Vikings 1.04: Trial

Vikings airs Sundays at 10 p.m. on The History Channel

PREVIOUSLY, ON VIKINGS: Cutest sexual harassment EVER, plus the vikings–Lagertha included this time–made it to Northumbria and Floki started a war accidentally (on purpose).

The soldier who escaped on horseback from the vikings rides into the village, presumably to warn everyone. The vikings have left one more of the soldiers alive, and are forcing him to lead them to his village. When they get to a hill just outside the village, Ragnar makes this face

never has anticipation of wanton bloodshed been so beauteous

never has anticipation of wanton bloodshed been so beauteous

After a short walk through the woods toward the village, the group stops. Rollo says they should attack right then. Ragnar says no, and Rollo’s all WHY. Uh, it’s daytime and they know you’re coming? Ragnar tells him they’ll do it in the morning. Rollo doesn’t like that and keeps arguing, but Ragnar shuts him down after asking one of the other vikings (or…that viking’s beard??) what day it is (it is Saturday). Ragnar then takes a nap probably.

KING AELLA’S HOUSE. The escaped soldier tells the king about the attack, assuring him that they weren’t Franks because “they used axes, and some were as tall as giants.” King Aella is like WELL THESE PAGANS ARE NOT WELCOME IN MY KINGDOM and I’m like I hear you, buddy, but these are not like normal pagans, they’re pretty rad.

The next morning (afternoon? It’s seriously full daylight outside), Ragnar cutely tells a sword-sharpening Lagertha to not take unnecessary risks and/or get separated from the group. She says she was just going to tell him the same thing. Rollo snits that they need to attack now, but Ragnar tells them to wait just a little longer. Church bells start up soon after, but it would have been hilarious if Ragnar’s timing was off, like if Northumbrians were Catholic like my family is Catholic and started mass at 6 AM instead of 4:40 in the afternoon or whatever time it is here.

They leave the soldier tied to a tree and gagged and invade the village, following a herd of geese around.



These geese are terrible guard geese, just like my dogs are terrible guard dogs. I live with three beefy ferocious-looking monsters, but I’m 100% sure if vikings ever invaded my house, they would all just lead them around like “here is all the stuff they really love and enjoy!! can u open refrigerator??!?!” Geese are the same way.

Also, the music is awesome, it must be mentioned.

Ragnar stops for a moment to smile at a huge wooden cross before continuing. Floki does some Captain Jack Sparrow hands at it.

He's just sad that someone mutilated a beautiful precious sexy tree in this manner.

He’s just sad that someone mutilated a beautiful precious sexy tree in this manner.

Rollo literally axes somebody’s wall to open their door, and Lagertha (her poof!) stalks off on her own.

I'm trying to work this look into my everyday life. YOU THINK I'M KIDDING.

I’m trying to work this look into my everyday life. YOU THINK I’M KIDDING.

Except Knut stalks shiftily off after her. FUCKIN KNUT. I’M SO MAD I EVER THOUGHT YOU WERE CUTE.

The rest of the group comes across the chapel. All of the townspeople’s weapons are propped up against the outside, and Floki giggles when Ragnar smiles back at him like “these fuckin’ guys.” They burst in as the priest is reciting the Memorial Acclamation (in fact, they burst in as he is literally saying “mysterium fidei/the mystery of faith,” and I’m sure that was intentional but my feelings about that are boring and long-winded so I will spare you).

This is a particularly beautiful episode, cinematography-wise. I love the way the church/the vikings in the church are lit.



The members of the congregation attack, but are put down quickly. The priest is like BUT THIS IS A CHURCH and Ragnar is like LOL tell your people to calm down and everything will be fine. The priest does, and the vikings start pillaging.

Elsewhere in the village–HOLD THE FUCK UP IS THAT ANOTHER WOMAN???



Rollo busts into somebody’s house to steal some shit, but the somebody is a bedridden old man. He coughs, which I choose to interpret as a crotchety old dude just AHEMing. Rollo notices him and crosses the room, axe raised, but doesn’t kill him. He pours the terrified man a cup of water and lets him drink it, tipping it gently up to his mouth while scowling. Um. Rollo. I thought we agreed that you would be consistently an awful buttbag? WHAT IS THIS?

Rollo steals the cup and the pitcher when the man is done drinking and leaves the house. The dude blinks like “omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg there are not enough adult diapers on the world.”

Back in the church, Floki is merrily desecrating the Eucharist. He takes a swig of Christ’s blood from the chalice and spits it all over the place. Everyone gasps hilariously, so he does it again, spitting it out with purpose. FLOKI, YOU CHILD. He then grabs a giant cross off of the altar and leaves with it, but not before slitting the priest’s throat when he protests. Ragnar smiles like, you adorable scamp.

Elsewhere in the village, Knut goes into a house and starts flinging food everywhere. He hears a creak, and sees a woman hiding with her child in a corner. WE’VE GONE A WHOLE EPISODE WITHOUT A RAPE SO OBVIOUSLY IT IS TIME FOR ONE NOW UGH.

Lagertha comes into the house and orders Knut to leave her alone. He doesn’t, so she gets in his face and tries to drag him off of the woman.

(Sidenote: I’m really glad that, historically inaccurate or no, the show didn’t have Lagertha just accepting this as a fact of life–we saw her defend herself against two rapists, but that she would come to the aid of a woman she A) doesn’t know, B) is attacking the village of, and C) is being raped by someone on her “team” is a really cool and interesting character point. And since women are basically nonentities in recorded history, I feel like most of their active resistance to accepted social horrors like rape and abuse would have been ignored, so this could be how this situation might have gone down. I desperately want to know more about women’s roles and attitudes in Viking society)

Knut throws Lagertha across the room, so she stabs him a little bit. He moves off of the woman and attacks Lagertha fully, knocking her around really hard. When he hits her head hard enough to daze her, he tries to get her clothes off and rape her, too. BUT!! She kicks him in the dick and puts a knife into his kidney until he fucking dies! When he does, she sort of stands there like “Ugh, this could be a problem.” YES. AWESOME. LAGERTHAAAAAAAAA.


no justice is done to the look, and i am shamed.

no justice is done to the look, and i am shamed.

Ragnar asks “Where is Knut?” Lagertha almost rolls her eyes and says “I killed him.” RAGNAR ACTUALLY DOES ROLL HIS EYES OMG PERFECT THEY ARE SO PERFECT. She explains the attempted rape, and Ragnar asks if anyone else saw it happen. When Lagertha shakes her head, he says “That’s a pity. And where were you?” he spits at Rollo, who’s like BELIEVE IT OR NOT I WASN’T RAPING ANYBODY THIS TIME, I WAS GIVING SOME OLD RANDO A DRINK.

A bunch of soldiers are waiting at the beach for the vikings. They killed the lookouts! RUH ROH. The vikings walk out to meet them, and Ragnar yells SHIELD WALL. Shield wall! So pretty!

Spot the Pokeball and the Umbrella Corp. logo!

Spot the Pokeball and the Umbrella Corp. logo!

I immediately yelled TURTLE FORMATION, but recapper/fiend Liz informed me that it’s called the testudo formation. TORTOISE FORMATION.

The soldiers fire arrows into the shields. I like that the arrows are Serious Business instead of the standard “arrows are totally light and delicate!” thing that a lot of movies/shows seem to try and pass off as accurate. Arrows will fuck up your day. They will pierce your turtle formation so fast.

The soldiers run across the beach, and a battle ensues. It’s awesome, I love the fighting on this show. The king’s dudes sit on horses and watch, getting increasingly unhappier. The half-ponytail viking who didn’t say much but seemed pretty cool gets killed, but that’s about it for important viking losses. The dudes on horses ride away like little titty babies.

Ragnar looks hot, as usual.

"Want to make your blue eyes POP? Just get fucking Saxon blood all over your goddamn beautiful face, you beast." --Viking Cosmo magazine, probably

“Want to make your blue eyes POP? Just get fucking Saxon blood all over your goddamn beautiful face, you beast.” –Viking Cosmo magazine, probably

But also sad. He was expecting this to be simple.

At the King’s place, the horsey dudes are trying to explain WTF happened. The king is having zero of it. The main horsey dude tells him that they only understood one word of what the guys guarding the boat were saying, and that word was Ragnar. Um? So like a given personal name in the language you don’t understand is the only thing you understood? That’s like me eavesdropping on people and then being like “I only understood [obscure-ass Scandinavian name].”


if you don't get four dudes, their shields, and a sacrificial horse head in it sometimes, you just haven't been partying hard enough

if you don’t get four dudes, their shields, and a sacrificial horse head in it sometimes, you just haven’t been partying hard enough

Actually, wait:

my dad has never been prouder

my dad has never been prouder

Lagertha, Ragnar, and Erik stand around the edge of the gravegina, drinking out of their stolen cups like the cool kids at a house party. Rollo comes up and offers some comfort, because apparently he’s trying to be cool this week? Everyone is still really sad though. Ragnar sits down in front of the captured soldier from earlier and talks to him, smiling and thanking him and giving him a drink. Ragnar asks if he wants to live, which is code for “I am going to kill you,” but this guy doesn’t speak Antihero. Rollo kills him.

THE LOTHBROK FARM: Athelstan is having some problems with his babysitting. Bjorn wants to go to Kattegatt to meet his parents, but Athelstan gently tells him that Ragnar will eat him if he lets them go alone, and they can’t all go. He prays over their gross dinner of a boiled sheep’s head. Gyta asks for some ale, but Athelstan tells her she’s too young. Bjorn, because he’s a delightful little brat, gives her his drink. SHE PROBABLY HOLDS HER ALE BETTER THAN HE DOES. YEAH BJORN I REMEMBER THE THING EVEN IF YOU DON’T. Bjorn says he wants to sacrifice to Thor for his father’s safe return.

