The Web of Fate
Episode 1 of Vikings: Valhalla season 2 starts with a brutal fight in the woods. Leif dispatches a good number of Viking traitors, running under the banner of Olaf. At his encampment, along the Road to Vingulmork, Leif learns that Olaf has been taken by Forkbeard. In fact, we cut across to Olaf himself and find out that he’s caged naked and surrounded by a big convoy.
Leif heads off on the hunt for Olaf, eventually finding him just before he’s about to be hung. A man named Jorundr appears, knowing exactly who Leif is, and encourages him to drink. Leif promises that Olaf will definitely get what he deserves and walks away.
Olaf is thrown in a cell where Forkbeard shows up and rasps about how he’s a traitor. It turns out Forkbeard has other plans for Olaf rather than the loving embrace of death. Forkbeard intends to put his son, Svein, on the throne and tasks Olaf with being his protector. Although he initially scoffs at the prospect, Forkbeard uses Olaf’s son as a bargaining chip. If Olaf protects Forkbeard’s grandson and guides him on the path to become King, then Forkbeard promises to make sure no harm comes to Olaf’s son.
It turns out Harald is still living with Freydis, out in the wilderness. However, he’s torn between living this quiet life and heading back to Kattegat. Harald is not afraid of Forkbeard but feels like he needs to confront him. Freydis though, is more intent on living a peaceful life and raising their eventual children. It’s not Harald that convinces her to leave though, it’s actually the Seer. This mysterious man shows up and riddles her about signs and the future, carving out what looks like a web in the dirt. He reveals that the cries have not ceased just before she cannot hear them.
In London, word reaches Emma of Normandy that Canute has won two battles. Godwin is concerned abut her security but she reminds him that everything is fine and is confident she’s safe inside the walls. However, she’s very clearly not. In fact, when a man attempts to poison Emma, a big chase ensues through London as guards attempt to take out this man. Although it seems like he manages to slip away, Godwin gets to him first and knocks him out, ordering the man to be taken to the cells.
With Harald and Freydis heading to Kattegat, Olaf throws a curveball in the process, riling up the crowd and informing them that Freydis and Harald are raising an army to combat them. With a chest of gold, he offers money to whoever brings him Harald.
Leif watches all of this unfold from the shadows, including word of the “Keeper of the Faith” out of hiding and down by the shore. Bounty hunters find her and word reaches Forkbeard’s camp. Leif follows and manages to take out the hunters, eventually reuniting with Harald and Freydis.
Leif warns that Kattegat is a lost cause and with a price on both their heads, they’re not safe – especially returning to Kattegat. Instead, they head off in the opposite direction, which is perhaps just as well given Olaf and a whole bunch of men are not far behind.
Funnily enough, Jorundr shows up and it turns out he’s actually a pirate. He implores them to come with him if they want to survive. Although they’re initially resistant, Freydis notices he sports a tattoo on his arm that looks strangely similar to the web mark that the Seer marked out for Freydis.
Freydis decides to trust him and they all head down to the coast together. The Greenlanders are there too, a rabble group we met earlier in the episode attempting to leave the coast but stuck with weak boats that won’t last the trip. Freydis decides to make a stand and help them.
Word reaches Olaf of where the Greenlanders along with Harald and the others are hiding and they scramble down the coast. The beach is not well protected and there’s nowhere to hide. Th group are surrounded on all sides and it seems there’s no way out. Olaf gives the command to kill them all… until fireballs suddenly rain down from the sky. It’s Jorundr! He returns at the opportune moment and manages to save them all, a wall of fire separating Olaf’s forces from Harald’s.
Freydis is separated from Harald and Leif, deciding to join Jorundr while the latter pair head off on their journey toward Novgorod
The Episode Review
Vikings: Valhalla is back and the first episode wastes absolutely no time picking up where we left off. Freydis and Harald are thrown back into the mix again, while Olaf is forced to work with Forkbeard for the safety of his own son. However, you just know he has his own scheme somewhere up his sleeve.
The battle lines have been drawn though and no doubt Emma’s subplot will feature heavily in the overarching story for this season.
With the promise of more action on the horizon, along with our characters – namely Freydis – attempting to fulfill their destiny, it’ll be interesting to see where this one goes next.
You can read our full season review for Vikings: Valhalla season 2 here!