Is Vinland Saga Historically Accurate?
When watching Vinland Saga, you can’t help but notice the small ways that the anime and real-life parts overlap. Quite a few of the incidents, periods, and people appear to correspond to various historical figures and events. So, viewers may wonder if the show is based on a true story.
Thorfinn, the protagonist of the Vinland Saga, is a young man who becomes fascinated by Leif Erikson’s tales of Vinland and develops an insatiable desire to visit the legendary land. However, after seeing his father murdered by Askeladd, he made it his mission in life to kill Askeladd in fair combat. This change, however, was taken away from him, and he was eventually sold into slavery.
Is Vinland Saga Historically Accurate?
There are a few actual instances and parts in Vinland Saga, but the novel as a whole isn’t historically accurate. In the series mangaka, Makoto Yukimura has skillfully blended fact and fiction, giving viewers the impression that they are watching a faithful adaptation of the story. The series’ setting in the early 1100s, when the Danes under King Sweyn invaded England to expand their dominion, is historically true.
Just with the closing episode of the first season of the Vinland Saga, this occurred at the same time when Prince Canute ascended to the throne. The initial glimpses of his character from the show’s premiere, however, cannot be verified. The character of Prince Canute was neither weak nor cowardly. However, season 2 showed that he could hold his own physically and was pretty attractive.
Some of the series’ other characters, like Canute, are also inspired by historical figures. The series’ protagonist, Thorfinn, is based on one of the most famous explorers of the Norse territory at the time, Thorfinn Karlsefni. Similarly, Thorfinn Karlsefni was inspired to search the European continent for Vinland, the land which was subsequently proven to be part of North America, by the fervent adventure stories of Leif Erikson, also known as Leif the Lucky.
Read More: What’s Next for ‘Vinland Saga’? Everything to Expect in Season 3
The Vinland Saga Characters
Thorfinn, son of Thors, is a fascinating person in Vinland Saga. He and his family lived in a remote village, but they were content there until Thors’ death. The life tale of Thorfinn in the Vinland Saga closely parallels that of Thorfinn Karlsefini.
Thorfinn Karlsefini was born in Iceland and is said to be Thord Bjarnson’s great-grandson. ‘Leif the Lucky’ inspired him to set sail for Vinland by telling tales of his travels throughout the three coasts of North America, of which Vinland is a part. Hearing of Vinland from Leif, Thorfinn set out to find it around the years 1004-10 AD. Eventually, they reached the verdant island of Vinland and met several Native Americans. It seems oddly familiar, doesn’t it?
Makoto Yukimura reimagines Thorfinn in Vinland Saga in a way that deviates from the historical record. Karlsefini was a wealthy merchant at a young age, but nothing is known about his early life. Thors, his father in the anime, was a highly trained warrior, but he was also a made-up figure.
However, Thord Horsehead, on whom the character appears to be based, actually accomplished nothing worthy of his name. However, Makoto did an excellent job of using the character to pace the narrative. Obviously, the anime’s Leif is based on the historical “Leif Erikson,” also known as “Leif the Lucky.” Leif, more than any other Vinland Saga figure, resembles his real-life namesake. Like Leif Erikson, whose stories motivated Thorfinn Karselfini to tour Europe in search of Vinland, the anime’s hero is portrayed as a fervent explorer.
Numerous shows in the Movies & TV franchises use Vikings and their alleged customs as central plot elements. Makoto Yukimura, on the other hand, presents the Vikings in his story in a novel and engaging way. The Norsemen or Vikings of history are depicted as a maritime warrior culture from Scandinavia. In less than two centuries, these brutal soldiers devastated and colonized much of Europe (9th to 11th century).
Most Viking ancestors could be traced back to Denmark, Sweden, or elsewhere in Scandinavia. In their country, the members of this band of ferocious warriors worked as farmers. On the high seas, however, they were a pillaging band that wreaked havoc on various communities while celebrating their plunder and exploits.
Conversely, Vinland Saga successfully transports readers to the time of these pioneers. The violence of the Vikings is toned down in the anime, which is to be expected, but the show still manages to get a lot of details right. One positive aspect is that the story’s setting and the characters’ Danish roots are not ignored. The anime, however, embellishes a few key points, including the heroes’ postmortem yearning for Vahalla.
The anime and real-life parts of Vinland Saga overlap, leading some to question if it is based on a true story. The series’ setting in the early 1100s, when the Danes invaded England, is historically true, and Prince Canute is based on one of the most famous explorers of the Norse territory at the time, Thorfinn Karlsefni. Thorfinn is a young man who becomes fascinated by Leif Erikson’s tales of Vinland and develops an insatiable desire to visit the legendary land but is eventually sold into slavery. He and his family live in a remote village until Thors’ death. Thorfinn Karlsefini was born in Iceland and inspired by Leif the Lucky to set sail for Vinland.
Makoto Yukimura reimagines Thorfinn in Vinland Saga in a way that deviates from the historical record. Leif is based on the historical “Leif Erikson,” also known as “Leif the Lucky.” Like Leif, the anime’s hero is portrayed as a fervent explorer. Makoto Yukimura’s Vinland Saga presents the Vikings as a maritime warrior culture from Scandinavia, who devastated and colonized Europe in the 9th to 11th centuries. The anime, however, embellishes key points, such as the heroes’ postmortem yearning for Vahalla.
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