his and lagertha's relationship is IMPORTANT

Character: Ragnar Lothbrok
Appears in: Vikings
Commonly Interpreted as: Straight

But Really: In the 1x03, Ragnar invites Athelstan to join him and his wife Lagertha in bed, which he declines, citing his oath of celibacy. This scene is often dismissed as an insincere offer, but in 3x01 there is a callback to this scene, where Ragnar asks “If Lagertha and I were to invite you to share our bed today, would you still refuse as you once did?” while Aslaug, his second wife, looks at them jealously. His actor, Travis Fimmel, has also stated that he believes Ragnar was being sincere.

Throughout the series, his relationship with Athelstan hits the typical narrative beats of a romance more than friendship, e.g. Ragnar spends as much of season 2 preoccupied with winning Athelstan back from King Ecbert as he does with winning the conflict with Wessex. He frequently places as much and sometimes more importance on his relationship with Athelstan as he does his brother, son and wife/ex-wife.

In 3x06 Athelstan converts back to Christianity and tells Ragnar he is going to return to Wessex. Ragnar passionately declares “You cannot leave me. I love you.” His tone and expression make it very hard to interpret as anything but a confession of romantic love.

**SPOILERS FOR 3x06 ONWARDS**

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Vikings 3x01 AKA an ode to Ragnar/Athelstan

fuck. me.

that was such a good season opener i can’t even. just, everything. it set up the conflicts/romances/battle strategy of the coming season, reminded us of the friendships we love and the characters that deserve a good smack (I’m looking at u Rollo, you piece of shit) and had some kick ass fight scenes.

and the OTP was strong in this one. I’m talking like, not five mins in to the ep, we get Ragnar literally saying, and I quote; “wherever you go, I shall follow” to Athelstan while Aslaug looks on in dismay/jealousy. i just can’t with the newly crowned King and his husband priest. their easy interaction. their trust. their respect for each other’s culture/religion/boundaries. *brb crying forever*

 their first scene together in S3, Ragnar compares their gods, placing them on equal standing and giving their judgement equal weight (in contrast to Aethelwulf later in the ep, who disses the Viking’s gods and flat out states that monotheism and polytheism cannot coexist peacefully side by side). 

Ragnar remembers an important Biblical figure without prior prompting, showing that he’s not only asked Athelstan for information on his faith, (cos we know Athelstan doesn’t volunteer that info due to the risk of appearing non-Viking) Ragnar has taken that info on board and cared enough to remember it. he’s not just pandering to Athelstan’s interests, he’s genuinely interested in his boyfriend’s faith and culture. futhermore, he literally calls Athelstan ‘the Jesus to my St John the Baptist’, like, for real. he acknowledges the depth and importance of their relationship with Biblical references. what a geek.

and then later in the ep, Ragnar listens to Athelstan’s advice and actually takes it on board, trusting him to be his translator, and actually saying out loud he trusts him to look after his interests (contrast with Lagertha’s confidant, who betrayed her as soon as her back was turned). “there’s no one i trust more than you” he tells Athelstan, whilst in a room with Lagertha, Bjorn, Floki etc etc. 

I can’t help but tie it into Bjorn’s storyline, where he’s desperately trying to get the woman he loves to stay behind, out of the conflict where its safe. Ragnar doesn’t have to fight Athelstan to get him to stay behind- Athelstan immediately agrees. “if that’s what you want me to do, then that’s what I’ll do”. 

Athelstan knows Ragnar respects his fighting abilities. and Ragnar knows Athelstan can take care of himself. but last time they went on a raid Athelstan was captured by the enemy and crucified and Ragnar basically fell apart and made terrible life choices until he got Athelstan back. 

