, Rollo and a few others are relatively safe from Valhalla for now. However, everyone else is fair game and that includes faves Floki and Athelstan.
Is it me or did Bjorn seem a little power hungry chatting with his father on that snowy cliff? Will he learn some humility this season? I'm betting he will, and start earning the name Bjorn Ironside. He's destined for heartache though; I have a bad feeling pregnant Porunn's days are numbered.
Ragnar: What do you see?
Bjorn: Power, the power of a king.
Ragnar: Power is always dangerous. It attracts the worst and corrupts the best. I never asked for power. Power is only given to those who are prepared to lower themselves to pick it up.
The second we met Kalf, I had a feeling he would betray Lagertha. When something seems too good to be true, it usually is. With such complex characters populating this world, why would Hirst write Kalf so predictably? Unless of course, there's more to him than we can understand right now.
Floki is such an odd bird, "Families are not happy." He feels trapped by happiness, that's hilarious. Helga is indeed horribly good, what did he do to deserve her? Floki wasn't the only restless soul though. Rollo, Torstein and Bjorn were all itching to set sail again. Battle over happiness, anyone?
The Ragnar/Athelstan friendship is still my favorite part of this series. I had almost forgotten Athelstan was crucified last season until Ragnar held his scarred hand.
Ragnar: We will go together to Wessex, and you will be my John the...
Athelstan: The Baptist?
Ragnar: John the Baptist, yes. Wherever you go, I will follow.
It must be tough for Aslaug seeing Ragnar and his ex-wife sail off together to Wessex. Though many fans dislike her, I've always felt partial to the character. She's not a bad person, Aslaug simply took opportunity (or Ragnar) by the cojones. She's a strong woman who knew what she wanted and took it. I wonder what this season has in store for her.
Once Ragnar and his people arrived in Wessex, it was obvious King Ecbert was up to something. The mercenary Vikings left behind were history and Ragnar ended up fighting for Mercia. Isn't it great when the Norsemen switch to old Norse? I loved the exchanges between Lagertha, Athelstan and King Ecbert. The King is still fond of the ex-monk, isn't he? It's interesting that these powerful men are so drawn to Athelstan.
And what's with the princess and her fascination with Athelstan? Athelwulf certainly wasn't too pleased with his wife kissing the ex-monk's hand. He's probably the only character that doesn't care much for Athelstan. Will those two come to blows?
I was surprised King Ecbert decided to accompany Lagertha and the settlers. It quickly became apparent he had taken a liking to her. How far will it go? And will the two invite Athelstan into the bath with them? Haha
Lagertha: Ask him what he is staring at.
Athelstan: She says, what are you staring at?
King Ecbert: I'm starting at her.
Athelstan: He's staring at you.
Lagertha: What for?
Athelstan: What for?
King Ecbert: She is unlike any woman I have ever met. There are no Saxon women like her. I am infatuated by her. A shield-maiden. A warrior. A farmer. A mother. She is incredible.
Lagertha: Well, what did he say?
Athelstan: He likes you.
That quote perfectly explains Lagertha's appeal and why so many fans fell in love with her in the first season.
Ragnar chatting with Kwentrith was brilliant. I've never trusted her, but felt her anguish when word came that her uncle's and brother's forces were assembled up river.
What started as a relatively quiet episode ended in a brutal battle and the defeat of Kwentrith's Uncle Britwulf; her brother hauled ass. I've heard many times that the Vikings battle scenes don't measure up to Game of Thrones. However, I think this particular sequence not only measured up, but proved an attack can be well choreographed without CGI soldiers. It was gritty, brutal and absolutely chaotic.
I was starting to get nervous watching Bjorn distracted by Porunn in battle. Luckily she wasn't harmed this week, but I still fear for her life.
Floki seemed to enjoy killing Britwulf. Kwentrith's reaction surprised me; I guess the realization of her uncle's defeat really hit her.
What did you think of "Mercenary"? You're up Vikings Fanatics, hit the comments and share your thoughts on the premiere with me.
As always, remember you can watch Vikings online via TV Fanatic if you want to re-watch an episode or happen to have missed one.
NOTE: Vikings Season 3 Episode 2 will be titled "The Wanderer" and airs on February 26.