Thorfinn can finally challenge Askeladd to a duel! Will he avenge his father's death? Here is the review of Vinland Saga Episode 08!
After introducing the manga in this article and having reviewed the episodes 01, 02, 03, 04, 05, 06 e 07, let's see how the situation evolves in Vinland Saga, Episode 08! The episode is titled Beyond the end of the sea.
Vinland Saga, Episode 08: the plot
Vinland Saga Episode 08 start with goats. Or, to be more precise, with Danish shepherds who, while grazing the goats, see the approaching ships of Askeladd. And, for the first time, someone is happy to see Askeladd's ships!
The Danes return home!
In fact, the raiders have finally returned home, happy to have survived for another year. Askeladd thanks his men and invites them to enjoy the winter of rest, while he enjoys the adoration of his personal fanclub of cute young women. The villagers are happy with the riches they bring and hope to join Askeladd's crew by spring.
Meanwhile, Askeladd talks to his uncle, the head of the village Gorm. Gorm sips the silver coins that will serve to feed his nephew's 97 men for the winter. However, Askeladd guarantees that he has the money to pay for his soldiers and asks Gorm why he likes them so much. money and Gorm reveals that he is happy just to watch them.
But in the meantime we also discover that Gorm is not happy with his new slave, Hordaland, daughter of a ruined feudal lord. According to Gorm, in fact, Hordaland is a very beautiful girl, but slow in her job since she was the daughter of a nobleman, and therefore it was a waste of money. Askeladd, looking at Thorfinn from the window, says that it is not the slave's fault that it is useless, but the way her uncle uses it. So, Askeladd asks Gorm to witness him for a duel.
The duel between Thorfinn and Askeladd
The villagers are excited by the duel that is about to begin and many comment on the skill of the two challengers. Askeladd tries to set the tone of the fight by reminding Thorfinn of his father's death, but the boy is faster and immediately sets off on the attack. Thus, the confrontation proceeds with Thorfinn trying to force Askeladd's guard and the older man parrying his blows. Askeladd finds himself forced to drop his sword so as not to have his fingers cut off, but even unarmed he manages to push Thorfinn back on the defensive.
At this point, Askeladd starts talking again and asks the boy what his father was called: after all, it was so insignificant that he doesn't even remember him. Is Thorfinn really sure that Askeladd killed him? It's here Thorfinn begins to lose his temper, accusing Askeladd of killing Thors only because he had taken him hostage. But so Askeladd can deliver the final thrust: right, Thors was the idiot who had lowered his sword to save a child! Out of himself with rage, Thorfinn pounces on the man, but Askeladd can now take advantage of his lowered defense, disarming the boy. So, after dislocating his shoulder, Askeladd leaves Thorfinn on the ground, reminding him that he is still not strong enough.
Thorfinn's banquet and dream
In the evening, with the snow starting to fall, the raiders enjoy the return home, feasting and drinking. Thorfinn, meanwhile, has offered to watch out for ships to be alone. Askeladd's men comment on the matter, but Bjorn asks them to let him do it. When a village boy asks him why he is carrying a vindictive boy, Askeladd reassures him: Thorfinn will only kill him in an honorable duel. And while Gorm punishes Hordaland again for dropping food, Askeladd comments: everyone is a slave to something. Gorm is a slave to money, with whom he bought a slave whom he pretends to be the master of. Likewise, Thorfinn is a slave to his past.
In the meantime, Thorfinn on the ship he dreams of seeing his father again, Thors asks him if he wants to avenge himself, and at Thorfinn's yes he admits he doesn't know what to say to him. After all, it's about his stubborn son. So maybe Thorfinn will have to figure it out for himself that he has no enemy.
Dialogue with Hordaland
Thorinn's dream is abruptly interrupted by Hordaland, who has come to bring him food. Hordaland asks him if he is a slave for having to eat out in the cold, but Thorfinn replies that he is a warrior. But yet, Hordaland feels that the two of them are similar. The boy replies that he has no idea how a slave feels and that, had it been in her, he would have killed Gorm and would have run away. Hordaland says, however, that he could never kill someone, but that if he could he would run across the sea.
But, after all, there is nothing beyond the sea, so nothing would change. However, at this point Thorfinn remembers Leif's tales: beyond the sea is a land called vinlandhot, fertile and without wars or slave traders.
The new invasion of England
Meanwhile, winter passes and, with the arrival of spring, the Danes are preparing for a new invasion. King Sven is completing the final preparations and requests the presence of his younger son, Canute, on the field. And although the young man's mentor, Ragnar, oppose this decision, according to Sven It is time for Canute to prove his worth in battle. Even if Canute has no experience, he will have to prove that he is a warrior, to be followed by the Vikings.
We see the Danish countryside in England proceeding well and quickly, at least to London. London, in fact, is defended by Thorkell, a Dane who took the side of the English, capable of beheading and maiming five men with an ax thrown from a long way off. Thorkell challenges the Danes to get it on - after all, it's a fun war!
Continuity in Vinland Saga, Episode 08
Except for the duel between Thorfinn and Askeladd, in Vinland Saga Episode 08 not much happens. Basically, this is the last connecting episode that links Thorfinn's childhood to the war in England.
Much of what is said and seen for hang up on previous episodes here it seems relatively uninteresting, in fact it would seem free of charge and capable of making easy minute play. In fact, too Vinland Saga Episode 08 slavishly follows the manga. Except that in the manga this scene, along with the entire episode 07, takes place in the very first two chapters, so before Thorfinn's childhood.
In this sense, all references to Thors, to how he died, to how Askeladd was an asshole and even Thorfinn's dream about his father in the manga is new information. In the manga, the talk between Thorfinn and Askeladd during the duel serves not only to show us the strategy of the old fox, but also to give us important information.
For this reason, Vinland Saga Episode 08 it doesn't work very well in the anime, just because takes something that has already been shown to us. And it does so without deviating from the tracks of the manga, which used this type of narration just in view of a flashback. In this sense, Vinland Saga Episode 08 makes us understand that not always following the original material slavishly guarantees a story that runs smoothly, especially if the order of the narrative has been reversed.
Final thoughts on Vinland Saga Episode 08
Honestly, there isn't much to say about it Vinland Saga Episode 08.
Le action scenes they are very beautiful and the duel between Thorfinn and Askeladd re-shows us how these two fight. We notice again how much Askeladd leverages the feelings of others to deconcentrate them and take them to make some risky moves. This strategy, of course, is possible with someone quite immature like Thorfinn, but decidedly useless with seasoned warriors like Thors.
The campaign in England will also finally begin finally we will see Thorkell and Canute. Vinland Saga Episode 08 he did well to quit showing us these two characters, because that way he can balance the weak contents of the rest of the episode.
It is also very heavy to see Thorfinn talk about the slavery. Without spoiling too much of the manga, but let's say that Thorfinn will end up coming in much more contact with the slaves. It's really cool how Yukimura put this dialogue like this at the beginning of the manga.
In short, Vinland Saga Episode 08 makes us happy that finally FINALLY, we go to England to do things. The plot from here on will proceed much faster and we will have a lot of beautiful fights. Thorkell promises to be already spectacular and Canute has already conquered the hearts of many fans who cannot resist the effeminate boys.
We hope that the series will go on like Thorkell's ax from now on!