‘Vikings: Valhalla’ Season 2, Episode 3: Recap & Ending, Explained: Did Emma Find Out Who Tried To Poison Her?

Olaf now has a bigger advantage, with Queen Ælfgifu becoming his ally, and he can use this ally as his stepping-stone towards making his son the King of Norway one day. Olaf is a shrewd man, and no one underestimates his strength and mind. Harald and Leif, on the other hand, have found a way to gain some extra money to raise an army. Leif is haunted by Liv and cannot seem to get over her. Freydis, on the other hand, becomes a priestess in the town of Jomsborg, which will help her and everyone in the town to restore the faith of the old gods. With things all set for everyone, what will go wrong in the third episode of “Vikings: Valhalla”?

Spoilers Ahead


Leif And Harald’s Preparations

Leif is rescued from the icy cold weather by Mariam, who is an astronomer from Aleppo preparing to head to Constantinople along with Vitomir. Leif is grateful to her for having saved his life from the cold of Russia. Leif hadn’t realized he had reached the rooftop under the influence of opiates. Leif wants to get rid of the hallucinations that are bothering him, and he has tried his level best to distract himself so far. He now finds himself attracted to Mariam, who is as knowledgeable as Liv. Mariam is slightly older than him, but he can’t help but be drawn to her energy. Harald, on the other hand, after getting the order from Vitomir to ship his luggage from Novgorod to Constantinople, is on the lookout to get hold of a ship that is ready to make a long journey. He makes a deal with a slave trader who is shipping three women out of Novgorod. Harald now has the job of recruiting men to help him row the boats when they enter the waters. Harald knows Leif will join him on the voyage, but the whole point of gathering people and getting them safely to Constantinople is to give himself experience dealing with and negotiating with all kinds of people. He is aware he will have to meet thousands of men and women, some of whom will want to join, and others won’t. This is his way of gathering as much experience as he can.


Workings At Jomsburg

After Harekr leaves for another expedition to gather more refugees, Freydis, the priestess, is happy to be serving people who believe in her. Harekr announces that Freydis is pregnant, and the town rejoices over this news. Harekr proclaims this as a blessing that has befallen them from the old gods. What many are not seeing is that these refugees are put to work and carry out menial jobs for the main tribes of Jomsborg. They live in the forest in makeshift tents. Freydis notices that Gudrid does not enter the temple, where everyone worships. She is intrigued to see the way Gudrid acts while she is barely stepping foot in the temple. Freydis trains young men and women of the tribe to defend themselves in case combat befalls them. Freydis is elated to be able to impart all the knowledge she got from Jarl Haakon and several priestesses from Uppsala before it was destroyed. A young girl, Hrefna, from the refugee encampment, is keen on learning the art of sword fighting, which Freydis notices. Freydis is keen on teaching the young girl the same when she is stopped by  Jorundr, Gudrid and the girls’ mother, who claim that Hrefna is not from the clan of warriors, and they need to have a journey to be able to pick up a sword. Freydis sees this as preposterous, for she believes everyone at Jomsburg is a Viking and, therefore, all are eligible to learn sword fighting. This angers Gudrid and Jorundr. Freydis believes in equality, which is why Harekr chose her to be the gudija of the town, even though it is a known fact that she is from Greenland. Freydis doesn’t find anything wrong with teaching the refugees to be good with weapons.


Emma And Her Suspicions

Queen Emma’s suspicions increase, but her and Godwin’s quest to find out who wanted to kill her has reached nowhere. Godwin reveals that the conspirator will surely make a mistake, and that will be his downfall. In the courtyard, Emma watches her lady-in-waiting, Aelfwynn, start weeping while looking at the body being hung publicly. Emma is taken aback by what she witnesses, for the man they had hung was the charred body of the assassin. Queen Emma is now wondering if her lady-in-waiting had anything to do with the assassination attempt because Aelfwynn remains closest to the queen. She starts digging deeper into how the man is related to Aelfwynn without raising any suspicions. Queen Emma is now sure someone close to her is behind the assassination attempt, for they are the only ones who are aware of her day-to-day movements inside and outside the castle. Emma starts her investigation to prove her doubts right.


Does Queen Emma Find Out Who Tried To Assassinate Her? How Is Freydis Able To Break The Rules Of The Land?

