Don’t forget to fight for your honor Shield Maidens!
Before we speak more of the past, let us take another look at the future?
Lagertha puts it very clearly and straight forward when Ragnar asks, “Is your Earldom really that important to you? Why?” Lagertha answers simply and boldly, “Because it is mine!”
A sneak peek at season 3: conversation and meeting between Ragnar, Lagertha and King Ecbert!
Vikings: Secrets of the Vikings: The Saga of Ragnar Lothbrok
And, from the journals of Athelstan, we find his thoughts on all of the events of the past?
He speaks of many things, but for me his words on loyalty and honor have the most meaning and most clearly point out why I have for so long put my faith and my fate with that of Siggy and Rollo despite their many faults and flaws.
Vikings: Athelstan’s Journal: Loyalty
Vikings: Athelstan’s Journal: Honor
Athelstan spoke of the importance of loyalty and honor, the many ways both of those attributes shape our personal lives and our destinies. Our lives may be governed by the fates of Gods and destiny but it is up to us how we choose to follow that fate or destiny. We may end up at the same final place no matter what we do, but will that ending and that memory of our life be recalled with honor and loyalty or disgrace and betrayal? That is for us each to decide and to choose. In the end, it comes down to whether our life- our story is remembered at all and whether we are remembered well and worthy by our future generations.
I previously spoke of the trial which would affect so many of us in different ways? It was not and end of things, but a beginning of hard lessons, tests of loyalties and bitter betrayals which would result in a great change for our village. I could go into great detail and depth on what happened but I shall try to keep to the most important parts of it.
Ragnar walked away from the trial knowing that he was not really a free man, there would be a high price for this acquittal of his honor and of Lagertha’s. Rollo walked away knowing the same thing… his loyalty to family and his betrayal of Earl Haraldson would not go unpunished.
The Earl made many plans in a short time. His first act was to show Ragnar that he was still Earl, he was still in control.
It was fine day, one good for hunting and so Ragnar left the farmstead unattended to do jus that. It has been quiet and he was not expecting any reprisal or retribution from Haraldson, especially not the kind that would follow?
The people of his farmstead were occupied with the daily chores of life and not expecting trouble…
Bjorn as well as the rest of the group were taken by surprise to see the Earl Haraldson calmly sitting upon his horse instructing his men to attack.
In all truth, no one ever expected the Earl to go to such violent and brutal lengths against those innocent villagers and workers who had no part in the feud between Ragnar and him other than to be a part of Ragnar’s farmstead. I do not think that even Siggy knew how deeply and cruelly her husband’s mind was turning? She would soon have her own fears to contend with on that path his mind was taking.
Ragnar arrived home to find his farm and his family under attack.
He managed somehow to get to the questionable safety of his house and found his family alive. Although he had been seriously wounded getting there, his first thought was of how to get his family out of this attack safely? Bjorn of course argued that he would stay with his Father but Ragnar would hear none of it and pushed the boy down a ladder to escape. They made their way to the boat and were able to watch from a distance as the farmstead was burned and everything they owned destroyed.
With his family safely escaped to the boat, Ragnar was taken by the Earl.
Ragnar accepted his fate and asked for one last moment to pray to his Gods…
He prayed for strength and his Gods listened because as he so oft reminds everyone, the Gods favor him!
He did escape and did fine until he ran out of space to run? He eventually came to a cliff with certain death on both sides of him. His family looked on in horror from the boat at his choice.
The men assume that no one could survive the fall and give him up as dead.
The family held their breath and prayed for some sign of survival.
Athelstan showed his courage and his devotion to this family that day by diving in and saving Ragnar’s life. It would forever change how he was looked upon in this village!
He did survive and was eventually taken to Floki’s home where it would take many weeks for him to recover in hiding from Haraldson.
During this time the Earl was making many other plans which would have dire impact on so many. He of course did not believe that Ragnar was dead, but he could not prove it either way? He also wanted to know where Ragnar’s family had disappeared to… he thought this all too suspicious to let go of? And, he had one more matter of revenge to settle… that was with Rollo. Rollo was continuously followed and harassed by Haraldson’s men for the assumption that he must know something of his brother’s fate and that of his family. He was also being watched by someone else who had her own interests in his survival?
It was during this time too that Haraldson made a decision about his daughter’s future fate, without consulting his wife Siggy. Siggy took this decision as a betrayal from him and even though she professed to understand his later reasons, I do not think she ever did forgive him for the act. It hurt her deeply that this man whom she had once loved, had been ever loyal to would keep such secrets from her. I do think that one of the worst parts of those secrets were the ones which surrounded the death of her sons. He chose to keep this from her for all of those years, and had kept the remaining remnants of their lives, their existence from her as well. As if he were the only one who cared for them, as if he were the only one to hurt so deeply from their loss…
First, he chose a husband for Thyri, an old, ugly fat Swede for their young daughter… did he care so little for their own daughter as to marry her off to such a man? Was his daughter nothing more to him than bags of silver and land that they did not need? His response to Siggy’s outrage said everything, “I stopped caring about anything when our sons died!”
After Haraldson’s announcement of this marriage, Siggy could not keep silent her thoughts!
Haraldson admits to Siggy that he stopped caring about such things as happiness when their sons died.
He then shared the secret of how they were killed and buried in such a blatent disrespect to him and how it was a clear message to him that there would always be those who would seek to destroy him. He shared with her too, finally, the locks of their hair which he had kept for long and not allowed her to see.
I think for Siggy, this secret was the most hurtful and deepest of pain and betrayal which she ever felt? For him to hold on to these few precious memories of their sons for himself cut her heart in the worst possible way. That he assumed his own grief and suffering were more than hers was more than she could take and it did break something within her heart for she had truly cared for and loved this man. And, now she must try to accept that his actions and the feelings of revolt and vengeance on the part of those who hated him would continue to put them all in danger, so much so that she must sacrifice her daughter’s happiness and go along with this marriage just to see Thyri safe away from this place.
Believe me when I say that this was one wedding that most of us would have preferred not to attend! All of our hearts went out to poor Thyri even if most did not know the truest of reasons for such a deplorable and disgusting arrangement!
We all made attempt to pretend happiness for the couple but it was so difficult and took much mead on everyone’s part!
Then there came a surprise guest to the feast and we all held breath in fear that blood would be spilled?
Rollo took it upon himself to attend the wedding feast for Thyri!
Fortunately, the feast was not marred by bloodshed as well as disgust… Earl Haraldson and Rollo made attempt to be somewhat civil for the time being?
That attempt at civility would not last long as we will find out soon!
To be continued….