Well, season two of HISTORY’s VikingsÂ has begun and, of course, the premiere was mighty epic. Some of the toughest moments to witness in “Brother’s War” weren’t just of the physical kind. Some were emotional. Let’s count down the five most brutal moments from the episode:
1. During the battle scene that pitted brother vs. brother, Rollo and Jarl Borg beat the crap out of an over-powered Floki. It was hard to watch. I love Floki, he’s such a character. And he really doesn’t care about what anyone thinks of him — except for maybe Ragnar and Helga. The guy was beat down hard. Rollo broke his arm. Ouch. He kept fighting until he could fight no more. You have to give him that. I love how later, Floki spat at Rollo. He’s never been this Lothbrok’s biggest fan. And I don’t think he will ever become one. I really thought Floki was a goner. So glad he lived to raid another day.
2. During that same battle scene, Rollo speared One Eye and then lifted him into the air and watched while the guy bled out. As tough as it was to see Floki get the beating of a lifetime, I think I actually felt this spearing. It looked beyond painful. It made me feel so bad for the guy. What an awful way to go. And it’s no wonder that after Rollo surrendered himself because he couldn’t actually fight his brother, the entire village hated him. He got a reprieve. Many wanted him executed but the gods didn’t see fit to let that happen. So Rollo lives on but he’s not in a good place right now. He’s the most hated man around. And that’s saying a lot. I did like the line he gave Ragnar, however. That the reason for doing what he did is he wanted to step out of Ragnar’s shadow. But when he did, he said something about there being no sunlight. Rollo was stupid for going against his brother. Will he and Ragnar ever become close again?
3. A pregnant Princess Aslaug arrived and Lagertha had to deal with it. Please note that my top three most brutal moments are all of the emotional variety and that it all involves the end of Ragnar and Lagertha (hopefully it’s just the end right now and their separation doesn’t last forever). Sometime after Ragnar paid his respects to his late daughter, a boat arrived. It was Princess Aslaug, the woman he met and slept with when he was in Gotaland, making her Lagertha’s worst nightmare. She can no longer have children. And Aslaug is preggers with Ragnar’s baby. Lagertha tried to make the best of it. But in the end, she had her pride. I love her for what she did. But more on that in just a bit.
4. The dinner where Lagertha and Aslaug sat on either side of Ragnar. It was the dinner that Aslaug provided. She wasn’t the one to cook the meal. Of course not. She was the one to pay for the food that her women used to cook the meal. You get the sense that the Princess is such a princess, right? Anyway, somewhere along the way Ragnar decided he wanted to have his cake and eat it too. He would never abandon a child, especially since he recently lost one. So he offered the perfect solution. And by “perfect” I clearly mean anything but.
Ragnar: Looking at both of you here, in my hall, I see no reason why you two should not get on together. You two are very different. Yet both strong. I have heard that similar arrangements exist all over this country.
Lagertha: What arrangements?
Ragnar: That an Earl can live with more than one woman. In fact, it is not unusual. It works to the benefit of everyone…especially the children…of both marriages, of course.
Aslaug: It’s true. I know of many such instance.
Lagertha: Is that what you’re suggesting?
Ragnar: If I were, what would you say?
5. Lagertha said, see ya Ragnar. Yes, I am sad to report that Lagertha left Ragnar. Let me start over. I actually loved that she left him. I’m glad she didn’t stick around to watch another woman have her man’s babies. But I love Ragnar and Lagertha. I hope this is a setback that won’t last forever. Those two belong together. It was brutal to watch Lagertha put up with this woman in their midst. But I was proud of her when she immediately decided to leave. Another brutal moment within this one was the fact that Bjorn had to choose which parent to remain with. Lagertha gave him the choice. And at first he chose his father because he thought it was the right thing to do. After all, a son should stay with his dad. But, in the end, his mother took off. And her son went running after her. Ragnar was forced to say goodbye to his wife and his son. Lagertha is clearly the woman he loves. But he can’t have it all. And now he’s going to have to live with his decision. When he went home to Aslaug, he patted her stomach. Because (at least to me) that’s the only reason he’s tolerating her in his life. That is the story I’m sticking to…for now.
I loved the season two premiere of Vikings. My only complaint is that there was not nearly enough Athelstan in the episode. There is always a need for more Athelstan. Just saying.
The Vikings saga airs Thursdays at 10/9c on HISTORY.
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