Vikings: All His Angels
December 30, 2016 7:24 AM - Season 4, Episode 15 - Subscribe

Ragnar is handed over to King Aelle to meet his fate. Ivar returns to Kattegat with the news.
posted by dnash (11 comments total)
The annus horribilus of 2016 takes yet another parting shot at us by taking one of TV's best characters.

I think my favorite little bit was the look on Aelle's face as he bellows at Ragnar to "beg for absolution" - and Ragnar just looks back, saying nothing.

(Also, I kind of started wondering, exactly how does a "pit of snakes" work? Why does one have such a thing in the first place? Snakes don't usually eat people - they can't. So are they just going to nibble on him for, like, a year or so?)
posted by dnash at 7:41 AM on December 30, 2016 [2 favorites]

Snakes on a Dane.
posted by Parasite Unseen at 8:29 AM on December 30, 2016 [10 favorites]

I loved Travis Fimmel as Ragnar. I found this episode hard to watch even though I knew and have known what was coming. It was sad and I think they did an excellent job executing (pun intended) the end of a great character.
I'm glad it's over though. As much as I know this opinion might be unpopular I was getting tired of angsty Ragnar. I'm glad the show didn't draw it out any longer then they did and make his death a cliffhanger of sorts.

I'm looking forward to seeing this show without Ragnar. On with the next chapter.

Will miss him and Fimmel but for me the story and show just got shot of energy and fresh life.
posted by Jalliah at 9:59 AM on December 30, 2016 [3 favorites]

Brutal ending, but a character like Ragnar deserves the time and effort spent (in-story, and from the storytellers).

I was particularly impressed with the cross-on-forehead makeup; a cut that deep would let the eyebrow sag and cover the eye that way. Neat shot; with Ragnar's ice blue left eye open and his right occluded.

Odin sacrifices his left eye for wisdom, so there probably wasn't any significance.

During the brief retrospective, was reminded again how well their makeup department did for aging the characters - but kudos also for the casting department picking the right actors/actresses at just the right ages. Ragnar (noticed the middle-aged paunch indicative of really strong [as opposed to body built] Caucasian men) and Bjorn (much lower difficulty level) are particularly efficacious, with Lagartha being given a pass for hollywood reasons.

Adders are the only venomous snake native to Britain. It looked like they had a whole bunch of ... pythons? in addition to biters.

Did a brief foray into google and "snake pit" has very little documented history to it.

However, it kind of makes sense - the adder usually doesn't attack if not disturbed; being stuck in a pit with someone falling on them would count. Their bite/venom isn't particularly deadly - but it would hurt like hell, chronically; multiple bites starting to swell, eventually get infected. Actual cause of death would probably be sepsis, dehydration, or simple "exposure." Probably a few days.

On the other hand, death by circulatory shock would be a quicker relief; if enough fluids are sucked into inflaming multiple venom bites, enough fluid might be diverted from central circulation to cause death a little quicker. Given Ragnar's current condition (poor hydration, from deprivation and blood loss), this might be the most plausible CoD. This would be a matter of hours/dawn the next day.

They're shown just closing a cover over the pit; I wonder if they just filled in the pit afterwards or...? It's a bit of an elaborate pit, too; timber lined.
posted by porpoise at 5:44 PM on December 30, 2016

Does anyone know who the dude with the missing right eye on the ship at the end, before Ivar's homecoming, is?
posted by porpoise at 5:45 PM on December 30, 2016

Does anyone know who the dude with the missing right eye on the ship at the end, before Ivar's homecoming, is?

I think it is supposed to be Odin and the symbolism of the passing of the torch to Ivar.
posted by Jalliah at 10:16 AM on December 31, 2016 [1 favorite]

but the dude's missing his right eye
posted by porpoise at 11:09 AM on December 31, 2016

I dunno. It's not always the left eye in every depiction though the left is used more. I'm assuming because the show seems to be using Odin with his right eye gone, both with Odin that Ragnar saw before and they depicted Ragnar with his right eye wrecked and left eye open and bright when he died.
posted by Jalliah at 11:32 AM on December 31, 2016 [2 favorites]

It looked like they had a whole bunch of ... pythons? in addition to biters.

YES THIS WAS HILARIOUS why were all these african and asian snakes just hanging out in wessex waiting to be captured by the royal snakefinders
posted by poffin boffin at 2:44 PM on January 2, 2017 [5 favorites]

My emotions definitely took a hit for the same reasons already stated above, on losing both Ragnar and the actor who played him. It hurt most when the flashbacks showed the young Ragnar who was still Fun Ragnar, not the world weary king Ragnar.

My in-brain explanation for the snakes is that King Aelle REALLY likes himself a good snake pit and has open orders for traders to find and bring him deadly/venomous snakes for the purpose of executing people with some Biblical flair. While not as extensive as during Roman times, there are still plenty of trade networks to kind of make this headcanon work. (But it was silly and totally Hollywood).

Did Ecbert put on Aethelstan's old monk robes or did he simply have a set waiting for him in the archives for put on? His bare feet made me think of him as being on a pilgrimage.

For a nice perk, if one wants an extremely small spoiler, look to the last episode title of the season.
posted by Atreides at 8:32 AM on January 3, 2017 [1 favorite]

His bare feet made me think of him as being on a pilgrimage.

I kind of like to think that Ecbert was expressing a little bit of penance for not being able to save Ragnar/allowing the viking settlement to be razed.

Dunno about the robes being Aethelstan's, I assumed it was off the shelf.
posted by porpoise at 10:42 AM on January 4, 2017 [1 favorite]

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