Vinland Saga Episode 8: Back to war?

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Askeladd's ships arrive

This week’s episode didn’t quite go the way I would have liked, but I’m curious to see where it’s going. It’s probably asking too much to have Thorfinn become strong enough to actually beat Askeladd. But as I’ve mentioned before, I would like to see Thorfinn get away from Askeladd already. On the bright side, the episode ends by introducing Canute and returning to the war between Denmark and England, so I might just get my wish anyway.

Thorfinn fights Askeladd

Outcome aside, the duel between Thorfinn and Askeladd was pretty cool. It’s nice to see how far Thorfinn has come, and his strategy in the fight made a lot of sense. Similarly, Askeladd fights the way you’d expect, taking advantage of Thorfinn’s weaknesses to win. I can’t tell if it’s playing dirty or a lesson in disguise.

Askeladd muses about slaves

It’s a weird scene, but I do think this line from Askeladd is interesting. His general view that everyone is a slave to something fits with his carefree personality and lifestyle. Also, I like the idea of Gorm submitting himself to money while simultaneously chastising his own slave.

Thors comforts his son

I don’t know where this conversation is coming from, but I liked the scene. Thors says things that don’t really fit with a ghostly vision, but he finishes by admitting that Thorfinn might need to just learn for himself. The idea that his words won’t be enough makes his presence effectively nothing, which fits better with the ghost thing.

Hordaland wishes to run

I have a sneaking suspicion that Hordaland is destined to die, but I hope she succeeds in inspiring Thorfinn to seek out his path. I like that she’s able to get Thorfinn to talk about Vinland, a story from before he lost his father. It makes it sound like Thorfinn’s close to being on the right track.

Canute looks over the ships

I’m not sure what to expect here, but I welcome the change of pace by switching focus to Canute. He’s a historical figure I recognize, and I think it would be good to get a break from pirating.

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