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Vikings season 3/4 (major spoilers obviously)

Discussion in 'OFF TOPIC' started by Angry Ram, Mar 27, 2015.

  1. Elmgrovegnome

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    That is a series. The first one 're-airs on Wednesday night. It features cast from Vikings and the world's most revered experts on Viking history. I missed it but will dvr it and catch it all.
     
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  2. Prime Time

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    New episode on tonight. I'm guessing that this will be the last season for Travis Fimmel because Ragnar will meet his demise in King Ælla's snake pit.
     
  3. Angry Ram

    Captain RAmerica Original Rammer
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    Hopefully there's more Viking sex tonight before that. Odin bless!
     
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  4. Elmgrovegnome

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    Who is King Aella
     
  5. Prime Time

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    King of Northumbria, England in the middle of the 9th century. Sources on Northumbrian history in this period are limited, ancestry is not known and the dating of the beginning of Ælla's reign is questionable.

    In addition to Anglo-Saxon chronicles, Ælla is also mentioned in Scandinavian sources, such as the Norse sagas. According to the latter, Ælla captured the semi-legendary Danish Viking leader Ragnar Lodbrok, whom Ælla put to death in a pit of snakes.

    The historical invasion of Northumbria in 866 occurred in retaliation for Ragnar's execution, according to Ragnarssona þáttr ("The Tale of Ragnar's Sons"). While Norse sources claim that Ragnar's sons tortured Ælla to death with a blood eagle, Anglo-Saxon accounts maintain that he died in battle, at York, on 21 March 867.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ælla_of_Northumbria

    [​IMG]

    Ragnar kills Aethelwulf, Aelle's brother, and the King pays the ransom but swears to avenge of Ragnar and to declare him a war no mercy.
     
  6. Elmgrovegnome

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    Ah okay. I didn't recognize his name, but I do the face. The way the show was going it seemed that he was turning into a bit player in all of this. It seemed that Echbert was the main player in England. I am surprised that he was the one to kill Rangar.
     
  7. Prime Time

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    The last episode was great. The dialogue between Ragnar and King Ecbert was riveting. Lagertha finally takes action against Queen Aslaug. And Ragnar will most likely and unfortunately meet his end in King Ælla's snake pit next week.
     
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  8. OldSchool

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    Really enjoyed this season a lot. They've made his children other than Ivar and Bjorn out to be worthless.
     
  9. Prime Time

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    Hvitserk, Sigurd and Ubba, according to history, do not make as much of a mark as Ivar and Bjorn do. In fact, Ivar the Boneless, turns out to be the major bad-ass son of Ragnar, despite his handicap.
     
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  10. Prime Time

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    It does say "major spoilers" in the thread title, so beware reading this if you haven't already seen the latest episode.
    ********************************************************************************************
    [​IMG]
    Travis Fimmel (Photo: Jonathan Hession/History)

    All stories end in another’s beginning on a somber, shocking Vikings
    I would wish things were otherwise, but I have no power to change them.
    By Dennis Perkins@dennisperkins5

    In the end, I found myself thinking about Tostig. If you remember, Tostig was the aged Norse warrior who begged the young Ragnar Lothbrok to take him along on Ragnar’s initial English raids, if only so he could die in battle, as all good Vikings desire to do. Getting his wish at the hands of King Aelle’s troops, the old man dies smiling, “Valhalla” on his lips.

    In the moments before Ragnar dies, dropped with shocking abruptness from his dangling cage into his historically florid fate in a pit full of snakes, Ragnar, too, proclaims his faith in the Norsemen’s afterlife. Sparing no detail, he speaks of Odin preparing his welcoming feast, of drinking from curved horns, of the Valkyries summoning him home to feast, and fight, and freak for all eternity.

    Except that Ragnar is lying, his final breaths—before he lies shattered and grunting amidst stinging serpents, that is—spent playing the role his captors expect so that his sons’ inevitable vengeance will come armed with righteous fury.

    Being ferried to King Aelle’s lands by a blind coachman (and several dozen of Ecbert’s skittish troops), Ragnar, smiling wryly in his cage and in his rags, answers the old man’s description of the legendary Viking king Ragnar Lothbrok (he’s supposedly eight feet tall and eats children) with a friendly, “The last one’s true.”

