Tonight on the History Channel Vikings returns with an all-new Wednesday, November 29 season 5 episode 1 called “The Departed” and we have your weekly Viking recap below. On tonight’s Viking season 5 episode 1 episode as per the History synopsis, “In the Season 5 premiere, tensions mount between the sons of Ragnar Lothbrok as the Vikings continue to threaten the very heart of England. As the army moves to take York, with King Aethelwulf and his family still in hiding, Heahmund, the warrior bishop, must rally the Saxons to defend the realm.”
Tonight’s episode looks like it is going to be great and you won’t want to miss it, so be sure to tune in for our Viking recap between 9 PM – 10 PM ET! While you wait for our recap make sure to check out all our Viking spoilers, news, photos, recaps & more, right here.
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Vikings Season 5 begins tonight with the sending off of Sigurd’s (David Lindstrom) body after Ivar (Alex Hogh Andersen) killed him in front of the crowd after he refused to follow him calling Ivar “crazy”; it is clear that Ragnar’s sons are torn in their loyalties. Ivar sheds a tear as everyone looks at him with blame.
After the send-off, Ivar tells his brothers, Ubbe (Jordan Patrick Smith), Hvitserk (Marco Ilso) and the men that Sigurd made him kill him as he taunted him and made fun of him. Bjorn (Alexander Ludwig) comes in the room as Hvitserk asks what lies did Sigurd say. Ivar swears on the gods and everything sacred that he didn’t mean to kill Sigurd and he is truly sorry.
Bjorn tells Ubbe, he is Ivar’s big brother so he must take charge of the great army as this is none of his concern as he plans to return to the Mediterranean and has no intention of returning to Kattegat. King Harald Finehair (Peter Franzen) says he will then return to Kattegat and inform Lagertha (Katheryn Winnick) about avenging Ragnar’s (Travis Fimmel) death and defeating the Saxons and the great gift of land. Bjorn asks him to tell his mother, and children that he thinks of them and will return.
Bishop Heahmund (Jonathan Rhys Meyers) arrives at King Ecbert’s (Linus Roache) former place in Wessex, and says the place is filled with ghostly memories and says, “God help those who did this.” He orders the men to find King Ecbert’s body.
The men are loading the boats as King Harald wonders why his brother Halfdan (Jasper Paakkonen) wants to split from him, saying they had always had the same dream. Halfdan says his dream is to travel and wants to go to the ends of the known world as Harald has enough ambition for the both of them; he promises to protect his back from wherever he is. He leaves with Bjorn, and it is clear King Harald is not happy.
Bishop Heahmund continues to look throughout Wessex, and the men do the sign of the cross when they find the King inside one of the barrels of water. He says they must clean and restore the place that has been destroyed by the heathen barbarians and that they should inform the people who fled from there that it is safe to return.
Ivar finds Floki (Gustaf Skarsgard), who is building a one-man boat, who plans to sail it to wherever the gods decide. Ivar wants Floki to stay by his side, saying his brothers are too soft, even begging him to stay. Ivar cries, saying he cannot leave as it will be too lonely as none of his brothers believe he didn’t mean to kill his own brother. Floki comforts him but says with Helga (Maude Hirst) gone, there is nothing left for him there and this world no longer interests him. Ivar leans into him saying his heart is broken. Floki tells him he doesn’t need him but continues to hold him.
Ubbe watches as Bjorn and his army leave. Bishop Heahmund holds a funeral mass for King Ecbert, he meets the man who transcribed and witnessed the treaty between King Ecbert and the sons of Ragnar. He learns that Ecbert didn’t sell the land to those Pagan’s as the land wasn’t his to sell; he is told that Ecbert renounced his crown before he sent his family away making his son, Aethelwulf (Moe Dunford) the new king. He shouts out, “Long live the king!”
King Aethelwulf is in a small boat, slowly making his way through the brush to a small village as Judith (Jennie Jacques) tends to their sickly son, Alfred (Ferdia Walsh-Peelo). She doesn’t know if he is dying but Aethelwulf says this is just like God said. She slaps him, saying that Alfred needs to die for her sins. He says no one is without sin. He comforts her for a moment before his men throw another dead body onto the fire.
Ivar, Ubbe and Hvitserk come to see Floki, who was trying to leave without saying goodbye. He says he is going wherever the gods will take him but as long as he lives the sons of Ragnar Lothbrok will be close to his heart; each son says a gentle goodbye to him, except for Ivar who calls him a coward. Floki tells him to stand up and say that to his face when Ivar doesn’t stand up, Floki boards the boat and leaves but Ivar is certain he has given him the means that he won’t be lost. Everyone lines the shores and shouts out, “All hail Floki!”
Bishop Heahmund prays to cut down the heathens, asking for their ruin and to drive them back to the seas from where they came. Several people enter the church as he ends his prayer, he tells them not to be afraid, telling them Christ is there.
