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The Joke is the eighth episode of the fifth season of Vikings, and the fifty-seventh episode overall. It aired on January 10, 2018.


The Battle for Kattegat begins; as the two armies line up to fight, the Great Heathen Army must decide between a final plea for peace or all-out war; Floki faces discord among the settlers.


Ivar and Hvitserk are ready for battle to avenge their mother. Ivar asks Hvitserk if he's ready to kill Ubbe and Hvitserk makes a joke out of it. Astrid tells Harald that she's going with him even though she's with child. Ivar gives Heahmund his sword back. Bjorn is happy to be taking Guthrum with him to battle. Torvi watches as Bjorn says goodbye to Snaefrid. Torvi gives her children to Margrethe to look after while she goes into battle. Bjorn and Lagertha lead the train as they head off to battle. Floki watches from above as the settlers build a settlement. Floki suggests that they build a temple for Thor but some think that they should build their own homes first. One, in particular, is very vocal about his disappointment in this place. Lagertha meets Ivar's forces. Lagertha says that it isn't right that the sons of Ragnar try to slaughter each other. Lagertha says that they will send emissaries and Bjorn agrees.

Bjorn and Halfdan go forth to talk to Hvitserk and Harald. They exchange hostages and decide to meet again tomorrow about the alternatives to fighting. Ubbe asks Hvitserk if he regrets siding with Ivar and Hvitserk says no. Ubbe asks about Heahmund and Hvitserk tells them that he is a great warrior. Lagertha asks Hvitserk to help them avoid endless slaughter. Halfdan tells Harald that this is madness. Harald tells Halfdan that he doesn't want to have to fight against him. Ivar tells Halfdan that he has to choose between a friend or his brother. Ubbe tells Hvitserk that he doesn't want to have to kill him in battle. At the peace summit, Bjorn asks them to put aside their differences for the sake of their father. Ubbe asks Ivar to forgive him and then they can make an accord. Lagertha says that they should be discussing how to combine their armies and have them out searching for new land. She tries to beseech Astrid but Astrid tells her that she is married now to Harald.

Ubbe begs Ivar not to proceed with the war because they are sons of Ragnar. Ivar decides that there will be no battles. Harald asks him what is this and Ivar says that he can't go up against his brothers. That he still feels guilty for killing Sigurd. They join around and have a drink to seal the accord but Ivar throws his drink in Ubbe's face. He tells them that he can't break his promise and that he will kill Lagertha. He tells Ubbe that he is no longer his brother. They separate into two groups but Lagertha says that they won't fight right now. Halfdan tells Harald that Bjorn saved his life and Harald backhands him and tells Halfdan that he will kill him. Alfred and Judith watch as Aethelwulf and Aethelred practice fighting down in the courtyard. Alfred tells Judith that they need to build a navy to prevent the Vikings from future attacks. Judith tells Alfred to talk to Aethelwulf about it but Alfred says that Aethelwulf is too set in his ways.

Floki stands aside watching as the settlers begin to build houses.

The Battle for Kattegat is set to begin. Both armies are assembled on opposite ends of a huge battlefield. Heahmund expresses his excitement for the upcoming battle and reasons to Ivar that perhaps he is here to do God's will but Ivar reminds him that he'll be doing Ivar's as well. Ivar says that he's going to pull back a third of their army just in case Bjorn is up to something. Harald agrees and tells Astrid to go back with Ivar. The two armies fight each other. Hvitserk takes a portion of the army into the woods but they are ambushed by the Sami. They can hear the fighting and Astrid says that they should leave but Ivar tells her to wait. Harald sounds the horn and Astrid says that they need them. Ivar says that it's too late. Realizing that they're outnumbered, Harald sounds the retreat. Harald meets up with Ivar and tells him that Heahmund is dead. Lagertha walks through the field and finds Heahmund. While looking over his great sword she asks Ubbe who he is. Ubbe answers informing Lagertha that Heahmund is a Saxon priest. They are then surprised to find that he is still alive. Lagertha stops Ubbe from killing him and and commands that he be saved, although she admits she does not know why.



Guest Starring

Additional cast (in order of appearance)


Episode Deaths

  • Many Viking warriors