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Vinland Saga Season 2, Episode 4: Live and Do What?

Snake calls his subordinates “idiots,” for their stupidity after attacking slaves. Suddenly, Snake gets serious and attacks Thorfinn with intent to kill. Thorfinn is triggered, instantly reminded of Askeladd, he reacts and delivers a swift kick that Snake blocks. Snake comments that it seems that Thorfinn’s body wants him to live. As I’ve mentioned in previous reviews Thorfinn appears to have given up on life. Regardless, I predicted that Thorfinn will eventually find something that matters to him.

Pater tends to Thorfinn’s wounds which are shallow. According to Pater, Ketil doesn’t “know what to do” with the mercenaries. If the farm is so peaceful, then the mercenaries become restless, looking for danger. Einar continues to be enraged by the dismissive nature that many on the farm has towards the lives of slaves. Einar and Thorfinn come into conflict in this episode, sort of. Thorfinn says that “it can’t be helped as the strong kill the weak.” Thorfinn’s nihilism bothers Einar. Despite being told that he can have the day off, Thorfinn goes to work cutting down trees.

Einar joins him and asks him if he has ever been to war? Thorfinn confirms not only that he’s been to war but he’s killed too many people. To Einar, Thorfinn reminds him of the men that killed his family. While sleeping, Thorfinn has another nightmare. Einar begin chocking him. He eventually stops and wakes Thorfinn from his nightmare. Thorfinn asks him “why he keeps waking him up” ? Einar tells him that they still have something to live for. Einar may turn out to be part of the reason Thorfinn finds something to grant him a new lease on life.

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Vinland Saga Season 2, Episode 3: Does anything good come from living?

Vinland Saga Season 2 Episode 3, “Snake,” introduces use to the mercenaries and the leader “Snake.” The episode opens with Olmar complaining that nobody understands him. Olmar thinks that “everyone is laughing inside at him.” Olmar shows how privileged he is when he throws a tantrum claiming that he “wants to be killed,” since he’s a “nobody.” Olmar is clearly made insecure by the comforts his father’s wealth affords him. Fox decides that Olmar needs to become a man and the best way to do that is killing someone. Fox claims that killing someone will give him some confidence.

Thorfinn wakes up screaming. Clearly still haunted by his terrible childhood, he tell Einar that he doesn’t remember the dream. When they go to wash faces they encounter the woman from the first episode, Arnheld. Einar assumed that she was Ketil’s daughter but she’s a slave and Ketil’s personal assistant. Fox and Badger interrupt them and leads Thorfinn and Einar to Olmar. On the trip, Thorfinn explains to Einar that they’re “guests” who are the bodyguards of the farm. Einar immediately understands that they’re in danger.

Death has value because everyone fears it

At the mercenary camp, Einar learns that they intend for Olmar to kill him and Thorfinn. Fox sees them as only being property saying that “their lives aren’t theirs and their owner can do what he wants with them.” However, Olmar doesn’t own Thorfinn and Einar his father does. Fox accuses Olmar of “making excuses,” and questions if he’s “afraid.” Thorfinn seems not to care about any potential violence that may come his way. Einar for his part tackles Olmar while telling Thorfinn to flee. Thorfinn tells them to let Einar go and they can kill him.

His statement shocks some of the men. Fox asks him if he “understands what it means to be cut,” and Thorfinn responds “you will die.” Fox states that he and the other mercenaries are selling “death,” and “death has value because everyone fears it.” Thorfinn remains somber and stone faced. This seems to bother Fox who wants to see fear in Thorfinn. Fox begins to slice Thorfinn with his sword, creating shallow cuts. Fox cuts Thorfinn a number of times but gets no reaction. Snake watches from afar and is impressed by Thorfinn demeaner. Fox is about to cut Thorfinn’s eye out and Snake stops him.

Fox reaction to Snake instantly tells you how dangerous he is. Fox freezes when Snake makes his presence known. He even begins to coward, the confidence he expressed before disappears. Snake tells Fox to come closer to him and punches him in the face knocking him out. He then turns to Badger and asks him to explain the situation. My early impression of Snake is that he’s more honorable than you’re typical mercenary but I wonder how far that honor goes. Thorfinn’s demeanor has been horrifying so far. He sees no value in living and has nothing to live for. It’s sad to see, even though I know he’ll find something to make his life worth living.

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Vinland Saga Season 2, Episode 1: Carve it into your enemies

It’s been a few years since Vinland Saga‘s first season ended. I forgot how dark this series was. The first episode of Vinland Saga Season 2, opens in a more jovial manner. Einar, his mother, and sister are enjoying lunch. They mock Einar for his lack of fighting ability. He feels a need to protect the village that was once burned to the ground and cost his father his life.

Einar is no super hero he can’t turn his rage into a powerups to save anyone. He simply must watch in horror as his mother then sister are killed. He’s enslaved. The only thing keeping him going is his mothers dying wish for him to “live.” Slavery is brutal. On the journey to be sold a women falls ill and is tossed off the boat and drowns. To the slavers she’s just merchandise, she’s not worth anything dead, and if she get’s the others sick she’ll cost them money.

Vinland Saga Season 2 Episode 1 - Einar  losing hope

“Because you’re outsiders and penniless slaves.”

– enslaver

On land, the slaves are poked, groped, and inspected. They must bathe, have their teeth checked, and are lined next to one another. Einar escapes but he has many problems. He has no money and lacks food, so he must steal. He has no idea where he is and worst no place to return to. This his how to strip the slaves of their identity, dignity, and eventually hope. All they come to know is that they’re slaves and they must accept this limitation or died.

Einar finds a good master

Surprisingly, Leif Ericson appears and is looking for Thorfinn who has been enslaved. Einar responds to Leif searching for Thorfinn, calling Thorfinn lucky for having someone searching for them. Einar is eventually purchased by Ketil and brought to a farm in Jutland, Denmark to “work.” His farm is massive, full of golden wheat fields, and quickly reminds him of his old home. As they head towards a forest the master calls out to Thorfinn, who has grown up since we last saw him.

Vinland Saga is a series that tries to weave together humor with the dreary world the characters find themselves in, all while having bouts of action, and exciting characters. What I love about this series is it’s seamless ability to use mythology, history, and fantasy. It can be a difficult balancing act but this series does it well. Ketil is a slaver owner so he can only be so good, but he seems to be more pleasant than other slavers. Of course, we’ve barely seen much from him so he could be a monster. Vinland Saga Season 2 has started slowly but strongly.

What did you think of the first episode? Too depressing? What do you think happened to Thorfinn between this season and the last one? Opinions on Einar so far? Let me know.

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