Vikings ‘Usurper,’ King Ecbert Not Such A Good Man After All, Some Thoughts

Bjorn, played by Alexander Ludwig SPOILERS GALORE

In tonight’s “The Usurper” episode for Vikings on History, a slightly defeatist attitude and tragedy trail Ragnar home to Kattegat, and Ecbert’s son Aethelwulf becomes all Viking-y himself as he sacks and murders the Northmen farming community. What a crock of shit last week’s English feast was where Ecbert and Ragnar get sloppy drunk and each say aloud that they are “good” men. We learn in a massive twist at the end that King Ecbert has orchestrated the whole Northmen village’s slaughter and decimation… and made it look like he had good reason.

Queen Aslaug (Alyssa Sutherland) and King Ragnar (Travis Fimmel)

Both Ragnar and Aethelwulf also have some vexing wife issues as Queen Aslaug had a fling with Harbard/Odin and Princess Judith got down with Athelstan. This week also sees Porunn dealing with her disfigured face and subsequent depression… and we saw Rollo taking the death of Siggy quite hard (read: drinks himself into stupor).

Rollo, played by Clive Standen

Ragnar grilled Aslaug about why his sons were traipsing across a creaky frozen lake and what the deal was with Harbard. Those two are firmly at the contempt stage in their marriage.

Rollo (Clive Standen) and Ragnar (Travis Fimmel)

My secret boyfriend The Seer pretty much mocked Ragnar when queried about Paris as the next city he will raid. Rollo was laughed out of his Seer hut too. I think the Seer is just glad Harbard disappeared like a fart in the wind.

Bjorn (Alexander Ludwig) and Rollo (Clive Standen)

Back to Rollo and Bjorn, neither are very bright and this leads to a muddy bloody rain-soaked brawl that Bjorn instigated because Rollo was being bullied Vikings style (meaning someone was about to lop off a limb). So maybe Bjorn is brighter than Rollo. They’re both extremely tall, so that’s working for them.

Ragnar’s so damned obsessed with Paris next week I fear we will see a Gauloise cigarette dangling from his lip, and Floki’s seething obsession with Athelstan and hating Christians (for good reason they will all find out) is a constant in this episode. Also Lagertha’s rose colored glasses for Kalf are ripped off and she sees he too is a shitbag who needs a good stabbing in the head. In due time…


Helga spilled the beans on Harbard’s visit to Floki which just confirms his mystical Norse god beliefs and he blabs all of this to Ragnar. For those unaware, the Norse legends of their gods saw Harbard (Hárbarðsljóð in actual Norse) dressed as a common wanderer to gauge the kindness in strangers he encountered. It was a test of sorts. A delicious nekkid Kevin Durand test…

Queen Aslaug (Alyssa Sutherland)

Queen Aslaug (Alyssa Sutherland) “A delicious nekkid Kevin Durand test…”

Back to Lagertha. She is so amazing, her hair is always spot on and all the men she has to deal with are so lame! Ragnar and that whole Aslaug situation, and then Ecbert (she called that one) and the Earl of Hedeby she was married to in-between that had her gang raped and beaten, hopefully Ragnar will move in for a re-ignition of romance, but this isn’t “Empire,” so I’m sure there will be some other Alpha male in the wings waiting for her.

The title of this episode is “Usurper” which is a fancy word for “Royally Jacked” which happened several times tonight. Let’s face it, the Vikings are ruthless usurpers as were the Anglo-Saxons, and this world was male dominated, Lagertha is the anomaly.

Lagertha: I supported you in Wessex, now you must support me. Together, we can overthrow this usurper.
Ragnar: Firstly, you came to Wessex of your own volition. Secondly, if there’s a civil war many of our own people will die. Is your Earldom really that important to you?
Lagertha: Yes.
Ragnar: Why?
Lagertha: Because it is rightfully mine.
Ragnar: Well, there is never much use in arguing with you Lagertha. We shall go and talk to him.
Lagertha: I supported you in Wessex, now you must support me.

So there you have it. Tit for tat. Except Ragnar has Paris on the brain and gives not one shit about Hedeby.

Fun facts about tonight’s episode: Princess Judith is pregnant by Athelstan.  Ecbert doesn’t seem to miss Lagertha.