1. Ragnar brutally murders Yido for drugs
In a shocking divergence from the story of John and Yoko that inspired their relationship, the King of Denmark viciously drowns Yidu in the river because she says she’s run out of his drugs. Well, that and because she threatens to tell people about the massacre of the Wessex camp after some semantic bickering over whether she’s “free” from slavery or simply “free to come and go”. Never bring a pedant to a strangle fight.
2. Count Odo gets murdered in the most appropriate way possible
Thinking he’s about to enjoy some exciting S&M reversal play with Therese, everyone’s least favourite Frenchie is instead whipped to death by her brother/lover Roland. But just as we were calling for another nappy, a second shock comes – Emperor Charles announces to the whole court that he ordered Odo’s execution for crossing him. Not sure if he specified incest-driven whip-play as the method.
3. Kwenthrith wears the latest Mercian fashion – a knife
Judith metaphorically pops a balloon right near our head when we’ve asked her repeatedly not to do that because she knows the loud bang gets our hearts going. Actually, she stabs Kwenthrith to save the crown-toting man she’s been sexing, Ecbert. Kwenthrith’s fault, really – she should have known not to gloat about being queen again. TV writers hate that kind of upbeat arrogance in a character.
4. Kwenthrith’s unborn child shares Mum’s fate
But not only that! Before Ecbert can thank her and order a wetworks crew to clean up the mess and initiate a cover-up before the Mercian feds get here, Kwenthrith gets all poetic with her final words: “Poor Judith, you have killed twice over.” Which is a beautiful way to let your murderer know you’re pregnant. Judith’s as horrified as we are with this artless prose, dropping the knife and blaming Ecbert for turning her into a cold-blooded killer. Then she sheds a single tear, showing that emotions can be more powerful than words.
5. Helga’s alive, and not that burnt really
Apparently the Viking burn wards are doing wonderful work, because after looking like a death’s-door mess last week, Helga’s pretty much fine now. Maybe it’s the Frankish air? Less shocking than her dramatic recovery – Floki doesn’t tell her about the weird sex vision he had with Aslaug.
6. Floki makes Ragnar’s drug-fuelled lunacy a reality
This would have been less shocking in earlier seasons, when Ragnar seemed a sly genius and Floki a divinely inspired engineer, but lately these two have been dissolute (also, we were playing a game of Toaster Knife while watching). Anyway, Floki manages to build cranes to lift the Viking boats up a cliff. No idea when they found the time to do all that logging, but sure.
7. Harbard’s in it for the religion, not the sex (sure you are, Harbard)
For the first time in history, a man busted cheating on his lady love manages to turn it all around on her. Not sure if Aslaug entirely buys his Eddie Murphy-style bit about how he only makes love to her, while all those other women need his holy penis to take away their pain, but it’s an impressive manoeuvre anyway. (Here’s the speech for you to bust out next time your significant other catches you: “I have sex with them to free them from their devils and their fears. Everything I do is holy. I try to live like the gods. I reject everything of this world... I take on the sins of the world upon myself.”) To top it off, Harbard immediately leaves the house and heads off for some more prayer time – hands behind his head while two women go to town on him and Shaggy’s “It Wasn’t Me” plays.
8. Rollo didn’t betray anyone
In this episode’s most shocking development, Rollo is able to tell Charles, “I gave you my word. And I kept it” and mean it.
The new series of Vikings continues Wednesdays at 9:30pm (AEST) on SBS. Every episode will be on SBS On Demand after it airs.
Missed episode 8? Watch it right here: