Vinland Saga Season 2 Episode 4

Vinland Saga Season 2 Episode 4

The Innate Will to Live

Vinland Saga Season 2 Episode 4 is yet another great Vinland Saga episode. At the start of the episode, Snake attacks Thorfinn in an attempt to test his will to live. And just as Snake expected, Thorfinn’s body reacted.

It’s safe to say, though, that Snake wasn’t expecting Thorfinn to have the combat experience he does. I was fully expecting Snake to attempt recruiting Thorfinn on the spot after that. It could have been interesting to see Thorfinn shoot Snake down in favor of staying a slave. I wonder how Einar would have reacted to that.

On one hand, Einar would likely be glad Thorfinn doesn’t want to be a warrior. But, at the same time, he might be mad that Thorfinn doesn’t want to seize a chance at freedom. It doesn’t matter, though, because that’s not what happened.

Thorfinn reacting to Snake's attack from the anime series Vinland Saga Season 2 Episode 4
Thorfinn reacting to Snake’s attack

Snake’s attack seems to be a pretty important moment for Thorfinn. It woke him up. Up until this point, Thorfinn has been like a zombie in Season 2. He doesn’t want to die. But, he also doesn’t think he has anything to live for. He’s been indifferent to his own existence.

Now, it looks like something changed. Snake’s attack reminded Thorfinn of his fights against Askeladd. This could be important for a few reasons. It could be that it reminded him of when he had to fight for survival. Or, it could be that it reminded him of when he had something to live for — revenge.

At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter what it reminded him of. What matters is that it proved Thorfinn doesn’t want to die yet. There’s still more for him to live for, even if he doesn’t know what it is yet.

Everything Einar Hates

With some of Thorfinn’s past revealed, he represents everything Einar hates. Thorfinn has been to war and has killed more people than he can remember. And to make matters worse, he even took part in the Danish army’s attack on England.

The reason Einar is in his current situation is because of people like Thorfinn. It was the Danes who killed his father, mother, and sister and burned their homeland (twice). It was also the Danes who sold Einar into slavery. So, it’s understandable that Einar would hate Thorfinn, even if he knows Thorfinn isn’t a Dane.

However, I believe there’s a bit of a misunderstanding here. And Thorfinn isn’t helping things by staying quiet. Thorfinn isn’t the kind of warrior Einar hates. If Einar knew the truth about Thorfinn’s time in the Danish army, he might actually like him more. Thorfinn had the courage to do what Einar wanted to do.

Einar judging Thorfinn from the anime series Vinland Saga Season 2 Episode 4
Einar judging Thorfinn

Sure, Einar knows Thorfinn was a Danish soldier. But, he doesn’t know the circumstances around Thorfinn becoming one. He doesn’t know that the Danes killed Thorfinn’s family. And he doesn’t know that Thorfinn joined their ranks to get his revenge on Askeladd.

On top of that, I don’t remember Thorfinn ever killing civilians. I could be misremembering. Or, Thorfinn may have done this off-screen. But, from what I remember, he was never a raiding kind of warrior. He partook in raids, but only as far as fighting enemy combatants was concerned.

So, when Einar thinks of Danish soldiers, he thinks of killing civilians and burning homes. That’s not Thorfinn. But, because Thorfinn isn’t explaining himself, it’s no wonder Einar has this warped view of him. And it could be that he believes trying to explain himself would only make things worse. That’s fair, too.

HobbyLink Japan

HobbyLink Japan

The best place to buy and ship products from Japan!

Shop Now

Thorfinn’s Nightmares

It’s now time to discuss the best part of the episode, Thorfinn’s nightmares. And I want to start this discussion by bringing something to your attention. Did you know that we’ve seen Thorfinn’s nightmare in this episode before? It’s actually a reimagining of a scene from Season 1 Episode 7.

In the original scene, Thorfinn was killing enemy soldiers defending a fort. But, in his nightmare, things are a bit different. He imagines the soldiers are coming after him specifically. To me, this shows that he’s developed a degree of paranoia from his time in the military.

And, that makes sense. For years, he lived in a world where he could be killed at any moment. It’s probably good to have at least a bit of paranoia in that kind of situation. If you’re always worried about someone killing you, you won’t let your guard down.

Thorfinn's nightmares from the anime series Vinland Saga Season 2 Episode 4
Thorfinn’s nightmares

However, we also see the other side of Thorfinn’s trauma, too. At the end of the nightmare, we see the soldier he’s beheading stops being a faceless monster. He realizes that everyone he’s killed was an actual person. They had families and dreams and didn’t want to die either.

Now, Thorfinn has to live the rest of his life knowing what he took from others. And if I had to guess, this is going to be where most of his personal growth comes from. We’re going to get to see how he comes to terms with the things he did in the past.

Hopefully, we’ll also see him realize that he’s to blame for a lot of the bad things in his life. He claims that nothing good ever happened to him. But, he hasn’t yet acknowledged that his desire for revenge was the cause of most of it.


What do you think of Vinland Saga Season 2 Episode 4? Were you expecting Snake to try recruiting Thorfinn? Do you think Einar would understand Thorfinn if he explained his time in the Danish army? And, did you realize we’d seen Thorfinn’s nightmare before? Let me know in the comments.

If you enjoyed this review, remember to click the like button down below. Also, follow me on your social media of choice — links are in the footer.

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

Discord Community

Discuss anime, manga, and more with our members!

Join Server

My review of Episode 5 is available now.

Discover more from DoubleSama

Subscribe to get the latest posts to your email.

2 Replies to “Vinland Saga Season 2 Episode 4”

  1. Actually, DoubleSama, I am very confident that the Danes didn’t burn down Einar’s homeland twice. I distinctly remember Einar saying that the King of England burned down his homeland first and then the Danes who claimed to be liberating them were no better and also burned it down.

    1. I don’t really remember, so that’s probably correct. But, either way, Einar doesn’t have good memories of the Danes.

Leave a Comment