The second season of Vinland Saga's medieval action and adventure began in the Winter of 2023, and it began on a completely different note than Season 1. While the first season of Vinland Saga focused on Thorfinn Karlsefni's quest for vengeance as a bitter antihero, Season 2 strips Thorfinn of his quest for vengeance and challenges him to reconsider his entire life's purpose.
Thorfinn stated during his and Einar's deadly encounter with Olmar and Fox that he does not value his life and does not fear death because he feels completely empty and hopeless. However, Snake, a more honorable warrior, sternly demonstrated that Thorfinn wishes to live, even if he doesn't know why. Snake has the potential to become the next Askeladd if he plays his cards correctly.
The Snake's Function as a Neutral Advisor to Thorfinn in a New Life
Snake has a mixed relationship with Thorfinn and, for that matter, with the other slaves on Ketil's farm too, such as Einar. On one hand, Snake is not Thorfinn's friend, and he has no real emotional attachment to Thorfinn, either. Snake cares most about fulfilling his duty and acting professionally, which sets him apart from petty thugs like Fox and his cronies. Then again, Snake has a sense of honor and fairness, and he will still support Thorfinn so the latter may survive and do his duty as one of Ketil's slaves. Snake, like Askeladd before him, doesn't exactly love Thorfinn like a father, but he also doesn't want to see Thorfinn fail.
Neither Snake nor Askeladd is a true replacement for Thorfinn's beloved father Thors, but they still teach Thorfinn some vital lessons and share some practical wisdom that Thorfinn may put to use. In the context of being a farmhand slave far from home, this is good news for Thorfinn, and it's his best lead so far in finding his new life's purpose. The snake might even gruffly empower Thorfinn and help remind him that not all is lost just yet. Snake cannot decide Thorfinn's future for him, and he won't give Thorfinn any money or supplies, but with his words and actions, he can point the way and help Thorfinn take that first step. Now it's up to Thorfinn to pay close attention and make the most of this modest but very real opportunity.
How Snake Can Challenge Thorfinn's Will on Ketil's Farm
In recent Vinland Saga episodes, Snake did more than save Thorfinn and Einar from Fox's abuse. He gave Thorfinn a short pep talk, then attacked without warning as a test. As Snake hoped and expected, Thorfinn reacted by reflex, defending himself with a kick and leaping back to keep away from Snake's deadly sword. Thorfinn's inner warrior was still alive, and that warrior did not want Thorfinn dead. Snake ended the fight there and pointed out that through his actions, Thorfinn proved he did value his life after all and didn't truly wish to die. Thorfinn was shocked but didn't comment much on it.
This is a good starting point, with Thorfinn proving to himself and Snake that his will to live burns as brightly as ever. Thorfinn merely thinks his life is worthless, but that's because of all his grief and trauma, which destroyed his hope. Deep down, Thorfinn still longs to stay alive and accomplish something, and he can go practically anywhere from a low point like this. This is actually Thorfinn's greatest opportunity yet, living in relative peace and having no revenge quest to distract him.
It's up to Thorfinn to decide on and pursue a worthwhile goal, but Snake did his part by empowering Thorfinn with his brief duel test. Now Thorfinn knows that he must survive and fight for something, but what that should be, Snake cannot decide for him. However, if Thorfinn follows through and makes something of himself as a redeemed ex-warrior, perhaps Snake will be proud of him and share a few more wise words, just like Asekladd before him.