History‘s Vikings A Good Treason TV Show Review. Vikings: Season 4, Episode 1: A Good Treason was a special presentation of the Vikings season premiere that began with ugly truths. Ragnar Lothbrok (Travis Fimmel) was denied entry to Valhalla due to his Christian baptism in Paris, people are gunning for his throne, and his friend is bound in chains. Even the opening credits were adjusted spectacularly to include new, brighter, vivid images of fire and bloodflow, and featuring silhouettes of major characters in the dramatic moody background that we have come to love.
At home in Kattegat, Bjorn Lothbrok (Alexander Ludwig) has assumed a mantle of authority while his father recovered from his battle wounds. Bjorn wanted to honor his father with clear messages of loyalty. In his speech to the village, he gave credit where it was due, to the gods, to Ragnar, and to Athelstan. He ordered the arrest of Floki (Gustaf Skarsgard), and to be honest, it was a moment where he appeared to be a strong, decisive leader.
Ragnar did reasonably recover from his wounds to almost everyone’s delight. He immediately gave his opinion of Bjorn’s decisions: leaving Rollo Lothbrok (Clive Standen) behind in Paris, arresting Floki. Ragnar was none too pleased. There was so much strength in Bjorn, and even some political savvy, but less wisdom. It was still interesting to watch Fimmel as Ragnar shift seamlessly between irritation and pride when discussing leadership with his son. (Side note: I would love to read “Ragnar Lothbrok’s Book on Parenting” if ever that is discovered).
Bjorn then chose to go off to live in isolation in the wilderness in order to prove he could survive on his own. There was also a wonderful egg in this episode when we saw Bjorn studying a map he found in Paris. It was a map of the Mediterranean foreshadowing Bjorn’s historical conquest into that region and beyond, well after Ragnar’s demise.
Meanwhile, Ragnar had to deal with the repercussions of Floki’s public arrest, further damaging the relationship with his shipbuilder, his architect, his healer, and his best friend (at least, in Floki’s mind). Truly, Athelstan was Ragnar’s best friend and Floki was more like a half-mad brother. Ragnar has had grave misfortune with brotherhood given both Floki’s and Rollo’s treasonous actions all stem from deep feelings of jealousy of Ragnar’s success. Floki’s actions were also motivated by a deep love for Ragnar. Still, no one can deny that Floki loves Ragnar, better than Ragnar’s own brother.
Speaking of treason, Rollo has betrayed his brother and his people again and in a bloody spectacular way. Once you get past his bumbling oafishness (Standen is hilarious) during that ridiculous wedding in Paris, all that remained was to count the minutes till he confirmed his treachery. Using his new power as prince, he ordered French soldiers to slaughter his brethren at camp on the Parisian shore. Despite the title of this premiere episode, there was no good in Rollo’s treason. It was not derived from love like with Floki, but from ambition – an ambition that will take him on a different path to fame.
Queen Aslaug (Alyssa Sutherland) is dissatisfied with her place. It is obvious she wishes Ragnar dead in order to succeed him, and in her thinking such, she committed her own little treason. She is clearly jealous as well, but not of Ragnar. She is jealous of Lagertha played by the phenomenal Katheryn Winnick. Lagertha has become a warrior queen, and she bore Bjorn who is heir to the throne of Ragnar. If Ragnar dies it is only natural that Bjorn would take his seat and Lagertha would be given power as the Queen Mother of Kattegat. Aslaug has psychic gifts and a powerful pedigree that makes her special but would that make her fit to rule? One thing is for certain, she is not Lagertha. Plus, Ragnar’s amorous attention has shifted to the pretty new slave Aslaug bought at market. Was that purchase on purpose?
Lagertha’s story opened with an interesting development. Kalf (Ben Robson) announced that he and Lagertha would share power and be co-rulers. Half the town led by Einar (Steve Wall) would have rather seen Lagertha ousted from the village, but Kalf had a better idea. He slaughtered the men who stood against Lagertha. Lagertha also got in on a “piece” of the action (*shiver*). I do not know if Kalf did the deed for peace or for budding love. We shall see. lots of storylines to pay attention to this season. What did you think of the season premiere?
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