‘Vikings: Valhalla’ Season 3, Episode 4 Recap: It Really Is The End Of Jomsborg As We Know It

By Daniel Hart
Published: July 11, 2024
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Freydis in Vikings: Valhalla Season 3, Episode 4 - the end of Jomsborg - image for recap and explained
Freydis is a determined figure in 'Vikings: Valhalla' Season 3, Episode 4 as she helps her people escape Jomsborg as Magnus Haraldsson arrives (Credit - Netflix)




Episode 4 ups the ante as the fate of Jomsborg is finally answered.

Now that our characters understand the next phase of their journeys, Vikings: Valhalla Season 3 flows better. From unusual nuns, escaping Jomsborg, and being enticed by a chaotic Empress, Episode 4, “The End of Jomsborg,” brings a juncture to some story strands.

I’ve broken down some key plot points and compiled them into a recap.

Leif meets an unusual nun, but there’s a reason for it

Leif in Vikings: Valhalla Season 3, Episode

Leif is on the way to Corfu in ‘Vikings: Valhalla’ Season 3, Episode 4 to find the mapmaker (Credit – Netflix)

On his way to Corfu to look for the mapmaker who may be able to give him answers for the unknown land he has vaguely in mind, Leif bumps into an unusual nun trying to build a church.

Initially, he saves her from savage men but becomes aggrieved when a man steals his horse. The pair talk about God and forgiveness, with the nun, Tamar, opening up to Leif about her husband leaving her because she killed her child. She explains she had to kill her baby because they were crying when they were in danger, and they had to be silent. Her story’s point was that she had to learn to forgive herself.

Why is this important, you may ask? Well, Leif has had difficulty coming to terms with the horrors of Syracuse, putting the blame down on him. This encounter with the nun may help him forgive himself for what happened in Sicily. It was not his fault, after all, even if it was his science that led to mass killings.

Leif does not stay with the nun to help build her church, and he does get his horse back, but this is an important milestone for the character.

Harald is far too deep with the Empress, raising eyebrows with his friends and risking his ambition

Empress Zoe and Harald in Vikings: Valhalla Season 3, Episode 4

Empress Zoe and Harald getting intimate in ‘Vikings: Valhalla’ Season 3, Episode 4 (Credit – Netflix)

I get it; being a man means we are constantly distracted by the visual aspect of a beautiful woman, but we all know that Harald has far more ambition than just being a well-respected warrior in Constantinople while frolicking with Empress Zoe, unbeknown to her husband, the Emperor. But his friends have latched on to the affair and are covering for him, making things far more awkward.

Harald’s indiscretion forces his friends and acquaintances to question his ambition, especially when the Emperor nearly catches him having a quickie with Zoe. Even his uncle questions his hunger, telling him how Freydis killed Olaf in Jomsborg and she is with his child. If Freydis was born to be a leader, then so was he, and I think that’s the point of this episode. Harald needs to wake up.

Empress Zoe seems more concerned about having that Viking energy than being sensible about their positions. It’s dangerous waters for both characters.

Forkbeard arrives in Denmark

Forkbeard in Vikings: Valhalla Season 3 (Credit – Netflix)

Earl Godwin loves his life in Denmark, and to be fair, the vibe is way better than constantly battling with diplomacy with King Canute and Queen Emma. Things get more interesting for Godwin when King Forkbeard arrives. Godwin finally has the opportunity to update the King on the agreement between King Canute and the Pope.

Discussions quickly turn to Harald Harefoot’s desire to become King of England. Forkbeard strongly reminds him that to be a king, you must be ruthless and tougher. It’s not all about waiting for lineage. Being in line with the King is different from becoming the King, a theme that runs through Episode 4.

King Canute shows his strong leadership with Edward

King Canute and Prince Edward on horses in Vikings: Valhalla Season 3, Episode 4

King Canute gives Prince Edward some words of wisdom (Credit – Netflix)

If I were King Canute, I may have killed Edward. He cannot disrespect his mother, Queen Emma, with disloyalty and resentment, especially when her decisions saved her sons. King Canute reminds Edward of this when asking him for a horse ride.

Prince Edward is initially nervous, believing that King Canute will kill him when his guards leave him. Canute reminds Edward of his power and explains how “kings are made,” forming a similar conversation to Forkbeard’s with Harefoot. He asks Edward to treat his mother respectfully.

King Canute thinks he can inspire the younger men in his life, and simply killing Edward would have been unnecessary. He wants Edward to become a man and prove to be a king for the future rather than expect to be a king. This was a great scene in Episode 4.

Freydis’ plan to leave Jomsborg is clever

Freydis devises a plan to escape Jomsborg as Magnus arrives (Credit – Netflix)

Freydis knows she does not have the warriors to take on Magnus’ assault on Jomsborg, so she must think outside the box in order to leave the place. It’s established in Episode 4 that Magnus Haraldsson wants to retrieve his father’s body, Olaf, and also end the Pagan age. He also admitted to being behind the poison that nearly killed the entire village, including Freydis. But if Olaf found it difficult to defeat Freydis, why did he expect to find it so easy?

When Magnus reaches Jomsborg, he finds it empty. He’s immediately disrespectful, urinating on Pagan shrines and acting socially reckless. They find a woman, seemingly suffering from being poisoned, who claims Freydis died of sickness and that Olaf’s body is in The Valley of the Dead, where the other dead Christians go.

Of course, this “poisoned woman” is Freydis, but Magnus falls for it and asks her to lead him to The Valley of the Dead.

Magnus and his fleet soon learn it’s a trap and that the people in the town of Jomsborg are all pretending to be dead. Freydis’ people carry out sneak attacks and steal Magnus’ boats to get away from Jomsborg.

Fuelled by anger, Magnus chases Freydis through the woods, but this leads to the cliffside to another trap. Magnus’ men are on the last boat chasing Freydis’ people. Freydis sets off a mechanism that releases large rocks off the cliff to destroy the last remaining boat. Freydis swims to her people’s boats, who are leaving Jomsborg for good. It’s time to find a new home.

As for Magnus, he’s trapped on Jomsborg, with no way of getting off it.

I loved this escape plan. While it was apparent that Freydis was pretending to be a poisoned woman, it still represented how Freydis was clever and tactical in war.

Read More Season 3 Explanations: Episode 3 | Episode 5

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