    But Ragnar’s end is very much about his legacy—what he publicly wishes it to be, and what it is truly. As ever, we know only what Ragnar allows us to know about what he thinks, what, really, he has learned. (Also as ever, Vikings errs by giving us a bit too much information when its power has always resided more in implication.)

    Still, when Ragnar imagines the coachman as the blind Seer and echoes the doubts about the gods, it’s one last reaffirmation of the iconoclastic thinker and explorer that has been our rightful, and main, focus all along.

    I fashion the course of my life and my death. Me. Not you. Not the gods. Me. This was my idea, to come here to die. I don’t believe in the gods’ existence. Man is the master of his own fate, not the gods. The gods are man’s creation to give answers that they are too afraid to give themselves.

    [​IMG]
    Ivan Kaye (Photo: Bernard Walsh/History)

    Aelle is a duller final adversary than the wily but worthy Ecbert, but his lesser status both marks him out as the future victim of Viking vengeance, and as the appropriately blunter instrument of this Ragnar Lothbrok’s death. As we’ve seen since his return to Kattegat, this Ragnar bears little resemblance to the dashing and daring adventurer we first met, years ago.

    Apart from his scarred visage and tattered and befouled clothes, whatever lessons Ragnar has taken from both his battles and his wanderings have stripped him of the certainty that saw him imagining his deeds watched over by a spectral Odin on the battlefield in his first ever appearance.

    At the beginning of this season, the wounded Ragnar saw a very different vision—the gates of Valhalla swinging irrevocably shut in his face. Throughout, more and more of Ragnar’s troubled faith seems to have been stripped away, until he finally confessed to Floki that he was no longer sure that they would meet in paradise—and then shared a drunken agreement with Ecbert that both the Norse and Christian gods may well, indeed, be nothing but convenient and necessary fantasy.

    It’s always been one of Vikings’ main pleasures, speculating just what thoughts reside in Ragnar Lothbrok’s head. Here, he plays the role the English expect, enduring sadistic and excruciating (for him and for us) tortures while rejecting the cocksure, imperious Aelle’s demands that he ask for absolution from the Christian God. (“The little piggies will grunt when they hear how the old boar suffered,” sneers the horrifically wounded Ragnar, his implacable will shaking even Aelle’s smug fanaticism.)

    He plays the role history demands of the great Ragnar Lothbrok, spitting his boastful “pagan” beliefs right to the end. But, before Ecbert sends him to Aelle, Ragnar secretly tells Ivar to pin his death on Ecbert, not on Aelle, betraying his agreement with Ecbert. When Ragnar Lothbrok pulls in his last breath—locking eyes with the disguised Ecbert far above—it’s, fittingly, one last instance of Ragnar leaving everyone else a step behind.

    “All His Angels,” apart from a brief coda delivering Ivar back to Kattegat, is one, measured lead-up to the end of Ragnar, and of Travis Fimmel. When, draped in biting, writhing snakes, he is finally gone, Fimmel only has Ragnar’s one good eye to work with, but he’s no less fascinating a subject than he’s ever been on Vikings.

    The episode employs some requisite, fleeting flashbacks (not unwelcome, if, like some of the dialogue tonight, a bit prosaic). There, we see the young Ragnar (and younger Fimmel), the brash, dashing man of action, and the contrast is striking, not only for how convincingly makeup coveys the intervening years and countless miles, but for how Fimmel has inhabited this character so fully, every step of the way.

    When Vikings premiered, it looked like History was angling for its own Game Of Thrones, a sexy, brutal action franchise, complete with Fimmel—a former model with limited acting experience under his belt—as its hunky lead. But it was clear essentially from the first scene that Fimmel is a uniquely expressive and subtle actor, especially in his physicality.

    It could have seemed nothing but a trick all this time, Ragnar’s spooky eyes and knowing smiles, but, in Fimmel’s enduringly magnetic performance, Vikings’ central conception of Ragnar as a man ahead of his time never rang false. Not once.

    There’s something Passion Of The Christ-like about the episode’s gauntlet of torments, although here it’s the Christian Aelle, praying to God to make him His instrument of divine justice, holding the hot pokers. Ragnar defies Aelle’s brutal demand to succumb to his God while, finally, having no gods of his own. In his flashbacks, each sunny image of the people Ragnar loves comes yoked to images of the pain his pursuit of something bigger caused them.

