The series finale of Vikings saw Ubbe arriving at North America and becoming the first Viking to do so, but that brings a big change to the true story of the sequel series, Vikings: Valhalla – here’s how. Created by Michael Hirst, Vikings debuted on History Channel in 2013, and even though it was originally planned to be a miniseries, it was so well-received by critics and viewers that it was quickly renewed for a second season. Vikings lived on for a total of six seasons, coming to an end in 2020.
Vikings initially followed the journeys of legendary Norse figure Ragnar Lothbrok (Travis Fimmel), from the beginning of the Viking age marked by the Lindisfarne raid (shown in season 1), onward. As the series progressed, it shifted its focus to Ragnar’s sons and their own travels, making them the protagonists after Ragnar’s death in season 4. Björn, Ubbe, Hvitserk, and Ivar continued to lead Vikings until the end of the series, and while the finale brought their arcs to a proper end, there were some events that will directly affect those of the upcoming series Vikings: Valhalla, as they don’t fit with what history has to tell.
While Vikings aimed to be as historically accurate as possible, truth is that the writers took a lot of creative liberties, and there are some cases where they pretty much rewrote history. This is the case of Ubbe’s story, who in the series finale ends up in North America, thus becoming the first Viking to get to the other side of the world. This is yet another example of Vikings changing history to fit its narrative, and in this case, it was mostly to bring Ubbe’s arc to a satisfying end as well as Ragnar’s, who even though he died years ago, one of his biggest dreams and goals was exploring lands that Vikings had never seen before. However, this is one change that will directly impact Vikings: Valhalla, as one of the characters in the sequel series is Leif Erikson.
Leif Erikson was a Norse explorer widely believed to have been the first European to arrive in North America, approximately half a millennium before Christopher Columbus. The sagas of Icelanders tell that Erikson established a Norse settlement at Vinland (named like that as he found an abundance of grapevines and grapes), an area interpreted as coastal North America. Now, Vikings: Valhalla is set a century after the original series, and among its tales will be that of Leif Erikson, whose travels will have to be adapted to the fact that in Vikings it was Ubbe the first one to arrive in North America.
As it’s unknown what could have happened to Ubbe once he settled in North America, Vikings: Valhalla could change his fate to better fit with Leif Erikson’s story – maybe Ubbe ended up returning to Norway and his settlement didn’t survive for long, or they integrated into the Mi’kmaq tribe, so his arrival wouldn’t have been recorded, allowing Erikson to take the credit as the first European to set foot on the other side of the world. However, there’s a brighter side to this change in Viking history as it would allow Vikings: Valhalla to have a direct and thus stronger connection to the main series, as Erikson could find some trace of those who arrived before him, or perhaps the lost records of Ubbe’s settlement will be found by him, prompting him to sail to that mysterious land. Whether Ubbe’s arrival in North America was written with Leif Erikson’s future tale in mind or not is unknown, but it will inevitably change the latter’s arc in the upcoming series.