May 26, 2024

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Vikings: Valhalla “Towers Of Faith”

Season Two, Episode Two

I’ve said of the sequel series in the past that I have even, for the first time, found the plot of whatever was happening in England interesting as both Queen Emma and Lord Godwin are far more interesting characters than past English noblemen.  However, I don’t really have anything to say about them at present despite the fact there are clearly plots afoot.

What I see instead is the general conflict of religion that has always been at the center of this show and it’s predecessor, but here it’s a lot more hazy.  This isn’t just Christians vs Pagans because Harald is himself a Christian and an ally to the pagans Lief and Freydis.  Or, at least, he’s friendly to them, and in Lief’s case, he expects certain things.  Olaf strikes me as the sort of person who would be a bastard no matter what his religion is.  Besides, faith has always been an important part of the Vikings universe, and it seems to suggest that both religions are more or less if not true then at least as true as their respective believers need them to be.  Sure, the Eyeless Seer Dude is still hanging around to give cryptic clues, but there have been moments in the past, at least in the previous show, to demonstrate the Christian faith is just as valid.

That’s just my way of saying that Freydis’s, let’s say, elevation to spiritual leader of the new Uppsala left me a little antsy.  I mean, I know she’s one of the main characters and all, so special things are going to happen to her, and she is already having visions, but that doesn’t mean I can’t be a little leery of her being, well, whatever it is to this hideaway that Olaf is bound to find because I’ve seen enough TV to know that of course he will.

But at the same time, I see Harald’s finally having someone tell him that, hey, maybe he doesn’t deserve to be King of Norway just because some absent guy promised it before running off somewhere.  That comes from both his Russian uncle Yaroslav the Wise (good name) and from Lief, who has been following Harald around because I guess he has nowhere else to go.  Harald is a guy with maybe one follower right now if Lief counts, so that isn’t much to take over a country.  I mean, Lief is an Icelander.  What right does he have to dictate Norwegian governmental policy?

Besides, Lief’s trying to purge himself of his dead almost-girlfriend, and that led him to almost walking off a roof on a snowy night.  He may not be the best ally.  He does leave Harald in a lurch when the wannabe king challenges two pitfighters at the same time, but Harald wins anyway because this show is called Vikings and not Pitfighters.

However, the Wise Prince did suggest Harald should do like all true Vikings and re-invent himself.  Must be why Harald is leading a dangerous trade mission for his uncle to get an army of mercenaries.  That doesn’t strike me as much better to win over a population, but then again, I got antsy over the Freydis plotline, so clearly this show doesn’t want me feeling too comfortable with all this stuff.