Veltigar

Vikings XI: Aelle's Anaconda don't want none unless you got buns hun [SPOILERS]

223 posts in this topic

Carry on people, I think last night's episode probably deserves a thread of its own. 

(I'll update the title to something more fitting once I have seen that episode... I hope the emotions inspire me). 

I have decided to use a popcultural reference as a title, as I always do when I get the chance to name a Vikings thread :P for anyone to lazy to google the title, just click on the link and all shall be clear to you :P 

EDIT: I will of course accept better snake related popcultural puns :P 

EDIT2: That first reference was rather long... I have found a better one :P

Previous threads:

http://asoiaf.westeros.org/index.php/topic/82132-vikings-on-the-history-channel-what-the-hell

http://asoiaf.westeros.org/index.php/topic/87371-viking-round-deux

http://asoiaf.westeros.org/index.php/topic/106952-vikings-3-eye-stabbing-as-a-means-of-social-mobility

http://asoiaf.westeros.org/index.php/topic/109261-vikings-4-on-to-season-3

http://asoiaf.westeros.org/index.php/topic/125951-spoilers-vikings-season-3-discussion-thread

http://asoiaf.westeros.org/index.php/topic/126839-vikings-vi-on-to-frankia/

Vikings VII: We'll always have Paris [SPOILERS]

Vikings VIII: 20 episodes under the sea [SPOILERS]

Vikings IX: The Bear Necessities [SPOILERS]

Vikings X: Halfway Through the Madness

Edited by Veltigar

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I'm very late to the party, but I have almost caught up with the rest of you. I think I know what's going to happen in the latest episode and I'm mentally preparing myself :'( I also wanted to say my piece about the earlier episodes, because I think I'll probably want to say something seperatly about the latest episode.

So far, I'm really digging this new season. As you all may remember, I greatly disliked season three. And I was even less fond of the first part of season four. This series truly peaked during its second season. That being said, I like what I have seen so far. I still have to bang my head against the wall a couple of times every episode for the huge logical fails (again with the sobbing about Athelstan, Lagertha killing Aslaug for taking her man, etc.), but somehow they don't bother me as much this time around (perhaps my walls have become softer, I don't know).

I think that might have something to do with the pace. Last season really dragged in places, but this has a nice speed. Sure, it makes mistakes, but it doesn't dwell on them. We don't have to spend hours and hours getting Paris shuffed down our throats and I appreciate that.

Performances are great as usual. There's nothing more that can be said about Travis Fimmel I think (or at least not until I have seen his victory lap. He's just that good, eventhough the character he's playing now seems hardly related to the cocksure young Viking we had in the first two seasons. I also really like Ivar. The actor is good and right now, I feel like I could watch more of him. They have done a really good job so far in differentiating him from both the other sons and Ragnar, with enough echos of the latter to see why he will probably be the one to done his father's cloack. The other recurring characters performed at the level we have come to expect. The only pleasant surprise was Linus Roach. That man can act, something that wasn't always apparent last season when he got shafted with one of the shittiest plotlines one can imagine.

As to the other sons, I'm casually optimistic. Ubbe was always my favourite, purely based on his looks and I think he's developing nicely. He seems like the most empathic of Ragnar's brood and he fights a good fight. Those are some promising charactertraits and I think they'll clash nicely with Ivar's future path.

Sigurd is a bit of a question mark in my opinion. It seems a bit odd to make him into the treacherous douchebag brother. I'm also still not overly fond of the casting. It still feels like they should have taken someone more burly, but I suspect they wanted to make it easier for us to differentiate between all the brothers.

Hvitserk has future sacrifice written all over him right now, he's definitely the replaceable one. I hope they do something with him before his demise, because I really do want to care. This show managed to make me care about a minor character like Torstein, so I hope they'll do the same for Hvitserk. 

That's all I have to say for now. Will report back later today I think.

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16 minutes ago, Veltigar said:

Carry on people, I think last night's episode probably deserves a thread of its own. 

(I'll update the title to something more fitting once I have seen that episode... I hope the emotions inspire me). 

