To the Gates!
Boy, oh boy, am I glad this week’s episode picked up from last week’s. I think this one may even be my favourite for the season so far! Here’s what went down in Episode 8 (entitled To The Gates!) Season 3 of History Channel’s Vikings:
Most Epic Battle Scene So Far
It was about ten minutes in when I realised just how awesome this week’s episode really would be – and just how much it was all about the epic battle to claim Paris. This episode is hard to sum up in words because it was more about the visual enormity of it. Even with my love for Episode 8, there is actually not a lot to say about this episode other than the Vikings actually bit off more than they could chew in the form of Paris. While Athelstan (George Blagden) had given them some wonderful insights in how to scale the impenetrable and Floki (Gustaf Skarsgard) had created a fantastic way to scale the high walls, this battle was always going to be a whole city against a small band of marauders.
Even so, the vikings fought to the bloody death trying to obtain victory.
The battle can be broken down like this (please excuse the order, the episode was crazy busy):
- Holy crap! Look at those walls!
- Let’s bash the doors down to create a distraction while Floki’s ships sneak in the back way and scale those walls.
- *door bashing doesn’t work*
- Let’s pull those doors out instead!
- Crossbows are no match for bows and arrows, wooden shield walls or axes.
- Blood, so much goddamned blood. Are there even any vikings left?
- Floki realises he’s not cut out to lead a battle and goes a little more crazy than he already is.
- Ragnar (Travis Fimmel) notices this and the viewers realise that Ragnar ALWAYS has a plan.
- Bjorn (Alexander Ludwig) finally steps up to the plate and does the right thing now he doesn’t have a lady friend to keep an eye on.
- Rollo (Clive Standen) battles like a beserker, catching the eye of Princess Gisela (Morgane Polanski) in the process – is that a match made in annoying heaven or what?!
- Whoops, Rollo looses his balance and falls over the high wall, plunging into the water below. Shit, is Rollo dead?!
- Speaking of fighting like a beserker, Ragnar takes over as crazy man, sticking his tongue out and throwing himself backwards off the wall. It is not pretty and it certainly isn’t nice to watch Ragnar Lothbrok bounce off every hard surface on the way down.
- Shit, is Ragnar dead?!
- Meanwhile, Lagertha (Katheryn Winnick) and Kalf (Ben Robson) have pulled out the doors and are met with… nothing. Not a bloody person is in sight!
- Forward they all march, not thinking it is a trap at all even though my 11 year old is shouting that very thing at the television.
- Yep, it’s a trap, but luckily Kalf works this out and knocks Lagertha unconscious, taking her out of the death zone just in the knick of time!
- It’s about now that you realise just how hopeless this venture was.
Casualties of War
Besides the huge toll of vikings now drinking in Valhalla, there are few notable deaths. Rollo actually survives, as does Ragnar – even if he is spitting blood and appears to have a few broken ribs. It is Bjorn that comes as a shock to the viewer! It seems he scored two bolts to his back and at first we think he is dead. Ragnar drags him back to camp and it turns out the wounds are not life threatening.
Ragnar is a Patient Man and Lagertha Gets a Sponge Bath
While most of this episode is bound by battle, there is a quiet moment or two. Firstly, we find Ragnar staggering into the forest to have a quick chat with Athelstan about game plan. It seems Ragnar does know Floki killed the priest and making Floki leader of the failed attack on Paris was very much in Ragnar’s plan of how to get back at him. While Ragnar claims to be a patient man, I am not at all impressed with just how many lives he is willing to sacrifice so that Floki can learn a lesson…
Secondly, we find Lagertha and Kalf sponging each other off. Kalf is still trying to woo Lagertha but the bitter taste of her lost Earldom is still fresh in her mouth. While I am pretty sure Lagertha and Kalf will end up married, Lagertha is still claiming she will kill Kalf eventually. I don’t doubt her one little bit.
Remember Kattegat? Well, it seems Þórunn (Gaia Weiss) is done with it, abandoned her baby, Siggy, and blown that joint. Having Aslaug (Alyssa Sutherland) left holding the baby with the same name as the woman who lost her life saving Aslaug’s sons seems somehow poetic…
What did you think of Episode 8 of History Channel’s Vikings? Let me know your thoughts by commenting below!
You can read my Episode 9 recap here.
(Photo Credits: History Channel, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc.)
- Vikings Season 3 Recap – Episode 7: Paris (vikingsnewsandrecaps.wordpress.com)