Again, apologies all around for slow recaps! Finals are coming up, and we are a student run institution. Anyways, speaking of school, let’s venture back to the lands of Scandinavia and Northumbria for some knowledge on diplomacy and negotiation.
I love it whenever the Vikings venture over to Northumbria, because we always get this hilarious clash of cultures and this week we got it on over drive. As they go towards their summer raid, King Aelle is all too aware of what is going on and who these northern men are. He’s seen their handy work and has brought in his brother Aethelwulf to assist him in battling these legions of vikings. As the vikings start to make camp and form their defenses there’s some doubt as to how the interactions between the two sides are going to happen. One of the courtiers suggest just paying off the men in order to secure their safety while others just call for attack.
When Ragnar and his men take the camp of Aethelwulf, slaying many and keeping a few, including the king’s brother, as hostage, Ragnar presents a bargain. 2,000 pounds of gold and silver to be paid for Aethelwulf’s life. A steep price, but for the life of the king’s brother and the safety of the kingdom it seems worth it. Aelle adds on that one of his men must convert to Christianity, as he does not feel safe making deals with pagans. There’s a couple laughs about this among the vikings, but Rollo volunteers.
It’s interesting to see Rollo volunteering as I suspect that they might add a little bit of this historic Rollo’s character into the fictional one, and being Christian would help him achieve a Dukedom. However, it’s all speculative so far, all we know is that Rollo is going to be a Christian. There is an awkward and hilarious baptism, in which Rollo looks cautiously at their bishop as he anoints him dunks him into the lake. It seems funny to Rollo and most of the vikings, but doesn’t sit well with Floki. Floki sees it as renouncing their gods, and takes it quite seriously. He tells Rollo that he has committed a great wrong, and will never go to Valhalla now.
Obviously, for Rollo, this is nothing to be joked about. He turns around and violently kills every last Christian they meet when Aelle breaks his promise and attacks with his men. Don’t worry Rollo, you have to want to convert to actually be converted. Plus in Christianity you’re just a major sinner, in your own religion you’re a badass.
So Aelle breaks his promise. He sends them empty chests hoping they will fall for it, but when he attacks with his men he is once more outsmarted by the vikings. Retreating with whatever men they have left, the vikings realize that’s little they can do. They send Aethelwulf’s corpse back to his brother, and Aelle begrudgingly pays the 2,000 pounds but swears a war against Ragnar and his people. Yeah, good luck, buddy.
Meanwhile, on the homefront, Lagertha is ruling in Ragnar’s stead. I have to say, I really enjoy Lagertha’s character. Especially the way she handled the wife who possibly bore another man’s child. From the start she’s been shown to be a strong and independent character, it’s nice to see her strength translate to a good leader. She is fair to her people and she’s fair to Siggy when she comes asking to be a servant for Lagertha. I’m not really sure what’s the deal with Siggy and Rollo and how much I should trust her, but when Lagertha loses her child in a miscarriage, it’s nice to know that she has someone who will comfort her. Especially a woman who has lost her own children.
Oh and yay! Tostig finally gets to go to Valhalla!