Season 1, Episode 9: The Battle of London Bridge
In October 1013, a fleet of Danish and Viking ships arrive in England. They are prepared to take London Bridge. Askeladd’s army is hired by Denmark, hoping to get rich with an easy victory. However, things get more complicated, with the deflection of Thorkell the Tall. Askeladd sends Thorfinn after Thorkell. A battle obsessed “madman,” Thorkell fights against his own countrymen for the challenge. When Floki asks the English for their surrender, Thorkell throws a massive boulder at them. He misses, but shows that he’s a major obstacle. The highlight of this episode is the fight between, Thorfinn and Thorkell. Armed with two daggers, Thorfinn takes on the unarmed Thorkell.
This fight is spectacular. They use of dramatic camera angles is really effective. Thorfinn use of superhuman acrobatics when dodging Thorkell’s massive blows is a sight. Thorkell duels Thorfinn one on one. Thorfinn quickly notices that despite being unarmed, Thorkell could kill him with “one hit.” He notices the weak points of Thorkell, attacking low, he manages to stab Thorkell in the hand. However, this allows Thorkell to grab Thorfinn. Slamming Thorfinn into the ground repeatedly, Askeladd and the fleet retreat. Thorfinn escapes after cutting off two of Thorkell’s fingers. He then jumps into the sea after informing Thorkell that he’s named Thorfinn, son of Thors.
Thorkell is excited to have battled such a warrior. He hopes for another battle on day. Realizing that they can’t spend so much time in one city, King Sweyn plans to move West. He will leave 4000 troops to overtake England, handing over command to the young Prince Canute. Ragnar continues to challenge the Kings wisdom in this regard. Every time he does this I expect the King to have him killed. It seems to be foolish to constantly tell the King that he’s wrong without any consequences. Although maybe the King simply responds well to criticism. Meanwhile, Thorfinn returns to land, with a dislocated shoulder, a sprained right ankle and several broken ribs. As they march on to Wessex, Thorfinn struggles to understand why anyone would love battle so much.
Reviews of the Other Episodes
- Vinland Saga Episode 1 Review: Somewhere Not Here
- Vinland Saga Episode 2 Review: Sword
- Vinland Saga Episode 3 Review: Troll
- Vinland Saga Episode 4 Review: A True Warrior
- Vinland Saga Episode 5 Review: The Troll’s Son
- Vinland Saga Episode 6 Review: The Journey Begins
- Vinland Saga Episode 7 Review: Normanni
- Vinland Saga Episode 8 Review: Beyond the Edge of the Sea