The Northmen say the world will come to an end. The sun will grow black. The earth will sink into the sea. The stars will disappear. Fire and water will meet. Flames will play against the sky. The heavens and earth and all the world will be burned. All the Gods will be dead, and the warriors of Valhala, and people everywhere.
Senua, prepare yourself for Ragnarok, for it is nigh.
so let me get this straight: a Nordic warrior asked to be baptized as a christian and gave up Valhala, a place in which he’d surely meet his daughter who died in the hands of the plague, his friends killed in battle, his entire family… just so he could be reunited with his monk one more time???? Ragnar loved, loves and will forever love athelstan with all his heart
The rain was coming down so hard she could barely see the yellow lines that marked the middle of the road and Sam decided to pull over, let the rain pass. As she eased on the breaks, she could feel the wheels start to hydroplane. She immediately took her foot off but it was too late–
She saw the tree a millisecond before she crashed into it.
What I love to Rollo’s story this year is the reversal of perspective.
I have said many times that his and Ragnar’s journey’s are the same road but the opposite direction. Ragnar starts with the favor of the Gods and as he slowly loses it Rollo gains it. Ragnar began with empathy but as he becomes more frustrated and cruel (look how he treated Aslaug) Rollo learns how to become more intellectual and even capable of showing restraint (prominent example how he treated Gisla in their wedding night). Ragnar becomes bitter, Rollo is in the path of becoming content. Ragnar was open to new ideas and innovations but now has nightmares of the doors of Valhala closing for him while Rollo the devoted to solely one way of life one is now embracing a new culture and even aspects of a new religion and as the Seer foretold this is what the Gods have planned for him. So on and back and forth.
But that aside Rollo what I find very interesting in the way Rollo’s story is explored on screen is that he is either the villain to one’s story or the savior to another. He is the betrayer for some but about to become the defender for others.
Rollo here betrays his own kind. He is the traitor to his family and to his people. He does it for power and personal satisfaction but also he does it for what the Gods promised him and exactly like Ragnar he is ready to follow that path no matter the cost (see what Ragnar did in order to gain power and explore the world and fulfill his curiosity and to get the sons the Gods promised him). Rollo is no different. As a Viking at heart he is ready to follow what the Gods commanded. However that is not an excuse and an absolution. He will still have to pay the price. He is still accountable for his actions. He still killed his own people. He still turned on those that sheltered him and trusted him and loved him. Which from that perspective that makes him vile and egotistical and psychotic and a traitor. He is ready to betray and kill and do the most unimaginable horrific act in order to fulfill his “destiny”. That makes him despicable.
However lets us reverse the coin here.
Let us see how Rollo will be looked at by the other side of the river. Rollo came to Paris as a conqueror. To bring death, destruction, pain. Many people root for the Vikings because the show is dedicated to them and we came to know their stories and personalities but the truth is that they were invaders. Just imagine someone coming to your country to subdue you. To kill you and steal from you and kill those that you love and enslave you and so on. The Vikings were all about raids and invading countries, killing, raping, plundering. They showed no mercy. They were brutal. They brought terror. They killed and maimed. They took people for slaves. They brought misery. Rollo came to Paris to do exactly that. To kill, to maim, to destroy and then gain gold and treasure and then do the same again to people that never hurt him. To people that wanted to defend their lives and country. Rollo also becomes from another culture and another religion. The people of Paris for now fear him and do not understand him and for good reason. They see him as the literal incarnation of the devil. They pray when he passes by and Gisla sees him as her enemy and a monster. She fears and hates and despises him. But Rollo now is devoting his life for them. He is there to help them save themselves against an imminent attack. He is there to become the defender. The savior. The hero. For them.
He is there to bring to these people hope. To actually deliver them from evil. To give them hope that they can save their country and their lives and that they and their children will be safe. That come spring the Vikings won’t enter the walls and the gates. That Rollo will be there as their protector. Rollo now despite his personal motives is there to become Paris’ salvation. He won’t be regarded by those people and by that particular brunch of history as the traitor. But as the noble savior. The one that protects. The one that goes to war for Paris. The one that defends the ideals of those that are under attack and in need. He will no longer be the savage but a God send protector.
And Rollo is not just betraying his own people without taking a certain stand. He betrays his brother and his own but he is not running away. He stays to fight for Paris. To the point that he declares that he is ready to die for Paris. So from that kind of point he becomes a French Loyalist down to the bone. So for the people of Paris he becomes their liberator. He is there to rescue and not betray. Even if later on he will probably try to build some bridges with the Vikings again (but that is my personal estimation and a theory for later).
I find this kind of duality and dichotomy extremely interesting. We have betrayal and loyalty and love and hate interacting all together.
Because right now Rollo is both. He IS the traitor. And he IS the Defender. This is the kind of person that he is literally capable for the very best and the very worst. This is what Generals and Kings and Conquerors were made of. And when it comes to history it depends from which perspective you are looking at certain historical figures and facts.
And let us face it. People that shape the world usually are made from that kind of material. These kind of days many of them are politicians lol