Hanging over these two episodes is the impeding death of Thors. Vinland Saga isn’t nearly as violent as I anticipated. Of course it is a bloody series. However, I’m surprise how much this series “doesn’t” have violence. That can all change as war has been declared. This is especially true considering that Thors has gone to great lengths to avoid the violence he was once stepped in. In episode 2, Sword, the war between England and Denmark begins. The Jomsviking, a band of powerful Viking warriors, arrive at Thorfinn’s village. They hope to get Thors to return to war. Floki the commander of the Jomsviking, threatens to destroy the village if he doesn’t join. He provides Thors with a boat for the other villagers.
The first thing that’s questionable is why Thors would take the clearly inexperienced “soldiers,” from the village. Obviously, they need to fight to gain experience but they haven’t been training very hard for war. Thors heads off to war and surprisingly Thorfinn sneaks on board. A common theme of this series so far is how little the villagers take war and violence seriously. The only way to change that is to see it. However, it seems clear that most of Thors fellow villagers are likely going to get killed. Askeladd, the leader of a Viking army is given orders to murder Thors. Floki claims that he was given orders to do so by the king for Thors desertion 15 years ago. Askeladd is able to deduce that he was lying.
He concludes that Floki was unwilling to risk his men against Thors. Once again the series manages to balance the serious tone with moments of humor. Ari (and the rest of the group) try to proposes to Ylva. She doesn’t seem to care as she’s sleepy. It’s a subtle moment of humor that makes their potential deaths seem sadder. Thors and the others are ambushed by Askeladd and his men. Forced into a corner, Thors begins to fight the men alone. So far he’s unwilling to shed any blood, at least not yet. It might be possible that Thors kills off enough of the men that the others survive, but I doubt it. I’m dreading the next episode but I also can’t wait.