‘Vikings’ Experience Birthing Pains

Published 12 months ago by

vikings season 2 episode 8 rollo bjorn Vikings Experience Birthing Pains

[This is a review of Vikings season 2, episode 8. There will be SPOILERS.]


After last week’s visceral execution of Jarl Borg, one might think that Vikings would step on the breaks and give its viewers time to catch their collective breath; however, ‘Boneless’ proves that creator Michael Hirst is not so kind. Like our Scandinavian brothers and sisters that inhabit this harsh land, we (the audience) must endure.

Princess Aslaug, while not always loved by fans of this series, proves yet again why Ragnar should heed her prophecies. She appears at times to be a mythical creature, with her piercing gaze that actress Alyssa Sutherland pulls off so well. While Ivar is certainly not a “child-monster” as she predicted, he is born with a deformity. Sadly, in this culture, it is better to be dead than to be born a cripple.

The beautiful princess surely won some supporters to her side this week, as she fights against Viking societal norms and decides to keep her child. Ragnar too, though not at first has also accepted Ivar as his own, referring to him now as “Ivar The Boneless.” Ragnar holding the new-born by the river, contemplating whether or not to end its life was a beautifully haunting scene. Ragnar, though ambitious, is not some crude beast. There is no denying his execution of Borg was overly excessive, but we’ve seen Rangar protect children in the past; even those not from his own tribe. Unlike the former Jarl, baby Ivar has done him no wrong, so why let him die? Do you think Ragnar would have come back for the child if the Princess had not saved him?

On a happier note, it was nice to see Rollo and his nephew (Bjorn) spending some quality time together. The son of Earl Ragnar has his father’s wisdom and warrior spirit. Bjorn’s acknowledgement and acceptance of Rollo’s continued love for his mother was unexpected. For now, Rollo is stuck with the power-hungry Siggy, but since Lagertha is single, could a romance ensue? Rollo has paid his dues for betraying Ragnar, hopefully he can now find some semblance of peace and happiness.

vikings season 2 episode 8 ecbert Vikings Experience Birthing Pains

Leaving the Scandinavian lands behind and travelling across the sea to Wessex, we are introduced to another ambitious player in this never-ending quest for power, named Princess Kwentrith. The lovely Amy Bailey does not have an impressive acting resume, yet she proves herself more than capable of standing toe-to-toe with the rest of the talented ensemble. Kwentrith may be even more dangerous than King Ecbert. Her insatiable appetite for pleasure exhausted Ecbert to the point of him having to retire for the evening. Athelstan appears to be ensnared by her beauty and charms as well, but will he act of them? Disturbing visions of blood, death and sex still plague our troubled priest.

Ragnar’s alliance with King Horik and Lagertha is on shaky ground, as the attack on Ecbert’s son and his men towards the end of the episode will undoubtedly cause a war between England and the Northmen. The question now is, who will survive the coming slaughter? Assuming Ragnar is reunited with Athelstan, will his friend want to leave Wessex, or has his loyalty shifted? Also, how do you think Princess Kwentrith will play into all of this chaos?

Vikings continues to stand out amongst its competition and fortunately, has been renewed for a third season. Our journey into the world of ancient warriors, priests, and kings is far from over. Stay tuned to see what happens next.


Vikings continues with ‘The Choice’ next Thursday @10pm on History. Watch a preview of next week’s episode below:

Follow David Griffin on Twitter @griffinde
TAGS: Vikings
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  1. i dont mean to be rude but they should have posted text in the ep’s sayin how many months its has been cause baby’s grow very fast

  2. About the baby’s name, its actually spelled “Ivar” :)

    • Thanks for the lookout Neco. I kept hearing Ivo in my head :-)

  3. I love all the central characters so much especially Rollo(rallo?) not sure how they spell it. I hope they just kill of king horic as donal does a great job at making me hate him. He did the same in sons of anarchy. Hes a great actor, but god his character makes me mad.

    • I think the probability of this occurring is rather high, seeing as he’s going to star on “Gotham”.

  4. I wonder if David Griffin actually knows these are real people & not just a made up television show because it sure doesn’t seem like it reading his posts? Not to spoil anything but Ivar actually grows up to be a greater warrior than Ragnar.

    • Ivar the Boneless is the only character I remembered from a History channel documentary. Now I want to watch that Doc again.

    • Thanks for checking out my review Tony, but keep in mind that I’m reviewing a TV show. I simply take the series as it is. If this was a review on an historical text or manuscript, then I would address it as such, but Vikings still must function as a TV series, no different than ‘The Simpsons,’ or ‘Game of Thrones.’

    • I was going to say that David is reviewing a show as it is from the point it is currently at, but he’s already iterated that. Reviews also can’t assume that any particular person watching the show has any indication of historical reference, especially considering the liberties shows like this take.

      How many people are aware that Ivar is actually the oldest son of Ragnar and Aslaug in Scandinavian sources as opposed to being the third(?) with brothers much older than him or that he had a wife between Lagertha and Aslaug with whom he had two sons?

      It would appear that the series has reconfigured those two sons to also be Aslaug’s much like Hirst combined two of Henry VIII sister’s into one. To say that historical references should be taken into account in relation to a show in it’s review is inaccurate.

    • By “he had a wife between”, I meant Ragnar and not Ivar. That didn’t come out quite as I intended.

  5. This entire episode was fantastic. Princess Aslug really won me over in this episode. There is nothing like a mother’s love for her child and Ragnar really surprised me. I thought he was going to actually kill his newborn. The scenery was some of the best in the series. The overall episode had a hunting quality to it. I just wish we’d get more than 10 episodes per season.

  6. First off……You just knew Ragnar really wasn’t going to kill his son…..Even if it would have been historically correct….There’s just no way to get the hero status back after that.

    As for King Horik and Lagertha ……The clip above is a shortened version of the preview at the end. At one point she seems like she might want to follow Horik, but in this clip she appears to be holding back her troops as Ragnar holds his back. I really hope that’s the case. Horik deserves such a fate….Unfortunately his warriors will find themselves out numbered and slaughtered, but who knows….Maybe Horik will do a quick about face once he realizes he’s going it alone.

    As for the nympho princes……I’m guessing that there’s a future romp between her and Ragnar….Or maybe with Rollo…..I’m guessing it’ll be him rather than Ragnar…..Ol’ Rollo is probably up to the task. I wonder if he might have a throne in his future? Should be interesting….

    • I didn’t think about Rollo but now that you mention it it could be a strong possibility I thought since she seemed interested in Astalan that he would be the one to get a shot