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


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 French 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 she may be dead to torture them because she saw an image of Torvi and Ubbe sharing that 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 French 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)

  • Leah McNamara as Aud
  • Jack McEvoy as Helgi the Lean
  • Mei Bignall as Thorunn
  • Kelly Campbell as Ingvild
  • James Craze as Bul
  • Elijah Rowen as Asbjorn
  • Donna Dent as Rafarta
  • Rob Malone as Thorgrim
  • Scott Graham as Frodi
  • Lulubelle Earley as Jorunn
  • Orlaith Doherty as Rider
  • Ben Roe as Guthrum
  • Dagny Backer Johnson as Princess Snaefrid
  • Anthony Brophy as King Svase
  • Ryan Henson as Hali
  • Svea Killoran as Asa
  • Darren Cahill as Aethelred
  • Jonathan Delaney Tynan as Lord Cuthred
  • David Shannon as Ealdorman 1
  • Chris McHallem as Ealdorman 2
  • Malcolm Douglas as Ealdorman 3
  • Eamonn Draper as Bishop

Episode Deaths


  • This episode was heavily criticized by both fans and critics, pointing out many scenes in the episode that seemed rushed or contradictory to the plot, such as the sudden introduction of the Frankish army to Ivar's forces in a very short amount of time , the sudden and rushed death of Athelwulf, the ascension of Alfred to king, the chemistry between Lagatha and Bishop Heahmund, and the numerous time discrepancies. 
  • In this episode, Alfred is depicted as having become King instead of his older brother Aethelred, who is ordered by Judith to refuse the crown and insist that Alfred should be king. However, this is a contradiction to how Alfred historically actually became king. In real life, Aethelred was crowned king, and Alfred didn't become king until six years later when Aethelred died, after suffering several major defeats against the Norsemen. 
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