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Vikings - The Buddha - Advance Preview and Teasers

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Ever since Bjorn obstinately stated to Rollo that he resembled Ragnar in spirit and principle back in The Revelation it almost feels as though he actually moving further towards those of his ‘uncle’ over the last few episodes. He is pulling away from the rest of his family, to the point of believing Magnus over the words of his own father, and has no interest in setting up a settlement in England which was one of Ragnar’s main ambitions. He’s also pissed at Ivar being King of Kattegat, which pretty much echoes Rollo’s animosity towards his own younger brother throughout their whole time in the series.

Instead, it is his half-brother Ubbe who appears to be taking on Ragnar’s mantle, in both mannerisms and vision. His budding bromance with Alfred is also extraordinarily reminiscent of their father’s rapport with each other, without making it so similar that it feels as though this is a do over. Their relationship is deepened with events that take place throughout The Buddha as Alfred proves that he is not one to go back on his word after the battle last week. Though it is through the actions of another person at the villa that I envisage the two men becoming more reliant on each other in the future. A sinister chain of events is set in motion which make the previous levels of resentment and distrust look benign in retrospect.

While I’m on the subject of character’s who have taken on others attributes, I am frustrated this week to see that there is no further reference to Floki’s seemingly having taken on the role of the new Seer around the time of the death of the one in Kattegat during The Lost Moment. The Icelandic group are back after a week’s absence from the show, and in many ways it feels as though we are treading old ground with them yet again during their scenes, which is a grave disappointment.

It has been years, both in show and from our prospective, since Floki’s first prophetic vision during the Paris mission, so witnessing his questioning of Thorunn at the waterfall about her death was encouraging to see. It felt as though we were finally getting to see this aspect of the story moving on into new territory. Whilst there may be more to come than is immediately clear this week, I am not holding out too much hope after feeling let down due to what finally looked like change in direction for the Iceland saga. I feel, once again, that it could well be next season before anything really gets moving here at all.

Back in Kattegat it becomes obvious that we’ve had another subtle short time jump as Freydis is looking heavily pregnant, with a proud Ivar never far from her side. Aside from that, it doesn’t look as though too much else has happened for any of the characters here during the last few months. However, word of Harald’s defeat to Alfred, with Lagertha at his side, has just reached Ivar’s ears. All of which could be a bit of a problem if it becomes common knowledge considering he supposedly sacrificed her to the gods before the battle took place. The perfect time for the thumb twiddling to end and to plan the launch of an English campaign in order to back up York’s numbers and provide them with his superior battle knowledge.

Except, as we already know, York’s forces have already switch their allegiance away from Ivar and as we see in the promo for this episode, Bjorn is also joining their ranks. If it were any other of his brother’s he may be able to wiggle or strategise his way forward, but this is his sworn enemy’s son. I don’t think he will be able to make any kind of amends with those who decide to unite as an army under he and Harald. This could be one of the deciding factors which gives Wessex time to grow under Alfred’s reign; a civil war between Viking factions. As long as it doesn’t get waged on local ground, of course.

The Buddha airs on Wednesday January 2nd at 9pm on the History, below are a few teasers to see you through until then. If you want to have a go at guessing who said what to whom, I will fill in any correct answers before it airs. Don’t forget to come back to the site after the episode has aired and let us know what you thought.

“He was killed in the battle. It’s a pity, he was a good husband. A good man”

“There is not a great population there, but still, there are settlements and farms. Some have moved away but others have chosen to remain”

“Everything I say or do makes you unhappy, as if you never meant to jump ship at all”

“We are all trying to defend Ragnar’s dream, but perhaps some of us chose to do it differently”

“Friends, I didn’t have the chance to present to you Magnus, son of Ragnar Lothbrok”

“Lagertha isn’t like that. She doesn’t just run away. And in the middle of a battle. How did she even manage that?”

“I regret ever having listened to them. I was foolish and too proud”

“Elsewith, this is not the first time Alfred has been struck down like this”

“You will soon have cause to regret these actions Lord Alfred, of that I promise you”

“You have bad frostbite. You will lose at least one of your fingers”

We see Lagertha briefly, very briefly, but none of the characters do

“I played chess with Prince Alfred. Now I would like to play chess with him again, only this time on the battlefield”

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