10 most inspiring Vinland Saga characters

Thorfinn and Askeladd as seen in Anime (via Mappa studios)
Thorfinn and Askeladd as seen in the anime (Image via Mappa studios)

Vinland Saga is a masterpiece manga and anime series that tells the story of Vikings in the 11th century. The series follows the story of Thorfinn Karlsefni, a young and valiant warrior who seeks revenge against Askeladd, his father's murderer.

Along the way, he encounters various complex and inspiring characters, each with their own unique struggles, motivations, and ambitions. Some of these characters are based on real historical figures, and others are fictional creations of Vinland Saga author Makoto Yukimura.

All the characters named in this article have their own set of strengths and weaknesses and are not ranked in a particular order. They include heroes, villains, and some who simply stand in the middle.

They all have something in common: they are complex and realistic human beings, who faced difficult decisions in life with consequences. These humans reflect different aspects of Viking culture and society, such as ambition, faith, honor, loyalty, and freedom.

Disclaimer: This article contains spoilers for the Vinland Saga season 2 and reflects the writer's views.

Thorfinn and 9 other inspiring characters in Vinland Saga

1) Thorfinn: The Unbreakable Warrior

No list of Vinland Saga's inspiring characters can start without Thorfinn, son of Thors, the legendary warrior. The story begins with a boy seeking revenge and consumed by his desire to avenge his father, who was murdered by Askeladd.

As the series progresses, Thorfinn undergoes a deep transformation, which leads him to find a new purpose in life. He no longer accepts violence as a principle or means to an end and embarks on a journey of redemption and self-discovery, aiming to find the peaceful land of Vinland and atone for his sins.

Thorfinn's journey is inspiring due to his determination to find a new vision in life and his willingness to confront his past.

2) Thors: The legendary warrior who taught the meaning of honor

Thors is Thorfinn's father and a legendary Viking in Vinland Saga, also known as the Troll of Jom. He is a respected commander in the Jomsviking army who decided to abandon his crusade due to the horrors of war.

He chose to live a peaceful life as a farmer with his family in Iceland. Forced to return to war after his village was threatened by Floki, he sacrificed himself to save Thorfinn and his crew from Askeladd's ambush.

Thors is undoubtedly a character in Vinland Saga who embodies the ideals of a true warrior. He is a great fighter who does not need weapons to defeat his enemies. He is a wise and noble person who values honor. He is also a father figure who guides Thorfinn with his words and actions.

3) Askeladd: The complex antihero who will keep you guessing

Askeladd is a charismatic and calculating Viking who develops as Thorfinn's primary antagonist for much of the story. He becomes Thorfinn's mentor, teaching him about human nature, strategy, and survival.

He is a descendant of King Arthur, with an agenda to protect Canute from King Sweyn. Askeladd ends his story in Vinland Saga after being killed by Canute, but not before entrusting Thorfinn with his wish for him to live as a true warrior.

Askeladd's story in Vinland Saga is complex and ambiguous. He is a character who defies easy categorization. He is ruthless and pragmatic, but also honorable and loyal. He is cynical and manipulative but is also insightful and wise. He is a villain but is also a hero.

4) Thorkell: The giant Viking who loved fighting and laughing

Thorkell is a fearsome Viking warrior who finds pleasure in fighting and killing. Despite his intimidating presence, he has a funny and humorous side, respecting his enemies and finding interest in any challenge. He is Thorfinn's great-uncle and admires his nephew's courage and skills.

Thorkell personifies the spirit of freedom and adventure in Vinland Saga. He lives for combat and doesn't care about any ideologies. He's a loyal Viking to his friends and folks, not seeking revenge or holding any rancorous feelings. Thorkell is a simple man who follows his heart.

5) Canute: The Prince who became the king of paradise

Canute is the son of King Sweyn and the heir to Denmark and England's throne. Initially, he appears as a timid and fragile prince who relies on others for his protection. However, after witnessing Askeladd's death, he undergoes a deep transformation.

