A Cursed Head – Vinland Saga S2 Ep 10 Review

Prince Canute is haunted by the decapitated head of his late father. Ketil decides to emancipate Thorfinn and Einar early from their bondage.

Following last week’s pattern of emotional highs and lows, Thorfinn discovers freedom while Canute is embroiled in bondage.

Read Last Week’s Episode Review.

Let’s start with the bad before we get to the good.

Prince Canute Kills His Brother

I genuinely feel bad for Prince Canute. (I know that he is technically “King” Canute of England while only a Prince in Denmark, but I think I’m going to keep calling him Prince Canute for this review at least.)

Although he was extremely timid and almost cowardly in Season 1, Canute has truly turned into the monster he had to be in order to wear the crown. I figured that Canute would be a truly deadly adversary based on his gentle personality and his declaration to “make utopia on earth” after Ragnar’s death – but I didn’t expect it to be so swift.

That’s not even to say that I don’t like the new, calculating Canute – I actually find his character to be more fascinating than ever.

The death of his father King Sweyn and the “curse of the crown” manifesting in Canute’s everyday life is something I never expected to see. Especially since Canute never had a relationship with his “real” father and had more of a bond with his true father, Ragnar. I never imagined that there would be a level of guilt within Canute that would associate his father’s cruel (but wise) words of warning to the burden of the crown.

Since Canute said that he usually only sees his father’s decapitated head manifest at night, maybe the guilt of killing the older brother who loved him dearly is what’s making Canute lose his mind?

Did Canute Poison Harald?

Yes, Canute really did poison his beloved older brother King Harald in a bid for more power and influence toward his dreams.

Harald smiles at his younger brother Canute while playing together as children
Harald smiles at his younger brother Canute while playing together as children

I understand Canute wants to create a Paradise for Vikings on earth and needs his brother Harald out of the way as “there cannot be two kings” in harmony, but I don’t think his mind and heart are truly aligned. Yes, Canute did smile when Harald decided to leave him Denmark, but immediately afterward Canute’s hallucinations begin again which would signify loads of internal guilt.

It’s a complicated situation all around, and Canute didn’t even seem happy by the end of his ordeal.

Einar and Thorfinn Earn Their Freedom

To leave this review off on a happier note: Einar and Thorfinn earned their freedom!

Thorfinn and Einar are freed from slavery
Thorfinn and Einar are freed from slavery

It’s been three long years and Ketil (and Olmar) even rode out to personally greet and congratulate them on their accomplishment. Ketil even left the option open to the young men of staying on his farm as farmhands due to their excellent work.

I think it’s fully realistic that Einar and Thorfinn hadn’t even considered what they would do once they earned their freedom. As Einar stated, he has nothing left in England and I could see him staying with Ketil as he enjoys farming. Thorfinn has decided to chase his father’s dream and create a land free from slavery and war.

I already spoiled myself for the Homecoming Arc/chapters so I know what happens to a certain point, but I’m still really excited to see it either way. Both Thorfinn and Canute have matured so much and seemingly reversed roles, so I’m excited to see where their dual journeys lead.

But, tell me your thoughts.

Not only did Thorfinn and Einar fell the last tree, but now they get to enjoy their lunch, too!
Not only did Thorfinn and Einar fell the last tree, but now they get to enjoy their lunch, too!

Did it break your heart to see Canute kill the last person who loved him?

Will Thorfinn finally decide to go home?

What will become of Arnheid on Ketil’s Farm?

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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