Vikings: Valhalla season 2 review
This is a spoiler-free review of the second season of the series Vikings: Valhalla, but contains spoilers for the first season. If you haven’t watched the first season yet, you can check out our spoiler-free review of the first season here.
series returns Vikings: Valhalla In its second season, nearly a year after the first season, it continues the story of the children of Greenland Eric (Sam Corlett) and his sister Fredis (Frida Gastafsson) with Prince Harald Ben Sigrid (Leo Sutter) just after the sudden finale of the first season, with Forkbeard (King Knut’s father) in control. On Kattegat after Olaf tried to occupy it and kill all its inhabitants. As Lief managed to escape on his own after Olaf killed his beloved Lief, while Freddis helped Harald escape after he was injured.
The episode opens with Leif trying to find Olaf for revenge, while Harald and Freddys take refuge in the woods while Harald’s wounds heal. Without delving deeper into the events in order to avoid spoilers, it is not long before Lev is reunited with them, but in harsh circumstances, everyone is forced to flee quickly before Harald can achieve his dream and claim his throne from Forkbeard.
The first season was divided into 3 different locations: Kattegat, England, and the Uppsala Temple, where Fridis took her trip, but this season is divided into wider regions, starting from Kattegat and England, all the way to the island of Limosburg, Russia, and the road to Constantinople, with a variety of charming natural scenes, starting from the snowy regions of Russia and ending To frozen rivers and the forested island of Emmosburg. This gives the series more scope, although it doesn’t mean it was quite as strong as the first season… its first half at least.
The first season suffered from a sub-story related to Freddy’s journey to find herself, which may seem slow and boring compared to the other exciting events that were taking place on the other side with Harald and Leaf, and the second season completes the same problem with the story of Freddys in particular, who separates from her brother and lover to complete her spiritual journey Her own as the last of the Uppsala daughters and savior of their faith, which although it goes deep into the Norse faith, and is important to the whole plot, is once again dull and slow compared to what’s going on on the other end.
But this does not mean that this continues throughout the season, as things change starting from the fifth episode and become much more exciting and enthusiastic, not only in terms of Freddy’s story, but the season as a whole. The first season was distinguished by its focus on two major wars across 8 episodes, which made the events accelerated and full of action and excitement in general, but the matter differs with the second season, whose first half suffers from a slowdown in an attempt to chart new paths for the characters. There aren’t as many wars to look forward to as there were in the first season, and things don’t start to get really exciting until the second half of it. But once we get there, it takes us on a wonderful journey full of action and surprises.
If the title of the first season was “Revenge”, then the title of the second season might be: “Journeys of Self-Finding”. Not only is Fredis searching for herself, but also Harald, who wants to fulfill his destiny and be the king of Norway, which prompts him to embark on a long journey from Russia to Constantinople, which makes him discover that there are more important things than this dream of his, and Lev, who is searching for himself After losing his beloved Lief, he discovers that the world is much wider than he thought, and that he is capable of much more than just a Viking warrior. If I had to choose my favorite story among our three heroes, it would be Lev’s journey, which was characterized by depth and allowed the character to grow wonderfully, but without underestimating the importance of the journeys of others, which also contributed to giving deeper dimensions to all the personalities of our heroes.
As for the other characters, King Knut (Bradley Freegaard) unfortunately continues to be absent in most episodes, just as it happened in the first season, although his role is more central than ever, leaving the arena open to betrayals and treachery among the rest of the players in England. After marrying Queen Emma and leaving his kingdom in the hands of his father, who traveled to avenge the traitor Olaf and restore Kattegat, the competition between Earl Godwin and Queen Emma takes on unexpected new dimensions that make us hate characters we once loved and vice versa, and leave us with doubts about the intentions of some characters. Except for Knut’s father: Forkbeard goes to Kattegat and takes over without caring about any promises he made to his son. It was disappointing that after Knut’s return we don’t see any reaction to what happened in Kattegat, despite the importance of the issue to the series’ overall plot.
In this season, we are introduced to a group of prominent new characters, including Maryam (Hayat Camille), who plays the role of a woman scientist coming from Aleppo and living in Russia, where she meets Lev and shares his journey to Constantinople. It was great to see how the series honors the real history and highlights how the city of Aleppo was an important cultural capital in that era. Maryam plays a very pivotal role in Lev’s journey of self-discovery.
Another notable character is Elena (Sofia Lebedeva) who plays an important role in Harald and Leif’s voyage along with the rest of the new sailing crew. Add to it the Viking pirates who share Freddy’s spiritual journey, most notably Hariker and Gotrid, who welcome her as the last daughter of Uppsala and the savior of the faith, in addition to their son Yørender (Stanislav Callas with a great performance), who also play a pivotal role in Freddy’s journey in particular, and the overall plot of the series in general.
The season ends with an episode that is the most prominent with many surprises and exciting events, which certainly paves the way for a third season, ending conflicts… and opening the door to other conflicts and new beginnings that make us eager to know where the journeys of our Viking friends will take us next.
The second season of Vikings: Valhalla continues at the same pace as the first season, and although it suffers from some slowdown in its first half, once we reach the middle of it, it takes us on a wild journey full of action, surprises, and blood. Add to that the journeys of self-discovery our heroes go through, which contribute to giving each character more depth, especially Liv’s journey. The season ends with a great highlight, which paves the way towards a third season and gets us excited for more about our Viking friends.