Friday, April 10, 2015

Vikings 3.8: The Battle for Paris

A cinematically splendid Vikings 3.8 last night, with a vividly rendered complex siege of Paris by the Norse that rivaled The Two Towers in Lord of the Rings.

If you think about it, our heroes from Scandinavia has had it relatively easy so far with the people and installations they've conquered in the West.   Lindisfarne was manned by monks, and lots of the rest of England fortified by leaders who barely knew their arses from their elbows when it came to military strategy.

Paris is another matter.  Although the grandson of Charlemagne is no military genius, his army benefits from three generations of organization and weaponry that conquered most of Europe.  Thus, although Ragnar's attack was mighty and well-planned, its narrow repelling by the French and their rapid firing crossbows and other techniques was not implausible, stunning as it was.

As I mentioned last week, true history records Viking failures both before and after a successful sacking of Paris in Ragnar's time.   In retrospect, Ragnar's appointment of Floki to lead the attack may have been made by the show's producers to keep this failed attack in accordance with history - the Vikings failed here, but not directly under Ragnar.   And if the coming attractions are any indication, the Vikings will do better next time.

It's not that Ragnar just watched from a safe distance, this time, which he might have done had the battle gone his way.   But once it began turning, he entered fray, climbed up the ladder, and with Rollo put in some of the very best scenes of the evening and the series, almost wresting victory from the jaws of defeat after all.   Indeed, the single best scenes were the locking of eyes between Rollo and the French princess Gisla, who inspired the French defenders to success at the crucial moment in the battle.   It was Rollo, looking at the princess, and she at him, from afar, that galvanized him to run up the ladder, and then Ragnar, which makes me think we may see something more between Gisla and Rollo in times to come.

The next time will be next week, and I'm looking forward.

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 ... Vikings 3.5: Massacre ... Vikings 3.6: Athelstan and Floki ... Vikings 3.7: At the Gates

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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