‘Vikings’ Season 4 Finale: Episode 20 Recap, “The Reckoning,” Plus, What Does The Word, “Ananyzapata,” On Heahmund’s Sword Mean?

History's 'Vikings,' Season 4, Part 2, finale, Episode 20, The Reckoning, Ivar the Boneless

[Image via Jonathan Hession/HISTORY]

Welcome to the Season 4 finale recap of Vikings. Here’s what went down in Episode 20, entitled “The Reckoning.”


If you thought History Channel would reveal Torvi’s (Georgia Hirst) fate in the Season 4 finale of Vikings, think again. Kattegat doesn’t even get a look in this week.

History's 'Vikings,' Season 4, Part 2, finale, Episode 20, The Reckoning, The Great Heathen Army

[Image via Jonathan Hession/HISTORY]

Vikings vs. Saxons

Episode 19 concluded with the Vikings attacking the Saxons who were trying to retreat to Repton. This fight plays out in the Season 4 finale. But, it is quickly realised by Aethelwulf (Moe Dunford) they are fighting a losing battle.


Wessex is where all the bad shit happens in this episode of Vikings. So, put on your big girl panties, strap yourself in and make sure you have enough tissues on hand. Alcohol will probably help as well.

Aethelwulf retreats and orders everyone leave their stronghold at Wessex. King Ecbert (Linus Roache) refuses, preferring to take a page of out of Ragnar’s (Travis Fimmel) martyr handbook and insists he stay behind to meet his destiny. Suddenly I love King Ecbert completely.

But, there is a pesky little problem in regard to the fact you can’t leave a king behind to certain doom. So, to fix this, Ecbert renounces the crown and Aethelwulf is quickly made the new king of Wessex and Mercia. For some reason I feel a little uncomfortable about this hasty decision, especially when Ecbert says his goodbyes and insists Aethelwulf must return to claim what is his. What does he even mean by that? But, then Ecbert is crying because he is left alone in the stronghold with nothing but his conscience and the Bishop (Philip O’Sullivan) for company and I am crying along with him.

The Vikings eventually turn up with their battering ram. It quickly turns from excitement at breaking into the stronghold to nervous anticipation when they realise the place is deserted.

History's 'Vikings,' Season 4, Part 2, finale, Episode 20, The Reckoning, Ragnar's sons look around

[Image via Jonathan Hession/HISTORY]

Shit gets more awkward when Ecbert turns up and they have to decide what to do with him.

Ivar (Alex Hogh) wants to blood eagle him, and, for once, I actually agree with him because Ecbert soon reveals his long game plan. Of course, the Vikings don’t even know it yet, but the audience is left screaming at their TV screens.

And it seems Ecbert has, once again, copied an idea from Ragnar.

You know how Ecbert is no longer king? Well, the Vikings don’ t know that and Bjorn (Alexander Ludwig) and Ivar don’t know him well enough to know he is using them as pawns in his endgame. This means, when Ecbert offers to sign over his kingdoms to the Vikings, Bjorn agrees, rather than question why Ecbert made this offering so quickly. If the document wasn’t total bullshit, it would mean Bjorn’s father’s wish of settling his people in England would now be a reality.

Except, now you have doomed them all Bjorn and you won’t even know it when it happens because you’ve just announced you’re returning to the Mediterranean.

Along with this calamity, Bjorn also lets Ecbert decide his own fate rather than let Ivar blood eagle him. Dude, you should have listened to your psycho little brother because, in the end, that is the death Ecbert deserves.

So, Ecbert chooses to slit his own wrists and dies peacefully in his bath. Not cool History Channel, not cool.

History's 'Vikings,' Season 4, Part 2, finale, Episode 20, Sigurd

[Image via HISTORY]

The Horrible Thing That Happened to Sigurd

So, now the Vikings think they own most of England, the Season 4 finale sees them celebrating and arguing among themselves because those boys can just never get along. Ivar is all cocky because his battle plan screwed over Aethelwulf. He wants to continue to loot England rather than become a farmer.

