How much of "Vikings: Valhalla" is real?

All your questions about the true history behind 'Vikings: Valhalla' answered.

Editor's Note: The following contains spoilers for Season 2 of Vikings: Valhalla.

Vikings: Valhalla Season 2 is now available on Netflix. Creator Jeb Stewart never hides the fact that while the show required a lot of research (with the help of Viking history experts who worked on the show), it was also his job as a storyteller to fill in the blanks, mixing dates and Character relationships in order to convey an understandable and interesting story to the audience. Now that we can find out what happened to Freydís Eiríksdóttir (Frida Gustavsson), Leif Erikson (Sam Corlett) and Harald Sigurdsson (Leo Suter) after the horrific battle in Kattegat at the end of season 1, we think we need to take a moment to find out if London The bridge fell down like it did in season 1, or is Rafe and Harald's brotherhood as strong as it is in real life, or is King Edmund as arrogant and inexperienced as he is portrayed in Valhalla ?

The information you will find in this article can be found in Viking sagas (meaning "things said" in Old Norse) written by Icelanders in the 13th century, or as a result of research by archaeologists and historians .

Were Freydís, Leif, and Harald Real People?

three of us Vikings: Valhalla's main protagonists are based on historical figures. The problem is, their historical rivals never actually met. Well, Leif and Freydís know because they are indeed siblings, but they don't know Harald because they didn't even exist at the same time. In fact, Leif died when Harald was a baby.

Let's start with our favorite badass Viking, Freydís Eiríksdóttir, whose narrative arc has changed a lot in the series since we know so little about her. Yes, Freydís was a powerful Viking warrior and sister of Leif Erickson, the child of Erik the Red, founder of the first Europeans in Greenland. This is very similar to the storyline used in the show. However, Freddie's character and accomplishments remain a mystery. She is a prominent figure in both Vinland saga, and there are two very unique stories about who she really is. The first saga (that of Eric the Redhead) portrays the young woman as heroin: the warrior accompanied a group of Vikings to Vinland (now known as Newfoundland), and when they were attacked by the natives, she saved the her ranks, she took a sword that once belonged A slain Viking. According to the legend, Freddie was the illegitimate daughter of Eric the Redhead.

However, in the Greenlander saga, it is a very different story, and we are introduced to a very different Freddie: this time, she is accompanied by her husband, his men and two brother Vikings to Vinland. She doesn't like the two brothers, she thinks they are too presumptuous. Freydís then told her husband that the two men who had abused her demanded that he avenge her or she would divorce him. The brothers and their men were killed, but not the woman, and Freddie ended up killing himself with an axe.

It's not hard to guess which version of Freddie most resembles the Vikings: Valhalla character.

Leif Erickson was more of an explorer than a warrior. In fact, he is known to be the first European to set foot in North America, around AD 1000. Archaeologists in Newfoundland have indeed found the remains of the Norse settlement Leif founded, confirming the story told in The Legend. In the US, Leif Erikson even has his day on October 9th.

In Vikings: Valhalla, Leif starts to have Doubts about his religion, paganism, when a little girl puts a cross in his hand after a fight, it leads him to believe that's what really saved him. When his best friend and lover Liv was badly wounded in battle, the young man did the same to her. She survived, which reinforced Leif's inclination toward Christianity. In real life, Leif arrived in Norway and swore allegiance to the Norwegian King Olaf Tryggvason, who converted Leif to Christianity before asking him to spread the religion to Greenland, which he did (and still does, according to the legend of Erik the Red).

Harald Sigurdsson is often referred to as the last true Viking king, and was also one of the most powerful berserkers, as we see in certain battle scenes in Vikings: Valhalla. Berserker, such as Harald, means "warrior in bear's skin" in Old Norse, although it is also translated as "warrior who fights without armor". We all know that Harald was a great and powerful warrior, taller than any other Viking. Like on the show, he is the half-brother of King Olaf II. However, they didn't fight side by side like they did in Valhalla and then turned against each other for too long. harald is 15 Olaf died in battle when he and his brother fought against the Danes loyal to Canute (Bradley Freegard) at the Battle of Stiklestad in 1030. So Canute isn't as close to Harald as he is on the show.

Before he became king of Norway, Prince Harald was also a traveler, sailing to Kyiv, Constantinople and Sicily. When he was finally crowned king, he had to share the throne with Olaf's son Magnus. The good times didn't last long, and Magnus died soon after, and King Harald eventually became the only king of Norway.

