Thorfinn follows Askeladd with the hope of avenging his father, but things are not so simple: here's what happens in Vinland Saga, Episode 05!

After presented the manga and having reviewed the episodes 01, 02, 03 e 04, let's talk about Vinland Saga, Episode 05!

This episode, titled The son of the Troll, turns out to be mostly original content, with many unpublished scenes than the manga. In general, it has the tough job of representing what happens to Thorfinn, Ylva and Helga after Thors' death. Let's see how he did it!

The horror and violence of the war are not watered down, nor are they shown in an itchy way
The horror and violence of war are not watered down, but neither are they displayed in an itchy way

Vinland Saga, Episode 05: the plot

Vinland Saga, Episode 05 opens where we closed Episode 04, that is with Thorfinn on the ship pulled by Askeladd's men. If the pirates get bored and complain that they run out of beer, Thorfinn is far worse off, without even fresh water to drink.

However, ships soon land in England, on the banks of the Humber River, where Askeladd announces that they will stop only for a short time, so as to rest. While Thorfinn is busy looking for and finally finding water, he loses sight of Askeladd's men. But he soon realizes that the pirates have settled in a nearby village after having it looted and slaughtering the inhabitants.

Thorfinn's quest for revenge

The scene is terrifying to see for Thorfinn, who nevertheless approaches the plundered village in search of food and, above all, of Askeladd. Stolen a sword, Thorfinn sneaks into the house where his father's killer sleeps. However, cannot bring down the sword on man and, in the end, he decides to leave without doing anything, while we discover that, in all this, Askeladd was awake and conscious.

The next morning, Thorfinn returns to the village and publicly challenges Askeladd to a duel, claiming that, as the son of Thors, he would kill Askeladd only honorably. Pirates look at the scene with some amusement and their boss feels compelled to accept the duel. Thorfinn loads, but the weight of the stolen sword drags him to the ground and it only earns him a kick from Askeladd, who then leaves, leaving the child in his misery.

Soon, two men from Floki with the rest of the payment and a message: "How were the last moments of Thors' life?". Askeladd does not go too far, stating that they were nothing special and thus leaving Floki to his, erroneous, impression of Thors.

Meanwhile, Thorfinn regains his senses and is drawn to the men of Askeladd who cook. Pirates try to throw some bones at him, but the memory of his father's death wins over hunger and Thorfinn runs into the woods, refusing their help. However, he cannot find food and lives on hardship.

Ylva and Helga in Vinland Saga Episode 05
Ylva and Helga in Vinland Saga Episode 05

Ylva's reaction

Meanwhile, in Iceland Leif and Ari have returned to bring the news of the death of Thors and the disappearance of Thorfinn to Ylva and Helga. Leif is prostrated by pain, but everyone is surprised when Ylva literally shrugs and says it doesn't make sense to worry more. By now, after all, there was nothing more they could do and they had to go on.

Thus, we see Helga and Ylva's life go on, with Helga often bedridden by her fragile health Ylva very busy running the farm alone. Ylva seems not to have been touched by the death of the father and the disappearance of the brother. Rather, she seems too busy doing everything the two of them used to do, to be sad.

Thus, between a whale hunt, collecting water, feeding the sheep, caring for the mother and sewing, Ylva seems indestructible. She even thinks about finding a husband, so that she can have some help around the house. However, Helga realizes what's going on and in fact, when she manages to stop her daughter from working all night, we finally see Ylva crying.

From sword to dagger

In the meantime, Thorfinn tries to survive and become more skillful with the sword. However, a meeting with Bjorn, having gone to collect mushrooms, immediately makes it clear that the sword is not the right weapon for him, as the berserker stops him with one hand.

It's when he meets a Lupo that Thorfinn decides to use Thors' dagger, discovering he can handle it much better. Finally with a full stomach, the baby starts to train to fight with the dagger, as well as to throw it against an enemy. Little by little, he starts to get carried away and even manage to get food for himself.

Thorfinn finally kills a living thing
Thorfinn finally kills a living thing

The second challenge to Askeladd

Finally more confident in his abilities, Thorfinn reaches the pirates just when they are ready to leave the village, again challenging Askeladd to a duel.

Amazed that the boy has even managed to survive, Askeladd finds himself obliged to accept, given that his men ask him. However, Thorfinn's ferocity amazes himespecially when he almost catches him by throwing the dagger. And although he didn't spare him a few kicks in the stomach, Askeladd eventually decides not to kill Thorfinn.

At the protests of the child, who does not agree to be ignored, Askeladd replies that will grant him another duel when he proves his worth on the battlefield. Thus, Thorfinn joins Askeladd's crew, waiting for another opportunity to kill his father's killer.

