Vikings Season 3 Recap: Everything You Need to Know for Season 4
We’re getting closer to the much anticipated season four premier of the History channel’s Vikings and we’re eager to see what adventures and new battles and possible adventures are in store for our favorite group of northmen. But first, let’s take a look at what happened in season three.
Previously on Vikings: The northerners of Kattegat, led by Ragnar (Travis Fimmel) and Lagertha (Katheryn Winnick), bring settlers to Wessex to help tend land and work on an alliance with King Ecbert (Linus Roache). Athelstan (George Blagden) accompanies them and continues his friendship with the King along with his daughter-in-law Judith (Jennie Jacques). The king takes an interest in the way of the northern folk and makes every effort to show his approval and wish for their people to co-exist and tend the lands as they had proposed.
Back in Kattegat, a mysterious Wanderer (Kevin Durand) enters the village causing mayhem and disorder amongst a few of the women who had foreseen of his coming. Lives are lost and marriage vows are betrayed. Meanwhile, Lagertha loses her lands and earldom to Kalf (Ben Robson) who she had entrusted in keeping her holdings in order while she was away.
Back in Wessex, the settlement is attacked and disbanded by the leadership of Aethelwulf (Moe Dunford), the son of King Ecbert. A few of the settlers escape back to Kattegat to relay what has gone on. Floki (Gustaf Skarsgård) is angered and blames this mishap on the involvement of Athelstan. While Athelstan’s involvement has mostly been a confidant and translator of ancient documents to the King, he also involves himself with the King’s daughter-in-law, Judith.
Unknown to Ragnar and the rest of the men, the attack on the settlement though not the plan of King Ecbert was condoned by him and his happy involvement and want for an alliance seems to be all a ruse. Aethelwulf does not much time to congratulate himself on leading this attack after he discovers his wife is with child and it is not his own.
Meanwhile, back in Kattegat, Ragnar learns of his own wife’s betrayal by being seduced by the mysterious wanderer. His anger is quelled after Floki explains to him that this wanderer must have been Odin himself and that they had all been blessed by his visiting. That remains to be seen, as the wanderers visit only seemed to bring about death and disorder. While they are back in the camp, a survivor of the settlement in Wessex informs Ragnar of what had happened. After learning that he had told no one of this attack other than himself and Floki, Ragnar kills the settler in order to hide the truth that King Ecbert had betrayed them.
To cover up the goings on in Wessex, they plan a raid to the famed city of Paris. The village is then busy in preparing ships and ladders to pull off a successful raid in search of riches far greater than they had ever imagined. During this preparation, Floki seeks out and kills Athelstan as a sacrifice to the gods and a means to an end of his anger and bitterness towards the man.
When the time comes, the raid is a mild success but many men are lost in their attempt to breach the walls. The initial failure to enter the city is looked upon by Floki as anger of the gods and does not understand why their raid did not come to a better end. After many attempts and the failing health of Ragnar, eventually they strike up a bargain with Emperor Charles (Lothaire Bluteau). They are given riches and in a mad moment, Ragnar asks to be baptized so that he may see his friend in the afterlife when he passes on.
Though they had struck a deal, the vikings remain outside the walls of Paris. When they are approached as to why they have not yet left, they are told that King Ragnar is ill and cannot be moved. They strike a new bargain, that upon Ragnar’s death he is allowed a christian burial and a proper funeral within the city walls.
Upon his death, Ragnar’s body is taken in a coffin built by Floki at his request through the city streets to be given a proper mass and christian rights, but not before his brother Rollo (Clive Standen), Lagertha, and Floki are allowed to talk to him as if he were still living. Secrets and hidden emotions are revealed by each character with this interaction before a parade of unarmed vikings are led through the streets of Paris bearing the coffin to the chapel. When they arrive and lower the coffin, Ragnar springs from it’s depths, knife in hand to declare that he is the champion and had managed to breach the city’s walls after all. He murders a priest, threatens the Emperor and takes the Princess as a captive until he is safe once more outside the walls.
