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Feb 28 2015

Vikings – “The Wanderer” Retrospective. Power Plays and Dreams.

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Season 3, Episode 2

Air Date: Thursday, February 26, 2015 at 10/9c on History.

Rating:

It is true the more complicated a person, the more interesting he is but at the same time, the more dangerous he is.” – King Ecbert

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Athelstan (Blagden) will increasingly feel trapped in two belief systems as he faces a persistent temptation.

After a tumultuous power struggle last season that culminated in Ragnar (Travis Fimmel) becoming King, he’s now more determined than ever to fulfill his dream of providing for his people. His dream is supported by Lagertha (Katheryn Winnick), and King Ecbert (Linus Roache), who delivers on his promise of providing farming lands for the Vikings, but dark clouds loom in the Wessex and Scandinavian skies. Will the religious differences between their cultures get in the way of Ragnar and Ecbert’s plans? Or will the motivations and agendas of others complicate matters between these two rulers?

Series creator/writer Michael Hirst did an excellent job of packing the premiere episode “Mercenary” with detailed and complex puzzle pieces to set up the story lines for this season. “The Wanderer” take things a step further in solidifying that foundation. It’s fairly evident now that season three will be all about death, conflicts of faith, and above all, power. Ragnar and his inner circle won’t be able to escape the attention and even the envy that comes along with having power.

What Amused Me Most

  • It looks like Floki (Gustaf Skarsgård) meets his match in Princess Kwenthrith (Amy Bailey). Yet, the backstory of this situation provides an interesting commentary on the treatment of women during this era.
  • Athelstan (George Blagden) as the not-so-hesitant intermediary in a romantic pursuit.
  • Sky-high Rollo (Clive Standen) and his issues with leg positioning and learning the Anglo-Saxon version of the word ‘no.’
  • I enjoyed seeing how Ragnar, in spite of being king, is very committed to making decisions for the betterment of his people. He continues to quietly absorb what is happening around him without saying much. Yet, when he does speak up, it’s straight to the point. Just ask Princess Kwenthrith, who has been the recipient of fairly blunt comments from him.
  • The macabre Vikings’ boat’s decorations prior to battle…

Not My Cup of Tea

  • Porun (Gaia Weiss) consistently defying Bjorn (Alexander Ludwig). Don’t get me wrong, I’m all about women asserting themselves and being strong, but it’s almost as if she’s going out of her way to do it. No wonder the proposal she gets isn’t very romantic! Furthermore, getting into situations without fully knowing what to expect and being overly confident is a recipe for disaster.
  • I love Kevin Durand as an actor but I’m getting an uneasy feeling about his character, the wanderer Harbard.
Kalf (Robson), Lagertha's trusted second in comman, finally shows his true colors.

Kalf (Robson), Lagertha’s trusted second in command, finally shows his true colors.

I’m Concerned About

  • Lagertha: I love her self-assurance but I would prefer for her to focus on what’s best for her and tune out the distractions so she can make the best decisions for her future.
  • Ragnar being somewhat stretched too thin due to his new responsibilities and not quite knowing how to balance them with making time for his family and inner circle.

Which Story Lines I’m Anticipating Most

  • Kalf (Ben Robson) finally shows his true colors and takes control of Hedeby! A person’s good looks and calm demeanor may help hide their ugly side, but hearing Kalf’s confession about how he desires fame above all things, especially his intent of wanting to be as famous as Ragnar, signals he’s a character to watch out for.
  • Now that Bjorn is all grown up and eager to show it, we’ll find out soon enough what he’s really made of, particularly as he deals with Porunn.
  • The tension between Auslaug (Alyssa Sutherland) and Ragnar, and the state of their relationship concerns me.
  • The ongoing exploration and contrast between religions is one of my favorite aspects of The Wanderer.”
  • Athelstan will continue to be tested until he isn’t able to withstand the feeling of being trapped between two belief systems as he faces a persistent temptation.
  • Rollo and the role he’ll play in supporting Ragnar’s plans.

Last week, it was funny to see how impatient some of the Vikings were to set sail to Wessex in order to escape some of their troubles. Now, their absence and the complications emerging from having to intervene in unexpected warfare take them into muddy waters. Ragnar is going to have to deal with a lot and soon. Being king appears to be a lonely road inundated with responsibilities.

Unlike Princess Kwenthrith and King Ecbert, Ragnar isn’t interested in power for personal gain. Ragnar views his reign as a vehicle for the greater good. His leadership will certainly be tested by those zealous for power. As he tries to reconcile politics with his goal of providing for his people, it looks like our often reluctant hero will continue to be dragged into more troublesome situations.

Tune in to Vikings, Thursdays at 10/9c on History Channel.

To keep up with the show, please visit the Vikings’ website.

Follow the show on Twitter, @HistoryVikings using the hashtag #Vikings, as well as some of the cast members – @gblagden, @KatherynWinnick, and @CliveStanden

Like Vikings on Facebook.

All photos ©2015 History®. All Rights Reserved.

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© 2015, elleL. All rights reserved.

elleL

Soaker of life. I like to experience things and see the world. I consider myself a professional traveler. My love for movies and television goes way back but I'm a sucker for action-oriented films and shows. Oh, and I make excellent martinis! Follow me on twitter @LutzElle.
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About the author

elleL

Soaker of life. I like to experience things and see the world. I consider myself a professional traveler. My love for movies and television goes way back but I'm a sucker for action-oriented films and shows. Oh, and I make excellent martinis! Follow me on twitter @LutzElle.

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