Monday, September 7, 2015

Vikings Season 3: Bizarre Love Triangle

vikings season 3

Disappointingly, season 3 of Vikings was not subtitled Lagertha: Queen of the Viking World.  She remains a badass, but also a supporting character. Still, the season was much better, overall, than season 2. The filming and editing was either less stylized or I got used to it, but given the rate at which we went through the entire series to date, I don't think I had enough time to not notice any over the top flourishes. 

lagertha ritual
Looking at it now, a whole lot more happened in this season than the previous two. And yet, it didn't feel too rushed, like the last season of Game of Thrones did. Ragnar is now king, after the events of last season's finale. He leads a voyage back to Wessex, but this time, not to raid. They are there to claim what King Ecbert promised them and the whole time you're waiting for the treachery to unfold. Ecbert is one of the great slimy characters that manages to fool you for short periods of time with his charm, but you can always feel his sleaze just itching to come up again. He winds up taking an interest in Lagertha, and who can blame him. But she ultimately sees right through him, proving yet again why she's a badass, even though she may not have necessarily predicted how far he was planning on going.  But he did go far and I can't wait to see how Ragnar gets his revenge and I hope Lagertha is a big part of it.

The season also saw a major death (actually 2, but one was really more important than the other) that rocks Ragnar to his core and leads to the big twist of the finale. This show has had a sort of underlying theme of the battle of religions which was somehow combined with an exploration of friendship/love between men that may or may not be homoerotic. There's a lot of talk about love and it's often hard to distinguish between romantic and platonic. Hell, right after he captures Athelstan in season 1, he invites him to a threesome with him and Lagertha, so even though it hasn't been explicitly explored, I get the sense sexuality is very fluid in this world. The fact is there was a love triangle going on between Ragnar, Floki and Athelstan. Maybe it was a battle for Ragnar's soul and maybe it was for his body. But maybe, the fact that Floki ultimately wins the physical battle but loses the spiritual one is telling. I've never seen this level of love portrayed between men in this way and it's been a major strength of the show. 

And then there's the siege of Frankia. This plot, where Ragnar lets Floki take the lead in this raid on Paris, knowing full well he will fail was entertaining, thrilling and tense. We know Ragnar has a purpose here but we're never quite sure what it is. And while it's hard to imagine that he would have had all the details worked out to know exactly what would happen or that he would selfishly put his people in such danger just for his own selfish ends, you do get the sense that his motivations have evolved past that of his countrymen considerably. He's always been motivated by the search for knowledge and now there was something else as well. Or was there? How much of what he did was a ruse? Where in season 2 the ruse seemed after the fact, here it was always barely visible so it was much closer to believable once it unfolded. It was even expected to be honest. Still, some things didn't make a whole lot of sense, but this show is not perfect and I can forgive it.

So now we're all caught up, just waiting for the next season sometime next year. Great, another show to get anxious about. Maybe season 4 will be the Lagertha: Warrior Princess show that must happen. 

lagertha badass
I was.

No comments:

Post a Comment