‘Vikings: Valhalla’ Season 3 Summary & Ending Explained: Did Harald And Freydis Reconcile?

Season two of Vikings: Valhalla, the sequel to the cult favorite Vikings, ended on a high. Freydis ended up killing Olaf, who was in  Jomsburg, to take her son Harald away. Harald and Freydis had parted ways and were not on good terms when that happened. Harald and Lief, on their way to Constantinople from the colder regions, were surprised to learn that one of the women on the voyage was the bride meant for Emperor Romanos. Eleana and the Emperor were happy with how Harald cared for the woman and delivered her without harm. Season three is Vikings: Valhalla finale, and it will determine who will stay in power after all.


Spoilers Ahead

Where were Lief and Harald?

Seven years later, after the expedition to Constantinople, Lief and Harald joined hands with Emperor Romanos of the Byzantine Empire to defeat the Emir of Sicily. Lief and Harald were hoping to receive some favors in return to help them get the Kingdom of Norway back from King Svein, the son of King Canute. In Sicily, it was not very hard to penetrate the fortress that was protecting the Emir. Lief, on the other hand, was excited about finding more knowledge in science that would help the world become a better place. He discovered sulfur in large quantities and hoped to make good use out of it. The Emir of Sicily was killed by Harald after the former suggested a man-to-man duel between the two. The emperor was happy with the results, and he could not have been more elated to have Harald on his side. However, Lief was betrayed by General Georgios of the Byzantine Emperor when he used sulfur and fire to kill the remaining members of the Emir’s palace, including his wife and the children. 


Was Freydis happy in Jomsburg?

Seven years later, Freydis and Harald’s son Harald were happy to be part of this community. Freydis was the head of the community formed in Jomsburg, which was one of the last remaining factions that had not converted to Christianity. Freydis had gotten close to the new member of the community in the village named Stigr. However, a few days later, most of the populace had fallen sick, including Freydis and her son. On investigation, it was found that poisonous fungi had been mixed with the flour, leading to a plague-like situation in Jomsburg. Initially, everyone assumed Stigr to be the culprit, but it turns out he knew of the antidote from the forest. This also indicated the fact that someone had infiltrated their community and poisoned the food to eradicate all of them. The doubt was on Magnus, the son of the deceased Olaf Harroldson, who wanted to avenge the death of his father by getting rid of Freydis and her community.

Why was Magnus in Kattegat?

Magnus was the son of Olaf Harroldson, and a Christian fanatic just like his father. Magnus, on his way to Jomsburg, made a pit stop at Kattegat, the capital of the Kingdom of Norway, which was ruled by King Canute’s son Svein. Svein’s mother, Queen Ælfgifu, was the regent, and she was not very keen on welcoming Magnus into their territory. Magnus claimed to be seeking the return of his father’s remains; the Pope had decided to canonize Olaf as a saint. The queen regent knew his ploy was to enter Jomsburg and wreak havoc on Freydis and her people. Queen Ælfgifu had promised peace between her and Freydis’ people, and she was in no mood to destroy that pact and cause further tension. 


How did Freydis save her and the clan from being killed?

Freydis knew the person who poisoned the community would be back to find out who survived. Magnus’s messenger on return from Jomsburg claimed very few people were alive in the community. Magnus and his men found the town abandoned. They only spotted a very sick Freydis and forced her to help Magnus locate the remains of his father. As Magnus’ men moved into the forest, the townspeople emerged from  their secret hiding and used the boat that brought Magnus there to escape from Jomsburg. All of them escaped before Magnus and his men could catch up, and Freydis destroyed their last remaining fleet. 

What happened in Constantinople?

Things between Empress Zoe and Harald were heating up as they began an affair. Empress Zoe was responsible for offering one of the highest military awards to Harald and General Georgios after the victory in Sicily. This brought Harald closer to the emperor, which was an easy way for the Queen and the Norwegian to get intimate with each other one too many times. At one point, the Emperor also revealed he knew of the affair between Harald and his wife and would not react to it since he wanted an heir to the throne. 


