Vinland Saga Season 2 Episode 5 Recap

By Nubia Brice
Published: February 6, 2023 (Last updated: March 16, 2024)
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This suspenseful and dramatic episode serves as the perfect reintroduction to Canute’s character.

We recap the Crunchyroll anime series Vinland Saga Season 2 Episode 5, “The Path of Blood,” which contains spoilers.

Although we knew Thorfinn (Yuto Uemura) had changed since we last saw him, viewers got a chance to see just how much in the last episode. Thorfinn isn’t the only person struggling to accept his past, as Einar (Shunsuke Takeuchi) does not seem sure what to do with the information either. We can only wonder what this will mean for their newfound friendship in the coming episodes. However, that wasn’t the only cliffhanger of the week, as fans finally got their first glimpse of Canute (voiced by Kensho Ono) since the first season. While we don’t know much about his plans yet, there’s no doubt they will somehow involve Thorfinn.

Vinland Saga Season 2 Episode 5 Recap

The episode opens with Canute leading an Army through Mercia. Through flashbacks, we learn that ever since King Sweyn’s death, England and Denmark have been at war. Ethelred II leads the Danish army against Canute as both men vie for the title of King of England.

Why does Canute order Gunnar to have the troops beheaded?

As they ride through a disheveled Mercia, Canute notices troops pillaging. He immediately orders Gunnar to have them beheaded, as this is a practice he has already outlawed. Although taking spoils is a common practice, Canute demands their heads be put on display to make an example of them.

Why did Canute make the journey to visit Floki in person?

When Canute rides up, Floki is thankful that he made the trip to see him in person but assures him it was not necessary. Canute admits that there was another reason that he came just as Thorkill begins riding toward them, yelling his name. It seems Canute also came to deal with Thorkill, who is still angry about being forced to stop fighting when Mercia requested a ceasefire.

After Floki requests Thorkill’s assistance in dealing with Edmund, son of Ethelred, Thorkill warns Canute that he will not be able to avoid fighting forever.

Why does Canute reject Eadric’s offer to retreat from Mercia?

Canute shows up to speak with Earl Eadric, who promises him 4000 pounds of silver now, and 4000 more later if he agrees to remove his troops from Mercia. However, Canute calls his offer cheap, saying it is a disrespectful amount to offer their king, especially when he personally came to handle the rebellion.

Eadric’s son shouts that Ethelred is the true king, but Canute says he is a coward who abandoned his people and throne in the last war. Knowing there will be no order while two kings are alive, Canute tries to convince Eadric to assassinate Ethelred for him. He says he will retreat from Mercia if Eadric does this for him, but the man refuses.

Canute requests that Eadric followed him outside, where he has his men light a large wooden pyre. Within minutes, there are signal fires popping up all across the area. Eadric asks what this is supposed to mean, and Canute responds that this is what it would look like to fight him and that he could have Mercia reduced to ashes in no time. He then demands Ethelred’s head in exchange for peace.

Vinland Saga Season 2 Episode 5 Ending Explained

The next year, in April 1016, Ethelred II dies of what is said to be an illness. His son, Edmund, takes up the throne and tries his best to fend off Canute’s armies. Then in November of the same year, he also seems to die of an illness. In the year 1018, Canute is finally crowned the King of England.

This was another visually beautiful episode, especially toward the end. After several weeks of wondering, it was quite satisfying to see what Canute had been up to during this time skip. He finally worked his way up to being King of England, which should have some interesting impacts on the outcome of the story, especially after seeing just how much Canute has changed since we last saw him.

Even though we know Canute lead an army, this episode chooses to focus on the more underhanded aspects of his rise to power, which I think was a great way to introduce viewers to a different side of him.

What did you think of the anime series Vinland Saga Season 2 Episode 5? Comment below.

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