It is Christmas time! Well make that Epipany in France and Yule in Norway!
This episode was so good I watched it twice! This series is a slow burner though, as events in Norway, Wessex and Paris are building up slowly and dramatically and as the song goes “there may be trouble ahead…”.
To start with, Ragnor is in sombre mood talking about his close relationship to death to his wife’s new Chinese maid servant Edu. This slave, who Ragnor sees clearly was not born a slave, endears herself to Ragnor and Aslaug sees the both of them talking and tells Ragnor she does not mind how he pleases her! Under the influence of a Chinese herbal remedy, the pair bond together!
Next we see Bjorn leave his hut in the wilderness and now his assailant (the beserker) attacks. The assailant disarms Bjorn’s fighting axe and nearly slices Bjorn’s right cheek off, but does not finish Bjorn. That was a bad mistake! Hadn’t the beserker seen any of the countless many average 20th century adventure thriller films, where the baddies have their chance to kill the hero and walk off with the spoils, but always make some error that allows the hero to fight back and prevail?
Of course not and Bjorn manages to stick his hand knife in the beserker and throw his fishing hooks in his face and tie him to a tree. I guess Bjorn’s brush with the bear made the berserker look tame! Bjorn takes the signet ring but the beserker doesn’t disclose the owners identity and has his guts spilt over the forest floor.
Bjorn is now on a mission and goes off in search of his love Torvi (the wife of King Harold’s son, the one who with Kalf, sent the berserker to kill Bjorn). Bjorn tells them he has found himself and returns to Kattegart with Torvi.I now want Bjorn to find the identity of the signet ring owner!
In Kattegart, Floki has seen the sear, who croaks that he had been waiting for hundreds of years to meet Floki. Floki queries this and the sear tells Floki to stop messing around! So Floki gives his mischevious laugh and the sear checks Floki’s identity by licking Floki’s palm.
Helga and Floki are visited by Aslaug and then Aslaug asks Floki to train her disabled son to be a Viking and to hate the Christian God. That is right up Floki’s street, and he accepts! This certainly won’t make Ragnor happy though!
Meanwhile, the Yul log and celebrations start in Norway, Wessex and Paris. In Paris, Rollo has learnt enough French to impress his princess wife, Gisla. This persuades her not to continue with her divorce case, but he wins her over and she starts to consummate her marriage as often as possible and even in a room next to a Christmas dinner for the Emperor (her father) and guests. How embarrassing!
In Wessex, Queen Kiriwith continues her affair with Aethelwulf and Judith’s father, the King of Norhumbria is not happy with either Judith or Queen Kiriwith or her bastard son Magnus. Magnus, the bastard son of?…..Ragnor Lothbruk!
Now back in Kattegart, an unannounced guest arrives for Yul time dinner, King Harald finehair. As bold as you like, he all but publically tells Aslaug, that he is to be King of Norway over Ragnor. At this point Bjorn and Tovi arrive back and moments later, Ragnor returns from lighting Yul bonfires and whatever other Viking Yul traditions, and approaches the very rude guest, to ask who he might be?! Game on!
All really good juice. It is all boiling up nicely and it is about time for Ragnor to take some decisive action.I would love to see some epic Viking fights, with shield walls and axe wielding bravery and savagery. It seems a while since those last featured, so I hope for some epic battle action soon. I’ll just have to wait and see. Two days until the next episode…throw another log on the fire! 🙂