Meanwhile, animosity between Georgios and Harald was also increasing, as both intended to be powerful by being the support system the Emperor Romanos required. On the night of Romanos’ conversation with Harald about wanting an heir, the Emperor was killed by the woman he was with in bed. Since Harald was found at the scene of the crime, Georgios took this opportunity to arrest him and seize the power of the Byzantine Empire. Harald was imprisoned and sentenced to public execution, as it was obvious the general wanted to get rid of his competition. 

Why was Lief in Greece?

Lief had left Constantinople long before the emperor’s death. He was in search of a complete map that would bring him closer to a land near his home country, Greenland. It was only this map that indicated the presence of a ‘Golden Land’ near Greenland. On reaching Greece, Lief ran into Callinicus, who initially claimed he was not aware of such a map but later helped him find a larger version of it. Callinicus claimed the map he’d drawn would be rejected by the Christian world, and as a result, he’d kept the artifact for himself. This was the closure Lief was seeking, and soon he was on his way back to his roots, which were Kattegat and Jomsburg, in the hope of reuniting with his people.

What was King Canute’s plan for succession?

King Canute and his wife, Queen Emma, learned that the monarch was sick and may not be around for long. This raised the question of succession: who among his boys would rule the kingdom after his death? King Canute had three sons, and Queen Emma had two sons from her marriage, and they hoped they would be made king since their mother was a good influence on her husband.

Canute organized a large gathering to which he invited his sons and Emma in the hope of revealing the big news about the succession. Canute revealed that Harthacnut, his son from Emma would be the King of Denmark, with Harold Harefoot as his regent. Canute’s and Queen Ælfgifu’s son Svein, would continue to be the King of Norway. However, Emma’s older son, Edward, Duke of Normandy, was asked to go back to their foster care. Queen Emma would rule as the female regent of England after Canute’s passing. As all the children were parting ways, Queen Emma also revealed she intended to put Edward on the throne, and she wanted him to wait for the right time. 


Did Harald save himself from being executed?

Harald had to escape execution, create a distraction in the palace, and set himself free. General Georgios proclaimed himself the emperor and married Empress Zoe. He was shocked to see Harald in the courtyard as a man free from his shackles and decided to have one-to-one combat. This combat had predictable results, as General Georgios died at the hands of Harald. There was no conclusion in regards to his relationship with Zoe, but his ordeal in Constantinople made him quit life in the city and move back and seek the throne of Norway, which he believed was rightfully his. 

Where did Freydis find refuge after fleeing from captivity?

Freydis initially sought the help of her father, Erik the Red, for temporary shelter for her people in Greenland, her hometown. Soon, she realized her father was swindling her and her people and would refuse to let her go. He also separated Freydis from her son, Harald, and never let her meet Stigr. It was Freydis’ mother who saw the fire her daughter had in her to save her people and let her go without the permission of her husband. This led to a falling out between Freydis and her father, and her aim now was to seek boats to get her people to another land. She approached Queen Ælfgifu, who offered her the boats abandoned by Lief. Freydis was forever grateful to Queen Ælfgifu for not wavering from their treaty, and she stayed back in Kattegat for a few more days. Little did she know things would soon fall apart for her. 


How did Lief and Harald meet?

Lief, during the course of his time in Kattegat, learned from Magnus’ priest about the tragic death of his half-sister Freydis. He planned to take his revenge by killing. Lief learned from several people about Magnus being an evil man. Olaf’s son had killed and disfigured one of the Freydis’ men and passed it off as his father Olaf’s body. This was done to boost his ego and create a sense of fear about himself. Lief, on his way to seek Magnus, ran into Harald, who was back in Norway after his failed stint in Constantinople. Both friends reunited with the sole purpose of seeking Magnus and killing him. However, the makers did not illustrate Harald’s exit from Constantinople.

Who became the King of England?

