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This episode really makes me wonder how sad this story is going to get. It was nice to see Thorfinn progress into a warrior, but it was rough to see him become helpful to the pirates who killed his father. I also like how this series feels like it’s validating some of the English history that I’ve learned recently. For once, I feel partially prepared for a historical show.
Watching Thorfinn become a fighter out of the chaos of battle felt pretty somber. It’s clear that he needs to survive, but it’s hard to watch him go down the path his father didn’t want for him. But at least he stopped screaming, right?
On a side note, I wasn’t the biggest fan of the battles in this episode. I’m okay with giving Thorfinn a pass because we literally watch him grow throughout the episode. However, the larger battles seemed to suffer from the problems you’d expect (people barely moving, for example). The blood visual effects were cool, though.
Fun fact: Ethelred is known in history as “Ethelred the Unready”, so the perception of him as a bad king is legitimate. Also, his nickname doesn’t come from the modern meaning of “unready”. Rather, the word at the time meant “poorly advised”. It’s supposed to be making fun of his given name, which meant “well advised”. English words are fun.
The language barrier plays out weirdly in the show, but I guess it wasn’t that important. I was hoping to see Thorfinn turn things around, but he instead betrays the people who help him. It’s heartbreaking to see him get cleaned up just to turn around and call the Vikings to the village.
That being said, I’m curious to see where Thorfinn goes from here. I’m hoping he takes something from this experience. He tries to help in the end, after all. It was interesting to see the English woman crying for Thorfinn as he kills the soldiers. It comes off as pity for a boy who has grown up in harsh conditions.