Vinland Saga Season 2 Episode 23

Vinland Saga Season 2 Episode 23

A Beautiful Man

Vinland Saga Season 2 Episode 23 wrapped up the Ketil’s farm arc of the series. There’s one more episode left in the season. But, that episode is going to take place off the farm. From the preview, it looks like Thorfinn will be returning home temporarily.

But, we’ll get to that next week. Right now, we need to go over how Thorfinn managed to save the farm. I wasn’t expecting him to actually be able to convince Canute to leave. However, Thorfinn managed to do the impossible. And, he did way more than save one farm.

So, what made Thorfinn successful? It looks like it all came down to his familiarity with Canute. Well, that and his insistence on not wanting to fight. He didn’t show up to the meeting armed and he had no intention of tricking Canute. And when Canute said he wouldn’t back down, Thorfinn said he would run rather than fight.

Thorfinn Karlsefni from the anime series Vinland Saga Season 2 Episode 23
Thorfinn Karlsefni

From Canute’s perspective, that’s what makes Thorfinn interesting. He knows how skilled of a warrior Thorfinn is. And yet, Thorfinn never had any intention of fighting Canute and his men. And because he already knows Canute, he was able to be straightforward with him.

As a king, Canute probably doesn’t have many people who are willing to disagree with him to his face. But, that’s what he got with Thorfinn. Thorfinn pointed out the flaws with Canute’s plan. And he even made it clear he’s refusing to live under Canute’s rule.

But, at the same time, Thorfinn also didn’t blame everything on Canute. He understands what Canute is trying to achieve. And he can’t fault Canute’s imperfect solution — he doesn’t have a perfect solution himself. So, Thorfinn declares that he’ll do what Canute can’t. He’ll fill the hole Canute leaves behind.

Filling Canute’s Hole

All I’m saying is Canute called Thorfinn a Beautiful man and Thorfinn said he’d fill Canute’s hole. Okay, well, he actually said he’d fill the hole Canute’s solution to creating a paradise left behind. But, that’s basically the same thing. Thorfinn x Canute, anyone?

Alright, but what did Thorfinn mean when I said all that stuff about filling holes? He means that Canute’s method of creating a paradise doesn’t benefit everyone. To build a paradise for the majority, Canute has to take from the minority. His plan to requisition Ketil’s farm is a perfect example of this.

So, what Thorfinn wants to do is create a separate paradise. He wants to build somewhere the “others” who are excluded from Canute’s paradise can live in peace. If there are people unhappy or unwelcome living under Canute, they can seek out Thorfinn.

King Canute from the anime series Vinland Saga Season 2 Episode 23
King Canute

Doesn’t this sound like a rival kingdom, though? Shouldn’t Canute be unhappy about that? Well, not exactly. Canute knows that Thorfinn has no intention of ever rising up against him. And the people attracted to Thorfinn’s paradise are those unwanted in Canute’s. In that sense, the two nations will have a symbiotic relationship.

Thorfinn doesn’t have the same power that Canute does, though. He can’t support the same number of people that Canute can. And so, Thorfinn wants Canute to put all his resources into supporting as many people as he can. Thorfinn’s alternative paradise isn’t an excuse for Canute to displace even more people.

He’ll give a home to those who need one. But, it’s up to Canute to make the number of people who seek out Vinland as small as possible. And, Canute seems to have agreed to this. He decided to stop requisitioning farms and even reduced the size of his army.

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Roald, Son of Grim

At the end of Episode 23, we finally learned Snake’s actual name. He’s Roald, son of Grim. But, if you were expecting that to be some big twist, it’s not. It actually doesn’t seem to mean anything at all. It changes nothing for Snake’s character.

The name Roald doesn’t add anything to Snake’s character. It’s a Norse name, which makes sense since this is Vinland Saga. And, you might think that’s important because it confirms Snake is Norse. But, we actually already knew that much from Episode 17.

Back in Episode 17, Snake used the name Miklagard to refer to Constantinople. Miklagard is the Norse name for Constantinople. So, we already knew he was Norse, or at least raised by Norse people. And, similarly, his father’s name, Grim, doesn’t tell us anything new, either. That’s not someone we’re familiar with.

Roald "Snake," son of Grim from the anime series Vinland Saga Season 2 Episode 23
Roald “Snake,” son of Grim

Vinland Saga doesn’t need to explain everything about every character. Choosing what to include and what not to include is important when writing a story. But, I would have liked to get more background information on Snake. He was one of the more interesting characters this season. And yet, by the end, we know very little about him.

We know he was a warrior of Miklagard. We know the real Iron Fist Ketil trained him. And we know he fled Constantinople after making some kind of mistake. But, we don’t know what exactly he did that led him to flee.

And that seems pretty important for his character. How can he be redeemed if we don’t even know what he did? But, that also leads to my other issue with Snake. We never saw his story end. Yeah, we see him working the farm now. But, whatever happened to all that Bible stuff?


What do you think about Vinland Saga Season 2 Episode 23? Were you surprised that Canute left the farm? Do you think Thorfinn and Canute will ever cross paths again? And, were you satisfied with how Snake’s story ended? I guess it’s still possible we’ll see him again.

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Finally, I’d like to thank Roman and JasonHK for supporting at the Heika tier this month. To learn more about becoming a supporter of this blog, check out

My review of Episode 24 is available now.

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