Ragnar faced superior armed forces for the first time on the latest episode of "Vikings." Superior in number only, as it turned out. After plundering a town during their Sunday church service, Ragnar and his men returned to the beach to find a squadron of soldiers waiting them.
When the soldiers attacked, Ragnar calmly commanded his own fighters to form a shield wall, and they systematically decimated the opposing forces. "It was ... interesting to watch the difference in tactics, and how out-matched the English soldiers were after Ragnar had his men turn themselves into a wall of shields," wrote IGN of the battle scene.
The AV Club was equally impressed with that sequence, specifically noting how it portrayed the vikings. They wrote, 'Confronted with superior numbers, the vikings aren't shown simply going into cartoonish berserker mode and scattering their enemies like so much wheat. Instead, they are portrayed as experienced warriors who've clearly been at this their entire lives."
The chieftain proved how petty and vengeful he is once again. Ragnar's wife killed the chieftain's half-brother after he tried to rape her during the village raid. Ragnar took the blame for it, and the chieftain tried to take the opportunity to kill Ragnar -- he feels very threatened by this ambitious young man.
He went so far as to try and bribe one of Ragnar's men into giving false witness, which the man did. He falsely said he'd witnessed the killing, but he backed Ragnar and his wife's story of the man's attempted rape. The chieftain had no choice but to free Ragnar, and even split the spoils with him.
The tug-of-war between the two men continues on "Vikings" every Sunday at 10 p.m. ET on History.
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