Vikings S03E02 Recap: The Wanderer

The Vikings have returned to Wessex, and King Ecbert has changed the terms of their agreement. While Lagertha farmed, Ragnar and the others went to war against Brihtwulf and slaughtered his forced. Blood and bodies cover the shore, while Kwenthrith's brother can do little more than watch from the safety of his own shore.

Torstein is looking worse for the wear after the battle. There is celebrating to be done, but for the first time in his life Torstein is not hungry. Rollo gives him some of his mushrooms to eat. Ragnar hopes that Freya will lie with him tonight. Ragnar goes to check on Princess Kwenthrith next. She's drunk and happy that her uncle is dead, but seeing his death is not enough, she wants his head. Floki is more than happy to retrieve it for her. Ragnar questions her deep hate of him. Her older brother was not the only one to rape her, it was her uncle who did it first and brought his friends as well. He violated her in deeper, soul scarring ways. Floki bounces back with Uncle Brihtwulf's head, and Kwenthrith takes to stabbing it repeatedly, which gives Floki an odd delight.

Bjorn retrieves Porunn, taking her aside. She fought well, but she did not listen. She did not stay by his side, and took too many chances. Porunn mocks Bjorn, and his beliefs in their Gods. Bjorn is just worried about her safety. Bjorn sullenly asks if she will marry him, maybe now she'll understand his deep concern. Porunn happily accepts.

That scene that Clive Standen spoke about a few weeks ago plays out. While eating his mushrooms, Rollo looks at one of the prisoners legs. Torstein watches as Rollo makes his way over to the man. Rollo stares at the leg, picks up an axe and cleaves it off. He stumbles back to his seat as Torstein asks why he did that. The angle of the leg bothered him, he couldn't help himself. A drunken Kwenthrith stumbles over looking for Ragnar. Rollo shares some mushrooms with her, as she slides down by Torstein's side. Rollo gets a little handsy, and Kwenthrith slaps him away to the laughs of the others.

Lagertha washes up as King Ecberr continues to stare. She asks Athelstan to ask who farmed the land before it was given to her. Ecbert admits that he had to remove several farmers to give her the land. She's concerned over the safety of their camp. Ecbert personally guarantees their safety. Lagertha confesses that it has always been Ragnar's dream to find new land for the young and to live in peace, which is also her dream now. Ecbert asks if she's a free woman.

The Vikings continue their war match. Having taken out one half of the army, now they move to take out the other half. As the men on shore prepare for the war ships to arrive, the Vikings display have them rattled. They've taken the heads of Brihtwulf and his men, and hung them from the masses. The army flees, and only Kwenthrith's brother remains. His soldiers beg him to run. Kwenthrith pleads from the ship for her brother to give himself up, to not run, but his council advises against it. He runs.

Torstein's wounds pull him closer to death. He heads into the cool river for a dunk.

King Ecbert has given Lagertha a good plot of land, and even brought men to help. Ecbert's men find Lagertha's plows and tools to be primitive. Ecbert grabs a handful of dirt, and presents it to Lagertha as a gift. The gift is more precious to her than stones, and she thanks him.

Back at Kattegat, its cold and bleak. Helga walks with Aslaug and Siggy. She tells him of her dream of a man that she could not seen. She tells them of his arrival, and the other two women have had the exact same dream. Helga asks if they were scared. They were not, Siggy was excited, expectant. Aslaug woke disappointed that it was not real. Aslaug has no explanation for their visions.

The words of the seer ring true for Lagertha as she works the land, being cleansed by it until she becomes a virgin once more. Ecbert watches, but does not sully his hands. He suggests that Athelstan bless the house. Athelstan begins a prayer, but one of the Vikings brushes past him, putting their idol on display.

Kalf lays his claim to Lagertha's Earldom. He played the role of loyal follower so well, but he plays that of traitor better as he tells the people that they have outed the absent earl.

Ecbert prepares to return to his castle, and he asks that Athelstan and Lagertha accompany him to his baths. She agrees.

Kwenthrith pleads to Ragnar for her brother. She thinks that he is at the mercy of oppressors. Ragnar asks where they could have gone, and Kwenthrith is sure that they went to the town for reinforcements, which doesn't bode well for Ragnar and his men. He sends one of his men ahead to scout.

