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19 March 2015 @ 09:59 pm
Vikings!!! (2x03 through 3x04)  
I never got around to posting my thoughts on the rest of Vikings season 2, and here we are already halfway through season 3! Since this is the show I am feeling the most fannish about by far (and since I fear what will happen in tonight's episode), I wanted to catch up now:

Vikings 2x03-2x10:

AHHHH SEASON 2!!! :DD SO GOOD! Much better overall than season 1 was, in fact. It's funny how I was lamenting the loss of Lagertha in my last post (when I had seen only through 2x02) because she not only returned, but went on to have an even better storyline than before! I mean I was not a fan of the abuse part, but I love that she has now become an earl in her own right--on equal standing with Ragnar (at least before he became king). I think it is a lot more interesting for her character and her dynamic with Ragnar, and raises her badassery to a new level. Also how great is it in a period drama to see the wife leave her husband's ass when he cheats on her and wants to keep his mistress around? To say, "fuck you and your humiliation, I'm out!"?

I mean I know that obviously in most cases that wasn't possible for the women, but that is one of the things that makes the Scandinavian society depicted here a nice change of pace.

I also REALLY loved the introduction of King Ecbert this season--what a great new character! Beginning with this fabulous introduction:


He is my third favorite character now after Athelstan and Lagertha. I like how much of a history and classics nerd he was, and how much more intelligent he was than most other Saxxons. He cuts quite an intriguing and formidable figure, aside from also being a silver fox, lol. I especially loved his relationship with Athelstan.


I mean it, I was legit anxious and distressed over his safety and well-being this season, especially from the time he began raiding to his capture. I was so mad at him for not going home with Ragnar when clearly that was the smarter thing to do, especially when he inevitably did get captured and even CRUCIFIED (my poor bae! ;_;), but ultimately it was the better narrative choice for him. I loved how this season took his identity crisis arc to new levels, as he first fought against the same people he had once been (the scene where he accidentally kills the monk was especially powerful), and then as he revisited his Christian and Saxon roots and began to build a new life for himself once more with a new boyfriend powerful patron and confidante--only to have to choose between them.

NGL, I was a little sad he chose Ragnar--I kind of wanted him to stay, since I had enjoyed him nerding out with King Ecbert, and felt so bad for the latter at losing the only person who really understood his passions for history and pagan culture. (I guess I might favor Athelbert, or Ecbert/Athelstan, lol?) Him looking at that cross left behind...:( Also he never attempted to sacrifice him to pagan gods, ahem.

I am so glad they reunited again in season 3. But I will say that the reunion between Ragnar and Athelstan and him saying that Kattegut was his home was also touching and sweet.

He has had quite a journey--his quote "In the gentle fall of rain from Heaven I hear my God. But in the thunder I still hear Thor. That is my agony." beautifully sums it up. I also loved seeing Ragnar asking him to pray with him in the last episode; Ragnar has had such an influence over the beliefs of Athelstan, it's nice to see that the opposite is also true.

But yeah, I haven't felt this personally and emotionally invested in a character since Gaius Baltar on BSG--who, now that I think about it, has a fair bit in common with Athelstan (so that I can see easily why I was so drawn to both). Gaius and Athelstan are both intellectuals and often floppy fish out of water in their new lives (for Gaius both among the military on Galactica and later on the Cylon Baseship). Both unwittingly feed vital intelligence to their enemy, resulting in the destruction of their own people (hello, guilt!). Both struggle with loyalties and identity, torn between two worlds and loved ones in two groups of people--the Saxons and the Northmen for Athelstan, and the humans vs. the Cylons for Gaius (plus the added identity issues for Gaius between Aerilon Farmer and suave & sophisticated Caprican). Both are tortured by their own native group of people upon recapture, and are treated with suspicion. Both struggle with religious belief, hallucinate a whole lot, and grow some truly Jesus-tastic facial hair. And both are really fine dark-haired men who can rock the long hair. :p

OH AND PRINCESS KWENRITH!!! Another awesome new character introduced this season who gave me life. How great was she?!

She cracked me up with her questions of Athelstan about pagan sex and then when she actually just straight up felt up/inspected that one guy to see if he passed muster as a lover. She reminds me a lot of Morgana from Merlin, actually, with more of an edge (barring when she went evil that is)--the actress could be Katie McGrath's cousin. I'm glad we get to see more of her in season 3 as well.

I even grew to like Aslaug, who is interesting in her own right--since Lagertha still gets to be around anyway, it means simply yet another, different, well drawn female character, who uses other means to get what she wants. Also her presence led to awesome scenes like this:

Rollo continues to be useless but w/e. And Floki continues to be on my shit list for his treatment of Athelstan (and now Helga), although I am glad he was only pretending with Horrick (same with Siggy)--the twist or reveal that they were all still working with Ragnar at the end there was pretty sweet.