Canute becomes a ruthless and ambitious person, seeking to create a paradise for his followers by conquering lands and abolishing war. He's also conflicted by his feelings for Thorfinn, whom he considers both a friend and an enemy.

Canute represents the paradox of human nature in Vinland Saga. He's driven by love and hate, faith and doubt, idealism, and realism. He's both compassionate and cruel, gentle and fierce, humble and proud. Canute is a visionary leader who challenges the status quo.

6) Leif Erikson: The explorer who discovered Vinland and inspired Thorfinn

Leif Erikson is the famous sailor and explorer who discovered Vinland, a place across the sea where there's no war. He's Thorfinn's childhood hero, promising to take him to Vinland one day.

After Thorfinn goes missing on a pirate journey, Leif spends years looking for him in the series. He eventually reunites with Thorfinn on Ketil's farm and helps him escape from slavery to join the promised trip to Vinland.

Leif is a character in Vinland Saga who inspires curiosity and hope. He's brave and adventurous, always seeking new horizons. He's also kind and generous and looks out for his family and friends. Leif is a man who believes in the possibility of a better world.

7) Gudrid: The woman who escaped her fate and followed her dreams

Ketil's daughter-in-law, Gudrid, is a young lady who lives on Ketil's farm. Unhappy with unfulfilled dreams of seeing the world, she meets Thorfinn while working as a slave and develops feelings for him. She then leaves home to join Leif's crusade as a sailor, becoming Thorfinn's wife and companion.

Gudrid is a cheerful and optimistic woman of Vinland Saga who brings joy and warmth to those around her. She is also a loyal and supportive partner who stands by Thorfinn's side.

8) Einar: The slave who became a free man and a true friend

Einar worked as a slave with Thorfinn on Ketil's farm. He was an optimistic, kind-hearted person who became Thorfinn's friend despite his cold attitude. Thorfinn learned how to farm and live peacefully, regaining his humanity thanks to Einar.

Einar was freed by Canute's infantry along with other slaves and decided to stay as a free man on Ketil's farm. Einar demonstrates resilience and forgiveness in Vinland Saga. He is a hard-working and honest man who does not give up on his dreams or his friends.

He is also a gentle and compassionate person who does not hold hatred or resentment towards his oppressors. Einar is a true friend who sees the good in people.

9) Hild: The inventor who sought revenge and redemption

Hild witnessed her father being killed by Thorfinn when she was a child. She grew up to be an engineer and inventor, creating devices and weapons. She swore to kill Thorfinn, but in the end, she was persuaded by Leif to join his crew instead.

She decided to follow Thorfinn's journey to Vinland, keeping a close watch with her crossbow, ready to kill him in case he ever tries to hurt someone again.

Hild is a character who reflects the cycle of violence and the cost of redemption. She is a smart and talented woman who uses her skills for vengeance. Hild is a potential enemy or ally for Thorfinn, depending on his actions.

10) Bjorn: The berserker who lived and died for Askeladd

Bjorn was the second commander and most loyal Askeladd follower. He was a notorious berserker and scruffy fighter with a sword and shield. He could enter a rage state after consuming certain mushrooms, which gave him strength and endurance, losing his control and reasoning. He could take down several opponents at the same time.

Bjorn was devoted to Askeladd and considered him his only real friend. He followed him faithfully for many years, even when the rest of the band turned against him.

He respected Askeladd's intelligence and leadership and trusted his decisions. He died in Gainsborough, fighting bravely to protect Canute from King Sweyn's army, being attacked with several arrows and spears until he collapsed. Bjorn was a character who embodied the spirit of loyalty and courage in Vinland Saga.

He was a fierce warrior who lived and died for his friend. He was also a simple and honest man who enjoyed fighting and laughing.

Final thoughts


Vinland Saga features inspiring characters, each with unique stories and journeys. All of them have the determination to find a new path in life, adapt and change, and be resilient in the face of adversity.

In Vinland Saga, each character serves as a reminder of the power of the human spirit. By exploring these characters and their journeys, we can find inspiration to face our own challenges.

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Edited by Adelle Fernandes
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