All all through the collection the Vikings’ thirst for warfare and conquest is cloaked within the language of destiny, future, glory, and the Gods. In a telling sequence half-way by the ultimate ten episodes, these justifications are stripped away to disclose the darkish, very mortal reality that lies behind them. Ivar, Hvitserk, and King Harald reunite in a peaceful and peaceable Kattegat. All three are burnt-out, frazzled, and dissatisfied. There’s an actual sense that “the age of the Vikings is gone” and that that is “the twilight of the Gods”. Harald and Ivar admit that there is no such thing as a pleasure in being a King, regardless of it being a title each males have dreamed of and longed for, and for which they’ve lied, cheated, betrayed, and killed. In the ultimate evaluation, we will see – and eventually they will see, nonetheless not directly – that the nice cycle wherein the Vikings are trapped has been perpetuated not by the Gods – these nice scapegoats within the sky – however by bored and indignant males searching for in bloodshed distractions from a chilly and brutish world whose quotient of distress has solely ever been elevated by their actions. It is very unhappy to see Ivar churned again into this mill given the expansion he skilled all through this season, not solely in being a caring, surrogate father to the Rus inheritor Igor, however in turning into an precise father after his physique asserted itself simply lengthy sufficient to plant his seed in Princess Katia’s stomach.
Ivar witnesses two males in a public gathering-place squabbling over a trivial matter, and extrapolates from this that warfare is a essential state for the Vikings, as a result of in peace they combat amongst themselves. It’s patently apparent that the lesson Ivar pulls from this incident says extra about his ache and psychopathology – his hatred, his vacancy – than it does about society at massive. Ultimately, it’s he, and Harald, and Hvitserk, and one million different males similar to them, who want warfare. They want exterior battle to distract them from their very own inside conflicts and inadequacies. Never-the-less, and maybe unsurprisingly, Ivar’s facile supposition is all that King Harald wants to listen to. Before lengthy, the three males and a ready-made military are heading again throughout the ocean to England for a remaining confrontation with King Alfred and his Christian Saxon troopers.
“The Twilight of the Gods”
This climactic confrontation is, on one degree, much less a battle between two armies and extra the continuation of the chess game Ivar and Alfred as soon as performed as youngsters, as their fathers – King Ragnar and King Ecbert – reduce offers and hatched plots in one other room.
In some ways, Ivar was all the time marked for monsterhood. He grew up with the fierce love of his mom, Aslaug, which she wrapped round him like a blanket made of metal. By over-compensating for his situation and bodily fragility to such a suffocating diploma, she left him remoted, immodest and indignant. His father, Ragnar, was absent for many of his youth. Though Ivar had Floki to show and information him within the methods of the Gods, Ivar didn’t notice fairly how a lot of himself had been lacking till Ragnar returned and took him underneath his wing. Ragnar was one of the few males who appeared to place confidence in Ivar’s skills; who informed him that he may very well be one thing apart from a legal responsibility, a cripple, a joke. They journeyed to England along with conquest in thoughts, however when a storm sank most of their boats, Ragnar swiftly refocused the aim of their go to, enlisting Ivar’s help to kill the surviving members of their celebration (to take away all proof of their preliminary intent) and give up themselves to King Ecbert.
Ragnar tells Ecbert to ship him into the palms of King Aelle, in order that Ecbert is not going to be blamed for Ragnar’s demise, and the total fury of the Vikings can be directed at their mutual enemy as a substitute. However, Ragnar has instructed Ivar to return dwelling with information of Ecbert’s duplicity, in order that each Kings will grow to be the targets of the rage-and-grief-filled Viking horde. Ivar is the right capsule for this incendiary message, as Ragnar gambles, fairly accurately, that King Ecbert’s sense of truthful play, filtered by his Christianity, gained’t allow him to hurt or imprison a poor, innocent crippled boy. Ragnar thus succeeds in turning the Saxon’s Christian compassion right into a deadly weak spot, whereas on the similar time instructing his weaponized son that love, violence, deceit, and demise are so intimately related as to be nearly indivisible.