Welcome to the Recap & Ending Explained for Vinland Saga Season 2, Episode 4, titled “Awakening.” Episode 4 follows the events of the previous episode, where Einar and Thorfinn are being bullied and threatened with death by the “guests” of the farm, a group of mercenaries that serve as bodyguards to the entire facility. However, the leader of the group, a man named Snake, arrived just in time to stop this terrible situation and was kind enough to punch the one responsible for it in the face.
The situation was really intense as the mercenaries really had the intention of killing Einar and Thorfinn. Einar showed how brave he could be by sacrificing himself so that Thorfinn could escape. This was useless, but the intention is what matters the most. However, the even biggest topic that arose in the situation was Thorfinn lack of will to live. He declares he doesn’t fear death because there wasn’t anything good in living in the first place. This grim vision of life is the result of Thorfinn’s heavy trauma after having lived a life full of death and disappointment.
The following paragraphs contain spoilers for Vinland Saga, Season 2, Episode 4. Read at your own risk.
Does Snake Save Thorfinn and Einar From His Minions?
The episode begins exactly where the last one ended, with Snake arriving, punching Fox in the face, and asking for an explanation. Snake is a very interesting character. He only has this small scene in this episode, but it tells us so much about him that we can wait to see more of him in the future. First, he is quite strong. Every member of his group seems to respect him or even fear him. Second, he is very capable but also quite lazy, it seems. Snake apologizes to Thorfinn in the name of his men.
However, in the middle of his apology, Snake launches an attack on Thorfinn. What happens next is very interesting. Thorfinn sees the attack coming, but Snake’s movement and killing intent remind him of Askeladd. Thorfinn even confuses Snake with Askeladd for a moment, and his body reacts and attacks Snake back. Snake smiles because Thorfinn has proved what he was thinking, that Thorfinn is saying he doesn’t want to live, but his body says otherwise. It will be fascinating to see how the relationship between these two develop.
Pater comes to heal Thorfinn’s many wounds. Pater says he doesn’t believe the mercenaries would have killed Einar and Thorfinn, but Einar disagrees. Pater was a slave, just like Einar and Thorfinn are now, but it seems he didn’t have to deal with so many dangers. Pater also informs them that it was Arnheid who informed Pater and the boss of what was happening. Einar feels that Anrheid is looking after him, and his love increases. Pater also gives a new shirt to Thorfinn, but to Einar’s disappointment, Thorfinn has trouble saying thanks or anything for that matter.
Einar is starting to see Thorfinn in a different way. Einar might not be a warrior, but he can recognize anyone who is, and the movements that Thorfinn displayed in his little exchange with Snake finally strike Einar to see who Thorfinn really is. He is not a normal man, and he is definitely not the peaceful, quiet man he appears to be.
What Does Einar Think Of Thorfinn After Showing Who He Really Is?
Thorfinn and Einar are given a free day after the incident with the mercenaries, but Thorfinn decides it is better to go to the forest and start cutting those trees. Einar follows, even when it is clear that he just wants to have a resting day. We see Thorfinn focused on cutting down those trees, but Einar is in another place; he sees Thorfinn in a new light and doesn’t know if he likes it. He starts asking questions about Thorfinn. He asks if he went to war and killed people and how many people he killed.
Thorfinn answers affirmatively to all the questions, but he doesn’t know how many people he has killed. He tells Einar that he has been on the battlefield since he was five years old and also tells him that he participated in the Viking invasion of England. Thorfinn looks at Einar and asks if he hates him now. Einar is conflicted, but he wakes up at night and tries to strangle Thorfinn, but the moment’s violence makes Thorfinn’s body react, and he begins to scream. He is having a nightmare.
Einar sees how much Thorfinn is already suffering and decides to wake him up but also to tell him that he is an idiot. If really nothing good ever happened to him in life, then he should be dead right now, but in reality, he is alive. They both are. Thorfinn meditates about their conversation and thanks Einar for waking him up from the nightmare. This is done literally, as Einar has woken him up to reality. They go to sleep knowing that their relationship has taken a huge step forward.
Meanwhile, somewhere else, we see the return of a character from Thorfinn’s past. We see Canute, now King Canute, overseeing some graves in the middle of the night. No one can escape from their past.