While Ragnar waged battle in Mercia, Lagertha began her settlement in Wessex with help from King Ecbert. Photo stills and recap of Vikings season 3, episode 2, “The Wanderer,” which aired on Thursday, February 26 at 10:00pm ET|PT on HISTORY.
The second episode of Viking‘s third season took us from Mercia and Wessex, back to Kattegat, where a mysterious, wandering stranger was about to arrive.
“The Wanderer” began with Ragnar (Travis Fimmel) in Mercia, immediately after defeating Kwenthrith’s uncle (King Brihtwulf, Ian Beattie) in battle. With Brihtwulf and his soldiers dead, the Northmen were celebrating, eating, and recovering from the fight. Ragnar and Rollo (Clive Standen) tried to reassure Torstein (Jefferson Hall), who’s arm was hurt in battle, by encouraging him to eat and partake of some (potentially hallucinogenic) herbs.
Kwenthrith (Amy Bailey) was thrilled that her uncle was dead and demanded his head, which Floki (Gustaf Skarsgård) enthusiastically cleaved from the dead man’s body. She then proceeded to dececrate the head with a knife and spit on it. Perhaps Ragnar was taken aback by this because he asked Kwethrith why she hated Brihtwulff so much. She then revealed that her uncle and older brother repeatedly raped starting from age 6 and also brought other men to her so they could experience the “pleasure” of sleeping with a child. (Good riddance Brihtwulff!)
Porunn (Gaia Weiss) was also celebrating her first successful battle as a shieldmaiden. While Bjorn (Alexander Ludwig) believed she did well, he also told her she took too many risks. Porunn planned to continue fighting with the others and then questioned Bjorn’s faith in the gods and fate. Rather randomly, he asked her to marry him and Porunn said yes. Bjorn then walked away, in a most anti-climactic fashion.
Meanwhile, Rollo, who was probably hallucinating, attacked a sleeping Mercian soldier with an axe, cutting off his leg. When asked why he did this, Rollo replied “it’s just the angle of the leg; I couldn’t help myself.” (And that’s that.) However, when he started to get handsy with Kwenthrith, she struck him and told him “NO!”
On the other side of the river, Kenthrith’s brother Burgred (Aaron Monaghan) was devastated and unsure what to do next. But his turn was soon coming as Ragnar and his soldiers crossed the river to meet Burgred on the other side. In fact, the lead boat was decorated with the heads of Brihtwulff’s soldiers. Seeing this, the Mercian army retreated. Burgred was also about to run, but Kwenthrith shouted out to him, begging him not to run and assuring his safety. However, Burgred’s advisor was able to convince him to climb his horse and flee.
Back in Wessex, Ecbert (Linus Roache) was still enthralled with Lagertha (Katheryn Winnick) and showed his appreciation in several ways. He revealed that he had Saxon farmers removed from the land to give to the Vikings for the settlement. When Lagertha asked what would happen if the Saxons returned, Ecbert personally guaranteed their safety. He also brought laborers to help assist the Vikings in farming the new land. Lagertha was extremely pleased and reasserted her wish to live in peace. Ecbert presented her with a gift of land (a handful of dirt), to which Lagertha replied was worth more than a necklace of precious stones and thanked him from the bottom of her heart. Athelstan (George Blagden) then blessed the settlement with a prayer, and of course the Northmen had their own method of assuring their future endeavors would be blessed.
Lagertha and Athelstan agreed to join Ecbert at his villa to refresh themselves. While there, Lady Judith (Jennie Jacques) asked Athelstan to tell her more about the Vikings. She seemed to be really intrigued by him and his experiences. With some encouragement, Athelstan spoke of Odin and the Vikings’ religion/fables. When Judith asked him if he believed in Odin, Athelstan replied, “what is belief?” He eventually went on to admit that he loved Odin as well as Jesus Christ—truly a man inhabiting two cultures. Following this, Ecbert, ever the showman, presented Lagertha with another gift, a necklace of precious stones. After putting the necklace on her, he expressed how beautiful she looked (which was very true).
Some time later, Judith came to Athelstan to request that he hear her confession. Even though he was not an ordained priest, Athelstan agreed. Judith confessed to having sinful thoughts, dreams of making love to man who was not her husband. Who was the man? ATHELSTAN! (this development wasn’t actually too surprising). The next day when Lagertha and Athelstan were returning to the settlement, Judith was very sad to see him go…she actually said not being able to see him would be the penance for her sin. Of course Ecbert noticed Judith’s interest in Athelstan and warned her to be careful. He might be fascinating, but he also had the potential to be dangerous.
In Mercia, the search was on for Burgred and the remainder of his army. Ecbert’s son Aethelwulf (David Murray) had captured one of the Mercian soldiers and threatened to torture him if he didn’t reveal Burgred’s location. The soldier admitted that Burgred was holed up on a fort waiting for reinforcements. At this point, I expected Aethelwulf to torture the soldier anyway, but he didn’t. He let the Mercian go, showing mercy instead of brutality—“We’re not all like the Northmen.” Aethelwulf returned to Kwenthrith and the Vikings to report the information he’d discovered.
Elsewhere, Torstein was still having difficulty with his injured arm. He eventually asked Floki to cut off the limb, which had become a “nuisance” (his words). So Floki, being the obliging friend he is, chopped off the arm with a heated axe, as Rollo and Ragnar restrained Torstein.
At home in Kattegat, Helga (Maude Hirst) came to Siggy (Jessalyn Gilsig) and Aslaug (Alyssa Sutherland) to tell them about a dream she had about a stranger who would soon arrive—a man with no face, flaming snow in one hand, his other hand covered in blood, and as the blood dropped to the snow, smoke emerged from the ground. But Siggy and Aslaug shared that they’d had the same dream too. And rather than being afraid, they awoke with a sense of excitement and expectation. What did the dream mean?
Later on, Siggy awoke from a dream of finding the Seer (John Kavanagh) bound and bleeding—another dream all three women shared. By the end of the episode, the visitor had arrived. Helga was the first to see him, and he asked for help because he was bleeding from his hand (blood dripping into the snow, just as she dreamed would occur). (The Wanderer is played by the gorgeous Kevin Durand. We’re still unsure who he is and what he means to do in Kattegat, but I’m certainly intrigued.)
Oddly enough, the episode ended with Athelstan back in Wessex coming to Lagertha to show that his hands were bleeding from his old crucifixion wounds (CREEPY).
In another interesting development:
Back in Hedeby, Kalf (Ben Robson) succeeded getting enough support to overthrow Lagertha and install himself as Earl. While having a celebratory meal with Einar (Steve Wall), Kalf shared that he had a dream that Ragnar cut out his liver and ate it. When asked if he was afraid of Ragnar, Kalf said that it would be prudent to fear a farmer who made himself king. With that said, he wanted Ragnar’s fame above all else. Would Kalf kill Ragnar? It seemed he was at least toying with the idea…”you cut him, he will bleed.” How ominous.
What did you think of the “The Wanderer”? Do you have any speculations about the upcoming season? Share your thoughts with us in comments!
If you missed the episode on Thursday, “The Wanderer” will be re-airing on HISTORY at the following times:
February 27, 2015 – 02:01-03:04AM ET
March 01, 2015 – 11:03-12:04AM ET
March 02, 2015 – 03:04-04:05AM ET
March 03, 2015 – 11:00-12:01AM ET
March 04, 2015 – 03:01-04:02AM ET
March 05, 2015 – 11:00-12:01PM ET
You can also watch online HERE, OnDemand, or on the Vikings app.
And make sure to watch this preview of episode three “Warrior’s Fate” below: