Episode 5 of Vikings: Valhalla begins in Uppsala with Freydis arriving for her pilgrimage. She’s brought inside a temple where she learns more about the Gods. She’s also there to learn her destiny too.
Freydis goes on her spiritual journey, where she finds a seer who promises that if she keeps running then the cries will only grow louder. After this cryptic message, the seer turns into a crow and flies away.
Meanwhile in England, the women in Emma’s council pray as she sits on the throne and braces herself for the Vikings. When they all burst in, Emma demands to talk to Canute. Instead, she gets Olaf and his bloodthirsty men instead.
Just before Edmund meets a nasty fate at the hands of Harald, Canute suddenly interjects and stops the beheading. He promises that if the sword strikes, so too will his against Harald. Understandably he’s livid, and Harald slams his sword down in frustration and takes off.
As Leif tends to the injured Liv, helping to take an arrowhead out of her shoulder, Canute applauds Edmund’s brilliant battle tactics. And not in a sarcastic way either. If Mercia had attacked, the Vikings may well have been defeated.
As it happens, it’s Edmund’s foolhardy, emotionally-charged attack that let him down. Canute though is interested in Emma and quizzes Edmund for more details about her.
Naturally, Canute decides to make a deal with Harald, deciding to try and make him King of Norway. The thing is, Olaf has already decided that his 12 year old son is going to take the throne – a boy he’s hidden from Harald under the pretense that Harald would be granted the throne in due time.
Canute soon rides to Mercia and thanks Streona for not interjecting. They decide to organize a dinner but also to discuss what Streona’s terms are for not attacking him.
This certainly rattles Harald and as he learns about Emma’s riches, he realizes this is where he can find Olaf. Harald shows up at Emma’s chambers and leads her out, straight to dinner with Canute and the others. Olaf isn’t exactly happy she’s there, while tribute is paid to Leif for his part to play in all this. He also manages to repay Freydis’ debts too.
Streona eventually speaks up and decides he wants to rule England in Canute’s absence, believing he’ll be heading back to Denmark soon.
However, everything takes an awkward turn when Canute rasps that there’s a traitor amongst them. And that traitor? Streona. Canute is going to be the next King of England and rule alongside Edmund. Edmund’s job will simply be to keep the nobles in check while Canute will extend his rule.
After the meeting, Leif makes a bold decision and chooses to stick around after all and not head back to Greenland. There’s nothing there for him anymore and with Freydis on a spiritual journey of her own, he’s going to stay with the Vikings.
Meanwhile, Canute manages to bring Emma’s children back to her, allowing them to be reunited and showing his kind side. In the hallway, Godwin offers up his services to Canute, as he continues to flirt both sides of the conflict.
Elsewhere, the Pagan hunter follows the trail of blood all the way to the healer’s hut. With her babe in hand, he admits there are two trails of blood and demands she speak the truth. Unfortunately, a slight shake of the head – given her baby’s life is on the line – is enough for her to give up Yrsa.
Unfortunately the other horse riders surround the healer outside while screams pierce the air. Freydis somehow senses this and hurries off on horseback to catch up. Will she make it in time?
The Episode Review
Vikings: Valhalla delivers another decent episode, albeit one with far less action after the dramatic events on the bridge.
I’m not quite sure why Canute is singing Edmund’s praises now when the scenes we’ve actually been given here see him schooled in the courtyard and taking Emma’s council to almost outwit Canute.
Given history has recorded Edmund as a capable fighter and tactician, it would have been nice to actually see that if the show is adamant on singing these praises.
However, the situation with Leif takes an expected turn, with him deciding to stick around after all.
Likewise, there’s drama with Freydis too as she heads off on her pilgrimage which is actually true to history, believe it or not. Anyway, this works in tandem with the pagan hunters and it’ll be interesting to see how that ties into the main story.
Either way, everything here is left on a precarious knife edge for the next episode.