“Know Yourself” finds Magne grappling with his responsibilities as the war threatens to go on without him.
This recap of Ragnarok season 2, episode 5, “Know Yourself”, contains spoilers.
After Laurits’s unexpected pregnancy in the previous episode, it’s only fitting that “Know Yourself” opens with a brief description of the Midgard Serpent, the most dangerous monster in Norse mythology, the child of Loki, and thus a member of the giant family who Thor historically defeats during Ragnarok. At the moment, though, Thor is not looking good. He needs to put on his old glasses and repetitively intones, “I’m not myself”, which Laurits finds fascinating in a rather creepy way.
When Magne goes to see Wotan, the old man explains how him imploring the heavens to remove his responsibilities and praying to a Christian god he doesn’t believe in has stripped him of his powers; the battle will continue without him. Well, he asked for it, didn’t he? Now he’s weak and can’t see without glasses, Fjor has become the head of the Jutuls’ company, and Laurits is still determined to ingratiate himself within the giants, so things aren’t looking good for the so-called heroes. At least Ran unsympathetically tells him that the last conversation she had with Vidar was about which of them should kill him, which makes Laurits realize that perhaps he’s barking up the wrong tree.
With Magne struggling to put Norse mythology “in a more modern context” — oh, ha ha, Ragnarok — Iman uses her powers to make a move on Ran, and Turid discovers that Laurits is keeping his “tapeworm” in his grandma’s old fish tank. Laurits hilariously equates not believing in sexual identities as being into reptiles and plays the dead dad card to ensure he’s allowed to keep the creature in his room, which doesn’t bode well for anyone. Neither does the fact that the mechanic — whose name I still haven’t caught — seems to have inherited the powers of Thor in Magne’s absence and is using them to beat up people who steal gas.
Of course, no sooner has Magne abandoned his powers than he has cause to use them, since Fjor unceremoniously fires and humiliates Turid, and when Magne goes to confront him he gets thoroughly embarrassed thanks to how weak he suddenly is. Magne immediately returns to Wotan and claims to be ready for the battle, no matter what it will cost him, and regardless of the fact he’ll have to kill again. He’s a bit unsure about that last bit, admittedly, unwilling to jeopardize his reconciliation with Laurits by killing any more of his family, so Batman-style he insists he won’t kill and then nearly throws his shoulder out of its socket throwing a stone.
Things aren’t looking good in Ragnarok season 2, episode 5, then, and are looking even worse when Saxa, of all people, persuades Laurits to re-join Team Jutul, largely to oust Fjor. Predictably, Fjor thinks he can simply buy Laurits’s loyalty, but he’s obviously a bit more switched on than that, which is evident in the scene when he antagonizes Ran about being “barren”, and their family only being a facade designed to obscure the activities of “leftover gods”. When he returns home, Ran tries to kill him, but Magne intervenes and Turid’s timely arrival prevents her from killing the pair of them. Desperate now, Magne returns to Wotan for advice on what to do next, which involves betraying Laurits in order to retrieve the hammer and his powers. These are his responsibilities, to fight evil at any cost. After spending almost two whole seasons trying to preserve his relationship with his brother, now he’s going to have to ruin it for the greater good. Classic.