Are Odin and the Previous Gods Doomed?
It’s most likely unfair to say that “The Finish of the Starting” takes Vikings: Valhalla again to its roots with its grand scale battle sequences that thrive on placing the visceral nature of struggle on open show, as a result of political and familial intrigue stay simply as vital and simply as distinguished right here. That stated, the stress we expertise in Kattegat as Jarl Hakkon prepares for the approaching onslaught leads nearly seamlessly into one of many final vestiges of their pagan beliefs. She gathers the troops in the principle corridor and passionately acknowledges the necessity for Odin and the gods to help within the struggle in opposition to the Christians, and out of the blue it turns into clear that Audun has willingly provided himself as a human sacrifice.
Whereas the popularity of what’s about to happen is horrific sufficient, and although we’ve skilled related acts in Vikings, watching the priestess drink the younger man’s blood forces the viewer right into a minor Sophie’s Selection situation. Will we again Olaf and Käre’s ethnic cleaning method or a faith that finds it completely acceptable to hold out ritual killings within the title of Odin?
As Greenlanders, Leif and Freydis have been offered not solely as outsiders, however as much less refined and worldly when positioned up in opposition to the residents of Kattegat. Regardless of their allegiance to Odin and the gods, they don’t seem completely on board with the human sacrifice, and now we have to wonder if that is one thing that’s exterior of their world view.
Has Harald Actually Modified Sides?
One of many extra attention-grabbing angles of the Kattegat story facilities round Harald’s floating allegiance, and whereas we’re disenchanted when it seems he’s gone over to the darkish facet, it’s not fully shocking that he sides along with his Christian brothers. Nevertheless, it’s equally unsurprising that he’s not solely trying to control the motion however gathering intel to be surreptitiously handed on to Leif in the course of the parley that he suggests happen. It’s a superb technique, however sadly, his half-brother Olaf is extra astute than maybe we give him credit score for. However, it’s the nonetheless growing connection between Harald and Leif that drives the scene when his phrases to Leif present important battle plan particulars. “You’ve made your case. Now return to your madman,” Leif tells his pal, and we’re left to wonder if this information will save Kattegat.
Leif rapidly realizes they’ve been outmaneuvered by Olaf, and it doesn’t take lengthy to comprehend that Kattegat is about to fall to the Christian horde. Watching Hakkon fall to Christian arrows after which be carried off by 4 of her shieldmaidens indicators what seems to be Kattegat’s final gasp as an outpost of Odin’s followers. After all, Olaf’s victory is brief lived, and we get an ideal picture of his males fleeing the nice corridor, and him alone, gazing on the empty throne that won’t be his in spite of everything.
What’s Subsequent for Freydis and Leif?
The assault on Kattegat additionally produces quite a few subplots, not the least of which is Liv’s demise and the emotional scar it leaves on Leif. Sam Corlett’s intestine wrenching efficiency as Leif fights off six of Olaf’s males intent on raping an harmless lady, stands because the collection’ strongest character work. He bludgeons the final man and the visible of Leif lined within the blood of the boys he’s simply killed, an ax in every hand, leaves us to surprise how he’ll recuperate from this emotionally devastating expertise.