Vinland Saga season 2 ending explained: What happened to Thorfinn?
He's evolved from an innocent child to a mindless killer all the way back around again to a man of peace and calm.
Thorfinn has come such a long way in Vinland Saga - and not just physically - although the distance his journey has covered over the years sure is impressive.
Across two seasons, the man at the heart of the anime has evolved from an innocent child to a mindless killer and all the way back around again to a man of peace and calm. The Thorfinn of today is almost unrecognisable from the boy who stowed away on his father's boat to become a warrior all the way back in episode one.
Season 2 brings everything full circle at the end with Thorfinn's return to Iceland, sixteen long years after he first left home. He and Einar have a plan to create a new world free of war and slavery, but first Thorfinn must reunite with his long estranged family.
With help from Leif, Einar and Bug-Eyes, Thorfinn returns to an island he barely recognises anymore. It's Einar's first time here, so he's naturally taken aback by Iceland's beauty, but Thorfinn is too nervous to really notice it. He hasn't been home since the age of six, so things are complicated to say the least.
These complications come to light as soon as the ship disembarks, when the villagers start to question Thorfinn, a man they fail to recognise as one of their own. Eventually, Leif reintroduces Thorfinn to his sister, Ylva, but their loving embrace doesn't turn out to be as loving as Thorfinn hopes for. Instead, she kicks him in the face, assuming that Thorfinn and Leif are trying to trick her about this seemingly random man and his identity.
It's not exactly the reunion Thorfinn had in mind. Back to his moody self, Thorfinn sits by the ocean and contemplates what to do next. Leif suggests he should visit his mother, which turns out to be the best thing for him.
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After a few moments of uncertainty, Helga recognises the features of her late husband in Thorfinn's face and comes to realise that he is in fact the real deal. The pair embrace with tears in their eyes, then Thorfinn goes on to have another heartfelt reunion - this time with his old friend Ari. The pair apologise to each other for mistakes long made and almost forgotten entirely.
That's when Ylva walks in, shocked to find this so-called fraudster now hanging out with her family at home. She's convinced Thorfinn is after some kind of inheritance, but the others manage to persuade Ylva that he really is her actual long-lost brother.
Thorfinn tries to hug his sister once more, thinking the danger has finally passed, but she hits him again, this time out of anger because he's been away so long. Everyone calms down a lot quicker this time though, and that's when Thorrfinn decides to reveal everything he's gone through in the 16 years he's been absent.
The family sit around the dinner table as Thorfinn essentially recaps the entirety of Vinland Saga up until this point. It's a horrific story, one full of death and trauma, which leaves everyone shocked and unable to process what their beloved Thorfinn has endured.
And with that, Thorfinn shares his goal of establishing a new, peaceful society free of strife in Vinland. Leif offers to help Thorfinn and Einar with the funds they'll need to make this a reality.
That night, Thorfinn visits the grave of a slave his father once rescued at great cost to his own wellbeing. At the time, Thorfinn didn't understand why Thors did what he did, but now, the pair share more in common than ever before. Upon hearing this story, Einar even suggests that Thorfinn is a lot like his father now.
Thorfinn always idolised Thors, but before, it was more about his physical strength and might. Now that he's older and much, much wiser, Thorfinn realises that his father's true strength came from his heart. And it's this kind of strength that will carry Thorfinn and Einar in their journey to create a utopia of their own in Vinland.
The second season of Vinland Saga ends with flashbacks to Thorfinn's parents travelling to Iceland just as Thorfinn and Einar begin their own travels that fans will hopefully get to see play out in season three.
The final shot is of a new, clean-cut Thorfinn who's tidied up his hair and shaved off his beard. It's a nice note to end on, but what matters most here isn't the physical transformation our hero's gone through - it's everything that's changed beneath the surface with all that rage now ground down into something pure and even hopeful.
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