After three weeks of extreme anticipation, Wit Studio delivered a fantastic episode. We had Intense action, cinematography, and radiating facial expressions that conveyed so many complex emotions from the characters.
Japanese Original Episode Title: 本当の戦士
Thors continues to take down Askeladd’s men without killing them. After almost beating the crew of one of Askelad’s ships, Bjorn starts to go crazy from the side effects of the berserk mushrooms that he previously ate, causing him to attack his fellow crew mates. Thors easily gets him out of the way and as Askeladd and the rest are ready to invade Leif’s and Thor’s ship, Thors throws Bjorn onto Askeladd’s side and returns to his ship, challenging Askeladd into a duel so he can minimize the casualties. Askeladd accepts and is defeated quite fast. Thors asks him to acknowledge defeat, surrender, and let them go away but Askeladd refuses. At that moment, Bjorn wakes up and takes Thornfinn as a hostage. Askeladd explains that he had no intention of surrendering in the first place and signals the archers to attack Thors. He agrees to leave Leif and the kids alone and leaves without harming them. Thors passes away and Thornfinns is devastated and full of anger. Askeladd took Thors ship with him but as it turns out, Thornfinns was hiding inside it. When Thornfinns comes out of the ship, he swears in a very intimidating way that he will kill him someday.
Thors, you were the coolest bro out there: God DAMN! That guy was oozing so much coolness even until his moment of death. His badass-ery reached whole new levels of awesome. First of all, he didn’t even kill one single person, second he was jumping around the ships like he was a huge yet almighty frog, and third he was fighting with honor and class. He refused to kill Askeladd even though he knew that he was going to kill him. He stayed true to his beliefs and tried to be a role model for his son. Even when Askeladd signaled the archers to shoot him and Thors had like ten arrows pierced all over his body, he still moved and talked like nothing happened and tried to vouch for his people’s and family’s protection. He was honestly one of the truest bros out there. Rest in peace Thors, you were no mere Troll; you were a Beast of Justice.
Askeladd, you sneaky slime: I don’t know why but I expected him to be more decent than this. I thought he would be moved by Thors’s ways but I was obviously wrong. He still killed him and fulfilled his job without second guessing. Of course, that doesn’t mean that he left that battlefield with no regrets, because we all know that when he asked Thors to be their leader, he didn’t actually joke. I think that Askeladd was impressed by Thors dignity and might but he didn’t want to lose face in front of his men. I also believe that for some reason, he might actually help Thornfinns kill Floki (the real bastard behind all this). I will probably wait and see my theory crushed in a few episodes but oh well.
Thornfinns didn’t really get his father’s words: I think this kid failed to see the true meaning behind his father’s actions. Thors tried to make him realize that he shouldn’t follow the same blood filled path that he did, but he doesn’t seem to really get it. I mean, he told him that a true warrior doesn’t need a sword and he went up for sharp his killing daggers, so yes, he is obviously missing the point here. He will probably have a moment of true clarity later in his journey and will be like: ‘Oh papa, you were right all along!’
Themes & Trivia
Bjorn going berserk from mushrooms was apparently a real thing: In the Old Norse written corpus, berserkers (or ‘berserks’; Old Norse: berserkir) were warriors who purportedly fought in a trance-like fury, a characteristic which later gave rise to the modern English word ‘berserk.’ Berserkers are attested in numerous Old Norse sources, with their name literally rendered as ‘bear-coats’, along with úlfhéðnar (‘wolf-coats’). The English word berserk is derived from the Old Norse words ber-serkr (plural ber-serkir) possibly meaning a ‘bear-shirt’ or ‘bear coat’—i.e., a wild warrior or champion of the Viking age, although its interpretation remains controversial. The element ber- was interpreted by the thirteenth-century historian Snorri Sturluson as ‘bare’, which he understood to mean that the warriors went into battle bare-chested, or without armor.
The details in this series are so spectacular that I actually feel pain in every action scene I see. The choreography between Askeladd and Thors when they were fighting was absolutely amazing: the camera angles, their movements, their strategies, and the way their swords moved were absolutely breath-taking. I can’t even begin to describe how well drawn everything is, from Thors looking at his bloody hand and his fabulous hair to Thornfinn’s scary facial expression. I am honestly lost for words.
A true warrior doesn’t need a sword.
Thornfinn’s vengeful trip is about to begin and I can’t wait to see how will the storyline move on from here. Something is telling me that in the next episode we’ll finally see that bloodthirsty Thornfinn from the opening. Get ready.
Summer 2019 | Anime Info | Simulcast