WARNING: The following contains spoilers from the Vinland Saga manga written and illustrated by Makoto Yukimura, now available in English via Kodansha.
Makoto Yukimura's epic tale Vinland Saga has long dazzled and thrilled manga and anime fans with the heartfelt story of Thorfinn Karlsefni, the Viking boy who lost everything when Askeladd betrayed and killed his father one day in the Faroe Islands. A 24-episode anime captured the first arc of Thorfinn's journey, and now, at last, the medieval adventure is about to resume.
With Season 2 formally confirmed, there's never been a better time to dive into the world of Vinland Saga. Fans of the manga know what lays ahead on Thorfinn's difficult but historic journey to create a peaceful realm of Vinland, far away from the bloodshed of Europe. Here are the major manga moments we hope to see in Season 2.
Thorfinn Confronting His Dark Past On Ketil's Farm
Fans of the Vinland Saga manga know that Thorfinn, the gritty underdog hero, is about to look inward to figure out his future and determine his purpose. Up until now, he'd found meaning in violence and seeking revenge on Askeladd, his father's killer, but that paradigm has since been shattered. Askeladd was already trying to steer Thorfinn away from the path of violence and war by the time Canute killed him, rendering Thorfinn's journey of revenge moot.
Now Thorfinn has nothing but his own gruesome memories, and the ever-increasing guilt of realizing just how many people he's killed -- some of whom were innocent. The ghosts of the slaughtered dead haunt his dreams as Thorfinn cries out every night in his sleep, unable to escape the memories of those fallen warriors. If Thorfinn doesn't do something soon, these ghosts will drag him down into the darkness forever. Seeing this in anime form, complete with a haunting soundtrack and emotionally charged voice acting, should be a real treat.
Thorfinn Attempting A Constructive Project
As the Vinland Saga manga continues, Thorfinn has something else to keep him busy: the hard work of a farmhand in Denmark. He is now a slave belonging to a farmer named Ketil, though he is treated fairly well considering his station. In fact, Thorfinn and his new ally Einar are given a chance to clear a forest and plant their own wheat field. If they make enough cash from wheat sales, the two can buy their freedom.
This is arduous work to be sure, but Thorfinn enjoys it since he has a chance to actually create something, and it takes his mind off other things. No doubt Vinland Saga Season 2 will feature some stunning landscapes to depict Ketil's farm and Thorfinn's journey of planting the wheat field, and there should be more than a little uplifting music to accompany the montages showing his and Einar's progress.
When Canute & Thorfinn Clash Over Denmark's Fate
Many historical figures and events are depicted in Vinland Saga with a few creative liberties, including the real-life King Canute, who once ruled over both Denmark and England. In Vinland Saga's first season, Prince Canute was a meek and timid boy who needed Ragnar and later Askeladd to look after him, but he grew bold in defying his father King Sweyn, and soon replaced him.
In the upcoming Season 2, Canute will be a mighty and bold king worthy of the Vikings, and will begin an aggressive military campaign involving Denmark. The anime is set to depict a tougher, sterner King Canute in all his glory, and it will be fascinating to hear his voice acting. Now a proper Danish king, he and Thorfinn will cross paths once again as Canute attempts to annex Denmark's farms (including Ketil's) for his war effort. Thorfinn doesn't like what Canute is doing, and the two parties will either settle this with careful diplomacy, or by the sword.
The Arrival Of Gudrid, Hild & Other Characters
The ending of Vinland Saga Season 1 hinted at a handful of supporting characters to come, including Einer, who should appear early in Season 2 as Thorfinn's fellow farmhand. After the business with Canute is settled, Thorfinn will form his own crew, recruiting idealistic misfits and rogues who share his love of freedom and adventure. One of these is Gudrid, who's betrothed to Sigurd but longs to fly free rather than become a housewife on the remote coasts of Iceland.
Seeing the upbeat, idealistic Gudrid in anime form, from her voice acting to the sound effects of her various pratfalls and pranks, should be a lot of fun. There's also the matter of Hild, a vengeful young woman in Norway who wants Thorfinn dead no matter what. She wields a custom-built crossbow and is a skilled hunter, and her intense battle with Thorfinn in the Norwegian wilderness will no doubt be a marvel of animation. Better still, Vinland Saga Season 2 will have even more adventures after these.