As the Vikings arrive in Paris, Emperor Charles and his daughter prepare to defend their city. Photo stills and recap of Vikings season 3, episode 7, “Paris,” which first aired Thursday, April 2 at 10:00pm ET|PT on HISTORY.
“Paris” began with Ragnar (Travis Fimmel), Floki (Gustaf Skarsgård), Lagertha (Katheryn Winnick), and the other Vikings on their ships, sailing down the Seine and approaching Paris. Ragnar still wore Athelstan’s crucifix, perhaps as a good luck charm.
Within Paris, the bells rang to alert the city of the Vikings forthcoming arrival. Emperor Charles (Lothaire Bluteau) and his advisors met together and were shocked that the Northmen had made it this far up the river. Apparently Count Odo (Owen Roe) had sent warnings to Flanders and other towns to fortify themselves and block the river, but all of them refused. Now, the Vikings were able to proceed to Paris unimpeded. Odo had been hard at work preparing the city for siege, and stored enough food and water to last them through the summer. Now the salvation and protection of the city was in his hands. Odo tried to convince Charles to leave the city as a precaution, but he did not want to abandon the capital.
The Emperor spoke briefly with his daughter Gisla (Morgane Polanski) who was adamant that her father stay in Paris to remain with his people. It seemed the Princess wielded quite a bit of influence over her father, who went back to Count Odo to announce his plans to stay. Charles called upon everyone to be faithful and courageous in their prayers to God. Odo asked if Charles might appeal to his brothers for help, but the Emperor refused. He needed to prove himself as stronger than his brothers. If the Northmen could be defeated, Charles would show himself to be a worthy successor to his grandfather Charlemagne. Count Odo bore a significant weight on his shoulders.
The Vikings arrived on the shores of the Seine and were setting up camp. Rollo (Clive Standen) led a contingent of Vikings to scout the city’s walls and fortifications. During this investigation, they were fired upon by Parisian soldiers. The Northmen were able to shield themselves, but had to turn back around.
Back at camp, Ragnar toyed with a snake and mouse. He brought Floki to his tent and expressed how much he missed Athelstan and how useful the priest would have been for the Paris raid. Floki responded by saying since Ragnar had Athelstan’s cross, it was like he was with them. And they would manage the raid without Athelstan. Ragnar expressed that he needed Floki and had always believed in him. He then asked Floki to be in command of the raid. As Lagertha, Rollo, Bjorn (Alexander Ludwig), and the earls gathered, Floki was quick to exercise his new authority.
Rollo proposed that the Vikings launch a simultaneous attack from water and land. Rollo, Floki, and Bjorn would lead an attack from the river and climb the walls into the city. Floki was then given the task of constructing something that would facilitate the climb. Lagertha wanted to lead another contingent storm the tower and gates. Kalf (Ben Robson) and Erlendur (Edvin Endre) wanted to wanted to join Lagertha, but she was adamant that she would be able to get the job done.
Afterwards, Bjorn spoke with Torvi (Georgia Hirst). He believed that he took advantage of her, but Torvi didn’t feel that way. She wasn’t a child…and she took advantage too. Bjorn then gave her a gift…a broach/pendant. Erlendur witnessed the exchange, ripped the gift from Torvi’s hands, and called her a whore.
That night Ragnar climbed a hill to gaze towards Paris. As he looked at the city, he clutched Athelstan’s crucifix in his hand. (This was getting to be an obsession, no?)
The next day, Helga (Maude Hirst) brought Floki food as he worked on an invention to help them climb Paris’ walls, but he was 100% concentrating on his work. Floki had so many responsibilities and he believed the gods were helping him because they were pleased with his sacrifice of Athelstan. As Floki confessed to the murder, Helga was pretty disturbed and ran away.
