Disclaimer: Spoiler Alert!
Wow. At first I was slow to get into this show, but now I am on-board more than ever. In fact, this show may actually one-up Game of Thrones in the ability to take a major character death and develop it into an even greater story. This epic started with the farm boy Ragnar Lothbrok (Travis Fimmel), and followed his kingly career path all the way to his death in season 4. Think about this for a second; he dies in season 4, not in season 1 like Eddard Stark did in Game of Thrones, and Vikings has gotten better each episode this late in the "game". We had even more deaths in this episode of Vikings, and I will start with the most shocking.
Once Helga entered the hall with her "adoptive daughter" (read prisoner), I had suspicions that something tragic was about to happen. Oh and it did in the worst way. The captured daughter stabs Helga in the neck and subsequently commits a form of Japanese Seppuku, as she plunges the dagger into her own heart, ending both of their lives. We have followed the love of Helga and her mate Floki since season one, when Ragnar's kid ran up on a fully nude Helga, and we thought she may have been a minor character. Turns out she was prominent in Floki's life, and now he is distraught enough to cause some major havoc.
We knew this death was coming. Ecbert (played by Linus Roache) had given Ragnar up to be defiled and killed in a previous episode, and it caused the Lothbrok sons to bring a huge "heathen" army to avenge his death. The kicker is that before this happened, Ecbert renounced his kingship to his son upon fleeing their hold, and awaited his assured death. King Ecbert, upon his "deathcage" agrees to give Bjorn Lothbrok a title to the land with his only request being for his execution to be by his own hand. He commits suicide in the same Roman bath that he first met Ragnar in, and the Lothbroks get their land. Or do they? Nope, he gave up his right as king so the deed he signed over is forfeit. We will wait until next season to see the repercussions of this death.
While not the most shocking, this was the most impactful death of the show. Ever since the birth of the four boys there has always been one that was deemed, by prophecy, the "bringer of the downfall of the Lothbrok family," [paraphrased]. This entire past half-season we were led to believe that the son with the cursed eye was Ivar, but after Ivar threw an axe into Sigurd's chest we got the truth. Sigurd was the cursed, and by Ivar killing him we will now see the destruction of the family. Also, Ivar is the best part of the season as he plays a cripple coming to terms with being the leader of his people. Now, I will admit that I may have missed a scene where it showed Sigurd's eye, but as I researched, I could not find it and thus I was mislead had I missed it or not. I can't be the only one.
So what do we have in store for next season?
The end of the show brings an actor, Jonathan Rhys Meyers, that provided a ton of entertainment for another show I really got into, after I binged it -- The Tudors -- where the actor played Henry VIII. Meyers will play Bishop Heahmund in the upcoming season, and the ending of Vikings left us with an inscription on his sword that reads "ANANYZAPATA". One translation is, "Jesus kills the devil," and another google search indicates a 15th century Templar that cleans up the heathens of England.
I can't wait! How about you guys? Did you like the ending? Could Vikings be compared to Game of Thrones? Speak up!