A few things about that scene in tonight’s Vikings, now that I’ve had a bit of time to gather my thoughts:
It had been bothering me all season long that Ragnar’s obviously very genuine baptism at the end of season 3 had been all but forgotten. But now it all makes sense. It’s not about Christian or Pagan. It’s not about Odin or Jesus or Heaven or Valhalla. For Ragnar it is simply a matter of faith. And what was Athelstan if not the embodiment of faith in Ragnar’s eyes? Ragnar’s faith absolutely died with Athelstan.
Literally once he survived Paris and went on living back home, it was as a faithless man. It’s not that he doesn’t want to see Athelstan in his Heaven once more. It’s that he has lost the ability to allow himself to believe such a place could even exist.
“Athelstan was a man of God.” “And he still died.” Ragnar has lost so many people, and his belief in Gods or an afterlife has never hinged on death. For him death was not a defeat, only a new beginning. Athelstan’s death well and truly stripped him of his faith to the core.
So what is he left with if not an eternity in the afterlife with his beloved? Well, seeing the only piece of Athelstan left on this Earth in the form of his only son certainly seemed to bring Ragnar more joy than anything has since the last time he gazed upon Athelstan’s living face.
Like I just genuinely feel that seeing Alfred was an essential thing for him before his death. To know some part of Athelstan will go on living. That is a victory for Ragnar in itself.
Anyway I do think it’s rlly interesting that they had Ecbert pose the question of which afterlife Athelstan landed in upon his death. I, like Ragnar, have little faith left at this point, but wouldn’t it be lovely if they give us some sign that the two of them will be reunited on the other side after all…
Also props to Michael Hirst for at least acknowledging that Ragnar’s downfall and wish for death did indeed spring from Athelstan’s death. In every way that counts, they died together. Ragnar could never get past the burden of such a loss, and everything since then has been in the hopes of ending it all.
I’m still trying to unpack all of my thoughts and feelings and various interpretations from the finale, and also reconcile those with what Bryan has said to be his intent with how this all played out. Some of those interpretations match up with the word of god, some of them do not at all, but I think all of them are equally valid and can coexist alongside one another at once. Mostly I think it’s clear that even Will wasn’t entirely sure what he wanted or what he was doing, and I feel just as conflicted about what the one “true story” is as he likely did.
One thing is for certain though, even if Will’s plan in the beginning was to kill Hannibal, or to watch Dolarhyde kill Hannibal, once the moment came he simply couldn’t do it. He said these words to Reba earlier in the episode about her relationship with Dolarhyde, and he understood more than anyone precisely what it meant to be in love with a man with a freak on his back. And I think somewhere along the way Will realized there was nothing he could do about it. There was nothing he could do to make himself stop loving Hannibal.
Maybe he wanted him to die, maybe he wanted to run away with him from the beginning and was playing everyone including Hannibal himself, maybe he simply wanted to have just one more moment with him and whatever happened after would be just fine. Maybe he knew they would kill Dolarhyde together and it would be everything Hannibal ever wanted. Maybe Will wanted to give that to him. Wanted to give that to them. Maybe it was all of these at once. I think that is far more likely. Nothing with Will Graham is ever simple or straightforward. Nothing is ever always right or always wrong.
It’s not easy when you know the one person who understands you – every part of you, all your light and dark, all your good and bad, all your best and worst – is someone commonly referred to as a monster. It’s not easy when you see him and he sees you and you’re both laid bare before each other and you know that you will never connect with another person ever again in the way you have with him. You tried to live without him, you really, truly did, but you discovered that you were only lying to yourself. There was never any living without him. Only standing still. Waiting.
And you fear that it will ruin all your good, that his dark will sap your light, but he is magnetic and you are both somehow just alike and you look into his eyes and you know everything he wants to say to you, and he knows everything you want to say to him. He sees right through you. You see right through him.
It’s not easy, but that’s love for you. More often than not it is illogical and stubbornly devoted despite all your knowledge and foresight. You know it’s going to hurt. You know it’s going to ruin you. You want it anyways. And sometimes you want nothing more than to purge yourself of it desperately. Can’t live with them. Can’t live without them. Can’t conceive of an existence where you exist and they do not. After a while mutual destruction seems to be the only option.
Whatever Will was thinking when he sent them tumbling into the Atlantic, I don’t think it can ever be entirely narrowed down to one thing. Maybe he was terrified of how peaceful he felt, bathed in the blood of their slaughter, knowing he would always want for it to be that way, the two of them and their beautiful chaos. Maybe he couldn’t picture a more perfect end for the two of them, clinging to one another in the night. Or maybe he wasn’t thinking at all. Maybe he just simply let go and hoped for the best. Or the worst. Or whatever.
He couldn’t kill him, and he couldn’t watch him die, but maybe if they only tumbled into a new life – or a certain death – together, anything that came after would be just fine.
Obviously i had to make a powerpoint dedicated to this glorious show. Please let me know if i’ve made any errors. I love this show so much and i want everyone to know why they should watch it. Go watch it, weep, rewatch it, weep some more, and then come talk with me about it!
zachariiee asked: hey, if you’re interested and up for a bit of a challenge with sprite edit requests, do you wanna try amber with long hair, or a ponytail or pigtails? she’s my favourite bachelorette! :D
Okay this is all I could salvage from the moustachioed gif. I am going to can it on the gifs now. It was fun and maybe I went a bit overboard ooh-er. Hello 9 new followers. I don’t always blog about high pants and eating strange things. Still, best of luck to you all.