‘Vikings: Valhalla’ Season 2, Episode 5: Recap & Ending, Explained: Does Harekr Keep Freydis’ Baby Hostage?

Freydis barely escaped the unprecedented attack made by Harekr on the refugees and herself in the fourth episode of “Vikings: Valhalla” Season 2. She is heavily pregnant at this point, and Harekr does not care about her condition or the refugees who moved to Jomsborg in the hopes that Harekr would protect them from Christians. On the other hand, Harald and the entire group on the ship survived an ice dam break in which they lost one of the most crucial members of the group. How will they take their journey forward from here, now that they must face bigger challenges like the Pechenegs tribe? Queen Emma has blood on her hands after killing her innocent lady-in-waiting, Aelfwynn, and making sure Godwin cuts off all the ties he had with her. He conveniently does not resign from his post but makes sure he is around her to remind her of her crime. What does the fifth episode of “Vikings: Valhalla” Season 2 have in store?


Spoilers Ahead

Freydis’s State In Jomsborg

Freydis goes into labor after the gruesome attack made by Harekr and his men on her and the refugees. The refugees in the town right now are confused about what to do at this stage. Freydis forces Gudrid to take her to the temple, where she will give birth on her own in the presence of the gods. Gudrid feels guilty for leaving Freydis alone with towels to fend for herself. Gudrid appeals to Harekr to be lenient on Jorundr and Freydis because people will look up to them. Harekr is on an ego trip about the fact that people should be bowing down to him for sheltering them after their neighbors and families were massacred by the Christians. He strongly believes in the fact that refugees should stay away from his superior tribes. Harekr is adamant about confronting Freydis and Jorundr for betraying his trust. Freydis, meanwhile, is in tremendous pain as she is dealing with the labor on her own, which is her choice. She could not trust anyone from the tribe to help her give birth safely.


Varangians Confront Harald And The Group

Harald and the entire group are yet to recover from the ice dam break that took away Elena’s father when they are hit by another obstacle. The rudder of the ship is broken, and they have to anchor the ship again to repair it. Leif and Harald find an abandoned town, where they head to prepare a new, strong rudder. Meanwhile, the rest of them take a break from all the pain they have suffered through the journey and start preparing food for themselves. They are confronted by a man from the tribe Varangian, who are known to be thieves. The Varangian man Baggi questions them about the real identity of Kurya. It is revealed that Kurya was the brother of Khan, who leads the Pechenegs. Kurya’s wife was forcefully married off to Khan, and his brother raped her in front of him and blinded him. Kurya’s sympathetic wife set her husband free, and Khan killed her brutally for that act. Kurya since then has been on the run, and Khan placed a bounty on him ever since. The Varangian man goes back, but the entire group knows he will come back with more men. The slave trader confronts Kurya about his identity, and he doesn’t deny it.

The Cold War Between Godwin And Queen Emma

Godwin has not resigned from his post, and Queen Emma has not asked him to leave his position either, but the cold war between the two prominent figures in the court is palpable. Queen Emma is sure her suspicions would have some sort of proof, while Godwin stays true to his words, which are that he has no connection to the assassination attempt on the Queen. Emma goes to find out more information about “Bear,” who was named by the assassin. On the other hand, Princess Gytha, niece of King Canute and Emma’s lady-in-waiting, offers her condolences to Godwin, which he finds heartwarming. Godwin though is drowning in the pain of losing Aelfwynn. 


Does Harekr Keep The Baby Hostage? Will Jorundr Help Freydis Escape With Her Kid? 

Leif finally reveals to Harald that Freydis is pregnant with his child,  despite the fact Freydis asked Leif not to reveal this news to him. Harald feels blank at this moment, and he does not know how to react to this news because Freydis is far away in another land altogether while Harald is trying to figure out ways to get back to Norway. Varangian men come back to target everyone on the ship. As they get the Varangian men drunk, the slave trader breaks away from his compartment, where he was tied as a hostage. The Varangians realizes this is a trap to kill them, for the slave trader is all set to sell Kurya for a handsome sum. Elena, meanwhile, shows the Varangian men the necklace that is a key to entering Constantinople without prior permission. The necklace had belonged to Elena’s father, who had given it to her. They are not intrigued by the necklace as much as they are by Kurya. The Varangian men are killed almost instantly by Leif and Harald. The slave trader is murdered by the women whom he had purchased, and he is thrown off the ship into the water. Everyone on the ship right now feels relieved by the fact that the slave trader is dead, as are the men who were trying to steal from them. The women finally feel free from the man who had kept them captive for god knows how many days. They will now taste freedom and the perks that come with it. Nobody is sad to let go of the third casualty of this trip. Queen Emma in England finally found a lead that would help her frame Godwin. She learns from her spies that Godwin did meet someone named “Barr” and gave him a handsome amount. Emma figures this man would be her key to nailing Godwin to the coffin and taking him out of court.

In Jomsborg, chaos ensued following the attack on the refugees, and since Freydis has gone into labor. Freydis finally gives birth to a baby boy inside the temple. She names her kid after Harald. She is happy to know her kid will carry forward her as well as Harald’s legacy. Harekr takes this as an opportunity to take her son and declare him as someone who will change the face of Jomsborg, and to be raised in Jomsborg as its chosen son. Harekr informs the town that Freydis is sick after the delivery, and she will probably not survive the night. Harekr probably wanted to keep her son as either a punishment or because he could never produce an heir with his wife. Harekr has no sense of morality and offers plain lies to his people. His declaring her son as the chosen surely irks Jorundr. Jorundr, though, offers apologies for falling in love with a woman from the refugees’ tribe, and Harekr gives him the task of killing Freydis. This is a task to showcase his loyalty toward his tribe. Jorundr heads to the temple with poisoned food to meet Freydis and offers her help to escape the town. She refuses to leave the town without her child. Jorundr promises to come back with her child. As Jorundr helps Freydis and her son escape Harekr, they are surrounded by Harekr’s men in the middle of the night in a forest just outside the gates of Jomsborg. Jorundr is taken captive again, but Freydis escapes and leaves her child behind. The whole exercise put forward by Harekr was to see if Jorundr would remain loyal to him or not. Freydis must die so that she does not reveal Harekr’s game plan on how to treat refugees in his land. He cannot afford to lose the support of his people or the fact that many consider him a messiah for saving them from Christian persecution. Freydis is a threat to him on the path of becoming the savior. Freydis, though, is alive, but the child remains captive with Harekr.


Final Thoughts

“Birth and Rebirth” pushed the narrative ahead, but the screenplay does not come together properly. The fifth episode of “Vikings: Valhalla” Season 2 seems like a mishmash of everything. Even though this episode was 45 minutes long, the narrative was everywhere. I wish the editing and screenplay were clearer on what the writers wanted to convey or how much they wanted to convey. It is sad to watch a series that had so much potential but became the victim of a shoddy screenplay.

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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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