「冬の終り」 (Fuyu no Owari)
“The End of Winter”
Not a lot seems to have been going on in Pars while we were gone. That has changed.
The greatest mystery throughout this episode, to me, is whether Saam is truly loyal to Hermes. Early on, I was willing to bet that he was not; he seemed to be buttering up Hermes too much. He remains loyal to Pars, for sure; I thought he was perhaps using Hermes to take out Bodin—and undeniable positive for Pars—and then would … I’m not sure. Decide, perhaps.
But later in the episode, he seems more on Hermes’ side … except for the odd comment, such as his conversation with Andragoras, or his mentioning that it would not be “fair” is Hermes didn’t have at least him on his side, when Arslan has Daryun and Narsus. He’s still a mystery to me, and I wouldn’t be surprised if he could still be swayed, in a way Daryun, Narsus, and the rest of Team Arslan unequivocally cannot. But then again, perhaps not, especially after Hermes saved his life. Hermes is not charismatic in the way Arslan is—in any conventional way, to be honest—but there is a kind of attraction to his drive. I can see Saam sticking on Team Hermes, even if I doubt that will end well. Mahendra might have something to say to him about choosing the wrong prince—were he alive to speak it.
I easily called that Kubard wouldn’t stay under Hermes’ banner. In fact, I’m a bit surprised that he rode under it at all, though the chance to kill Lusitanians (and get close enough to speak to Hermes) was probably too much to pass up. His talk about not wanting to be involved in the squabble of the village girls all trying to marry him was clear foreshadowing; Kubard isn’t about to put up with an ascension squabble either.
Which just goes to further emphasize the difference between Hermes and Arslan: Hermes may be able to fight on par with Daryun, and strategize enough to frustrate Narsus, but when it comes to earning and maintaining loyalty, he’s light years behind Arslan. That’s going to be the difference, because while Hermes can do much himself, that doesn’t actually matter. What matters is the forces and talents you have at your disposal. And in that, Arslan is winning easily.
Looking Ahead – A Blonde After Arslan’s Heart(?)
For a show called Arslan Senki, this episode had precious little Arslan. I did like that he’s already gotten an epithet: Arslan the Liberator. In the game for the history books, he’s already ahead of Hermes, though that’s as much because Hermes is a presumed-dead footnote instead of a known current player. Either way, it looks like Arslan is going to be talking to a girl next episode, and she … well, I won’t mention my guess about who or what she is. We’ll see, we’ll see!
tl;dr: @StiltsOutLoud – Saam is serving Hermes, as is Kubard, but only for a time. Not much from Arslan the Liberator this week #arslan 19
- Hermes’ answer to Kubard’s question was weird. He wants to bring peace? He brought war, in the form of Lusitania. Kubard was wise to get out of there.
My first novel, Wage Slave Rebellion, is available now. (More info—now available in paperback!) Sign up for my email list for a FREE sequel short story. Over at stephenwgee.com, the last four posts: What are your two skills?, Passing the Bechdel Test, Absence (from work) makes the heart grow fonder, and The Kingsman princess joke.