    Ragnar Lothbrok didn’t articulate much of his vision for his people, but Fimmel made us believe that what he saw was worth all the pain. If Ragnar Lothbrok leaves an impossible legacy for the Vikings to follow, then Travis Fimmel leaves a similarly daunting one for Vikings.

    As Vikings closes the saga of Ragnar Lothbrok with the closing of that one, eerily blue eye in its pit of snakes, it faces many questions. Alexander Høgh’s Ivar, Katheryn Winnick’s Lagertha, Clive Standen’s Rollo, and Alexander Ludwig’s Bjorn all have major storylines that position them as the series’ potential focal points.

    Ragnar’s parting speech to Ivar passes the torch from father to son pretty definitively (if, again, a bit prosaically). But Ragnar and Fimmel’s departures leave an enormous hole at the center of a series that has always been able to rely on their gifts to suggest far more than standard costume drama or action-adventure spectacle.

    Vikings
    ’ Ragnar Lothbrok was the rarest of men, one who exemplified his culture even as he saw its limitations, and the possibilities that lay beyond. Now that culture—and this series—looks uncertainly ahead to a world without its guiding star.

    Who was this man in the end of the episode ?

    [​IMG]
     
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  11. OldSchool

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    Glad I have this still on the dvr. Gong to rematch tonight after work. This second half of the season has been great.
     
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  12. Angry Ram

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    I missed the last 2 episodes b/c of family events, but I finally caught up.

    Man, Ragnar Lothbrok made this show. What a fantastic character. Def. gonna miss Travis Fimmel playing him.
     
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  13. Prime Time

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    http://www.interviewmagazine.com/culture/travis-fimmel/#_

    EMMA BROWN: With Vikings, you've always said that Ragnar's sons are going to do bigger and better things than him. Is that something that you talked about with the creator from the very beginning?

    TRAVIS FIMMEL: In history they went on and did better things, but yeah, I was only meant to be on the show for a year. I was meant to die that last episode that first year, but I didn't; I ended up being on it a bit longer. There are great young actors playing my sons.

    A lot of shows get very repetitive, but I think it's great that the young kids are coming in. It just gives new life to the show—some cool characters for the audience to follow. I hope they really enjoy this season. The kids are great. I'm excited for the audience to see these young people doing amazing things.

    BROWN: I hear you've got to watch out for Ivar the Boneless.

    FIMMEL: Yeah, that's a great character—a great character in the history. All of them go on to do some very interesting stuff, but Ivar is a very historical character, and it's certainly set up to be a great role and a great young actor plays it. I think the audience will love it.

    BROWN: Will you miss Ragnar when you stop playing him?

    FIMMEL: No. I'll miss the crew and the Irish. There were a lot of laughs.

    BROWN: Will you give up your place in Ireland?

    FIMMEL: No, I stay in a little cabin. I stay whenever I want. I stay on a beautiful little lake. A great Irish family. Fishing all the time. It's one of the most beautiful countries, and the nicest people I've ever met.


    View: https://twitter.com/Nisam_Kreativan/status/814618228672577537

    http://www.etonline.com/tv/206098_e..._collaborative_relationship_with_series_star/

    EXCLUSIVE: 'Vikings' Creator Talks Shocking Midseason Death, 'Collaborative' Relationship With Series' Star
    by Jennifer Drysdale

    [​IMG]
    Photo: History Channel

    After spending the last few episodes plotting his own death, Ragnar Lothbrok (Travis Fimmel) finally said his last words on Wednesday's episode of Vikings.

    The second half of season four saw a version of Ragnar viewers hadn't seen before: he was broken, battered, and truly ready to die. And while the Viking King didn't escape death in "All His Angels," he did have one last trick up his sleeve.

    After convincing King Ecbert (Linus Roache) to allow his son, Ivar (Alex Høgh Andersen), safe passage back to Kattegat to instruct his brothers to seek revenge on King Aelle (Ivan Kaye) after his death, Ragnar struck a secret deal with his youngest son to target Ecbert instead.

    Ivar was able to return home to deliver his father's message, while Ragnar, as Aelle's prisoner, was tortured in a cage before being dropped into a pit of poisonous snakes, the way he met his fate as described in the history books.

