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Vikings - A New God - Advanced Preview + Dialogue Teasers

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Harald thinks it is a good time to leave Kattegat, and going by the stilted conversation between himself and Ivar at his farewell feast it’s fairly obvious that the he has a plan afoot which won’t play in his hosts favour. But he knows how to say the right things even now, so all Ivar can do is let the man leave for York where he says that he will join the garrisoned Dane forces who are governing England in his name. That is only half of Harald’s plan, however, let’s not forget his ultimate intent is to rule all of Norway one day. He suffered another big setback through his loses at the battle for Kattegat, but he’s had time to lick his wounds and formulate a new way forward, and he’s not planning to hang around much longer.

As for Ivar, we saw last week that he had already started questioning Harald’s motives and had flat out asked him why still there and not gone back to his own realm. He knows something is not quite adding up, and I think this sense of paranoia maybe eats away at a part of him which he doesn’t like to hark back to. Having grown up as the cripple, albeit a privileged one for the times, what people say to your face and what you know they think or say behind your back can lead you to see the world in a very different way to most. It’s part of what makes him a great tactician, but it can also play on the darker side of your emotions and psyche. This is how Freydis is able to reach him in the way she has perhaps; recognising and then channelling those doubts over into the belief that he is a god and their immaculate conception is a dangerous game for her to play perhaps, but she is fully aware of what she is getting herself into.

The other New God on the cards this week harks back to a question Alfred put to Ubbe last week; would he consider becoming a Christian in order to appease those who are not happy at the thought of the Norsemen living free at court? It’s something we’ve seen other Vikings do for a few different reasons, and it’s also something that the real King Alfred got Guthrum to do in exchange for letting him live peacefully in East Anglia. Now, our Alfred may have been manipulating Ubbe somewhat with the line about reminding him of his father, but he’s playing to his grandfather’s strengths here too I believe. He’s left the ball in Ubbe’s court and the pay off comes sooner and bigger than he could have imagined.

With Heahmund imprisoned while Cuthred’s murder is investigated the Pagans in his care have become an even greater threat to Alfred’s hold on the throne. What he should do if he wants to keep his Bishops and ealdormen on side is put them back in jail too, though that comes with its own inherent problems. Becoming a puppet king is never going to suit him, his plans for the future of Wessex are far too bold for the church to keep in check. Having Ragnar’s son living as a God fearing Christian and requesting a baptism due to his and Heahmund’s devotion and thereby proving to everyone that he is ruling by Divine Right, well, that’s a whole other level of manipulation.

The fact that the Vikings are in just as perilous position without taking up the offer manages to almost get swept under the carpet altogether. One of them is having none of it, and I’m sure you can guess who that is. Bjorn has seen this kind of slight of hand before and he isn’t impressed, so instead he goes and falls for what may well be a different confidence trick altogether. At least that makes a change from sleeping with the nearest available princess just because he’s pissed, I suppose. Magnus makes his re-entry into the show by coming to the royal villa in search of his “brothers”, which is a risky move considering Ragnar made it clear that he never actually slept with Kwenthrith. Though he’s a lot older now so nobody should recognise him, and any son of hers is bound to have some brass when it comes to reclaiming what they’ve formerly lost. I can’t help thinking that he's picked up a trick or two from Ecbert too though, especially as during their bonding drink sesh he doesn’t appear to be the one slurring his words. But is it just clever politics at play here, or is he just desperate to belong after having to survive on his own for so many years?

Which brings us to Iceland, which I didn’t include anything about last week as it’s been much of a muchness ever since Floki took the new settlers back there. I’m afraid that it is more of the same this week too for the most part; Floki begs the two warring families to bury their axes and live together peacefully on the island as the gods would like. They agree, some more willingly than others, and toast the new child which is due to be born soon. Yet you can tell by the amount of side eye that is going on in the small, damp house that this saga has in no way reached its conclusion. Just to bring hope to you all, there is hint that things will change in upcoming episodes, with Floki’s faith in the gods having been answered. And, if certain spoiler photos prove correct, then ties to characters still elsewhere at present may pass through too, perhaps finally giving the Icelandic community some stability and growth from this never-ending drudgery we are presently in.

"A New God" airs on Wednesday December 12th 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 and vote in our poll after the episode and let us know what you thought.

“Alfred is just as guilty as his father and his grandfather for the death of our father”

“You and me are descended from Odin, everyone knows that”

“You have no need to arrange everything in the world. And as a matter of fact, I’ve already chosen my bride”

“If you told me that you no longer had any desire to marry me, I would understand and freely release you from any agreement made in my name”

“I am not your little brother, and you know exactly what’s wrong with me. Margrethe is dead”

“It seems that we are at the mercy of circumstances beyond our control”

“I am almost certain that they intended to replace Alfred with Aethelred, but whether Aethelred is part of the conspiracy or not I’ve yet to discover”

“Without these people who were once our enemies Wessex cannot, and will not, survive”

“I want to invite you to raid Wessex with me. We can enjoy the fruits of victory and then we can make, new plans”

“Still drenched in the martyr’s blood you come and defile this holy place too. Surely to God you do not mean to defend yourself”

"The Lost Moment" Teasers

“You will work with my brother, Prince Aethelred, and Bishop Heahmund to devise a strategy to defeat Finehair’s army”

“First lesson is not to be afraid, so go and stand by the tree”

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