Vikings season 5, episode 12 recap: Murder Most Foul


At the end of the last episode of Vikings, Lagertha, Bjorn, and Ubbe were brought into England in cages. They will now have to hope that King Alfred shows them mercy, and that Heahmund stays true to his promises.

Keeping the consistent storylines we’ve seen all season, this episode of Vikings jumps back and forth between England, Kattegat, and Floki’s Icelandic settlement.


It doesn’t take much persuading to convince King Alfred to set the Vikings free. He asks Heahmund if he can trust them, to which he replies, “You can trust Lagertha.” They’re given free rein of the land–much to the dismay and horror of the Englishmen present at the announcement, and must continue fighting against Ivar.

Bjorn demands their lands back that King Ecbert stole from them. Alfred honors this demand. Ironically, Ecbert’s former agreement with the Vikings is revealed to be a fake in the first place. He was such a slime-ball, I miss him. Alfred, unlike his grandfather, appears to be an honorable young man.

Alfred meets his wife-to-be, Aelswith. However, she seems to have early eyes for Bjorn and is intrigued by the Vikings in general. Despite her councilman warning her to keep away from the pagans, she ends up in bed with Bjorn. This… can’t be good for the alliance.

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Knowing Bjorn is hotheaded, Alfred tries to convince Ubbe to become baptized so people may begin to trust them. Ubbe isn’t completely against it, as Alfred butters him up by telling him that he seems to be the most like his father and someone he can trust most. Ubbe’s my favorite of the Ragnarson’s, I hope he can get a better storyline than Bjorn’s sidekick.

Heahmund’s pursuit to gain back his title

After sticking by his promise to see the Vikings freed, Heahmund, one of the best whisper talkers I’ve ever witnessed on television, has some things on his mind now that he’s home. He wants his bishophood back, but he’s informed that his titles been given to Cuthred. His allegiances are in question, too, as fighting side by side with pagans hasn’t gone over so well. Furious, he goes and confronts Cuthred, telling him to step aside before “the Lord finds you out.”

The former bishop also takes his relationship with Lagertha to the next level, but they’re being watched by one of Cuthbert’s spies who rats them out. Cuthbert tries to blackmail Heahmund, who rides straight to his church and brutally murders him. That’s one way to get your bishophood back, I suppose.

Floki’s Settlement

Elsewhere in the one storyline that doesn’t seem to have a clear direction, Floki is staring at a high waterfall. For the first time maybe ever, he questions his relationship with the Gods. His community cannot find peace and he certainly has his doubters. The blood is still very fresh in the water after the murders from the midseason finale and Eyvind’s still very much unforgiving.

Nothing else happens in Iceland this week.


You knew it was only going to be a matter of time before an alliance of such greedy and power hungry men would begin to fracture. Ivar announces Freydis as his new wife. King Harald finds out that Ivar is incapable of siring children. This seems to please him. Harald’s dangerous. This relationship will end in bloodshed. Ivar also is wary of his presence, questioning why he hasn’t left.

Freydis isn’t deterred by the fact that Ivar’s “bone doesn’t work.” She hails him as a God and says all he has to do is believe. She cuts his hand and drinks on his blood. We definitely have a new interesting character on our hands, especially after Freydis goes and sleeps with some random guy… Will Ivar buy this ploy once she eventually reveals she’s pregnant (falsely) with his child?

Speaking of Ivar, he’s extremely paranoid about Margarethe. He has a nightmare of her stabbing him through the heart. Living in fear, paranoia, and with ambitions to still be the queen of Kattegat, Margarethe tries to persuade Hvitserk to kill Ivar–and that’s what seals her fate. A trio of hooded men kill her in the night, one slitting her neck as she pleads for her life. I’m not sure why they had to be so secretive about it unless Hvitserk had nothing to do with the murder. Ivar is king and he certainly wouldn’t mind that she was killed. I wonder if there will be any more to this.

The leftovers:

Well, I didn’t see Margarethe dying so soon. Guess there wasn’t much more to do with her character, as the ambitious, seductive blonde role is now being filled by Freydis

Speaking of which, Ivar won’t buy her schemes for long. She’ll be dead by the end of the season

The character of Aelswith really came in with a bang, didn’t she? From proclaiming she’s a virgin to risking her reign as queen to sleep with one of the Viking leaders. Very bold.

  • We got back to back deaths in a matter of seconds, but Ivar and Heahmund are two of the people you should never mess with, and Vikings has proven that with tonight’s episode
  • I really wonder where the Floki storyline is going. If it just ends up with Eyvind attempting to kill Floki and failing (which he certainly will), it’ll be pretty lackluster

    Edge (Adam Copeland) watch! Didn’t see him this episode. More Edge please.

    Next. Everything coming to Netflix in December 2018. dark

    Overall, not a bad episode, but I really don’t know where this show going. It hasn’t been as good without Ragnar and Ecbert. In fact, Vikings is always better when the Norsemen are fighting the English, not each other. Seems like it might be a while before that happens.