Just like it’s predecessor, episode 3 ‘Warrior’s Fate’ follows immediately after ‘The Wanderer’, and this is not a bad thing. Not a bad thing at all. ‘Warrior’s Fate’ mixed the strengths of the last two episodes, to present us with the best 45 minutes of Vikings Season 3 so far. This episode was a beautiful blend of writing, acting and just storytelling in general.
”We’re all fated to die on a certain day, yes? But it is our own choice to do as we please until that day comes.” – Ragnar Lothbrok
First let us touch on the death of Torstein, his death was not perfect, but it didn’t need to be. It was handled with care and not made over the top cheesy, Torstein dies admirably being easily outnumbered and too weak to stand, however the creators didn’t over do it and make it all ‘300’ unrealistic. Despite not really having any impact on story until the very end of Season 2, Torstein will be missed as he was starting to become the most humorous of the group.
This in turn leads us into another perfectly filmed battle sequence with an awesome score behind it (in fact the music throughout the entire episode is some of the best not only this season but from previous seasons too), where Thorunn is beaten and battered quite distressingly and almost to her death. Bjorn manages to save his new wife just in time but we don’t know her condition for now, we see how this crushes Bjorn’s soul and his father doesn’t pity him. However Rollo does give him a few positive words. Rollo has been on the sidelines for a while now, I think him and Bjorn will become closer as Bjorn does not spend much time with his father, Ragnar’s reaction to Thorunn’s condition while pregnant doesn’t make anything better.
Now we come back to Kattegat, where Siggy, Aslaug and Helga are dealing with ‘The Wanderer’ who is revealed as Harbard. Like I anticipated Kevin Durand was amazing in his role, he breathed life into all of his scenes and was truly interesting as well a creepy. This is made very prominent in the scene at supper where he is telling his story of the woman he fought. Even in simple shots where he is looking at Siggy he is brilliant. It is suggested that Harbard is a magician or has some type of ‘power’, as strange things start to happen in Kattegat, however this is only the start. Interestingly the episode 4 promo shows Harbard and Aslaug being closer than they should be…
As for Lagertha and Ecbert, as expected they are becoming closer. In fact they even kiss while in the bath in front of Athelstan and Judith, which was not made into the ‘big deal’ I thought it would be, Ecbert and Athelstan speak of Paris for the first time in the season. Judith and Athelstan are talking more about how she feels for him, she is struggling to control her urges for him. More riffs of religion are hinted at, Floki explaining his dislike for helping the Christians…Nevertheless I believe Lagertha’s sacrifice ritual was a jarring eye opener for King Ecbert. It certainly doesn’t look like these viking settlements will last long.
Overall the episode touched on almost every aspect of the ongoing story lines in the show, developing all of them in the most interesting ways that get us even more pumped for next week’s installment, while still dripping the technical flair Vikings is known for throughout. Making ‘Warrior’s Fate’ boast not only finesse, but the most depth of any episode during Season 3 by it’s constant reference to the theme of magic, religion and the supernatural.
Words by Eddie Michael