Vinland Saga Episode 5: Recap & Review

Askeladd’s men rape and pillage a village

Episode 5, The Troll’s Son

It’s my understanding that this episode of Vinland Saga wasn’t adapted from the manga series of the same name. This can sometimes backfire, but in capable hands can be a seamless addition to series. As predicted, Thorfinn is still enraged and dead set on getting revenge. He’s also saddened by his fathers death. A bundle of conflicting emotions, Thorfinn is determined to kill Askeladd. He has failed to learn the entire lesson his father wanted to teach. Violence isn’t any way to live one’s life. It’s my belief that he will live a life as a warrior then he will learn what his father taught him, but only after experiencing life ruled by violence.

Ylva crying

Askeladd and his Vikings, rape and pillage a village. There is no since of regret, guilt or even blood-lust from Askeladd. He largely, muted in his emotions. While, Thors was a good man, he didn’t have much time to be a hero. He went from violent killer to pacific living at the end of the world in a quite village. Are there any heroes in this series? Most people might assume that Thorfinn must become one. Will he? So far it seems that for the time being he’s going to become a single minded killer. While, Askeladd isn’t a good guy by any stretch, but apparently he won’t kill children. That’s the only reason Thorfinn remains alive. Twice he challenges Askeladd to a duel, and of course he loses. His second duel sees him take a step forward in his fighting ability.

Thorfinn promising to kill Askeladd

Askeladd is a complicated man. I think he regrets that Thors is dead, but NOT that he killed him. It might be a thin distinction but a significant one. When Ylva learns of her fathers death she quickly pretends that it doesn’t really matter. This muted reaction from her was clearly a front. I could almost feel her sadness and was waiting for her to finally collapse into that sadness. It’s hard to tell if Thorfinn immaturity will continue or will he grow out of it. Finally, will his family ever be told that he’s survived. I don’t think there’s any form of mail, so he would probably have to go back. My best prediction is he will return when he’s grown, in the meantime he’s off to the battlefield.

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