History Channel’s ‘Vikings’ Season 5: Recap Of Episode 12, ‘Murder Most Foul’

King Alfred meets his potential new wife while Heahmund and Lagertha's affair is discovered.

Katheryn Winnick stars as Lagertha
Jonathan Hession / History Channel

King Alfred meets his potential new wife while Heahmund and Lagertha's affair is discovered.

Here’s what happened in Episode 12 (titled “Murder Most Foul”) of History Channel’s Vikings Season 5.

SPOILER ALERT: This recap contains information about Episode 12 (titled “Murder Most Foul”) 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 12 of Vikings Season 5 opens with the Vikings arriving at King Alfred’s (Ferdia Walsh-Peelo) villa in a cage. It doesn’t look great for Lagertha’s (Katheryn Winnick) group but Heahmund argues their case to King Alfred. And, it turns out that Alfred will offer them a safe passage. However, there is a catch. Alfred will honor Ragnar’s (Travis Fimmel) deal with Ecbert (Linus Roache), even though it was never a legally binding document but, in return, the Vikings will fight for King Alfred against their own kind. Lagertha agrees to the deal.

While Lagertha may trust Heahmund, Ubbe (Jordan Patrick Smith) and, in particular, Bjorn Ironside (Alexander Ludwig), are not sure at how trustworthy Alfred really is. Of course, on the other side of the coin, Alfred is not sure which of the Vikings can be trusted. Of which, Heahmund has absolute faith in Lagertha.

Heahmund is also expecting his position as Bishop of Sherborne to be returned to him. While Alfred would prefer Heahmund to be reinstated, it is more complicated than that. People within Wessex suspect that Heahmund is no longer a holy man after fighting with the heathen Vikings, so he must prove his worth once more.

Heahmund is not impressed with this and pays the new bishop, Cuthred (Jonathan Delaney Tynan), a visit. It is at this point that Heahmund learns of the possibility that the Church is rising up against King Alfred. He speaks of these suspicions to Lagertha.

Since holy men are supposed to be celibate in the Christian faith, Heahmund and Lagertha continue to meet up in secret. However, they fail to notice the spy watching them and news, invariably, gets back to Lord Cuthred. He immediately sends word to Heahmund of his indiscretions and tells him that Heahmund will never be head of the Church again.

Heahmund responds by killing Lord Cuthred.

Jonathan Rhys Meyers stars as Heahmund
  Jonathan Hession / History Channel

Meanwhile, King Alfred also has to deal with a potential new bride that his mother, Judith (Jennie Jacques) has arranged. Her niece, Princess Elsewith (Roisin Murphy), is the intended bride. However, Alfred has been kept busy with the new Viking arrivals, so there is little time for their romance. But that doesn’t stop Ealhswith eyeing off Bjorn Ironside and even spending the night with him. Who knows how long this betrothal will last?

King Alfred does have time for a little chat with Ubbe, though, and they discuss the prospect of the Vikings renouncing their heathen beliefs to become baptized in the Christian faith. By doing this, Alfred says it will help grease the way to the Vikings finally gets Ragnar’s land claim. Ubbe is not so sure he wants to do this, though and has to think about it.

As for what is happening in Kattegat, Ivar the Boneless (Alex Hogh Andersen) announces his upcoming nuptials to Freydis (Alicia Agneson). As the Express points out, this could be a dangerous relationship for the pair.

Harald (Peter Franzen) is concerned that Ivar is trying to quickly produce an heir so that he can claim complete ownership on Kattegat. Hvitserk (Marco Ilso) and Margrethe (Ida Marie Nielsen) quickly point out that Ivar is impotent and Harald is less concerned with being backstabbed by Ivar after that.

Freydis is also very aware of Ivar’s impotency and sets about telling him that he is a god and, therefore, anything is possible. She then sets about getting herself pregnant via other means and Ivar actually believes that she is pregnant with him.

Ida Marie Nielsen stars as Margrethe
  Jonathan Hession / History Channel

Margrethe, though being taken on by Hvitserk, is still displaying worrying signs of insanity. She begs Hvitserk to kill Ivar before he kills her first. Ivar also has a dream in which Margrethe stabs him and he wants her gotten rid of. As a result, Margrethe ends up being killed. However, it is unclear if this death is entirely Ivar’s doing or whether Hvitserk alerted his brother to Margrethe’s death threat.

As for Iceland, Floki (Gustaf Skarsgard) is questioning his own sanity as things go from bad to worse in the new settlement. Eyvind (Kris Holden-Ried) is not only still complaining about Floki but the crops have failed. As a result of all this unrest, Floki begins to question whether the gods were ever present in Iceland.

Vikings returns on Wednesday, December 12, at 9 p.m. ET/PT. History Channel provides the following synopsis for Episode 13 (titled “A New God”).

“Heahmund must try to convince King Alfred that his actions are in defense of the Crown. Ubbe and Torvi strengthen the position of the Vikings but not all in the Viking camp support their strategy. Another settler disappears in Iceland”