    ET caught up with the show's creator Michael Hirst on Thursday, who reflected on the poignant episode, his incredibly "collaborative" relationship with Fimmel, and what Ragnar's death means for the series going forward.

    ET: What was significant about the way we said goodbye to Ragnar?

    Michael Hirst: It's taken quite a long time to get there, I think. It's now well known that when I first read the bible and imagined the show, I thought Ragnar might die at the end of the first season. Then of course, you know, Travis came aboard, and the show started to develop and get deeper, so it became obvious that Ragnar wasn't going to die anytime soon and that we would want to invest in him and follow him on his journey.

    He was such a charismatic and fascinating character that you know, I was invested in him just as much as the fans were invested in him. So he was great, but I knew that one day he would have to die. Partly because this was always a show about Ragnar and his sons. It was a saga. It wasn't going to end with Ragnar's death, so I knew it was going to come. So you know, we got to a place where it seemed inevitable.

    It became organic when it was necessary for him to die, and when the character wanted to die. So that became a big emotional issue for me and for Travis, and actually for Linus Roache too, who plays Ecbert. Because we were all involved in these last scenes, and they were very difficult scenes to write. They were very emotional.


    View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5J-wVhsDkwc


    Was Ragnar always going to go out this way?

    "I wasn't going to deviate from [history]; the show is as true to history as I can make it, so I knew that was going to be the end game. It was just how we approached it, how Ragnar approached it, psychologically, and in terms of his religious beliefs, and particularly what Ecbert felt about Ragnar's death, and how he approached it.

    So in fact, it was the last two episodes… they were one episode, really, and they were preparing all these great characters for the death of our central character. And it was an extraordinary time, at the studio, when we started to talk about these episodes, when Travis and I, and Linus, got together and actually started to think about how we would deal with Ragnar's death, because we could no longer avoid it. It was happening, and it was fantastic. Everyone had their input. Everyone had something to say about Ragnar's death.

    [​IMG]
    Photo: History Channel

    During our conversation with Alyssa Sutherland (who plays Aslaug on the show) a few weeks ago, she mentioned that the season four scene where Ragnar apologizes to Aslaug was actually Fimmel's idea. How much input did Fimmel really have on scenes throughout the series?

    Travis had a big influence in the show, and an increasing influence as we got deeper into it. Ragnar is not my invention, it's me and Travis together working on this character and developing this character, and Travis is a very clever, thoughtful, intelligent actor and I listen to him a lot about what he wanted to do. I didn't always agree, but I always listened because his suggestions were often very illuminating, and so we worked together for years, really.

    We had long, long sessions. We would play pool together, we would have a drink together. We would have long meetings together in which we discussed every line of his dialogue. And Travis is one of the few actors who wanted usually to cut his dialogue. He wanted to cut his final speech, when he was dying, and we fought about that.

    [Throughout the series] I let him suggest things that he wanted to say, and it was very moving. I think those scenes with Aslaug and Lagertha (Katheryn Winnick) and Floki (Gustaf Skarsgard) are some of the best things that we shot, and they're very, very emotional, and for me, these characters are human beings who I identify with, and feel very deeply for. So anything that makes their contacts more emotional is something I want to run with.

    Was this character input something specific to Fimmel?

    I talk to all the actors, actually. I go out of my way. I like the collaborative side of making TV, and I'll always talk to the actors, but of course, the ones who have been in the show the longest have more of a claim on my time. With Travis, it was different because he was a lead, and from the start, he was a very thoughtful kind of deep guy. So I wanted always to be attentive to his interests and sometimes we fought, but normally we would agree, and we did amazing things together.

    Just to give you an example, which very few people actually know, is the last episode of season two, Travis came to me, after I'd written the script, and he had read the script, and he said, "I think I shouldn't say anything in this episode except the Lord's prayer." And I said, "That's interesting. Okay. I'll go away and think about that."

    And I looked through all the things that he had said, and I thought, "I can give those speeches, I can give those lines to some other actors." And I wondered if anyone would notice that Ragnar's not saying anything in the scene. So I went back to Travis and I said, "Okay, I'll do it. It's such an exciting thought, but you must never tell anyone that that's what we've decided, and we'll just see if anyone notices."

