Let's go back to review this anime, talking about Vinland Saga Episode 11: Will Askeladd's men save Canute from Thorkell?

After a long pause due to the commitments of Seeker G, let's go back to talking about Vinland saga! We presented the manga Thu, to then review each episode released: 01, 02, 03, 04, 05, 06, 07, 08, 09 e 10.

Today, therefore, we will talk about the latest arrival: Vinland Saga Episode 11, Entitled A bet.

Ragnar reprimands Thorkell in Vinland Saga Episode 11
Ragnar scolds Thorkell in Vinland Saga Episode 11

Vinland Saga Episode 11: the plot

Vinland Saga Episode 11 takes us directly to the men of Thorkell. As they march, the Alto and his soldiers chat about this and that, commenting on good foods to eat in the fall. Then when someone turns to the topic of English women, classy and very modest because they are Christian, the discussion turns towards religion.

A philosophical discussion

Some Vikings find the Christianity interesting, as popular, while others, like Asgeir, say they would never convert. In fact, Christianity imposes too many prohibitions and Christ seems a thin and weak person, and even as a magician he is not much!

Thorkell then decides to ask Christians directly who was better between the Asgardian deities and Christ, and so he brings up Canute, in chains on a nearby cart. Canute remains silent and with downcast eyes and is Ragnar to scream at Thorkell not to disrespect the prince. Thorkell isn't worried though: after all, he only caught Canute because Sweyn ignored him! With his son as hostage, the Danish king-empai now you will notice it.

Ragnar comments desolate that they are insane and that they will all die: after all, they are only 500 to Sweyn's 16.000 soldiers. But Thorkell reminds him that they fight for the honor of every Norman warrior, so da enter the Valhalla. “It depends on how you fight and how you die. The stronger the enemy, the better, ”says Thorkell. Ragnar pities him, calling him a child who runs from one battlefield to another, ignorant of what happens in the royal court.

Their debate is interrupted by the priest, captured together with Canute, who suddenly rants and claims to see the Lord. But this is not a miracle, but an alcohol withdrawal crisis! With a new keg of beer beside him, the priest is calm again and in himself, after having entertained Thorkell's men. He then asks him who is better between their gods and his, with the priest who replies: "The one who created alcohol".

No Dane likes to be called a "coward"!
No Dane likes to be called a "coward"!

The ambush of the loyalists

The general hilarity and the various "he's right!" however, they are turned off by the ambush of Ragnar's men, who have followed their prince. After being discovered by Thorkell, Canute's soldiers order the traitors to hand over the prince to them if they want to be spared: after all, they are 500 to 2.000 (actually 400 to XNUMX). Thorkell then delivers Canute, Ragnar and the priest, but then challenges the enemies. Ragnar asks his soldiers to withdraw, but they hesitate: they don't want to be called cowards. And when Thorkell taunts them, insinuating that they are frightened, Ragnar can no longer hold back his soldiers, who launch into the attack.

The result is a carnage, but in the meantime Askeladd is not far away and we see him as he orders his men to proceed with the plan. Thorkell's men are thus hit by a tremendous fire, blown towards them by the wind. But Thorkell is not fooled: there is a third faction that set the forest on fire.

Askeladd is very happy to set things and people on fire in Vinland Saga Episode 11
Askeladd is very happy to set things and people on fire Vinland Saga Episode 11

Askeladd's fire

Askeladd, meanwhile, he observes the chaos and the people being burned, and, arguing with Bjorn, he states that he doesn't believe Thorkell will die in the fire, but that at least it confused them a bit. And so, Askeladd sends Thorfinn, wet with water, to retrieve Cnut.

Bjorn asks if it would not have been better to join Ragnar's men, but Askeladd reminds him that if they had won against Thorkell in this way, the victory would have been for Ragnar. Better to do this: even if Canute died burned, nobody would have known about their involvement.

Meanwhile, Ragnar tries to take Canute away from the fire, scolding one of his own men, who hit him blindly in the smoke. After reminding him that a wise man asks who he is before he kills herRagnar urges the soldier to answer someone who, in the smoke, asks where Canute is his height. He then discovered that they were Thorkell's men, who therefore kill the poor soldier and surround Ragnar and Canute.

Thorfinn ready to take on Thorkell in Vinland Saga Episode 11
Thorfinn ready to face Thorkell in Vinland Saga Episode 11

Thorkell's revelation

Their ranks are broken by the burning horse of Thorfinn, who stands between the traitors and Cnut, informing the latter that he has come to save him. But Thorkell emerges from the fire, delighted to meet Thorfinn again. All happy, we see him pointing the boy to his men, telling them that it was he who cut off his fingers: "Thorfinn is a great warrior!"

