Vikings season 6, episode 13 recap – what happened in “The Signal”?

By Daniel Hart
Published: December 30, 2020 (Last updated: January 18, 2023)
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Amazon series Vikings season 6, episode 13 - The Signal


“The Signal” sees the start of the power transfer in Kattegat, bringing a political and tense pre-election. The other plots are gathering, with Igor’s plans to escape Kiev taking shape.

This recap of Amazon’s Vikings season 6, episode 13, “The Signal” contains significant spoilers.

We recapped every episode of season 6b — check out the archive.

The opening

Ivar wants an audience with Oleg, but he’s not allowed as the guards refuse to let him in. He talks to Hvitserk and asks him why he’s standing in the way — Ivar wants access to Igor. There is tension between both brothers. Hvitserk claims Oleg treats him well and is the future ruler of the world. The brothers end up in a fight. Ivar ends up on the receiving end of Hvitserk’s beating. Oleg watches on and laughs with Katia. “The Signal” sees Ivar with a momentous job to carry out Dir’s plans — he’s up against his brother and Oleg at the start of the chapter.

Gunnhild and Ingrid declare that they are running for Queen

Gunnhild tells the people that they need to be ready for a new ruler and that she intends to stand and vows to build their defenses. Ingrid also gives a speech and reveals she is carrying Bjorn’s child, so she is carrying on the throne’s legitimacy. Gunnhild asks Erik who he intends to support in the election. Erik surprisingly says he has not made up his mind. This seems like a blow to Gunnhild — especially after sleeping with the man.

Oleg asks for forgiveness

Oleg asks to see Ivar who has been hurt by his brother Hvitserk — he tells him he has neglected him and he asks Ivar for forgiveness. Ivar accepts. The reason for Oleg’s words is because his wife Katia told him he has been harsh. Oleg asks Ivar if he’d like Hvitserk killed. Ivar says he’s the only one who should kill his brother. This scene proves one thing; Katia is well and truly working for Ivar, whispering in her husband’s ear.

Ingrid’s ritual

Ingrid visits Bjorn’s tomb and performs a ritual, asking for the ghosts to help her. She paints her body and cuts herself to smear blood over her body. Erik watches the ritual from a distance — he now knows she is a witch. The next day, Erik tells Gunnhild that she and Ingrid are the only candidates — it’s about Bjorn’s legacy. Gunnhild asks Erik who he supports, but still, no answer comes.

Ingrid knows Erik was watching the ritual and asks him to keep it a secret.

Katia passes on a message

Katia and Ivar meet secretly again. She gives him a blade and tells him that Prince Dir is ready. Ivar then approaches his brother Hvitserk and tells him Oleg offered to kill him. He wants him to join Prince Dir’s plan. Ivar wants to know how they can help Igor escape without raising the alarm.

Rocky waters

Ubbe’s voyage is getting drenched in a storm. It’s their most challenging part of the journey so far. Torvi is confident that the storm will pass as everyone tries to withstand it. She gets frustrated as she loses Asa.

A timely return

Suddenly there’s a commotion at Kattegat and crowds gather. Erik calls Ingrid a witch as she says “he’s come back” and Gunnhild overhears “witch”. It’s King Harald. He shouts to the crowd and claims he had a good relationship with Bjorn. He also brings an ally with him and tells the crowd he has come to rescue them all. Harald threatens Erik as he states he is a pirate and a murderer and will deal with him later. Gunnhild tells Harald that she doesn’t appreciate his timing. Harald announces that he’s still the King of all of Norway, meaning he is the king of all of them.

This was a fascinating scene to watch — both women are doing their utmost best to keep their faces expressionless as the crowds listen to King Harald’s words.

Forging the future of Kattegat

Gunnhild tells Harald that he wants to be like Bjorn. Harald admits he does, as he loved Bjorn. Ingrid tells Harald that he doesn’t care if people love him. Harald admits he used to be like that, but he’s not jealous or angry anymore. He wants to work with both women to forge the future of Kattegat. This is an awful scene, especially as Harald touches Ingrid’s shoulder — there was a chilling look on her face as her rapist got closer to her.

The ending

Ivar, Hvitserk, and Katia start their plans to free Igor under Oleg’s nose. Meanwhile, Oleg is preparing for Good Friday. As Oleg starts the ceremony, Katia begins to sneak Igor out. Ivar, Katia, Hvitserk, and Igor attempt to leave the gates in a horse and carriage.

Suddenly, Prince Oleg realizes that Igor is not present at the ceremony and the chapter ends, leaving it on a tense cliffhanger.

Vikings season 6, episode 13 sees the start of the power transfer in Kattegat, bringing a political and tense pre-election. The other plots are gathering, with Igor’s plans to escape Kiev taking shape.

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