Vinland Saga : Normanni

Episode 7

Norumanni” (北人ノルマンニ)

After a emotional episode it is time to see what happens next when the Vikings stop attack Briton and the Pirates have nothing left to gain until the fighting starts again next Summer…

They crossed the channel and went to fight in France against, and with, the Franks.

Thorfinn was given a new target, it wasn’t good enough just to gain infamy on the battlefield he also had to bring back a head in a helmet to Askeladd, something he focuses on in battle which both saves Askeladd’s side and gives us one of the best looking battles so far with Thorfinn flying into battle to take the head of the captain holding down the fort.

It was bloody but also nicely done.

Even the mess that Askeladd’s forces left the fort in were grisly but tasteful and not gory for the sake of it. It hit home that the Vikings or Viking Pirates did things this way but it didn’t have to overload it with unnecessary blood and guts.

One thing I didn’t like was the way the general was animated.

What I’ve loved so much about the series is the animation. It is a beautiful series that emerges you into these places, the backgrounds are wonderful and the characters look like battle hardened warriors or people who work hard for their living. In this episode though the General of the army that Askeladd screws over is just a ridiculous cartoon with a huge mouth really only there for comedic moments which just isn’t needed.

It was proved to be unneeded because Askeladd is such a comedic character himself but he manages to do it in such a cool way.

His group sprinting out of the woods with the ships and him on board one of them grinning from ear to ear, his taunts at the General after stealing all the treasure and even his reaction to escaping down the waterfall were all very realistic, beautifully drawn and hilarious.

For me the General ruined what was a particularly amazing episode that ended with Thorfinn getting a promise of a duel.

That duel should probably be in the next episode but I kind of don’t want it to be. At this point you want to see development from Thorfinn but him being defeated once more by Askeladd doesn’t seem like a decent way to tell his story.

He’s still not that old but he’s now old enough that Askeladd could kill him easily without the remorse of killing a kid, would Askeladd really want to kill him? I’m still in two minds over that but I still have this feeling that actually he wouldn’t. For all the “he’s a kid following us” nonsense they never had to allow him to join them, never had to give him food, help him learn how to become a warrior or trust him.

This time though I don’t think a duel could just be ended so what is going to happen is anyone’s guess.

Before all this I would kind of like to see Askeladd actually explain to Thorfinn what actually happened, the actual enemy is after all Floki and Askeladd is just doing what he was paid to do. Thorfinn himself has been along for the ride and has survived and got to a position where he can ask for another duel out of the profit of Askeladd doing these things so whilst his intentions are honorable to get there he had to lose all honor and become like the people he hates so much.

Through all this we also haven’t seen him really give a toss about the family he’s left behind, how the others got home or anything else. I get that this is all because he’s carrying this rage inside him but I dunno.

The more I watch it the more I love Askeladd and the more I think someone really needs to slap Thorfinn around a bit and actually teach him some lessons.

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