Ubbe talks to Ivar about making a permanent settlement but Ivar doesn’t want to disburse the army, in fact, he wants to continue the war, and go North and establish a camp closer to the coast. Ubbe reminds him that Ragnar’s dream wasn’t to be just raiders. Ivar talks about a town called “York” that is on a major river and not far from the sea and he feels they should take it. Ivar says if they settle in the middle of the country, they are surrounded by enemies, wherein York they are alone; Hvitserk agrees with Ivar and Ubbe gives in too. Floki finds the bag with the wooden compass that Ivar put in the boat; he thanks him but throws it into the water.
Bishop Haehmund walks through Wessex and is told there is a lady in the church who needs to speak to him. She reveals her name is Aethelgyth (India Mullen) and she prays for everyone as these are terrible times. She takes mass with him, but it is clear there is a lot of tension between them. He is later seen wandering through a thorny brush, walking repeatedly into the thorns, cutting himself, begging God to punish him and cleanse him of his sin.
Ivar, Ubbe and Hvitserk look over the city of York and he suggests they attack tomorrow before the city even discovers they are there. Ubbe reminds them of something Ragnar told them, that it is always better to attack an English town when they are celebrating one of their Saint’s days because they will either be in church or be drunk; Ubbe promises to find a way to figure out the days.
At a river, two boys are fishing when they hear a whistle and wander into the woods; Ivar joins them, saying if they speak the truth, they will not be hurt. They reveal in 3 days is Ascension Day, Ivar slithers off, leaving the two boys confused.
Ubbe and his brothers lead an assault on York, quickly taking over the wall of the unsuspecting city. Ivar rides in on his chariot with Hvitserk beside him, they approach the church, where it is clearly a mass is being held; they quietly open the church doors but when a woman sees them she screams and mayhem ensues. Ubbe watches in horror as a nun falls into his arms after she slit her own wrists, he holds her until she dies as Ivar takes pleasure in torturing the Priest, even putting a cross on his forehead in blood. A babysit crying as Ivar tells the priest he can kiss his cross as they pour burning hot gold into his mouth; the horse then takes off, dragging the priest into the streets as Ivar laughs.
They continue to plunder the town of York as Ubbe dampens the mood, reminding them of Sigurd. Ubbe climbs to the wall, looking around in silence. Meanwhile, back in Kattegat, Torvi (Georgia Hirst) spars with Guthrum (Ben Roe), saying he is almost too strong for her. She reminds him that his father was a great warrior and she isn’t just talking about Bjorn. The horns sound and ships are approaching, she runs off to warn Lagertha; it is King Harald and his men. They do not receive a warm welcome and are even denied immediate access to Queen Lagertha.
Harald says he brings great news that Ragnar’s death has been avenged and they have a great land settlement. She questions if her son is dead as he didn’t bring the news. Harald says no, that only Sigurd is dead because Ivar killed him. He tells her that Bjorn wanted to continue on to the Mediterranean right away and to pass on his respects to his mother and to Torvi, the mother of his children. Lagertha demands why he is truly there, wondering if he was there to see if Egel the bastard was sitting on her throne keeping it warm for him. He laughs, saying perhaps he did. Astrid (Josefin Asplund) holds a sword to his throat, as he throws his sword to the ground, saying he is happy to die. He orders her to strike as Lagertha simply smirks at him.
Floki looks out at the open sea, attempting to blow at his own sails. He tries to row but goes nowhere. Bishop Heahmund gets off his knee and swings his sword repeatedly as he slices a pig right open. A messenger arrives, informing him that the Northmen are at York and have captured the town, torturing the bishop horribly. He says then they know what they have to do in return.
Lagertha walks to where she has Harald tied up. He has confessed his guilt, but she wants to know why she shouldn’t kill him. He admits he did what he did because of a woman, but everything had changed. He loved her and only tried to take Lagertha’s kingdom to be worthy of her. He reveals she lied to him and married another and killed her for it.
She scoffs, saying he is in no position to offer her anything anymore, but he insists he is still a king and knows how vulnerable she is now that Bjorn will be gone for a long time and Ragnar’s other sons want vengeance. He says she has no man in her life, and he has no woman. She puts a knife to his throat and down his throat asking him if he thinks she would grateful to the gods to be able to call him husband. She cuts his pants open, lowers herself onto him and rides him. She screams out and lowers her clothing and leaves the hut, leaving him frustrated.
In York, Ubbe and Hvitserk are denied access to Ivar by several Vikings but when Ubbe orders them to move and they push their way through. When they come back, Ubbe demands to know why he needs a personal bodyguard against his own brothers. He says he is a cripple and needs one; Ubbe brings up the fact that he doesn’t consult them about anything as if he is the great leader of them all. Ivar denies that as both Ubbe and Hvitserk say they are older than him; Ivar says in order to stake his claim he needs to do better than them because he is a cripple. Ubbe informs him there is a large Saxxon force on their way there.