Previous thread:

You still watch this show? Your lack of presence made me think you quit.

As a suggestion for thread title I have

Spoiler

"A Thousand Ways to Die in Saxon England"

 

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28 minutes ago, Corvinus said:

You still watch this show? Your lack of presence made me think you quit.

I wasn't there, because I'm the hero the Vikings thread deserves, but not the one it needed at the time. So I needed time to be hunted. Because I can take it. Because I'm not this thread's hero. I'm a silent guardian. A watchful protector. A Dark Knight. :P

Seriously though, I have been spending less time online due to certain developments in real life. Right now, I have got some much needed downtime and I decided to catch up with Vikings and the good people in the Vikings thread :) I have been pleasantly surprised by the show so far. I was on the fence about continuing I must admit, but in the end I realised I would never walk away from this show as long as Fimmel was still there :) 

As a suggestion for thread title I have

  Reveal hidden contents

"A Thousand Ways to Die in Saxon England"

 

As soon as I have watched the episode, I'll click on that spoilertag ;) 

Edited by Veltigar

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Well sure they had talked about it but I didn't think they would actually do it and if they did I was counting on at least another 4 episodes of padding before they did it.  I will miss the character and don't think most of the rest are strong enough to carry the show.  

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1 hour ago, Veltigar said:

Hvitserk has future sacrifice written all over him right now, he's definitely the replaceable one. I hope they do something with him before his demise, because I really do want to care. This show managed to make me care about a minor character like Torstein, so I hope they'll do the same for Hvitserk.

Man, I called that the second all the sons of Ragnar got little videos telling who they are and what they are about except Hvitserk. I hope when they do end up killing him off, he goes out like in the sagas. Nothing more badass than when asked how one wants to die, you pick being burned alive, that shows massive balls.

As for this episode, it is the first legitimantly great episode of the 4th season, largely because it focused almost entirely on Ragnar and the old guard of the show. I actually liked Ecbert in this episode, his grief over Ragnar's death seemed appropreate, the line about having a hand in destroying something truly special really helped explain his emotions and actions more so than any amount of getting drunk and whining about their mutual boyfriend did. Really my only complaint is that he uttered the famous last words quietly so only Aella could hear them, I felt they should have be in that last little speech he made.

Also, can we take a moment to appreciate Aella, because it seems like on the rare occasions he pops up, he is one of the highlights of those episodes.

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Some interesting highlights from Michael Hirst's Facebook Interview:

Ragnar is in Valhalla despite doubting the gods existence:

"I think Ragnar is having a great time in Valhalla. In the end he didn't expect to be there, but in the end he was delighted."

On taking liberty with History:

"Viking drama means making choices. I chose to make Rollo Ragnar's brother because I wanted Rollo in the show. Basically, I would say the show is as authentic as we could make it while still being a drama."

 Michael Hirst  takes a lot of flack on these boards...but it's worth noting he writes every single episode without a writer's room pitching him stories, giving him a break, or second guessing Hirst's ideas.   The show, for all its greatness and flaws, is one guy's vision.  Would it be more consistently great episode to episode if Michael had a writer's room shooting down certain choices or offering alternate ideas?  Yes, probably.  But give the guy credit, whatever you think of the series, every episode (which counting season 5 stands at 69 one hour episodes) will be "written by Michael Hirst."  Not even George Lucas, Robert Kirkman, or George RR Martin can say that about their creations.

 

 

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That was pretty good. Travis Fimmel was absolutely fantastic, as per usual and Ragnar death scene was great. The flashbacks was a nice touch also. A worthy exit for both the character and the actor. Echbert was also really good and even if I do not really buy the writing for the character I do think Linus Roche is great and does the absolute best he can with what he got. Further on, Ivar continues to impress, I especially liked the chess game with Alfred. Plus, King Aella always provides some good loathsome fun.

