'Vikings' Season Finale Recap: Ragnar Remains Loyal To King Horik
Vikings' season finale began with Ragnar (Travel Fimmel) arriving in Gotaland with his men in tow to negotiate with Jarl Borg (Thorbjorn Harr) on King Horik's (Donal Logue) behalf. Unwitting to the fact that Ragnar is present, Jarl treats the men with little hospitality. Although he lets them inside once he realizes their leader is with them, he does not soften in regard to Ragnar's requests. He refuses to allow Horik to take back his land, and seems unwilling to compromise on the matter.
After alluding that he'd give up the land in exchange for King Horik's head, he proposes two potential options that might pacify both parties – a lease agreement for the land or a settlement where they share mineral rights. Ragnar is then implored to send Floki (Gustaf Skarsgard) to deliver the options to Horik and to send the Vikings to the Gotaland Ash tree. Rollo (Clive Standen) is volunteered by Ragnar to stay behind. After Ragnar departs, Jarl confides in Rollo about the power dynamics between brothers and offers an anecdote about him and his own brother. Rollo declares that Ragnar would never steep to the lows that Jarl shares about his brother, who allegedly poisoned the victory party after he was elected.
Meanwhile, Ragnar and his men break to set up camp for the evening on their way to the Gotaland Ash tree. Arne (Tadhg Murphy) and Torstein (Jefferson Hall) are sent out to fish at a nearby waterfall. They witness a young woman bathing herself and watch her from behind. Spotting them leering, her maidens launch into an assault on them, cutting Torstein cheek with a blade in the process. When they mention that they're in Ragnar's charge, they halt their attack but ask to be delivered an apology from Earl Ragnar himself.
When the two men return to camp with the fish and the woman's request, Ragnar responds with a riddle. He suggests that she come to their camp neither dressed nor undressed, hungry nor full and alone nor with company. Gamely, she arrives clothed in netting, snacking on an apple and with a husky. Ragnar is duly impressed by the wit of the woman, whose name is Aslaug (Alyssa Sutherland), and invites her to accompany them to the Ash tree.
Once the journey to the tree is complete, Ragnar and Aslaug share an intimate evening together. Although Ragnar's son, Bjorn (Nathan O'Toole), is uneasy with the burgeoning relationship, the other men tell him to relax. The following evening, Aslaug tells Ragnar that she is a princess descending from the shield maiden Broomhilda. Later that evening, they have sex and are discovered by Bjorn. The enraged son confronts his father the next morning and forces him to swear to never let it happen again. Ragnar is true to his promise when Aslaug propositions him again. Yet, she comes to him later with the news that she's already carrying his child.
Ragner's brother, meanwhile, remains with Jarl, and Floki is in Denmark relaying the terms proposed by Jarl to King Horik. Horik is not enthused by either idea, and seems to favor complete defeat over a compromise. Floki delivers the news that Horik won't budge. Jarl tries to convince Ragnar to renounce his allegiance to the king to no avail; he's determined to remain loyal.
The Plague of Kattegat is keeping Lagertha (Katheryn Winnick) from being able to inform Ragner that a seer has suggested that he might be in danger. Siggy (Jessalyn Gilsig) and many others in the village have already been affected, with symptoms ranging from troubled breathing and blurry vision. Thyri (Elinor Crawley) and Gyda (Ruby O'Leary) die as a result, but Lagertha manages to sacrifice a goat to save Athelstan (George Blagden) from the same fate.