“Korō” ( 孤狼)
It is a time for stories, a time for our heroes to finally put it all out there and for lessons to be learnt.
I honestly fell for their trap. They built up that Askeladd was injured and we’d seen Thorfinn beat someone like Thorkell or at least get close enough that any normal man would be dead and even with his arm out of commission and him having to have his knife bandaged to him I really believed this was the end for Askeladd and was worried for him.
Between both Thorkell and Askeladd himself the reason why Thorfinn can never kill Askeladd as well as just how bad ass Askeladd really is was pounded home.
Plus more of Askeladd’s backstory.
What lesson we learnt was that whenever Thorfinn went for Askeladd he did so out of anger so his moves are all focused on the death blow instead of tiring Askeladd out and giving himself a opportunity. This means that no matter what he does he can’t get close to Askeladd as he always see’s through every move.
It was a interesting way of explaining what was going on in the duels and why no matter how much Thorfinn grew as a warrior he never seemed to grow much in the duels. This one was a bit stupid seeing the amount of injuries Thorfinn had but that was the point, everyone had asked if he wanted to do it now or whether he wanted to wait until his injuries had healed and instead of waiting he fought. He fought the same way and he fought when he was injured and the outcome became the same thing.
For Askeladd the only way for him to be defeated is if Thorfinn stops with looking for honour and killed him in his sleep just as Askeladd did with his own father.
For me I still feel the anime is doing itself a little disservice by not opening up to Thorfinn about the circumstances of his fathers death. At the end of the day Askeladd and Thors were in a duel and whilst Bjorn interrupted and made it easy for Askeladd to win that really was something for Thorfinn to hold a grudge on Bjorn and blame himself for his fathers death.
Because you know…. Most of this was his fault for stowing away instead of staying at home.
This episode and its story seemed to be aimed at Canute too seeing that he himself will have to now focus on how to kill his own father so it had a double meaning in some ways.
Any episode that is focused on Askeladd though is a good episode.