Seeing that Thorfinn and Einar actually managed to complete their share of the deal to Ketil is actually phenomenal. Even more when Ketil is decent enough to keep his word, too, seeing to the end that Thorfinn and Einar get their to live as free men in the end. But what comes next? For both, that’s an equally tough question. Einar can’t go back to his family, even if he returns to his homeland – or whatever was left of it, after they were pillaged and had it all burned. And even worse, the fact he can’t do anything about Arnheid, who will most likely continue to be Ketil’s slave (though I may actually have some suspicions that that is about to change) is rough on him. Thorfinn, who has just begun to make true amends with his past, decides to take on a pipe dream of his own – to free the world from slavery and war. It’s a cruelly comic timing for him to bear such a dream. What happens when Canute is brought up again changes everything, and sooner or later, these two will have their paths crossing.
But back to the boys, they’ve earned it. They have successfully turned that forest into a farm, and as a token of appreciation, Ketil offers them their freedom on a much earlier notice. They don’t quite know what to make of that, especially with their already conflicting feelings about what freedom should mean, but the time Ketil will take to pay the King a visit in Jeliing will sure give them the time to think about this and the possibility of becoming his retainers, too.
And here, we do witness the intriguing descend of Canute into the darkness because in his pursuit for power, he has also taken more lives with poisoning in his way. He doesn’t even spare his own brother, Harald, cruelly taking the life of someone who has been nothing but very kind to him in his childhood. He got a taste of power, and in a sickening way, doesn’t measure any efforts to attain it, being brave enough to put a front and stand next to his brother in his dying moments with his goal only centered in getting the crown, firmly fooling the people around (though I suspect a few of his men have already grasped what the deal is real about).
And there he got it. He’s now officially holding both England and Denmark as his territories since Herald had no heir left and chose to leave it upon his younger brother. Tragically enough, it all comes with a price, as Canute descent upon madness prompts him to start receiving some of his father – his head, at least, coming in to take part in his sins. It’s a mixture from both sick and tragic to see Canute going down this way. For a man who never sought power above all, his crazy desire to conquer all on his way for his own twisted and shallow desires is a testament to how much human nature is prompt to corruption. For one who always hated the way his father acted, it’s quite ironic to see that his ghost is the only entity he can confide to in such a moment of madness, perhaps because deep down he finds confort in knowing that his father’s ghost mirrors what he’s now become. It’s clear that a lot whitin himself has changed since he took that on journey back in the first season, but while keeping a peaceful life in Vinland Saga seems like an impossible feat, being the one pulling the disasters is no easy game as well.
It’s always been a given that eventually, Thorfinn and Canute’s path will have to cross again. Now more than ever before, all the stars are aligning, and the real question that poses is how those two will inevitably clash now that so much of their perception of the has drastically shifted from what it once was.