Vinland Saga : Sword

Episode 2

Ken” (剣)

After meeting Thorfinn, learning a little of his people’s history, his family and the life around him I feel like we’re not in for the best of times going forward.

I don’t know why but I just don’t feel like this is going to be a happy story.

I’m pretty much right as well.

This story gets the pieces in motion for not only a pivotal moment in Thorfinn’s life but the probably inevitable death of much of the male population of his village including his father.

Again it was a pretty interesting episode, it had a little information on Viking culture as well as the Jomsvikings in which Thors, Thorfinn’s father, belonged to before he deserted the army. It is therefore not that surprising that the Jomsviking that went to get him, Floki, paid off another guy to kill Thors when he arrived to where he was going. He’d used the village as a threat to Thors to get him to sail to this war and before he gets to it he’ll be dead.

For me the opening scenes were really good. I say this because it went from actual real war, the English killing Vikings on a Saturday because Saturday’s are the days that Vikings take baths, to the kids in the village playing war.

That itself became a big thing later in the episode, no not when Thorfinn got his panties in a twist and started to really beat up the other kids, but when Floki pointed out just how safe this village was. We went from seeing the true horrors elsewhere in the world, horrors that were killing Viking children and probably plenty of English ones too, to kids who don’t know of these horrors and wouldn’t believe them at all pretending to be the very people who are at the same time elsewhere killing children.

Whilst Thors is tired of killing for every other male in the village it is still the highest honor.

None of them have killed before, none of them have been to war so for them even the thought of dying on the battlefield isn’t a reality they had to face. The kid who Thorfinn broke the arm of will never attribute that pain he’s in now to what it would be like to be hurt on a battlefield, there are people literally screaming it would be a honor but they have never been faced with a enemy that they had to kill to survive or the pain of a battle.

For Thors those things were very real and he tried his hardest to get through to his son that this way of life isn’t something he has to follow. He doesn’t have to have enemies, he doesn’t have to fight.

Of course for a kid this logic doesn’t add up.

His dad is a great hero, he’s just heard Floki call him that, he’s about to take a bunch of people to war with him to fight a enemy.

In actual fact his father didn’t want to go but if he didn’t the entire village would have been slain. Leif knew it even if the others didn’t quite grasp what was happening. His father deserted the army because he’d seen that pain, he’d killed people and suddenly he decided he didn’t want to do that anymore.

Thorfinn doesn’t have to do that.

He wants better for his son but of course his son is idealistic. He even questions whether his mum and sister can get into Valhalla because of course that is where all Vikings wan to end up and you have to be a great warrior to get there and his mum and sister won’t ever be warriors so will never get the chance to go to the paradise that they all dream of.

As they are so far away from any kind of war, any kind of horrifying event that could change their mind on war, because they are so safe, Thorfinn just doesn’t get it and wants to go off and be a warrior and a hero. It looks from the opening of the series that due to Floki’s decision to have his father killed and probably the majority of the young males of his village dying too that he’ll never learn that lesson and that is sad.

I said it wasn’t going to be happy and I was right.

2 thoughts on “Vinland Saga : Sword”

  1. I’m really impressed with Vinland Saga. As a narrative, it doesn’t even feel remotely anime, it feels like an HBO series. Excited to watch this

    1. It is such a impressive show already and you can tell that all the effort in the world went into making it too. I really hope that it keeps up the quality all season long because it could be one of the strongest shows of the year.

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