But before fighting, Thorkell asks Thorfinn if he is the son of Thors and Helga. At his mother's name, Thorfinn asks the High how he knew his father, to the amazement of the enemy soldiers, who whisper Thors's name with reverence. Thorkell reveals to Thorfinn that he knows his father, and that Thors is the only man in the world stronger than him: a true warrior.

Finally we discover the face of Canute! With Bjorn's comment
Finally we discover the face of Canute! With Bjorn's comment

The meeting with Canuto

But the raging fire leaves them no time to talk and Thorkell leaves Prince Canute to the boy: after all, they are going to the same place! If he manages to escape, Thorfinn will have defeated him.

Arriving from Askeladd, Ragnar scolded him bitterly for slaughtering his troops, but he found himself forced to entrust him with the salvation of the prince. As his bodyguard, Askeladd asks to see Canute's face, which until now has always been covered by a helmet. Faced with a delicate and beardless face, Bjorn does not hold back from commenting: "Are you sure it's not a princess?"

An unfaithful warmonger crazy like a horse. But Thorkell also has flaws!
An unfaithful warmonger crazy like a horse. But Thorkell also has flaws!

The war in Vinland Saga Episode 11

The whole topic Vinland Saga Episode 11 is, de facto, the war. Even more than in other episodes with more fights, even. We see two different philosophies of life clashing and how and why a war should be waged, personified by Thorkell and Ragnar.

Thorkell: war as a philosophy of life

Thorkell embodies the spirit of the true Viking, who fights for his honor and to earn a place in Valhalla. For Thorkell, war is not a question of profit or politics, and not even of hate, but a real philosophy of life that everyone should aspire to. The people who die by his hand are not victims of cruelty, but his peers who thus have the opportunity to reach Valhalla.

And in this sick and psychotic philosophy of his, Thorkell is, as we said in previous reviews, one very human and nice person. We do not see him lingering in free cruelties and we do not see him engaged in games and betrayals, such as Askeladd and Floki infamous. On the contrary, Thorkell for now has only killed in the heat of battle, always remaining very open and sincere towards his enemies.

Still, if we know very well why Thorkell does what he does, this character it is never taken for granted, because the way he carries on his philosophy is often surprising. Also, although some of his releases may seem naive, we see that Thorkell is actually not absolutely stupid or unwary, indeed. His observation ability allows him several times, in this episode, to analyze the situation so as not to be caught unprepared.

Ragnar is right to sell, however!
Ragnar is right to sell, however!

Ragnar: war as a bitter necessity

Ragnar, on the other hand, comes out much worse. Being a Christian (and being Ragnar), the elder warrior it gives a whole other value to human life, refusing to send people to die unnecessarily. For Ragnar, war is a matter of absolute necessity, a last resort to draw on when you have no other choice. If there is something more important to protect, like Canute, enemies might as well call him a coward, but However, Ragnar would prefer to protect his prince than to die with honor.

Ragnar is a person of common sense, who in other contexts could have been a successful general and would have been praised for his foresight. Instead, in the Viking world his prudence and his regard for human life make him seem an old fool and clumsy. This great contradiction is handled by Makoto Yukimura, and reported by Wit Studio, in a masterly way. It makes us laugh and makes us identify with the Vikings who laugh at Ragnar, but the author is always careful to make Ragnar act in a logical and common sense.

The beautiful images of the fire from afar in Vinland Saga Episode 11
The stunning images of the fire from afar in Vinland Saga Episode 11

Conclusions of Vinland Saga Episode 11

In Vinland Saga Episode 11 there are no great themes or great discoveries, but things go on with panache and in an interesting way.

Of course, it has a certain impact the discovery of the face of Canute. Having seen him perpetually in silence and with his face in shadow in a serious expression, the spectators will have had a great many first opinions about Canute. Moreover, in a world of great warriors, one would think that Canute was a skilled swordsman who was sparing himself, ready to slaughter at the right moment. Instead, we have seen him stand still and silent all the time. And now, we are faced with a beautiful boy with a delicate face: what should we expect from his character?

We then saw one Askeladd's new military strategy, which continues to exploit the terrain to its advantage in a creative way. His success in routing nine hundred men with only 100 soldiers, in Vinland Saga Episode 11, confirms his leadership skills.

Le action scenes they are, as always, of the highest quality and the battle in the woods before, and in the fire after, is visually beautiful.

Now we just have to finally know Canute and see if Thorfinn and Askeladd manage to escape Thorkell!

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