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How Vikings: Valhalla Characters Face Religious Warfare 

Vikings: Valhalla aired in February 2022 with eight episodes and caught the attention of millions with its captivating cinematography, action-packed scenes, and on-point cast. Being a spin-off of the 2013 hit series Vikings and set 100 years after the exploits of Ragnar Lothbrok (Travis Fimmel), viewers were eager to see if the new series would hold a candle to the first. But the historical drama has lived up to our expectations and knocked its ratings right out of the park with a score of 100% on Rotten Tomatoes.

The battle between Christianity and Norse Paganism was introduced in Vikings, and that feud made its way into Vikings; Valhalla. But the bad blood played a significant role in the show’s plot, aiding in the ongoing battle being the Norsemen and the English. For 100 years, many Vikings converted to the Christian belief and settled in Europe. The brave actions of Ragnar Lothbrok and his sons became stories of legends and heroes, but still, after years of living in peace with the English, all Norsemen on English land were killed by order of King Aethelred II (Bosco Hogan).

The act was later known as the St Brice’s Day Massacre and King Canute (Bradley Freegard), the ruler in the North, vowed revenge as the only payment for such an atrocity. The dispute between the English and Norsemen was effortlessly portrayed, with both sides staging battle plans, spying on the enemy, and seeking aid to fund their war. While King Canute sought to unite the North to avenge their murdered brothers and sisters, infighting was sparked among Norse Pagans and Norse Christians.

Norse Pagans vs. Christian PagansHarold Sigurdson (Leo Suter) is a Norse Christian who proudly wears a cross around his neck while still believing in Odin, the Viking God who lives in Valhalla, where Vikings believe their souls go upon dying. While Harold converted to the Christian religion of his own free will, there were others who, forced by Christian mercenaries, were told to convert, and often whenever a Pagan refused to do so, they were attacked, brutally beaten, or killed. Such heinous acts only gave some Norsemen added reason to hate the Christian God and the English, but Harold found beauty in the Christian ways and miracles while still believing the same of his Pagan ancestry.

Another Viking, Leif Eriksson, played by Sam Corlett, more widely known for his role in The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, is an Icelander who traveled to Kattegat with his sister Freydis Eriksdotter (Frida Gustavsson). But after meeting Harold, he felt believing in two religions was a contradictory mess. How could someone believe in the Christian god while seeking revenge against their fellow English Christians?

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