Ragnar isn’t strong enough to lose Athelstan twice, and Athelstan knows it

so he protects him, by making sure Ragnar will never have to suffer that fate again. Athelstan loves Ragnar more than he loves his own pride (unlike Porrun, who cares more about her reputation than Bjorn’s feelings/fears, and would rather go to battle whilst pregnant than be left out of the fighting). but Athelstan sacrifies his own chances for glory/respect and comfort (he hates being left with Saxons, who hate/fear him, and remind him of his old life and all his mixed feelings about it) and vows to use the time alone usefully, protecting Ragnar’s his interests for him whilst he’s away, and setting up a new home for them in Wessex, for Ragnar to recuperate in when he’s defeated their newest enemies

and then we get Aethelwulf’s wife whose name I can’t remember being all touchy feely with Athelstan, which Athelstan Does Not Want, kissing his crucifixion scars without permission, which is YET ANOTHER contrast to his easy interaction with Ragnar, who gently caressed Athelstan’s hand earlier in the episode, looking at his scars but not doing anything that he knew Athelstan would be uncomfortable with. not letting the scars and what they symbolise fester and hold sway over them, but carefully addressing the issue and not pushing Athelstan for more than he was ready to give - versus the Princess, who just barged right in there, feeling him up and ascribing her own meaning and understanding of the scars onto Athelstan and expecting him to just agree/be cool with it. i mean will you look at this:

he’s so gentle ajfasihnfkjed

i just love love love how the writers are not letting this ship die. yeah they trot out new lady love interests for the both of them every season, but at the same time they undermine and cut through those het love connections with the next stroke of their pens- by constantly and continually underlining how much Ragnar and Athelstan value and understand one another in a way that none of the other relationships on the show can compare to. *sobs endlessly over the perfection of this pairing* 

just. take it away. the feels. I can’t. don’t touch me.

Vikings

I love this show from time to time, but I’ll be very brief, because I love it more for pure action than the show itself, and I’m loosing interest with the last season.

Ragnar - I love him, covered in blood, yelling at everyone, or when he’s treating Aslaug like shit (I don’t like her). 

I was so sad he wasn’t with Lagertha so early in the show. She was amazing, he shouldn’t have traded her for a poor excuse for a wife he now has. Their marriage is an absolute joke to me, and I don’t even find her pretty at all (which, for Ragnar, seemed to be like an important thing).

Moreover, she doesn’t really care about Ragnar, as she does about power. We can see it in the last season, when she believes Ragnar will die and she will be able to seize his place.

What I loved most about him was his relationship with Athelstan. It was the most beautiful and surprisingly profound for a show like Vikings. I was pleasantly surprised, until the show writers decided to chicken out before the death of Athelstan. 

The fact both were that open-minded, and that they both kinda loved the two religions, was really interested. You could see the conflict between their gods inside of them. And you could see a deep connection, even stronger than love, between the two, until after he died.

The fact he’s the one to convince Ragnar to spare Floki, not really for him but for Helga, by appearing to him after his death, made my heart ache. It was a knife into the wound again. 

I will forever cry over that lost ultimate relationship. And if you don’t trust me, I’ll just say this : Athelstan is the only person Ragnar told “I love you” to. Not to mention the many times he showed more than concerned interest for a friend. But meditate on that, because no wife of his had the privilege of him saying “I love you”. Only Athelstan. 

Athelstan - Of course, I would mention just after Ragnar, this cinnamon roll of a monk turned Viking (I would have been down for a threesome with Lagertha btw, but this ship has sailed on so many levels now).

His conflict was genuine and wonderful. I loved also how he taugh Ragnar about his religion, and how he was willing to learn from him too. One of their most beautiful scenes together would be when he taught him how to pray to God, imo. (and I’m not religious whatsoever, just sayin’)

But I will be forever bitter over the fact they ruined everything minutes before he was murdered by Floki. 

I loved every inch of this character and his evolution, even though I didn’t care for him and Judith. But now that he has a child, I would give anything for Ragnar to find out and take him to raise him as his own (or Judith giving him to him, acknowledging his huge history with Athelstan).

But the fact they made him re-discover his religion made everything before like it doesn’t matter at all. And I felt sad about it, because it was THE plot I loved so much. I felt they diminished the importance and purpose of the character doing it that way.

