Vinland Saga season 2 finale: Thorfinn finally returns home with hope for the future

Thorfinn's return home unifies the series' past with where it's headed in the future (Image via MAPPA Studios)

The Vinland Saga season 2 finale was released on Monday, June 19, 2023, bringing with it an exciting and engaging conclusion to what has been a truly emotional season. Even to the bitter end, the series’ sequel season continues to capitalize on the emotional aspects of Thorfinn’s longer than decade-and-a-half long journey.

While it certainly serves as a unification of the series’ entire past, the Vinland Saga season 2 finale also looks firmly ahead toward the future. Re-anchoring Thorfinn’s connection with his family, his younger self, and his late father Thors all serve to set up the massive undertaking of establishing a country in the faraway land known as Vinland.

Vinland Saga season 2 finale builds to the future while tying together entirety of series’ and Thorfinn’s past

Vinland Saga season 2 finale: Long-awaited return

The Vinland Saga season 2 finale begins with a focus on Einar being wowed by Iceland as he, Thorfinn, and Leif sail by the coast. Einar comments on how the location geographically prohibits farming, but Leif points out that it’s now winter, and during the summer, days are long enough to grow wheat in the right conditions.

However, this isn’t nearly enough to feed the island, prompting Einar to ask if everyone is a shepherd or rancher. Leif counters that there are craftsmen and fishermen as well, since there’s not enough pastureland for everyone to raise livestock. Likewise, people live together and survive off of fish instead, such as in Thorfinn’s home village.

The Vinland Saga season 2 finale sees Thorfinn sigh at this, prompting Einar to question what’s wrong since this is his home. Thorfinn explains that he left at six years old, trying to think of how long ago that was before questioning how old he is now once he can’t remember. As the village comes into view, Thorfinn grows scared, questioning how he can face his mother and sister.

Leif jokingly tells him to prepare for the worst as he is the "prodigal son" finally returning home as the boat finally docks at the village. Thorfinn steps out and looks upon his home, seeing the various children playing and adults working. Leif then tells Thorfinn that the villagers are waiting for him, as he’s then approached by several men from the village.

The Vinland Saga season 2 finale sees these men have no idea who he is, questioning if Ylva did indeed have a little brother. One of the men asks Thorfinn what his name is since he should know if he used to live here. However, Thorfinn gets it wrong, causing the others to call him suspicious.

Thorfinn explains that it’s been years, and that’s why he forgot, while Leif laughs, prompting the men to say they’ll get Ylva to come and speak to him. Ylva, meanwhile, is seen arguing with a merchant named Berge, who is apparently being too greedy. She’s shown choking him out as he apologizes, while someone accompanying her begs her to stop since they got their money back.

The Vinland Saga season 2 finale then sees Leif call out to Ylva, telling her that he finally brought Thorfinn back home. She turns around and looks at Thorfinn, saying his name as he approaches her and tries to hug her. However, she then kicks him in the face, saying she doesn’t know a Thorfinn as Leif pleads with her that he is her brother.

Ylva says that her little brother died when she was a kid, and that may have been his name, as Leif explains that Thorfinn is indeed her brother. She questions why it took him this long to bring her back, eventually accusing him of making it all up to cheer up Ylva and her mother. She thanks Leif as he tries to explain that Thorfinn is actually her brother.

However, in the Vinland Saga season 2 finale, Ylva attacks Thorfinn, accusing him of lying to Leif. Einar and Bug Eyes watch on, commenting on how difficult it is to prove who you truly are. The episode then jumps ahead to sunset, showing Thorfinn sitting at the edge of the village dock while Leif says they should go to his mother Helga, who will surely know who he is.

Thorfinn jokingly responds by asking who "Thorfinn" is, adding that he can’t blame Ylva and the others for not remembering him. Bug Eyes then approaches Thorfinn, asking if it matters if they forgot him or not and that he’ll still get to see his mother’s face after a decade. Bug Eyes then explains that he was also separated from his parents as a kid and has no idea where they are now.

The Vinland Saga season 2 finale sees Bug Eyes say he’s jealous of Thorfinn, jokingly adding that he’ll play the role of a devoted son returning him in Thorfinn’s stead. Thorfinn then apologizes as the scene cuts to Leif and Thorfinn standing outside the latter’s familial home. Helga is seen standing in the doorway, looking out at them, while her grandchildren via Ylva ask who Thorfinn is.

Helga takes a step forward and says Thorfinn’s name, prompting Bug Eyes to hilariously call her mother. As Einar yells at Bug Eyes and Leif points out who Helga’s real son is, she approaches Thorfinn and puts her hands on his face while saying his name. She comments on how he’s grown so much while crying as she comments on how he looks just like his father, Thors.

Vinland Saga season 2 finale: Hopes on the horizon

The Vinland Saga season 2 finale sees her call Thorfinn truly his father’s son, causing him to begin sobbing as well. He apologizes for everything, but she simply welcomes him home in response. Leif looks out onto the horizon as he begins getting emotional himself, while shots of the village and ocean appear as night falls.

