The diversity of modern-day manga and anime is something that is a well-known fact, but some titles manage to stand out even among such harsh competition. Vinland Saga is one such title, as it stands out among the lot for its accurate depiction of historical events, the authenticity of the content, as well as the fact that it is focused on European, rather than Asian (Japanese or Chinese) history. Vinland Saga is a true gem and that is why we are going to talk about it in this article.
What we are about to tell you is a list of the most important Vinland Saga characters and their heights, ages, birthdays, and voice actors. The data we are going to use refers to the canon data we have from the manga, which is currently ongoing, so things are certainly going to change, but we are going to focus either on the data at the time of a character’s death or the current in-universe time. If you’re interested in the strongest Vinland Saga characters we covered that as well. Before we approach each of the characters individually, here is a quick overview:
|Thorfinn||27||February 3, 996||155 cm||Yūto Uemura (teen, adult)|
Shizuka Ishigami (child)
|Askeladd||44||~969||170 cm||Naoya Uchida|
Chiaki Kobayashi (young)
Maki Kawase (child)
|Bjorn||38/39||Unknown||180 cm||Hiroki Yasumoto|
|Thors Snorresson||39||April 3, ~1002||180 cm||Kenichiro Matsuda|
|Thorkell||58||Unknown||230 cm||Akio Ōtsuka|
|Canute||25||July 12, 996||170 cm||Kenshō Ono|
|Leif Ericson||54||Unknown||152 cm||Yōji Ueda|
|Einar||20||Unknown||184 cm||Shunsuke Takeuchi|
|Sweyn||52||Unknown||167 cm||Takayuki Sugō|
|Hild||25||November 23||160 cm||TBC|
A cold, lonely, revenge-ridden young warrior, he is almost seventeen years old in the series’ prologue. Although he hates Askeladd for murdering his father, he joins his warrior band, so he can kill him in single combat. To have the right to face him regularly in a duel, he must accomplish particularly difficult missions for the latter. However, in each fight, he emerges defeated by his opponent’s skill and cunning.
By his mother Helga, Thorfinn is of high birth, because he is the grandson of Sigvald, the general-in-chief of the Jomsvikings, and therefore grand-nephew of Thorkell the Great, an opponent whom he will face twice. Although he did not inherit his father’s imposing height, he nevertheless possesses all his combat skills.
Thorfinn wields two daggers to perfection, forcing him to fight in close combat. But his inexperience and inability to control himself make him lose his temper easily, which some of his opponents, like Askeladd, take advantage of. In volume 7, we learn that the Vikings begin to nickname him Thorfinn Karlsefni, thanks to his exploit against Thorkell.
At the end of the prologue, Thorfinn witnesses the death of Askeladd without having been able to satisfy his revenge. Mad with grief, he goes after Canute but fails. For this gesture, he will be enslaved and sold to a wealthy Danish landowner named Ketil. Thorfinn now works the land there in the company of an English slave, Einar, who will become his first real friend.
But the young man no longer has anything to do with the ruthless killer he once was. With no reason to live, he calls himself completely empty, wondering if he even has the will to live. But with time and the support of a few relatives, he will eventually rebuild himself and take the path of redemption and non-violence.
Half-Danish, half-Welsh, the son of a Welsh princess captured in a Viking raid, Askeladd commands a small but mighty band of warriors who owe their success to the unparalleled intelligence of their leader. Ten years before the events related at the beginning of the series, he accepts the mission to assassinate Thors, Thorfinn’s father. He is presented as one of the best warriors in the series, particularly good at predicting the attacks of his opponents.
Clever, he doesn’t hesitate to use trickery to deceive those who get in his way, whether enemies or allies and embodies the unscrupulous warrior. Although he does not always treat him well and maintains his hatred towards him, Askeladd still feels a certain affection for Thorfinn, and recognizes his value as a warrior by entrusting him with the most difficult missions. He believes in the legend of Avalon, and that is why he will help Prince Canute in his accession to the throne of Denmark. His real name is Lucius Artorius Castus.
Second in command to Askeladd, Bjorn is a well-built man who fights for the love of fighting. A thick brute, he is capable of entering into impressive rages after consuming a mushroom that he seems to be the only one to possess: the Berserker mushroom. Bjorn is killed at Gainsborough by Askeladd following the tradition that a warrior must die weapon in hand in order to enter Valhalla. Björn was already dying during this duel, as a result of injuries received while protecting Prince Canute.
Father of Thorfinn, Thors is a Jomsviking general whose warrior qualities earned him the nickname “Troll of Joms”. During a naval battle, it is said that he falls into the water wearing his armor, and we do not see him rise to the surface. He returns three months later in secret to the base of the Jomsvikings to take his wife Helga, the daughter of Sigvald himself king of the Jomsvikings.
Surprised by Thorkell, he tries to convince him to let him go by telling him that he has discovered what the real warrior was. Frustrated and not understanding, Thorkell agrees and challenges him to a duel one last time. Thors claims he doesn’t need his sword, further angering Thorkell, before smashing his ax with one punch and knocking him out with another, then fleeing with Helga with whom he is going to sink a peaceful retreat in the company of Ylva, her eldest daughter (Shortly after, Thorfinn was born).
However, the Jomsvikings discover the deception and if his notoriety allows him to avoid execution, he must still return to battle. Before he reaches the theater of hostilities, he is betrayed by an old comrade, Floki, who hires Askeladd to assassinate him. Thors is presented as being the best of the warriors in the series, having defeated in duels men of the level of Askeladd or Thorkell.
His strength was such that Floki was unwilling to confront him directly, even with a full squadron of Jomsviking warriors, and set up an ambush to defeat him. Thorfinn, then six or seven years old, had secretly snuck onto the boat that was taking his father and witnessing his death.