The boys continue to argue with Ivar calling Sigurd (David Lindstrom) gay. Ubbe (Jordan Patrick Smith) tries to calm them all the fuck down but Ivar is at his ‘killing shit’ phase of anger.

And by ‘killing shit,’ I mean his brother. Ivar throws a battle axe right at Sigurd, hitting him in the chest. Sigurd gets up, pulls the axe from his chest and manages to get all the way across to Ivar before he keels over again. I seriously think he’s dead, Ubbe seems to agree. But, who knows, after all, in the Sagas, Sigurd did suffer injuries in battle that had to be fixed by a magic man, so, maybe he’ll be okay in Season 5 of Vikings. Somehow, I don’t think so though…

History's 'Vikings,' Season 4, Part 2, finale, Episode 20, The Reckoning, Floki carries Helga

[Image via HISTORY]

The Horrible Thing That Happened to Floki and Helga

Now, you know I am a fan of Floki (Gustaf Skarsgard) and Helga (Maude Hirst), so the Season 4 finale of Vikings has gutted me.

Helga has insisted on joining the Great Heathen Army even though she really has no battle skills and is just wandering around with an orphan who hates her.

Episode 19 of Vikings saw the orphan, Tanaruz (Sinead Gormally), escape, setting the scene nicely to show the audience just how unhappy the child was.

Episode 20 sees Tanaruz decide her fate is actually worse than death and stabs Helga before killing herself.

I serious couldn’t breath watching this.

Floki turned up just in time to have a little goodbye chat as Helga is dying.

This is where the bawling began.

Then Floki buries Helga and I am ugly crying as he recites a saga about Odin and places grave goods beside Helga.

Seriously, History Channel, Season 4 of Vikings has been brutal AF.

I repeat. Brutal. As. Fuck.


Sherborne, Dorset, England

You know how we have all just been hanging around waiting for the arrival of Jonathan Rhys Meyers to appear in Season 4 of Vikings? Well, History Channel decided to wait for the very last minutes of Season 4 to introduce Heahmund. He is a religious warrior who also like to shag widows after he buries their husbands. Season 5 is nicely set up for Heahmund it seems.

My prediction is he will join forces with Aethelwulf and attack the Vikings who think they now own Wessex and Mercia.

I also think Heahmund will be a nice introduction to the Knights Templar and the new History Channel program that have in production called Knightfall.

Now, for those of you who have been asking about what the word inscribed into Heahmund’s sword, “ananyzapata,” means, I have done a pile of research since yesterday, and everything I could find out about the word is in this article I wrote for the Inquisitr.

What did you think of Episode 20, the Season 4 finale of History Channel’s Vikings? Let us know by commenting below!

Vikings will return to History Channel with Season 5 on Wednesday, November 30 at 9 p.m. ET/PT.

Season 4, Volume 2 (Episodes 11-20) of History Channel’s Vikings is now available for purchase here. Volume 1 (Episodes 1-10) is available here.

[Featured Image by History Channel]

0 thoughts on “‘Vikings’ Season 4 Finale: Episode 20 Recap, “The Reckoning,” Plus, What Does The Word, “Ananyzapata,” On Heahmund’s Sword Mean?

  1. This was some crazy shit and brutal as fuck, as you put it. I can’t help but think there’s gonna be a lot more pain come the first ten episodes of Season 5. It’s not gonna be pretty ever again.

  2. Pingback: ‘Vikings’ Season 4 Finale: Episode 20 Recap, “The Reckoning” | Rachel Tsoumbakos

  3. Anybody know what the meaning of that sword was that they showed at the end? The word ananyzapata was clearly written across the top portion of the sword..

  4. Totally agree with all you’ve said. Season 5 seems to segway nicely into the new Knights of the Templar show coming up. Lets face it though,shit has not been the same since Ragnar was killed off. Yet,I still cant stop watching!

    • There will always be a Ragnar-shaped hole. But, in the same way Athelstan continued to affect Ragnar and Ecbert’s actions and behaviours, I think we will still see the echoes of him for some time to come.

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