You know that awkward feeling when you've been on a tiny, cramped viking longship for weeks, and you suddenly realize that you have no idea who someone is? Harald Finehair knows. This week's episode of #Vikings involved an awkward introduction to a new friend for Harald and his brother. So who the hell is this guy?
He's the bastard son of an Earl, has a super creepy smile and has already cozied up to the future King of Norway. He also claims to be a "clever person", and has "ambitious" plans to take his father's Earldom for himself. But what else is there to know? Well, quite a lot, actually.
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Egil is most likely based on the famous real-life viking, Egill Skallagrimsson. According to the viking sagas, Egill's father was enemies with Harald— though Vikings creator Michael Hirst often has a very creative interpretation of history when it comes to timelines, so who knows what he'll include.
Egill's face was deformed, possibly due to a bone disease, but also from battle wounds. He was a renowned poet, a keen traveller and a humble farmer. Oh, and he was also a blood-thirsty psychopath who would make Ivar shudder. Looks like Lagertha's got herself yet another worthy enemy to contend with.
Worse Than Ivar?
Viking sagas tell us that Egill loved nothing more than murdering— even for a viking. As a child he was extremely dangerous, known for going into a trance-like state when he became violent. He murdered a little boy when he was just seven years old, and continued to bludgeon his way through Scandinavia well into his eighties. He had a reputation for killing those who insulted him, and rapidly fluctuated between brooding and enraged.
If viking sagas and creepy smiles are anything to go by, then Vikings' Egil is one to watch out for. He's clearly got power on the brain, and siding with Harald — who's currently plotting to take over Kattegat — has put him in a very powerful position.
Watch Out, Harald!
Harald and Halfdan might just be underestimating their new friend. They've already entrusted him with their plan to snatch Kattegat out from underneath Lagertha's feet, and they barely know the guy. And if the viking sagas are correct, then Harald has a good reason to be wary of the son of Skalla-Grimr himself.
Egill's father had some pretty long-running beef with Harald, or so the story goes. He even ordered an attack on one of Harald's ships. Egill was also regarded as a potential contender for Harald's title.
However, Egill himself didn't actually have any run-ins with the King, who died when Egill's adventures were just getting started. But the historical connection between Egill's family and King Harald alone suggests that the Vikings character should be careful of letting himself get too close to the newcomer.
Judging from the real-life Egill's tendencies, he may just be using Harald to get what he wants, before taking his title for himself. Whatever this cretin is planning, it can't be good.
What role do you think Egil might play in next week's episode of Vikings?