Odin, guide my hand! Last night was the Vikings Season 3 finale on the History Channel and what an ending to a great season! Actor Travis Fimmel is awesome as King Ragnar Lothbrok. He shows that the Vikings weren′t just a bunch of brainless thugs. In the season finale, Ragnar pulls the ultimate piece of guile and emerges victorious. But his troubles may be far from over as many of his own people now question his decisions. Especially converting to Christianity. Or did he…?

Season began with our Viking chums returning to Wessex and taking up King Ecbert on his promise of giving Ragnar′s people some nice farm land. His ex-wife, Lagertha, now an Earl of her own fiefdom, goes along to oversee the new settlement. Meanwhile, Ragnar leads a force of Vikings to help Ecbert′s son deal with a civil war between the prince and princess of the British kingdom of Mercia. Ecbert′s plan is to put the Princess up as Queen and serve him as his puppet. The princess does indeed triumph, thanks to Ragnar and a cup full of poisoned wine. Not only does she gain control of Mercia, but also later gives birth to a son of Ragnar′s.

But the war caused issued amongst the Vikings. Porunn, the love of Ragnar′s son, Bjorn, is horribly disfigured during the fighting. She wanted to prove that she can be a tough shield maiden just like Bjorn′s mother, Lagertha. Ragnar is upset with Bjorn after he learns that Bjorn knew Porunn was pregnant before setting sail for England. Lagertha pays a heavy price as well for her voyage as she leaves her fiefdom in the hands of Kalf, who decides to usurp her and make himself Earl. Upon returning, Lagertha has revenge in mind and wants Ragnar to help. But her ex-husband has other ideas.

This sets the stage for the last several episodes. Ragnar learns about the city of Paris from his good friend and former slave, Athelstan. King Ragnar announces that he intends to launch a raid on Paris and invites Kalf to join in on the adventure. Floki, Ragnar′s master ship builder, is upset about how close Athelstan is to Ragnar. Floki believes that Athelstan is corrupting his king and friend with Christianity. A former monk, Athelstan has been torn between the two worlds of Christians and the Vikings. He even engaged in a bit of romance while in Wessex, getting Ecbert′s daughter-in-law pregnant while her husband was off fighting in Mercia. Floki decides to end his rivalry for Ragnar′s attention and murders Athelstan.

Needless to say, Ragnar is mad. He suspects Floki was involved but has no proof. So, when they attack Paris, Ragnar places Floki in command of the battle. The first assault was a failure. Ragnar is seriously injured, falling off the top of the city′s walls while helping his son and others escape from being butchered. A second attack led by Ragnar′s brother, Rollo and Lagertha, also fails. But the defenders of Paris are reduced in numbers, with food running out and a plague breaking out. They offer Ragnar chests of treasure, 576 pounds worth of silver and gold. Ragnar accepts but only if the bishop of Paris will baptize him. Ragnar appears to be dying and wants to rejoin Athelstan in Heaven.

So the emperor of Paris pays up and Ragnar is baptized a Christian. But the Vikings don′t leave, so Charlemagne′s grandson sends an envoy to find out why the Vikings are still hanging around? Bjorn explains that his father is dying and wants a Christian burial. The French agree and tell Bjorn to bring Ragnar to their cathedral for a mass. The men carrying his coffin must be unarmed, they add. When Bjorn loads his father into a coffin built by Floki, Ragnar′s loved ones pay their last goodbye. Lagertha tells the corpse of Ragnar that she still loves him. Rollo admits to being jealous of him. Floki admits to killing Athelstan.

Ragnar is carried into Paris with an honor guard provided by the emperor. While the rest of the Vikings wait outside the front gate, a high mass is held with the emperor and his daughter in attendance. Then, suddenly, Ragnar leaps out of the coffin and points a dagger at the emperor′s throat! He tells him, ″I win″, and smiles as he grabs the princess and makes his way back to the front gate. With hostage in tow, Ragnar and his coffin team get the front gate open and the Vikings pour in to ransack Paris. Ragnar lets the princess go and savors his victory.

The reason the episode is entitled ′The Dead′ is because Ragnar had consulted the Viking seer about his plans to attack Paris. The seer told Ragnar that ″only the dead will win Paris″. After the second attack failed, Ragnar realized what the seer had meant. Rollo had also seen the seer who promised Rollo that the gods had much in store for him. Ragnar and the Vikings leave but plan to return next spring to sack Paris again. A force is to remain behind to keep the French bottled up and Rollo volunteers to stay and command. Later, the emperor decides to try and turn Rollo, offering him his daughter, along with lands and titles. Rollo agrees but at the wedding, the princess publicly declares that she would rather lose her virginity to a street dog than to Rollo. Not a good way to start off a marriage! Meanwhile, back on the boat, Ragnar confronts Floki for killing Athelstan.

Thus ends the Viking Season 3 finale on the History Channel. It sucks that I′ll have to wait until next spring to find out what happens next! This show is just so good! The only spoiler shown was of Bjorn fighting a bear with just a knife. So does Ragnar finally die and Bjorn becomes king? Will Lagertha get her earldom back by murdering Kalf, or will she marry him first before seeking revenge? Will Bjorn and Porunn find happiness or will her scarred face block the way? How about Rollo? Will his marriage take place or is he in for some trouble? And what will Ragnar do about Floki? Well, friends, we′ll just have to wait 10 months or so to find out. Darn!