By Curt Wagner, @ShowPatrol
2:02 PM CDT, April 24, 2014
The penultimate episode of "Vikings" Season 2 airs Thursday, and it's packed with fighting, infighting and treachery.
In "The Choice," debuting at 9 p.m. April 24 on History, the dispute between Ragnar Lothbrok and King Horik grows when they disagree on whether to negotiate with or fight against King Ecbert's army. Ragnar once again sits back and let's events unfold, observing just how much King Horik can screw things up.
Ragnar also shows his pride for his son in the episode, dubbing him Bjorn Ironside for his prowess in battle. Historically, that's the name the great warrior went by, as Alexander Ludwig and I discussed in an earlier interview.
"Arguably the son of Ragnar Lothbrok—all his sons—went on to do even greater things than he did," Ludwig said. "And I hope that we’ll be able to show that in the near future. It looks like we are going to so I’m very excited about that."
As you can see in the video above, Bjorn gets his new name in "The Choice."
The Vikings’ return to England stirs up more trouble for Ragnar when they reunited with Athelstan. Floki, Ragnar’s once trusted friend, doesn’t have much faith in Athelstan’s loyalty to the Vikings. As show creator Michael Hirst told me, Floki’s apprehension may come from more than just jealousy that his friend has found another BFF.
"Ragnar is very interested in Christianity, obviously. And Ecbert is interested in Paganism and Roman Paganism. And so you have an open dialogue going on about these very important things," Hirst said. "Later on in Season 2 Floki says, 'Look, we can't go on together. You have to choose because if the single god wins it obliterates all the other gods. And so our gods die.'
"And that's exactly historically what happened. The Viking age lasted about 400 years and by the end all the Scandinavian countries were Christianized. And all the Pagan gods were wiped out of history. So the Christians won. But we're dealing with a period when all that is in the balance. You don't know who's going to win."
And we don't know how that battle will play out exactly. Pay close attention at the end of tonight's episode.
Watch more previews below.
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