The Vikings head back to Wessex where lush lands and bloody battles await! Photo stills and recap of Vikings Season 3 premiere episode, “Mercenary,” which aired on Thursday, February 19 at 10:00pm ET|PT on HISTORY. Also watch a preview of upcoming episode 2 “The Wanderer”.
In “Mercenary,” we saw that our favorite Vikings were eager to get back to Wessex and go raiding.
The episode began with Lagertha (Katheryn Winnick) meeting with the Seer (John Kavanagh) to ask if she would ever have another child. While the oracle did not see more children in her future, he did see other things—a harvest celebrated in blood, a trickster with a weapon, a city made of marble, and a burning broiling ocean. When Lagertha pushed for the meanings of these omens, the Seer said that they were only meant to be understood after they’d come to pass.
She also asked if he new the exact moment of her death, and the Seer could confirm that Frigg had decided on that day, but was still unknown to him. After leaving, Lagertha returned to Hedeby (Scandanavia) to continue her preparations to travel to Wessex. She’d received several offers of marriage, but seemed more interested in Kalf (Ben Robson), her new advisor. Kalf, who seemed to be a modest man, said that he was more interested in using his intelligence to support Lagertha, especially since Einar (Steve Wall) and his family were trying to foment rebellion against her. As Lagertha rode of to meet Ragnar (Travis Fimmel) and Bjorn (Alexander Ludwig), Kalf had Einar, arrested and led away. Later on, when we thought Kalf meant to kill Einar, he actually asked if Einar would convince his family to support his Earl-ship instead of Lagertha.
In Kattegat, (now King) Ragnar was telling Bjorn about his decision to return to Wessex to settle the lands King Ecbert (Linus Roache) had given them. However, Bjorn was much more interested in fighting and raiding, all in the quest for power. Ragnar was quick to warn his son about the perils of seeking power: “attracts worst, corrupts best.”
Even though Bjorn was excited about raiding, he was concerned about Porunn (Gaia Weiss) joining him. She had been training, but he was worried that she might be pregnant. But Porunn was determined to go to Wessex and continued with her preparations to do so.
Elsewhere, things were tense between Ragnar and Aslaug (Alyssa Sutherland). She thought it was due to his lingering displeasure over Baby Ivar. However, Ragnar maintained that he loved his son, even though he may no longer love Aslaug… on the other hand, it seemed that Ragnar and Lagertha were still very close, and Aslaug noticed.
The Ragnar/Athelstan bromance was also in full effect, as Athelstan (George Blagden) agreed to join them in Wessex. But perhaps the funniest pre-trip scene occurred with Floki (Gustaf Skarsgård) and his family. He felt trapped by Helga (Maude Hirst) and their daughter, burdened with too much happiness. So when Floki’s wife told him he could leave for Wessex, he took off running!
As the ships departed, there was a sense of excitement, but definite tension, especially from those left behind.
After arriving in Wessex, Ragnar was welcomed by Ecbert with good and not so good news. The land he promised for the settlers was still available; however, the warriors who Ragnar left behind to fight for Princess Kwenthrith (Amy Bailey) had died in the battle for Mercia. Ecbert requested that Ragnar help them defeat the Princess’ brother and uncle. As a gesture of freindship, Ragnar agreed to fight and was joined by Bjorn, Rollo (Clive Standen), Floki, and (contrary to what Bjorn would want) Porrun. At the same time, Lagertha and Athelstan decided to stay in Wessex to start the settlement and farm the land.
On the day they’d go their separate ways (one group to the new land, the other group to Mercia), Porunn confirmed to Bjorn that she was pregnant, but still going to fight. Ecbert, after encouraging Athelstan to take his former crucifix necklace, decided to also travel to the new settlement with him. It was pretty clear that Ecbert was enthralled by Lagertha. As they arrived at the settlement, and Ecbert showed the new land, Lagertha was pleased and expressed a desire to live in peace.
On their way to Mercia, Princess Kwenthrith promised Ragnar to give him something worth more than land and riches if he won the battle against her brother and uncle…(but what might that be?)
This promise was quickly put to the test when the ships were ambushed. As they were going down-river, Kwenthrith’s uncle and his forces lined one side, while her brother and his soldiers were on the other. Ultimately, this turned out to be a poor strategy when Ragnar decided to concentrate on the uncle’s side. Kwenthrith’s brother could only look on as his uncle was devastated and eventually killed by Floki. The episode ended with Floki holding the (now dead) uncle’s crown and the victorious Ragnar looking on as he caught his breath.
In another interesting development:
Ecbert’s son, Aethelwulf (David Murray) didn’t trust the pagan, heathen Vikings. He was certainly weary of Athelstan, since his wife (Judith, Jennie Jacques) seemed to have taken a liking to the former priest. That was an interesting interaction, and I’m not really sure if Judith was drawn to Athelstan because of a romantic attraction or some sort of religious reverence. In any event, Aethelwulf didn’t like it, and he might not remain an ally to the Northmen for long.
If you missed the episode last night, “Mercenary” will be re-airing on HISTORY at the following times:
February 22, 2015, 11:03-11:59PM ET
February 23, 2015, 03:04-04:00AM ET
February 25, 2015, 11:03-11:59PM ET
February 26, 2015, 03:04-04:00AM ET
February 26, 2015, 11:00-11:56AM ET
You can also watch online HERE, OnDemand, or on the Vikings app.
What did you think of the premiere episode? Share your thoughts with us in comments!
Make sure to also check out a preview for episode two “The Wanderer” below: