We finally find out what happened to Thorfinn after his attempted assault on Prince Canute.
Read Our Vinland Saga Season 1 Review.
I really like this show a lot, and I’m glad that I finally had time to finish season one so that I could make this review.
Is Vinland Saga Historically Accurate?
For a while now, I’ve been studying this specific period in English history.
Mainly because my (foreign) ancestors first appear during the 1066 Norman Conquest of England when I did my genealogy a few years back. Since then, for whatever reason, I’ve been really drawn to Celtic mythology and history.
Askeladd even said as much last season and despite many people not believing it, antiquarian sources do cite Wales and the Welsh people as being first when it comes to Celtic culture. The Angles and Saxons invaded with their (arguably) weak King Alfred who was a religious fanatic, and kind of homogenized England despite the Danish influence over the area.
History – true historical accounts from centuries ago that are largely ignored today by academia – do tell anecdotes similar to TV shows like The Last Kingdom, where people were conveniently “written out” to make others look stronger than they really were.
I don’t mean to ramble too much on about this, but Welsh culture was first in Albion (Britannia/Britain/England) and on most old maps Scotland is where Ireland now is and vice-versa. According to the old histories, the Celtic culture spread from Wales, to Scotland, then Ireland, and then homogenized with Danish culture to create the Norse mythology so popular today.
It’s funny, I even remember watching this interview with a “Norse Expert” who was bashing the God of War developers for including “Celtic Mythology” in a “Norse game” meanwhile – if he looked beyond the mass-produced garbage taught to these repugnant Ph.D. candidates today, he’d realize Norse Mythology and Celtic Mythology and culture are one in the same.
That is why the Norse have “Odin” and the Celts had “Woden” – same deity, just a slight difference in the name.
Slavery in Vinland Saga
Can I just take a moment to really applaud the way slavery is depicted in Vinland Saga?
I’m so glad that it’s fairly accurate for a change, and doesn’t have all of these racial connotations or other nonsense attached to it.
So, I don’t know if many people still don’t know this yet or not (as it’s gained traction over the past few years) but the people who first came to this country (America) from Europe were slaves and criminals with 4- or 7-year indenture contracts.
These are often referred to as “apprenticeships” or “employment” today.
Even the word “Slavery” comes from the term “Slav” “…because of the many Slavs sold into slavery by conquering peoples.” I believe York was mentioned as a major slave port in England, and many slaves were historically transported to places in the American South like South Carolina, and Georgia. Where wealthy negro (now called “African American”) land and plantation owners purchased high populations of German slaves along with others who fell into servitude.
You can even peruse through old newspapers and when viewing the runaway slave ads read descriptions that featured every color and “race” from both Europe, America, and other places abroad.
Einar Arrives At Ketil’s Farm
The process Einar went through after being captured as a prisoner of war and sold into slavery was not unlike those early (legal) immigrants who came to America through Ellis Island. Prospects were inspected from head to toe for any diseases, lice, and given food if they appeared emaciated.
I understand what some people might say while reading this – “he was enslaved and forced to work against his will” – well, yes – but nobody wants to buy an emaciated, half-dead slave. So, Einar was beaten for trying to escape, and eventually found somebody who wanted to buy him for work.
There, Einar was taken to a wheat plantation and tasked with helping Thorfinn clear the land to continue expanding the farm.
Einar saw Leif looking for a short, blond-haired man named Thorfinn and clearly forgets that he just met the “Thorfinn” the man at the slave market was looking for after arriving to the farm. Since it seems like Einar is still struggling to reconcile what has become of his life, I hope he and Thorfinn can one day escape Ketil’s farm and have a talk about Leif – since although Ketil seems like a standup guy and the son Olmar doesn’t seem that bad, something is lurking below the surface of the plantation that will soon come to light.
I really loved how everything came full circle when Thorfinn realized he saw Einar’s village being burned the first time just after his father’s death.
If you all remember, Thorfinn was living in the forest trying to hunt and when he went to grab food scraps from camp stumbled upon the raid Askeladd committed on an innocent village after striking a deal with somebody else to “liberate them from the King’s tyranny” or something to that effect.
Either way, should be interesting to see if Thorfinn ever lets Einar know the true reason why his village was burned, which resulted in his father’s death. I’m going to go onto the next four episodes to catch up and get current with the series.
But, tell me your thoughts.
Do you think Thorfinn will tell Einar the truth?
Why is Thorfinn now so quiet? Has he lost his purpose in life?
And…Do you think Olmar is a bad son?
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