‘Vikings’ Season 5 Premiere: Episodes 1 & 2 Recap, “The Departed”

History Channel's Vikings,' Season 5, premiere, Episode 1, The Departed, Heahmund

[Image via Jonathan Hession]

Welcome to the Season 5 premiere recap of Vikings. Woot! We have finally got here 🙂 Here’s what went down in Episode 1, entitled “The Departed.” You will need to get yourself a cuppa and a comfy chair for this one as the premiere episode is a double one!

Heahmund and Wessex

While Season 4 of Vikings only saw Heahmund (Jonathan Rhys Meyers) appearing in the last few moments, the Season 5 premiere is a glut of this new character. Heahmund has arrived at Wessex and amidst the devastation, finds the body of Ecbert (Linus Roache), who the Vikings have hidden in a barrel.

At Ecbert’s funeral, a guy shows up who quickly lets Heahmund know about Ecbert’s cunning plan to undercut the Vikings of their reward of English soil. Once Heahmund realises what a genius Ecbert is for signing over land that is no longer his to the Vikings, he decides it is time to find the new king, Aethelwulf (Moe Dunford) and congratulate him for having an awesome father.

He also shags an appreciative woman and then has to drag himself through brambles to redeem himself for the aforementioned shag.

In a Swamp Somewhere

So, where is Aethelwulf? Well, Episode 1 of Vikings Season 5 sees him rowing through a swamp to get to where Judith (Jennie (Jacques) is camped. While this is sweet and all, we are quickly reminded that Aethelwulf and Judith’s relationship is as toxic as ever. Judith’s son to Athelstan, Alfred (Ferdia Walsh-Peelo), appears to be near death. Aethelwulf and Judith have no idea what to do about him until he walks out into the swamp and has a vision of his father. This fixes everything and Alfred announces they must all now head to York because Athelstan said so. But why, you ask? Well, more on that later 😉

History Channel's Vikings,' Season 5, premiere, Episode 1, The Departed, Ragnar's sons

[Image via Jonathan Hession/History Channel]

The Great Heathen Army

Considering the fact that Ivar the Boneless (Alex Hogh) killed his brother, Sigurd (David Lindstrom), in the Season 4 finale of Vikings, it is expected the tension is running hot in the Great Heathen Army moving forward into Season 5. And fans are not disappointed. Ivar is shitting himself knowing his brothers won’t accept his apology or reasons behind killing Sigurd. For the record, Ivar claims Sigurd was saying untruths about him. But, as his brothers point out, Ivar really is impotent, so not lies at all there. As a result of this, Ivar sets up a guard to protect himself in case, you know, the Vikings do something Viking like avenge their brother’s death. he also gets some pretty wicked leg shields invented so he can stand upright.


In the middle of all this, though, the brothers manage to band together enough to take York, because: Vikings. While it seems like a dumb plan at first, considering they still think they own half of England, as Ivar points out, York is not surrounded by their enemies. Once York is taken, they then set about fortifying the stronghold.

Heahmund soon gets wind of the Northmen invasion and the capture of York, so sets off to set those dastardly pagans straight. Thanks to Alfred’s vision, Aethelwulf also heads there with his army and the two groups soon meet up. Aethelwulf is as excited as only a religious nut can be at the sight of Heahmund. During a meal together, Heahmund makes Aethelwulf happier still by announcing that the Vikings may be fortifying York but they have done fuck all about the old Roman wall nearby. This means the Saxons finally have a fairly good shot at defeating the Northmen.

History Channel's Vikings,' Season 5, premiere, Episode 1, The Departed, Queen Lagertha

[Image via Jonathan Hession/History Channel]


So, what of Kattegat? Well, Bjorn (Alexander Ludwig), thinking the Vikings have now scored half of England sets off for the Mediterranean. Also not knowing about Harald Finehair’s (Peter Franzen) betrayal with Egil the Bastard (Charlie Kelly) against Kattegat, sends Harald home on his behalf to let Lagertha (Katheryn Winnick) know he won’t be home for a while and that the Great Heathen Army was awesome in their revenge against Ecbert and Aelle (Ivan Kaye) on their father, Ragnar’s (Travis Fimmel), behalf. You know nothing, Bjorn Irons– oh wait, wrong show…

So, Harald goes back to Kattegat, cocky as fuck and thinking Egil is warming the throne for him. His covers his surprise fairly quickly though when Lagertha walks out to greet them.

Except, she isn’t really happy to see him. Instead she is trying to get Harald to ‘fess up to his role in the Egil the Bastard fiasco. He doesn’t though, and Lagertha has to spell it out for him.

Then, instead of killing Harald, she ties him up, talks politics with him (for the record, she thinks marrying Harald to become the queen of all Norway is a dreadful idea), rapes him and then leaves.

So, of course, Harald escapes. He takes Astrid (Josefin Asplund) hostage in the process and offers her the role of a lifetime, AKA being his queen. Astrid refuses and I am starting to wonder if Astrid and Lagertha have some sort of secret plan happening here.

Back at Kattegat, Margrethe (Ida Nielsen) is pointing out to Torvi (Georgia Hirst) just how stupid Lagertha was for not killing Harald and I am pretty sure she has signed her own death warrant by dissing on the queen. But, only time with tell in that regard. once again, I am left wondering if Lagertha has a secret plan, especially once she lets on that she knew Harald was lying about not wanting to be the king of all Norway any more, and then, even more when it is suggested Astrid was a part of Herald’s plan, or that she was a part of his. Lagertha insists then that Astrid would not be a part of his plan.

History Channel's Vikings,' Season 5, premiere, Episode 1, The Departed, Ubbe, Hvitserk, and Floki

[Image via Jonathan Hession/History Channel]


While all this is going on in Episode 1 of Vikings Season 5, Floki (Gustaf Skarsgard) is setting off on a suicide mission little adventure. He builds a tiny boat for one and sets off to sea. He is putting himself at the mercy of the gods according to Floki, but what he is really doing is going off to die. Although, when the going gets tough, it turns out maybe Floki doesn’t really want to die and he asks the gods to show him the way rather than letting him die out at sea, surrounded by water and without a drinkable drop.

The Viking gods, being always full of tricks, set a storm onto Floki. This sends hims somewhat mad but also deposits him onto the shores of a new land. While Floki thinks it is Asgard, fans of history will know that Floki has just set foot on the shores of Iceland.

What did you think of Episode 1, of the Season 5 premiere of History Channel’s Vikings? Let us know by commenting below!

Vikings returns to History Channel on Wednesday, December 6 at 9 p.m. ET. TV Guide lists the following synopsis for Episode 2 (titled “Homeland”).

“Celebrations are cut short in the aftermath of the battle at York; Ragnar Lothbrok’s sons are pitted against each other as tensions reach an all-time high, and each is forced to choose a side.”

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. (These are affiliate links.)

[Featured Image by History Channel]

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