Vikings: Valhalla Season 1 Recap: Get Ready for Season 2!


Season 2 of Vikings: Valhalla is well on its way, and that means that we are in for more gory and bloody action involving the ferocious Viking warriors of yesteryears. Of course, that means that the storyline is set to continue from where it started off in season 1, as season 2 is set to explore the lore deeper.

But some of you might have forgotten what happened back in season 1, especially because it has been almost a year since it was released. So, with that said, we are here to give a recap of what happened in Vikings: Valhalla season 1 so that you would be ready for what’s to come in season 2.

How The War Against England Started

The entire storyline of Vikings Valhalla started with an event that took place years before the events of the main story. At that time, Vikings have already been living in England for a while, but the thing is that King Aethelred of England wasn’t exactly fond of these people. As such, he decided to try to solve his Viking problem during one of the most celebrated holidays that Vikings were known to celebrate.


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On the night of Saint Brice’s Day, the Vikings were celebrating in their territory in England. However, the king arrived to tell them that he was going to kill all of them, and that was when the members of the king’s guard started killing everyone in the dining hall, all while the Vikings were caught off-guard because they weren’t expecting an attack from the king that they thought had accepted them. This event is historically known as the Saint Brice’s Day Massacre.

Of course, the Vikings that live in the territories of the Danish didn’t take this act lightly because it was an insult to their people. King Canute of Denmark decided that he would unite all of the Vikings under his banner so that they would take revenge for King Aethelred’s actions. This sparked the events of the war between Denmark and England.

Why Are Leif And Freydis In Kattegat?

While there are several characters in Vikings: Valhalla, the main ones are Leif Eriksson and Freydis Eriksdotter. The siblings arrived in Kattegat during the time when Canute was calling for Viking unity against the English. That was when Harald Sigurdsson was smitten and fell in love with Freydis. After an intimate moment with Freydis, Harald noticed a large scar on her back, and that was when she told him why she and her brother had come to Kattegat as a Christian Viking came to her home years ago to rape and brand her with a large cross on her back.

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After that, Harald’s brothers Olaf and Gunnar arrived at Kattegat because they were going to join the war against England. But Olaf only joined Canute under one condition: to help him facilitate a large conversion of pagans to Christians because he had no desire to fight alongside people who followed the old ways. 

While Canute didn’t want to discriminate based on religion, Olaf agreed to join the war because he was promised riches if they were able to conquer England. Nevertheless, it was clear that tensions were rising between the pagans and the Christians. 

Freydis, however, recognized that the man that raped and “converted” her to Christianity years ago was there. This was Gunnar Magnusson, the younger brother of Olaf. She stabbed and killed her out of revenge, as Olaf saw what happened in front of his eyes. While Olaf would have killed Freydis, Estrid Haakon, the ruler of Kattegat, settled things between them and asked Leif to fight alongside Canute in the war so that he could pay his sister’s debt.

Did The Vikings Conquer England?

Of course, Canute and his forces had to try to fulfill their purpose of conquering England. The Vikings may have celebrated the natural passing of King Aethelred but they still needed to take revenge by defeating his heir, King Edmund. After all, conquering England was the only way for them to avenge those who died during the Saint Brice’s Day Massacre.

Queen Emma, the second wife of Aethelred, was the one who tried to defend England due to Edmund’s inability to lead the country into war. While the English had the advantage in terms of their defenses, Leif Eriksson proposed a plan to try to weaken the bridge to London so that they could weaken the defenses of England. Leif wanted to make the world see that he was not like his famed murderous father, Erik the Red, and that was why he was hungry to distinguish himself as an entirely different person.

Together with Harald, Leif set out on a mission to weaken the bridge so that they could trap the English forces there. The Vikings tried their best to hide their intentions. When Emma found out about it, it was already too late because the bridge had already collapsed as King Edmund was defeated. 

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Canute finally conquered London but decided to spare Edmund in the hopes that he could use him to convince the other English nobles to join him. The Danish king also married Emma so that they could rule over England together. Meanwhile, Leif became a hero among the Vikings due to the success of his plan.

Freydis vs. Kare

While Freydis may have committed murder out of revenge, Estrid Haakon took a liking to her because of her strength and her faith in the old ways. That was when she asked her to travel to Uppsala so that she learns more about her destiny as this was the most sacred site for pagans that still believed in the old ways. 

Freydis agreed to go to Uppsala but didn’t know what was to come in her journey. But while the journey was tough, she got there and learned about her destiny through a ritual. She learned that she was someone called the last daughter of Uppsala, as she was given a sword that allowed her to learn that this was symbolic of the pagans. 


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On her way back to Kattegat, Freydis saw Jarl Kare, who told her that he intended to attack Jarl Estrid’s city so that they could convert them to Christianity. Kare, of course, went to Uppsala not only to talk to the Old One but also to learn more about his fate. When he didn’t like what he heard, Kare destroyed Uppsala and massacred all of the priests and pagans there.

Due to the things that he heard when he was in Uppsala, Kare was now convinced that he needed to destroy the last remnants of paganism in Kattegat and kill the last daughter of Uppsala. As such, he prepared to attack Kattegat with his forces.

Olaf Conquers Kattegat

Olaf planned to use Kare’s own vendetta against the pagans to his advantage so that he could take over Kattegat. As such, Kare attacked Kattegat with his forces. In this attack, he managed to kill Jarl Estrid Haakon and went face-to-face with Freydis in a battle. But while Kare was confident in his abilities as a fighter, Freydis defeated him.

The moment Olaf saw that Kare had done his part, he attacked Kattegat as he took over the city without a single casualty on his part. He was hailed the king of Norway. But the problem was that King Canute was angry at him for what he did, and that was why Sweyn Forkbeard, who was ruling on behalf of his son, decided to use his fleet to attack Kattegat. Olaf’s victory was short-lived because he knew that he had no chance against the mighty Danish fleet, as all of his men left the city to save their lives.


Harald and Freydis survived the events of the battles as well but needed to go into hiding. Meanwhile, Leif also survived the battle but the death of his beloved angered him so much that he became a vengeful beast that started killing everyone in his path. In that regard, Leif was unable to shed his identity as the son of a famous Viking murderer as he was seemingly more similar to his father than he thought. 

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