Vikings: Valhalla – Season 1 Episode 7 “Choices” Recap & Review

Choices

Episode 7 of Vikings: Valhalla starts with Harald confessing his love to Freydis. Harald even intends to give up his title of King of Norway for her.

However, over in Kattegat horns blow as a ship approaches. It’s an ominous scene, with severed heads on pikes, a baby crying and a woman nailed to the mast like a cross. This is a warning from Kare and his people.

When Haakon sees this, she prepares to beef up the defences while Freydis cradles the child. She rides with the other shield maidens to Uppsala where the place is an absolute massacre.

The temple has been burnt while both Leif and Harald believe these hunters are purging the land. They find a group of kids cowering in a hole. It turns out they’ve been kept alive to pass a message on to Freydis – Kare will kill her. Well, not unless Freydis kills him first.

Elsewhere, Canute travels back to Denmark, which leaves England open for an opportunity for Edmund. Only… his plan immediately falls apart when he learns Canute has married Emma, and Canute’s father, King Sweyn Forkbeard, is taking his place on the throne in his absence.

Forkbeard’s first court is a disaster, and it’s enough for Godwin and Edmund to begin conspiring together. That’s something that’s only made more appealing as Godwin is made the new Jarl of Wessex after killing the current noble in charge.

Godwin and Edmund meet with the nobles in secret and strike a pact to support Edmund rather than the Viking kings. With them all pledging their allegiance, both Edmund and Godwin ride back… but walk right into a trap. A trap placed by Godwin, including a tripwire that Edmund falls off.

Godwin chooses to keep his pledge to Canute and the Vikings, killing Edmund. The other nobles believe this is an act of God but the truth is, of course, hidden from view.

Emma checks the body later on and realizes this is a coup. That night, he arrives to see Emma, who challenges what happened. The thing is Forkbeard brushes it aside and reminds her that only one King can rule.

However, the Queen of Denmark, Aelfgifu, shows up with her fleet hiding just out of reach. She challenges Forkbeard and even threatens to switch the fleet and allow them to travel under Olaf’s flag if she doesn’t get her way.

She controls a pretty powerful naval fleet and that means the future of Norway is hanging in the balance. If Olaf takes Norway then the entire North is threatened.

Emma decides to repay the trust gained by Canute, given he saved her children from Olaf, and teams up with Forkbeard to try and find the fleet. Godwin knows how to play this game and advises Aelfgifu accordingly.

Meanwhile Olaf rides to see Kare, deciding to strike up a loose alliance. He has a price for this though. Kare wants a great church in Kattegat, with a spire that reaches Heaven. Kare also boasts of his exploits to Olaf, including how he’s burnt down Uppsala.

With Olaf lusting for power, they pair join forces. As they toast, Leif and Liv watch from the hilltops and realize this is bad news.

The pair ride back to Kattegat and warn them that Kare and Olaf have joined together. This poses a particularly bad omen on Kattegat, with Harald now having to fight against his own brother. Unfortunately, they have no idea how vast the empire is or how many troops they command together.

As dawn breaks, Harald rides out and meets Olaf, who chuckles and claims the “Prodigal brother has returned.”


The Episode Review

With more politics this time around and brand new characters introduced as well, Vikings delivers another decent episode, one that builds up to a much larger threat to the Viking empire.

Edmund’s death was perhaps inevitable butt it’s increasingly clear that Godwin is not one to be trusted. He’s quite the snake, hiding in plain sight and switching sides willingly.

With no Canute this time, given he’s back in Denmark, the attention falls to Forkbeard and Aelfgifu’s arrival in London.

It looks like we’re gearing up for two fights – one in England and the other at Kattegat – but we’ll have to wait and see how that plays out. For now though, Vikings leaves everything wide open for the finale to come.

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

 

  • Episode Rating
    (3.5)
3.5

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