The True Story Behind Canute, Emma of Normandy and Edmund Ironside

As mentioned earlier, Canute was a great warrior. However, he did not fight alongside Harald when it was decided to exact revenge on the St. Blaise massacre (we will return to this event later in this article). As the show says, Canute wasn't England's first Viking king, but his father, Sven Fokbeed, was (in one winter). After the latter's death, Canute fought against England, especially against Prince Edmund, who became king after the death of his father Æthelred II. The series has maintained this storyline so far. However, Edmund is not the "boy king" that Kanoute likes Call him in Vikings: Valhalla. The two were actually about the same age (about 26 years old) when they played against each other. Edmund was a skilled warrior, but his efforts were still in vain at the Battle of Assandun in 1016. In fact, as in the show, Eadric Sterna, who was supposed to come to fight alongside Edmund, abandoned the skirmish, giving Canute and his men a chance to break through the British defenses and win the fight.

Edmund later died under mysterious circumstances. Some say he was poisoned, others that he was shot through the lung with an arrow while in the toilet.

Canute subsequently married Queen Emma of Normandy, widow of Æthelred II. She was a great strategist and statesman, and she was married to King Canute, who indeed succeeded in ruling the North Sea Empire, as he had always hoped.

Did the London Bridge Really Fall Down?

In Valhalla, the first episode introduces the St. Blaise Massacre, which is King Ethelred (also known as Unready or Unwise Ethelred) orders his army to massacre Denmark An event that occurred when most of the population of the French area lived, where Gunhilde lived, she was Sweyn Forkbeard's sister. In the program, it is said that The attack was to "cleanse" England from the Danes. As of now, many historians agree that it was likely a response to repeated Danish raids, murders and invasions in England.

Another good use of "to be proven" history is the Battle of London Bridge in Episode 4. Valhalla's creators set the battle between Canute and Edmund on London Bridge for dramatic purposes. Did it really happen there? The details of this battle there are not enough to prove that it is completely fabricated. By now, everyone knows the nursery rhyme "London Bridge is falling down". Different versions of the song exist, one of which, Heimskringla, supports the idea that the bridge may indeed have collapsed during a battle involving Olaf. The lyrics are translated as follows:

"London Bridge is broken. —

The gold medal is won, the world famous.

Shields sound,

War horns sound,

Hilder shouts in the tumult!

Arrows sing,

Mail jackets sound —

Odin let our Olaf win!""

Were There Really Women Viking Warriors?

In Vikings: Valhalla and Kattegat we find many female Vikings, warriors and women in positions of power and history Indeed it turned out to be true. Historian and screenwriter Justin Pollard, who worked on the show, said: "We now have evidence that there were female warriors. Viking society was very egalitarian — not like Christian societies at the time. Large communities and states Most things, you can vote instead of a king telling you what to do. Women have rights, have property, can divorce their husbands. If you want to do something yourself, you can. You can join a clan, Be a Viking, but if you screw up, your team takes over or abandons you. Very entrepreneurial."

The character Jarl Haakon (Caroline Henderson) does not exist; however, she is largely based on A real Viking named Haakon Sigurdsson. The first season introduced black actress Caroline Henderson as Jack Hakon, and some online have been eager to criticize this casting choice, but historians who actually worked on "Vikings: Valhalla" Prove them completely wrong. Dr Tríona Sørensen, director of the Viking Ship Museum in Roskilde, Denmark, said: "You can see this clearly in the archaeological record in Scandinavia -- Silver coins from Arabian lands, precious metalwork from Ireland and England, silk from the Orient – ​​all these items made their way to Scandinavia via maritime trade networks. ”^There is indeed a lot of DNA and historical evidence that there were black Vikings in history, and Vikings: Valhalla does show that perfectly. ^Vikings Season 2: Valhalla (Vikings: Valhalla) brings a lot of new characters and places. One of the most interesting characters introduced this season is Mariam (played by Hayat Kamille), who is based on a real historical character. In the show, Mariam was a scholar in the fields of science and literature. She taught Leif everything she knew, and he eventually fell in love with her. Mariam was inspired by the real Mariam Al-Ijliya (or Mariam al-Astrulabi), born in Aleppo, Syria. Mariam Al-Ijliya invented an ancient tool, the astrolabe, in the 10th century. Jeb Stuart says Mariam Al-Ijliya used everything she knew about mathematics and applied it to the listed tool to chart the paths of the stars. The astrolabe was designed to tell you exact location or time using the stars. She also developed navigation and timekeeping techniques, You can see this clearly in Season 2 of Vikings: Valhalla.

