Vinland Saga Episode 9: The log master

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Askeladd faces off against Thorkell

I think there’s something funny about Askeladd and his crew randomly sailing into the war to help the Danes. Thorkell ended up being the battle junkie I expected him to be, but his fight with Thorfinn in this episode was entertaining. I think this series as a whole handles the war battle aspect well, so I liked this episode as a whole. As I mentioned last week, I do look forward to seeing how Canute handles the battle for London, given that we’ve spent a lot of time with a pirate crew.

Askeladd sends Thorfinn to fight Thorkell

I had no idea what to expect when Askeladd sends Thorfinn to kill Thorkell. I guess Askeladd is just constantly escalating the difficulty of the tasks he gives to Thorfinn, but this one felt like a sharp leap. That being said, I’d have trouble believing it if Thorfinn was able to beat Thorkell despite his issues with fighting Askeladd.

Floki moves forward to convince Thorkell

Floki’s appearance in this episode got me thinking. I think it’s interesting that he appears before Thorfinn and the pirates without any issue despite being the ultimate mastermind behind the death of Thors. I know there’s no way for Thorfinn to know this, but I do wonder how finding that out would affect Thorfinn’s revenge quest. He’s been devoted to it for a while now.

Floki attempts to reason with Thorkell

I don’t think there’s all too much to Thorkell’s personality, but I guess he works to embody the lifestyle that Thors walked away from. Thorkell’s jab at Sweyn seems like what you would expect from someone who was obsessed with battle. It makes sense for a leader to take favorable fights, after all.

Thorfinn analyzes Thorkell

Have we gotten to hear Thorfinn’s thoughts in battle before? I feel like he typically executes his actions silently, so maybe this is just an exceptionally difficult opponent. Also, I interpreted this scene as saying that Thorkell’s natural height made it harder for Thorfinn’s typical fighting style.

Thorfinn is annoyed with Thorkell

Thorfinn’s last line in this episode was probably the most interesting one in the episode for me. This is a kid who was sneaking aboard a ship to join his father in battle, and he’s become completely frustrated with battle. The thought might even reflect something similar to what Thors went through, given that Thorkell was part of the battle when Thors walked away from his warrior life.

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