Vikings: Scarred
March 13, 2015 9:27 AM - Season 3, Episode 4 - Subscribe

Ragnar and his warriors return to King Ecbert's court with the Princess Kwenthrith and her brother, leaving one battlefield for another. Ecbert requests both Athelstan and Lagertha to remain in Wessex, while Ragnar sets his eyes for home. Back in Kattegat, the Wanderer and Queen Aslaug increasingly spend more time togther, while Siggy watches with growing disapproval.
posted by Atreides (3 comments total)
[SPOILER ALERT for the biggest event of the episode...]

R.I.P. Siggy. Seriously did not see that one coming at all.

Turns out it was the actress who needed to leave the show for family reasons:

"In truth, I told them. I had some personal things in my life that I needed to be there for — some family things, which everybody has sometimes. So I approached [Vikings creator] Michael Hirst and said that it wasn't going to be possible for me to continue living overseas in Ireland, and it was time for me to move on. He was incredible about it. It was really sad and difficult and an incredibly hard decision, as you can imagine. I told him at the end of season two, and he said he really wanted to take Siggy out, to give her proper closure. Of course I wanted to do the same, and so he came up with this storyline to end Siggy's role in the series."

I'm a little annoyed at the Wanderer storyline though. What with the dream prophecies and his "magical" quieting of the baby and all the portents and such - it feels like a dip farther into the supernatural than the show has gone before. "The Wanderer" is a common appearance of Odin in Norse and Germanic myth, and to me it would be weird to have an actual god turn up on the show - from either side. I like that sort of thing left as an open question when dealing with historical eras, I guess.
posted by dnash at 12:32 PM on March 13, 2015 [2 favorites]

I'm somewhat in agreement on the Wanderer storyline, as well. So far in the show, supernatural elements can pretty much all be attributed to the individual's own perception and vision, be it Ragnar seeing Odin walking down the beach or Athelstan seeing the stigmata come to life on the illustration in his hands. This was something far different.

I kind of attributed the Wanderer as kind of a passing Rasputin-like figure, a real person who had what people believed to be magical powers, a thrall over a queen and abilities which helped treat the medical problems of a son. But, it was just strange, what with the shared dreams, and then the left out in the rain aspect of the dream of the Seer brutally attacked, if not murdered.

Siggy's death also caught me entirely by surprise. I kept screaming inside at those two stupid kids! I wonder, did they even exist? I did love the touch when Siggy surfaced and saw her daughter (I had to be told this, I'd forgotten what she looked like) and her hypothermia-blue face warmed up. Given what the Wanderer told Aslaug and Helga when he left about Siggy, my direct response would be, "Golly, he went and murdered her!" At least when it comes apparent she's missing. Sorry, Rollo.

Is Ragnar wanting to setup a rival kingdom or control/influence Mercia himself through the princess? Or was his suggestion to Kwenthrith entirely made to simply make things rougher on Ecbert? I loved the scene of pouring the cups out and tossing them on the floor, particularly how the characters' expressions. The fact that it was followed up with what amounted to a shrug and a party, made it even better.

The scene between Ragnar and Ecbert at the end was also a great one. It's a different dynamic between the two than existed between Ragnar and Horik.

Countdown to when the Viking settlers are massacred by the Wessexans continues.

I keep having this wild notion that the guy Lagertha left behind is performing one giant hoax to reveal everyone who would betray her. That's the only thing that makes this angle interesting to me. Otherwise, it's like seeing a committee of future bodies in graves meet to waste the time.

Floki. The actor plays him incredibly like a powder keg waiting to explode. I just get tense when he's around.
posted by Atreides at 12:49 PM on March 13, 2015 [2 favorites]

6'4"?! In the first season they made him out to be smaller and weaker than the other vikings (hence, not participating in shield wall defense, but as a roamer). Wow.

The Floki/Loki angle - he seems to be the most anti-Christian viking in the group, trying to get everyone to stay true to their mother religion.

The Wanderer is a little problematic, but didn't Lagertha deal with another wanderer who got someone pregnant and when the husband asked for her justice she said that the wanderer who cuckolded him was Rig, a god? With the men away so often for so long, I'm surprised that charismatic wanderers don't get more women pregnant (and this Wanderer even bragged that he sired the current king of Russia by cuckolding someone).
posted by porpoise at 9:22 AM on March 14, 2015 [2 favorites]

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