Ragnar Lothbrok may be weak and suffering from a drug overdose but the sickly king won’t let any obstacle get in his way of raiding Paris … or taking down his brother. During episode 9 of History Channel’s “Vikings,” audiences watch as the Northmen — including the ill king — begin the Season 4 installment by strenuously heaving boats across mountains.
In episode 8, Ragnar (Travis Fimmel) had proposed portaging to his people after his brother Rollow (Clive Standen) had destroyed their boats with a water trap. So, Ragnar had his people lift up the ships and push them on land (until they were clear of Rollo’s traps) so that they could safely put their boats in the water.
But while the Lothbrok clan is hard at work shoving and pulling ships across the tops of mountains, King Harald (Peter Franzen) and his men make their way to what appears to be an abandoned village. But Harald uncovers a family hiding from the Northmen above their barn. They beg for their lives but the Finehair brothers are ruthless and show no mercy as they slaughter the family while singing a happy tune.
“Of course we killed them,” Harald says to Bjorn (Alexander Ludwig) when they finally return to camp.But their conversation is quickly interrupted when Torvi (Georgia Hirst) comes running with alarming news about Lagertha (Katheryn Winnick).
“I lost my child,” Lagertha explains as tears roll down her checks. “I knew that I could never have a child no matter what I did. The Seer (John Kavanagh) told me long time ago. I was hoping I could change the fates.”
Ragnar sweetly consoles her as she cries into her chest. The king even stays near after Lagertha scolds him to leave her alone. Although Lagertha miscarried, audiences will still welcome another Lothbrok baby into the world. During episode 9 of “Vikings,” Emperor Charles (Lothaire Bluteau) announces the pregnancy of Princess Gisla (Morgane Polanski) and Rollo.
After the ceremonial declaration concludes, the emperor requests that Roland (Huw Parmenter) stays behind. The emperor then asks for Roland’s permission to sleep with his sister Therese (Karen Hassan) — a request Roland says Therese would be honored to oblige. (After all, whoever is closest to the emperor is closest to obtaining power, right?) But little does Roland know that the emperor isn’t only interested in slipping between the sheets with Therese. In a later scene, audiences witness the emperor getting out of bed with Roland!
Meanwhile, King Ecbert (Linus Roache) and little Alfred (Conor O’Hanlon) simultaneously receive new titles. In episode 9, Alfred becomes a counselor of Rome while King Ecbert is anointed as the king of both Wessex and Mercia — a promotion King Aelle (Ivan Kaye) isn’t too please with.
“The fact is you betrayed me,” King Aelle says to King Ecbert. “You told me nothing of your plans. We were supposed to divide Mercia between us but you’ve taken it all.”
King Ecbert then threatens their alliance, stating that their pact was diminished the moment he received his Mercian crown.
Back in Paris, it is revealed that Ragnar’s “insane” plan works. The Vikings celebrate their success but Ragnar tells Floki (Gustaf Skarsgård) that their grand plan isn’t quite finished. “There’s one more thing we have to do,” he says.
Meanwhile, Torvi finally finds the courage to stand up to Erlender (Edvin Endre) in the Season 4 installment. At camp, Erlender presents Torvi with a bow, telling his ex-wife that the Gods have chosen her to avenge the death of King Horik (Donal Logue).
“You have to kill [Bjorn]. The Gods want you to do it, not me,” he says before threatening the life of her son. So, in broad daylight, Torvi walks over to her beau with a bow in hand.
“Erlender has told me to kill you to avenge the death of his father,” she tells him as he waits with open arms. But when Torvi fires the arrow, she aims it at Erlender, piercing him in the chest. However, Bjorn doesn’t have much time to say his goodbyes, after all, he has boats to lower into the water!
He makes his way over to his father’s tent to tell Ragnar that the ships have made it down the mountain, which is when he sees Ragnar vomiting. His father explains that Yidu’s (Dianne Doan) medicine is making him feel “poisoned without it.” And with his stock dwindling down, Ragnar makes the decision not to take another pill until he comes face-to-face with his brother.
“I don’t care about Paris,” Ragnar admits to his son. “I came for Rollo.”
It was also revealed that Bjorn’s daughter, who was named after Siggy (Jessalyn Gilsig), was found dead in the river. Aslaug (Jessica Sutherland) seems not to care that her granddaughter met an untimely fate. Nor does little Ivar (James Quinn Markey) show any empathy for her death.
“Vikings” airs Thursdays at 10 p.m. EDT on History Channel.