Leif realizes the cross he received during the ambush of London is again what helped him survive, this time from freezing to death. He is happy to be in the company of Mariam, and he is told that she is suffering from a terminal illness. Leif is not worried or taken aback at this point by her, but he is intrigued to know such a well-read, well-traveled woman who has gone from east to west and is now heading back to the east. Mariam starts with teaching Leif how to use an astrolabe, a device used by sailors for navigation purposes. This device also shows the time of day and measures the length of the day. Leif realizes Mariam and her knowledge are useful tools that can be used for their voyage. Leif requests that she join him and Harald’s voyage to Constantinople, and on the way, Mariam can teach him various sciences, including mathematics. Leif is intrigued by this woman and cannot seem to let go of her. He also knows she will be of great use because of the information she has about travel, science, and geography.

Harald plans to use a sled to get the boat going on the frozen river. The sled will be pulled by horses. Harald is joined by the trader Vitomir and his help; the slaver and his women; Leif and Mariam, and Harald gets himself the wrestlers who fought with him at the arena, who would be ideal for rowing the boat once they enter the waters. The team is also joined by a blind guide named Kurya, who helps them avoid the Pechenegs, the brutal warrior gangs hanging around the borders and the coast. Kurya is also a Pecheneg who is good with navigation. Now that the team has been formed, they set off on the expedition to reach Constantinople, everyone having a different agenda for why they want to head to that city. Harald is excited about this journey because he is always up for starting something from scratch. As they set out on the journey, every one of them judged the slave trader. As they stop at a point, the trader realizes one of the women he held hostage in the ship has died due to bad air and exposure to the cold. This is the light thrown on the status of women back then who had no one to fall back on. Slave traders would sell women to either prostitution or as laborers in other developed cities of that century. Mariam was one of the few who did not fall into this and pushed herself to gain as much worldly knowledge as possible.

At Jomsborg, Hrefna’ mother complains that she has disappeared. Freydis follows her to the gods worshiped by the native inhabitants of Jomsborg, surrounded by bones so that she can be blessed by their ancestors and Hrefna can become a warrior just like the rest of them. Freydis initially faces resistance from Gudrid and Jorundr, but Freydis has her way by the end of it. She rescues Hrefna and brings her back to her mother, and she realizes a lot of refugees live in makeshift tents. Freydis is still not able to understand why Harekr and his tribe are making the refugees work as slaves on their ground. Freydis sees them as equals and decides to teach them everything she knows about her faith and weapon training. This is a case of women supporting women. Freydis makes sure to help the young girl with everything she wants. Every woman needs to feel empowered, and they should be able to pick up swords or axes to defend themselves from any uncalled attack.

Queen Emma in England starts worrying about the fact that maybe Aelfwynn was the one who plotted to murder her. But Emma is unable to understand what her motives might be for committing such a crime. Her suspicion grew from the fact that the charred dead body hanging up for public view had disturbed Aelfwynn. Emma corners Aelfwynn and starts asking a question about her relation to the man, the assassin. A scared Aelfwynn reveals that he is her half-brother, who disappeared a while back. Seeing him being hung the way he was made her upset. She ends up revealing her engagement to Godwin and how they are awaiting permission to get married from King Canute. Godwin’s name being thrown at her makes her suspect his hand in attempting to assassinate her. Emma always had a hunch that Godwin might be more ambitious than he lets everyone know. His relationship with Aelfwynn is now public, which makes Emma wonder if he got close to her lady in waiting to know more about Emma and her movements. Emma’s mind has now moved toward Godwin, and she needs to gather proof to confirm her suspicions.


Final Thoughts

The third episode, “Pieces of God” fell into a rut of showcasing nothing but beating around the bush and not expanding on the narrative. Even though the show is fictional but based on real characters, there is no air of mystery around any of the characters, for the story of their journey seems predictable. There is no element of surprise so far. This makes “Vikings: Valhalla” hardly an engaging show. The performances of the lead actors do not stand out, for many of them are unable to showcase any emotions we are supposed to feel and to understand the struggles they are going through daily. The third episode is only barely watchable.


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Smriti Kannan
Smriti Kannan
Smriti Kannan is a cinema enthusiast, and a part time film blogger. An ex public relations executive, films has been a major part of her life since the day she watched The Godfather – Part 1. If you ask her, cinema is reality. Cinema is an escape route. Cinema is time traveling. Cinema is entertainment. Smriti enjoys reading about cinema, she loves to know about cinema and finding out trivia of films and television shows, and from time to time indulges in fan theories.

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