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A Simple Story is the ninth episode of the fifth season of Vikings, and fifty-eighth episode overall. It aired on January 17, 2018. It is directed by Daniel Grou.


The army leaders consider their options in the aftermath of the battle; in Floki's camp, all hopes of binding the community together are dashed as tragedy unfolds.


Heahmund thanks Lagertha for saving him but asks why she didn't kill him. Lagertha says she doesn't know why but perhaps they'll find out. Hvitserk tells Ivar that Rollo once told him that if he ever needed help that all he had to do was ask him. In Floki's colony, they continue to build Thor's temple. Astrid tells Harald that if they are to go to war again for him to not send her away. That she wants her son to know the cries of battle. Thorgrim and Bul have a fight because Bul refuses to help with Thor's temple. The Franks arrive to help Hvitserk and Ivar in their war. Rollo isn't with them but Hvitserk tells them that Rollo only asked for one thing in return and that was that they spare Bjorn's life. Bul interrupts a sacrificial ceremony to Thor. Floki almost kills him for his disrespect.

Heahmund goes to talk with Lagertha and tells her that he wants to know more about her. Lagertha tells him that he doesn't have to fight for them and Heahmund says that he will fight for Lagertha and die for her. Ubbe tells Torvi that he wishes it was her that was carrying his child. Torvi and Ubbe kiss. Meanwhile, Margrethe tells Torvi's children that Torvi may be dead to hurt them because she saw Torvi and Ubbe sharing a kiss. Bjorn meets with Hvitserk, Ivar, Harald, and Astrid. Bjorn asks Ivar to not put their peoples lives at risk for the sake of this war. Ivar tells Bjorn that he's afraid because of all the support they've received from the Franks and Bjorn says that this changes nothing. Ivar tries to have Bjorn killed but Harald stops him.

Aethelwulf gets stung by a bee and dies. Lagertha says that they need to send warriors to protect Kattegat. Halfdan says that the gods have already decided the outcome of this battle. Judith tells Aethelred that he'll be offered the throne but that he'll refuse the throne. That Alfred was crowned by the Pope and that he's destined to be king because he has gifts and abilities that Aethelred didn't have. Aethelred is offered the throne but he declines the honor and tells them that they must choose someone else. Alfred is then nominated but this angers the crowd. Aethelred steps forward and puts his support behind Alfred. Alfred is named king. Thor's temple is burned. Heahmund offers his loyalty to Lagertha along with his sword. Bul and Thorgrim fight over who set the fire. Thorgrim stabs Bul to death.



Guest Starring

Additional Cast (in order of appearance)


Episode Deaths


  • This episode was heavily criticized by both fans and critics. They pointed out many scenes in the episode that seemed rushed or contradictory to the plot, including the sudden introduction of the Frankish Army to join with Ivar's forces in such a short amount of time, the sudden and rushed death of Aethelwulf, the ascension of Alfred to King, the chemistry between Lagertha and Bishop Heahmund, and the numerous time discrepancies.
  • Bishop Heahmund seems to speak Old Norse now, but days before he could only speak Old English with Ivar.
  • If Aethelwulf were truly deathly allergic to bee stings, it would only take minutes to be overcome by anaphylaxes, not hours
  • Historically Aethelred does become king before Alfred. He dies in a battle against the Great Heathen Army, which leads to Alfred being named king.
  • Although Jennie Jacques portrays Alfred and Aethelred's mother in the series, she is in fact only ten years older than Ferdia Walsh-Peelo (Alfred), and two years older than Darren Cahill (Aethelred).