Along with Freydis Eriksdotter (Frida Gustavsson) and Harald Sigurdsson (Leo Suter), Leif Eriksson (Sam Corlett) is one of the main characters of ‘Vikings: Valhalla,’ the Netflix sequel series to History Channel’s ‘Vikings.’ The story is set 100 years after the original series — in the twilight days of the Viking Age. Leif Eriksson is based on the renowned historical Norse explorer Leif Erikson, who is believed to be the first person of European descent to reach North America. The sagas of Icelanders state that Leif created a Norse settlement in coastal North America or Vinland. If you are wondering whether he survives in the second season of ‘Vikings: Valhalla,’ this is what you need to know. SPOILERS AHEAD.
Does Leif Eriksson Die?
No, Leif Eriksson doesn’t die in the second season of ‘Vikings: Valhalla.’ Destiny has been an important motif in both the original series and the sequel. And Leif Eriksson has a grand destiny, even if several people reached Vinland 100 years before him in the ‘Vikings’ universe. ‘Vikings’ depicts Ubbe Ragnarsson finding his way to North America and discovering that Floki had arrived long before him and his companions. It will be interesting to see how ‘Vikings: Valhalla’ addresses this while depicting Leif’s journey.
In episode 1, Leif arrives in Kattegat from Greenland with his sister Freydis and several companions. After Freydis kills the Christian man who raped and marked her, Leif agrees to join King Canute’s invasion of England to keep his sister safe. He and Freydis are the children of the legendary Erik the Red. As the series progresses, it becomes increasingly apparent that Leif hates his father because of the latter’s almost indifferent cruelty. And yet, Leif desperately wants to surpass his father’s legacy. In England, he achieves precisely this by playing a pivotal role in the fall of London.
During this campaign, Leif also starts veering toward Christianity after a mystical incident. While he was dying after an ambush, a young girl appeared before him and placed a cross in his hand, which he comes to believe saved his life. After ensuring his sister’s freedom, Leif returns to Kattegat, only to find himself amid another war. While fighting in England, Freydis became a shieldmaiden for Jarl Haakon (Caroline Henderson) of Kattegat. And now, the city faces an impending attack from the ambitious Olaf Haraldsson and fanatic Jarl Kåre.
In England, Leif knew that he was fighting for his sister’s life. However, he struggles to find a purpose for him to be involved in the war for Kattegat. Both his sister and his lover Liv fight for the survival of their faith. But Leif no longer feels any connection to the pagan religion. Despite this, he stands with his loved ones. Liv dies in his arms, asking him to promise he will join her in Valhalla. For Leif, the season ends on a cliffhanger.
Shortly after Olaf takes control of Kattegat, he is forced to flee following the arrival of Sweyn Forkbeard. Svein and Harold Harefoot, Forkbeard’s grandchildren and Canute’s children, accompany their grandfather. In the final moments of the season, Svein finds Leif inside a shed. The grief has brought out the berserk nature Leif inherited from his father. Leif screams at the boy, terrifying him just before the credits start rolling.
The second season opens by answering the cliffhanger from season 1. Even though Leif had gone berserk, he did not kill Svein. However, he still fully intends to kill Olaf. He learns that Forkbeard has captured Olaf and made him the guardian and mentor of Svein, whom Forkbeard declares as the new King of Norway. After Olaf announces bounties on the heads of Harald and Freydis, Leif finds them. But his reunion with his sister doesn’t last long. Her destiny takes her to Jomsborg, the last bastion of the old faith, while Leif accompanies Harald to Novgorod. Harald’s uncle, Yaroslav the Wise, is the ruler there, and the Norwegian prince wishes to raise an army with his uncle’s help. When that doesn’t work out, Harald agrees to transport a precious treasure to Constantinople.
Meanwhile, Leif struggles with Liv’s death. He takes opium to cope with his grief and nearly dies from exposure to the cold. Fortunately, an Arabic scholar named Mariam (Hayat Kamille) saves his life, and she joins Harald, Leif, and others in their journey to Constantinople. On the way, Leif and Mariam grow close, and the latter teaches the Greenlander language, astronomy, and mathematics. After the perilous journey, the group reaches the Byzantine Empire, and Mariam gives Leif the key to her house before dying. As the season ends, the survivors of the journey discover that the treasure they brought to Constantinople is a fellow survivor, Eleana, who also happens to be the future Empress.
Read More: Vikings: Valhalla Season 1 Ending, Explained