Vikings Valhalla: What is the Golden Land from Leif’s Dreams? Does He Find It?

Image Credit: Bernard Walsh/Netflix

Netflix’s ‘Vikings: Valhalla’ familiarises the audience with the last leg of the Vikings age, focusing on the stories of Freydis and Leif, children of Erik the Red, alongside Harald Hadard. While Harald is obsessed with getting the throne of Norway, Freydis and Leif have other priorities. Leif, especially, becomes more focused on exploration than on war and conquest, especially as he becomes more opposed to the ideas of violence and religion. In Season 3, Leif fully assumes the role of an explorer and sets his sights on finding the “golden land” he claims to have seen when he was a child. The story ends uncertainly as he prepares to voyage for that land. But does it even exist?

Leif’s Golden Land was in North America

When Leif talks about the “golden land,” he looks towards the west. At the time, his people and most others in Europe had no idea of the existence of North America. Columbus wouldn’t set foot in the “new world” until 1492, meaning Leif’s journey happened a few centuries before that. Considering this, it makes sense why people find it hard to believe there is something west of Greenland. However, like in the show, the real-life Leif Eriksson went in search of this land and ended up in North America, laying his roots in a place called Vinland.

The exact location of Vinland a thousand years ago is considered a bit dicey, but most accounts agree that it could be in Newfoundland, Canada, in a place called L’Anse aux Meadows, where the remains of Norse settlements have been found. The mention of this Vinland features heavily in the stories related to Leif Eriksson, and it is believed that it was a man named Bjarni Herjólfsson who first found the place and came back to tell Leif about it, who then set sail there, leading more of his people to settle in North America. Other accounts suggest that Leif ended up in Vinland after being blown off course while on his way to Greenland. Interestingly, the stories also talk about Leif’s sister, Freydis Eiríksdóttir, traveling to Vinland following her brother’s journey and settling there with her own group, whose story ended up in a very different manner than one suggested by ‘Vikings: Valhalla.’

Vikings: Valhalla Gives a Hopeful Ending to Leif and Freydis with the Golden Land

Leif isn’t the only one who speaks of the Golden Land in ‘Vikings: Valhalla.’ Following the fall of Jomsborg, Freydis is also motivated to take her people there because she sees the place in her vision and considers it the only place where she and her people can flourish without any Christian threat from the Northern Empires. Her belief is consolidated by Leif’s accounts, so even when her father tries to discourage her from leaving, she has her eyes set on the prize.

Image Credit: Bernard Walsh/Netflix

At the end of ‘Vikings: Valhalla,’ we find Leif and Freydis on a ship to sail to the Golden Land, and as dictated by history, they will end up there. Many things must be considered, and they must stop at Greenland first. Freydis needs to get her son, who was found by Stigr, back. She has to confront her father and get her people on the boat. Her odds are much better this time because Leif is by her side. Moreover, her father has also lost the faith of his wife and his people, who are desperate to find something better before winter arrives in Greenland. Freydis’ offer to take them with her might be enough for them to ditch Erik and Greenland for good and sail with her and Leif to the new place, which promises much more than they have now.

It is also interesting to note that this isn’t the first time the Golden Land has been spoken of. We last heard of it in ‘Vikings’ when Ubbe Ragnarsson sailed west of Norway, looking for the place, much like Leif and Freydis do in ‘Vikings: Valhalla.’ Things end up very differently for him, and his struggles will also rear their head for Leif and Freydis. Still, their chances are much better, especially with the locals already being familiar with their kind. It’s a new adventure full of perils, but that makes the journey exciting. Moreover, it is nothing Leif and Freydis can’t handle.

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