Bjorn Ironside goes down a rebellious path in the latest episode of History's "Vikings." But as Emily Dickinson wrote, "The heart wants what it wants."
In "Unforgiven," airing at 9 p.m. April 3, Bjorn falls for Porunn (Gaia Weiss), one of his father's slaves. It's a decision that actor Alexander Ludwig said does not please the people of Kattegat.
"Bjorn chooses her for love and no other reason," he told me during a phone interview. "Basically he just doesn't care because in his mind he's going to love for love and nothing else."
Looks like Bjorn is following the same path as another handsome TV warrior—King Robb Stark in HBO's "Game of Thrones." Robb chose the woman he loved over the arranged marriage that would have created an alliance with House Frey. The slight inspired Lord Walder Frey to throw the infamous Red Wedding in which Robb, his wife, mother and thousands of soldiers were slaughtered.
Bjorn probably won't face that extreme of a reaction, but Ludwig suggested that Bjorn feels the same pressure to marry for his father and his clan. Yet he pursues Porunn anyway, as you can see in the exclusive preview above.
"You're going to see a depth to Bjorn you haven't seen before," he said. "He's not going to love anyone because of who they are or what they are. Bjorn's never lived his life that way and he never will live his life that way.
"He's extreme in everything he does, including falling in love."
Also in the episode, King Horik (Donal Logue) returns to Kattegat having changed his mind once again about allying with Jarl Borg (Thorbjørn Harr). If you remember, he championed an earlier alliance between himself, Ragnar (Travis Fimmel) and Borg, only to urge Ragnar to dump the Gotaland leader. It was that betrayal that led Borg to take Kattegat.
As you can see in the clip below, now Horik wants them all to work together again.
In other story threads, Lagertha (Katheryn Winnick) returns to Hedeby and her new husband, Earl Sigvard (Morten Sasse Suurballe), who isn't happy she was off saving Ragnar's butt. In Wessex, Athelstan (George Blagden), still struggling with his inner demons, becomes confidant to King Ecbert (Linus Roache).
I've updated the "Vikings" photo gallery with images from Episode 206. Read my earlier interview with Alexander Ludwig here.
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