So, the season finale. It seems like the premiere aired just yesterday, doesn’t it? These little shows grow up so fast! Especially in terms of Vikings, it seems, because we’ve managed to figure that nearly two years have passed since the events in the first episode—which still isn’t nearly enough explanation for Athelstan’s beard. The guy just isn’t cut out for Viking fashion, I guess.
In any case, the episode—since Ragnar is out being an emissary, it’s once again split into two different storylines, with a little sub-plot branching off from one as well. So, first, Ragnar, since we basically know what’s up with him anyways;
Ragnar takes his gang to the Jarl’s kingdom to discuss the land, which the Jarl is 100% not willing to give up to the King, though he is willing to compromise. Ragnar doesn’t think that’s okay, though, and they send Floki running off to King Horik to see if a compromise would work for him. Since that takes a while, however, Ragnar’s troupe decides to go visit the famous ash tree in the region, rumored to be Yggdrasil itself. However, Rollo stays behind to assure the Jarl that Ragnar’s merry gang isn’t going to just run off completely.
On their way to the tree, however, the Vikings happen upon a princess, who Ragnar takes a liking to, and she accompanies them to go see the ash tree. However, Ragnar takes a little bit too much of a liking to her, and ends up sleeping with her—which pisses Bjorn off big time, later making Ragnar promise to never sleep with her again.
Surprisingly enough, Ragnar keeps this promise, despite the princess’s advances. But, it’s too late, and said princess is already pregnant with Ragnar’s child. Not much of a surprise to those familiar with the lore, but definitely something to keep the tension up next season—seeing how Lagertha deals with all of this.
Speaking of Lagertha, instead of visiting ash trees and being adulterous, she’s back at home in Kattegat where a plague is making its way through the settlement. It’s not pretty, and a lot of people die. There’s really not much to say about it, it’s extremely depressing. Lagertha, however, manages to keep face throughout it all, which is an amazing accomplishment.
And, of course, it was never a good idea to leave Rollo somewhere without adult supervision—the Jarl plays on his feelings of inadequacy under his brother, and when the news comes that the King isn’t willing to make compromises over his land, it’s clear that a war is about to start. And Rollo says that he’ll happily take the Jarl’s side, placing him opposite Ragnar.
A cliffhanger, of course—there’s not much more you could expect from a 9-episode season that has to cover so much of history. But, I’m happy to say that Vikings has, in fact, been renewed for a second season, so our cliffhanger will have a resolve.
Here’s to a second season as good as the first!
And for whoever’s sake, someone please shave Athelstan.
Watch this episode and more at History.com/Vikings.