    And the fact is that Travis' presence was so incredible that if he was in a scene, you kind of thought that he had said something. So he didn't actually need to say anything, and that episode, episode 10 of season two is just amazing, because he really doesn't say anything except the lord's prayer. And you would never know, unless I've told you.

    What was the decision behind placing Ragnar's death in the middle of season four, instead of a more typical end-of-season death?

    I think we've always tried to be different. Vikings as a show is about real people and real events, and in real life, people get old and they die and they change, and children grow up, and there are some shows that are fancy shows in which nobody ever changes. And I didn't want that. I want it to be as real as possible.

    But the main thing, I think, is that this really isn't a show just about Ragnar Lothbrok. It never was a show just about Ragnar Lothbrok. I wanted it to happen midseason so the sons could be up and running already. We have the sons of Ragnar Lothbrok, and I want the audience now to transfer a lot of their interest into the sons. It wasn't something I had just thought of. I always wanted to play it like that.

    I think that what you'll find is that particularly Ivar the boneless becomes such a huge character in the show, and a lot of the interest and fascination that we felt for Ragnar is easily transferred into interest and fascination for Ivar.

    Speaking of his sons, one of Ragnar's last lines is "How the little piggies will grunt when they hear how the old boar suffered." What does that mean for the show going forward?

    He's talking about how his sons will respond to his death, and one of the important things about that is that that is what the real Ragnar, the historical Ragnar actually said, or that's what he is recorded as having said. And what it means is that he sets in train a revenge which the sons have got to carry out.

    They have to avenge his death. Even though Ragnar himself has lost his faith, he knows that his sons, and his people, haven't lost their faith, and his death will have to be avenged. Ragnar is clever. He's setting in train the revenge for his own death.

    [​IMG]
    Photo: History Channel

    Will we be seeing Ragnar in the show at all after his death?

    We won't see him in the same way that we've seen Athelstan (George Blagden) come back, I think, you know, as a ghost, as a memory, as a present. We will have flashes of Ragnar. Ragnar is so huge, it's such a huge presence in the show, that he can't just disappear.

    So he lives on in lots of little ways and big ways, and in people's memories and in their dreams and in their thoughts and in their lives, that he's impacting on the lives of all his sons, so he will never die, essentially. He's always going to be present.
     
  14. Rams Until I Die

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    The scenes of Ragnar and Ecbert getting drunk together were gold.
     
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  15. Angry Ram

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    HAIL ODIN!!!!!
     
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  16. OldSchool

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    Still loving this show! It's been some great tv watching for a few years now. Definitely going to miss Ragnar but can't wait for the direction the creators/writers take it in now. One of my other favorite shows starts up it's last season soon in Blacksails.
     
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  17. Angry Ram

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    Odindamn, I was just thinking about how many characters this show has killed off:

    Earl Harloldson
    Svein (Haroldson's little troll of an assistant)
    Thyri (his daughter)
    Siggy
    Gyda
    Kanut
    Kauko
    Erik
    Leif
    One-Eye
    Torstein
    Earl Borg
    King Horik
    Horik's kids
    Porun (Bjorn's slave wife)
    Porun's kid (Siggy II)
    Floki and Helga's 1st daughter
    Athelstan
    Aslaug
    Kalf
    Lagertha's 2nd husband
    Seigfried
    Kwentrith
    Odo
    Roland
    Therese
    Ragnar

    And that's not including all the minor characters like Echbert's followers or Thyri's old fart of a husband that was arranged.
     
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  18. Angry Ram

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    Even the filler episodes are great. I love what they did with Bjorn. He legit seems like a badass. Looks like they are making Ubba like that, too.

    The ending with Floki and Ivar was gold...

    Speaking of Ivar, the guy that's playing him is money. He's really good at portraying Ivar's insanity.
     
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  19. Prime Time

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    There are three episodes left this season. "Revenge," "On the Eve," "The Reckoning." Vikings has been renewed for a 5th season.
     
  20. Tron

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    Ivar gets better and better each episode. Even though Ragnar is gone(and he was by far the best character), they have done a great job of not letting the show drop off one bit. And yea, Bjorn is a freaking beast. I like how they dont stray to far from the true history. Yes they do take liberties and crap, but have overall kept it well to the history in its ways.