Ragnar’s (Travis Fimmel) leadership will be called into question during episode 8 of “Vikings.” In the previous Season 4 installment of the History Channel series, the great Ragnar Lothbrok had concocted a plan to raid and conquer Paris. But his scheme went up in flames — literally — when Rollo (Clive Standen) fought back with flaming arrows and a deadly water defense.
Bjorn (Alexander Ludwig) was embarrassed by the catastrophe and blamed the Viking slaughter on his father. And, according to the synopsis for episode 8, titled “Portage,” Bjorn won’t be the only one thinking that the defeat was Ragnar’s fault.
In a promo video, King Harald (Peter Franzén) tells Lagertha (Katheryn Winnick) that “someone is always responsible for failure.” And he’s placing the blame for the Vikings retreat on Ragnar. Could this be King Harald’s chance to steal Ragnar’s crown? He’s been eyeing Ragnar’s throne since he first arrived to Kattegat, and with the Northmen questioning Ragnar’s leadership, now could be the perfect time for him to swoop in and steal the title.
But Ragnar has something up his sleeve, according to the summary — a plan that he’ll “keep under wraps.” But we have a theory that whatever Ragnar has cooked up will lead him face-to-face with his treacherous brother. Considering the title for episode 8 is “Portage,” we’ve theorized that Ragnar may be using a new tactic to attack Rollo. Portaging is the act of carrying a water craft on land to avoid an obstacle in the water, which means Ragnar may be pulling his ships out of the sea to bypass Rollo's destructive chain.
Meanwhile, Rollo and Gisla (Morgane Polanski) will uncover information to “strengthen Rollo’s position at the French court.” Rollo has been flying up the regal totem pole, but according to the fearsome Count, he will never be able to break free from Ragnar’s shadow until his brother is buried.
“As long as my brother is alive, he is not defeated,” he tells Emperor Charles (Lothaire Bluteau).
Queen Kwenthrith (Amy Bailey) will also be planning a funeral for someone near and dear to her: King Ecbert (Linus Roache). In episode 7, the King of Wessex deceived Kwenthrith by racing to Mercia and obtaining the crown — a title she believed was to be hers. The ruthless queen will attempt to steal back what it hers in episode 8 … even if it means killing the king.
“Vikings” airs Thursdays at 10 p.m. EDT on History Channel.