Ragnar, his family and others travel to Uppsala to pay homage to the gods. It's a trip they make every nine years and he invites Athelstan to accompany them. Ragnar is still having difficulty accepting the loss of their baby and Lagertha worries if she will ever bear him another son. The drug, sex and alcohol-fueled festivities are a revelation to Athelstan who learns that there will also be animal and human sacrifice. He renounces his Christian faith but a priest tells him he is to be a sacrificed. He is spared but Ragnar's group must provide a substitute. King Horik welcomes Ragnar who pledges his fealty and his service. In return, he asks Horik to join forces with him so they can send bigger raiding parties to the west. Horik agrees but has a task for him.- Written by garykmcd
Ragnar regrets his wife Lagertha's miscarriage enough, dead-set on a second son, to revert his intent to miss out of his earldom's nine-yearly pilgrimage to the Asen festival at the great Viking temple in Uppsala. So all the Lothbroks go, with several other villagers, to bring bloody sacrifices. Athelstan comes too, bewildered that the ninefold offerings of each species includes male human volunteers. That honor also fell on him, but the pagan priests realize the former monk hasn't sincerely sworn off Christianity, hence is found unfit, to has and cunning Ragnar's relief. Also attending is king Horik, a ruthless schemer who killed off six brothers in turn. He eagerly meets Ragnar, accepts his pledge of loyalty, commends his intent to extend the Western raids beyond Engalnd, to the Frankish realm only Athelstan ever visited, and entrusts ambitious Ragnar with a daring mission to appease the king's territorial rival, another jarl (earl). Widow Siggy warns sexually fickle Rollo not to let his brother monopolize the glory in royal favor.- Written by KGF Vissers
The traditional pilgrimage to Uppsalla to thank the gods brings a torrent of emotions for Ragnar, Lagertha, and Athelstan.- Written by Kevin Grogan
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