We are left with the conquerers leaving a small party behind, including Rollo to tend their interests for further raids on the city of Paris. Rollo is quickly given a proposal by the Emperor that he should marry his daughter to serve as an alliance amongst their people and in the hopes that Rollo will defend the city against his own people with the grant of a title and riches. There is more than a little contempt shown to Ragnar from Lagertha about his deception and having only entrusted his son Bjorn (Alexander Ludwig) of the truth. Floki is most afflicted as his admission earlier proved his guilt in murdering Athelstan, which Ragnar is quick to point out and accuse him.
Will Rollo betray his people once more in search of fame and wealth? Will Ragnar punish Floki in some way for murdering his closest friend, Athelstan? How will Queen Asluag (Alyssa Sutherland) react to the news of Ragnar’s baptism in France? Was Ragnar’s baptism genuine? Will the vikings settle back in Kattegat for a time or will they be off again in search of new lands and riches?
Ragnar Lothbrok (Travis Fimmel): Now rising above Earldom as King, Ragnar takes his men from Kattegat to Wessex and establishes a new settlement with the blessing of King Ecbert. When the settlement is raided and falls apart, he is one of the only people that is privy to that knowledge by way of murdering the remaining survivor of the camp who had returned back to Kattegat to inform him of the destruction of their settlement. Upon returning home, he soon sets off again to raid the famous city of Paris. After several attempts to enter the city, they are only able to enter after Ragnar fakes his own death after suffering a long illness and proves his cunning as leader of his viking troupe. This comes at a price, as he asks the priests of Paris to baptize him, ensuring that he will see Athelstan upon his death. This causes distrust and dismay among his closes friends within his group, but it remains to be seen if this change of faith is genuine or just part of cunning plan to enter the city. Once he departs Paris with plans to raid again in the spring, leaving a small group of his men behind to remind the city of their presence. Still suffering from his illness due to a previous injury, as he sails back to Kattegat, he confronts Floki about the murder of his dearest friend, Athelstan. What will become of the relationship between these two? Will the raids in Paris continue to be successful or will there be new lands to conquer?
Rollo (Clive Standen): Ever a loyal soldier and brother, Rollo follows Ragnar with every decision he makes. He is a great asset in their raid to Paris and fights hard through every attempt to enter the city. When Ragnar fakes his own death, we are given the stark truth by his own confession that he has always felt that he has been in his shadow. When the truth is out and he discovers Ragnar is in fact alive, he stays behind in Paris to tend to the men and the city to prepare for future raids. The last we see of him, he has been given an offer by Emperor Charles that he could not refuse, marriage to his daughter, Princess Gisla, in return for his protection against the future raids by his own brother. We can only assume that he will make good on this promise in order to gain land, riches and title for himself.
Floki (Gustaf Skarsgård): There was never any love lost between Floki and Ragnar’s best friend Athelstan. The jealously and bitterness only worsened this season when Floki blamed every bad thing about Athelstan’s continued involvement amongst their clan. He claimed the gods were angered by their continued harboring of the ex-holy man. Eventually, Floki goes off the hinges and murders Athelstan to appease the gods and give a sacrifice for the guaranteed success of there raid into Paris. Besides having a key part in the raid by building wooden ladders to breach the walls, Floki is delighted to be back in Ragnar’s good graces and expects that after the death of Athelstan he will once again be Ragnar’s confidant. Things do not go as planned for him and his structures for the raid end in fiery failures. This causes him to go a little bit insane, more than the usual unhinged Floki we all know and love. After confessing his murderous deed to his wife Helga, he assumes the gods are angered by what he had done rather than pleased and continues to worry that Ragnar will discover what he had done and cast him out. During the assumed death of Ragnar, Floki confesses in a way that he had killed Athelstan and that he could not understand why he had not been Ragnar’s best friend and fretted over how hard he had tried but could never succeed. After it is revealed that Ragnar is alive and they are on their way back to Kattegat, he is confronted by Ragnar about having killed Athelstan. It remains to be seen what his punishment will be for ending the holy man’s life.
Lagertha (Katheryn Winnick): Lagertha finally has a position of power and her own Earldom starting the season. She leaves her lands and people in the trusted hands of Kalf when she sets out with Ragnar to establish a farming settlement in Wessex. While helping set up the settlement and being wooed briefly by King Ecbert, her lands are taken over by Kalf. When she returns home she is ready to fight to get back what she had considered hers. However, for the time being, she stays with her son Bjorn in Kattegat, helping him with his new infant daughter and to make plans for the raid in Paris. She travels along with them to Paris and battles with the rest to enter the city. During a heated unsuccessful assault, she is kept from battle by Kalf himself. This act saves her from what certainly would have been her death. Perhaps there is a future for the two, despite their proposal of marriage and their mutual agreement that it would not be profitable for either of them. There is distrust planted within her after Ragnar is baptized as a Christian and fakes his own death. Though the plan was a smart one, the seeds of doubt have been planted and she may not hold as strongly to her undying love for her ex-husband after she had realized that she was not let in on the crucial secret.
Helga (Maude Hirst): Floki’s wife was not seen overly much in the season, however she continues to be the voice of reason and is now a new mother. After her husband sinks into madness, she is the only entrusted with the information of what he had done. She is horrified with him and is dismayed at having to hold on to the secret to herself. She does not come with the party to Paris, but stays behind to look after her and Floki’s infant daughter. Upon the group’s return, it will be interesting to see if she is willing to remain with Floki given his unstable mental state.
Queen Aslaug (Alyssa Sutherland): Aslaug continues to bear many sons for Ragnar and be a reliable leader to the settlement in Kattegat while her husband is off raiding. However, this season she foresees a wanderer’s arrival into their town, along with some of the other women close to her. This wanderer becomes a great friend when he becomes an asset to Aslaug, by magically calming her youngest son who is constantly in pain. This pleases her greatly, as no one, including herself has ever been able to calm the young boy as successfully. After a few days, she succumbs to the stranger’s wiles and is seduced into bed with him. When Ragnar returns, she says nothing of her betrayal, but realizes that he has discovered her unfaithfulness and reacts in anger. When her husband leaves once more for Paris, she takes the role of leader again and even has a passing Christian missionary slain. What will she make of Ragnar’s decision in Paris to be baptized as a Christian?
Bjorn Lothbrok (Alexander Ludwig): Young Bjorn gets his feet wet in several battles during this season. He travels with his parents to the settlement in Wessex, is trained somewhat by his Uncle Rollo and even finds love with a slave girl named Porunn. He means to marry her and she is soon with child. During one severe battle, she is wounded and receives a terrible blow to her face. During her recovery, Bjorn is faithful and wants only to still marry her. When their daughter is born, he chooses to name her after Siggy. Still eager to marry Porunn, she advises him to look elsewhere due to her hideousness. In a drunken mishap, he does, but soon realizes his error and goes to apologize, only to discover Porunn has left and left their young daughter in the care of Aslaug. Unable to do else, he goes along with the raid in Paris. He is the key player in his father’s plan of faking his own death, as he is the only that knows that he is actually not dead. By being this confidant and fighting like a true warrior in the many unsuccessful tries to enter the city, he has secured a place in Ragnar’s confidence and is looking to be set up as his immediate right-hand man.
King Ecbert (Linus Roache): Ecbert starts out the season as a willing ally, allowing the vikings entrance and a settlement into Wessex. He takes an interest in their religion and even attempts to woo Lagertha. Later when his son, Aethelwulf, attacks and destroys the settlement he praises him and reveals his true nature and opinion of the northmen. A collector, he establishes a friendship with Athelstan, even succeeding in having him translate some Roman documents. He even speaks for his daughter-in-law Judith, when it is discovered that she is unfaithful and has conceived a child with the holy man. His motive behind this is also selfish as he asks her to be his mistress. King Ecbert has shown us that he is untrustworthy and only interested in his own agenda at any cost, even the cost of his own son’s life.
The Seer (John Kavanagh): A constant presence in the viking’s lives, the Seer predicts many things. He predicts an ocean of flames, no more children for Lagertha, and grande success for Rollo, in a way. He remains a trustworthy presence for all, his prophecies always coming true no matter the horror or round about way they unfold.
Aethelwulf (Moe Dunford): The son of King Ecbert, he is praised for his involvement in the destruction of the viking settlement in Wessex. He calls for the execution of his own wife, Judith, upon realizing her unfaithfulness, but is talked out of it by his father and continues to struggle with her betrayal. By now, he has realized he is only his father’s pawn in world domination and seems to be wary of his continued loyalty.
Judith (Jennie Jacques): Judith, once a faithful wife to her husband Aethelwulf, is swayed by the charms and morality of the holy man, Athelstan. Eventually she seduces or is seduced by him and they conceive a child. As payment for her crime, her ear is cut off. Both of her ears and her nose would have been removed if it had not been for King Ecbert’s involvement, though for his own selfish motives. She is blissfully unaware of Athelstan’s death by the end of the season and accepts the role of King Ecbert’s mistress in order to continue to receive protection of herself and her infant son, Alfred.
Rest in Peace:
Athelstan (George Blagden): The best friend and convert to the viking religion, Athelstan travels with Ragnar to Wessex to aid in the settlement there. He strikes up a friendship with King Ecbert and translates Roman documents for him. While he is there, he rediscovers his old faith and denies the gods of the north. He also has an affair with Judith, Prince Aethelwulf’s wife. Upon his return to Kattegat, Floki discovers that Athelstan has gone back to his original roots and is extremely angered by this. Surprisingly enough, Ragnar is not bothered in the least. However, this does nothing to save him and Floki enters his home one night while he is deep in prayer and ends his life with a sure strike to the head.
Siggy Haraldson (Jessalyn Gilsig): Siggy has seen her share of hardship and her role has continued to diminish within the community of Kattegat. Somewhat content as a wife to Rollo, she spends her days helping Queen Aslaug with her many children and taking care of the “royal” line in some way. She wishes to be reinstated into some state of power of what she once had within the community and shares this with the Seer. However, she dreams of wanderer entering their community. Once the stranger arrives, she is angered by Aslaug’s continued dalliance with him and expresses her disapproval of her leaving her children once again to her care. This abandonment proves to be Siggy’s downfall, when she saves two of Aslaug’s sons from drowning in a frozen lake, only to drown herself after assuring their survival.
Porunn (Gaia Weiss): Beautiful maiden, and slave girl and servant to Queen Aslaug, Porunn is dutiful and loyal. Fancy free and full of life, she attracts the eye of Bjorn and is soon drawn into a relationship with him. Seeing this, her keeper sets her free and allows her to live a life as a viking rather than a slave. She decides to try her hand at becoming a warrior and shield maiden and idolizes Lagertha. Soon, she becomes pregnant with Bjorn’s child but still accompanies them into battle in Wessex. While she is there, she receives a devastating blow to the face, scarring her gravely. Because of this, she pushes Bjorn away and advises him to seek happiness elsewhere as she can no longer please him with her beauty. Once she gives birth, she disappears into the unknown and leaves her daughter in the care of the Queen. There is no telling if we will ever see her again.
Kalf (Ben Robson): A trusted kinsman of Lagertha’s, he is entrusted with her lands when she leaves to establish a Wessex settlement with Ragnar. While she is away, he takes it upon himself to claim leadership and the Earldom. He keeps this title throughout the season, even while raiding with Lagertha and Ragnar in Paris and even saves Lagertha’s life. It is apparent that he may have feelings for Lagertha, though they had discussed a marriage between them only to turn it down as unwise for both of them.
