Vikings – Rollo’s Bride

Rollo, elder brother to the Viking King Ragnar Lothbrok of Kattegat, and his small entourage hesitantly walks down the isle of the throne room toward the seated Emperor Charles of France; his lovely daughter Gisla by his side. A slight, if tall girl with piercing brown eyes, a picture of stern introspection runs across her face as she waits til her would-be future husband reaches the front of the assembled court, before finding the inner strength to bring herself to her feet. With barely a glance to her side, she addresses the assembly, and indirectly, Rollo himself.

“Whatever my father says, I am not marrying this animal. I am a Princess of the blood, not a cheap whore. I would rather be burned alive than suffer this… thing, to so much as lay a hand on me. He is a filthy pagan. Therefore he has no soul. He is worse than the beasts of the field. I would rather my virginity and my virtue to the vilest Rocky than to this piece of warm meat. He disgusts me. He makes me want to vomit.”

Returning to her seat, Gisla still refuses to meet her father’s furious gaze, as Rollo, who speeks only one word of French, smiles unaware of the insults she has just thrown at him. Taking a step forward, the towering Viking warrior smiles charmingly, and says, “Bonjour”. Sinric, speaker of both Norse and French and acting as translator between the two warring factions, glances uneasily from the Emperor, to Rollo, confused whether to translate Gisla’s tirade or not. The Emperor raises a single finger into the air, then draws it down sharply. Guards rush forward, causing the Vikings to huddle close to protect each other’s backs, some producing concealed weapons ready to fight, but the guards do not attack them – instead rushing passed, they haul Gisla bodily to her feet, before then knocking her to her knees in front of her father’s throne.

Finally indicating for Sinric to translate, Charles addresses Rollo. “I commit to you the lands of Normandy, 200 serfs to tend your needs, gold aplenty to reward your men, and if you will still take her, my daughter, Gisla. If not, she may well have her wish and be given to the Rockys for disrespecting me.” Rollo listens to Sinric’s translation, reading the mood of the room as he takes a few steps closer to the Emperor and his restrained daughter. He leans down, quietly asking Sinric a question, listening intently to the answer, before walking to meet the Emperor at his throne.

Charles watches the progression with bated breath, having not long ago stood at the very same spot, with King Ragnar’s blade at his throat. Whilst Ragnar was a manic, terrifying force of nature, Rollo was also a formidable force to behold, towering over even his impressive brother. If Charles’ plan did not go well, he knew the day would come when the Vikings would return en force, and knew not if Paris could withstand another attack. Rollo smiles at the Emperor, turning to face the people before him. “Hundr?” he says, looking to Sinric. Sinric corrects him – “Rocky(D)”. He points to himself, repeating the word with a smile, before letting out a blood curdling baying howl. He laughs, then kneels down next to his bride to be, causing the guards to shift unsteadily as they continue to hold their princess on her knees.

Rollo reaches down with his hand, bringing her head up to look at him. Gisla spits in his face, but this just makes Rollo laugh again, before he presses his lips to her ear. “Bonjour”, he whispers, menacingly, before biting her earlobe just enough to make his point, without anyone else seeing. Standing back up, Rollo smiles at his soon to be father-in-law. “I accept your offer,” he says, quickly translated by Sinric. Charles ushers his head priest over as fast as he can, eager to seal the deal. Gisla screams her discontent at every chance, but as soon as Rollo hears from Sinric that the ceremony is over, and Gisla is now his, he sweeps the fiesty French princess up, throwing her over his shoulder, and carries her out of the throne room like a ragdoll.

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