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Spoiler warning: details for the January 22 episode of Vikings Season 6 entitled “Valhalla Can Wait” are discussed below!
Bjorn, Bjorn, Bjorn. Katheryn Winnick excellently directed “Valhalla Can Wait,” and I cannot wait to dig into what happened with Lagertha's son. Season 6 has been a rough one for Bjorn. As he explained in the January 22 episode, he lost his son, his mother, and the crown of Norway. Vikings picked up with Bjorn confronting his brother, Hvitserk, for killing Lagertha.
Hvitserk appeared remorseful to Bjorn earlier in Vikings’ episode. However, in a private conversation with Ubbe, he was far less broken up over his deadly case of mistaken identity. Hvitserk spun it, saying that he had avenged his and Ubbe’s mother, Aslaug, who Lagertha had killed when she took over Kattegat. Then it came time for Bjorn to decide Hvitserk’s punishment, and he settled on death.
The pyre was set aflame, and as the smoke and fire started to engulf Hvitserk, Bjorn gave Ubbe the signal, sparing his brother. It was a move reminiscent of the time that Ragnar had saved his brother, Rollo, back in the day on Vikings. Bjorn was not about to let his brother entirely off the hook, though.
He sentenced Hvitserk to have a living death. Pulling a page out of his not-so-successful strategy from earlier in Season 6, Bjorn banished him from Kattegat minus the brand. I cannot imagine Hvitserk going quietly into the night now. Vikings showed how that has worked, and Bjorn clearly learned nothing from it.
Ubbe indicated that Hvitserk would not survive the winter. However, he has managed to survive incredibly difficult circumstances in the past. Where does Hvitserk go from here on Vikings? I am not entirely certain. He seems to have hit rock bottom.
Cue Gunnhild Drama
Bjorn recalled all of the hurt his father caused by having an affair with Aslaug in Vikings' earlier days. But it still did not stop Bjorn from continuing to cheat on his pregnant wife with Ingrid. How could you, Bjorn? This, after Gunnhild gave a moving speech supporting Bjorn to the people of Kattegat.
That is right. Ragnar and Lagertha’s son told the people of Kattegat that he was willing to step down as their king. They could then swear their fealty to Harald, the new King of Norway, to save Kattegat from destruction. Or he could stay on as king and Kattegat would presumably fight Harald.
Bjorn was losing the favor of the people to remain the King of Kattegat when Gunnhild gave a rousing speech on his behalf, which won the crowd over to Bjorn's side. Her reward? Gunnhild discovered her husband hooking up with Ingrid, and she responded by making a surprising proposition.
Taking a page out of Ragnar’s book, Gunnhild opted to accept the arrangement that Lagertha could not. She suggested that Bjorn, her, and Ingrid enter into a plural marriage. By the end of Vikings’ latest Season 6 episode, Bjorn had not decided whether to take his current (soon-to-be-first?) wife up on it.
For her part, the frustrating Ingrid seemed willing to go along with it. I doubt that if Bjorn agrees to the arrangement, Ingrid will accept being “second wife” as Vikings heads towards the finish line. Gunnhild needs to watch her back. Ingrid has her eyes set on being the top woman in Bjorn’s life.
Vikings clearly showed how history can repeat itself within a family tree. Bjorn is following in his father’s unflattering footsteps as a husband. However, Gunnhild is making her own path in a way different than Lagertha’s. I think her strategy is to prick Bjorn’s conscience. If not, she seems okay settling for his decision. Do you think Bjorn will make Ingrid his second wife? Weigh in via the poll below!