Vikings season 6, episode 17 recap – what happened in “The Raft Of Medusa”?

By Daniel Hart
Published: December 30, 2020 (Last updated: January 18, 2023)
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Amazon series Vikings season 6, episode 17 - The Raft Of Medusa


“The Raft Of Medusa” is definitely one of the weaker chapters in the final instalment — it’s stagnated slightly but mostly because the writers are evidently trying to reach an all-consuming finale.

This recap of Amazon’s Vikings season 6, episode 17, “The Raft Of Medusa” contains significant spoilers.

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

The opening

Ingrid asks Harald if he and Ivar have any intentions of returning after battling in Wessex — she senses a change in the mood. Harald does not answer as Erik intervenes in the conversation. He tells Erik to look after Kattegat as there’s still a possibility that the Rus will attack — Harald wants Erik as temporary ruler, with Ingrid by his side. Harald believes things are coming to a conclusion. Ingrid and Erik will be joint rulers. This goes back to the previous episode of Harald, Ivar, and Hvitserk requiring purpose.

The transition begins, and battle strategy is discussed

Ivar, Hvitserk, and Harald start their voyage to Wessex; they conduct a strategy meeting and agree on the best place to fight King Alfred. A place he’d be least comfortable with. Back at Kattegat, Erik tells Ingrid that he should join her in bed as he does not feel Harald will return. Ingrid asks Erik to take off his shirt and turn around; she whips him repeatedly and tells Erik that she wants to see the marks. Afterward, she tells Erik to join her in bed. She’s demonstrating how the roles have reversed — she has the power as she is Queen.

Ingrid tells Erik that she wants to make him happy. Erik believes life is perfect as he rules Kattegat and has her. Little did he know what was to come.

The warning arrives

King Alfred is warned that Vikings are heading their way. He is alarmed that they accompany the sons of Ragnar. The King decides to abandon his Royal Villa because he admits they are weak and surrounded by enemies. He tells his Queen there is no point in lying about their strength, and to be practical. The Queen is irritated that these are the same Vikings that killed his father and grandfather; she says that the Vikings always make deals even in defeat and that he is too keen on peace, and falling for promises Vikings cannot keep. She fears the same thing will happen again. There’s plenty to peel away at this conversation — a King who is not stubborn and believes in ideals, and a Queen who is dismayed at accepting weakness. It makes a fascinating exchange of dialogue.

The first battle against the Saxons

The Saxons attack the Vikings, and the first battle begins. Ivar does his best to command his squad after they’ve been ambushed. Hvitserk eventually arrives with his unit to fight. The Saxons retreat, knowing they have suffered a defeat. Ivar and Hvitserk celebrate their victory.

After abandoning their Royal Villa, the Queen tells King Alfred that she’s confused as to why he’s left. He tells her it’s only properties and it’s more important that he remains alive.


Erik wakes up, and he is half-blind. Ingrid asks what has happened, but he does not know. Ingrid is using witchcraft on him. Erik gets more erratic, and Ingrid looks on, with a sly smile. He is now fully blind. She’s punishing him — she finally has her revenge, and this is an opportunity for her to be the single ruler.

The ending

On Ubbe’s boat, some people have died, or many are extremely malnourished. Othere continues to look out at sea, not giving up on hope. Ubbe then notices land in the distance and shows Torvi, but she cannot see anything. They have made it — they have found the golden land that Othere often spoke about it. Ubbe tells Othere to forgive him. Othere tells Ubbe that he knew deep inside, he believed.

Vikings season 6, episode 17 is definitely one of the weaker chapters in the final installment — it’s stagnated slightly but mostly because the writers are evidently trying to reach an all-consuming finale.

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