I do think the many scenes of Ragnar in a caged and getting tortured became a bit tedious and I would have liked it if the had broken them up a bit with some updates on the other parts of the Viking world. As of right Bjorn's expedition is starting to feel a bit like an afterthought, like something that is bound to be overshadowed by the Great Heathen army. Which is a shame because Bjorns (and Hastein's, historically speaking) journey is a great story and the expedition is supposed to have lasted several years. I think that deserves more time of the story than it will ultimately end up getting though, which is a shame. At least we are going back to that next week.

Torvi wasn't in this episode, which was good, but she still suck.

Now it is going to be interesting to see how the show is going to handle losing it's main character and best actor.

Oh yeah, as a bonus reddit turned me on to this funny Russian Vikings commercial.

1 hour ago, GrimTuesday said:

Man, I called that the second all the sons of Ragnar got little videos telling who they are and what they are about except Hvitserk. I hope when they do end up killing him off, he goes out like in the sagas. Nothing more badass than when asked how one wants to die, you pick being burned alive, that shows massive balls.

You mean those character catch-up videos? There's one of them for Hvitserk too.

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I just saw the episode. It was pretty good. Not as great a send-off as for example Seperate Paths or Victory was for some of the characters in Spartacus, but overall I liked it. It's on par with most of the season so far, dumb in a rather inoffensive way thanks to the fast pacing (although they were really pushing their luck with those fucking pythons).

To be honest, I think they could have done more with the material. That snake pit should have given me nightmares for days to come, but it was all rather tame. The pit wasn't impressive at all and I can't really decide whether they took the right approach to his death. Which just shows you how important the performances are on this show. Fimmel was outstanding, yet again. The emotions that man can express with one eye are simply amazing. 

I would also really like to give a shout out to the make-up people. I can't believe how young Ragnar looked in that flashback as compared to how he was right before being thrown in the pit. The flashbacks themselves were okay. A little bit on the nose, but that's been one of this show's main problems for years now, so nothing new there.

I do find it a little odd that I haven't really been emotionally effected by anything yet. I thought last season was weak, but there were two scenes that were so emotionally beautiful (Ragnar sailing past the bank, seeing his old life and Bjorn and him silently supporting Lagertha after her miscarriage) that they'll stay with me forever. I was missing something equally beautiful in this episode, some scene that distilled exactly what we needed to mourn about Ragnar, other than just being sad that Fimmel will never again rescue this show from its poor writing by giving one of the greatest performances in television history. 

Ivar was interesting as ever. Really loved how the episode went out with a view of his rage filled face. I wonder how that storyline is going to develop, especially with that one-eyed dude in the bay. I'm looking forward to see how that guy is going to fit into all of this. 

4 hours ago, GrimTuesday said:

I actually liked Ecbert in this episode, his grief over Ragnar's death seemed appropreate, the line about having a hand in destroying something truly special really helped explain his emotions and actions more so than any amount of getting drunk and whining about their mutual boyfriend did. 

Yeah, that was good writing. And because Roach and Fimmel had such good chemistry, they were able to sell it really well. 

4 hours ago, GrimTuesday said:

Also, can we take a moment to appreciate Aella, because it seems like on the rare occasions he pops up, he is one of the highlights of those episodes.

The actor playing him has gravitas! :) I wish this series had done more with him to be honest. All the times we have cursed about Wessex and all the stupid shenanigans going on there, it makes it all the more frustrating that we had a great actor waiting to take his place as an antagonist to Ragnar and the boys. 

2 hours ago, generalzod said:


 Michael Hirst  takes a lot of flack on these boards...but it's worth noting he writes every single episode without a writer's room pitching him stories, giving him a break, or second guessing Hirst's ideas.   The show, for all its greatness and flaws, is one guy's vision.  Would it be more consistently great episode to episode if Michael had a writer's room shooting down certain choices or offering alternate ideas?  Yes, probably.  But give the guy credit, whatever you think of the series, every episode (which counting season 5 stands at 69 one hour episodes) will be "written by Michael Hirst."  Not even George Lucas, Robert Kirkman, or George RR Martin can say that about their creations.

