Vinland Saga: Why didn't Thorfinn stay in Iceland? Explained

Thorfinn's choice to leave his family behind plays into both achieving his dreams and atoning for his sins (Image via MAPPA Studios)

In the weeks since the premiere of Vinland Saga season 2’s finale, fans were focused on the apparent tease of an anime continuation from Takahiko Abiru. Having served as the character designer and chief animation director for the second season, the tease of Thorfinn’s journey being set to continue was taken by some as an official season 3 announcement.

While it remains to be seen how the Vinland Saga anime will continue (with a movie certainly possible), it’s clear that fans aren’t ready to stop discussing the series yet. This is somewhat unsurprising, considering that the second season’s events created a cultural movement within the online community.

Constant discussion of the second season and speculation on what’s next for the anime has led Vinland Saga fans to an interesting point of contention. It seems that for some, they can’t understand why Thorfinn would leave Iceland after reuniting with his family. Meanwhile, others treated it as a completely understandable choice.

Vinland Saga fans have been eager to analyze Thorfinn’s choice in pursuing Vinland over remaining in Iceland

As seen in the final episode of Vinland Saga season 2, Thorfinn and Einar steel themselves to leave Iceland behind in pursuit of finding and establishing a country within Vinland. This decision even comes after Thorfinn is reunited with and spends time catching up with his family members, including his newfound nieces and nephews.

Many fans are unable to understand why Thorfinn would so readily leave his home and family behind after being so recently reunited with them. After all, Thorfinn had been gone for over 16 years and would have only spent a couple nights at best with his family before he, Einar, and Leif Ericson left for Vinland.

In response, other Vinland Saga fans have pointed out what 'Vinland' has meant to Thorfinn both as a child and throughout the last 16 years. As a young boy, he heard Leif tell stories of Vinland - a beautiful, warm, and green area that is fertile and well-suited for cultivation. During his time as a slave, he constantly spoke and thought of Vinland as something to strive towards and fight for, that is if should he ever shed his role as a slave.

Moreover, there’s the fact that despite Thors moving his family to Iceland in an effort to escape the war-centric culture of the Vikings, it eventually came for him as well. With Thorfinn looking to do the same by escaping Canute’s empire, it’s established that Iceland is still within reach of what Thorfinn is trying to escape. As is is, he can’t create a land without war or slavery if he’s still reachable by Canute and the Vikings.

Thorfinn also says during Vinland Saga season two that he wants to build more houses and plant more fields than he burnt and bring up more life than he took. Obviously, this isn’t achievable in the harsh climate of Iceland, where farmland is sparse. However, by leaving Iceland behind for Vinland, both a young Thorfinn and an adult Thorfinn can achieve their dreams.

In summation

The main reasons why Thorfinn leaves behind his family in Iceland in search of Vinland all stem from his own personal goals and dreams. As a child, he longed for adventure. He specifically expressed a desire to find Vinland alongside Leif. As an adult, who has actively participated in the cruelty of war, Thorfinn wants to atone for his sins in a way which eclipses what Iceland has to offer him.

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.