Vinland Saga Episode 5: Braving the wilderness

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Thorfinn struggles to survive

This week’s episode was a bit of an odd one. When I take a step back, I feel like nothing truly happened from a plot perspective, but it was interesting to see Thorfinn turn into a survivalist. I was honestly expecting this week’s episode to skip over to Thorfinn as an adult, so I wonder how much we’re going to dwell on his younger self. He’s getting better, but he’s still a brat.

Thorfinn stands over Askeladd

I liked that the episode didn’t try to draw too much attention to itself with long-winded narrations or monologues. I truly felt like I was watching the internal struggle in Thorfinn’s mind. He’s almost forced to rely on the pirates who killed his father for his own survival. In the end, I was surprised to see he largely had the pride to follow through on his own. We see a similar sense of pride when he refuses to kill Askeladd in his sleep here too.

Askeladd is asked about Thors's death

Askeladd himself is also a surprisingly intriguing character. He seems to have a complexity to his thought process, which I’m curious to learn about. It’s almost like he regrets killing Thors, and wants to somehow make it up through Thorfinn. It’s true that he generally acts brash and selfish, though, so I wonder how much of my impression maps to anything real.

Ylva handles her chores

Ylva also has a nice scene in this episode. It wasn’t too hard to guess where it was going when she tried to initially shrug off her father’s death, but I still thought it was a strong emotional note. Also, I want to take the time here to mention that the backgrounds in this series look really good. It’s like something out of a painting…

Thorfinn tries to catch Askeladd off-guard

Even though it was clumsy at best, I liked seeing Thorfinn’s duel with Askeladd. Thorfinn is clearly not at his father’s level, but I thought the episode gave his fight proper respect anyway. I’m almost sad that Thorfinn’s surprise attack didn’t end up working.

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