Princess Judith sits with Ecbert, Lagertha and Athelstan. There has been no word from Ragnar, but Ecbert is confident in him as he gives Lagertha some serious sex eyes. Judith admits that she has been utterly fascinated with Ragnar, the Vikings and their pagan ways since they arrived. She asks Athelstan about them, but he refuses to describe the pagan ways to her. He instead offers her something else, something that challenged his faith. Odin and Jesus has some similarities, but Odin's trials happened before Christ. It has made him question his faith. Lagertha only understood the Odin part, and asks what he said. He loves both Christ and Odin, and there isn't more to say. Ecbert moves to lighten the mood with another gift. He gave her dirt, and now he gives her gold and gems in the form of a beautiful necklace. He places it on her neck, and it is as beautiful as its wearer.

In Kattegat, Siggy goes to see the seer, but his tent is utterly quiet. She looks for him, and blood drips on her hand. The seer was bleeding, dying. Siggy awakens. She sits with Helga and Aslaug by the fire. The seer was bound, and bleeding. There was so much blood Helga says. Siggy tells her it was only a dream, and Aslaug says the same. Only a dream they all seem to have had, again.

In Mercia, Aethelwulf catches up to a man from the opposing force. He claims that he was riding, not part of the army. They move to brand him, and he squirms, claiming that he does not know where Kwenthrith's brother is. Aethelwulf gives him the chance to save his sight, and as the heated metal gets closer, the man confesses that they're waiting for reinforcements. Aethelwulf releases him. His fight is not with him, and he will release him without harm.

Judith walks in on Athelstan in what use to be his study. She apologizes for interrupting him and his scrolls. She's come for a favor, she wants him to hear her confession. He is no priest, but she insists. Her bishop is not there, and she needs to make her confession. Athelstan reluctantly agrees. The pair head to the confessionals. She starts with the traditional forgive me father for I have sinned. She's sinned in thought, but not deed. She's dreamed of lying naked beside a man who is not her husband, but she did not just lie beside him, but had sex with him that she enjoyed very much. The man Judith dreams of is Athelstan. With her confession off her chest she leaves, and Athelstan is left with impure thoughts of his own.

The man that Helga, Siggy and Aslaug dreamt of draws hear. His hot blood steams on the fallen snow. Siggy, Helga and Aslaug feel his approach.

Kalf cuts the liver from his prey. He dreamed that Ragnar did the same to him, and ate it. Kalf begged him to stop, the liver is the seed of life. Ragnar continued to eat though. His companion asks if he is afraid of Ragnar. Anyone who would rise from farmer to king should be feared. Kalf too had humble beginnings, and he wishes to have fame as Ragnar does. He wants the gods to prepare a valiant horse for him when he descends to Valhalla. Ragnar may be a descendant of Odin, but he's still human, if he is cut, he will bleed.

Rollo, Porunn, Bjorn and Floki play a game of coins. Torstein plays no games, shaking. He calls to them, and Floki tells him that he couldn't have done better. Torstein cares little for the game. He wants them to cut off his arm, he's never liked it anyways. Rollo asks why he doesn't keep the arm. The arm is killing him. Bjorn steps up and volunteers to do it, but he wants Floki to be the one to do it. Floki agrees. Torstein would do the same for him. The axe is placed into the fire, and everyone holds Torstein down as Floki gets to work, removing the toxic appendage. Rollo says a prayer for Torstein's survival.

Athelstan thanks Ecbert for the land that he has given them. Ecbert offers his own thanks, for opening up his eyes that one can live with and accept two cultures. Lagertha offers her own thanks, for the hospitality, and the gifts. Ecbert makes it clear that she is welcome back anytime. Athelstan goes to Judith, she did not wait to hear her penance. His leaving is penance enough, but his leaving should also free her from further sinful thoughts. Lagertha and Athelstan make their leave, and Ecbert confronts Judith about her love of their monk. She doesn't love him, she's merely fascinated by him. He cautions her fascinations. He may be complicated, and interesting, but he's also dangerous. She asks her father in law if the same could be said about him.

The ships prepare to set sail once more. Torstein isn't quite recovered, still a little shocky from losing his arm. The Saxons come back with news of the opposing forces. They're trying to draw them away from their boats.

In Kattegat, Helga walks through the village when she spots the wanderer approaching. She stares at him as he draws near. His hands are bleeding just as in her vision. He's hurt his hand badly, and asks if she can help him. The blood falls on the snow, steaming.

Torstein lies on the sandy shores, opening his eyes as the others surround him.

Lagertha works in her barn when Athelstan enters. His stigmatas are bleeding as he sheds tears.


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