Vikings season 5 finale review: Did Ivar win battle against his brothers?

Ivar Vikings season 5Vikings season 5 has flown by – it really has. There has been so much to love about this season as the show took some rather large swings by killing off some big characters, but it has all paid off in spades. The biggest potential death still looming is Lagertha’s and while we want to hope that she will still be with us in season 6 there has been so much buzz about her being killed off this season that it makes us a bit worried. With this being the season finale, we are most worried for her even though she seems to be in a safe spot right now with Ubbe and Torvi and working the land given to them by Alfred.

Ivar readies for battle

We have been here once before this season when Ivar stole the throne from Lagertha and now we are here again. Ivar’s spies have seen Bjorn, Harald, Hvitserk and their two great armies marching towards Kattegat confirming what he already felt to be true – hence he has been strengthening his defenses. With almost all of his brothers against him, this strengthen’s Ivar’s resolve that he is truly the chosen one.

Even though he feels strength in his defense and his army, there is one place he still feels weakened and that is with his relationship with Freydis. He goes to her and asks forgiveness for what he’s done to their child and what he did to her. She gives it to him and they confirm their love for one another, however this is done with a small but noticeable flinch from his kiss and we wonder if she really has forgiven him for something so completely reprehensible.

Bjorn measures the battle and makes his move

Although Ivar is doing what he can to prepare for this attack, Bjorn has a bird’s eye view on what’s being done. Olaf suggests that they negotiate with Ivar and Bjorn shuts it down, but this makes us nervous since Olaf has been flip flopping this entire time. Really he just acted like the ring leader of a side show as vikings hoisted him in a chair and he didn’t engage in battle at all. Why exactly does he has anyone following him at all?

We aren’t going to get into the mechanics of the battle since this is definitely one that you need to see for yourself, but here are some takeaways from it. Out of all the brother’s fighting in this battle the one we were actually rooting for the most was Hvitserk. With having such a famous father and brothers that have been able to step outside of their father’s shadow and make names for themselves, Hvitserk has been really lost. We have wanted to see him make a big move and gain fame for himself so our money was on Hvitserk in this battle. Hvitserk had some serious skills on the field!

While Bjorn, Harald and Hvitserk have the moves on the battlefield, they are making very little progress against Ivar. His defenses are solid and his strategic traps are all working out beautifully… that is until Bjorn bashes Ivar’s door down. For a brief moment Bjorn thinks that the battle is going to be won, but Ivar is ready with a trap that surrounds Bjorn and the few warriors that managed to get in before dropping rocks in front of the door. For the first time in the entire history of Vikings we are honestly worried for Bjorn and the worried look on his face makes our hearts ache for his survival.

Bjorn is able to get out of the situation and calls a retreat – they’ve lost, but our major players have all managed to get out of this alive (except for Magnus but is anyone really that upset about that?). The one part of this battle that Bjorn really won was the speech he gave to Ivar’s army, reminding them that they all know him, they played together as children, they knew his father and that Ivar is ruling over them with fear when it doesn’t have to be that way. We saw Ivar give the order for them to kill Bjorn and when no one moved we saw Ivar’s first fear of loss himself. If he loses his followers, and his army, he is done and he knows it.

Freydis makes her move

After everything that has happened with Ivar (he was a monster before, but she helped to strengthen the monster he is now), she decides to ride out in the night and speak with Bjorn and Hvitserk. She tells Hvitserk that Ivar burned his woman alive after learning of his betrayal, about the murder of her baby and that she wants them to find a way to stop Ivar. She begins helping them by telling them about a secret tunnel that Ivar made under Kattegat that would allow them access to the town. She promises to show the scouts where it is and leave it open for them in the morning.

With very few options open to them they decide to trust what Freydis has told them and she makes good on her promise allowing them access to the town. As Bjorn goes through the town he asks the vikings not to fight him and says that he is there to set them free. When Ivar sees that they have entered the city he returns back to his home and confronts Freydis about letting them in. She doesn’t deny it and he kills her, but he took no pleasure in it. In fact he kept repeating how much he loves her and how he will wait to see her again in the after life. This betrayal is one that is going to stick with Ivar as she truly broke his heart.

Who won the battle?

Bjorn’s side won the battle and when they entered the great hall they found Freydis dead and Ivar seemingly gone. Also to their surprise Ubbe, Torvi and Lagertha have left England and they traveled back to Kattegat to welcome Bjorn as king of Kattegat – everyone is reunited where it all began feeling much like a series finale and not a season finale (Vikings will be back for season 6 and that will be the final season).

Related – Check out what we know about Vikings season 6!

CarterMatt Verdict

The finale left us with one major question coming from Bjorn “Is any of this real?” and after seeing him holding up the sword of the kings and everyone cheering him to another image of him holding up the sword and everyone around him is dead we are left wondering the same thing… is any of this real? We also saw the Seer and Ragnar both return as memories which was nice.

The biggest moment that people seemed to be waiting for all season was to see if Lagertha was going to die before the end of season 5 – that didn’t happen. We know that she is directing an episode in season 6 and that she is the star of a new show called Wu Assassins, but after seeing how little she was in the last half of season 5 it felt clear that she had time to do both shows and finish this season out.

What did you think of the Vikings season 5 finale? Leave us your thoughts in the comment section below. (Photo: History)

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