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What happens when you take a Christian monk to a Pagan festival? This is the exact question the History Channel’s Vikings sought to answer this week. Honestly, as the opening credits roll to the amazing theme song, If I Had A Heart by Fever Ray, we can hardly wait to find out what this show has in store for us. SPOILERS BEYOND THIS POINT!

In the wake of Lagertha, Ragnar’s wife, miscarrying a child, the village that Ragnar is now the Earl of prepares for an annual festival and sacrifice honoring the gods. They travel through the forest to the house of the gods where they are blessed by the priests before the festival begins. Then it’s drunken debauchery and, on top of that, Rollo (Ragnar’s brother) gives Athelstan some rather funny looking mushrooms. This leads to a trip sequence during an orgy that is, quite frankly, on par with scenes from Natural Born Killers. Throughout the night, the former priest denies Christ more times than Paul during the last supper. Until he discovers that he is to be sacrificed to the gods in return for their protection that is.

Meanwhile, Ragnar has formed an alliance with King Horik and plans to make larger raids on England. Only this time it not just for plunder and slaves. No, Ragnar intends to invade, explore, and settle the lands. King Horik, pleased at being associated with the famous Ragnar Lothbrok, happily agrees. However, it comes with conditions. There is a contender for the king’s throne and he wants them taken out. With his little smile at the prospect of further greatness, Ragnar accepts.

We end the episode with a bloodbath as sacrifice after sacrifice is brought to the altar. There are also several other things we end with. Siggy, the former earl’s widow, is manipulating Rollo and may be planning to use him to overthrow Ragnar. Athelstan was to be

Best Viking Family Entertainment Is A Good Old Sacrifice

Ragnar’s sacrifice to the gods, but was unable to be sacrificed due to his failure to deny the Christian faith. What does this mean for the odd couple’s relationship? With only one episode left in the season, the finale next week is set up to be an explosion that will leave us begging for more.

This show continues to set a high standard for network shows and the other channels had better hurry and catch up. Otherwise, the History Channel may establish a monopoly in the historical drama genre. From amazing cinematography depicting beautiful locations to expertly crafted fights, from top-of-the-line acting to amazing historical accuracy (tonight’s episode even featured the chess-like game Tafl), this show has it all. 