3 Shocking Moments from VIKINGS ‘The Joke’
We all knew it was coming. Brother against brother, lover versus lover. The conflict between Viking factions is finally here. Choices were made and words were spoken in tonight’s episode of Vikings that could never be undone. Amidst the turmoil there were three shocking moments that stood out.
During the attempted last ditch negotiations, Lagertha (Katheryn Winnick) spoke the truth first and made a powerful argument for peace. She also extended a olive branch to Astrid. “Whatever has happened, I am happy to see you again. I don’t want to fight you”
Astrid (Josefin Asplund), for her part, wasted no time dashing her former lover’s overture. Her words pierced Lagertha to the marrow. “I am married now. I am King Harald’s wife.”
The encounter made me wonder her choice was truly heartfelt. Astrid has survived so many things in the past several months; kidnapping, marriage, and a brutal sexual assault. Those events, along with her pregnancy have left the former shield maiden with few options.
“There will be no battles today or tomorrow. I do not want to fight against my brothers. I still hate myself for killing Sigurd. This will be ten times worse. I can’t. I renounce my promise to kill Lagertha. She can have Kattegat. I don’t want it.”
Wait! WHAT? Ivar (Alex Høgh Andersen) just gave us all whiplash. In that moment his remorse was most likely actually genuine. Then, quick as a flash, Ivar took it all back with a splash of mead to Ubbe’s face. “I might break a bone, but I can never break a promise. I can never forgive her for killing our Mother, so how can you!? Of course I am going to kill her!”
Ivar alone has made the choices that brought about this conflict. He is a master strategist and has been playing each side against the other to achieve a outcome of his own undisclosed design. All this bloodshed is a means to an end. One thing is for sure, his sudden retreat from battle was no miscalculation. If Harald Finehar was defeated it was because Ivar allowed it to happen.
Harald (Peter Franzén) has made some poor choices in life, especially with the ladies. He is notorious among his people for being unlucky in love, so much so, he threw caution to the wind, kidnapped Astrid and coerced/forced/convinced her to be his wife.
As much as Harald laughed off the bad luck, his eyes betrayed a heart full of pain. It also appears Astrid surprised even herself by returning King H’s affection. Astrid admitted Harald had a sound reason behind his rash move in choosing her to be his bride. As bold as he was in taking her with him, it was clear he meant to win her heart in truth.
Astrid was torn between her affection for Lagertha and Haralds generous offer. His proposal of status and children was something she could never have in Kattegat. Astrid tried to choose them both by staying and sending a word of warning to Lagertha. Her message was delivered as promised, but the price was higher than anyone should ever pay.
What I most respect Harald for however, is his response this week upon learning Astrid’s wish to go into battle. He honored her request and assented to her demand. A wise man knows when to pick his battles.
Harald forced his bride to fall back with Ivar just before the armies engaged knowing full well she couldn’t refuse. Astrid complied with a dagger filled look of pure venom. Harald covered his heart and acknowledged two things. His love for Astrid and the hell that would later be paid, which he would happily recompense should they survive the day.
There are only two more episodes left this season! Vikings airs Wednesdays, only on History.
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