Vikings: Valhalla – Season 2 Episode 4 “The Thaw” Recap & Review

The Thaw

Episode 4 of Vikings: Valhalla season 2 starts with us off in the frozen land with the convoy. The ice begins to creak and rumble; an ominous sign of the future. The ice dam could well be breaking and if it does collapse it’ll consume them all. Kurya suggests they wait for it to pass and stop for a day or so but Harald refuses, believing they should load up and head out, believing they can outpace it.

In London, Emma confronts Godwin about his relationship with Aelfwynn. Godwin knows a good deal about her but when Emma brings up the assassin and his relationship to her, he seems genuinely surprised. However, Emma is slipping further into paranoid waters and she decides to torture Aelfwynn for answers, believing it’ll make Godwin talk.

Godwin warns Aelfwynn what Emma has planned and that her questioning will not be a simple matter and she needs to be ready for that. And it doesn’t take long for Aelfwynn to drown in fear. She’s chained up to the ceiling as the torturer prepares to have his way with her. He takes her fingers one at a time first. There are whispers of Godwin’s son becoming King and a bright future together but beyond that, Aelfwynn doesn’t say much and she eventually dies from her injuries.

Godwin is furious when he finds out. He confronts Emma and points out she’s taken the one good thing from his life. There’s bound to be repercussions for this.

Over in Jomsborg, Jorundr feeds back to his Mother what Freydis has been up to. Harekr is not going to approve of Freydis getting friendly with the refugees but he shrugs, claiming that it may be time for a change.

Speaking of change, Olaf decides to leave having received word of Harald in Novgorod. He believes this is just the time to get the jump on them. He also learns that Freydis is not with them. Naturally, Svein is to tag along as well.

Out on the ice, the boat falls into the freezing water and appears to be stuck. The only solution is to try and lighten the load in order to free it, along with using logs and ingenuity (not to mention hard graft) to get it out.

Time is of the essence and they need to be careful because they could well be consumed by the on rushing ice dam breaking we’ve been warned about. If that wasn’t enough, once night falls the water will freeze and if the boat is caught in the water, it’ll be lost. Thankfully they manage to get it out the lake… but there’s a bigger problem. The ground beneath them is starting to fill with water. The ice dam has broken.

The group work together to free the horses and get on the boat before the water consumes them all. There are a few casualties along the way from those who fall in the ice and drown, including Elena’s father. Harald promises Elena that he’ll deliver his cargo, having moved the chest into his belongings.

Over in Jomsborg, the raid returns but there’s a problem. Harekr has been lost after a big storm has decimated their forces. Freydis decides they should enact a sacrifice to bring about their safe return, and leads many of the people into the forest to an area the refugees have turned into a gift for the Gods. It seems to work too, as Harekr returns with his men. However, he’s not exactly happy about Freydis taking all the men and women into the woods to pray.

Harekr grabs Jorundr and believes he’s been betrayed. He points out that the refugees are beneath them and they’re supposed to work for them, not with them. And just like that, Harekr shows his true colours and has a whole swathe of refugees killed. Although Freydis tries to escape their wrath, telling Harekr that he’s angered the Gods, the leader of Jomsborg doesn’t care and walks away while Freydis is kept captive.

The Episode Review

Everything is starting to heat up now and Freydis has finally discovered what a lot of us have known for several episodes now. Jomsborg is certainly not a safe haven. Freydis is caught in the midst of dangerous people and it seems like she’s about to face Harekr’s wrath.

Meanwhile, the group off toward Constantinople run into trouble on the ice, offering a nice perspective from Harald and Leif who share some good moments together as they try to save their ship from its predicament. It’s a nice moment and hearing the infamous “fortune favours the bold” quote, which helps kick Harald into action, is a nice touch too.

This second season has been a decent watch so far and with lots of moving parts, along with plenty of action throughout, there’s lots to like.

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You can read our full season review for Vikings: Valhalla season 2 here!

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