Vikings: Valhalla – Season 2 Episode 8 Recap, Review & Ending Explained

The Reckoning

Episode 8 of Vikings: Valhalla season 2 starts over at the Coast of Pomerania. Olaf feeds Jorundr and tries to get intel out of him. Olaf is cunning, and points out he’s only after killings Jomsborg’s leader, Harekr, in order to help trade. He suggests a “divine intervention” so Jorundr can step up and become leader. This certainly piques his interest.

Naturally, Olaf shows up on the coast of Jomsborg and speaks to Freydis, pointing out he’s there for her son given he’s a Christian. Things are tense, but Jorundr’s mother makes a big scene and tells Jorundr he’s no son of hers… but also happens to be given a message: “the harbour”.

Does Mariam die?

Meanwhile, our rabble of characters hide out at The Pontic Olbia, an old sacred place for the Ancient Greeks and a perfect rest-stop before heading on to Constantinople. Mariam is unfortunately not doing too well. After telling Leif that she loves him, she passes away.

Just before she does though, Mariam hands over a key, telling Leif that when he arrives at Constantinople he needs to find the Gate of the Lion. On the other side of it, beside the Tower of Belisarius, is her little house. And it now belongs to him. “Use what you learn there wisely.”

What happens in London?

In London, Gytha and Godwin are wed. King Canute tells Emma she needs to put her suspicions behind her and she claims she has. However, she hands over a present for Gytha, which comes in the form of a necklace with that ring on the end. When Godwin finds out, he’s not happy but he bitterly swallows his pride  when he learns she can never take it off; a symbol of his betrayal.

Is Olaf defeated?

Back in Jomsborg, the big fight looks set to begin. Jorundr leads the rabble of Olaf’s men in the open near the siege weapons and immediately turns on them. Jorundr is wounded for his actions, although his group do get a jump on Olaf, signalling that the sentinel has been taken. However, it’s all a ruse. Freydis waits on the edge of the dock but the place is completely abandoned.

All the men stay on their boats and don’t make land, which is a pretty stupid move given Freydis has tainted the water with jars of oil, turning the water black. Olaf and Svein watch as Freydis lights a plank of wood and throws it in the water, subsequently killing everyone except Olaf and Svein.

Olaf and Freydis square off and Freydis comes out on top, stabbing Olaf through the chest while Svein watches. As he bleeds out, Olaf tells her that she’s killed a martyr, but with all of Olaf’s men dead and Svein the only survivor, Freydis helps him up and calls him the King of Norway.

How does Vikings: Valhalla season 2 end?

Freydis returns Svein to Aelfgif and asks for peace. She agrees, and on the way out Freydis embraces the idea of being The Keeper of the Faith.

Meanwhile, Harald and the others are greeted by the Emperor Romanos, who has traveled all the way from Constantinople to meet them. It turns out what they were actually delivering isn’t the medallion like Harald first thought but instead Elena, who’s going to be the new Empress. The Emperor hands over a ring to him, telling Harald that he’d be of great service in the future.

The Episode Review

So Vikings: Valhalla bows out with a pretty underwhelming finale that puts the whole season into perspective… and it’s not particularly great. We get Harald and Leif sidelined the entire time on this quest over to Constantinople and by the end Harald seems to have forgotten what he was even doing there, getting tied up with this Elena character which seems a bit odd given Freydis is still off in Jomsborg. Shouldn’t he be more enthused with getting back to her?

Meanwhile, the battle over at Jomsborg isn’t really a battle after all and instead everyone falls for Fryedis’ trap, with not a single man deciding to do anything to stop Freydis from lighting that plank of wood and throwing it in the water. Not even Olaf shouting “wait? What are you doing? Someone shoot her!” which may have at least gone some way to forgive it. Instead, this feels incredibly contrived. Oh, and it instantly kills every single soldier. Not a single one jumped up on deck or tried to get in the water? I guess not.

And that’s before mentioning the subplot over in London which ultimately goes absolutely nowhere aside from knowing Godwin is a traitor and him being taunted for it with the ring.

Ultimately, this second season feels like a stop-gap for a third season that’s going to be a lot more dramatic. However, this follow-up hasn’t really done a whole lot to instill a sense of excitement, given most of these plots have meandered on. It’s a shame but unfortunately this season is a step-down from last year’s effort.

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

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3 thoughts on “Vikings: Valhalla – Season 2 Episode 8 Recap, Review & Ending Explained”

  1. Dabyce, I thought the same thing when I watched that scene… I think they’re looking at Constantinople, in the distance, but nearer at every second… And Greg, although I had to watch the episode in Spanish, it’s likely that the Roman emperor that goes to say hello to Harald, Leif and the gang, is not Romanos, but Constantine VIII, who had a wife called Helena… Romanos II’s wife’s name was Theophanos and Basil II, successor of Romanos II and co-ruler with Constantine, never got married…

  2. What are Harald and Leif looking at during the last few seconds of the episode? One of them says “Look”, and I can’t tell if it’s the two-masted ship, the clouds, the far shore…???

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