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Warning: Spoilers for the Season 5B episode of Vikings -- "A New God" lie ahead.
Yes, that just happened. Vikings ended the third episode of Season 5B with a huge cliffhanger. Ivar has completely lost his mind, and he is using what remains of it to wreak havoc. Before diving into the unsettling cliffhanger, let's back up a bit.
Ivar's descent into madness on Vikings continued with him telling his brother, Hvitserk, that he is a god, after Freydis helped him realize this potential in the previous episode. As part of that, he says he wants to perform a human sacrifice dedicated to honoring his fellow gods welcoming him into the fold.
That is when he heavily hints that he wants to sacrifice Hvitserk. Next, Ivar's brother says Ivar does not know what he is saying. But, watching the episode play out, the glint in Ivar's eye says otherwise.
At the end of the episode, Ivar and his wicked wife Freydis preside over the ritual. The moment has been heavily teased in the promos leading up to the episode. The scene of Ivar calling for the sacrifice was featured in the trailer for Season 5B, in fact. So it's not a huge surprise.
The context of that sacrifice potentially being Hvitserk adds another layer to the footage we've already seen, however. Human sacrifice has been a recurring theme on Vikings going back to earlier seasons, and it never stops being disturbing. These and executions are the most difficult scenes to get through, at least for me personally.
Ivar wanting to sacrifice someone was not shocking, as noted prior. Regardless, the fact we see him wanting to kill his brother and even telling him about it was an indication of how unhinged he is. Hvitserk seems to have truly gotten the message. Time will tell if he acts on it.
Now to the big question! Is it actually Hvitserk under that hood? Methinks not. If it were him, there would be no need to hide the sacrifice's identity. Vikings has cleverly planted the seed of it being Hvitserk. If it were him though, I feel like the show would not have given viewers that sort of heads up. History's Vikings generally has surprising writing.
When it comes to shocking twists, Vikings does not give viewers a lot of lead time to react. Closing this episode with the idea of it being Hvitserk gives fans a week to consider the twist. That is a long time for Vikings. Does this make Hvitserk's odds of being the one sacrificed low? Who is it if it is not Hvitserk?
The Seer. Yes, you read that right. The show indicated that The Seer was lying down at the time of the ritual going on. However, viewers may have been shown that scene out of order. If some clever editing was not at play, then that rules him out. If it is not The Seer or Hvitserk, the mystery only deepens.
Few other characters feel like viable options. Then again, just making the audience think it is Hvitserk could be the aim. If next week's episode kicks off and the hood is pulled back without it being Hvitserk than the mission may have been accomplished. Not to mention it does not make sense that The Seer would not have seen Ivar's plan coming.