Since finishing season 2, I also found these hilarious visual recaps by The Mary Sue (which is where I got the earlier macros I posted). I highly recommend them, even if you haven't seen the show yet and want to see why it is awesome. ;)


HOW FANTASTIC WAS THIS PREMIERE?! <333 Like just about everything I could have wished for and more...when I watched this it took me twice as long as it should have because I literally kept pausing and rewinding every Athelstan scene over and over again. :p

SO MANY ATHELSTAN SCENES!!! \o/ I hope this isn't just them front-loading him because of[post 3x05 speculation]his potentially death due to filming conflicts :O, but I will take what I can get. They were such meaty and slashy scenes, omw. I had been on the fence about Athelstan/Ragnar up until this point (the whole "tricking him into human sacrifice after all he had done for you" thing has been hard for me to get over), but with Athelnar scenes like we had in this epp, I may finally be won over this season. Because hot damn THE HAND STROKING!!! All while his wife jealously looks on

And Ragnar referring to Athelstan as his John the Baptist!! <3 So sweet...and I guess it shows he is taking this Christianity stuff somewhat seriously. I was going nuts over this scene as it was, and then I learned the slashiest part had been cut by the stupid US broadcast.

Holy crap is that blatant!! I guess we can say Ragnar having a sexual attraction to Athelstan is officially canon now? ;) It was nice to have a callback to that and see a reaction to what Athelstan had suffered through while in Wessex last season...

I also of course loved loved loved seeing Athelstan reunite with his other boyfriend King Ecbert as well, and how much Ecbert was all over him--you could tell how much he had missed his history nerd BFF! ;) Like lmao I can't at him still keeping Athelstan's cross there in the same place in case he ever came back for it, dawww. (Which I now realize parallels delightfully with Ragnar holding on to Athelstan's arm ring in case he ever returned...).

I was sad to see they cut a slashy scene between these two as well (their first real reencounter in private FFS!), but thank god for the internet!

"Athelstan, I rejoice with ALL my heart to see you again." THIS IS A THING KING ECBERT ACTUALLY SAYS, WHILE GRIPPING ATHELSTAN CLOSE TO HIM!! GAHHHHH I CAN'T. AND THE WAY HE ASKS HOW ALTHELSTAN IS "INSIDE" HIMSELF AND THEN CLASPS HIS HAND WHEN HE TAKES THE CROSS BACK. How I wish there were more Athelbert fans on Tumblr, there are not enough gifs of their scenes...I rejoice with all MY heart to see you two together again.

Both Ecbert and Ragnar were basically all:

This is clearly the true love triangle of the show, with poor Athelstan torn between them. (He is an actual Disney Princess, with these two kings vying for his hand and those big innocent eyes!). I especially died at this scene at the table, when Athelstan kept going from one to the other:

"I need you" GAH. (Which translates as "BB COME BACK!") And "I trust you more than anyone else" Ugh my heart. As you can see, I did a lot of flailing during this episode...:p The scenes of King Ecbert chilling with Athelstan and Lagertha on the cart also gave me so much life:

It's neat to hear the actual Old English/Saxon being spoken on the show now and then. I dig Athelstan as official translator. Lol at Ecbert being all into Lagertha, and of course *insisting* on keeping a hand on Athelstan the whole time (always handsy with his monk BFF!). God I love King Ecbert. Since these are my three favorite characters it is basically the best possible threesome to spend time together! ;) (And would make the best threesome in bed IMHO--I need this to happen, Athelstan can translate!)

I was also happy to see my Vegetarian Fratricidal Murder Princess is back! ;) I look forward to more of her this season. Also uh-oh at Ecbert's son...he is probably jealous enough of Athelstan for the attention his dad pays him, let alone the attention paid by his wife! I hope that nothing happens between them outside of her dreams...

After this episode I finally got around to getting an Athelstan icon, which wasn't easy since a) he is not iconned much from what I can tell and b) nobody apparently icons him from season 2, blergh (although after I mentioned this on ONTD the kind a_knot actually made a bunch, woohoo!)...#athelstanninglife


I didn't enjoy this episode quite as much as the last, but I was happy it still delivered LOTS of delightful Athelbert realness:

"No, I remain in your debt, Athelstan, for on this journey you have suffered grievously, and yet it is you who has taught me that it is possible to respect two cultures, and to live in amity between them."

