|Far, far to the west, across the sea, there is a land called Vinland. It's warm and fertile. It's a faraway land, without slave traders and without war. What do you think? Come live there with us someday.|
|— Thors to the runaway slave|
"Somewhere Not Here" is the 1st episode of the Vinland Saga anime.
The episode begins with Thors Snorresson waking up in a sunlit field surrounded by trees and grassy plains, where he is greeted from a distance by his wife Helga holding their infant child Ylva. When Thors walks to meet her, he realizes he is surrounded by corpses. Thors' comrade, Thorkell, yells at him so he can regain his focus. Thors and Thorkell quickly cut down enemies who have boarded their ship, and it is revealed that they are participants in the Battle of Hjörungavágr in the year 987. Thorkell asks Thors if he is okay because of his initial lack of focus and Thors apologizes for daydreaming. They quickly shield themselves from a barrage of arrows and Thors notes that their forces won't be able to hold off the enemies second wave of attack because they’re too spread out. Thors devises a plan to solve this: When Floki approaches, Thorkell will bring up the frontline, while he attacks the enemy. Thors splits off from Thorkell and jumps on another ship to confront the enemy alone. Thors easily decimates the wave of soldiers and witnesses his victim apologizing to his loved one for dying. Unfocused, Thors is hit in his right shoulder by an arrow and more enemies board the ship to attack. An enemy knocks his sword from his hand, but Thors tosses the man and himself off of the ship into the sea. They begin to wrestle underwater and Thors wins the fight by stealing the man's sword and impaling him. Thors abandons the man's sword and swims away from the battle to dry land. Exhausted, Thors walks away from the battle without looking back.
Later in Iceland during the year 1002, Thors young son, Thorfinn, gathers water and carries it home to his village. After storing the water, his sister, Ylva, asks him to feed their sheep and milk their cows. While he carries a bucket of milk, Thorfinn spots a seabird and looks to the sea's horizon.
Later that night, Leif Ericson and the other village children gather in Thors' home to listen to Leif's stories of his travels. Leif tells a story about how he found a new continent with his crew by sailing further west after leaving Markland. Leif described this new land as a "new world" where fruit grows and grassy plains cover the land. He decided to name this new land "Vinland". Thorfinn tells Leif that he is amazing and the children ask Leif questions about Vinland. Leif says that Vinland is much bigger than Iceland and he encountered a group of people who already lived there (Native American ancestors). Although they had troubling communicating due to the language barrier, they managed to have peaceful relations. Leif shows them a feather headdress and tobacco pipe that he received as a gift from the Natives. Meanwhile, Thors returns home from the snowstorm. Helga tells him that kids wanted to hear Leif's stories. Thorfinn praises Leif and he asks the boy if he will sail with him when he grows up, but Thorfinn impatiently says he wants to sail now. One of children questions Leif's story, because of the legend that the sea beast, Jormungand, eats any ship that dares to sail to west and beyond that, the world ends. Leif sees it as proof that he is a true warrior, but children scoff at the notion and call him adventurer who is useless in battle. Leif asks Thors to beat some sense into the boys, but Thors says that was enough stories for one day and tells Ari to escort the children home. Meanwhile, a man with a chain around his neck wanders in the cold snowstorm unprotected and comes across the Iceland village.
With the kids gone, Leif and Thors talk about the freezing weather in Greenland, which caused several people to freeze to death. Leif says that winter will be especially cold and livestock will die. Then, Ylva returns home with two sheep who are the only ones getting weak from the cold. Leif offers to "warm up" Ylva, causing her to call him a pervert. Ylva tells Helga to sleep before she catches another cold, but Helga says that she's fine and asks for help tying up the sheep. Leif tells Thors that life is tough in Iceland, and Thors replies that it is. Leif says that one day winter will be so cold no one will survive. He says that back in his home country, his brother planning on emigrating. Thors says that it's far, but Leif confidently says that he made the round trip before.
Next, Thorfinn dreams that he is a sailer and encounters Jormungand, but he is suddenly woken up by Ylva laying on him. Thorfinn wakes up Ylva and tells her to sleep in her own bed because there's not enough room.
The following day while shoveling the abundance of snow they received during the snowstorm, Ylva Thors' daughter finds an unconscious and frostbitten slave. Out on the docks, Leif talks to Thorfinn about a couple more stories about his past. Meanwhile, Thors tries to resuscitate the unconscious slave in his home. The slave manages to awaken and reveal that it belonged to Halfdan, all while the man arrives in the village.
One day, Thors saves a runaway slave. The following day, the slave's master, the brutal Halfdan, arrives at the village demanding the slave be returned. Thors refuses, and he purchases the slave for the price of eight sheep. However, the slave soon dies and Thors' children are angry with his decision.
Characters in Order of Appearance
- Thors Snorresson
- Leif Ericson
- King Harald (Flashback)
- The opening scene to this episode depicting Thors' final battle and desertion from the Jomvikings is an anime original scene that was not featured in the original manga.
- Because of this Thorkell makes his first appearance earlier than in the manga.