On Monday, June 10, 2023, Vinland Saga season 2 episode 23 was released, delivering an exhilarating and heartwarming conclusion to the Slave arc. This episode effectively ties up the main storyline of the second season, leaving fans eagerly anticipating the upcoming finale and what lies ahead for characters like Thorfinn and Einar.
Furthermore, Vinland Saga season 2 episode 23 successfully encapsulates the core themes and messages of the Slave arc. In just a concise 23-minute runtime, the episode skillfully summarizes the overarching purpose and significance of this season and arc, ensuring that viewers who may have been uncertain about its meaning gain a clear understanding.
Vinland Saga season 2 episode 23 serves as perfect wrap-up of Slave arc
In Vinland Saga season 2 episode 23, the episode begins with Canute confronting Thorfinn and asking if he can halt him, just as Askeladd once did. A soldier interrupts, urging Thorfinn to leave and expressing regret at the possibility of having to kill him. Einar expresses his disdain for the way the world operates, where strength dictates right, and he curses the Vikings for perpetuating such a reality.
Thorfinn’s gaze narrows as King Sweyn dismisses Canute as foolish and asserts that he has not yet earned the title of king. Sweyn questions why Canute would reveal his true feelings to lowly individuals who are unlikely to comprehend each other. Sweyn compares Thorfinn, Einar, and those like them to a flock of sheep, and he considers Canute an aloof shepherd who raises, slaughters, and exploits them.
Vinland Saga season 2 episode 23 revolves around Sweyn’s contemplation on how sheep can understand the intentions of a shepherd, arguing that the shepherd’s control is what is best for the sheep. However, Thorfinn calls out to Canute, seemingly breaking through Sweyn’s control. Sweyn deems Thorfinn dangerous and instructs Canute to eliminate him then and there, as it is his duty as the king.
In response, Thorfinn declares that if Canute intends to impose his authority forcefully, he will simply choose to flee. The soldiers and Einar appear puzzled by Thorfinn’s statement, as does Canute, who acknowledges the truth in Thorfinn’s words. Canute questions whether this is truly all Thorfinn plans to do, while Thorfinn counters by asking what other option there is apart from engaging in a deadly confrontation.
In Vinland Saga season 2 episode 23, Thorfinn agrees that Canute’s vision of paradise may benefit many at the expense of a few. He admits that he doesn’t possess the right to criticize Canute’s ideals and is unsure whether they are good or bad. Running away becomes Thorfinn’s only choice, prompting him to instruct Einar to prepare to depart. Canute acknowledges Thorfinn as an exceptional warrior.
Canute further suggests that there are alternative paths to be taken, questioning if Thorfinn allowed himself to be beaten up merely to admonish him. Thorfinn responds that he has wasted his time, bidding farewell to Canute and addressing him as “His Majesty.” Canute bursts into laughter, causing Thorfinn and Einar to pause and turn back, intrigued by Canute’s unexpected reaction.
In Vinland Saga season 2 episode 23, Canute discusses how many people seek to manipulate and trap him through negotiations, but he finds Thorfinn to be unbelievable. Canute labels him an absolute fool for not having any ulterior motives, emphasizing that even when completely defenseless and defeated, Thorfinn’s only plea was for Canute not to take Ketil’s farm.
Thorfinn questions if Canute finds it truly amusing, leading Canute to admit that he has never encountered such absurd peace talks before. Canute then asks Thorfinn if he plans to flee, to which Thorfinn confirms his intention. Canute remarks on how the Vikings are capable of producing a “beautiful man” like Thorfinn.
In Vinland Saga season 2 episode 23, Canute inquires where Thorfinn will go to escape from war, and Thorfinn responds that he cannot disclose that information. Canute counters by stating that his dominion is expanding, and his influence may eventually extend to that location. Thorfinn declares that he will run as far as he can, asserting that as long as he has a place to escape to, he will not engage in combat.
Vinland Saga season 2 episode 23: Slave arc concludes
In Vinland Saga season 2 episode 23, the scene shifts to the present, where Canute stands by the sea, expressing a sense of contentment with a genuinely happy expression. Meanwhile, at Ketil’s farm, Thorfinn awakens in the barn bedroom he shares with Einar, realizing that he is alone. He grabs a cane and begins walking, eventually finding Einar at Arnnheid’s grave.
As Einar places flowers on Arnheid’s tombstone, memories of his mother and sister’s deaths flood back to him. He recalls Arnheid’s question about the purpose of her continued existence, which frustrates him. Thorfinn reaches out and places a comforting hand on Einar’s shoulder. Concerned, Einar asks Thorfinn if he is alright, to which Thorfinn affirms.
In Vinland Saga season 2 episode 23, Einar advises Thorfinn against engaging in reckless behavior. He then asks Thorfinn if their destination is “the land beyond the sea,” Vinland. Thorfinn responds by stating that when Arnheid took her final breath, he couldn’t provide an answer to her question about the meaning of life in that fleeting moment.
He contemplates the difficult task of finding the right words to say to someone who has endured the kind of suffering Arnheid experienced and desires the peace of death. Thorfinn clenches his fist and expresses his desire for a world where he can encourage people to live, a world he can proudly describe to someone who sees death as their only salvation. He envisions a place that is more enticing than death, a place that he and others have always yearned for in the world they inhabit.
In Vinland Saga season 2 episode 23, Thorfinn and Einar gaze at the sky, watching a flock of birds soar over the ocean. Both wear determined expressions. Thorfinn firmly declares that he refuses to accept the notion that such a place does not exist. He asserts his determination to create that place himself. He invites Einar to accompany him to Vinland, referring to him as his brother, and promises to build a land they can proudly share with Arnheid.
Einar agrees wholeheartedly, and the two seal their pact with a handshake, vowing to fulfill this mission in honor of Arnheid. As the camera pans out to the vast sea, the episode portrays Thorfinn and Einar aboard Leif Ericson’s boat, bidding farewell to Snake, Pater, Olmar, and Sverkel, who stand on the shore to see them off. The episode then takes a brief flashback to the moments just before their departure, as Snake asks Thorfinn if he is truly resolved to embark on this journey.
As the second season of Vinland Saga nears its end, episode 23 serves as a conclusive chapter for the Slave arc. The episode’s concluding moments bring closure to the character arcs of Olmar, Thorgil, Snake, and Ketil, firmly establishing the end of their respective storylines.
Simultaneously, the episode lays the groundwork for the upcoming developments in the series, offering a glimpse of what lies ahead before the season’s official conclusion. With one of the most thrilling and gratifying series of the Winter and Spring seasons in 2023 reaching its culmination, fans eagerly anticipate the final episode.
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