Before I get into the deep secret that has come to light, I feel a need to address a very serious concern of mine and of so many other American viewers. Because of censorship and time constraints due to massive marketing and commercialism, we in the United States and some other countries do not get full uncut versions of the show. I understand some of the reasons for this and have generally accepted the editing process. I am becoming increasingly frustrated though with some of the cuts and editing of scenes that may have importance! It is also difficult to watch at times as it is becoming so obvious that we are missing chunks and pieces of the show! As I said, I accept the cuts when they are due to our lame and outdated censorship guidelines that allow for viewing of blood baths and violence but not for any sort of sex that someone has deemed inappropriate. I also accept that our gross materialistic society demands that we pay for our viewing with massive commercial time. My frustration and issue comes when the edits are poorly executed and involve deleting of material that may have important context or meaning to the show! If they are going to edit and cut, then they should try to do it in such ways as not cause the entire show to feel like it’s been chopped up and spliced together. This is the feeling I got when I watched the most recent episode last night. I stuck with it because I am devoted to the overall show and storyline but others, such as my daughter, have given up on trying to continue watching it. I just want to put this out on the table so that any powers that be might see this and understand that this is becoming a major frustration for viewers! I also want other viewers who may be struggling with the same frustrated feelings to be aware of what is happening and why the show is beginning to feel disjointed! I will try to fill in the blanks with views of deleted scenes whenever I can from this point on!
Now, on to the scene that so many people missed, but which has such important meanings in understanding Rollo’s character!
During the feast last week, there were a number of serious conversations that took place. One of those most interesting and telling conversations took place between Lagertha and Rollo.
You need to listen closely to this conversation and pay close attention to all of it because it will explain so much about Rollo and Lagertha’s past, and about Rollo’s deep depressions and feelings of failures later when he speaks to the Seer in episode 5! It also explains his resentments of his brother Ragnar more fully.
I have always wondered just what sort of relationship Lagertha and Rollo had previous to her settling with Ragnar? From the beginning there have been hints and comments made about their early relationship but much has been left unsaid about it. After seeing this private conversation between the two, my suspicion is that clearly there was much more of a relationship than has ever been exposed. To me, this discussion speaks of an unsaid, long held secret that Bjorn is Rollo’s child, not Ragnar’s. Of course, now my lingering feeling and wondering is of why, why did she then choose Ragnar over Rollo? Was it because at the time, she thought that Ragnar would be the better Father, the better man? She did make this remark early on to Rollo about his honor and his goodness as a man.
Perhaps, in their youth, Lagertha did not trust Rollo to provide for her and a family, did not trust him to treat her well? Obviously at some point there was a competition between Ragnar and Rollo for Lagertha’s affections and Raganr won. This would of course caused Rollo much bitterness and resentment which he held inside himself. Over the years he has often made known his feelings for Lagertha and that anything he does for his brother, he is really doing for Lagertha.
In the beginnings, I even wondered at Ragnar’s continuing comments to Lagertha regarding his need for sons… of course it could have just meant that he needed more sons? But, to me there was always this underlying thought of “Why are you so insistant upon this matter of a son? You have a son, does he count for nothing?” Not that Ragnar was uncaring of Bjorn, he was a good Father! And, if he ever knew a truth or had a suspicion, he did not ever voice it nor did he ever treat Bjorn not as son. No, his difficulties and animosity with Bjorn did not show up until Bjorn grew up.
And, over the years there has always been a deep bond between Rollo and Bjorn that perhaps causes Ragnar his own personal resentments if he has ever held doubts about Bjorn’s parentage. Ragnar may be Bjorn’s Father in name and title, but there has always been a deeper connection between Bjorn and Rollo.
Rollo has went through life deeply troubled by so many things and they come out in this conversation with Lagerta. They speak around this secret, never come right out and admit it but they both understand what is being acknowledged.
In the end there is the understanding between them, Rollo comments that perhaps it is better this way… to leave things as they are?
We might assume this is the end of the discussion, that is in the past, and that they will both go on as they were… On the return to Kattegat though, we see that Rollo may not have been able to let go and put this in the past where it should remain? I think it haunts him and it adds to his feelings of uselessness and failure that so fill his heart.
At first it would seem that his grief and his anguish are due just to the loss of Siggy. He is broken by her death and adds it to his list of failings and faults.
Later when he tries to drink away his anguish, his much deeper feelings come out.
We have all witnessed Rollo in this drunken pity me state before but this time it is different… This time the mention of Ragnar’s name sends him into a blinding rage
He is bent on fighting everyone, not really caring whether he wins or not? He wants a fight this time, a fight to the death… his own death included. Bjorn steps in attempt to control Rollo and save his life.
Rollo and Bjorn fight for life and for death.
This fight becomes one of so much more than just Rollo’s drunken rage. Rollo wants to end his life and for some reason he has decided that is Bjorn’s right to take it? Perhaps he is so filled with guilt, remorse, anguish over his not being man enough to raise Bjorn, filled with such guilt over keeping this secret from Bjorn that in some way he feels that Bjorn should be the one to kill him, to end his life. Bjorn knows nothing of this deeper agony eating at Rollo but he does seem to understand exactly what Rollo wants him to do.
Rollo’s pleas to Bjorn were, Take me, End this now…
Bjorn was filled with sadness at watching Rollo suffer and though he understood what Rollo wanted of him, he could not do such a thing!
This event was the breaking point for Rollo. He knew that he needed some kind of help or counsel to go on from all of it. Of course in Kattegat, when one reaches this lowest point in life, their main means of counseling involved a visit to the Seer. Ragnar had already paid his own visit to the Seer, but his concerns were not of emotional need or distress. No, he wanted advice on the future from the Seer. He simply wanted the Seer to reassure him and give some approval of what he was already planning on anyway!
Ragnar asked the Seer of Paris… At first the Seer replied with a cryptic message that he saw the gates Paris already here? Why… because he knew that Ragnar was already planning this- it was already set in Ragnar’s mind and nothing the Seer says is going to change his mind.
His final comment to Ragnar was a puzzle and he gave a rather bitter and snide laugh when he told it to Ragnar.
Rollo, on the other hand, went to the Seer in true emotional turmoil. He sought wisdom and help from the Seer. Rollo was desperate for answers to ease the inner demons that have ate at him for so long. This confessional goes far beyond grief and guilt over Siggy. Rollo speaks of his entire life, of Ragnar always being the chosen one, including being chosen by Lagertha.
Rollo is in such pain, such emotional crisis and our hearts break for him… Suddenly the Seer bursts out laughing! Rollo very rightly and indignantly asked the Seer what he found so funny about all of this!
The Seer was far more patient with Rollo than with Ragnar. He did in fact reassure Rollo that there was good to come in his life!
I tell you as I told Ragnar The bear will marry a princess and you will be there in attendance to see it!
Rollo was as confused and puzzled by this message as Ragnar had been.
Hopefully the odd message will be enough to carry Rollo through these hardest times and give him reason to look toward a future that will finally some day hold good things for him!
He will still carry the guilts and the secrets with him but I think his time with the Seer has given him some peace of mind and an ability to put things in their proper perspective. It remains to be seen if he or Lagertha will ever share this secret with Bjorn?
It also remains a mystery whether Ragnar does know, or hold his own suspicions of this? Such an inner doubt would account for his less than good treatment at times of Lagertha, Rollo, and even now Bjorn as an adult?
My last thought on all of this is, as I mentioned in the beginning, this information is such a key to both the past and the future that I think it is one that should never have been cut from our viewing!