“Rondonkyō no shitō” (ロンドン橋の死闘)
So we are at the point where the battle truly begins do we?
It seems that Thorfinn is going to yet another battle with yet another promise that he’ll get to fight Askeladd.
Thorkell was by far the most interesting character introduced for a while. A Viking who turned to the English because he wanted a challenge, basically a giant who could throw just about anything. He was totally unfazed by Thorfinn stabbing his hand or cutting his fingers off and instead marked him with the respect he deserved.
His suicidal need to lose or at least have a chance at losing seemed to fail to add the fact that as a terrifying giant of a man his chances at losing just on his own were so slim that the Vikings actually left knowing they couldn’t defeat him.
Thorkell is the next big target for Thorfinn as he needs to bring Askeladd his head if he wants another duel.
It might be a ask too much for Thorfinn though.
Whilst his battle doesn’t go badly it also doesn’t end well and it seems to have given him something to think about that he doesn’t seem to have thought about before yet. Whilst limping along injured and doing his normal “I’m all alone” stuff he has to listen to the others talk about the glory of war, even going on happily after losing a arm, he remembers his fights with Askeladd and Thorkell and especially how much Thorkell seemed to love to battle and questions what is so fun about all of this.
A lesson his father probably was trying to teach you mate.
It is, to be fair, a decent story arch for the character. As a child he wished to be a warrior and fight in wars, he went through something traumatic which has made him single minded in his need for revenge to the point that he stubbornly continues to tell Askeladd their next duel will be their last even though to this point he has never even been close to defeating him. Now, as he faces a defeat and a march on a broken ankle with broken ribs and a dislocated shoulder, he questions what is so fun without actually remembering the important detail.
His need to prove he was a man by going to war was what led to this predicament in the first place.
Whilst I don’t think his thirst for Askeladd’s head will ever end, or if it does it’ll take forever to end, I think he has grown up a little. Thing is there needs to be a point in time, for me at least, when he can look at the world through a different perspective.
THIS was his fathers life and his father gave it up.
He needs to see that and understand why he gave it up.
Not only that but he needs to realise that his father didn’t give it up because he saw the error of his ways but because he grew weary of being a Viking and living that life. There is no point in Thorfinn just deciding Vikings are evil and wars are awful and moving on with his life if he hasn’t learnt the lesson his father died to tell him.
Also at some point someone really needs to point out that all of this is his fault anyway.