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Who Plays Jarl Haakon In Vikings: Valhalla?

In addition to serving as a sequel series to History's "Vikings," Netflix's "Vikings: Valhalla" introduces audiences to an all new set of legendary Norse characters, including several real-life historical figures like the fabled Viking explorer Leif Erikson (Sam Corlett). Though many of the events portrayed in the series are based on genuine chronicles of history, "Vikings: Valhalla" also makes ample use of historical fiction's greatest invention: artistic license.

One particular example of this practice is the character of Jarl Estrid Haakon. Though the character is very loosely inspired by a real man named Haakon Sigurdarson, the fictional character differs quite a bit. In addition to gender and race swapping the character, "Vikings: Valhalla" portrays Haakon as the ruler of Kattegat, a fictional city set in Norway. In real life, Sigurdarson actually ruled all of Norway for two decades (via Archaeology in Europe). Additionally, although Haakon introduces herself to Freydis Eriksdotter (Frida Gustavsson) as an old friend of her father, Erik the Red, there is no indication that the real-life Sigurdarson ever met any members of the famous family (via YouTube). 

Despite her lack of foundation in the real world, the fictionalized Jarl Haakon nonetheless plays an important role in the Netflix drama. So, who is the actress behind the highly fictionalized character?

Caroline Henderson is Vikings: Valhalla's Jarl Estrid Haakon

If you're a TV fan and you don't recognize the name Caroline Henderson, that's probably because she doesn't have much of an acting resume yet. According to IMDb, "Vikings: Valhalla" only serves as Henderson's seventh on-screen credit. However, others may recognize Henderson's name for an entirely different reason. Though she doesn't have many acting credits to her name yet, she is an internationally recognized jazz and pop singer with more than 30 years in the music business. 

Henderson first rose to prominence in the music business in 1989 when she formed the band Ray Dee Ohh with Maria Bramsen (via CarolineHenderson.com). The band became best known for the song "Jeg Vil La' Lyset brænde," a song which currently sits at more than 16 million plays on Spotify. In 1995, Henderson marked the beginning of a successful solo career with the release of an album titled "Cinemataztic." In the years since "Cinemataztic" was first released, Henderson has followed it up with 11 additional albums (via Discogs).

Interestingly, Henderson is also a real-life knight of Denmark, having been granted the Order of the Dannebrog in 2010 for her contributions to the arts (via Den of Geek).