 

 

Several people on here (including yours truly) have criticised Hirst precisely because the man is to stubborn to take on other writers. As a viewer, the only thing I care about at the end of the day is quality. I don't really give a damn about who wrote what. It's impressive that he's done all this by himself, but I think this show could be way better than it is if he allowed some people to lend him a hand. Film/television is a collaborative artform after all and I think it's not very smart that he doesn't take all the help he can get. It's a bit similar to GoT really, the quality went downhill even faster than before after D&D started taking on more and more work. 

1 hour ago, GallowKnight said:

As of right Bjorn's expedition is starting to feel a bit like an afterthought, like something that is bound to be overshadowed by the Great Heathen army. Which is a shame because Bjorns (and Hastein's, historically speaking) journey is a great story and the expedition is supposed to have lasted several years. I think that deserves more time of the story than it will ultimately end up getting though, which is a shame. At least we are going back to that next week.

I wonder whether we'll even see anything more than the departure of the Great Heathen Army this season. I believe Bjorn and the others will continue on their trip for a while and that Ivar and the others will first focus on everything at home. Ivar needs to deal with Lagertha first (either by coming to some sort of an arrangement wit her or by getting rid of her permanently) and the Kattegat brothers need to create their own armies to add to that of Bjorn. 

Ivar also needs something to do in order to clench that leadership position first. We know he's Ragnar's natural heir as a leader, but his brothers (and the people) first need to come to terms with that I think. Ivar will have to gain some victories. I think he's either going to avenge his mother by defeating Lagertha or he'll end up saving Kattegat from an attack by that one-eyed guy we saw at the end of this episode.

I hope they'll pit him against Lagertha, because that would be something fresh. And I do feel like it would be wise to remove all the old players from the board from a storytelling POV (aside from Floki perhaps, he can still be very useful). It would be quite satisfying to see Ivar utterly destroy Lagertha. However the show is probably going to be boring again and have that one-eyed dude invade Kattegat, forcing Lagertha and Ivar to work together or some similar piece of bullshit.

1 hour ago, GallowKnight said:

 I especially liked the chess game with Alfred.

That was one of the things I really didn't like. That forshadowing was about as subtle as a hatchet to the face (it was also pretty irresponsible of the guards to leave a prince alone with a prisoner, crippled or not). I think it would have been better if Alfred had lost that game really. If they do bring him and Ivar into conflict in the future, it would be great if Ivar underestimated him based on that. Or if Ivar gets killed on this show before the clash between Alfred and the remaining Viking forces, we could always have wondered whether things would have gone different with Ivar on board. It's little things like that this show hardly ever gets right.

1 hour ago, GallowKnight said:

I do think the many scenes of Ragnar in a caged and getting tortured became a bit tedious and I would have liked it if the had broken them up a bit with some updates on the other parts of the Viking world.

The torture sequence was also a bit tame I think. Some fire, some poking with a spears and then he got initiated into MS-13? The only thing that rang true to me were the hot poke and the slicing of his face. Those bastards were cruel and I don't think they would have given Ragnar so much slack as they did there. 

Quote

 

1 hour ago, GallowKnight said:

Oh yeah, as a bonus reddit turned me on to this funny Russian Vikings commercial.

Ha, that is good XD Speaking of Russian Vikings, any idea whether that kick-ass Russian film about Vladimir the Great is having any success?

 

6 hours ago, Corvinus said:

 

  Hide contents

"A Thousand Ways to Die in Saxon England"

 

I went with a stupid popculture joke. I tried to fight against my nature :crying: but... mea culpa, mea maxima culpa ;) 

Edited by Veltigar

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I believe the Russian film, Viking, first premieres today. Looks damn good. A third trailer was released not too long ago, dubbed in English, so a bit more revealing than the other two. Not a huge deal if you know the history of Vladimir the great, but some people prefer to know very little about a film before watching it.

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3 minutes ago, Astromech said:

I believe the Russian film, Viking, first premieres today. Looks damn good. A third trailer was released not too long ago, dubbed in English, so a bit more revealing than the other two. Not a huge deal if you know the history of Vladimir the great, but some people prefer to know very little about a film before watching it.