Thorfinn who fails to kill Askeladd in Vinland Saga, Episode 05
Thorfinn who fails to kill Askeladd in Vinland Saga, Episode 05

Two ways to deal with mourning in Vinland Saga, Episode 05

In Vinland Saga, Episode 05let's see how Thors' children deal with their father's death. It is immediately evident that Ylva and Thorfinn react in two completely different ways.

Ylva's first reaction is to think about running the family business, so as to help her sick mother. As deeply destroyed and saddened as she is by the disappearance of her father and brother, the most important thing for her is her own responsibility. In fact, now that Thors is gone, she must be the man of the house.

Ylva's reaction shows his yes maturitybut also the fact that, in Viking society, the death in battle of one's men is normal. And although her friends are also worried about her, Ylva shows how her civilization expects her to go on with her life.

On the contrary, Thorfinn does not think of the mother and sister who remained in Iceland, but only of avenge the father. Even his behavior is certainly the result of his (im) maturity, but also of how the Viking society has shaped him. In a context where honor and glory in battle are what defines a man, Thorfinn is driven to face grief and seek revenge.

In both cases, it is difficult for Ylva and Thorfinn to have the time and the way to process Thors' death. Fortunately, Ylva has her mother to support her and ask her to take the time to mourn for her father. Thorfinn, on the other hand, is alone and surrounded by people who don't want, can't or can't show him another way to mourn.

The pact between Askeladd and Thorfinn
The pact between Askeladd and Thorfinn

Askeladd: the strange and involuntary father figure in Vinland Saga, Episode 05

In this context, Askeladd finds himself in a very strange position. Although he doesn't want to kill Thorfinn, because a child and because he had promised Thors that he would not harm him, he doesn't even want to deal with it. Thorfinn is a serious thorn in his side, as it reminds him of a death that was not pleasant for him too and because he risks putting him in a delicate position with his men.

Indeed, Askeladd has a reputation to maintain, as he isn't exactly known as an infamous bastard for nothing. Therefore he cannot be weak in front of his men avoiding the duel with Thorfinn. However, Askeladd doesn't even have any moral constraints that push him to deal with Thorfinn. So in many ways Askeladd hopes Thorfinn will go away or die alone, sparing him the trouble of deciding what to do with him.

However, since Thorfinn does not decide to die and on the contrary returns to challenge him more determined than ever, Askeladd can no longer ignore him and, at this point, he prefers exploit its potential. Perhaps, by convincing him to continue training to become a warrior, Thorfinn will stop harassing him. And, if he really became a fighter with attributes, Askeladd would also gain from having him in his crew.

In short, we are obviously faced with a strange relationship, not particularly healthy and born in the worst possible circumstances. It is definitely not the case to romanticize him or to praise too much the good heart of Askeladd, who remains an infamous, but it is certainly an interesting development.

The original contents of Vinland Saga, Episode 05

As mentioned at the beginning, Vinland Saga Episode 05 it has a lot of original content and, in general, it has a very restricted paper counterpart.

In fact, the scenes with Ylva are taken from a small extra chapter, Little Ylva at work, placed at the end of the third volume of the manga, therefore well beyond the death of Thors, which occurred at the end of the second volume.

instead, Thorfinn's scenes are completely unedited and they prove to be a nice addition, which links Thors' death to his son's revenge. In general, it was smart to use the material on Ylva to build a fitting and comparison episode, comparing the reaction of her and her brother.

The scenarios of Vinland Saga, Episode 05
The scenarios of Vinland Saga, Episode 05

The scenarios of Vinland Saga, Episode 05

Although the backgrounds and landscapes have always been very accurate throughout the anime, this episode shines particularly for the beautiful and well-kept backgrounds.

Also thanks to the fact that you are no longer in snowy Iceland, or on a ship in the middle of the ocean, or among the cliffs of the Fær Øer, the Wit Studio has indulged in drawing one beautiful autumn forest. Thanks to the play of light between the foliage and the contrast between the red and yellow fallen leaves and the green grass, the forest where Thorfinn takes refuge is truly enchanting.

What else will happen to Thorfinn?
What else will happen to Thorfinn?

Conclusions

Vinland Saga, Episode 05 is an episode of passage, designed to link Thors' death to Thorfinn's years of revenge. Where in the manga this passage has not been made explicit, the trend of the anime makes this interlude necessary and positive. In this way, the extra material on Ylva could also be exploited.

From what is known about episode 06, it seems that after this interlude we will go directly to the war in England. The choice is interesting, because in this way, in reality, we totally avoid the very first chapters of the manga, set in France. Unless they reappear later, therefore, it seems that the anime will decide not to use all the printed material, but to focus on the main storyline.

After all, though, the very first chapters of the manga were meant for a younger audience, so they're not totally faithful to the spirit of Vinland saga, as it was later published on Afternoon. So yesand something must be avoided, it is definitely the siege in France.