At the time, Sayf Al Dawla, founder of the Emirate of Aleppo, was impressed by Mariam's knowledge and hired her at the Aleppo court. While Leif and Mariam didn't meet in real life (let alone fall in love), her presence on the show was an absolute must, as she taught Leif how to read, how to use math, and opened up the world for him. A world of possibilities. Her skills have saved the team more than once, and arguably, without Mariam, her friends would never have been able to lift the boat and put it back on the water in time for the Pechenegs to attack.

Is Mariam Based on a Real Life Character?

Speaking of the Pechenegs, the people our group of travelers were terribly afraid to meet on their way to Constantinople were indeed semi-nomadic peoples from Central Asia who spoke the now extinct Pecheneg language. According to the Pechenegs' historical timeline, by the time Vikings: Valhalla takes place, the Pechenegs had settled in what we now know as Ukraine, Moldova, Romania, and Bulgaria. the area is very uncertain Not safe as we see in the show because Pechenegs are known to send raids to different neighbors or travelers.

In the episode, blind Pecheneg Kurya befriends Harald, Leif, and others. He is Khan's brother and he even sacrificed himself to save his friends. In real life, Kurya is a khan. He was believed to be an ally of Svyatoslav I of Kyiv, but according to stories from the past, Kuria later betrayed and killed him. It even says that Kurya used Svyatoslav's skull as a goblet. If you remember correctly, in season 2, episode 7, Harald was tortured by the Pechenegs inside the tent. There we can see the skulls of multiple Varangians, the name of the Scandinavian warriors who fought in the Byzantine army near Constantinople. Harald told them that they didn't have a single Viking skull in their collection because if the Pechenegs fought the Vikings, said Vikings "would drink from [their] skulls". This quote is a direct reference to the real-life Kurya and the death of Svyatoslav I of Kyiv.

Who Were the Pechenegs?

When Harald and Leif arrives in Novgorod hoping for some help, and Harald meets his uncle Yaroslav (Marcin Dorochinsky). In real life, Yaroslav was indeed the Grand Duke of Kyiv from 1019 to 1054 and Prince of Novgorod. He wasn't Harald's uncle, though, more like a mentor and distant relative. After Olaf died in battle in 1030, Harald joined Yaroslav the Wise in Kyiv when he was about 15 years old. It is often said that this is when Harald fell in love with Yaroslav's daughter Elisif of Kyiv.

In 1035, Harald traveled to Constantinople with his men, where he joined the Varangian Guard (which leads us to believe that he may indeed become a Varangian Guard in Season 3), serving the Emperor Serve. After acquiring a great deal of wealth, Harald decided to return to Kyiv in 1043 or 1044, but Empress Zoe accused Harald of stealing the royal treasure. It is sometimes believed that after she fell in love with him, she accused him of keeping him in Constantinople (an alternate version of this story is that Harald fell in love with her niece Maria). already In Kyiv, Harald eventually married Elisif of Kiev, and when Harald finally ascended the throne, she later became Queen of Norway.

In Vikings: Valhalla's second season, Freddie is separated from her brother Leif and her lover Harald because she understands that they have different destinies. She arrives in Jomsburg, which means becoming the new Uppsala (destroyed in Season 1). So did Jomsburg really exist? The short answer is yes and no. Often referred to as a semi-legendary fortress, Jómsborg is located in the southern Baltic Sea, even though its exact location remains uncertain: some historians believe that Jómsborg is pure legend, while others believe in the very few writings that they found Jomsborg, is based on a real location. They are sure it was located on a hill near what is now the Polish town of Wolin.

Jómsborg is described as a fortress with a harbor, iron gates and tall stone towers, as in the play. Its inhabitants are the Jomsvikings, who are indeed adherents of the ancient gods and beliefs of the Old Norse. According to the Saga Heimskringla, Magnus, Olaf's illegitimate son, destroyed Jómsborg, After they refused to recognize him as the new king. As mentioned, Jeb Stewart likes to use the gray parts of Viking history to tell his story. Based on what we know about these characters, and what we know about the saga, it will be interesting to see how Stewart continues to tell the lives of our three main protagonists.

Is Jómsborg a Mythical Place?

Vikings: Valhalla seasons 1 and 2 are now streaming on Netflix.

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