Vikings: Valhalla – Season 1 Episode 3 “The Marshes” Recap & Review

The Marshes

Episode 3 of Vikings: Valhalla begins in Kent, with the Vikings raiding a settlement. It’s a bloodbath, with a Christian priest killed with a spear, while outside Leif and Harald work together to hold off the troops.

Olaf meanwhile, finds a bunch of women hiding under the floorboards, including the Mistress of Kent. On her knees before the bloodied Vikings, she tells them all that Aethelred is dead and has been for 10 days. His son Edmund is on the throne, so the attention turns instead to killing Edmund.

Edmund continues to skirmish with the various soldiers inside his castle, but of course this is nothing like a proper battle. Given Edmund’s arrogance, Godwin decides to fight him in the courtyard alone, without the tentative soldiers hanging about.

Godwin makes short work of the boy, schooling him and showing how he’s not ready to fight the might of the Vikings. “I am not your enemy Your Highness, your arrogance is.”

Meanwhile, Freydis rides for her pilgrimage alongside Yrsa. However, a man approaches and draws his sword swinging at them all.

It takes all the group to try and thwart his threat, with Yrsa stabbed and Toke choked out in the process. Freydis jumps on the man’s back with string around his neck, squeezing until he dies. It’s a harsh, brutal fight and one that sees Toke killed and Yrsa with a fatal wound. Around the attacker’s neck happens to be a cross.

This man is a Pagan hunter and with him now dead, Freydis manages to find a healer to look after Yrsa while she continues on to Uppsala. However, other Pagan Hunters stumble upon their deceased brother, including a man named Kare and set to work trying to find her.

With Queen Emma guiding the council, she warns that they’re to blame for why the Vikings are there and implore the nobles to be ready given there’s a war coming to their doorstop. And wouldn’t you know it, the Vikings are already upon them.

Marshlands stretch on for as far as the eye can see, and Leif is tasked with leading this exhibition to scout the defences and see how well the Englishmen are held up.  Along their makeshift path, the men hold torches to help light the way.

Unfortunately, it turns out to be a trap and they’re soon attacked by archers from the boats nearby. Thankfully Leif survives and Harald shows up to save him.

They’ve lost six good men, but with the King placing his banner down, taunting then, Leif and Harald work together to blend in with the locals and head to the bridge. There, they find villagers with stacks of food, very clearly preparing for a siege. It also gives them a good opportunity to look at the bridge and possible points to attack from.

With the Vikings scouting the area well, Edmund decides to take the crown for himself and in doing so, rest the fate of England in his rather arrogant and misguided hands. As the coronation gets underway, Emma is concerned and believes this is a bad move.

The Episode Review

With Edmund now on the throne and the fate of England hanging in the balance, everything is left wide open for the second half of this season. It’s clear that Leif has figured out a way to attack London and gain the advantage over the Englishmen and it’ll be interesting to see exactly what he proposes or how they go about doing this.

There’s definitely some Vikings vibes in this episode though, with plenty of action, lots of drama and a good deal of tension too across the various plot lines. It remains to be seen what significance Freydis has in this plot though because right now she doesn’t seem to be adding a whole lot to this story.

However, that’s a minor point in what’s otherwise been a rather enjoyable series.

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You can read our full season review of Vikings: Valhalla here!

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