But the worst kick in the gut comes at the end, when we learn that Ecbert's son was actually doing the King's bidding. Why? Was Eckbert that upset that Lagertha turned down his proposal? No, there are likely deeper geopolitical reasons.
But whatever motivated it, Ecbert's act potentially changes everything. He may be able to lie to Ragnar when he returns, but sooner or later Ragnar will learn the truth - likely from Athelstan, who should learn it sooner, given his deeper connections with his own people, the English.
Whatever Ecbert's motives, what does he think will happen as a result of the massacre which he secretly planned and ordered? Does he still want to go to Paris with Ragnar? Was Paris with Ragnar ever part of Ecbert's plans?
One thing is clear: the geopolitics of this age were as complex as they ever had been and ever would be. So much so that, even though we're also being treated to some fine intrigue back home in Scandinavia - with Floki and Ragnar and Aslaug and Lagertha and Rollo - all of that pales in comparison to that blood on the Viking farmstead in England.
See also Vikings 3.1. Fighting and Farming ... Vikings 3.2: Leonard Nimoy ...Vikings 3.3: We'll Always Have Paris ... Vikings 3.4: They Call Me the Wanderer
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