Paris is the seventh episode of the third season of Vikings. It is the twenty-sixth episode of the series overall. It first aired on April 2, 2015. It was written by creator Michael Hirst and directed by Kelly Makin.
The appearance of the Viking fleet causes panic among the population of Paris. King Charles, urged by his daughter Gisla, announces in Court he will remain in the city. The defence of Paris is in the hands of commander, Count Odo, who hopes that a heroic victory against the Vikings will gain him Gisla's hand in marriage. The Vikings establish camp downriver from the city and plan an attack.
The raiding party arrives in Frankia, getting ready for the greatest of all battles. Ragnar shocks the leaders when he decides to leave Floki in charge of the attack. Both Vikings and Franks prepare for the siege as the Christians gather to pray for protection from the pagans camped just around the riverbend. New characters are shown: Count Odo, commander of the troops of Paris; Emperor Charles the Third, ruler of Paris; and his daughter Gisla who seems to have all the qualities of a great leader.
In England, Æthelwulf is sent on a diplomatic mission to reassert Wessex's claim over Mercia. Kwenthrith attempts to threaten Æthelwulf, saying that Ragnar will come for his child, her son Magnus. Æthelwulf is not impressed and forces her to sign the documents reaffirming Mercia's status as a vassal state of Wessex.
The episode shows Count Odo as defending the city. Count Odo of Paris (born c. 853 AD) is a real historical person, and an ancestor of the subsequent Capetian dynasty of French kings. He successfully defended Paris against a Northmen army under a figure known as Sigfred, in the Viking siege of 885-886 AD. However, the siege attributed to Ragnar Lodbrok took place forty years prior, in 845 AD, when Odo of Paris was not even born yet.
The father of the historical Count Odo also was not named Odo, but Robert. The Count of Paris at the time of Ragnar's historical siege was Leuthard II, but his role in the event, if any, is uncertain.
Charles the Bald, King of West Francia, was in fact the figure who led the effort against the Vikings of Ragnar's siege. He was much younger than portrayed, being twenty-two years of age in 845 AD. He was long dead by the time of the historical Count Odo's siege in 885.
In the episode, Odo refers to Charles the Bald as "his Imperial Highness." At the time of Ragnar's historical siege, Charles was not emperor yet, but king. The Emperor was his half-brother Lothair I, who did not exercise any power in the region. A brother of Charles is referred to as the "Eastern Emperor," but there were not two emperors in Western Europe at this time. The term "Eastern Emperor" in this historical context would have referred to Michael III, current Emperor of the Byzantine Empire and no relative of Charles, and a figure far too distant to provide any assistance against Vikings.
- Travis Fimmel as King Ragnar
- Katheryn Winnick as Lagertha/Earl Ingstad
- Clive Standen as Rollo
- Gustaf Skarsgård as Floki
- Alexander Ludwig as Bjorn
- Alyssa Sutherland as Queen Aslaug
- Ben Robson as Earl Kalf
- Lothaire Bluteau as Emperor Charles
- Linus Roache as King Ecbert
- Amy Bailey as Queen Kwenthrith
- Moe Dunford as Prince Aethelwulf
- Maude Hirst as Helga
- Owen Roe as Count Odo
- Gaia Weiss as Þorunn
- Jennie Jacques as Princess Judith
- Morgane Polanski as Princess Gisla
Additional Cast (in order of appearance)
- Frankie McCafferty as Sinric
- Greg Orvis as Earl Earl Siegfried
- Huw Parmenter as Roland
- Laurence Foster as French Archbishop
- Aonghus Og McAnally as Messenger
- Brian Fortune as Injured Noble
- Edvin Endre as Erlendur
- Georgia Hirst as Torvi
- Philip O'Sullivan as Bishop Edmund
- Dave Curry as Mercian Commander
- Unknown Baby Actor as Alfred
- Unknown Baby Actress as Siggy
- Unknown Baby Actor as Magnus
- Robert MacDomhnail as Viking Warrior
- Yuri Ribeiro as Viking Warrior