Vinland Saga (Season 2), Episode 8:Vinland Saga finally puts Thorfinn back into the spotlight in its latest episode while also making the conflict with the farmhands come to a head. Furthermore, the friendship between Thorfinn and Einar develops as well, making for a very strong episode overall.

Vinland Saga (Season 2), Episode 8 Recap:

The episode opens with what turns out to be a dream, as a mother and her two children cower from Thorfinn, who recognizes one of the children as Einar. He then sees his younger self walk into their hut, seemingly intent on killing them. A chasm opens underneath his feet as he tries to stop him, and he falls inside.

When he tries to climb his way out of the chasm, several decayed hands, presumably belonging to those Thorfinn has killed, grab him and try to pull him back in. At this point, he wakes up in cold sweat, and Einar comments that his nightmares are continuing as Thorfinn tells him about his dream. Einar is surprised that Thorfinn remembers his dream this time since he usually forgets. Einar further says that he spoke of his father and Askeladd while talking in his sleep, which disturbs Thorfinn.

Later that morning, he is drawing water from the well as Einar and Arnheid talk in the background, and he thinks to himself that he can’t remember his dreams. He also feels he is forgetting something important but can’t remember what.

Thorfinn and Einar are then seen working, and the farmhands observe from a distance. They give Einar credit for the increased speed and production of clearing the forest as well as growing wheat. One of the farmhands complains that slaves should not be allowed to do farming, even if it is Ketil’s orders. He then claims societal order will be impacted if slaves are treated the same as farmhands and look for support from others as the scene changes.

We then see Thorfinn and Einar working on fixing a hut’s roof with straw as Thorfinn suddenly tells Einar that Askeladd is the man who killed his own father, Thors. He says that Askeladd was strong and cruel and a Danish warmonger whom he followed onto the battlefield for eleven years to avenge his father. Thorfinn continues that he wanted to kill Askeladd in revenge and, in response to Einar’s asking, says he didn’t get his revenge as someone else killed Askeladd right before him.

Einar says he is beginning to understand why Thorfinn is the way he is and that if he still dreams of Askeladd, his heart has not processed everything that’s happened to him yet. Thorfinn thinks to himself that he has forgotten something very important. Einar continues by saying that it’s not something that can be gotten over easily, but at the very least, his revenge is over now, and there’s no point in hating a dead man. There is a very brief flashback as Thorfinn thinks of Askeladd’s last moments, as he says he no longer hates Askeladd, which is the problem.

Thorfinn thinks that without his hatred, he is empty, as he has lived until now with his hatred. He knows nothing but battle and can’t even do something basic like fixing a roof. He concludes by saying that he is unable to do anything and doesn’t even know what he ought to be doing, saying that he is empty again.

At this point, Sverkel appears, tells the two he has more work for them and takes them to the beach at sunset. He then teaches them how to catch fish with a net, though neither Thorfinn nor Einar has much success. As they continue trying, Sverkel tells Thorfinn it is not too late to start learning new things one at a time and that being empty is a good thing, as whatever he learns will fit inside him. A touched Thorfinn asks if he can even be reborn, and Sverkel tells him to keep working.

Vinland Saga Season 2 Episode 8

Einar and Thorfinn are then seen walking through the woods, as Einar says it will be difficult to fish in the cold. But Thorfinn is not listening as he is deep in thought. After Einar gets his attention, he asks him if people can truly change and what they must do to change. Einar points out that no one would know that Thorfinn was once a warrior by looking at him now, and Thorfinn wonders if that is true. Einar continues that he is glad that he never met him as a warrior, given that he could have been killed by him. He then tells Thorfinn that people can indeed change and that he himself is changing for the better. He sees Askeladd’s silhouette in the forest and thanks Einar for his kindness as he suddenly bumps into him.

All of the wheat that they had grown had been crushed, uprooted, and destroyed. Einar is in shock and quickly tells Thorfinn that he was done by people who knew exactly what they were doing since wheat is difficult to uproot. He surmises that it must have been the farmhands.

A furious Einar then starts to go after them with the intention of killing them, despite Thorfinn reminding him that they will be punished for acting against free men as slaves. Einar is too angry to care, even as Thorfinn points out that they have no proof it was the farmhands. He suggests explaining the situation to Pater. But Einar angrily explains that the soil is no longer fertile, and they will have to borrow seeds again. He is even angrier about the fact that, as farmers, the farmhands know full well the joy of growing and harvesting wheat.

Einar then tells Thorfinn to be angry too. However, Thorfinn responds that he cannot say anything, given his past as someone who only took things and destroyed them. Furthermore, he deserves to die at Einar’s hands at least a hundred times as well. Einar finally calms down, and there is a short time skip as the two have fetched Pater, explained everything to him, and shared their suspicions of the farmhands. Pater asks them to leave the scene, as he would like to investigate since there might be some clues. He also shares his own experiences with bullies as a former slave, saying that while some people discriminate, others don’t and that they shouldn’t lose hope.

Vinland Saga (Season 2), Episode 8 Ending, Explained:

The two then start walking back to their shed to sleep, as Einar says he heard that Ketil has taken a liking to Arnheid and that she is unlikely ever to regain her freedom. She doesn’t have a deal like them to regain her freedom, and slaves that their masters like are bound to them. He continues talking on the subject with Thorfinn when the retainers appear in front of them.

Thorfinn wants to avoid a confrontation, but Einar disagrees and goes up to the retainers, who insult them as slaves and begin to taunt the duo. Thorfinn instinctively punches one of them in the face, breaking his jaw and knocking out his front teeth. He is then shocked at his actions as Einar happily says it was a good punch. The other farmhands prepare to fight, but Einar gets in a kick and tells them to stop talking about their status as slaves.

The fight continues despite a horrified Thorfinn’s pleas to stop. He is knocked out, but not before he sees a vision of his father trying to tell him something. A chasm opens underneath him again as he is almost unconscious, just like earlier in his dream, and the episode ends.

This episode has Thorfinn do some serious soul-searching, as he wants to leave behind his past as a warrior, move on and be reborn. Despite his initial pessimism towards the prospect, some encouragement from Sverkel and Einar prompts him to have hope again. However, the farmhands and their heinous actions manage to draw out his old, violent self momentarily.

It will be interesting to see how the management of the farm, Ketil and Sverkel, react to the attack, as they do have to uphold the rules/laws. Nevertheless, Pater might find something in his investigation to defend Einar and Thorfinn. Thorfinn is no longer the hollow man he was at the start of the season. But he clearly has some ways to go in his journey of redemption, which has just begun.

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Vinland Saga TV Series (2019- ) Links: IMDb
Vinland Saga TV Series (2019- ) Cast: Yûto Uemura, Naoya Uchida, Mike Haimoto
Where to watch Vinland Saga

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