‘Vikings’ season 4 episode 15 review: Did Ragnar die in a pit of snakes?

Vikings Travis FimmelLast time on “Vikings” Ragnar struck a deal with King Ecbert where he would ensure that Ivar was sent home to Kattegat and in exchange Ecbert would hand Ragnar over to King Aella to die and his sons would be told to avenge his death, but only by attacking King Aella. If you know the history of Ragnar, you know that his death is coming, we just wish that it wasn’t happening so soon. There are major spoilers ahead in this episode review.

King Ecbert has kept his promise and is going to send Ivar back to Kattegat, but before he leaves Ragnar asks King Ecbert if he can speak to Ivar alone and he agrees. When Ragnar tells Ivar that he’s going to die, Ivar says he’s going to stay and die too. Ragnar reminds Ivar that he is a gift to him because he is intelligent, unpredictable and that he is the future. Ragnar does not keep his promise to Ecbert and tells Ivar to seek revenge in his name against King Ecbert telling him to make him pay for handing him over to King Aella. King Ecbert on the other hand is riddled with guilt, because he has a respect for Ragnar and feels that killing him is a mistake, so he dons Athelstan’s robe and travels to be there with Ragnar when he dies.

Once Ivar leaves, Ragnar has a moment with Athelstan’s son to give him the cross his father wore before being caged and taken to King Aella. If anyone has been wondering why Ragnar is handing himself over to King Aella to die, he has a conversation with the Seer (in his mind) and reveals that he has been in control of his whole life and has even chosen his own death as vikings often do. We wondered who he would be thinking of as he faced death – Lagertha? His sons? As it turned out it was everyone – his time with Athelstan, losing Lagertha, Aslaug, his children, Floki… his life’s brightest moments as well as his biggest regrets.

As soon as King Aella has Ragnar, he starts the torture by hanging his cage from a tree and having his men stab and burn at his feet for the entire night. This is followed the next day by beatings, burnings and cuts to his face from the king and his men as he tries to force Ragnar to ask for absolution for what he did to his countrymen. The next day Ragnar faces the infamous pit of snakes that is said to have taken the real Ragnar’s life and before he is dropped into the pit he tells everyone that he regrets nothing and looks forward to seeing his sons some day in Vahalla. As he dies in the pit of snakes, the last face he sees is King Ecbert.

As for Ivar, he returns home and the only thing on his mind is vengeance for his father, but once he’s told by his brothers that his mother is dead (by Lagertha’s hand), his anger grows.

Losing Ragnar (and Travis Fimmel) from “Vikings” is such a massive heartbreak to us all. Ragnar is someone that we have rooted for the moment we met him – he’s strong, inspiring, charming and open minded in a way that other vikings may not have been. The one thing we can say is that seeing Athelstan’s son and Ivar playing chess together was inspired and it takes us back to Ragnar and Athelstan’s relationship. We hope that this is going to be explored further in the future, but more then that we hope that this show will continue to be as good as it is without Fimmel’s Ragnar leading the charge. Episode grade: A+

ICYMI: We spoke to “Vikings” actor Alex Høgh Andersen about his role as Ivar the Boneless! Check that out at the link here.

What did you think of this episode of “Vikings”? Do you think that this show can survive without Ragnar? Leave us a comment in the box below with your thoughts. If you want more scoop on “Vikings” season 4 then head on over to the link here. (Photo: History)

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