King Canute had died, as expected. Before his death, he required his close confidante, Godwin, to remain loyal to Emma. Godwin was married to the royal family through Gytha, Canute’s niece. Godwin did intend to put his child on the throne, and his first step was to discreetly back Prince Harold Harefoot and use him to become the most powerful man in the country. Before Canute’s death, all his English allies stood by the monarch’s plan to make Queen Emma his successor. However, soon after Canute’s death, Godwin convinced Emma to put Edward on the throne and rule through him to retain the support of the lords and earls of England. This manipulation was blatant, and it was very uncharacteristic of Emma to give in to Godwin. He never sent the letter to her son Prince Edward, Godwin invited Prince Harold Harefoot and placed him on the throne of England. 


Emma was shocked at how she let Godwin brainwash her into believing he worked for the betterment of the crown. She realized, as a regent, that she would have to weed Godwin out of Prince Harald’s mind, which would help her retain power. She offered to marry Prince Harold Harefoot, which would mean nothing would change as the crown would remain in the family. This was Emma’s power move to put Godwin’s plans on the back foot. Prince Harald agreed to marry his widowed stepmother in the hope that the children born from this union could take their legacy forward. 

Did Magnus become the King of Norway?

Magnus was unstoppable at this point, and his intentions were slowly understood by King Svein and his family. King Svein wanted to get rid of Magnus, but tragically, all his guards had become turncoats—and killed their monarch brutally. Magnus entered the court of Kattegat, and the Queen was shocked to find her son had not only been killed, but all the men in the court were now under Magnus’ power. Magnus did not think twice before killing Queen Ælfgifu. He planned to kill Svein’s wife as well, but she shared the information about Freydis’s whereabouts in exchange for her and her child’s lives. 


Did Harald and Freydis reconcile?

Magnus had taken over the throne of Norway, and to his surprise, Harald was back in Kattegat, staking his claim to the throne. Harald could not stand Magnus, but he had to show up to display his power as a master swordsman to put his own kin on the back foot. Since both belonged to the same family and had equal claims, the members of the court made them co-rulers. Magnus was okay with this decision, but he would surely get rid of Harald when given the time and opportunity. Harald would do the same only because he learned Magnus killed his ex-lover and mother of his son Freydis. 

Freydis was presented to the court, in a stunt Magnus pulled to unsettle Harald, expecting some reaction that would force the court to dismiss him as co-ruler. They decided to burn her alive by claiming her to be a witch. On the day of her execution, Lief discreetly created an atmosphere of fear by burning all the houses down as people gathered to watch Freydis being executed. Everyone assumed it was Freydis who was using her power over the old gods and had invited their wrath by starting the fire all over. 


This was the only way to distract Magnus and make people believe his faith was not as strong as Freydis’. Magnus panicked, which only led to Freydis being rescued by Lief and forced away to the forests. Freydis was livid, but the decision to keep her away from Magnus was right because she would be executed for killing the monarch of Norway, and Harald never wanted that fate for her. Harald was smart and led Magnus to believe things had gone out of hand. Harald had to ask her to leave Norway with Lief and move to Iceland, the ‘Golden Land’ that he was seeking. Harald and Freydis did not reconcile as a couple, as they realized both were equally strong-headed and could not make compromises. Harald had his agenda, and so did Freydis. They had to move away from each other, as this was the only way to make their world prosper in their fashion. Harald respected her faith, and so did she, which was why it was essential for them to stay apart. 

Vikings: Valhalla finale ended with Lief and Freydis moving away to Iceland in the hope of having a prosperous life without anyone interfering with their faith. Harald, the true heir to the throne, had Magnus arrested and took over the throne and the kingdom as the only ruler of the land. We were not aware of how things ran back in the 11th century, but it was weird to see soldiers changing their allegiance as if they were changing clothes. King Harald should not be trusting such people. He had to make those moves before Magnus killed him. Harald’s show of power was to challenge the people who questioned his legitimacy. He now renamed himself King Harald Hardrada. 


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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