Posted by Lenlo on 23 October 2019 with categories: Currently Watching:, Vinland Saga

Another week, another episode of Vinland Saga with a dash of murder and depression. This week, Thorfinn catches a rabbit, Ragnar gets into a fight and Canute becomes Best Girl. Let’s dive in!

Starting off, this week continues Vinland Saga’s theme on fathers and parents in general. As we start to really dive in to Canute’s character and circumstances. We see this in one of the opening scenes, as the Priest, Canute and Ragnar pray for the villagers Askeladd killed. With the Priest starting to doubt God. Without even getting into the religious themes, the focus here is clearly on Canute and his sort of dependence on God. The substitution of God as a loving father in place of Sweyn, the sort of unconditional love he apparently never grew up with. Combine that with Ragnar, Askeladd and Thorfinn and you now have enough different examples of fatherhood in the series to write an essay on it.

Speaking of Ragnar, we learn a lot more about his place with Canute this week. Prior to this, Ragnar mostly appeared to be just a regular helicopter parent. Vinland Saga’s sort of overbearing maid. Now though we see just how much he is doing for Canute, trying to keep him alive when even his parent doesn’t want him. Effectively filling Sweyn’s place as the father in Canute’s life, all the while fostering Canute’s love for his father. He knows what is happening and that it will never work. That Canute’s father will never love him as he desires, but he tries to foster it anyways. It explains why he doesn’t want to force Canute into anything like leadership. Because he knows Canute never *will* lead, that Canute will never be King. Meanwhile no one else realizes a thing.

Moving on, this week also pick us back up on what Thorkell was doing. Which was basically eating this small english town out of existence. Lamenting how there’s nothing to do and the war is ending. I guess you could say that if Canute became a chef this week, Thorkell became a poet. The big thing here though is that Anne, from last episode, survived. Managing to inform the locals, and by extension Thorkell, that Askeladd is nearby. Beyond that we got a continued look at Thorkell’s view of War and Death. He loves to fight, but hates to lose, so only takes fights he thinks he can win. Some nice explanation for why and how this madman has lived as long as he has. So yeah, the chase is back on folks, and Askeladd’s clever plans are starting to fall apart!

A big thing to focus on this week, and which Vinland Saga has been building up, are the soldiers. Previously we saw some of their disgruntlement back during the long march. Moaning about walking, being chased, etc. But still gladly following Askeladd, even disarming while traveling through Wales for the sake of appearances. Now though we are starting to see a few more cracks. Like the soldiers commenting how Askeladd’s luck is turning, how things are consecutively falling apart. It’s nice to see in a series like this. In a lot of adventure anime, the crew sticks together through thick and thin. With no one questioning anything and it all somehow works out. But that’s not the kind of show Vinland Saga is. Here the characters are, in terms of personality if not personal abilities, more real. At least to me.

Finally the big thing we have to talk about is Ragnar’s death, or more specifically, his murder. We all knew something was going to have to happen eventually. Ragnar and Askeladd were butting heads ever since they met. But I am not sure how many people expected this to happen, this soon. In such a brutal manner especially. I think Vinland Saga did a good job this week of pacing it all out. Revealing the oncoming threat first, making it seem like we would be fine with our viking cooking show, then WHAM. Askeladd stabs Ragnar in the back, quite literally in this case. All so that Canute has no one left to rely on but Askeladd, effectively making him the true power behind Canute. Assuming of course Askeladd can get Canute on the throne in the first place, what with the bomb Ragnar dropped on him.

Askeladd clearly wasn’t expecting what Ragnar revealed here. For the King to be trying to kill his son to prevent a civil war. In a way, it’s understandable. Sweyn is working to protect his dynasty by killing those who would split it up, or would be used to do so. Doesn’t make him any less of a terrible father, what with all we have seen, but it’s understandable in a way. It also throws a wrench into Askeladd’s plans as he now has to contend with both Thorkell and the King. As his soldiers said, perhaps his luck is changing, perhaps he has bitten off more than he could chew with this particular plan. It should make watching what he does from here very interesting. How he tries to get out of the situation and all that. It’s hard not to spoil it, but I am looking forward to it.

So all in all how was Vinland Saga this week? For me, it was another good week, but I have loved every week. I’m a Vinland Saga fanboy at this point, who’s only real complaints have to do with some production decisions. Maybe a bit of how the story was shifted around. So instead of me telling you how I felt in this wrap up, I want to ask you instead. How has Vinland Saga been so far now that we are heading into the 2nd half? Characters good, story intriguing? Let me know down below, because I am really curious how you my few readers are taking my favorite anime of the season.

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