Story Recap – what happened in Vikings Valhalla season 1?

February 25, 2022 (Last updated: January 18, 2023)
Jordan Lyon 0
Netflix, Streaming Service, TV Recaps
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Story Recap – what happened in Vikings Valhalla season 1 - Netflix series

This is a story recap of Netflix’s Vikings: Valhalla season 1 and will contain spoilers as it details what happened.

Access the archive of recaps, reviews, and features for Vikings: Valhalla. 

Set 100 years after the original Vikings series, Vikings: Valhalla sees a violent act towards the Vikings set many of the characters of a personal mission of revenge.

Story Recap – what happened in Vikings Valhalla season 1?

Episode 1-2

Vikings: Valhalla begins with a horrific bloodbath. After Harald leaves for Norway, Aethelred the Unready slaughters his brother Sten and several other Vikings. News of the massacre soon spreads, with Harald and King Canute promising to inflict revenge. Whilst also on a mission of revenge, albeit a different one, Leif and Freydis aim to get payback on a Christian Viking who raped and attacked Freydis. Once Freydis brutally murders that individual, Leif has to pledge his services to the Viking’s cause in order to repay Freydis’ “debt”. Meanwhile, as Aethelred the Unready dies, he leaves Emma of Normandy and his son Prince Edmund to face the wrath of the Viking killings.

Episode 3-4

Before long, all key characters learn of Aethelred the Unready death. But Harald isn’t happy about the news and decides that to seek justice for Sten’s death, he will seek revenge on King Edmund. Meanwhile, Emma worries that Edmund’s lack of experience may cause England to fail. And that’s his desire to become King soon may, in fact, place him in more danger. 

A warrior attacks Freydis, and whilst she manages to kill him, his corpse gains the interest of “mad man” Kare. The battle in Vikings: Valhalla begins. And after King Edmund gets led into a trap and the bridge collapses (thanks to Leif), King Canute wins the battle and defeats King Edmund. 

Episode 5-6

Whilst Harald is keen to kill King Edmund and seek justice for his brother, King Canute prevents him from doing so, and instead, King Canute forms an alliance to rule England with King Edmund. When King Canute learns that Emma has the brains in her family, he saves her children from Olaf and has sex with her. Later, Harald learns that Olaf has a 12-year-old son whilst Freydís meets Seer and learns that she is “the last”. During the celebrations that follow the battle, King Canute toasts everyone for their efforts. He declares that Leif and Freydis’s debts are paid. However, the celebrations turn deadly when King Canute announces that Streona is a greedy traitor and chops off his head.

Kare follows Freydis’s trial, and after brutally murdering Yrsa, he comes close to killing Freydis. He, however, pauses his mission to kill Freydis when he learns she has connections in Uppsala. Instead, to tells Freydis to let Haakan know that he will be coming. Upon receiving the message, Haakan adds her belief that Freydis is “the last”. As Leif, Harald, and their fleets return, Olaf sails to Denmark and visits Canute’s wife, Queen Aelfgifu of Denmark. He informs her of Canute’s budding relationship with Emma. And at the end of the episode, King Canute learns that a ship has arrived from Denmark, and so, King Canute prepares for departure. But first, he has a question for Emma. 

Episodes 7-8

King Canute and Emma marry offscreen, whilst Harald and Freydis claim their love for each other. King Canute’s father, King Sweyn Forkbeard, arrives to rule in place of King Canute. Kare purposely makes his brutal killing public knowledge and leaves a message that he will destroy Kattegat and kill Freydis. And as Olaf forms an alliance with Kare, Godwin motivates King Edmund into leading a resistance against King Canute. But Godwin has a scheme up his sleeve, as when he tricks King Edmund into falling off his horse, Godwin stabs King Edmund to death. 

Emma is quick to correctly assume that Godwin is responsible for King Edmund’s death. Queen Aelfgifu arrives in England, and she blackmails King Sweyn into sending Emma back to Norway. After Godwin’s advice, Queen Aelfgifu attempts to prove to King Sweyn that she can add value. 

Harald and Olaf reunite, and in an outdoor meeting with characters such as Freydis and Haakan, Olaf offers salvation if they all renounce their pagan past. Haakan refuses. And, in turn, Leif and Freydis abandon Harald, who appears to stand by Olaf. The battle begins, and through Olaf’s schemes, the forces in Kattygat are split. Kare turns on Harald and promises that he will kill Freydis. Olaf, however, saves Harald from Kare’s men and reveals that he never trusted Kare. Instead, Olaf admits that he was using Kare so that he could become King of Norway. 

With the battle in full swing, Haakan gets seriously injured. And just when it seems that Kare could kill Freydis, she stabs him before chopping off his head. When the battle comes to a close, Freydis rescues Harald, whilst Liv gets stabbed by Olaf. Liv ultimately dies in Leif’s arms. 

As the first season draws to a close, Emma returns to the English throne, much to Queen Aelfgifu’s shock. And it soon becomes clear that both King Sweyn and Godwin have fooled Queen Aelfgifu. Olaf becomes King of Norway. But his celebrations get cut short when King Sweyn and his fleets head his way. Olaf’s men flee in terror, with Olaf following suit soon afterward. Once the fleets reach land, some of the men attempt to rape the women. But Leif murders them before they can do so. The season finale ends with one of King Sweyn’s grandchildren finding Leif covered in blood.

And that’s a story recap — that’s what happened in Netflix’s Vikings: Valhalla season 1. What are your thoughts on the story? Comment below.

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