Vikings: Valhalla – Why Godwin Really Killed King Edmund

King Edmund of England passed away suddenly in Valhalla after being betrayed by his advisor Godwin. But why did Godwin slay the king?

King Edmund, who was betrayed and killed by Godwin, was one of the major characters who perished in Vikings: Valhalla’s first season. But why did he turn against the English king? Vikings, a television series created by Michael Hirst, focused on the early years of the Viking Age and featured leaders like Ragnar Lothbrok, Lagertha, Björn Ironside, and Ivar the Boneless. Six seasons were sufficient to tell their stories, but there are still many more from the Viking Age that need to be told. Thank goodness, a Vikings sequel series was confirmed for 2019, and Vikings: Valhalla will continue to delve into the closing decades of the Viking Age.

Except for the Seer, no survivors from the original series appear in Vikings: Valhalla since it takes place more than a century after the events of the original. A new generation of warriors then follows in the footsteps of Valhalla, commanded by Leif Erikson (Sam Corlett), Freyd’s Eirksdóttir (Frida Gustavsson), and Harald Sigurdsson (Leo Suter). On a mission to exact revenge on the Christian man who raped Freyds years earlier and was later killed by Freyds, Leif and Freyds arrive in Kattegat. Leif accompanied Harald, Olaf Haraldsson (Jóhannes Haukur Jóhannesson), and King Canute (Bradley Freegard) on their mission to invade England in retaliation for the St. Brice’s Day massacre, which resulted in the deaths of several Vikings, in order to save her.

They encountered new adversaries (as well as prospective friends, although that will be revealed in season 2) throughout their travels to England, most notably King Edmund (Louis Davison). Edmund was the son of King Aethelred II (Bosco Hogan), who passed away at the start of Vikings: Valhalla and left the throne to his son while retaining the title of queen for his wife, Emma of Normandy (Laura Berlin). Canute eventually took the throne of England, which he decided to share with Edmund, and the London Bridge was destroyed as a result of Edmund falling into the Vikings’ trap. That didn’t last long, though, as Edmund was ultimately murdered by none other than Godwin (David Oakes), his apparent confidant.

Why Valhalla Was Where Godwin Shot King Edmund In The Vikings

At the conclusion of Vikings: Valhalla season 1, Sweyn Forkbeard (Sren Pilmark), Canute’s father, was appointed to rule England in his place while Canute was fighting in Denmark. In contrast to Canute, Forkbeard was more brutal, and after killing the Earl of Wessex when he faced him, he appointed Godwin as the new Earl. Godwin persuaded Edmund to organize a rebellion after he became enraged by Forkbeard’s presence, but it was all part of a larger scheme when Godwin duped Edmund into falling from his horse and secretly stabbed him in the heart.

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Godwin killed Edmund in order to prove his allegiance to Forkbeard, Canute, and consequently Emma as well. He later proved this loyalty by aiding them in overthrowing queen lfgifu (Pollyanna McIntosh) and regaining control of the Danish fleet. By killing Edmund, Godwin avoided a major conflict between the young king and Canute and cemented his reputation as a character who shouldn’t be trusted.

Did Godwin Really Kill Edmund? Valhalla Fact Check: The Vikings

Vikings: Valhalla went far further in its creative license with its characters and their true stories than Vikings did. Characters from Valhalla are reuniting who had never met before (like Leif and Harald), fleshing out the backstories of several characters, and adapting true history to its plot. Therefore, Godwin killing Edmund isn’t historically correct either; Edmund’s untimely demise is.

The real Edmund passed away a few weeks after he made a deal with Canute in which all of England north of the Thames was to be Canute’s domain, while the south (along with London) would be kept by Edmund, and the throne of England would pass to Canute after Edmund’s death. The circumstances surrounding his death, though it is widely believed he was murdered, are still unknown. That is only one of many things Vikings: Valhalla made up, as Godwin had absolutely nothing to do with Edmund’s demise.