‘Vikings: Valhalla’ Season 3, Episode 5 Recap: Freydis Reunites With Her Father While Canute Thinks About His Legacy

By Daniel Hart
Published: July 11, 2024
View all
George Maniakes and Harald in Vikings: Valhalla Season 3, Episode 5
George Maniakes has finally got Harald where he wants him in 'Vikings: Valhalla' Season 3, Episode 5 - "Greenland" (Credit - Netflix)




The story is picking up at breakneck speed, but that’s okay if it keeps its integrity.

You can almost tell this is the third and final season of Vikings: Valhalla—the story is moving at an alarming speed. This makes for good action but makes you wonder if the story will hold its integrity. The characters’ lives hang in the balance as they reach the closure of their stories. Here’s my recap and explanation of Season 3, Episode 5, “Greenland.”

Freydis reunites with her father, Erik the Red, but something is not quite right

Erik the Red in ‘Vikings: Valhalla’ Season 3 (Credit – Netflix)

Before Freydis arrives in Greenland, context is given. Under Erik the Red’s leadership, the people are suffering from famine — food shortages are apparent, and they are ready to be aggressive with the traders the next time they visit.

It’s almost as if Freydis’s arrival with her people in Greenland was an opportunity for Erik the Red, which makes the joyful reunion between him and his daughter feel a little sinister. He wants her for more than just a father-daughter relationship.

Erik the Red’s face says everything when Stigr announces that their stay will be short, as Freydis and her people plan to go further west and look for the “Golden Land,” the place that Leif continually searches for. Erik is against the idea, asking her to stay and not trust Leif’s theory. But we all know what Freydis is like. When she has a vision, she sticks by it. She trusts it.

Freydis’s unlucky run continues—not only has she lost Jomsborg, but she now faces the prospect of struggling with her father for leadership. What I found most fascinating is the obvious conflict etched on Erik’s face. He looks willing to betray his daughter to improve his people’s chances in Greenland.

Leif finds the mapmaker, but he’s left disappointed

Broken map in Vikings: Valhalla Season 3, Episode 5

The broken map in ‘Vikings: Valhalla’ (Credit – Netflix)

Leif represents the time when science was enough, and it hits him in the face in Episode 5. He makes it to Corfu and finally meets the mapmaker Calinicus, who initially denies being the creator of the broken map.

However, in private, Calinicus tells Leif that he did draw the map, but he keeps his mapmaking private as it is treated as heresy by the church as his works show the world to be round, and there is no Garden of Eden.

The mapmaker inserts the broken map into his giant map, confirming that it is part of Greenland and further showing that there is the “Golden Land” that Leif desperately seeks. But this is where the disappointment arrives; Calinicus tells Leif that his map does not prove anything as he has never visited the unknown lands. Leif would need to find the land himself to prove his intuition.

You have to feel for Leif here. He’s spiritually guided by visions and dreams. He wants to believe what he thinks he has seen, and he wants there to be 100% undeniable proof. Unfortunately, that’s not how geography works, even back then.

Canute is dying

Queen Emma comforts her husband, King Canute, in ‘Vikings: Valhalla’ Season 3, Episode 5 (Credit – Netflix)

As I say, this story is moving at a pace. Once we see King Canute’s hand shaking and his wife, Queen Emma, looking at it with sympathy, you know they are facing death’s door. Canute is dying, so now is the time to consider his legacy. Gone has his desire for brute force – he wants a future for his family that represents their histories.

He asks all his sons to meet him at Kattegat to get the ball rolling. This is the beginning of King Canute’s end, and I have to say, how they deal with this character’s end of life is brilliant.

Harald gets himself into serious trouble

Harald in Vikings: Valhalla Season 3, Episode 6

Harald with a gold mask on in ‘Vikings: Valhalla’ Season 3, Episode 5 (Credit – Netflix)

Should we sympathize with Harald at this stage? Surely, he knew his tendency to be influenced by women would go against him, especially Emperor Romanos, who is loved in Constantinople.

Harald is invited to a party where he must wear a golden mask. A woman leads him into the back, and he finds Romanos intimate with multiple women. The Emperor tells Harald he knows he has been sleeping with his wife, Empress Zoe. He lets his wife seduce him because he cannot give her a child, and he wants Harald to provide an heir with that respected Viking blood.

But then, the woman who led him into the room slits Emperor Romanos’s throat, killing him. Harald tries to stop the bleeding, but that makes him look even more guilty as there’s blood on his hands.

Of course, his bitter rival, George Maniakes, immediately accuses Harald of killing the Emperor. This is Maniakes’ chance to be rid of Harald once and for all.

But I could not feel sorry for Harald in this situation. He’s unnecessarily risked his and his friends’ lives over an Empress’s seduction. Maniakes was always going to take advantage eventually. Is Harald really that ambitious, or did he get comfortable too much with life in Constantinople?

Harefoot and Godwin betray Forkbeard

Forkbeard before he is betrayed by Godwin and Harald Harefoot (Credit – Netflix)

At first, Forkbeard asks for Godwin’s help — he wants to be the next King of England. But Harald Harefoot thinks this is absurd, especially considering the age of Forkbeard. But Godwin surprisingly agrees, which annoys Harefoot at first.

However, it turns out Godwin was scheming with Harefoot the whole time, and in the middle of the night, Harefoot chokes Forkbeard to death by putting a pillow over him while Godwin watches.

Godwin has put all his chips down on Harefoot as the best choice for the next King of England.

Read More Season 3 Explanations: Episode 4 | Episode 6

Netflix, Streaming Service, TV, TV Recaps
View all