In Vinland Saga Episode 12 the escape from Thorkell and his army is exhausting, but Askeladd may have an unexpected trump card!

Let's go back to review Vinland saga! We talked about the manga Thu, and we reviewed the episodes 01, 02, 03, 04, 05, 06, 07, 08, 09, 10 11

This time, let's talk about the latest episode, entitled The country on the opposite bank.

Askeladd and the fisherman
Askeladd and the fisherman

Vinland Saga Episode 12: the plot

Vinland Saga Episode 12 starts with Askeladd talking to an elder fisherman, to ask him to deliver a letter across the River Severn. The letter is in the name of Askeladd, "Son of Lydia".

Meanwhile, his men continue to be chased by Thorkell and his army. Ear, one of Askeladd's men, calculates that the enemies are only one day away from them. Ragnar is worried, but Askeladd reassures him: he has called for reinforcements.

March, march, and still march in Vinland Saga Episode 12
March, march, and still march in Vinland Saga Episode 12

The march to salvation

Thus continues a long and exhausting march along the Severn River, with Askeladd giving his men only a few hours of rest per night. Even Bjorn is worried, especially because he has no idea who his boss's phantom allies are: it's not normal for Askeladd not to tell him anything. Also, Bjorn is worried about Prince Canute and asks Askeladd what he thinks. He says that, after forty years living among criminals, he cannot understand what kind of person Canute is.

After many days and with Thorkell on his heels, the fugitives meet two men in the ruins of a Roman temple, immersed in the fog. When Askeladd steps forward to meet them and kneels before them, his men can see three large boats outlining themselves in the fog: their escape has arrived.

Two mysterious figures in the fog, among the ruins of a Roman temple
Two mysterious figures in the fog, among the ruins of a Roman temple

The intervention of Wales

The next day, Thorkell looks sullenly at the river, realizing that he has underestimated Thorfinn and his men. He had no idea that they were allies with Wales.

Meanwhile, the fugitives have landed safely on the other side of the river and Ragnar asks to be allowed to use the Welsh boats to get to Gainsborough. But Askeladd refuses and orders to proceed on foot: even just three boats are essential for the people of Wales. Ragnar is worried, because the Welsh people hate the Danes, but Askeladd assures him that those people are his ally.

To reassure him further, the marauder orders Thorfinn to be there bodyguard of Canute. In return, upon arrival in Gainsborough, Askeladd will challenge the boy to a duel. Thorfinn is not happy with the job and looks at Canute with open hostility, which makes the prince very uncomfortable.

Gratianus appears to be a decent, albeit very strict, person. And with a remarkable chin!
Gratianus appears to be a decent, albeit very strict, person. And with a remarkable chin!

The meeting with Gratianus and Canuto's shyness

In the meantime, Askeladd speaks with Gratian, the general of the kingdom of Morgannwg who put them through. Gratianus initially mistakes Thorfinn for the prince, not expecting to find himself in parliament with a delicate and shy boy like Canute. Gratianus claims to have helped them only to be able to sign a non-aggression treaty with the Danes.

He therefore asks Canute to promise that when he becomes king of the Danes, he will not interfere with the affairs of Wales. But Canute refuses to speak directly to Gratianus, asking Ragnar to report his words, but the Welsh refuses any word that does not come from the prince's mouth.

As they march through the mountains of Wales, Askeladd's men fantasize about the rich rewards they will receive from King Sweyn. They then ask the priest if the king has many slaves and wealth, but he does not know how to help them much, since he is interested in only one thing: the love, so precious that it gives silver its value. Many Danes are skeptical, but some ask the priest to instruct them on what this Love is.

Canute and his shyness
Canute and his shyness

The good of Wales under discussion

Upon entering the realm of Brycheiniog, Askeladd thanks Gratianus for his help. But the Welsh general explains to him that he is escorting them in the hope that the Danes will prove to be better neighbors than the British, who have always tried to invade Wales. But Gratianus is skeptical about Canute, while Askeladd reassures him: the prince comes from a good lineage and will be a good king. Thinking back to Thors, the Viking comments bitterly: "The more you expect from a man, the less things go as you want. Maybe we really need a man like him ”.

Gratianus then reminds Askeladd of the legend of Artorius, the great Welsh general who will return to the West and revive Britain. But their discussion is interrupted by Bjorn: Ear has heard something. In fact, the army stops in front of two messengers from the Brycheiniog, but around them many archers with outstretched bow soon appear.

And while we see Thorkell still hunting and Leif, Thors' explorer friend, looking for Thorfinn in English ports, the arrows of the Welshs bring down Askeladd's horse. The situation does not promise anything good.

Excalibur in Vinland Saga Episode 12
Excalibur in Vinland Saga Episode 12

The introduction of Wales in Vinland Saga Episode 12

Although in Vinland Saga Episode 12 does not happen much, we are witnessing the entry on the scene of a third faction, namely the Wales. Of all the peoples who inhabit the island, in fact, the Welsh are those who most closely resemble the ancient Romans, pushed back into the mountains to the west by the arrival of the Angles and Saxons several centuries earlier.

Although theirs Roman look is not very credible, in the economy of history the Welsh link the present with the mythical past of England. In a manga that speaks of the endless war to conquer a territory, with the old conquerors ousted by the new marauders, the introduction of the descendants of the Romans (conquerors themselves!) Continues this narrative.

But above all, the presence of Wales perhaps reveals something of the past of Askeladd, until now remained very vague and mysterious. What is the link between Askeladd and the Welsh is all to be seen.

The poor old Leif in Vinland Saga Episode 12
The poor old Leif in Vinland Saga Episode 12

Conclusions on Vinland Saga Episode 12

Compared to the other episodes, Vinland Saga Episode 12 carries on the plot, introduces new characters and deepens our knowledge of the protagonists, but it's not very exciting.

Canute it is more and more interesting, because now his silence is perhaps due to shyness, rather than a calculated reticence. Ragnar himself seems increasingly to be a caring and protective parent, rather than a strict guardian. Canute remains a mystery, but the first judgments about his inability to speak in public are already emerging. It could really be a big handicap!

Thorfinn's new role as Canute's bodyguard bodes well, with the two very different XNUMX-year-olds and a hostile default Thorfinn. In some ways, one wonders how much growing up in isolation among adult warriors he hates has affected the boy's ability to to relate to others in a normal way.

It is also very interesting to review Leif. Although he has aged a lot, it is evident that Leif is still looking for Thorfinn, keeping the oath made to Helga and Ylva years and years before. Any slave with a blond mop and brown eyes could be Thorfinn, and Leif is always on who lives. He is always sad and frustrated. Poor Leif.

In the next episode, we will see how this deviation in Wales will go on!

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