Hirst has a woman problem.
If you want to avoid spoilers, then leave!
ONLY A FATHER IS DESERVING OF “MOURNING”
Aslaug was not a favorite. I get that. She was not a good mother after Harbard came to the picture. She negletcted her foster kid, Siggy, was distant to her other sons and overlooked Ivar´s sadistic tendencies. HOWEVER, Ragnar left for a number of years after he became a fucking drug addict, and before that he was distant, at best.
When he dies their sons go to great lenghts to “avenge” his death:
Aslaug´s death is all but forgiven by Sigurd and Hvtserk…
MEN HAVE THE RIGHT OF BEING FATHERS EVEN IF THEY ARE UNFIT BUT WOMEN ARE NOT WORTHY OF SECOND CHANCES.
Okay, Porunn was also not a favorite. Vikings are harsh and her post partum depression obviously was something unheard. But Bjorn shuns his daughter afterwards, even though he could have arranged proper fostering and HE gets the chance of starting a new family with Torvi.
Floki is a mentally and emotionally instable man, but, after the death of his daughter, he gets a chance to raise Ivar and develop a bond with him.
Helga? No, Helga is destined to be a loser, so she goes crazy, adopts an orphan GIRL, who will…well…be the end of everything for poor Helga.
ONLY MALE CHILDREN ARE GIVEN ENOUGH SCREEN TIME AND ONLY THEM SURVIVE INTO ADULTHOOD:
I will not make a list, but go ahead and name me a single girl in this series that was shown to be born and survive? You will not find her, because she does not exist.
IF YOU ARE NOT A SHIELDMAIDEN OR IF YOU DO NOT SLEEP WITH YOUR FATHER IN LAW, YOUR STORY IS NOT WORTH SCREEN TIME
Kwentrith and Siggy senior were killed off because the actresses had other projects, I do understand that. However, Hirst has been writing female characters as either warriors or lapsed mothers for a long time now. Gisla was an example of politically active woman , but her development stopped the moment she became Rollo´s wife- from that moment on, she is being portrayed as either loving or nagging, but always in relation to Rollo.
THE ONLY RELATIONSHIPS THAT MATTERS ARE MALE-MALE FRIENDSHIPS.
I said it before, but I will say it again: the first 2 and half seasons of Vikings were incredible efficient in portraying strong women building positive relationships with one another, having agency and a sense of community. No cat fights, no bitching around, no jealousy.
But also the deaths of women are events that leave no impact in the story.
Siggy gave her life to save two of Ragnar´s sons. Her death only served one purpose: to freed Rollo. Not even Hvitserk or Ubbe were able to remind the viewers that they are only alive because of that woman´s sacrifice. Hvitserk only said “ we almost died following Aslaug on that frozen lake”
Sigurd is shown to be traumatized by being left behind in Kattegat. He goes on and on about Harbard, about Ivar´s being breastfed. He never mentions finding little Siggy corpse.
Kwentrith was killed by Judith, who knew she was pregnant and who had previously betrayed her already. We don´t get any scene of Aethelwulf lamenting her death. Magnus, her son, is sent away after being discovered that he WAS NOT RAGNAR´S- but he is still Kwentrith. I see that Aethelwulf was actually saving this child life, because he has a claim to Mercia and Ecbert would definitely kill him now, but the way the scene played was telling “ Tell them that you are Ragnar´s son”. NO MENTION OF HIS MOTHER.
Aethelstan, on the other hand, dead since season 3, is still there. His death led Ragnar to drugs , he is mentioned by Ecbert all the time, to the point of exhaustion. To be honest, Aethelstan was not even that interesting, but hey, Hirst thinks he was, so we should all agree.
The problem is, in my view, Hirst cannot write 20 episodes. He caters to the “ kick ass” male fans and he has hinted that History presses him to write “ less Saxons, more Vikings” , but even part of the male audience is getting restless. Ragnar, Aethesltan and soon Ecbert are dead. We should move on to Ivar and Alfred, but if the series wants to go forward, Hirst has to do better. The way things are now, we will not see Aethelflaed, the Lady of Mercians, daughter of Alfred, woman of great intelligence that was responsible for reclaiming a big part of England from the Viking invaders.