Ragnar Lothbrok (Travis Fimmel) has never been a one-woman kind of man. This is the same character that wanted Lagertha (Katheryn Winnick) and Aslaug (Alyssa Sutherland) to live together as both his wives, after all. But when the Vikings lead does choose his women, he tends to choose well, opting for the ladies who can hold their own against the king and boost him into an even higher position of authority.
Which is what makes this latest love interest, the slave girl Yidu (Dianne Doan), the Yoko to Ragnar’s Lennon.
“Ragnar finds it very difficult to trust people now that everyone seems to have their own agenda, but he finds a woman that he can engage with in Yidu,” showrunner Michael Hirst tells The Hollywood Reporter. “As John Lennon said about him and Yoko, they have no past. Someone like Yidu, who’s Chinese, exotic, has no collective memory of what’s happened in Scandinavia or Ragnar’s history, gives him the opportunity of unburdening some of his inner torments.”
That unburdening began to unfold in the most recent episode of the History series, and continues with Thursday’s hour, “Promised.” As previewed in the exclusive clip above, Ragnar begins to fill Yidu in on his failed attempt to colonize new land, perhaps in part encouraged by the “medicine” that she has been providing him.
“It’s a more complicated relationship than that, but he does need someone to talk to,” Hirst says.
As more of Yidu’s history begins to come to light in the coming weeks, viewers may begin to also see the fallout of her newfound relationship with Ragnar as it pertains to the woman who bought her in the first place — Ragnar’s current wife, Aslaug. Despite giving Ragnar permission to seek solace in Yidu, Aslaug’s exact motives for doing so are still a little hazy.
“I was not unaware that Yoko put her own assistant, May Pang, in front of John when she thought that John was losing interest in her,” Hirst continues. “So there was a slight Beatles aspect to that situation too. But this happens quite a bit — it’s an aspect of human sexuality and life and a woman trying to keep her husband in a way.”
According to Hirst, that relationship is one that he and Fimmel talk about often, with Fimmel admitting a deep respect for Aslaug given that she doesn’t hate Ragnar at this point, having brought up his children and put up with some of the things she has over the years. Not that their relationship is destined to improve anytime soon.
“It’s an interesting dynamic between two people struggling to remain in a relationship. They’re not young anymore and they’ve got a lot of kids between them,” Hirst says. “Aslaug has also struggled within the relationship and it doesn’t help that Harbard is going to return at some point to screw things up even more.”
Well then. Looks like they both have their Yokos.
Vikings airs Thursdays at 10 p.m. on History.
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