Lagertha sits with Torvi, Astrid, Margrethe (Ida Nielsen) and Guthrum, saying Harald explained that he did it all because he was in love. She says he is offering an alliance and protection in return for marriage. Astrid and Torvi disagree on how Lagertha should deal with it; she is irritated telling Astrid she can think for herself and Margrethe that what she decides is none of her business. Astrid leaves the table in a huff, suddenly taken by some men; when she looks up she sees King Harald who orders his men to row the ship out of there. The horns sound and Lagertha learns that King Harald and his men are gone; she demands to know where Astrid is, looking in their room and gets a sick feeling.
Harald takes off her gag, she spits on him then demands to know why he would kidnap her? He says she could help her a great deal because he still intends to be King of all of Norway and plans to take over Kattegat and needs a queen, to breed and produce. She laughs that he wants her to be his queen. She says there is no way she will marry him, as she is loyal to Lagertha. He wonders if it appeals to her to have all the power and rule all of Norway or has he misjudged her?
Bishop Heahmund learns the Northmen have been busy improving the town’s defenses, saying they are industrial people. He corrects him saying they are nothing more than Pagans and devils. He disagrees with the analysis and has every hope of success, saying unlike his father, the new king, King Aethelwulf, has credit as a warrior and could bring in new recruits.
In the village, where he has been staying, Aethelwulf and Judith continue to worry about Alfred. She finally acknowledges that he is dying. Aethelwulf goes out and finds Alfred walking through the river, neither of them sure what he is doing. He sees a dark cloaked figure and it approaches him, he reaches his hand out to it, but falls face first into the river. Judith cries out as Aethelwilf jumps in after him. She begs for him to save her boy. He suddenly throws up yellow bile and she cries out that he is alive. He tells Aethelwulf they must go to York as the Northmen are there and his people need him. When Judith asks him how he knows, he says his father told him.
Floki is out of the water and laughs with the crows, saying to the gods that he doesn’t want to die like this. He releases his bird, telling him to find a perch of land and stay there. The Saxxon Army approaches York, as per what Alfred told King Aethelwulf; Judith and Alfred in tow.
Lagertha looks out at the water, saying she doubts King Harald does anything without thought. She is sure he believes in his dream of being King of all of Norway and one day he will return to Kattegat with his ships full of warriors, but how Astrid fits in, she doesn’t know but she is old enough to know that you can never know what someone else will do.
On his ship, Harald looks at Astrid and approaches her, asking if she has thought more about what he said. She swears she will never marry him, and he has made a big mistake. He asks her what if she was to be exactly where she is right now and this was not a mistake; that this is what the gods had decided all along. She looks at him as he walks away.
Bishop Heahmund’s men meet up with King Aethelwulf’s men, Lord Denewulf (Keith McErlean) is happy to see them. At the town, Aethelwulf, dismounts and is greeted by Bishop Heahmund, quickly introduces him to his wife, Judith. They are encouraged to freshen up, as Judith seems pleased that the Bishop swears he will make the Pagan sons of Ragnar pay for their crimes. During dinner, Heahmund talks to Alfred about his journey to Rome and reminds him that they are there to take care of the men responsible for killing his grandfather, King Ecbert.
Bishop Heahmund shows Aethelwulf the plans of York, and spots of the wall that are crumbling and not guarded; he is happy that they have a plan of attack. The Bishop wants to wait until the armies are combined and they are certain the walls are weak and then they can attack. Floki is singing to the gods as he endures a nasty storm on the seas with massive waves surrounding him.
The storm has passed and Floki wakes up where his boat has landed on a black soil and rocky beach. He drinks the water out of a shell, looking up he sees his raven. He has no idea where he is and shakes as he strips down to dry his clothes by the fire he started in a small cave. After he has warmed up a bit, he climbs the great hill; at the top, he looks around seeing lots of lands and what appears to be a volcanic mountain, with ash and smoke spouting out of it.
Margrethe talks to Torvi, saying Lagertha made a mistake by not killing King Harald when she had the chance; giving him the chance to escape and now sacrificed Astrid. She says that Lagertha is fallible and makes mistakes and maybe her grip on power isn’t as fierce as it once was. Torvi looks at her but doesn’t respond.
Floki walks among the rocky grass, falling among the rocks. He finds the river and approaches a waterfall. He suddenly sees the water going up instead of down and thinks he sees Odin inside the waterfall. He shouts out that he is in Asgard, the land of the gods; and begins to laugh out loud.
In York, Ubbe and Hvitserk find Ivar on his back, they want to know what he is doing and he says he will show them. He swings his legs around and stands up, using one crutch and beings to walk towards them, his legs fully in metal braces. He stands up straight and smiles at them.