‘Vikings’ Season 5: Recap Of Episode 8, ‘The Joke’

The battle for Kattegat begins!

History Channel's 'Vikings,' Season 5, Episode 8, The Joke, Lagertha
Jonathan Hession / history Channel

The battle for Kattegat begins!

Welcome to the recap for Episode 8 (titled “The Joke”) of Vikings Season 5.

SPOILER ALERT: This recap contains information about Episode 8 (titled “The Joke”) of History Channel’s Vikings Season 5. Please proceed with caution if you have not yet viewed this episode and wish to avoid spoilers.

Episode 8 of Vikings Season 5 opens with the strategy build-up to the battle for Kattegat. Ivar the Boneless (Alex Hogh) is questioning whether his brother, Hvitserk (Marco Ilso), will be able to kill their brother, Ubbe (Jordan Patrick Smith), if the circumstance arrives. Harald Finehair (Peter Franzen) is telling his new bride, Astrid (Josefin Asplund), not to come to Kattegat. Astrid, however, refuses to stay behind.

In Kattegat, Episode 8 of Vikings sees Bjorn Ironside (Alexander Ludwig) excited because Guthrum (Ben Roe), the son of Torvi (Georgia Hirst) and Jarl Borg (Thorbjorn Harr), will be present at the battle. Torvi leaves her remaining children with Margrethe (Ida Nielsen) and heads off to war. Margrethe watches as Torvi leaves with Ubbe and it is unclear just how well she will look after Torvi’s children in upcoming episodes of Vikings Season 5.

Bjorn and Halfdan the Black (Jasper Paakkonen) discuss what it will be like to battle against their brothers. Regardless, this will likely be a tough fight, emotionally, for all involved.

History Channel's 'Vikings,' Season 5, Episode 8, The Joke, Hvitserk and Ivar the Boneless
  Jonathan Hession / History Channel

When both sides meet in Episode 8 of Vikings Season 5, out on the battlefield, Lagertha (Katheryn Winnick) tries to bring about peace. It is agreed upon that hostages will be exchanged and they will meet again in the morning to discuss the matter. Episode 8 sees Hvitserk and Halfdan exchanged and everyone goes back to camp.

As to be expected, when the hostages return to each camp, both sides work on them. Hvitserk says he does not regret switching sides. Ubbe also asks about Heahmund (Jonathan Rhys Meyers) in an effort to find out more about the warrior bishop leading up to the battle.

Meanwhile, Halfdan appears to be ready to side with Bjorn over his own brother still. Ivar points out in Episode 8 of Vikings that blood is more important and no one seems to bring up the fact that Ivar can’t see that Hvitserk will have to fight against blood regardless of the side he picks.

In the morning, Lagertha argues her case, drawing on the fact that she does not want innocent people killed as well as reminding them all that the sons of Ragnar Lothbrok (Travis Fimmel) should not be fighting each other. For a moment in Episode 8 of Vikings Season 5, it seems like Ivar is in agreement. Mead is brought forward and they all drink. Except for Harald, who will have no part in Lagertha ruling over Kattegat, not if he wants to be the king of all Norway. Ivar then spits out his mead at Ubbe and it seems the joke is on Lagertha’s side, as neither Harald nor Ivar will accept peace.

War then commences.

While it seems like Ivar has thought of everything, when the Sami attack from the forest, it soon becomes apparent that Lagertha’s side has the upper hand for the time being. Because of this, Harald calls for his side to retreat. For the moment, Lagertha has won. The battle is not yet over, and, as Michael Hirst revealed to Variety, Episode 10 will see a much larger battle play out.

History Channel's 'Vikings,' Season 5, Episode 8, The Joke, Bjorn Ironside
  Jonathan Hession / History Channel

During this spectacular battle, Heahmund sees Lagertha across the field and seems intrigued by her. However, he is struck and drops to the ground. His distraction is his downfall.

As Entertainment Weekly points out, Episode 7 of Vikings saw Alfred (Ferdia Walsh-Peelo) seek out who his father really was by visiting Lindisfarne. In Episode 8, Alfred and his mother, Judith (Jennie Jacques), is discussing this visit and she suggests that Alfred speak to Aethelwulf (Moe Dunford) about possible changes. Alfred thinks Aethelwulf is too set in his ways to see how these changes will be beneficial.

In Iceland, dissension is growing. Floki (Gustaf Skarsgard) continues to oversee the building of the temple though and Aud (Leah McNamara) and her father, Ketill Flatnose (Adam Copeland), still side with Floki. However, viewers can see that tensions are continuing to mount and it is likely sides will clash in upcoming episodes of Vikings.

Episode 8 of Vikings closes with Lagertha looking over the dead; she comes across Heahmund and asks about him. When he is rolled over, it is discovered he is not dead and Lagertha asks Ubbe to spare the priest’s life. For what reason, though, she has no idea. It seems like viewers will have to tune into further episodes of Vikings Season 5 to find out why Lagertha felt the need to save Heahmund.

Vikings returns to History Channel on Wednesday, January 17, at 9 p.m. ET. Zap2It writes the following synopsis for Episode 9 (titled “A Simple Story”).

“The army leaders consider their options in the aftermath of the battle; in Floki’s camp, all hopes of binding the community together are dashed as tragedy unfolds.”