So when Floki killed him afterwards, even though I saw it coming, it was the last straw. 

Floki - I always loved the way he was. His little madness “seduced” me sometimes.

He was my favorite at some point, but I couldn’t stand behind his hatred for Athelstan. I was so sad they didn’t get along, because they were the best, imo. But well…

It made me very conflicted when he killed him, because I knew Floki was loosing his mind, but still pretty much loved him. So, this was hard to condemn him as well as praise him. 

He suffered a great amount in the last season, and I found it sad it was all about him loving Ragnar and Ragnar not seeing or really care for it. 

But ultimately, I grew tired of him and his principles, so I don’t know for now what I think about all this. But this is probably the “season 4″ effect.

I’ll remember always, however, how he was with Ragnar against King Horick, and the scene where he reveals he has not stop being faithful to Ragnar, was amazing. I cheered like a little girl at the candy store that day.

Lagertha - I always loved that one because, not only she was beautiful, but also strong and she deserved what she took from others. 

Ragnar treated her like shit, but she constructed herself as a queen, and took power from her old Earl (who initially “took” it from her but well). I kinda knew she was gonna kill him. 

I just didn’t find it useful that we got again the storyline with the loss of a child. I though we already established she couldn’t have children, so why make her go through it again ? Seeing her in all that blood made me so sad. She wants them, but no matter what, she knows fate won’t do her the favor.

I hope she gets respected as an Earl very soon. We’ll see in 4B. 

Rollo - Well, I have trouble to “care” for him. Not that I don’t like him, he even makes me laugh sometimes. But he’s always ending up betraying Ragnar, so in the end, he’s not even a surprise anymore.

But I kinda loved his story with his now wife, how he gained her trust and learned french for her was kinda cute. Especially coming for a mountain of muscles with not much of a brain as Rollo is.

Because, let’s face it, he’s not as smart as Ragnar.

Other characters - I liked Bjorn from time to time, but he sometimes can be so much of a dick, just like his father.

His whole storyline with Porrun made me so sad for him, though. Because he was willing to stay with her and support her, and didn’t care about her looks. But she couldn’t see right past it, and became so selfish towards him and their daughter. 

Ultimately, she abandoned everyone, so it was only logical he would be a little lost after that. 

I’m just sad he was not really able to snap out of it and take care of his daughter himself. He could have been a great father, but he never seem to care anymore about anything but proving his father wrong.

That’s a shame.

I hate Aslaug as much as I hate Karen in Shameless (well, Karen is a little on top, I have to admit, but not by far).

I, however, absolutely loved Kwenthrith too. She’s an absolute but amazing and necessary lunatic. I love her style and I’m willing to see more (but I’m not convinced she had Ragnar’s child, I know he’s amazingly fertile, but I’m sensing it’s just a ruse, I don’t know why).

I do not care about others.

Season 4 - I didn’t love season 4, part A. I was told there were 10 more episodes to come, so we’ll see. 

But I felt they were more “filler” episodes, like the one where he spend the entire episode in the house with his asian slave, bathing her. I’m sorry but I think I almost fell asleep at least 3 times in a row that night. It was BORING as hell !

It might be the fact that Vikings is a bloody action show. Most of the time, you’re in front of the screen, watching Vikings kill people and battle the shit out of everything. 

So yeah, when it’s slow, you notice. Moreover, they didn’t manage to make the “slow parts” interesting. It doesn’t work for me anyway. 

I’ll end my verdict on the last episode of the season, even though I don’t know (and fail to care) when it’s coming back. But for now, I’m feeling they shouldn’t have take the 20 episodes, and stick to a pure 10 without the useless parts. It would have been better.

But they started to disappoint me since their treatment of Athelstan’s death, so… At this point, any bold move could bring me back, but I don’t know. I hope they surprise me.

I’ve loved this show before, but no more “filler” episodes, and more like the battle between the two brothers please !