Like omw the handsiness and wooing of Athelstan continues! :p (And awww that hug and his statement of gratitude to Athelstan! ^_^). Overall the "King Ecbert and Lagertha and Athelstan play house together" storyline continues to be my favorite thing ever. I liked the attention King Ecbert was playing to queen Lagertha too, giving her that lovely necklace and such; I totally support the idea of this pairing and say, "GET IT GURL!" IMO this silver fox bath king is more attractive than Ragnar anyway. ;)

Also this scene with the three of them was pure gold in addressing my favorite Vikings storyline, Athelstan's ever-ongoing identity crisis! <33

The scene where Ecbert asks Athelstan to bless the new house in the settlement only for it to be interrupted by the Norsemen to do their own blessing was also great--I love all the hints at future religious and cultural tensions between them and the Saxons (with Athelwulf's speech to the enemy soldier being another example).

I am not here though for the Athelstan/Judith storyline, however. :/ It's just so random and out of nowhere, and IMO OOC for Athelstan. While he has loosened up on many of his vows/customs from being a monk, and may be ready to give up chastity, I still can't see him engaging in the sin of adultery so readily for a woman he barely knows. Also, he was at court in Wessex for MONTHS with Judith there (after he had the wounds!!) and she never showed the slightest interest in him and vice versa. Just because the character has been recast, doesn't mean she is suddenly a new person (or it shouldn't at least). This storyline is a real weak spot in the writing, and an unfortunate choice of storyline for what is probably Athelstan's last stretch of episodes. :( I reallllly hope this doesn't play a part in his death, because it is such a stupid way to go. *sigh*

The only thing I liked about the Judith storyline was at the end of the episode when Ecbert confronts her about it ("So you love our young monk, do you?") and basically acts way more jealous/possessive over Athelstan ("he's MY monk, hands off!") than at all concerned about the fact that his son's wife wants to commit adultery, oop. :p

Not sure how I feel about Kwenrith's abuse back story, but I am glad to see her continuing to be a more major character on the show. I like that she does seem to care for her younger brother at least. Also this was great:

I would like to see Rollo slapped in every episode, because he continues to be the goddamn WORST. Like wtf was his problem this week, just hacking away at that poor guy in the camp?!?! O_o

I'm annoyed to see that Lagertha has misplaced her trust in Kalf, although I hope that is the cause of the "you betrayed me!" line in the trailers rather than something Ecbert does.


Like whaaaaat was going on with my bae Athelstan?!?! D: Why was he suddenly getting stigmata?! This was a very weird and kind of scary scene to end the episode with...


Again not as good, this may be my least favorite episode so far this season. There were too many long battle scenes, too much focus on characters and relationships I'm not really invested in like Torstein and Bjorn/Porrun), too many boring scenes with the weird and creepy Wanderer guy (I don't get what Helga and Aslaug see in him, at least my queen Siggy remains smart and suspicious), and more of the awful, clichéd Judith/Athelstan storyline. :/ Like I can see why she would be attracted to Athelstan, when he is the hottest person on this show and her husband is kind of a dick, but I just don't see it from his end. *sigh* She ruined what was otherwise a really awesome communal bath scene that I have been looking forward to since glimpsing it in the season 3 promos. I mean Athelstan and Ecbert and Lagertha bathing together!!! (Why was Judith even there?!)

But there was some good stuff too: I Iooooved the scenes between Ecbert and his nobles, showing the brewing tensions there over his alliance with the Norsemen. The first scene in which he shut them down and put them in their place was especially BAMF--showing he's not just this goofy, gallant, and curious nerd, but also an intelligent, ruthless politician who remains in power for a reason. I think it's good that we see this side of him too. His offhand comments about "our puppet, Princess Kwenthrith" and about "who knows how this settlement will fare in the future?" gave me chills.

The scene with the harvest sacrifice was also creepy (this was a theme this episode!) but interesting; the music was particularly beautiful and atmospheric (bless Trevor Morris, TV god of music!) One favorite moment was when we see Ecbert, Judith, and all of the other Christians crossing themselves on either side of Athelstan in response to the ~excesses of paganism~, but he doesn't. Once again, he maintains his position between two worlds--standing with the people he comes from, but refusing to judge the people he now considers his own. I wonder, since he stepped away to get closer at the end, did he not hear the nobles' threats if the Norsemen didn't convert? I suppose not, or he would have warned Lagertha...

Also, no explanation or follow-up on Athelstan's stigmata in the last episode?! What are we supposed to think about that? >:( I feel like there are quite a few weird, mystical things this season that might never get an explanation...


This episode was better for the most part--lots of awesome moments and interactions (OOC and cheesy Athelstan/Judith aside)! I'm glad to see Ecbert/Lagartha finally banged, even if IMO her comment about Ecbert only caring about himself was a little unwarranted (I mean he's corrupt and selfish to be sure, as noted in that great conversation with Ragnar, but it's not like Lagertha or the other vikings aren't equally ruthless!). I also liked finally seeing Ragnar and Athelstan interacting again as well, and Ecbert continuing to try to lay claim to Athelstan, being all handsy and kissing him on the cheek and such--I mean look at him here! :p

"MY monk!" I died a little at his pleas once again for Athelstan to stay with him, to no avail...once again, he chooses Ragnar.

