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Quote1 I want to get a look at this guy. "The Troll of Jom." I hope he's a fun guy. Quote2
— Askeladd to Bjorn

"Troll" is the 3rd episode of the Vinland Saga anime.

Summary

Askeladd, the leader of a band of a hundred Vikings, bargains with Floki and demands double the price to kill Thors. Back in the village, the young men buzz with excitement as they prepare for their first battle. Together with five men and Leif Erickson's crew, they prepare two ships for their journey to England. However, Leif Erickson reveals to a young woman that Thors has no intention of taking the young men to the battlefield, instead of wanting to leave them behind in Norway. Once at sea, the young men find the going tough and Thors angrily discovers that Thorfinn has stowed himself away on the ship. When they stop to rest and resupply in the Faroe Islands, they are caught in a trap set by Askeladd. One of Askeladd’s fighters, Bjorn, eats a fly agaric mushroom and prepares to fight Thors alone to test his skill, but Thors jumps aboard their ship and attacks them instead.

Overview

Continuing from the previous episode, Askeladd remembers that Thors is the "Troll of Jom" and asks Floki if he really wants him dead, since he is a hero to their people. Floki says that if Thors was a hero, he wouldn't have asked Askeladd to kill him. He says that Thors broke the Jomsvikings laws and deserted the army during a battle, and orders to have him executed were over fifteen years ago. Askeladd says that he knew the Jomsvikings had strict laws, but wanting to kill Thors after fifteen years is very excessive, before tossing his cup away. Floki gives him stern look, which causes Askeladd to hastily say that they will kill Thors as long as they get paid. However, Askeladd asks that if Thors is former member of their group, why don't the Jomsvikings kill him themselves, especially since Floki tracked him down in Iceland. Floki says that it is none of his concern and warns Askeladd to stop asking questions, while watching his men kill a Christian monk. Askeladd complies, but asks for another hundred coins in advance for the job.

Outside, Bjorn turns and watches Askeladd and Floki talk. Floki sternly tells Askeladd that he is confident and must think that he has the upper hand on him. Suddenly, a spear is thrown in their direction and lands in between the two men at a sheet on the wall. Bjorn apologizes for throwing the spear at them and Askeladd gets up and jokingly tells him to be careful. Askeladd reiterates that he wants an extra hundred coins, which Floki begrudgingly accepts. Askeladd happily says that he is a good man and bids Floki farewell. Before he leaves, Askeladd asks for the warrior Thors' physical features and fighting style to identify him. Floki bitterly says that Thors is no longer a warrior. Askeladd spills the barrel of alcohol and tells his men that it is time to work. Askeladd commends Bjorn for his spear throw, who says it was easy, and says that Floki was shocked. Floki removes the sheet and sees the spear has impaled a Jomsviking who hid behind the wall. Floki says that Askeladd is more than just talk.

At dawn, Ari visits a sleepy Ylva at her home and promises to return from his conquest from England with a necklace for her. He also tries to ask her hand in marriage but is cut off by his mother who brings him his lunch. Ari is embarrassed and takes his mother away, but promises Ylva that they will continue their conversation when he returns. Ylva remembers that they are going to war today and hopes that no one dies. Suddenly, all of the other young men approach Ylva and try to talk to her, much to her annoyance.

At the docks, the young men bid their families goodbye. One of the villagers says that only five young men are not much military power and barely enough to move a ship, but believes that if Thors said it was enough, it should be alright. Mord asks Ari what he said to Ylva, who replies by telling him to shut up and stay away from her. Mord threateningly tells him watch his back on the battlefield, and Ari returns the threat. A young woman approaches Ari and tells him to be careful, however, he and Mord continue arguing. Leif approaches the young woman and comforts her with a secret: Ari and the other men won't go to battle. On the trip to Jomsborg, they will stop by Norway and leave the young men behind. While in Norway, Thors will hire a crew from the king to help him get to Jomsborg. Leif says that it will be possible because he was friends with the previous king of Norway. Once Leif has finished with his business, he will take the young men back to Iceland. The young woman is relieved to hear this and is content that the boys will be safe. Leif says that five people is the maximum number of people he can ferry back to Iceland in his little ship and Thors won't have to take a single one of them to England. The young woman asks Leif if that means Thors will go to battle alone. Meanwhile, Thors is searching the village for Thorfinn and wonders where his son went.