I'm one of those people ;) Although I did spoil myself by reading up on Vladimir. Those first trailers looked totally badass :) 

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FINALLY  someone gives some acknowledgment to the badass villainy stylings of Ivan Kaye as King Aelle.

His acting is equal parts permanent indigestion, lemon suck, smells a rank fart, testicle clamps, and shoes two sizes too small. 

My man Aelle is a classic wrestling heel, he shits on your hometown, tells you your sports team sucks, and tries not to get knifed by a redneck on the way back to his car.

And because he's British all his scenery chewing comes off as gravitas.

Its like someone took a Bizzaro Ray, pointed it at Brian Blessed, and made his opposite joyless insufferable twin in Aelle. 

 

 

 

Edited by generalzod

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Well done on the thread title @Veltigar. :lol:

I completely agree about Aelle. He's great. In my head he's about as close to Robert Baratheon as any actor I've ever seen. 

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6 hours ago, generalzod said:

Some interesting highlights from Michael Hirst's Facebook Interview:

Ragnar is in Valhalla despite doubting the gods existence:

"I think Ragnar is having a great time in Valhalla. In the end he didn't expect to be there, but in the end he was delighted."

I thought that only those who die in battle go to Valhalla. Granted, Ragnar died without fear, so maybe that is enough. Though in his books that inspired The Last Kingdom show, one point that Bernard Cornwell always makes is that warriors who expect to go to Valhalla have to keep their swords in hand when they die. So I don't know. 

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4 hours ago, Veltigar said:

I went with a stupid popculture joke. I tried to fight against my nature :crying: but... mea culpa, mea maxima culpa ;) 

A testament of the sad time we live now. No more thread titles for you!!! :P

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Great sendoff. The end of an era. I think the show will swim on if it focuses at most times on Ivar and Bjorn. If it does something else, well that may be fatal.

Looks like the old generation, with the exception of Rollo, may be on the way out.

Quote

I thought that only those who die in battle go to Valhalla. Granted, Ragnar died without fear, so maybe that is enough. Though in his books that inspired The Last Kingdom show, one point that Bernard Cornwell always makes is that warriors who expect to go to Valhalla have to keep their swords in hand when they die. So I don't know. 

Jarl Borg had to not scream during the Blood Eagle in order to get into Vallhalla. So I don't think it's absolute.

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5 hours ago, GallowKnight said:

You mean those character catch-up videos? There's one of them for Hvitserk too.

Oh dang, I think whoever posted them a while back missed that one (And I subsequently didn't look too hard for it). It will be interesting to see how early he dies, considering in the Sagas (where he seems to be known as both Hvitserk and Halfdan, though Hvitserk might be a nom de gurre since it means White Shirt and there is another son named Hvitserk who never appears at the same time as Halfdan) he lives a long time and takes over the Great Heathen Army after Ivar leaves to take over Ireland, later settling in York.

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It wasn't the fall that killed Ragnar...it was the landing.

And the snakes.

Definitely the snakes did a great deal of the killing as well.

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Snakes on a mfing plane.

Yeah, King Aelle is amazing, I agree. However, I wanted him to say something like "Finally, I have my revenge on Ragnar Lothbrok." One of my favorite parts of the series ever was when he vowed revenge. 

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9 hours ago, Veltigar said:

I wonder whether we'll even see anything more than the departure of the Great Heathen Army this season. I believe Bjorn and the others will continue on their trip for a while and that Ivar and the others will first focus on everything at home. Ivar needs to deal with Lagertha first (either by coming to some sort of an arrangement wit her or by getting rid of her permanently) and the Kattegat brothers need to create their own armies to add to that of Bjorn.

I assume we're going to see at least some great heathen action this season. The show has never been shy about jumping forward in time, so it could be that we got another of those in store before they go back to England.

Oh yeah, you should have gone with the obvious "I've had it with the motherfucking snakes in this motherfucking Pit!"-title.

Edited by GallowKnight

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