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Vikings - The Outsider - Advanced Preview + Teasers

In many ways it still feels strange to think that we have another ten episodes left this year, but I am not one to complain, especially now that the hiatus is almost over and we get to see what the second half of this season has in store for us. With Ragnar’s sons reintroduced to us after the time jump, I am still expecting to see his story come to an end this season as they instead take up their revenge against the British kings. The Great Heathen Army is something that I am looking forward to seeing play out on the show, even though I’m not sure how they will line up the mismatched historical dates I’m confident that Hirst will make the battles a spectacular sight and the drama compelling.

Back to the here and now though, The Outsider kicks off precisely where The Last Ship left off, with Ragnar’s return to Kattegat alongside his demands of a fight against anyone who wants to take the rights of king from him. Of the sons that face him, he goes on to challenge two of them further, relentlessly provoking one of those into accepting his offer. But it is the way he treats Ivar, who is not even considered to be part of the conversation, let alone a serious contender, that is more telling here for me, as is the way Alex Høgh’s character responses to what is happening in the scene in general. As someone who is automatically placed on the outside of many situations in Viking life, even by those closest to him, it seems that he has grown used to watching and learning about those around him, working out how to put that information to good use.

We already know Ivar the Boneless true destiny, of course, and the promotional material so far has made it clear that they won’t exactly be shying away from his ambitions or his pathologically cruel nature. I have to admit that I have had some concerns that his character could become a tad one dimensional from what we have seen so far, both as of him as a child and in the recent few months in the press. Now that I have seen the first three episodes my fears have been allayed, however, as we get glimpses of what it actually feels like to be Ivar, the struggles and difficulties he has faced not only in life, but as a Viking, and – most importantly – being a Lothbrok, with the legacy that brings. There is a great deal going on inside his head ,which helps to explain his situation, albeit it subtly at times rather than directly, for which Høgh deserves praise for portraying in a realistic and consistent manner.

The other outsider of this episode is without doubt Ragnar himself, and although we don’t get to see what happened during his missing years, it’s obvious that during that time he predicted his return would be very different to how it plays out over the course of this hour. He announces his plan to sail back to England, only to find out that Bjorn has already recruited the best ships and men for his voyage to the Mediterranean. Not only that, the three other sons he wants to take with him already have their plans set too, which they are are not willing to break, in part due to how they think that the gods no longer favour their father, although their loyalty is also divided too.

Not one to let this set him back, he visits his closest allies to try to persuade them to his cause instead, which leads to a couple of nights of reminiscing and regret round the fire over the settlement back in Wessex that Aethelwulf slaughtered. But, as much as they have made their peace with their old friend, they have moved on and have other goals that their hearts are set on too, leaving Ragnar feeling very alone indeed. Therefore, it is a good thing that when he is at his most desperate, the gods finally have their say on what his fate should be – does he give up, or soldier on with his plan to go and see King Ecbert this one last time? He may not be that happy with the answer he receives, but when a clear sign is sent down there is only one path that he must choose, no matter how weary he feels.

And so our two outsiders finally find each other to talk about the past and their future, whilst suitably seated on the thrones of Kattegat’s Great Hall. Neither of them needs to say a great deal, as an audience we understand both of their emotions and the forces that have brought them here to this point, and as father and son they both recognise their current loner status in the village and family. It is fate and the gods which have brought them together for this mission to the west that Ragnar is so desperate to fulfil; a fitting start to one of the most famous of Viking legacies of all time.

The Outsider airs on Wednesday March 30 at 9pm ET/PT, below are a few dialogue teasers to see you through until then. If you want to have a go at guessing who said what I will fill in any correct answers before it airs. Don’t forget to come back and vote in our poll after the episode and let us know what you thought.

“It’s because Floki loves you. He loves you and he always has”

“Everything was always what he wanted. Everything was always for him. Those days are gone”

“No. Not unless you ask me like you asked my brothers”

“She’s a servant, she’s not cattle. She’s a human being”

“We all approved of your ideas, but, they didn’t work. Ragnar Lothbrok didn’t succeed”

“Do you want to be king, Ubbe? Kill me and you are king. King Ubbe! What are you waiting for? Are you afraid? Be a man!”

“You act like you are committed to going with Bjorn, when in fact, you could change your mind and go raiding with father. So why don’t you, huh?”

“I wouldn’t be too sure about that Ragnar. And after all, whatever the fates have in store for us, we’re sure to meet again in Valhalla”

“It would appear you have another son. His name is Magnus. His mother is Queen Kwenthrith and he lives in King Ecbert’s villa in Wessex”

“In my mind, I wish we’d never left our farm”

“The Vision” Teaser

“I wish you were coming with me” “No you don’t. You said yourself this is your destiny, not mine”


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