Afterwards, the men are ready to set sail and man the oars. On Thors' ship, the five men row on one side and Thors rows with one giant oar on the other. Ylva wonders why Thorfinn isn't here to see their father off and believes that he is still angry from yesterday. Thors asks Helga to tell Thorfinn something for him, but seems embarrassed to say it out loud. Helga understands what he means and promises to tell him. Leif bangs a drum and tells the men to row. The two ships sail away from the docks and the young men are surprised that Thors can row with the giant oar by himself. The villagers wave them goodbye and Helga and Ylva look sad as they depart.

After a large period of rowing, the young men are all tired, except for Thors, who is none the worse for wear. Thors tells Ari to take the rudder, Mord and Magni to adjust the sail, and Harkon and Grimm to adjust the jib sheet. Thors notices that they are tired and tells them that they won't have to row for a while, because the wind currents will move the ship for them. Suddenly, a familiar voice calls Thors his father and asks if they can't turn back now, which Thors confirms. This shocks Thors and Ari, and it is revealed that Thorfinn stowed away in a barrel. The boy quickly runs to the side of the ship to urinate into the ocean. Thorfinn is captivated by the ocean view and Thors is shown visibly angry at his son. Before he can reprimand him, Thorfinn excitedly tells his father that he can see the ocean. This causes Thors to calm down and become amused by his son’s actions.

Meanwhile, at Streymoy of the Faroe Islands, Askeladd and his crew depart to hunt down and kill Thors for the Jomsvikings. Askeladd tells Bjorn that the job given to them is suspicious, because Floki is hiding too much information. He believes that he at least lied about the orders to execute Thors. Bjorn asks why and Askeladd says that Floki may have a personal grudge and ordering Thors' assassination is his own scheme. Bjorn asks why should it matter, because they will get paid for killing him. Askeladd ask why Floki wouldn't use his own men to kill Thors, and Bjorn replies that doing so would go against his orders, which Askeladd agrees with. However, Askeladd says that FlokI could be afraid of failure, which would be disastrous if his chief found out. Bjorn doesn't believe that one former Jomsviking could defeat an entire team of Jomsvikings. Askeladd expresses his desire to meet Thors and hopes that he is worth the trouble. At the same time, Thorfinn attempts to climb up the mast on his father's ship, but Thors grabs him and spanks him as punishment for sneaking aboard.

At night, Thorfinn has fallen asleep, while Thors and Ari sail. Ari yawns and wonders where they are going, because are no stars to follow. Leif yells to Thors that the wind has changed and that he needs to tilt slightly to the right, so that he can follow the lead of his smaller ship. Ari is amazed by how well Leif knows how to sail  and looks at the sea for a sign. Thors tells Ari not to stare at the night sea, or else he might get sucked in. Ari complies and asks Thors what the battlefield is like. Ari says that Thors must have fought in plenty of battles and says that he wants to hear a story about it. Then, he boasts that he will cut down an enemy captain and become a real man. Thors tells Ari that his daughter is attracted to strong men and that he has a tough fight ahead of him. Ari is embarassed that Thors easily read his feelings and says that nothing gets by him. Thors asks Ari if he is in love with Ylva, which he confirms. Thors says that she was born while he was a Jomsviking and his firstborn child, while reminiscing about her birth.

