Vikings: Valhalla season 1 – who is Emma of Normandy?

By Jordan Lyon
Published: February 25, 2022 (Last updated: January 18, 2023)
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Who is Emma of Normandy in Vikings: Valhalla season 1 - Netflix series

This article, “who is Emma of Normandy” contains spoilers regarding Netflix’s Vikings: Valhalla season 1.

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

Who is Emma of Normandy in Vikings: Valhalla season 1?

Whilst Emma of Normandy starts Vikings: Valhalla as the wife of Aethelred the Unready and stepmother of Prince Edmund, much of that changes by the end of the first season.

She originally came from nothing, but partly due to her ambitious, sharp, and capable nature, she has now become one of the wealthiest women in Europe. Emma of Normandy appears to be a very loving woman, as well. She goes to great lengths to ensure the safety of her children. And upon Prince Edmund’s death, she appears to be upset, having previously discussed measures to keep him out of danger.

What does Emma of Normandy do?

When her husband, Aethelred the Unready, dies, it leaves Emma and Prince Edmund to face the consequences of the bloodbath that occurred on Saint Brice’s Day. She sends Prince Edmund to ask Eadric Streona to bring his army to the battle. With Emma advising Prince Edmund not to leave until they get what they want, Prince Edmund eventually has Streona meet his demands.

Whilst Prince Edmund wants to swiftly crown himself as King of England, Emma advises that they should wait. She argues that the moment he takes the crown, his life will be at risk and that “if England fails, so does Edmund”. Regardless, Prince Edmund crowns himself as King, and shortly afterward, the battle between King Edmund and King Canute happens.

It doesn’t take long for Emma to realize that King Edmund has been placed into a trap. Although, it’s too late, and they lose the battle. In the aftermath, she remains on her throne. Though, she does receive threats from Olaf, who takes her children. Once King Canute agrees to rule England alongside King Edmund, Emma asks for his help in securing the safety of her children. With her children safe soon afterward, she agrees to become King Canute’s advisor.

Emma and King Canute’s relationship continues to grow, and eventually, they marry. Shortly afterward, with King Canute traveling, his father, King Sweyn, comes to rule in his place, with whom Emma forms a good working relationship. After King Edmund dies, Emma visits his body and quickly realizes that Godwin is responsible. Then, after King Canute’s wife, Queen Aelfgifu, comes to England, King Sweyn (due to blackmail from Queen Aelfgifu) orders Emma to return to Normandy.

Except, Emma’s departure is actually a charade. And with help from King Sweyn and Godwin, Emma returns to the throne after outperforming Queen Aelfgifu. Emma of Normandy is one the cleverest and most ambitious characters within Vikings: Valhalla; and she could prove to be a vital part of any success for the other characters.

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