Kill the Queen
The episode starts with the solitary Bjorn getting to grips with the wilderness. It seems he is coping fine with the rigours of a harsh winter and survival on his own.
The scene turns back to Cattegart where Floki escapes and Ragnors children (by Aslaug) lead the manhunt for him. Aslaug tells Ragnor that what Floki did in murdering the christian, Athelstan, was no crime and that angers Ragnor so much he strikes her down, adding that what Floki did was not about religion, but about loyalty and that she would never understand that! A touch hypocritical of Ragnor?!
For good measure, we return then to Wessex and find the alliance with Mercia has been broken by a Mercian rebellion and the rebels are holding the Queen in prison in a fortified tower. King Ecbert, acts against the rebellion by sending his son (Aethelwulf) to rescue the Queen Kwenthrith.He is galvanised into action, as this threatens his big dream of leading a unified country of England.
Ecbert talks more with Judith, his daughter in law, who is very unhappy as his mistress. So he obliges Judith with her wish to be an artist working on the illuminated bible texts, something the Church forbade women to do, but he makes it clear to his Bishop that it is his will and that makes it possible.
Back in Cattegart, the children have used great hunting skills to track and find Floki and Ragnor punishes him severely by hanging him in a cave in a crucifix position. How long can Floki endure that for remains to be seen, and there is more bad news for Floki, as his young daughter dies and we see Ragnor helping his wife, Helga, bury her. Ragnor is still in some pain with his wounds.
Now the scene shifts back to Paris, where Rollo is trying to become a French nobleman and yet his French wife ridicules his attempts to fit in this way and his attempt at a haircut with Parisian fashion! Rollo later persuades the French minister, Count Odo, to fortify Paris with guard towers and extra boats in order to defend Paris better against the Viking longboat attacks.
Meanwhile, the French minister, is being spied upon and he is showing contempt for the French Emperor and his enemies want to use this information to get rid of him at the right moment.
Finally, the episode goes back to Wessex with Aethelwulf in a battle to save Queen Kwenthrith . She is nearly killed as the Wessex soldiers attack and a brutal fight ensues but she is saved. She managed to defend herself against her 2 women guards in her cell in the tower she was held in. She had killed one, but was nearly strangled by the other, until Aethelwulf burst in to kill her attacker. Spattered in blood she uttered “What took you so long!?” Another strong woman.
This was another well done episode with action in three countries, with the thread of Ragnor running through them all. He is getting stronger and we know he has opinions that will lead to action on all these events. No sign of Lagertha in this episode, I guess she was taking time out to do her makeup! No way! She will have been making some fierce shield maiden and Viking warrior moves somewhere or other.
I look forward to Ragnor trying to sort out these various problems, even though I know this is not going to be easy or pretty! So waiting for the next episode…. 🙂