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Who Was The Girl Who Gave Leif A Cross In Vikings: Valhalla Episode 3?

Episode 3 of "Vikings: Valhalla" saw the first move the Vikings made against the English throne. It also saw a mysterious girl bestow a curious gift upon Leif Eriksson (Sam Corlett). The warriors first attacked a village outside London, discovering that Eriksson to be a talented raider. Even Harald Sigurdsson (Leo Suter) commented, "You did well in your first battle; raiding suits you."

Later, when the Vikings find themselves almost in London, the leaders strategize approaching the city. Olaf Haraldsson (Johannes Haukur Johannesson) suggests coming to the city from the South through the marsh. Others find the idea crazy, but he assures them the English will never expect it. As a former advisor to the English, they ultimately trust his council and send scouts, including Eriksson and Sigurdsson, through the marsh.

The scouting mission goes badly, and the English are waiting for them. The Vikings lose six warriors, and Eriksson is lost and feared to be dead. The next time viewers see Eriksson, he is lying in the marsh. A young girl then approaches him, places a cross in his hands, and crosses her chest in prayer. This happens just before Sigurdsson finds him and saves him. Who was this girl? Was she real? Or was she a figment of his imagination?

Who is the girl?

We get no explanation in the first few episodes following this scene regarding the girl's identity. She was dressed plainly, wearing a yellow dress typical of the time. She said nothing; she silently placed the cross in his hands and crossed her chest. The next thing viewers see is an English soldier ready to kill Eriksson before Sigurdsson appears and saves him. We know she was real because Eriksson is seen in the next episode thumbing the cross thoughtfully, pondering its meaning. There are some different possibilities as to who she was.

Eagle-eyed viewers will notice she carried a water bucket as she approached him on the ground. This, in itself, offers two options. She may be a simple resident of London looking for water to bring back to her family — whether a marsh is a good source of potable water is a topic for another conversation. Two, as long as humans have gone to war with each other, armies would send teams of people out to collect their dead (and finish off enemy soldiers who survived). Could she have accompanied the English soldier in that endeavor, offering water to surviving English soldiers and the last rites to surviving Vikings?

Does her appearance signal a Christian conversion?

For a series steeped in religious imagery, there is bound to be some foreshadowing in the form of crosses and Pagan symbols. While their quest unites the Vikings for revenge against the English, they are, at the same time, divided by their differing religious views. One half of the Viking Army wears the cross of Christianity, while the other half adorns their bodies in the markings of their old gods. While one will say God and their Savior Jesus Christ protects them in battle, others will give that credit to Odin.

A Greenlander like Leif Eriksson and his sister, Freydis Eriksdotter, may find themselves in the eventual place of choosing a side. We see Freydis explore her place among the shamans in the woods in the middle episodes, indicating she has/will choose the old gods and side with the Pagan Vikings. Is the event in the marsh the first step for Eriksson to convert to the Christian faith?

When the girl approached him, he was lying on his back with his hands crossed over his chest. The fallen soldier resembled what we would recognize as a person in a coffin. Could the girl placing the cross in his hands represent God saving him from death? Almost immediately after, Sigurdsson arrived just in time to protect him from an English blade. The pondering look he gave the cross in the next episode may be him thinking that exact thing. He even bestowed that same gift to Liv when she lay on her deathbed following injury, maybe hoping for the same deliverance from death. Only time will tell. Keep watching "Vikings: Valhalla" to find out.