Vikings: Valhalla: Could Freydis be the new Lagertha?

Katheryn Winnick stars as Lagertha in History Channel's Vikings
Katheryn Winnick stars as Lagertha in Vikings. Pic credit: History/Jonathan Hession

Little is known about Netflix’s upcoming historical drama series, Vikings: Valhalla. However, for many fans of History Channel’s original series, the question has to be asked: will there be a female character as great as Lagertha?

With news being scant surrounding the upcoming series beyond a brief synopsis, there is only one Viking woman so far that can potentially match Lagertha regarding fan appeal: Freydis.

According to the original press release from Netflix, the synopsis for Vikings: Valhalla is below.

The new saga begins 100 years after the original series concludes and dramatizes the adventures of the most famous Vikings who ever lived – Leif Erikson, Freydis, Harald Harada, and the Norman King William the Conqueror (also a Viking descendant). These men and women will blaze new paths as they fight for survival in an ever-changing and evolving Europe. This is the explosive next chapter of the Vikings legend

While it gives an idea of when Vikings: Valhalla will be set and a list of character names, it doesn’t give any extra details regarding Freydis.

A Viking shieldmaiden draws a bow
A Viking shieldmaiden. Pic credit: Pixabay/sarahfelde

Who will play Freydis in Vikings: Valhalla?

New details are emerging of the actors who will play these characters. According to IGN, Frida Gustavsson will star as Freydis Eriksdotter. Netflix has also provided a bio on this character.

Fiercely pagan, fiery, and headstrong, Freydis is a staunch believer in the “old gods.” Like her brother, Leif, she reaches Kattegat as an outsider but becomes an inspiration to those of the old ways.

This description certainly sounds like a character worthy of comparison to Lagertha. However, the Viking sagas also reveal some startling truths about Freydis.

Frida Gustavsson walks the runway during the 2012 Victoria's Secret Fashion Show at the Lexington Avenue Armory on November 7, 2012 in New York City
Frida Gustavsson is a model as well as an actor. Pic credit: ©

Who is Freydis in the Viking sagas?

The story involving Freydis and her brother, Leif (who will be played by Sam Corlett in Vikings: Valhalla), can be found in two ancient manuscripts.

The Saga of Erik the Red has been translated into English on the Icelandic Saga Database. In addition, the Saga of the Greenlanders also contains details of these characters.

Two relatively contrasting accounts of Freydis exist in these books.

In the Saga of the Greenlanders, Freydis wants as much glory as her brother gets after his voyages to Vinland. She travels there with two brothers (of which she was not related) but complications arise and she returns home to her husband, where she tells falsehoods and demands he kills them.

Her husband does this but stops short of killing the women who were also present. Freydis then steps up and slaughters the women with an ax before threatening death to any who told of the story.

Returning once more to Greenland, she told Leif that the brothers she had traveled with decided to stay in Vinland. However, Leif eventually found out about what his sister had done and cursed her descendants.

This doesn’t sound like someone to compare with Lagertha at all. However, Erik the Red tells a much different story about this character.

In that saga, she still traveled to Vinland but was set upon by natives after her ship arrived. After an attack on their camp, Freydis shamed her crew when they fled.

She was also eight months pregnant at the time.

However, she still took up a sword and terrorized the natives, of which took a hasty retreat.

If this is the version that Netflix takes in Vikings: Valhalla, then Freydis certainly looks like a contender to replace Lagertha.

However, viewers will just have to wait until the series premieres in order to find out more.

Vikings: Valhalla will premiere on Netflix at a later date.

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