Vinland Saga is one of the most iconic Manga/Anime of recent era. Vinland Saga tells us the story of an era around 1000AC of Nordic/European regions. The story is mostly focused on Viking people’s of that time period, when fighting constant battles is the only thing they desire. Battles leads to victory and losses, and the loss then turns to agony and revenge. While some of them also chose their own separate path away from all the misery that battles bring upon everyone.
This is the story of that same hunger of battles for power, misery, revenges and finding a new meaning to life.
This story is written by Makoto Yukimura which is a Fictional story based on actual historical facts. This article may contain some amount of spoilers ahead.
1. The Vinland does exist on earth
A place which is warm and filled with greenery unlike Iceland, a place which is far away from wars and bloodsheds, the place of everyone’s dreams that is Vinland. The anime had defined Vinland surely in a very majestic way but, what if tell you that Vinland is an actual place on earth?
Yes, Vinland is an actual place which is the north eastern region of North America.
The region was named Vinland by the explorers as it was filled with grapevines and they were the main ingredient of the royal drink Wine. The lands were extremely fertile and had warm weathers which fascinated the explorers from Iceland and other cold nations.
One of the famous explorers from Europe Eiriksson the Red and his decedents also followed this path of exploration. One of them eventually came across Vinland and then Thorfinn Karlsefni for the 2nd time along with his wife and followers.
2. The Protagonist : Thorfinn Karlsefni
If you have read the manga or watched the anime, you might remember the word Karlsefni, a title that was atoned to Thorfinn by the crew members of Askeladd, but why so?
Driven by revenge in his heart and the desire of becoming strong to achieve his goal is what made them realize that Thorfinn indeed has exceptional qualities and is a very “promising child” which is the literal meaning of karlsefni.
Our anime protagonist does share the same name with one of the histories top Icelandic explorer “Thorfinn Karlsefni Thordarson”.
Thorfinn Karlsefni Thordarson is the descendent of the great Viking leader, Ragnar Lodbrok.
The history of Thorfinn Thordarson is recorded in two documents namely Greenlendinga Saga (Saga of Greenlanders) and Eiriks Saga Rauda (Saga of Eirik the Red). Together they are also known as Vinland Saga.
According to these texts Thorfinn was described as one of the Merchant/Trader who started exploration after his marriage along with his wife. It is also mentioned that Thorfinn set to find Vinland because of his wife’s desire to go and settle there.
In the 2nd season of the anime, it was discussed that settling to Vinland was the desire of Lief Eriksson’s late brother which failed eventually but after the change of hearts in Thorfinn, he was more than convinced that he will be able to create a world where war and slavery won’t be a part of their life and they will live peacefully on Vinland.
The real Thorfinn and the Thorfinn from the anime both shares two things in common, number one to reach Vinland and another will be their name. Apart from these they have a very different history and person overall.
The Thorfinn from anime rather lived a very tragic childhood where he kept on living as a Viking pirate since the age of 6 and lived a life of Vengeance till 16. After all that he went through he finally understood the feelings of his father who left the battle field when he was not even born. This realization made him went to built that perfect place for war victims which he named as Vinland, the concept which was fused within him by Erik Leaf, a merchant/trader from Greenland.
The Thorfinn from historical text was described as a Merchent from very start and he started exploration after his marriage. It was his wife’s wish to go settle in Vinland.
History talks about lot of things that happened on the Vinland once Thorfinn Karlsefni reached there along with his wife and crew but whether the story of Vinland Saga anime approaches it the same way or the author have a different plans we have to wait till the moment.
3. Thorkell’s character was real too
Yes, you heard it right the 7’7″ feet and 180 Kg monstrous character was indeed inspired by a real personality.
Once there happened to be a battle between the Vikings and the British Army in a place which was connected via a bridge and there was a tall man in the Viking army who single handedly didn’t let the British’s mighty army cross the bridge.
The same incident and the character inspired Yukimura(Author of Vinland Saga Manga/Anime) to write Thorkell and the very similar Bridge incident where Thorfinn first met Thorkell.
The history doesn’t tell much about the real Thorkell but surely it’s one of the best characters in the manga and anime.
4. Leif the Lucky
The person who shared the stories of this warm and fertile land with the Icelanders was actually one of the greatest explorers in that time.
Leif Eriksson was the son Eirik the Red, who was an explorer himself. Leif followed the footsteps of his father and keep on exploration in the sea. He was the 2nd European after his brother to set foot on the Western Continent many years before Columbus did.
According to the Anime’s 2nd season, Leif did revealed that his brother once tried to settle on Vinland but failed but he believes that Thorfinn will succeed.
Leif was also the messenger of Christianity in the regions of Iceland and Greenland.
Leif spent almost all his life exploring the sea and finally took his last breath on Greenland as he couldn’t accompany Thorfinn to Vinland.
There are many more familiar names and characters that will appear in the journey of Thorfinn, which is not covered in the Anime as of yet and thus for now we end it right here.
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