For all the Freydís (Frida Gustavsson) and Harald Sigurdsson (Leo Suter) shippers, the sophomore season of Vikings: Valhalla has proved to be a rough one for the romantics watching. Season 2 dropped on Netflix on Jan. 12 with eight new episodes, and while it started strong for the duo, they didn't get to spend much of the season together. Harald and Leif (Sam Corlett) escape together in the aftermath of The Battle for Kattegat, while Freydís feels compelled to pursue her destiny as "The Last" in Jombsborg.
Warning: There are spoilers for Season 2 of Vikings: Valhalla below.
It's soon revealed that Freydís is pregnant with Harald's son, and she gives birth to him in "Birth and Rebirth," which means her former lover is often top of mind as she battles to free herself and her son from the grips of Lord Harekr (Bradley James) in Jombsborg.
"At least our baby's called Harald, so that's a nice touch even though Harald's a long way on the Dniepers a long way from [them]," actor Leo Suter jokes with SYFY WIRE about his character's only son being named after him.
"But their relationship and that bond is very powerful. It's something that me and Leif [discuss] together in a forge scene halfway through," says referencing "Birth and Rebirth."
"It brings to the surface these deep feelings that Harald has. He knows that he wants to go and marry this woman eventually, so that's bubbling away under the surface for him," he continues. "It's the thing that links these characters together."
"I think it links us together because we all are so devout in our beliefs and our conviction," Gustavsson adds. "For [Harald], it's the political. For [Leif], it's the spiritual quest. For me, it's kind of religious. It's really a season where we're being tested and being pulled apart. I think it's really beautiful when we say goodbye. I love that line where Freya says, 'Goodbye, my brother. You'll never be far from my heart.' They realize that, at least for Freydís, she needs to leave these people behind. She needs to let them fulfill themselves and believe that we'll one day be brought together. And if we don't, it's up to the gods."
Showrunner Jeb Stuart says this season's separation was also necessary because the real, historical Harald and Leif traveled to Constantinople.
"We know that Harald went from Scandinavia to Novgorod. And then he went down the Dnieper to Constantinople. He spent years working in the Byzantine Empire, which we don't get to in Season 2," he explains. "But that journey down the Dnieper, we don't know a whole lot about. We don't know all the details from Novgorod through Kyiv, all the way down until it emptied into the Black Sea, so that was a fun gray area to go play in. And since I brought his partner along, with Leif Erikson, [we ask] how does Leif get the tools in his toolbox to become this great explorer and find the New World?"
"Separation is always tough, but I'm expecting huge growth from all these characters," Stuart continues. "And just because we separate them doesn't mean that they remain separated, which is fun. Harald and Freydís' relationship, to use that as an example, there's a depth to that relationship, which you'll see through the first part of Season 2 and there are certain links to that relationship that will carry over throughout the entire series. Those types of relationships just don't disappear, if somebody else comes into your life or something else happens. The sharing that goes on between the two of them, the understanding that goes on between the two of them, is just like the understanding between brother and sister, or two friends. It's a wonderful triumvirate and they have to be challenged. That should be the big banner over Season 2: individual challenge."
Season 2 of Vikings: Valhalla is now streaming on Netflix. Season 3 is currently in production.
All six seasons of Vikings are available on Peacock.