In the city, Count Odo knew the Vikings had been scouting their defenses and believed an attack was imminent. Charles expressed regret that he did not send Gisla away for her protection, but it seemed she wouldn’t have left anyway. Gisla wanted to be in Paris with her father in the city’s hour of need. She feared that the people might become hysteric out of their fear and promised to reassure them that everything would be ok. King Charles would lead them to victory, right? Well, Charles excused himself to go to bed and once again put his faith in Count Odo and God. Afterwards, Odo approached Gisla. Apparently, in the past he had proposed marriage and she refused. Odo hoped that after he won against the Northmen and secured a better reputation that Gisla would agree to marry him. Gisla was pretty shrewd…she said that if Count Odo saved Paris, she would be in his debt forever. With that said, he needed to concentrate on the Vikings first.
In Wessex, Ecbert (Linus Roache) asked Aethelwulf (Moe Dunford) about his marriage. He said he was trying hard to forgive Judith (Jennie Jacques), as commanded by the Lord. Yet, it seemed Ecbert had larger plans—he wanted to overthrow Judith’s father, King Aelle, and become King of all England. Would Judith be upset? According to Aethelwulf, there was no love lost between Judith and her father. But Aelle was Ecbert’s ally and friend. Would Ecbert really have the man assassinated? Ecbert replied, saying that he had no friends.
At that point, Judith entered the room, bringing baby Alfred with her. Ecbert stirred things up by saying he wondered how Athelstan was doing (*cries*). Aethelwulf raged, calling Judith a Jezebel and harlot. Ecbert asked his son to leave the room and comforted Judith.
While Aethelwulf was self-flagellating and begging for God’s forgiveness, he was interrupted by a dying noble. The man had just returned from Mercia where Queen Kewnthrith (Amy Bailey) had turned against Wessex and dismissed their contract. Ecbert asked Aethelwulf to go to Mercia and convince Kwenthrith that they were on the same team. She must acknowledge the power of Wessex and submit to Ecbert or they would invade the city and have Kwenthrith drawn and quartered.
Aethelwulf arrived in Mercia and demanded to speak with Kwenthrith. She was indisposed when he got to her home (having sexy times), but when she arrived Aethelwulf gave her his father’s message. Kwethrith tried to distract him with her body and with wine. Then she challenged Aethelwulf to think for himself rather than do his father’s bidding. Aethelwulf resisted Kwenthrith, and they parted ways for the night.
The next morning, Kwethrith had Aethelwulf brought to her receiving room and introduced her baby son, Prince Magnus (a Northern name). Kwenthrith said that the baby was named after his father, Ragnar Lothbrok (WHAT?!). Kwethrith was sure that Ragnar would return for his son and to seek vengeance against Wessex for destroying the Viking settlement. But Aethelwulf didn’t care…if Kwenthrith valued her life, she’d reaffirm Mercia’s loyalty to Wessex.
Back in Wessex, Ecbert went to Judith with a gift: some Roman documents Athelstan helped him translate. As Ecbert read, Judith felt as if Athelstan was with them. Ecbert swore to protect Judith and Alfred as long as he lived and then kissed her. (Was this a ploy that would eventually help Ecbert take down her father?)
In Kattegat, Porunn (Gaia Weiss) asked Aslaug (Alyssa Sutherland) to take baby Siggy. Porunn didn’t believe she could take proper care of her daughter. She wanted Siggy to be like Aslaug’s sons, a Viking. Aslaug said that Porunn should love and nurture Siggy, but Porunn believed Bjorn and their daughter would be better off without her. Aslaug encouraged Porunn to pray for Freya for help as Aslaug herself prayed.
As the episode ended, Gisla entered the cathedral in Paris and led the city in prayer. At the same time, Ragnar and the Vikings stood on the shore, ready to attack. Floki revealed his inventions, giant, floating ladders, and said that tomorrow, they would attack Paris. “Axe time! Sword time! Shields are splintered!”
If you missed the episode on Thursday, you can watch “Paris” online HERE, OnDemand, or on the Vikings app.
Make sure to get ready for next week’s episode “To The Gate!” with the preview below: