Unforgiven is the sixth episode of the second season of Vikings and sees King Horik, Ragnar and eventually Jarl Borg gather in Kattegat to regroup for another raid.
Warning Spoilers in the episode discussion ahead
This episode starts off with a conversation between Siggy (Essalyn Gilsig) and the Seer (John Kavanagh). Siggy is starting to resent her current position and I think is wanting to return to where she once was in season 1 when she was with Earl Haraldson. The Seer seemed a bit frustrated but eventually told her that “the Gods will always smile on brave women, like the Valkyries, those furies who meet fear and desire”. Siggy seems to continue her scheming ways and is later exploited by King Horik and made to have sex with his son. King Horik (Donal Logue) also mentions something interesting in this episode when he says “I hope you don’t mind I brought my son with me, I want him to start to understand the game”. “The game?” replies Siggy then King Horik says, “The game you and I play, the game Ragnar tries to play…..”I think it’s interesting he says this because if you remember back a few episodes ago in my “Invasion Review” I mentioned that King Horik seemed to be playing Jarl Borg (Thorbjørn Harr) and Ragnar (Travis Fimmel) against each other by changing his mind with Jarl Borg raiding and then again with wanting Jarl Borg back. It’s obvious that this would cause tension between Ragnar and Jarl Borg but King Horik does it anyway. Unfortunately he doesn’t seem to know that Ragnar is also playing the game and so are a lot of characters, especially Siggy.
Another interesting character who is shown quite a lot throughout the mid sections of the episode is Lagertha (Katheryn Winnick). After returning to Earl Sigvard (Morten Suurballe) things have taken a turn for the worse. Lagertha is now insulted and even beaten by a group of men during this episode and is far from being treated well. It took a lot of bravery, but eventually she had enough and she stabbed Earl Sigvard in the eye who was later beheaded by one of the men. I’m not sure if this is exactly right, but I remember a few episodes back, maybe it was in season 1 and there was talk about the Norse religion/sacrifice and screaming. If one was screaming before they were killed then they would not pass through to the afterlife and Earl Sigvard, he was screaming quite a lot. I don’t know if it applied in this situation though as I think that was only for sacrifices, let me know in the comments below if you know a bit more about it. Where would Earl Sigvard go now that he is dead? Either way it was good of Lagertha to get rid of him the way she did as the Seer said to Siggy, “The Gods will always smile upon brave women” I wonder what will happen to Lagertha in the coming episodes. Can she become an Earl? I guess I’ll just have to wait and see, very interesting character though.
King Ecbert (Linus Roache) and Athelstan (George Blagden) also make an appearance in this episode. There is quite a good scene between the two that really places this episode into good historical context. Ecbert takes Athelstan to some type of treasure house he has somewhere in his kingdom and it is full of scrolls that speak of the Caesar’s and the great Roman Empire. King Ecbert wants Athelstan translating these and storing these for his collection to preserve them before all the knowledge is lost completely. I think this just further confirms my view that King Ecbert is a actually a wise King and there’s nothing that I’ve seen during the season so far to suggest otherwise, he knows his history and he knows the lessons from it.
Ragnar (Travis Fimmel) may not necessarily have the wise trait, but in this episode he definitely shows his revenge trait. Ragnar’s revenge surprises King Horik who thinks he is playing everyone with what he does to Jarl Borg “I am sorry that the ambience of Kattegat has awoken you” says Rangar to King Horik. I guess King Horik didn’t figure out what Siggy was saying when she told him that every time you think Ragnar is going to do something, he does the opposite, probably shouldn’t have made her mad at the start and maybe he would have found out about the plot to capture Jarl Borg.
Ragnar never could forgive Jarl Borg for what he has done and has him captured at the end of the episode by Floki (Gustaf Skarsgård) and Rollo (Clive Standen) and brought to his throne/chair area. The scene in the episode where Jarl Borg is being captured was actually one of the best in the season so far, so much suspense is built up by the time the episode ends that as soon as Ragnar says “like wings” you know something crazy is going to happen next week. The music in the scene was excellently placed and really helped to build up the suspense and the reveal of each character as they entered the scene. Vikings is often quite quiet in many of its scenes, but every time the music comes in and plays loudly it does really well to lift the atmosphere of the program. I honestly can not wait to watch the next episode to learn of Jarl Borg’s fate.
There is also one thing that I noticed with Ragnar and the eagle. There is one short glimpse before Jarl Borg is captured where Ragnar is holding an eagle outside King Horik’s room and then later when he catches Jarl Borg he is eating something quite large. Did he eat the eagle? I guess if he is eating the eagle and since Jarl Borg has been associated with the eagle ever since he visited the Seer in “Eye For An Eye” then it’s sort of saying that Ragnar is going to kill Jarl Borg and symbolically he already has and there is nothing anybody can do about it. Either way it’s very interesting, particularly for Ragnar’s character. Revenge is not below Ragnar, I mean he did rise to power by killing Earl Haraldson in season 1.
This episode to me was one of the best in the season so far, while it was a bit slow in the middle it definitely ended very strongly. TV shows don’t come around much that leave you really wanting to see the next episode and I am very interested to know what a blood eagle is. Jarl Borg deserved what happened to him and so to did Earl Sigvard one of them is now dead and the other will likely be in the next episode. I wonder how long King Horik will last in this game of his, or is it really Ragnar’s game?