Fifteen years ago, Thors is disappointed that his first child is a female and is annoyed by her cries. Thors picks her up without holding her head, much to the midwives concern. Thors gives his daughter back to Helga and asks that she give him a son next, because the chief wants a boy. Thors informs the viewer that his wife Helga is the daughter of the Jomsviking chief and that she barely made it through the baby's delivery. Helga tells Thors to give their child a name, but Thors tells Helga that she can name her, because he must go to Norway with the other Jomsvikings. A fellow Jomsviking tells Thors that their ship is ready and they turn to leave. However, Helga adamantly tells Thors to give their child a name. Thors notes that this was first time he had ever seen Helga angry. Back in the present, Thors tells Ari that Ylva was the name of his mother and that it was first name that came to mind. Thors says that Ylva's birth was the catalyst for his fear of battle and the reason he fled. Thors somberly says that his old comrades have probably cursed his name. Suddenly, Leif yells that they are about to approach the Faroe Islands. 

In the morning, Thors and Leif's ships are sailing through the Faroe Islands, looking for a place to land. Thorfinn wakes up to find seabirds surrounding their ship and sees the cliff side on one the islands. Thorfinn excitedly asks his father if they are in England. Leif replies that they aren't even close to England. He explains that they are at the Faroe Islands, between Iceland and Norway, and their journey will be easier if they all rest here. Leif says that there is a village beyond the nearby inlet, where they can get fresh water and trade supplies. Ari jokingly asks Thorfinn if he plans to come with to come with them to England, which he innocently confirms. Thors tells the young men to prepare to row, much to their annoyance.

As the two ships row through the fjord, Leif suspects that something is wrong. Thors asks what it is, and Leif says that something seems different from his last visit here. Thors looks around to see if they're being watched, and Leif realizes that there are fewer houses at the village on coast than last time. Thors tells Leif that they should turn back, because he has a bad feeling and the terrain is bad for them as well. As Thors and Leif turn their ships around, a group of men on top of the cliff watch and realize that they are onto them. They assume that since the crews of the ship are being cautious, they must be strong. The leader says that they are closer than anticipated, but orders the other men to push a pile of broken wood and debris off of the cliff, regardless if the ship gets damaged. The debris nearly hits the ships and creates a dam that prevents them from leaving the inlet. Leif asks Thors if anyone was hurt by the debris, and everyone confirms that they are fine. Thors says that these ambushers will fire arrows and orders everyone to use their shields. Then, he asks Leif if his ship was damaged, and Leif confirms that his ship and crew are fine. Thors looks to the coast and says the real trap is within the inlet. Suddenly, everyone hears the bang of a drum and two ships sail into the inlet to attack them. Ari believes that they are pirates and it is revealed to the viewer that Askeladd staged the ambush and lead his two ships into the inlet to kill Thors like he was hired to do. Thors and Leif's groups are trapped in the inlet with Askeladd and his crew approaching, and, like Thors predicted, a group of archers take aim at them.

One of Leif's men says that they debris blocking their path, looks like support beams from a house, and it looks like there's no way out. Magni says that the pirates might let them live if they all surrender. Ari states that they won't spare them and if they don't kill them, the pirates will sell them into slavery. He quiveringly draws his sword and nervously says that they could easily defeat the two ships. Thors calms Ari down and states that these pirates are experienced warriors, far beyond him and the other young men. Thors pats Thorfinn on the head and equips his sword from his old chest. Thors grabs his dagger, but decides to give it to Thorfinn and warns him to use it only as a last resort to defend himself. Ari asks if they will kill the pirates or not, but Thors tells him not to say the word "kill" so lightly.

On one of the ships, Askeladd's second-in-command, Bjorn, puts a mushroom in his mouth, much to his comrades concern as they seem to know what it actually does. Bjorn counts the number of targets, and says that there are twelve men and one kid. Bjorn asks Askeladd if he can take care of them, as it wouldn't be fun if they all went after them at once and he wants to fight the "Troll of Jom" himself. Askeladd tells him to go ahead, as Thors seems to have had the same idea, to Bjorn's confusion. Suddenly, Thors leaps onto Bjorn's ship and easily defeats his attackers barehanded. Bjorn is shocked and Askeladd is impressed by Thors' combat skills.

Characters in Order of Appearance

Locations

Battles & Conflicts

Differences from the manga

Trivia

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