Vikings: Valhalla season 2 signed off in typically barbaric fashion: main characters were slain, power dynamics shifted, and the Netflix series even introduced a location that could be pivotal for seasons to come.
Now that the dust has settled, we’re here to break down the key talking points from the Vikings: Valhalla season 2 ending – from Constantinople to Kattegat (and beyond). Join us as we dive deeper into each major event from the season finale, what it all means, and speculate on what it could mean next for our gang of Greenlanders, Christians, and pagans. If you have a question, we’re here to answer it in our guide to the Vikings: Valhalla season 2 ending.
Major spoilers for the Vikings: Valhalla season 2 ending follow.
Who died in the Vikings Valhalla season 2 finale?
The season 2 finale sees a handful of characters, both major and minor, meet their end. Most notably, Olaf is killed by Freydis after she (and Jorundr) outwit the pagan hunter and burn his entire fleet in the harbor.
In a final showdown, Freydis bests Olaf, stabbing him through the torso. Olaf proclaims he will be a martyr for his Christian cause, though Freydis (rightfully) points out there will be no one left to tell his story. How his half-brother (and father to Freydis’ child) Harald takes the news is anyone’s guess – but could widen the tension between the pair.
The other two casualties in the finale were Jorundr and Mariam. Harekr’s son died a hero’s death, helping the settlement of Jomsborg fight back against Olaf’s fleet. Mariam, meanwhile, succumbed to her longstanding illness – but not before giving Leif some more direction in his life.
Will there be peace in Kattegat?
The season ends with a declaration of peace between two mothers. Freydis, now returned to Kattegat, demands a truce with Queen Aelfgifu and Norway’s forces. It seems "mother to mother" she gets her wish, leaving this as one of the more definitive endings in a season that has been pretty intent on laying breadcrumbs for plotlines to come. But there are still a few wildcards, such as King Svein, Canute, and Forkbeard, who might not wish for peace now that Olaf has been killed.
Where are Leif and Harald?
Leif and Harald finally reach their destination: Constantinople. The capital of the Byzantine Empire marks the furthest that the Vikings have gone afield on their travels. A nice life, and new riches, await them there.
Home may be calling for the pair, but it remains to be seen whether they will head back to Scandinavia or will put down roots in the port city. If nothing else, expect Constantinople to play a major role in the third season as Vikings: Valhalla pushes out to the furthest reaches of the then-known map.
Does Harald love Elena?
Perhaps feeling betrayed by Freydis keeping news of her pregnancy to herself, Harald falls into the arms Elena – who harbors a secret of her own.
By the season’s end, we discover that Elena was travelling to Constantinople to become the new Empress alongside Emperor Romanos. She makes it abundantly clear to Harald, though, that their relationship isn’t over. If Harald truly loves Elena, he’s going to have to risk incurring the wrath of an empire to get her back. Whether he thinks that’s worth the risk is something that will be explored in the upcoming season.
Did Godwin get what he wanted?
Yes, but there’s still some guilt about how he got it. Godwin’s storyline is Valhalla at its most complex. Thanks to the duplicitous nature of the Earl of Wessex, it’s difficult to know exactly what to take at face value.
Here’s what transpired during the season: an attempt to assassinate Queen Emma was foiled, though the suspect was revealed to be the long-lost half-brother of Godwin’s betrothed, Aelfwynn. She is then tortured (and killed) when she doesn’t give up any information about the plot.
It’s here where things get a little murky. Despite wallowing in grief, it becomes abundantly clear that Godwin has seemingly manipulated events from the start so that King Canute would set him up – out of pity – with his niece Gytha. From there, a future son can be part of the royal bloodline and achieve his dream: an offspring on the throne in England.
Emma, though, has discovered Godwin’s role in everything – including that he was mentored by the man who ‘hired’ the assassin.
Emma, then, knows Godwin’s past and history. He may become part of the royal family, but the current queen will always have an ace up her sleeve to help control the Earl of Wessex if she so requires. Expect that dynamic to be explored in further detail – especially if Emma needs someone to get their hands dirty – next season.
What is the ring around Gytha’s neck?
The Queen later gifted Godwin’s new wife Gytha with a ring to always wear around her neck, which Emma took from the body of Godwin’s guardian John Fletcher, AKA The Bear. It’s used as a reminder that Emma is aware of Godwin’s darkest secrets and, because Gytha is told not to take it off, will stay with him always. Despite Godwin’s best efforts, the deaths of two people close to him are firmly on his hands – and Emma will never let him forget it.
What next for Vikings: Valhalla?
We won’t be waiting around a Netflix renewal like Sandman or Wednesday, that’s for sure. A third season has already been greenlit – and production began last May.
So what could be around the corner for our heroes and villains in a third season? Freydis has stopped a war and is now seemingly content to raise her child, Harald. Leif, meanwhile, will likely make tracks for Mariam’s house, close to the Gate of the Lord in Constantinople. And Harald has arguably the most perilous journey ahead, skulking around in the shadows trying to win back Elena’s favor after she became the Empress of Constantinople.
Of course, this being Vikings, a powder keg could erupt across Europe at any moment. Emma has now brought Godwin to heel over in London, and will likely be a formidable ally should anyone try to claim either her throne or any of Forkbeard’s power bases.
As seemingly hinted by creator Jeb Stuart in a recent Collider (opens in new tab) interview, time jumps aren’t out of the question.
"I think you'll see when you see Season 2 and Season 3. It's almost like a novel. It has these wonderful time-jumps and growth in terms of particular characters,” Stuart teased. “And like a really big, great novel, it's got several under-stories that are holding things up that you don't really feel. They're like leitmotifs that you don't really see, but you suddenly feel them there."