In Vinland Saga Episode 10 we follow the Vikings in the invasion of England, with Askeladd and Thorfinn talking about Ragnarok.
After presenting the manga in this article and having reviewed the episodes 01, 02, 03, 04, 05, 06, 07, 08 e 09, let's see what's new in the anime of Vinland saga! The tenth episode (are we already ten ?!) is titled Ragnarok.
Vinland Saga Episode 10: the plot
Vinland Saga Episode 10 it opens with Thorkell throwing stones at the Norman encampment he is besieging London, sowing death and destruction. Again, Euron move, which makes you laugh, compared.
The (boring) siege of London
In fact, Thorkell is getting bored to death and incite Viking comrades to attack the city. By standing still, after all, they will never reach Valhalla! The besiegers do not take offenses well and ask Ragnar to attack, but the prince's guardian refuses, as Thorkell is too dangerous to make rash moves. Canute will give the order to attack when the time comes.
Meanwhile, Canute he is praying alone with a priest. From outside the men scream that he is a coward, but Ragnar reassures the boy: they just have to hold out until winter. At that point, Sweyn will definitely call them back.
Meanwhile, Thorkell is joined by one of his men, Asgeir, which reassures him: surely the enemies do not attack to be cautious. After all, they are under the command of the Prince of Denmark. The news reaches Thorkell, who gets an idea.
Meanwhile, Thorfinn dreams of returning with his family, but not to Iceland, but to one warm and thriving land. They are all happy, with good pastures, lots of food and a mild climate, so much so that even his mother is better. Thors, carrying him on his shoulder, reminds him that he must protect his mother and sister, and no longer think of revenge.
Suddenly, the sky becomes dark and Thorfinn sees the marauders who have come to devastate their village and enslave the inhabitants. The boy asks his father what to do, but the marauders pierce Thors with arrows.
A looted village and future plans
Calling his father, Thorfinn wakes up, shaken by the dream and wondering where the mild place he had dreamed of is. When he gets up, we realize that Askeladd's men are reveling in a newly looted village. The Danes eat among the corpses of civilians, discuss their leader's plans and count what they have managed to earn over the summer.
Bjorn is skeptical that the raids in England will bear fruit the following year. Sweyn has practically won and Thorkell too, when he sees the situation, will abandon the English. Meanwhile, however, two of the men in the group quarrel, as one insulted the other by calling him a cattle thief. Bjorn states that, given the severity of the insult, they cannot be stopped, so inform Askeladd about who survives.
The Ragnarok in the Roman ruins
Meanwhile, Thorfinn moves away from the village and its cackles, climbing a hill on which rise some Roman ruins. He reflects on the fact that England is a land similar to the one he saw in a dream, so different from cold Iceland. As he thinks about his father's death, Thorfinn realizes that Askeladd has also climbed the hill.
Thoughtfully, Askeladd turns over a Roman coin and asks Thorfinn not to get angry about the noise others make: they are frustrated because they have been marching for days. But Thorfinn freezes him, telling him not to talk to him as if they were friends: even if he thinks he has it under his control, one day Thorfinn will cut his throat. Askeladd takes it well, stating that time is on the boy's side, he will grow as the adult grows older. One day, Askeladd will lose, as is natural: even the strongest die.
Thus, Askeladd points to the ruins around them: those stones were erected not by the people who live in England now, the Saxons, but by those who lived there before. The Romans were said to be strong, but the Saxons annihilated them anyway. The world of man is aging inexorably, with peoples annihilating each other. According to Christians, the universal judgment will come within twenty years, when God will annihilate humanity.
A messenger from London
As Thorfinn and Askeladd look wistfully at the sunrise, a messenger Danish horse. The newcomer asks Askeladd and Thorfinn if the main army is nearby, and the leader of the marauders proposes to tell him everything, while they get him a rested horse.
The messenger relates that Thorkell left London with 500 men, all of whom were Danish followers, and is marching in that direction. Cnut's 4000 men have been defeated and the messenger is one of the few survivors of the massacre. In fact, Thorkell attacked Canute's camp, annihilating his army. The prince has been captured, becoming a prisoner of the traitor Viking.
