' Vikings Season 2 Episode 9 : The Choice, The Vikings: Season 2

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Athelstanreads over the scrolls of Caesar’s battle as King Ecbert listens. Caesar wasalways thinking, always using the terrain. At the critical moment, Caesarstrode to the front of the line, and addressed each of the men by name. KingEcbert sees that he has no choice but to kill Ragnar and all his men. Athelstancannot believe that Ragnar did not want to speak peacefully, knowing that Ragnaris looking for fertile lands for his people to farm. He asks that King Ecbertsend him to negotiate, but King Ecbert feels he is far too valuable, and wouldbe slaughtered. Instead, he will wait for his allies to arrive, and then killthe Vikings.
Ragnarpoints out that King Horik’s actions make it very difficult to negotiate withKing Ecbert. King Horik never intended to negotiate. Lagertha hopes that ifthey were to win against King Ecbert they would prosper with not only more goldand silver, but also more land. Ragnar points out that King Ecbert sentAthelstan’s bracelet as a gift of good faith, but King Horik isn’t looking forgifts from Christians. He asks Floki’s opinion, but he thinks little of them.Ragnar wishes to go to speak with King Ecbert himself, but King Horik remindsRagnar that he is no king, and therefore will not split up their forces.
Bjorn cannotsleep, he worries what it feels like to die, but Ragnar tells him that only thedead know how it feels, not even the seer is truly dead. Ragnar reveals to hisson what the seer told him about Bjorn marrying a princess. Bjorn does notthink that will happen. King Horik tells Floki that Bjorn reminds him of thestory of Odin’s son Bolder, implanting in his head that how the sly one, Loki, knewsomeone had to find a way to kill him.
Athelstanprays to God about the other Gods that wreck his nights. He has seen the PaganGods and does not understand why they are false, things that he has seen withhis own eyes, things that Ragnar believes. He prays that Ragnar does not die,or King Ecbert either.
The Vikingsmarch forward, and a crow flies overhead. They come to a stop, Ragnar feeling thatthis is the place. King Horik asks how he knows, because they are already there.A large force comes out onto the field. Ragnar thinks they should wait, butKing Horik wishes to forge ahead, and use the advantace of the hill. Anotherforce comes to their side, and Ragnar digs in to meet them. King Horik wishesthat they march ahead, but Ragnar does not. Riders close in, and Lagertha triesto form a wall, but many are crushed beneath the horses. It’s a bloody battle,and the Northmen are slaughtered as King Ecbert watches. Rollo targets thehorses, on a rampage. Aethelwulf rides him down, crushing him beneath hooves.Lagertha goes down, and others fall around as Ragnar fights to get near hisloved ones. Torstein places him upon a horse. He searches for his son as moreriders arrive. Lagertha with Torstein make for a retreat. Floki pushes KingHorik into a retreat. Bjorn fights his way towards Ragnar, but they are forcedto leave Rollo behind. No, not Rollo. With the battle over, King Ecbert’s menspear the fallen to ensure they’re dead. Athelstan finds Rollo and stops himfrom being speared. Rollo still lives, and although badly wounded King Ecbertorders them to try to save him. Crows circle above.
Ragnar asksKing Horik if he thinks that talking first was still a bad thing. King Horikthinks that it was fated, and nothing else would change that fact. Bjorn isangered by the battle, Rollo died and they were defeated. Although they mayhave been defeated, Ragnar compliments his fighting, and doesn’t believe Rollois dead. He knows it would take a lot to kill Rollo. Since no sword or speartouched Bjorn on the battlefield he calls him Bjorn Ironside, which makes KingHorik’s story to Floki resonate all the more. Lagertha turns her attention totheir next step. Abandoning their raid may be the best course, but Bjorn wantsto stay until Rollo is returned. Ragnar asks King Horik what they are fated todo.
King Aelleis impressed with King Ecbert’s tactics, and they celebrate their victory overthe Northmen. Athelstan goes to check on Rollo. Athelstan is not a welcomesight, he thinks that Athelstan betrayed them just as King Horik claimed hedid. Rollo would kill Athelstan if he had the strength to do so.

