Canute’s Leadership in England – Vinland Saga S2 Ep 5 & 6 Review

Prince Canute threatens war against the rural lord of Mercia. Thorfinn discovers the joy of farming through Einar and Sverkel’s guidance.

I’m glad Sverkel was introduced to help Thorfinn and Einar out. Otherwise, I’m pretty sure they would have never cleared enough forest and converted it to farmland before planting time.

Read Last Week’s Episode Review.

Vinland Saga Season 2 Episode 5 Review

Prince Canute in England

Prince Canute has leveled up! He’s no longer the meek young prince who chose to hide behind Ragnar, shielding himself away from the world.

Canute has turned into a warrior prince not afraid to kill his enemies during his time in England
Canute has turned into a warrior prince not afraid to kill his enemies during his time in England

Of course, we hadn’t seen his development since Vinland Saga season one ended, but I’m glad the potential Askeladd saw in Prince Canute wasn’t without merit. It usually is the quiet, gentle-natured people who awaken into the truly terrifying beasts you would never expect given their demeanor once they’ve been wronged.

I saw this comment on a Youtuber’s reaction video stating that Thorfinn learned what it meant to be a warrior from Askeladd, while Canute developed a sense of cunning after the political coup that put him into power. Given that Canute has learned the value of using your enemies in advantageous ways, it makes sense that he’s still hanging around Gunnar and Floki – who obviously don’t have his best wishes at heart.

Besides, if anything both Gunnar and Floki are most likely spies for Canute’s older brother, Prince Harald.

I'm sure rumors have swirled regarding all of Prince Canute's adversaries mysteriously turning up dead in a short period of time
I’m sure rumors have swirled regarding all of Prince Canute’s adversaries mysteriously turning up dead in a short period of time

Thorkell was loyal to Canute on a conditional basis, which he openly reminded him of in a subtle way in front of the entire army. Canute knows that Thorkell has no fear and would not be controlled should his allegiances switch.

Even in the private conversation between Thorkell and one of his men, Thorkell still didn’t seem pleased that Canute technically did live up to his expectations. Prince Canute accomplished in 3 years what his father King Sweyn failed to do in 10. But since Thorkell admires strength more than anything and hates boredom, maybe he finds the calculating patience Canute exhibited in poisoning his enemies “cowardly”.

After all, poison has historically been “a woman’s way” of dealing with enemies through subterfuge and Canute did look like a girl until the death of the old king.

Vinland Saga Season 2 Episode 6 Review

Thorfinn and Einar Meet Sverkel

Call me crazy, but I think Ketil should listen to his father, Sverkel.

Thorfinn and Einar Meet Sverkel
Thorfinn and Einar Meet Sverkel

To be fair, while it is nice to own a ton of land and have increased wealth, Sverkel had a point when bringing up the paranoia wealth brings. Not that I’m speaking from experience (I barely have $20 in my wallet) but the interactions between Thorfinn, Einar, and Sverkel proved his point.

Ketil does get out in the fields and work with his slaves, but the farm is so big that seemingly only Olmar sees what goes on at night. Based on the conversation the “guests” had with him, they routinely look for women to have ‘relations’ with and destroy the farm’s property (wheat) while no one is around.

Since the “guests” had no qualms about murdering two innocent slaves from the stables, it doesn’t seem like it’s the first time that had happened. If Snake didn’t show up when he did (or if he wasn’t an honorable guy like he seems) nobody would have noticed or cared to look for the two slaves that mysteriously vanished.

The farm being so big also means that Ketil can’t be everywhere at once. Although Thorfinn and Einar were arguing over what to do about the horse needed to complete their work and buy their freedom, if Sverkel hadn’t overheard the entire conversation by chance they would still be struggling with tree stumps in the forest.

And I know this might be terrible to say, but just because Ketil gets down in the fields with his slaves and works alongside them doesn’t necessarily mean everybody has his loyalty, or love.

Arnheid is Ketil’s “personal maid” who is probably obligated to perform other “services” for a master most likely old enough to be her father.

That tenant family that tried tricking Olmar into having a bastard son with their daughter has no reason to remain loyal to Ketil. Especially if mercenaries, Danes, or other soldiers show up in the middle of the night and present them with a better option for their survival.

Even Prince Harald remains fickle, since Ketil is paying tribute from his extremely abundant and fertile lands when the Prince is in a proxy war for control with his younger brother not far from that region.

Could the crown not just one day decide to swoop in on Ketil’s farm and claim his property for their war efforts, since he has been such a loyal supporter in the past and should have no grounds to object his majesty’s kind offer to ‘inherit’ his lands?

I don’t know, either way I’m excited to see what’s next.

But, tell me your thoughts.

Einar being a weirdo laughing loudly and hugging a horse while Thorfinn looks on puzzled was unintentionally very funny
Einar being a weirdo laughing loudly and hugging a horse while Thorfinn looks on puzzled was unintentionally very funny

Do you like this new Prince Canute that has been introduced?

Will Thorfinn focus all of his energy now on farming?

And…when do you think we’ll actually see Prince Harald on screen for the first time?

Leave your thoughts in the comment section below, we’d love to hear from you! Also be sure to follow us for more Vinland Saga Season 2 Episode Reviews and Discussions!    


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Author: In Asian Spaces

I write in my personal time and I haven't published much at all. I don't know if that qualifies me as a writer or not, but I'd like to change that. I have a deep passion for travel, cinema and (mainly) East Asian things, but I plan on writing various things to keep it spicy. Let's prosper together ~ よろしくおねがいします。

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