Askeladd's new plan
The messenger is trying to warn the main army to save Canute and asks Askeladd to join him in recovering the prince. Sighing and looking up at the sky, Askeladd asks Bjorn if he too hears the sound of the Ragnarok footsteps. And, without warning, cut off the messenger's head.
Ordering Bjorn to bury horse and messenger, Askeladd yells at his men the new orders: they will save Canute! After all, who can imagine the enormous reward they would get by bringing it from Sweyn, or the English?
While their men rejoice, Bjorn asks Askeladd if he has a plan to deal with Thorkell. But Askeladd does not give great reassurances: it's the era of the sunset, so we might as well get out of the scene.
Death in Askeladd's speech in Vinland Saga Episode 10
Until now, we have always seen Askeladd as a person from ambiguous morality, which alternates between an infamous attitude and brief moments of unexpected sincerity. Since Thorfinn is no longer a child, Askeladd has done nothing but manipulate him, exploit him and, in general, treat him as cannon fodder.
It is strange, therefore, to see Askeladd speaking to Thorfinn without any double ends. And, after the scene in the ruins, we almost feel we understand this man better.
The really special thing is to see a person with such a sense of self-preservation like Askeladd discuss how worth dying is worth. Until now, we have seen Askeladd avoid the danger, sending Thorfinn to act as an assassin or otherwise investing in elaborate plans to start from an advantage situation. In Vinland Saga Episode 10instead, the chief of the marauders seems making peace with death.
Or rather, let's go back to that Askeladd who candidly told Thors to kill him, that is the Askeladd who is not afraid of death. Among the characters we met, only Thorkell seemed so untouched by the thought of dying, and we know that his lightheartedness is due to valuing the fight above all else. Therefore, what does Askeladd care more about than life? Why is he so nihilistic, in reality, when we saw him making infamous plans so as not to expose himself to danger?
With this scene, we had the first real look into Askeladd's interiority, which will soon be deepened by further flashbacks. And, I assure you, the background Askeladd explains well his nihilism, which however manages to coexist with his respect for idealistic people like Thors. After all, you don't love Askeladd just for his pretty little face!
Which however in this episode is wonderful.
Rhythm, fights, landscapes and colors of Vinland Saga Episode 10
Although last time I had feared a slower episode than the previous one, actually Vinland Saga Episode 10 he spent very well. The rhythm is sustained and we even have some very nice fights!
The episode has the intelligence to start with Thorkell throwing rocks at the enemy encampment. We begin to understand that when Thorkell is there, there is action: the warrior is very animated and expressive as usual. When we then see his conquest of the enemy camp there are some scenes from combat beautiful.
And although the rest of the episode is quieter, it still flows at a good pace and delights us with gorgeous background e shine. Thorfinn's dream is a riot of flowering meadows, while the sunrise on the hill has spectacular colors. The following scenes play on the sun not yet fully risen, creating a beautiful contrast between the shadows of the village and the pink and blue sky.
I must then break a spear in favor of the music, which in the second part of the episode are really very suggestive.
Vinland Saga Episode 10 it's a passing episode, but it doesn't really seem like it. The situation evolves and at the same time we have excellent moments of introspection of the characters.
Little by little, Canute it is getting more and more focused, although I still haven't said a word. But his contrast to the Danish mentality and his rejection for war is already evident. However, the doubt still remains: will it be just a fake?
Thorkell it continues to be developed, this time together with its Viking army. There isn't much room for sympathy in this episode, and the warrior's gaiety is more disturbing and psychotic than funny. That's great, because we always have to remember that Thorkell is a beautiful and plump character, but also a violent murderer.
Despite the stolen minutes from episode 04, Thorfinn's dream makes our hearts tighten at the memory of his family and how happy they could have been without the war. The speech between Thorfinn and Askeladd on the hill is very suggestive and is good for both characters.
In short, as usual, can't wait for the next episode!