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Monday, March 18, 2013

Vikings 1.3: The Priest

Vikings continues to provide a good, vibrant narrative of a time in history - the end of eight century AD - which we can use.   Last week, we see the onset of the Viking age with Ragnar's attack on Lindisfarne in the northeast of England.   Tonight, most of the important action revolves around the priest who speaks the Viking language, whom Ragnar has the good sense to take back home as his prisoner.

Ragnar also has the good sense to choose the priest when the ever-vicious Haraldson shows his "generosity" to Ragnar and his crew by allowing them just one possession each from their English plunder (a generosity he only displays at his clever wife Siggy's suggestion).   Back on the Lothbrok homestead, the kids make fun of the priest's bald spot (and all these years I thought Friar Tuck just happened to be that way - actually, I realized there was something more going on when I saw Brother Cadfael), Ragnar and Lagertha invite the priest to join them in bed (he's tempted by Lagertha but says no), and then he's left in charge when Ragnar takes Lagertha on his next outing to England.

I found that a little surprising - not that the priest would do any harm to the Lothbrok kids, but wouldn't Ragnar and Lagertha be concerned that the priest would provide inadequate i.e. no protection if some villains came calling?   Well, at least this move gives us the benefit of seeing Ragnar and Lagertha together on a raid over the sea, signaling that Ragnar now has sufficient confidence in his Viking success in the west to take his beloved wife along.

Ragnar has told Haraldson that the priests of Lindsfarne were as easy as "children" to subdue.   The Viking party finds the same lame lack of resistance when they encounter and massacre an English sheriff and his men this time around (one guy escapes, maybe the sheriff).   It's surprising, again, to see how quickly Ragnar's group prevailed over the English in equal numbers - but that's the truth of history, and, come to think of it, Robin Hood did much the same with his merry band vis-a-vis the sheriff's forces a few hundred years later.

See also Vikings ... Vikings 1.2: Lindisfarne ... 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

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