Well, now that Bjorn is well and truly dead, which actor gets top billing in the opening credits?
The guy who plays Ivar? Well, he’s certainly got the most charisma of the people left over, so why not?
You ever see an episode where the whole thing is basically about how people react to the death of a major character? Yeah, this whole episode is like that, showing how everyone reacts to Bjorn’s death, even if most people seem to think he somehow came back from the dead and was maybe a ghost on the battlefield.
For the Rus, it’s bad. Very bad. Oleg doesn’t take loss well, and he doesn’t take his young nephew hanging around with Ivar well because he thinks Ivar is plotting against him. Oleg’s not wrong, but Ivar is dumb and gives up Dir’s plot for a night of passion with Oleg’s wife who looks exactly like Ivar’s dead wife.
Plus, Oleg decided he needed to man up Ivan by wrecking his stuff, taking him to a mass execution, and having Ivan kill one last guy begging for mercy.
Oh, and Oleg offered personality-free Hvitserk a job as a bodyguard, paying that doofus with…opium? That stuff that Ragnar got hooked on? Well, finally Hvitserk takes after his dad. Bjorn? The leadership. Ivar? The military tactical creativity. Ubbe? The urge to explore. Hvitserk? The drug problem.
Over in Iceland, Ubbe learns what happened and decided…not to return to Kattegat. See, Ubbe would be the obvious successor to Bjorn’s throne. But Ubbe has absolutely no desire to be a king, even saying he doesn’t think too much to people with that ambition (shut up about being King of Iceland, Flatnose). Sure, Torvi is suspicious about the people around them, but Ubbe points out they don’t have a lot of choices for traveling companions.
And then, in Kattegat, Erik the Red suggests Gunnhild and Ingrid both try to become the new ruler of Kattegat because he’s smitten with at least one of them. And yes, he tells them separately.
I am sure this won’t cause more problems in the final eight episodes.