Friday, March 13, 2015

Vikings 3.4: They Call Me the Wanderer

That was one of the main refrains - "They call me the wanderer" - of what is probably Dion's greatest song as a solo artist, "The Wanderer".   It also could have been the title of Vikings 3.4, given the strange character who takes his leave of our three Scandinavian heroines in the cold, muddy town of Kattegat.

There has always been a little bit more than a flirtation with the actual mystical in this otherwise outstanding television series.   That the Vikings believed in a set of gods who walked among us is indisputable history.   That Vikings on the History Channel should show us how these beliefs animated the lives of our heroes makes sense and is excellent narrative.   But when the gods become real to us the audience - that is, when they move from how the Vikings saw their worlds to how those worlds actually were - well, that's verging into Games of Thrones territory.  And while I love Game of Thrones, I love Vikings in a different way, for different reasons, and I enjoy appreciating the two stories in separate ways.

There was an enormous amount that was compelling about Harbard the Wanderer without hinting that he was superhuman.   He might have really taken some of the pain away from Ragnar's young son through laying of hands or just the sound of his voice.  He might well have seduced Aslaug because she was indeed very lonely and emotionally in need.   The boys might indeed have wandered off to find them, and Siggy followed, which led to her death, without any of the supernatural overtones.  As it was depicted, we get a rendition of a new Norse legend, rather a tableau of Norse historical life.

Meanwhile, over in England, we get some important personal developments, highlighted by Althelstan and Judith finally making love, and Lagertha putting a break on her relationship with Ecbert, or at very least refusing to dissolve her own considerable power in their affair.   Ragnar also gets some quality time with Kwenthrith, after she urinates on his wound, probably the best scene of that nature since Chandler peed on Monica's leg in "The One with the Jelly Fish" episode to, well, relieve the pain of the jelly fish's sting.

I'm more than ready for Paris.

See also Vikings 3.1. Fighting and Farming ... Vikings 3.2: Leonard Nimoy ... Vikings 3.3: We'll Always Have Paris

And see also Vikings 2.1-2: Upping the Ante of Conquest ... Vikings 2.4: Wise King ... Vikings 2.5: Caught in the Middle ... Vikings 2.6: The Guardians ...Vikings 2.7: Volatile Mix ... Vikings 2.8: Great Post-Apocalyptic Narrative ... Vikings Season 2 Finale: Satisfying, Surprising, Superb

And see also Vikings ... Vikings 1.2: Lindisfarne ... Vikings 1.3: The Priest ... Vikings 1.4:  Twist and Testudo ... Vikings 1.5: Freud and Family ... Vikings 1.7: Religion and Battle ... Vikings 1.8: Sacrifice
... Vikings Season 1 Finale: Below the Ash

historical science fiction - a little further back in time


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