Vinland Saga : History of Beasts

Episode 16

Kedamono no Rekishi” (ケダモノの歴史)

The tide is turning and everything is changing. Once more severe weather is enough to be the breaking point in someone’s story and at the center of it all is Askeladd.

This episode marked the complete end of any of the fun and games we were having along the way.

With Ragnars sad demise in the last episode and that girl getting to Thorkell it is now the end of Askeladd’s time as a leader. His men believe his luck has run out and with someone as fearsome and unbeatable as Thorkell on their tail it makes sense that they just don’t have any fight left in them.

What I’ve really liked in the last few episodes is that we’ve seen a nastier side to Askeladd.

We saw his business side, we’ve seen how smart he is and how he knows his history plus we’ve kind of seen his motivation and where he see’s the world going. The nasty side to him was always there, he’s a bloody Danish Pirate, but in the past he’s kind of been a weird father figure to Thorfinn and most of his more Viking tendencies have been done off screen to show that, I guess, Vikings are just humans and what they did was just a part of their way of going to war.

Now we’ve seen it for ourselves up close and personal.

From killing a entire village to just the simple death of Ragnar to take over the handling of the Prince with no one to spoil him. Even in this episode we see him personally torture a man to try and find out information about what is lying in wait for them and slaps the Prince when he refuses to leave because they have yet to give Ragnar a funeral. He’s always been this character but now that his luck has turned we’re seeing the colder side to him come to the forefront which it would.

He’s trying to survive.

Thorkell is a terrifying opponent, we don’t need to see his size or his bizarre skills to know that.

He, like Thors, was a Jomsviking and they are a terrifying bunch just on their own. Thors was enough to worry Askeladd and he was a normal sized human, Thorkell is a giant of a man who can lift tree trunks as easily as someone else will lift a knife. Of course when they learn that Thorkell is gaining on them they panic.

What made it all so very good was that Thorkell doesn’t want a deserter.

You see the first wave of those that left Askeladd being slaughtered ruthlessly by Thorkell so when the entire group then turn their back on him to take the Prince to Thorkell you know that all they are facing is death themselves.

It makes this entire thing all the more frustrating and all the more sad.

This is their world though right now. This is just how it is.

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