Episode 17 of History's Vikings saw the introduction of two new characters. So who are they, historically, and how will these characters affect the remainder of Season 4 and moving forward into Season 5 of Vikings?
SPOILER ALERT: This recap contains information about the 17th episode (entitled "The Great Army") 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.
In Episode 17 of Vikings, viewers got introduced to Egil (Charlie Kelly) and Earl Jorgensen (Jack Nolan). So who are these characters? Can history reveal anything about them and how their arrival will affect the storylines moving forward in Seasons 4 and 5 of Vikings?
Let's take a look at who they are.
EgilEgil was introduced to Harald Finehair (Peter Franzen) in Episode 17 of Vikings Season 4. Halfdan the Black (Jasper Paakkonen) introduces Egil to his brother as the son of an earl. While Egil would like to be an earl one day, he describes himself as a bastard, indicating his father may not legitimately claim him as his son. This new character in Vikings also has a very distinctive facial deformity that can help place him in history.
Egill Skallagrimsson was a poet, warrior, and farmer who is described as being moody and with an ugly appearance. An essay by Jesse L. Byock in Scientific American deduces that Egill suffered from a disease known as Paget's disease. This disease is a malady of the bones and can cause significant pain. Byock bases this assumption not only on the various mentions of Egill's appearance but also on many identified ailments he suffered from including becoming deaf, a loss of balance, blindness, chronically cold feet, headaches, and bouts of lethargy.
As yet, not enough has been revealed about Egil in Episode 17 of Vikings to confirm definitively these two characters are one and the same. However, if the Egil in Episode 17 of Vikings is also the Egill in history, how will the arrival of this character affect those around him in Season 4 and moving forward into Season 5?
According to Egil's Saga which is digitally recorded on the Icelandic Saga Database, Egil was born in Iceland to Skalla-Grimr Kveldulfsson and Bera Yngvarsdottir. He was the grandson of Kveld-Ulfr, who also went by the name, "Night Wolf," potentially, because he was also known as a shapeshifter.
It is his father, Grimr, however, that leads to an interesting assumption that could be made moving forward in Season 4 and 5 of Vikings. Grimr was well-respected by those around him but also known to be an enemy of King Harald Fairhair of Norway.
So, could Egil start out as an apparent ally to Harald Finehair but then seek revenge on him as retribution for his grandfather's grudge? Only by tuning into subsequent episodes of Vikings will reveal the answers.
Earl JorgensenEpisode 17 of Vikings saw Ragnar's (Travis Fimmel) sons forming what is known as the Great Heathen Army. Historical records indicate that this army was likely the first time the Vikings cohesively formed a unified front. However, in order for Ivar the Boneless (Alex Hogh) and his brothers to form this great army, they had to gather the help from as many Viking rulers as possible.
And this is where Earl Jorgensen appears. He arrives in Kattegat, offering a sword to Lagertha (Katheryn Winnick) to show his allegiance to Ragnar Lothbrok's side.
Historically, not a lot is to be found about any Viking earl called Jorgensen. In Episode 17 of Vikings, he tells Lagertha he is from Sweden, which narrows down the search somewhat. Yet, there appears to be no mention still of a historical figure fitting this description.
While History Channel does use a lot of historical figures to guide their storylines in Vikings, it seems Earl Jorgensen is not one of these characters. This means the way his character will impact Season 4 and 5 of Vikings is currently unknown.
Even so, it seems he might be aligned more with Lagertha over Ragnar's sons, since Episode 17 of Vikings showed him being held at knife-point when Ivar and Ubbe (Jordan Smith) confronted Lagertha.
What do you think about the new characters introduced in Episode 17 of Vikings Season 4? Let us know your thoughts by commenting below.
Vikings returns to History Channel with Episode 18 on Wednesday, January 18, at 9 p.m. ET.
According to the History Channel's schedule, Episode 18 of Vikings will be titled "Revenge." They list the synopsis for this episode as follows.
"Ragnar's plan comes to fruition; the Viking army lands on the coast of Northumbria."[Featured Image by History Channel]