The Netflix historical drama series, “Vikings,” captured the hearts and minds of people everywhere. Centered around Ragnar Lodbrok and the legendary adventures of many other famous Vikings, the show inspired curiosity and a desire to learn more about Viking history and culture in the minds of many.
The show’s sequel, “Vikings: Valhalla,” premiered in early 2022. Set 100 years after the original series, this spin-off series “Vikings: Valhalla” depicts the end of the Viking age and where Valhalla begins. Though the show chronicles the end of the Viking era, it is certainly not the end of the line for Vikings fans.
What is Valhalla?
All legendary Vikings hoped they’d go to Valhalla. Valhalla represents this magical place where slain warriors live blissfully under Odin’s leadership and reign. It is believed that Odin, himself, only selects the worthiest to join him here.
What Does the Term “Valhalla” Mean?
In Norse Mythology, the term “Valhalla” means “hall of the slain” or “house of the fallen.” It represents this mystical place where the most famous Vikings congregate, engorge on the flesh of fresh boar, and drink endless amounts of alcohol that flows freely from a goat.
What Do Vikings Do in Valhalla?
In this mystical place, their primary sport is fighting. Vikings Valhalla spend their hours battling one another and performing other various deeds. At the end of each day, their health and vitality are restored for renewed life. According to Britannica, these long days of battle are carefully preparing them for “Doomsday,” where they will fight against the Giants alongside their trusted God, Odin.
Vikings Valhalla: How Did They Gain Entry?
According to an article titled, “Norse Mythology for Smart People,” the singular source that provides a statement alluding to Vikings Valhalla, is the Prose Edda by Icelandic Scholar Snorri Sturluson. According to this text, it is believed that to gain entry to Valhalla, a Viking must be slain in battle. This is where Valhalla begins. Those who perished from old age or sickness were not granted entry to Valhalla but rather cast to the underworld.
Who Are Some of the Most Famous Vikings?
Whether you’ve been studying Viking history or have recently been introduced to Viking culture via the television series, “Vikings: Valhalla,” you’re probably already familiar with quite a few famous Viking names. Let’s explore a few of them.
The original Vikings series premiers the legendary adventures of Ragnar Lodbrok – a character to both admire and fear. A fierce warrior in the Viking world, Ragnar Lodbrok is believed to have led raids against both the Franks and the Anglo-Saxons. He was both a husband and father with strong Pagan beliefs.
While Ragnar, himself, is considered controversial in the scholarly world, his sons are believed to be true Viking warriors and historical figures who helped shape Viking history.
William the Conqueror
Though this Norman King was not included in Netflix’s initial casting announcement, William the Conqueror is a name to know. Norman King William is a famous Viking and a descendent of Rollo, whom you may remember from the original series.
According to Wikipedia, Norman King William, more commonly referred to as “William the Conqueror” or “William the Bastard,” reigned from 1066 to 1087, and was the first Norman Monarch of England. Though the pathway to the throne was not an easy one to walk, Norman King William vanquished Anglo-Saxon rule and maintained strong Norman rule.
Jarl Haakon is another famous character in “Vikings: Valhalla.” Played by Caroline Henderson, Jarl is portrayed as the strong and steady ruler of Kattegat. Though she, herself, is Pagan, Jarl maintains Kattegat as a place open to all faiths and beliefs. In her role, Caroline Henderson displays quality leadership and wisdom and grows to become a strong mentor to another famous Viking named Freydis.
Played by Sam Corlett in “Vikings: Valhalla,” Leif Erikson is a sailor, explorer, and a popular name in Viking history. He is known to be the first European to discover North America and set foot on its soil. Sam Corlett draws viewers in as “Vikings: Valhalla” opens with the chilling adventures and chaos of a quickly evolving world.
Emma of Normandy
In “Vikings: Valhalla,” Laura Berlin portrays the character Emma of Normandy. Emma of Normandy is considered an influential and interesting character because of her background and upbringing. This Norman noblewoman became the English, Danish, and Norwegian Queen and is said to be one of the most visually depicted queens in medieval history.
Godwin of Wessex
Godwin of Wessex, portrayed in “Vikings: Valhalla” by David Oakes, was the first Earl of Wessex. Known for his political prowess, Earl Godwin was one of the most powerful earls in England. In “Vikings: Valhalla,” the character played by David Oakes is a prominent adviser to Aethelred the Unready and a born leader recognized for his ambition, legacy, and destiny in the ever-evolving world of the Vikings.
Vikings Valhalla: More than Just a Show
“Vikings: Valhalla” is more than just a modern-day television series on Netflix. It is an exploration of the lives and times of the Vikings. It is a show steeped in the courage and bravery of some of the most famous names in Viking history. “Vikings: Valhalla” depicts the evolution of the Viking people – one hundred years after the original series took place to the end of the Viking era.
Though “Vikings: Valhalla” chronicles the end of the Vikings as we know them, it is certainly not the end of the line for those mesmerized by the unique story, rich history, and interesting culture of the Viking people.
Regardless of whether you watch “Vikings” or “Vikings: Valhalla”, both the original series and sequel, combined, are likely to spark an intense curiosity and desire to take a deeper dive into Viking history. While both shows do a great job of depicting the evolution of the Vikings, there is always more to learn and while “Vikings Valhalla” may seem like the end, it is just the beginning of your Viking journey.