I fear it may be the "wrong choice" for Athelstan as well, Ecbert, thanks to Floki's threatening noises about him...but on the other hand thanks to the stupid, out-of-nowhere affair with Judith, he isn't really safe in Wessex either. :/ (Seriously though, they went waaay too fast from him telling her, "Gurl no, this is a sin" to sleeping with her, and if they were going to show him having sex (while sober) they should have made a bigger deal of it, I mean isn't he a virgin?) My poor bae is in danger on all sides...

Princess Kwenthrith was also AWESOME in this episode! I was glad to see that she was savvy enough to recognize Ecbert's plans for her, and poisoning her brother at the end to consolidate her power (while feeling a little bad in doing so) was quite badass. Vegetarian Frantricidal Murder Princess strikes again! It will be interesting to see what she does next, if she tries to not be a puppet...

And then, there was Siggy. :( I'm so sad that she is gone, I did not see that coming in this episode! I feel better about it now that I know the actress wanted to leave, but I still wish she could have hung around for a few more episodes--it looked like they were going to do a storyline where she basically becomes the defacto queen as Aslaug becomes more distracted by the Wanderer, and I was really excited to see that. (Her sitting on the throne was a thing of beauty). :/ At least the death scene was lovely and touching, what with her dying to save those boys and hallucinating her daughter before she went. I hope she is happy in Valhalla. I guess this is what the seer meant by "nobody can help you." (I sure hope he doesn't die like in the dream, I like him, creep factor and all!) I wish this were the major death they kept talking about beforehand--as sad as I am to lose her (since was my fourth favorite character), I can deal with her loss moreso than that of my bb Athelstan! But I fear we may lose both...D: Stupid Wanderer, what was his deal even, anyway?

I am so nervous about tonight's episode I can't even...:/ I've been anxious all day.

In other related news, one reason that I haven't managed to post earlier is that once again, I accidentally got sucked into Fandom March Madness, oop. I did way too much campaigning this year, even as fewer participate. I just couldn't help myself, I love celebrating my faves. I was excited that Vikings actually made it into the bracket this year (I had been planning that campaign for ages), although sadly Lagertha was paired against Poussey from OITNB, so she was doomed to be knocked out in the first round. :/ Maybe next year. (At least I got to campaign a little for Athelstan and King Ecbert in prelims! I was happy to see Athelstan take clear second place...). My bracket this year was a mess and is best not discussed. :p

Current Mood: anxiousanxious
Current Music: "Glory and Gore" by Lourde
Nina: <derrière moi> bettyhoneymink on March 23rd, 2015 05:45 pm (UTC)
I haven't watched any of season 3 yet but I have acquired the episodes. I should really make some time to catch up so we can talk about it.
sherrilina: Lagertha (Vikings)sherrilina on March 24th, 2015 11:01 pm (UTC)

Omg yes, you should catch up! I'd be interested to hear your thoughts, there are some big twists...there are definitely some things I have found disappointing about this season (I don't think it is as good as season 2, and Athelstan's storyline especially isn't as good as the last two seasons), but nothing so bad and ruinous as say, what Reign has been doing this year. *sigh* There have been some great moments this season too...I've really enjoyed seeing more of King Ecbert and Princess Kwenthrith.

P.S. I did end up watching The 100 and while IA the plot got way more interesting I still hate all of the characters except for Raven and maybe Monty...:/ Really overrated, IMO.
princealberic: Miss Fisher: readingprincealberic on March 24th, 2015 08:16 pm (UTC)
I haven't watched Vikings yet so I can't comment on it, but I always keep thinking that Fandom March Madness sounds fun when I read your posts about it and then always forget to participate. :|
sherrilina: Athelstan (Vikings)sherrilina on March 24th, 2015 11:05 pm (UTC)

I would have mentioned it to you to ask for votes, as usual, but this FMM was happening at the same time as the turtle stuff for you, so I didn't think you would be in the mood, all things considered. *hug*

And you should totally check out Vikings! It's by the guy who wrote the Tudors (although without Showtime's ability to show naked women), and has awesome female characters, great period production values (in a very different time period than you usually see), and great religious dramaz. You get to see both Viking culture and Dark Ages Saxon England (where people think giants made Greek/Roman statues because Ignorance).
princealberic: Miss Fisher: readingprincealberic on March 26th, 2015 07:06 am (UTC)
Oh, it would have been fine, since some distractions would have been welcome. But thank you, that was really considerate and nice of you. *hugs*

That sounds really exciting, even know I know very little about Vikings and Dark Ages Saxon England, it might be interesting since you're right that it's not the time period you usually see. I'm watching Agent Carter right now but I think I'll watch Vikings next! :D