'Vikings' season 5 episode 15 review: The battlefield looked eerily similar to Bishop Heahmund's vision of 'Hell'
No one is safe on History Channel's hit show 'Vikings', but the death of this important character has a ripple effect on one of our favorites, Lagertha
Titled 'Hell', Vikings' episode 15 of season 5 was everything hell is said to be made of. From the burning fire to the devil and gore, the episode scurried through the inner darkness of even the liveliest of characters as an epic battle raged on between the Saxons and the Pagans which lead to the death of a major character and the fall of many.
Just before the dawn of war between King Harald and King Alfred, Bishop Heahmund had a vision of hell. Narrating the vision to Lagertha, he confessed how afraid he truly was at the sight and immediately gave up his unholy affair with Lagertha, taking the nightmare as a warning from God. Soon after, on the battlefield, it does not take the warrior Bishop long to identify the similarities between his vision of hell and the actual battlefield, which is set on fire by King Alfred and his army to trap King Harald's army.
Ever since Heahmund first met Lagertha, he pledged his life to her, and this time and in this round of battle Bishop Heahmund is killed. But not before screaming out Lagertha's name as he is struck by arrows from the back and the front, before getting axed. Lagertha, who had earlier told him he never loved her, falls to the ground on seeing him die, as she herself is struck on her legs.
That is also the last time we see her. King Harald's army is made to retreat and King Alfred emerges victorious, but when Bishop Heahmund's funeral service is going on in Wessex, Bjorn realizes his mother is missing. They go in search of her but she is nowhere to be found, neither among the living nor the dead.
Meanwhile in Kattegat, my favorite bad boy, Ivar the Boneless denies knowing anything about the missing Seer, who he killed in the previous episode. Making false promises to his people of Kattegat, he assures them he will do his best to find what happened to the Seer, and ploys his own divinity to tell people they are blessed to have a god as their ruler. However, Hvitserk, who had also visited the Seer before Ivar did, does not believe Ivar when he constantly denies knowing anything about the Seer.
While in bed and in conversation with his scheming wife, Freydis, Ivar confesses his love to her and tells her how he never felt loved from anyone besides his mother and that he’s filled with hate because he was always treated as a cripple at first. Then Freydis, in her all charming glory, tells him to see his next big step as a God and explains that his purpose will come to him when valkyries, the angels of death and war, will descend.
As this scene is towards the end of the episode, fans have likened Lagertha to be a valkyrie, since she is missing after the heartbreaking death of her ex-lover. However, the most interesting part of the show was Alfred rising to power and proving his haters wrong. Teaming up with Ubbe, who is now a Christian, Alfred is taught to fight by the son of Ragnar.
Ubbe has gained Alfred's trust and becomes an informal general, advisor and mentor to the young king. When in negotiation talks with King Harald, Ubbe is resolute about siding with the Saxons and even warns him that defeating Alfred's army will not be easy. When Ubbe tells Harald about his baptism and denouncing his Pagan Gods, you can immediately sense how disgusted Harald is with Ubbe.
Losing Ubbe to the Saxons, King Harald gains another self-proclaimed son of Ragnar, Magnus, from Alfred's end, who lets him know that the English army is on the battlefield and Harald was duped by Ubbe to believe they are up for negotiating gold and silver. Harald is not the only one despising Ubbe, even his elder brother Bjorn, is hating Ubbe for denouncing his religion for King Alfred and siding by the Saxons.
But, to be fair to Ubbe, he is doing what the moment demands him to do for the long-term security of his family - the promised land. As for Bjorn, he is busy seducing one woman after another and giving the 'I wanna get together' look. It happens on the battlefield too.
Before going into battle, King Alfred, donned in armor and a crown, boasting a mustache and beard announces the arrest of one of the conspirators who attempted to kill him. So, while they set sail for battle, Alfred's mother, Judith, gets something fun to do; torture the conspirator until he spews blood and the truth.
The otherwise sweet queen, wife of late King Aethelwulf, brings forward her dark side and relishes torturing him. It does not end well because she comes to know the leader of the conspirators is her eldest son, Aethelred.
She breaks the news to King Alfred, who is conflicted because Aethelred saved his life in battle. The battle scene in question, unfurled as a narration by Alfred with a bloodstained face and a cut nose, leading up to the eulogy of Bishop Heahmund.
Next week's episode, 'The Buddha,' airs January 2, 2019. Talking about 'The Buddha,' Ivar has erected his statues around Kattegat, and looks eerily similar to the Lord Buddha. It could just be my observation, nothing else, but it's interesting to guess what comes next.