Spoilers ahead. All of them.
The season three finale of History Channel’s Vikings premiered last Thursday with The Dead. In this final episode we found some closure to the Paris invasion, though much is still left hanging, and Ragnar Lothbrok died, but turned out to be fooling everyone, or at least everyone important besides his son.
A lot happened this season. I was surprised when looking back over the season that there were only ten episodes, following The Game of Thrones-style shorter seasons. The show really packed in a lot, making the most of their time. The beginning of the season spends a lot of time in Wessex, after invading and battling Kings Ecbert and Aelle in previous seasons. Now, Ragnar and crew have reached an agreement with Ecbert, who will allow the vikings to settle and farm a plot of land, but not without some ulterior motives up his sleeve.
By the time the season reached it’s mid-point, Ragnar had set his mind to invade Paris and the last few episodes revolved around the viking’s journey and raiding of the city. In Paris, we meet some new characters, Emperor Charles and his daughter, Princess Gisla. In the final episode Gisla was offered to Rollo as a wife and a political bargaining chip. She put up a fight, though, and I have a feeling we’ll see more of her in the next season. Her character development has a lot of potential.
Unlike Game of Thrones, Vikings isn’t typically a blood-bath for its main characters. Though, the extras tend to have worse fates. However, two main characters died this season. While Ragnar and the other fighters were off in Wessex, a “Wanderer” came to Kattegat, the main Norse village of the show. He brought a strange magical quality with him and spent his time telling stories to Siggi, Princess Aslaug, and Helga, as well as comforting Princess Aslaug’s sickly son. He also brought darkness with him, seducing Aslaug and luring children to danger. Siggi sensed his darkness and followed Princess Alsaug’s sons to an ice-covered lake. When the boys fall in, Siggi saves them, but is unable to save her self. The characters later speculate that the Wanderer is a god.
Besides Siggi’s death, Athelstan also gets killed off from the show, causing Ragnar to grieve heavily over the loss of his friend. Floki’s beef with Athelstan began when Athelstan first came to live in Kattegat. Floki, being deeply devout to the Norse gods, was not too keen on Athelstan’s christian beliefs. When Athelstan is reborn as a christian during the season, Floki is driven by madness and anger, while Ragnar’s and Athelstan’s friendship becomes even stronger. Floki kills Athelstan as he prays, leaving Ragnar at odds with Floki and by the final episode, Ragnar discovers that Floki was the murderer.
Left hanging at the end of season three, are King Ecbert’s want for revenge against the vikings and the agreement between Ragnar and Emperor Charles to cease fighting. So, Ragnar and his crew have quite a few potential enemies. We’ll see if Ragnar moves on from Paris or decides to continue his raid.