SPOILER ALERT: This recap contains information about the 15th episode (entitled “All His Angels”) of Season 4 of History Channel’s Vikings. Please proceed with caution if you have not yet viewed this episode and wish to avoid spoilers.
Episode 15 of Vikings will be a harrowing recap, so be prepared for the fate of Ragnar Lothbrok (Travis Fimmel) to be decided in all of its brutal glory.
The episode begins with Ragnar getting the okay to visit with his son, Ivar the Boneless (Alex Hogh), one last time. King Ecbert (Linus Roache) is still underestimating the strength of a crippled Viking and not only allows the visit, but doesn’t supervise it. So, of course, Ragnar tells Ivar to wreak havoc, not on King Aelle (Ivan Kaye), but on King Ecbert.
What needs to be remembered here is that Ragnar returned to England to make Ecbert pay for the decimation of the Viking settlement he promised Ragnar he would protect all those years ago. This is really the only way Ragnar can do it, but using his sons as retribution. Also, Ecbert wasn’t lying when he promised Ivar a safe passage home.This means the formation of the Great Heathen Army is likely already underway.
Once Ivar leaves, Ragnar is loaded up into a metal cage and taken on a journey to meet King Aelle in Episode 15 of Vikings, who is so excited that he can barely contain himself. Along the way, the Seer’s (John Kavanagh) prophecy about dying on the day the “blind man sees him” unfolds. Well, sort of.
Ragnar is impressed he does not reach King Aelle on the day the blind man sees him in “All His Angels,” therefore proving — mostly to himself — that he is somewhat in control of his own destiny, unlike the traditionally held belief that the Viking gods control the fates of humans.
Finally, Ragnar and King Aelle meet. At this point, Episode 15 of Vikings becomes increasingly brutal. Aelle is determined to make Ragnar atone for his sins against Christians. Ragnar, however, is of strong stock and refuses to bow down to King Aelle, even when a red hot poker is placed upon his chest (which is a nice nod to the Viking sagas and Ragnar’s magical shirt) or when a cross is carved into his forehead.
In the end, King Aelle gives up and has Ragnar thrown into a pit of venomous snakes. The death is both visually brutal and upsetting considering just how much Ragnar has been an integral part of Vikings.
Travis Fimmel recently revealed to Entertainment Weekly that he was supposed to die at the end of Season 1 of Vikings. But, here he is, four seasons later and finally meeting his fate just like he did in the ninth book of the Gesta Danorum. This is a nod to just how brilliant Fimmel has been in this role. He will be sorely missed. His death is the catalyst needed to move the show forward into bigger and better things, just as it was in the historical version of his saga.
Also of interest to note in Episode 15 of Vikings Season 4 is the fact that King Ecbert makes a pilgrimage to see the death of Ragnar Lothbrok. He shows what appears to be genuine grief at the passing of the Viking legend. It was also a smart thing to don Athelstan’s (George Blagden) old robes so he wouldn’t be identified. It is a tactic he should continue with if he wants to avoid Ivar’s wrath.
Speaking of Athelstan, his son, Alfred, appears in “All His Angels.” The game of chess being played between him and Ivar was probably the greatest symbolic way of foreshadowing what will become of these two as adults. Having Ragnar hand over Athelstan’s rosary to Alfred was also a touching moment.
Finally, let’s talk about the one-eyed man who appeared at the end of “All His Angels.” He is seen arriving in Kattegat, although little is revealed about the character. He could be a representation of the one-eyed god, Odin, or the introduction of a Germanic Viking called Hagen. Alternatively, he could be just as unimportant as that time Ragnar was talking to a severed head and everyone was wondering who it belonged to. In that instance, the fact Ragnar was talking to a severed head was the key element, not who the head belonged to. Perhaps this will also be the case in this episode of Vikings. Only by tuning into Episode 16 of Vikings Season 4 will reveal the answers.
What did you think of this recap and of Episode 15 (titled “All His Angels”) of Vikings? Let us know your thoughts by commenting below.
Vikings returns to History Channel with Episode 16 on Wednesday, January 4, at 9 p.m. ET.
The synopsis for Episode 16 (entitled “Crossing”) of Vikings Season 4 according to Carter Matt is below.
“Bjorn’s fleet launches a surprise attack, while Lagertha’s quest for power continues in Kattegat.”
Make sure you check back here next week for our recap on Episode 16 of Vikings.
[Featured Image by Bernard Walsh/History]