Torvi (Georgia Hirst): The widow of Jarl Borg (Thorbjørn Harr), she arrives at Kattegat with her infant child. She catches the eye of Bjorn, who upon the insistence of Porunn, seduces her. They sleep together and she thinks nothing of it. Later, Bjorn gives her a gift which is immediately taken from her by her step-son. Will there be a relationship in the future between her and Bjorn since Porunn has disappeared to parts unknown?
Princess Kwenthrith (Amy Bailey): Crazy as can be, she murders her own brothers with the help of the viking troops to gain a kingdom of her own. Her kingdom runs under a fragile truce with King Ecbert due to his assistance in securing the northmen to fight for her cause.
Emperor Charles (Lothaire Bluteau): Ruler of Paris and all France, Emperor Charles remains in Paris under the guidance of his daughter Gisla to give strength to his people and show that France is secure under fire. He remains an idol watcher throughout the continued raids until the very end. After Ragnar’s entrance into the city and almost kidnapping of his daughter, he makes an offer to Rollo in order to secure the safety of the city in future attacks. He offers him land and a title and his daughter’s hand in marriage.
Count Odo (Owen Roe): Count Odo leads and organizing the defense of Paris all while trying to secure the hand of Princess Gisla. His proposals of marriage go unanswered and are eventually ended upon her being offered to Rollo after the failure of Odo’s men to keep the northerners out. We are shown he has darker sexual desires and is not quite a delicate man in all his dealings.
Princess Gisla (Morgane Polanski): The daughter of Emperor Charles, she remains strong and rallies the armies of Paris during the many sieges on their walls. When she is captured by Ragnar himself upon the sneaky entrance of the city, she still remains strong to Paris cause and the continued security of the city. She refuses to agree with her father’s offer to Rollo of her hand in marriage and is not afraid to deny him in front of everyone. We will see if the marriage is brought to fruition and just how compliant she will be.
Harbard/The Wanderer (Kevin Durand): The stranger that enters Kattegat and causes a stir amongst the womenfolk in particular. He seems to be a magician and perhaps Odin himself in disguise. He seduces Queen Aslaug and goes on his merry way. It looks like we may be getting to see another glimpse of him of him in the future.
Halfdan the Black (Jasper Pääkkönen): A possible ally for the settlement in Kattegat and a worthy warrior for the continued raids in Paris. We can only surmise what Halfdan’s part will be in the future dealings of Ragnar’s men.
King Harald Finehair (Peter Franzén): Another king amongst the vikings? Does this spell trouble for Ragnar or will he lay down his title to make way for Harald? There really is no way to know as of yet.
Yidu (Dianne Doan): Only introduced as a new exotic stranger, she is set to catch the eye of Ragnar himself. Does this mean that the viking warriors go exploring elsewhere and stumble upon new lands, or does this Yidu arrive by another way or is she a citizen of Paris?
What Are We Hoping to See in Season 4?
As things were left, we should expect to see Ragnar and his men licking their wounds back in Kattegat, possibly making plans to explore new lands or build up their stores for the return to Paris. The destroyed settlement in Wessex may come into play and Ragnar will have some explaining to do when King Ecbert’s betrayal is brought to the forefront.
There is some dissent and distrust amongst the men themselves as Ragnar revealed he knew of Floki’s betrayal by his murdering of Athelstan. What will become of Floki and will he be punished? By Ragnar’s display of what may been a false baptism, he has shown his loyalty and strong friendship to Athelstan. His death certainly was not easy for him to bear. Now that he murderer is know to him, we may see him have to make some choices he would rather not against another good friend.
Even Ragnar’s own brother is set against him for selfish means. Again, we may see Rollo pit himself against his brother to keep a title and some importance in his own right. Just how long and how successful he will be is another story. Rollo is a worthy adversary and a strong warrior. Will France be the place he has been looking for where he will establish his place in the world and gain the renown he has long been seeking?
There is a hint that we may see another culture and new lands be introduced in this season by a character entering named Yidu. It is assumed that Ragnar will discover the culture of the East and perhaps new riches and gods to consider.