As Thorfinn is playing with his nieces and nephews, Ylva’s husband Ari bursts in and approaches the former, apologizing to him for what happened to Thors because of them. The two then hug, as Thorfinn says he was an idiot. Einar and Helga watch on as the scene unfolds before the former gets up and puts his coat on to leave for the night.

The Vinland Saga season 2 finale sees him say he’ll go stay with Leif’s crew, but Helga says he should stay here instead despite how cramped it would be. She says that if he’s Thorfinn’s brother, then that makes him her son, and likewise their home is his. She implores him not to be shy as Ylva enters, complaining about the merchant she was fighting with earlier.

When she sees Thorfinn, she yells at him for entering her home, prompting Ari to try and talk sense into her. However, she instead lifts Thorfinn up by his shirt, yelling at him about how he can go pull his scams on a rich family somewhere else. Helga tells Ylva to wait, saying that it really is Thorfinn.

The Vinland Saga season 2 finale sees her begin saying it can’t be him, questioning if Leif was telling the truth. As the realization sets in, she becomes less aggressive, prompting him to say he’s finally home while calling her sister. Just as it seems another emotional reunion is taking place, she uppercuts him instead while questioning where he’s been all this time.

As Thorfinn tries to recover from being slammed into the wall, he tells Einar that he’s fine and is used to getting hit. However, he collapses and becomes unconscious shortly thereafter despite taking just one hit. Ylva’s children comment on how she’s the strongest as the episode shifts ahead to the next day in the village.

The Vinland Saga season 2 finale sees Thorfinn walking around and taking in the sights and sounds. The narrator then explains that during the night, Thorfinn told his family about everything he’d experienced over the 16 years he was gone, from Thors’ death to the events on Ketil’s farm seen earlier in the season.

The narrator adds that despite speaking matter-of-factly and covering only the key points, his story of growth he experienced left everyone present at a loss for words. Thorfinn then speaks on how the people he killed may have had warm families like his, adding that his sins are heavy and that he has to go to Vinland to create a peaceful land to atone.

Vinland Saga season 2 finale then sees Helga tell him to do it, adding that there are many who wish they could flee from the world they live in. Even she and Thors fled Jomsborg, the land of warriors, and came to Iceland. Likewise, others fleeing from war and slavery will need a peaceful land where they can be welcomed, imploring Thorfinn to live and do that as Thorfinn, son of Thors.

Thorfinn thanks his mother for her support, while Ari and others call the former's goals a large endeavor. Leif points out how they need plenty of money to buy all the supplies they need and that it won’t be easy, adding that such would be the case without his help. Thorfinn and Einar excitedly thank Leif for his help, while others question if it's truly possible to do.

The Vinland Saga season 2 finale sees Bug Eyes tell Leif not to push himself too hard, as the scene shifts to Thorfinn inspecting his father’s old sword and armor. Ylva then finds Thorfinn, saying she still can’t believe he actually went with their father. Thorfinn apologizes, adding that their father truly was an amazing, strong, and kind man.

He adds that Thors was looking far ahead at something he couldn’t even see, prompting Ylva to say he was a strange man. The scene then shifts to Thorfinn and Einar standing before a grave, with the Aurora Borealis in the skies above. Thorfinn adds that it’s the grave of someone his father once tried to protect, explaining that it was just a slave who ran away from his master.

The Vinland Saga season 2 finale sees Thorfinn explain that his father Thors traded eight sheep for the slave, causing Einar to laugh and say he sees where Thorfinn got his good nature from. Einar comments on how cold it is in Iceland at night, heading back home and leaving Thorfinn by himself.

Thorfinn stares out at the sea when he suddenly sees a younger version of himself appear next to him and call out to him. The younger Thorfinn asks the older where people who want to run away from Iceland go. On older Thorfinn’s other side, an image of his father Thors appears and puts his hand on the older Thorfinn’s shoulder, saying he already knows the answer to that.

The Vinland Saga season 2 finale sees the older Thorfinn and Thors then transported to a field of wheat, before coming back to the grave in Iceland. This scene shows Thorfinn now by himself, before making his way to Ylva and Helga in their home together while holding Thors’ former sword. Helga remembers her and Thors first fleeing Jomsborg, with a baby Ylva in her arms as Thors guided the ship.

Leif is then seen remembering his younger days as a fighter and explorer before the scene shifts to Einar greeting Thorfinn as he exits his home. With a clean shave and cut hair, the wind rushes by him as the episode comes to an end, and with it, the second season of the Vinland Saga anime.

Vinland Saga season 2 finale: In summation

Despite the emotional peaks from earlier in the season, the Vinland Saga season 2 finale somehow finds a way to surpass itself yet again in literally the final minutes of the season. Thorfinn’s reunion with his parents, as well as the visions of his younger self and his father, truly exemplify what the series is about and what this season has been building towards.

Likewise, the series revisits its past in a way that aids in its progression toward the future. With the support of his family now behind him, Thorfinn is set to head to Vinland along with Einar and Leif to make his father, mother, and sister proud. With the third season also having been almost confirmed by Takahiko Abiru, the series’ character designer and chief animation director, fans truly cannot wait to see how Thorfinn’s story continues.

Be sure to keep up with all Vinland Saga anime and manga news, as well as general anime, manga, film, and live-action news as 2023 progresses.