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One of Netflix’s best-ever historical dramas prepares to say goodbye

Published Jul 10th, 2024 7:10PM EDT
Vikings: Valhalla on Netflix
Image: Netflix

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Vikings: Valhalla, the Netflix drama set 100 years after the events that take place in the companion History Channel series Vikings, always felt to me like it had one of Netflix’s best shots at becoming the streaming giant’s own Game of Thrones.

As with other Netflix series like The Last Kingdom, which arguably tried to achieve that same goal, Vikings: Valhalla (the third and final season of which hits Netflix on July 11) has offered viewers Thrones-sized spectacle in the form of epic battles while also appealing to fans of strong female characters like Freydis and Emma of Normandy. The show, from co-creator Jeb Stuart, has also stood out for its excellent production value, its combination of the historical and the mythological, and the complex political intrigue at the heart of it.

Vikings: Valhalla on Netflix
Frida Gustavsson as Freydis Eriksdotter in “Vikings: Valhalla.” Image source: Bernard Walsh/Netflix

In short, if it was a Westeros-ian drama that you were after, you could have done a lot worse than Vikings: Valhalla, which sent three larger-than-life adventurers off in search of gold and glory.

“I am so grateful to have had three seasons to tell the stories of Leif, Harald, and Freydís,” Stuart said in a statement (via Netflix’s Tudum). “I knew from the beginning that I wanted to show the evolution of how three of the most famous Vikings became the icons we know today, and we have done just that. I hope when the audience gets to see the new season, they’ll be excited by all the new heights that we’ve taken these heroes.”

The heroes that viewers follow throughout the series are Leif Eriksson, history’s most famous Viking explorer; Freydís Eiríksdóttir, the iron-willed sister of Leif; and the ambitious Harald Sigurdsson, prince of Norway.

After Season 1, fans will recall that the core group of Vikings dispersed in different directions. Freydis headed to the (supposedly) safe haven of Jomsborg to give birth to her child. Leif and Harald, meanwhile, set out for Constantinople. “Despite being separated,” Netflix tells us, “it’s a turbulent adventure for all three Vikings. In the end, Harald and Leif finally reach Constantinople, but Harald is blindsided by his lover, Eleana (Sofya Lebedeva), marrying Emperor Romanos (Nikolai Kinski).

“Freydís, on the other hand, defeats Olaf in a gory face-off and restores peace in Jomsborg as the Keeper of the Faith.”

Read more about the show, its characters, and its backstory here. And pour one out for the last ride of the legendary Vikings, who get eight more episodes to tell their story.

Andy Meek Trending News Editor

Andy Meek is a reporter based in Memphis who has covered media, entertainment, and culture for over 20 years. His work has appeared in outlets including The Guardian, Forbes, and The Financial Times, and he’s written for BGR since 2015. Andy's coverage includes technology and entertainment, and he has a particular interest in all things streaming.

Over the years, he’s interviewed legendary figures in entertainment and tech that range from Stan Lee to John McAfee, Peter Thiel, and Reed Hastings.