TV Club: Vikings: “Warrior’s Fate”

The contrasting roles of religion in the Viking-English conflict has always been illustrative, a dichotomy explored to striking effect in Kings Ecbert and Ragnar’s journeys in ”Warrior’s Fate.” Linus Roache’s Ecbert, wheeling on the muttering nobles questioning his ongoing decision to allow the Norsemen to both farm on English soil and fight for “puppet princess” Kwenthrith, upbraids them with silky menace, secure in his manipulation of the heathens he believes under his control. His disdain for the nobles’ intransigence in dealing with non-Christians stems not from the “respect for other cultures” he unctuously claimed to Lagertha and Athelstan last episode, but from the implacable belief that both he and his religion are destined to overcome them. In contrast, Ragnar, faced with similar objections from his most inflexibly religious follower, Floki, after a decisive but costly battle against Kwenthrith’s traitorous brother (in which grievously wounded Viking warrior …

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