Vikings: Valhalla season 1 – who sits on the English throne by the end of the season?

By Jonathon Wilson
Published: February 25, 2022 (Last updated: January 18, 2023)
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Who sits on the throne by the end of the season 1 of Vikings: Valhalla - Netflix series

This article, ”Who sits on the English throne by the end of the season,” contains spoilers regarding Netflix’s Vikings: Valhalla season 1. 

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

After the Saint Brice’s Day massacre in the first episode of Vikings: Valhalla, not only is there a desperate battle to honor the fallen but, consequently, there’s a battle to be the one who sits on the throne. Sitting on the throne is a complicated matter in Vikings: Valhalla, not only because of the different locations in the series but because plenty of characters want to be the individual on the throne. 

At the start of Vikings: Valhalla, Aethelred the Unready is the King of England, with his wife Emma of Normandy being Queen. Does that change throughout the season? You betcha! 

Who sits on the English throne by the end of season 1 of Vikings: Valhalla?

Following the Saint Brice’s Day massacre, many want the head of the current King, Aethelred the Unready. But, unluckily for those that want to kill Aethelred, he dies before anyone can get near to him. And due to his death, his son, Prince Edmund, becomes the King of England. 

But, as Emma would tell you, now that Edmund becomes King, it brings a major threat to his life. And after the deadly battle in episode four, King Canute of Denmark defeats King Edmund. It could effectively end King Edmund’s reign. However, in a somewhat shocking move, King Canute decides that he wants to rule England alongside King Edmund, meaning that England has two Kings.

It doesn’t last long, though, as after Godwin convinces King Edmund to start a resistance, he stabs King Edmund in the chest, killing him. King Canute remains the King of England, and after marrying Emma of Normandy, she remains in her role of Queen of England. Then after King Canute departs, his father, King Sweyn Forkbeard, rules in his place. However, the wife of Canute, and Queen of Denmark, Aelfgifu, arrives in England. And through blackmail, forces King Sweyn to send Emma back to Normandy. 

It’s not the last time we see Emma on the throne, though. Queen Aelfgifu learns that Emma’s departure was a ruse until King Sweyn could locate the fleets she was blackmailing him with. And so, as the first season of Vikings: Valhalla comes to a close, King Canute and Emma rule England, with King Sweyn serving in King Canute’s place.

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