The following article contains spoilers for Vikings: Valhalla season 2.
Season 2 of Vikings: Valhalla ended with lots of drama: Freydis and her Jomsvikings managed to fight off an invasion by Olaf’s forces, while Harald and Lief finally reached the outskirts of Constantinople, after a perilous journey that involved going over a literal waterfall. Elena, the young noblewoman they’ve been traveling with turns out to be the future empress of Constantinople, and Harald’s attraction to her may now mean provoking an international incident. Poor Lief has had to bury yet another woman he cares for, though the navigation lessons Mariam taught him—along with her fortune—will certainly change him and his destiny. And in England, Earl Godwin has conned his way into a royal marriage, as Queen Emma fumes about being so capably deceived by her husband’s top advisor.
What could possibly be next for all our Valhalla favorites? Honestly, it seems like almost anything could happen, but here are a few of our best educated guesses about what we might see in Vikings: Valhalla season 3.
What’s Next for the World of Vikings: Valhalla?
Valhalla season 2 greatly expanded the world of the Vikings universe, with major plots taking place everywhere from London to Novgorod to Constantinople. Look for that trend to continue in season 3, as Harald attempts to make a fortune for himself in the heart of the Byzantine Empire and Lief takes the next steps into becoming the adventurer history remembers him as.
“Season 2 is different from season 1 on a bunch of points,” series creator Jeb Stuart says. “It’s a different type of story, but our goal was always to outdo season 1, and our goal for season 3 is to outdo them both.”
Lief’s Losses Will Likely Forge His Future
Poor Lief Erikkson went through it in Vikings: Valhalla season 2. Still reeling from Liv’s death in the season 1 finale, he grappled with rage, disappointment, and despair as he struggled to figure out precisely what he still believed in and what he wanted his future to be. Though he found a fresh start with the kind astronomer Mariam, the fact that he had to say goodbye to yet another woman he loved by the end of the season is the kind of gut punch that would leave anyone in pieces, and the man that he becomes in the aftermath of yet another loss will undoubtedly be very changed.
Where season 2 saw him following in Harald’s footsteps for lack of any better sense of direction, season 3 will likely see Lief chart his own path—literally and figuratively. Historically, there’s no record of Lief Erikkson in Constantinople, but thanks to the fact that Mariam left him her house and belongings, this may well be the way he funds not just his return to Greenland, but the future expeditions that will see him land in North America.
Harald Steps Toward His Destiny
Season 2 ends with Harald’s arrival outside Constantinople, and the realization that the special cargo he was meant to deliver to the emperor wasn’t a fancy jewel, but the woman who was carrying it—his future empress, Elena. (The woman that, of course, Harald has developed something of a thing for.)
Whether he finds a way to steal the emperor’s girl, we do have some idea of what the would-be King of Norway will probably do next—according to the sagas, at this point during his exile, Harald joined the elite Varangian Guard, a group of mighty warriors from Northern Europe who fought battles across many frontiers of the Byzantine Empire. It’s basically the means by which Harald becomes wealthy and thereby funds not only his return to Norway but his campaign to claim its throne.
What that actually means for season 3—whether we’ll see Harald off on various campaigns across the Mediterranean and Asia Minor, or whether the series will skip ahead to his return to Scandanavia remains up in the air. But, with decades still to go before that point in his story, it seems likely we may see Harald on his own for some time next season.
How Far Will Freydis Go In the Name of Her Faith?
Having ended each of Vikings: Valhalla’s first two seasons brutally killing two of her worst enemies—Jarl Kare in the series’ first outing and Olaf Haraldsson in its second—Freydis Eriksdotter has more than proven herself capable of battling any enemy. But the threat she is most likely to face in Valhalla season 3 is a bit more ephemeral. With the steady spread of the Christian religion and her prophesied status as the Last Daughter of Uppsala, one has to assume that whatever her primary arc in the series’ third season might be, it’ll have something to do with her determination to keep the devotion to the old gods and the old ways alive among her people.
Season 2 sees her fully settled into her role as the leader and de facto ruler of Jomsborg, journeying to Kattegat to strike a peace deal with Queen Aelfgifu in exchange for returning her son Sweyn. She’s willing to lay claim to her identity and her prophesied position within Viking society and ends the season in a classic hero’s pose. But will she find a way to protect her people in the face of the Christian armies that want to wipe all pagans out?
Will Harald and Freydis Find Their Way Back To Each Other?
Harald and Freydis are one of Vikings: Valhalla’s central love stories, but season 2 saw the pair reluctantly part ways when each realized their lives were heading in different directions.
“They’re having a wonderful time living in the woods, but it’s a fantasy world, it’s not the real world,” actor Leo Suter, who plays Harald says. “And it’s not the place, really, where either of these great characters are destined to be.”
But although the two spend the entire second season on literal opposite sides of the world, they’re still clearly on each other’s minds, and thanks to the fact that Freydis gives birth to Harald’s son, the two will always share a destiny of sorts. But as to whether they’ll find their way back to each other—or who they’ll be if they do, is anyone’s guess.
“It’s gut-wrenching to have to say goodbye, but Harald’s got to go down a river and get to Constantinople,” Suter says. “There’s no going back and he can’t go in the other direction. And once he’s said his farewell, he knows that, yeah, maybe one day they’ll see each other again, but he’ll be a different man. He’ll be Hardrada.”
What’s Next for Canute, Emma, and the English Court?
To be fair, England was the least interesting location in Valhalla season 2, and its stories largely focused on Emma’s (completely understandable) mistrust of Godwin, and the scheming earl’s plan to worm his way into the royal family. (He ends up marrying Canute’s daughter Princess Gytha after his supposed first love, Aelfwynn, is tortured to death by a suspicious Emma.)
Historically speaking, Godwin’s plans turn out fairly well for him, as his and Gytha’s son bears a name you might recognize: Harold Godwinson, the last Anglo-Saxon king of England. But we’re still decades away from the Norman conquest, so perhaps season 3 will see Godwin plotting to remove more potential obstacles,
Will Season 3 Be the Series’ End?
Vikings: Valhalla was initially renewed for a second and third season simultaneously, and both have already been shot, so we knew coming into season 2 that it wouldn’t be the end of Lief, Freydis, and Harald’s respective journies. But as to what comes after season 3…well, that’s less certain. It could be that the show was always meant to be a trilogy, and creator Jeb Stuart will find some way to condense the multiple decades of history before the Viking era essentially ends at the Battle of Stamford Bridge into one final eight-episode season. (Though the very idea sounds both exhausting and basically impossible.)
But given how successful Valhalla has reportedly been for Netflix, there’s every reason to hope we’ll see it continue well beyond its already contracted third season. This theory is further supported by the fact that two major new characters—-Leif and Freydis’s father Erik the Red and famous Byzantine general George Maniakes (to be played by Goran Visnjic and Florian Munteanu, respectively)—have both been cast for the next season and both sound as though they’ll be involved in significant ongoing arcs for both Lief and Harald. Fingers crossed, is what I’m saying.