Vikings: Mercenary
February 20, 2015 2:12 PM - Season 3, Episode 1 - Subscribe

"Ragnar and Lagertha's fleets depart Kattegat once more for Wessex, but this time they bring settlers. King Ecbert hosts the Vikings and proposes a deal." Season 3 premiere.
posted by homunculus (14 comments total)
 
My favorite line: "Why are they just attacking my uncle?" Methinks the lad is out of his depth.
posted by homunculus at 2:18 PM on February 20, 2015 [2 favorites]


Is space cool with spoilers from the Sagas?

Sometimes the little touches on this show really make the characters seem real, like how Ragnar stands with his arm holding something above his head when he's watching and thinking and Athelstan truncating the Ecbert's attempt to woo Lagertha which is just another nod to how he's got his own agenda (keeping Lagertha from killing Ecbert or being misguidedly loyal to Ragnar or just amusing himself?).
posted by syncope at 3:23 PM on February 20, 2015


Is space cool with spoilers from the Sagas?

I think it'd be cool. I don't think the Sagas would count as spoilers for this show, anyway.
posted by homunculus at 3:59 PM on February 20, 2015


It is Odin's will that you share spoilers from the Sagas with us, revered on.
posted by porpoise at 4:03 PM on February 20, 2015 [1 favorite]


Just remember to turn revered mode off after you're done.
posted by homunculus at 4:09 PM on February 20, 2015 [5 favorites]


Ok.

In the "real" stories, Aslaug is Bjorn's mother. As the show's gamboled along I've been wondering how much the alterations like that are going to play out with the future storylines. It looks like the Rollo-Ragnar tension will be replaced with Bjorn-Ragnar, but if this leads to Ragnar's death or not depends on how far they want to go with the typical myth arc of the son having to literally defeat his father to prove himself.

Anyway, previously my curiosity was whether Rollo was going to be That Rollo, and I'm pretty sure that's where they're going.
posted by syncope at 4:17 PM on February 20, 2015 [2 favorites]


I'm really liking the physical (appearance) growth of the actors, especially Bjorn, but Ragnar hasn't really been aged as appropriately.
posted by porpoise at 4:45 PM on February 20, 2015


Are the accents weird? Are they "authentic"? Did Vikings really talk in that stilted, melodramatic fashion? I did recognize that the Brits were speaking old English. Were the vikings speaking old Norse, for real? How cool is that?

Also, this show is strange because of the way it tells stories. It's very direct. Instead of letting the viewers learn character motivations through their actions, it directly tells us what's going on and why, through dialogue or events. It's a little jarring for me. And it makes me wonder if there's something cultural that they are trying to portray or if it's just the way the show is written. The characters are very direct with each other and that's how we learn what's going on. Is that a viking thing? Like, vikings are "ask" culture, and this is a real historical thing?

And there's still a nice subtlety even with all the direct exposition.

Like the end of the battle scene, with Ragnar sitting there looking like he wanted to cry. It's a big change from the glee of battle earlier in the series, and it mirrors the beginning of the episode when he asks Bjurn why he wants to fight. Ragnar's getting old and tired of the violence. He hasn't aged much in appearance, but he certainly has in terms of his motivations I think. And it's also super subtle, and surprising.
posted by natteringnabob at 7:53 AM on February 21, 2015 [2 favorites]


Yeah, when they go into not-english that's Old English and Old Norse they're speaking. I really love how the show drops in and out of what they're "really" speaking as needed. It adds a lot and shows a fair amount of trust in the audience.

I would also love if they spoke in Old English/Norse all the time, but that's probably a non-starter.

The accents when they're speaking (modern) english are, as far as I know, just bonkers.
posted by vibratory manner of working at 12:01 AM on February 22, 2015


Naming Rollo Rollo is a dead giveaway-- they're not going to pass up on the dramatic potential of that.

Though I must admit I am baffled by what they are planning for Ivar the Boneless, because I cannot figure out how you get from what he is now to what he becomes.

I'm loving Lagertha as Earl. And I do hope she's smart enough to figure out that her right-hand-man is scheming behind her back. Basically everyone is scheming all the time.
posted by suelac at 9:20 PM on February 23, 2015


Naming Rollo Rollo is a dead giveaway

Every time I hear his name, this starts playing in my head.
posted by homunculus at 1:33 PM on February 24, 2015


Chicago fans: A major exhibit about the Vikings opens at the Field Museum this Friday! Open through October 4.
posted by dnash at 7:54 AM on February 25, 2015 [1 favorite]


The accents when they're speaking (modern) english are, as far as I know, just bonkers.

The Kattegat Vikings have different accents when speaking English. Rollo seems to not bother doing the sing-songy accent most of the time and just uses what I assume is his normal British accent, though he does seem to make the effort when on his near-death bed in ep2.10. The other Brits (Helga, Torstein) do accents. Floki's accent is different from the others, I assume since he is played by a Swede rather than a Brit, Canadian or Australian.
posted by biffa at 3:30 AM on March 10, 2015


Like the end of the battle scene, with Ragnar sitting there looking like he wanted to cry. It's a big change from the glee of battle earlier in the series, and it mirrors the beginning of the episode when he asks Bjurn why he wants to fight. Ragnar's getting old and tired of the violence. He hasn't aged much in appearance, but he certainly has in terms of his motivations I think. And it's also super subtle, and surprising.

I just binged watched seasons 1 and 2, and it's struck me the change in Ragnar's demeanor by the end of last season and the start of this one. Previously, he always had a bit of humor to his eyes, as if he's in on a joke that you're not privy to. Now, his resting gaze is indeed a bit tired and weary.

My favorite line: "Why are they just attacking my uncle?" Methinks the lad is out of his depth.


The only way his and his uncle's battle strategy made ANY sense is whether they thought there was some strategic value to preventing the Vikings + Wessex warriors from landing on either side of the river. That's the only way I can spin their marvelous decision to take their superior numbers and divide them. It's the dream of every opposing commander to dive his enemy's forces, so it otherwise baffles me why they thought it was smart to do so here. (Underestimated the size and ability of the opposing army?)

Returning to Ragnar's appearance after the battle concludes and he eyes the Mercian Princess cackling in delight, it almost appeared as Ragnar was feeling regret or possibly remorse for aiding her in her power grab. I guess perhaps to reflect back on what Ragnar told his son at the beginning, about those who seek power?

I also loved Aethelstan the translator scenes. The only thing that kind of bugged me was the valley where the Vikings were told they could settle. There was smoke rising from all those farms. I hope someone gave those people notice!


Now on to the next episode!
posted by Atreides at 7:08 AM on March 10, 2015


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