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Vikings: Valhalla Season 1 Ending Explained: The Battle Concludes

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While Leif Erikson (played by Sam Corlett) originally started on his quest in order to absolve his sister of the crime she committed when she took revenge on her abuser, he has now found himself at the darkest point of his life following the battle for Kattegat. At the same time, his sister di lui comes to terms with her destiny di lei and chooses to face it head-on, and the tensions are at the highest they’ve ever been as the season ended with Kattegat, the place where the characters first met one another. With the brutal battle for Kattegat finished, it’s time to see who came out on top, who lost, and who perished during the bloody skirmish that wrapped up Season 1 of Vikings: Valhalla.

Starting off with a few key pieces of information relayed prior to the final episode of Season 1, it was revealed that King Canute (played by Bradley Freegard) himself is absent during the show’s final episodes, having to focus instead on the war in Denmark, but not before marrying Emma (Laura Berlin) the night prior to leaving. In his absence of him, his father of him King Sweyn Forkbeard (Søren Pilmark) rules over the land of England. At some point during his rule of him, Godwin (David Oakes) gets promoted to a position as the first Jarl of Wessex, granting him even more political power. Godwin himself also killed the newly crowned King Edmund (Louis Davison) after the young man attempted to form a resistance, making Canute the sole King of England. This will no doubt cause more structural instability within the hierarchy, as it was Edmund who tied together the old nobility of England with the new ruler they serve currently.

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Flipping over from England and looking towards Leif and Freydis (played by Frida Gustavsson), the siblings find themselves preparing to defend Kattegat from the wicked Jarl Kåre (Asbjørn Krogh Nissen) and the manipulative Jarl Olaf (Jóhannes Haukur Jóhannesson), the latter of which exploited his brother Harald (Leo Suter) in order to trick Kattegat into splitting their forces. Leif struggles with finding a reason to fight, as he does not have the religious passion of his sister or his enemies di lei, nor the desire to defend the people like Jark Haakon. His partner of him Liv (Lujza Richter) puts him at ease, however, when she explains to him that “You are fighting for us. For these people. For our future. That is important. “

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Image via Netflix

RELATED: Frida Gustavsson Discusses Freydis’ Greatest Weakness Going Into ‘Vikings: Valhalla’ Season 2

At first, it appears that Harald has betrayed Freydis and Leif, choosing to side with his brother Olaf. However, this is revealed to be a ruse in order to alert the group of how Olaf and Kåre plan on attacking Kattegat, which was by sea on the high tide of a wolf moon. This one piece of information could have saved Kattegat from destruction, if not for the fact that Olaf has planned to betray Kåre from the beginning. Knowing he couldn’t trust his brother di lui, Olaf gives out the battle plan but secretly withholds his army from deploying on the ships, instead sending them in after Kåre’s army to clean up and claim Kattegat for himself. Harald, finding out that his brother di lui was one step ahead of him, rushes in to help ensure the survival of his friends di lei and to make sure Freydis is not killed in the battle by Kåre, who insists that killing her was part of his destiny of hers.


Fortunately for Harald, Freydis is more than capable of protecting herself. She bests Kåre in single combat, decapitating the madman and bringing his wrath to an end, but not before making sure that he knows that the prophecy was never about him, but actually about her all along. In his final moments of lei, she tells him, “The cross that carries the sword was never you. It was my destiny. ” After she emerges triumphant, Freydis rides off with Harald, who has been wounded during the battle. Fortunately for him, it doesn’t seem to have been fatal, and the two stop outside the hills, looking off over Kattegat and what has become of it. The fulfillment of Freydis’ destiny does not come without sacrifice, however, as the battle for Kattegat takes the lives of many characters in the bloodshed.


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Image via Netflix

Perhaps the biggest loss for Kattegat, aside from it being taken by Olaf, is the death of Jarl Haakon (played by Caroline Henderson). She’s hit with a volley of arrows and later perishes from her wounds di lei. This is devastating for Kattegat, as she had been the one who kept order within her land di lei and ensured the safety of the people to maintain the religious values ​​that had been practiced for ages prior. Also on the list of casualties is Liv, Leif’s partner and the only other Greenlander to survive the battle at London Bridge. She also becomes fatally wounded, and her last words to Leif are to make sure he promises to join her in Valhalla, which not only serves as a promise to be together forever, but to ensure that Leif does not convert and lose his chance to potentially see her again. Her death di lei is especially grim, as it was mentioned in an earlier scene by Leif that Liv was the only one who kept the darkness within di lei himself passed on by his father di lui in check. With her death di lei, there is nothing to keep Leif from unleashing the rage that he had kept inside di lei, and that is exactly what happens as he effortlessly slaughters men attempting to force themselves upon women after the battle has concluded.


What seemed like a loss for the people of Kattegat and a victory for Jarl Olaf is quickly cut short as one of the final scenes shows Forkbeard arriving at Kattegat along with Canute’s fleet. With no reason to keep Queen Ælfgifu (played by Pollyanna McIntosh) around anymore, Emma retakes the throne from her and assumes control as the Queen of England, and Forkbeard lands upon the shores of Kattegat with plans to show his grandsons what they do to traitors. This leaves Olaf’s forces running for their lives, and it is implied that Olaf will be punished severely if not outright killed for his attempt to go against King Canute.

With Season 2 having already been wrapped, and a third season planned to be made, this is far from the end of the story for Leif and the others. Some loose plot points that we can expect to see from these seasons will likely include the penalties for the death of King Edmund at the hands of Godwin, the punishment of Jarl Olaf for his attack against Kattegat, the future of Harald and Freydis, and perhaps most importantly, the struggles for Leif to prevent himself from becoming just like his father. Tensions are sure to remain between the Pagan Vikings and the Christian Vikings as the two beliefs clash with one another, and the death of Jarl Kåre is certainly not to be the end of zealots attempting to purge the lands of the old ways and replace them with Christianity. Whatever lies in store for the characters within Vikings: Valhallait is sure to be bloody, violent, and exciting.


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