Birth & Rebirth
Episode 5 of Vikings: Valhalla season 2 begins with Freydis about to give birth. While in labour, she leaves the Temple, shrugging off help from the women and the guards, refusing to allow any of them to help. After towels are dropped off for her, she decides to go it alone in the presence of the Gods. Eventually Freydis does give birth, alone, and decides to name her child Harald.
Meanwhile, the voyage to Constantinople continues, as Mariam helps teach Leif how to read and write. However, the rudder ends up breaking and they need a metal band to hold it together. They need to take a detour to Kodak, which happens to hold a forge in the distance. It’s reachable over the mountain in a few hours, so for now it seems it’s side-quest time.
When they show up, Leif and Harald find the place completely ransacked and a complete state. So much for a thriving market; there’s no one there but the tools needed are enough for the pair to work and get it up and running again. Whilst there, Leif reveals that Freydis is pregnant and she has been for a while. Harald is not happy that Leif lied to him.
However, in their absence a man shows up and notices the boat. He questions where they’re going before announcing that his name is Baggi. He knows more than he’s letting on, eventually pointing out that Kurya is actually the Khan’s missing brother. There’s a bounty on his head too, which perks up our slave owner, Gestr, who believes there’s more money to be had and could well betray them all.
In London, Emma prays to the Gods to forgive her for killing Aelfwynn. She’s still hearing her screams in her mind, wracked with guilt over what’s transpired. Godwin too is also mourning, and Princess Gytha shows up with some flowers outside, offering words of consolation to the Earl for his pain.
Back in Jomsborg, Harekr shows up and breaks into the temple. He takes Freydis’ knife and holds her up by the throat, taking the babe for himself. Freydis tries to fight him off but she’s way too weak to do it. Harekr decides the child is his, the “son of the Chosen One” and that he’s destined for Jomsborg.
Jorundr is not happy with this, especially when his father gives a speech to the whole crowd, bringing up that Freydis is gravely ill and may not make it. Jorundr feels pushed out of the hierarchy.
Jorundr does eventually show back up to see his father, who gives him a task to kill Freydis to prove his worth. Harekr sees her as a threat, especially as she has power and influence over the refugees. With Freydis dead, they’d be lost without her and Jomsborg can continue to thrive with their new babe.
After poisoning her food, Jorundr shows up to see Freydis at the temple. She ambushes him but he eventually comes around, telling her not to touch her food and promising to bring back her son.
Back by the boat, the group entice Baggi and his men to return and drink their wine, claiming the slave owner has been killed. Unfortunately, their plan comes undone when more men show up and discover Gestr tied up in the brig. Baggi and his men get the upper-hand, but Elena shows off her necklace, which happens to be a trinket that allows safe passage to Constantinople. As they debate, the tide is turned when Harald and Leif return with the rudder – and weapons.
With Baggi killed, the slaves kill Gestr outright and take the boat for themselves, each taking it in turns to stab him in the neck.
Meanwhile, Jorundr takes the babe and feigns Freydis’ death, wrapping her up in a large cloth and claiming that she’s now dead. He loads her up on a horse and cart and takes off. Jorundr hears something out in the forest and unfortunately it happens to be Harekr. He shows up with all his men surrounding him. He knows Jorundr has betrayed him and intends to get rid of him and Freydis together.
Harekr immediately smacks Jorundr in the neck, winding him. As for Freydis, she happens to be out in the woods, hiding, having left little Harald in the cart.
The Episode Review
Things don’t look good for Freydis who finds her situation turn from bad to worse. She’s now caught in the middle of a giant bear trap that threatens to slam shut at any second and cause serious problems for her and little Harald.
This second season is certainly a compelling watch and the side quest off getting the rudder allows for Leif and Harald to have some nice moments together.
There’s a good blend of action and drama here too and the colourful array of characters certainly help make this an enticing watch.
You can read our full season review for Vikings: Valhalla season 2 here!