Movies & TV

Vikings: Valhalla Is Coming. Because Legends Never Die

Valhalla calls.
IMAGE History Channel
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Thought the golden age of Vikings was over? Think again.

Netflix has confirmed its lead cast for the upcoming Vikings spin-off series Vikings: Valhalla. It’s also finally given us a teaser about what the new show will be about.

Who has been cast?

  • Sam Corlett is Leif Eriksson
  • Frida Gustavsson is Freydis Eriksdotter
  • Leo Suter is Harald Sigurdsson
  • Bradley Freegard is King Canute
  • Jóhannes Jóhannesson is Olaf Haraldson
  • Laura Berlin is Emma of Normandy
  • David Oakes is Earl Godwin
  • Caroline Henderson is Jarl Haakon
  • Pollyanna McIntosh is Queen Ælfgifu
  • Asbjørn Krogh Nissen is Jarl Kåre

A lot of these characters will ring a bell for all you world history nerds out there. Among the list are some of the greatest Vikings, explorers, and kings of medieval history. Here’s a quick refresher:

Leif Eriksson, portrayed by Corlette of Netflix’s Chilling Adventures of Sabrina fame, was one of the most revered Norse explorers of his time. He’s said to be the first European to have set foot in North America, and his story has been immortalized in Icelandic sagas. He and his sister, Freydis, were born in Iceland and raised in Greenland, where Floki and Ubbe settled at the end of the final season of Vikings. The two siblings will carry on the wild exploratory spirit left behind by legendary Viking Ragnar Lothbrok.

A Vikings spin-off can’t exist without some sort of political feuding, which will be carried out by the characters of Harald Sigurdsson, Olaf Haraldson, and King Canute, who all become kings of Norway at one point or another after countless battles and infighting. Meanwhile, on the Saxon and Norman side, we have Earl Godwin and Emma of Normandy, the latter of whom gave birth to two English kings born from two warring enemies: Aethelred the Unready and Cnut the Great (also known as Canute).

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Ah, the drama. Bring on the betrayals, massacres, sex, gore, and battles. 

When will the show take place?

Valhalla will take off about 200 years after the events of Vikings. With Canute, Leif, and Emma among the main characters, it’s safe to assume that the show will take place before 1066 when the Battle of Hastings occurred and changed the face of England forever. Netflix stated that the Norman King William the Conqueror will be included in the show, but good ‘ole King Will doesn’t conquer England until 1066, by which time, some historical characters mentioned above will be dead. So we’re going to take an educated guess and say that the series will build up to that momentous victory of the English King from Normandy—who is a descendant of Rollo and his French princess, who actually did exist and who we last saw in season 5 of Vikings. Fun fact: William the Conqueror is the ancestor of the current Queen of England, Elizabeth II.

William, who was the bastard son of a Duke before he became king, hasn’t been cast in the show yet, but whoever does bag the role will play one of the most key figures in medieval history. Maybe more important than Ragnar Lothbrok himself.

By the 11th century, the ways of Vikings are coming to an end as a more formal feudal system takes over Europe. The pagan gods are disappearing as the Church gains more ground. The Battle of Hastings and the victory of King William is largely considered to have marked the end of the Viking age, so it begs the question: Is the show called Valhalla to symbolize the death of the Viking ways?

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How many episodes will there be?

Netflix has ordered 24 episodes of the new series, which will be produced by Vikings creator Michael Hirst. Meanwhile, Jeb Stuart has signed on as showrunner and lead writer. He’s best known for his work on Die Hard and The Fugitive.

No word yet on when it will be released.

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Anri Ichimura
Section Editor, Esquire Philippines
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