Athelstan: What do you want to sacrifice?
Bjorn: YOU. /slaps cup off table /runs away

Wolves howl in the distance as Athelstan takes out his book and prays later on, asking God why he’s with the Lothbroks and that his heart is filled with doubt about why He has let this happen to him. It’s lovely. He hears a fluttering noise and thinks it’s a sign, but it’s just a cute owl–Athelstan seems happy about this. He goes to where Bjorn is sleeping and wakes him up, saying he’ll take them to Kattegatt.

The next day, the vikings return home to a huge crowd of adoring fans, and also Haraldson. Haraldson congratulates Ragnar on his treasure-getting, then asks where Knut is. Haraldson gives him an opening, asking if he died in battle, but Ragnar’s like NOPE I KILLED HIM BECAUSE HE TRIED TO RAPE MY WIFE which is like two lies more than were necessary. He is dragged off, despite his crew’s willingness to fight Haraldson’s men on his behalf.

In Haraldson’s house, the creepy blind seer from the first episode is just hanging out on a couch, creepin. UGH GET OUT OF HERE. A hooded guy comes in, and surprise: it’s Rollo. ROLLO STOP. Haraldson tries to convince Rollo that Ragnar’s only in it for himself and wants to be “first among equals”–which, not untrue, but also not fair. He tells Rollo that there’s a bunch of fabulous prizes in it for him if he turns against Ragnar at the trial, including Haraldson’s hot daughter as a wife and thus becoming Haraldson’s harald son (since Haraldson has no natural sons on account of they are dead). Rollo considers it. The seer creeps some more.

Trial time. Siggy is wearing a gorgeous blue dress and sick eyeliner. Ragnar comes in to a chorus of yelling about how he’s a murderer. HOW QUICKLY THEY WILL TURN ON YOU. Haraldson explains how he sees the situation–Ragnar murdered Knut in cold blood, because of greed and ambition–but Ragnar’s like HOMIE YOU WEREN’T EVEN THERE. Ragnar says he killed Knut when he found him trying to rape Lagertha, then turns around and appeals to everyone’s empathy. It seems to be working, until Haraldson asks if anyone can confirm it.

Lagertha says she can, and Haraldson accuses her of being so under Ragnar’s thumb that she must be lying like he is. She doesn’t even try to defend herself against that ridiculousness, just curses his ass. LAGERTHAAAA. She says that she killed Knut, but Haraldson dismisses her completely (“You didn’t kill my brother. Look at you. How could you?”) The bald beardo says that they have proof of Ragnar’s guilt, and that they have a witness to the killing. Rollo steps forward, and Ragnar looks super betrayed when Rollo says that Ragnar killed Knut. But then Rollo turns awesome for a minute and corroborates Ragnar’s story, which sways the crowd back over to them. Ragnar cutely lifts up his chained arms and says “Does anyone have a key?”

Later, at a victory party, Bjorn gets SUPER DRUNK again and passes out on Lagertha. Ragnar tells Rollo he owes him, and Rollo’s all “I know.” Hot beardy Leif toasts to Ragnar’s future/freedom, but Ragnar changes the toast to friends/freedom. Ragnar sits with Athelstan and asks him to drink with him. NO BABY DO YOU REMEMBER WHAT HAPPENED LAST TIME? ALE IS RUINING YOUR LIFE. Ragnar thanks him sincerely for watching over his children, and calls him “a good Christian,” which makes Athelstan giggle. Oh my god honey you have it SO bad.

Lagertha thanks Rollo for what he did for them. Rollo says he did it for her, and she tells him she doesn’t want to believe that. He’s like, what, once a dirtbag ALWAYS A DIRTBAG.

Floki is drunk enough to do impressions of how angry Haraldson was, and everything is cute and nice and adorable for a minute. UNTIL FUCKING ASSASSINS KILL ERIK WHILE HE’S PEEING OUTSIDE. NOOOOOO ERIK NOOOOOOOOOOOOO. They get into the house and try to murder Ragnar, but all of the vikings kill them first. Like, seriously, how did you think this was going to turn out, assassins? Stupids. Their corpses get parked in front of Haraldson’s place in a cart the next day.

Noooooooooo Erik. :( His wife cries on him. This is the saddest thing ever. THEY WERE THE CUTEST COUPLE!!!

Ragnar angrily chops/throws wood while his kids and Athelstan stare uncomfortably. He retrieves his bedroll from the house and heads up to a high cliff above the beach.

The seer reads Haraldson’s future, and assures him that shit is about to go real bad for him because of Ragnar. Haraldson asks if he wants to be Earl, and the seer’s like “Um if he kills you that’s how it usually goes? lol.” Haraldson says the gods have always been favorable to him, but the seer reminds him of how they let his sons die. Haraldson then asks if the gods even exist, which makes the seer laugh, because “belief in a higher power ain’t working for me SO NOW I DOUBT EVERYTHING” is always really hilarious.

Athelstan realizes what Ragnar is doing on the cliff, and tells Lagertha that he’s preparing himself.