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King Aellesplashes around King Ecbert’s tub. He wishes to attack again and wants to slaughterthe rest. King Ecbert thinks that would be a bad idea. He wishes for an end tothe incursions, and to do that they need to negotiate. King Ecbert thinks that theyshould hire the Northmen and quell the upheaval of Mercia. King Aelle likesthat option, but not even the advisors think there is an envoy who would wishto negotiate with the Vikings. Aethelwulf suggests sending Athelstan tonegotiate, but King Ecbert fears him being killed. Aethelwulf does not see hisfather’s attachment to the priest.
Athelstanrides in to speak with the Vikings. He greets Bjorn, asking if he remembershim. Of course Bjorn remembers him, as a child he wanted to kill him, and hegrew to love him. Athelstan tells them that Rollo lives, that he is recovering.Athelstan acknowledges King Horik, who has yet to say anything. Lagertha stepsforward, asking what he is doing there, if he has escaped. He’s been sent byKing Ecbert with an offer of peace. King Horik thinks it is a trap, butAthelstan tells him that it is not, but King Horik alludes that Athelstan islittle more than King Ecbert’s dog. Floki admires Athelstan’s clothing andhair. Lagertha asks if King Ecbert is prepared to offer a hostage and he is.King Horik asks who she thinks she is to make demands, seems someone hasforgotten the whole equal partnership idea. Lagertha tells him that he does notneed to go, she and Ragnar can handle things without him. If Ecbert means tokill them, so be it. Athelstan goes to give King Ecbert his answer, and Ragnaraccompanies him part of the way. Assassins lurk in the bushes trying to getinto position, but Ragnar pulls the priest close to both talk and protect him.He thought Athelstan was dead and is happy to see that he is not. He asks if hehas gone back to his old faith, and renounced theirs. It’s not as simple asthat. He sees both his God, and Thor. His life is infused with both. Ragnar hopesthat one day both their Gods can become friends. Ragnar returns to him hisbracelet, and tells him that he is safe to go now, but that he will see himagain soon. They part still in friendship.
King Aelleasks who will be placed as hostage this time, and King Ecbert tells him that hewill. King Ecbert is sure that there is no one that the Northmen would placehigher, or treat better, and there is no way King Aelle can really back out ofthe prospect. Riders appear on the horizon approaching. Floki thinks that it isa mistake that it will end badly. He thinks that they risk too much for Rollo,and for Athelstan. Ragnar points out that Floki speaks a lot of trust, andFloki questions his accusations, claiming he is a trustworthy person. The exchangeis made, King Aelle goes with the Northmen, and the small party of Northmen remainbehind. King Ecbert welcomes Ragnar, Lagertha, Bjorn and King Horik. KingEcbert knows little of the language, so he lets Athelstan present his terms.Not only is the King offering money, he’s offering good land for farming aslong as there is peace. In addition, he and Princess Kwenthrith are offering aheavy sum for any willing to fight for her. She watches them with greatinterest practically panting in their presence. Ragnar asks after his brother.Rollo will be released upon the acceptance of the offer, and the release ofKing Aelle. Ragnar and Lagertha accept the offer, King Horik remains quiet.Rollo is returned via wagon, and King Aelle is released. Athelstan extends theoffer for mercenaries, and many men accept the offer. Ragnar tells him that heis taking Rollo home, and asks if Athelstan will come back with him, he wisheshe come home.
Porunnlearns to fight, trains as a shield maiden when Princess Aslaug approaches. Sheasks who told her to do that, but no one did. She wishes to go to war, to belike Lagertha. Princess Aslaug wonders why everyone wishes to be Lagertha.Aslaug frees Porunn, she is no longer a slave, and only serves if she choosesto do so. Porunn cannot believe she is being give this is happening, and Aslaugeven gives her a parting gift.
Porunnstrips down on the beach, swimming out into the sea. She dunks herself beneaththe water, and when she comes ashore she dresses in the items that Aslaug gaveher.
PrincessKwenthrith looks over the men that have agreed to come and fight for her. She’sdisappointed for a moment that Ragnar is not among them. She examines them asif they are little more than animals before announcing that she would like tobreed with them, that they would produce giants.

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The shipsarrive back at Kattegat, and it is a little disheartening to see Rollounloaded. Princess Aslaug welcomes everyone home including Lagertha asking herto make herself at home. Athelstan receives a warm welcome. Bjorn seeks outPorunn, and sees her in her new finery. Aslaug tells him that she now a freewoman, no longer a slave. Porunn welcomes him back. Ragnar looks over hisbrother with worry as he is tended to. His leg is reset and splinted.
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