Ahhhh, it’s so exciting to be back in the world of Vikings, with its glorious imagery of… Ivar doing unpleasant things to Lagertha’s throne… and Margrethe tied up with the pigs… and… oh look! Rollo gliding into town, his face smouldering.
Some definite themes have been threaded throughout this series right from the start, and they’re out in force as we catch up with all our old friends, enemies and characters nobody cares about (Hvitserk).
Here are five of ‘em...
Families are the worst
Rollo shrugs to Hvitserk that of course Bjorn didn’t kill him – he’s his brother, and when Harald’s all cry-baby about killing his brother, our newly masterful diplomat duke says, “I tried to kill mine once…” He follows this up by telling Bjorn that he’s his real dad, but instead of giving it the Skywalker response, Bjorn does not care.
“Who do I resemble most in spirit and principle?” he asks, comparing himself to Ragnar while we take notes in case our uncle gets like this one day. “You are not important enough for me to care.”
Meanwhile, there’s another big mood over in Iceland as son votes against father, declaring he has a new family (which also means Floki lives another day). New king Alfred name-checks his “father” and “grandfather” from the throne, and gets told he needs to produce an heir. Well, get married first, then it’s heir-producing time. Mothers, eh?
Rollo is the worst, too
But you know, Rollo’s also a sight for sore eyes. He’s still not to be trusted and works both sides from the moment he hits the screen, but it’s kinda like when you’re at a new workplace full of crazy-eyed vipers and someone you didn’t love that much from your old job walks in and you’re all like “Eyyyyy! Let’s have lunch! I’ve just accepted that LinkedIn request you sent in 2016!”
Also, the scene where he demands (and gets) a yearly tribute of silver, gold, furs, tusks, pelts, slaves, meat, precious stones, silk, personal warriors and a mutual defence pact from Ivar? That was pretty cool, Rollo.
Lagertha generates loyalty from the faithless
It isn’t just Rollo rolling into camp to offer safe passage.
It’s also Bishop Heahmund, who has tossed away his vow of celibacy for the silver-coiffed warrior queen. Warrior queens sometimes have that effect on people.
Go bold or go home
Vikings isn’t a show that rewards cowardice. If you have a courageous plan that’s just crazy enough to work, it probably will.
That means you can stealth take down some guards like you’re Spider-Man, steal a longship and row to England where the defensive forces who are all hopped up on Norseman murder will pause with their flaming arrows long enough to have a chat from the riverbank.
Odin and his team love a bold heart, and if there’s one thing we’ve learnt from our extensive theological research, it’s this: don’t bore the gods.
Also, go to England
Always the best plan for a Viking.
The rest of season five of Vikings airs at 8:30pm on Thursday nights on SBS.