Thorkell is also a Jomsviking general, like Thors; he is a giant (younger brother of Sigvald the Jomsviking king), who, out of a taste for war, deserted the Danish army and became a mercenary in the pay of the English, in order to be able to face the best of warriors, his comrades Vikings. It is this same taste for the challenge that will encourage him to help Prince Canute accede to the throne of Denmark.
Before Thors deserted, he fought with him and held him in high esteem; he will become attached to Thorfinn because he is his son, but also because the young boy is an outstanding adversary. They will face each other twice: Thorkell wins the first duel in London, but leaves two fingers there, and, after having failed to ravish Canute in Askeladd, he loses the second duel where Thorfinn, losing his temper, will gouge out his eye.
His weapons of choice are two axes, but his main asset is his imposing stature and his extraordinary physical strength; in one of his fights against the troops of Askeladd, although being several hundred meters away, he throws a spear with such force that it decapitates one man and skewers the next three.
Canute is a 17-year-old Danish prince, the second son of King Sweyn. He initially appears as a shy, feminine-looking boy, unable to speak in public and without his personal guard, Ragnar. Very Christian in addition, he will be the laughingstock of the Viking warriors, especially during the trip he makes with the troop of Askeladd. However, after the death of Ragnar, executed by Askeladd, his character changes completely, and he is shown to be charismatic and fit to rule.
In order to create a perfect world on Earth before the return of God, he wants to pacify England and reunite it with Denmark; he thus plots to take the throne from his father, aided by Askeladd, Thorkell, and Thorfinn. Gradually, he hardens and looks more and more, by his power-hungry actions, to his father King Sweyn.
He is a navigator and explorer, the discoverer of the new world named Vinland by him, and an old friend of Thorfinn’s family who enjoys a fluctuating reputation in the village, due to his nature as a traveler, devoted to trading rather than war. Known as “the Lucky One” by other Vikings, Leif was the one who accompanied Thors on his last journey and who will bring his body back to the Jomsvikingar.
Of the Christian religion, Leif will spend the ten years following the death of Thors in search of Thorfinn, who disappeared after the incident, thinking that he had been sold as a slave, then finding him by pure chance in the town of York and that he will lose again due to the regicide of Askeladd. Over the years Leif has lost most of his hair but always keeps his mustache very thick, showing a more melancholy and disconsolate air, compared to the typical cheerfulness of Thorfinn’s childhood years.
He is a young Saxon peasant, bought as a slave by Ketil, after having resigned himself to the idea that he would not be able to escape from those who had captured him. In his native village all were of Norse origin, but living under Saxon authority, both languages were known and spoken, so that Einar can express himself well in both, so much so that he does not show any accent problems.
He is very emotional and full of energy in character, so much so that he often gets angry, especially towards those who pose as superior to him even though they are not as in the case of free men who cultivate the lands of Ketil as tenants. He has great goodness of mind, is resolute in his decisions about him, and is not very capable of masking his emotions, as when Arneis tells him that he has a beautiful face.
He is the perfect counterpart of Thorfinn who, after the death of Askeladd, is extremely apathetic and devoid of pure emotions. The two will bond a lot, so much so that they become great friends.
Gudrid is a young, intriguing woman that originally comes from Greenland. When she was still a child, she had heard stories of the outside world from Leif, the explored, and wanted to become a sailor later in life, but was hindered in doing so because she was a woman. She would later become Leif’s sister-in-law, the widow of his brother Thorvald. It was later arranged for her to remarry Sigurd, son of Halfdan, but on the night of their wedding, she escaped to join Thorfinn and Leif’s band. Two years later, she does indeed remarry, but to Thorfinn; they eventually adopt a son named Karali.
A calculating person and a manipulator, he is the king of Denmark and Canute’s father, who after the massacre of St. Brizio’s day, organizes the massive invasion of England to submit it to his mayor. During the campaign, he appears as an elderly man, slightly emboldened, deprived of real vigor, and driven by a lust for power, which he says stems from the curse of the crown itself.
In fact, he proves to be particularly Machiavellian and ready to reject in every way the attempts of a conspiracy by Canute and Askeladd, ready to involve even strangers in the struggle, such as the Welsh.
The cruel attitude of the king, such as wanting to eliminate his own son to favor the other, does not seem a degeneration due to age but a rooted component of his character, as is revealed by his hostility towards Canute in his childhood, or from the struggle against his father, whom he drove out and killed. Sweyn is killed by Askeladd after too reckless a move during the celebration banquet in York.
He is a wealthy Danish landowner living in the southern part of the Jutland peninsula. He is very wealthy and ambitious enough to want to extend his cultivated lands also in new areas, even coming to entrust them to slaves like Thorfinn and Einar. In spite of everything, Ketil is a kind and modest man, who participates in the work in the fields during the harvest, so much so that on more than one occasion he is called a good master.
He has two sons, the younger Orman, a daredevil, arrogant and immature, and the older Thorgil, a soldier in the Danish Royal Army. Ketil has a reputation among the Danish army that nicknamed him “Iron Fist” for his strength, but in reality, they are just rumors: he does not like violence and indeed shuns it, so much so that he fears his own family, managing to truly open up only with Arneis, who has become his mistress.
Hild is a female hunter from Norway. She was originally a carpenter and an amateur inventor, but when Askeladd’s band attacked her village and slaughtered her family, her life changed drastically. Years later, when she met Thorfinn, a member of the band at the time, she tried to kill him out of revenge. But, after she hears his desire to create a wholly peaceful society, she decides to spare him, as the idea intrigued her. She then joins him but promises that she would kill him if he ever gave up on the idea of peace. She would later completely forgive him for what Askeladd’s band had done. She uses a custom crossbow that is designed for quick-fire reloading.