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For the entirety of part I Thorfinn is obsessed with with quest to avenge his father. Having witnessed Askeladd's death at the hands of another, he becomes a shell of himself, ultimately enslaved and passive. To me this is a great metaphor for obsession; define yourself by one thing and there will be nothing left of you when it's gone. Even if Thorffin had killed Askeladd himself, what would have been left of him? Would he have remained a henchman, become an assassin? Having focused his entire life on one purpose was his personality and sense of self well enough developed to have any sense of purpose or drive after completing his revenge?
In my opinion, even if Thorfinn had been the one to slit Askeladd's throat, the end result would have been the same.
Thorfinn might have rejoiced for a bit and maybe even continued to kill and fight for a little while. But after he realized that killing Askeladd had done nothing for him mentality, he would have slipped down to where he is now: a pathetic shell of his former self.
This manga does do a great job showing how obsession can consume you then destroy you. Now all that's left is for Thorfinn to slowly build himself back up and maybe become a man like Thors was.
However, what happens in Vinland Saga was more extreme than I ever expected. Thorfinn is so extremely run down (emotionally first of all), I almost expected him to rather fall into a blood frenzy and becoming like a dogged version of Thorkell, going from battle to battle just for killing. Or choosing a next target to take revenge on, probably Floki.
However, none of these happened and so there he is in this weird state. Possibly the version of wanting to kill more people would've rather been happening when he had killed Askelad by himself. He'ld still be in emotional turmoil, but possibly had been left with more self confidence in a way... not sure though.
But, as you wrote, the current path probably is Thorfinn's way of becoming a man like Thors. In the end he will almost certainly build up a similar character, one who is quite wise, doesn't wish to fight and would sacrifice his life to protect other people.
I guess the total crash after Askelad's death he's still in is the fastest way to achieve that.
Now I wonder which people he will choose to protect. There definitly will be a group of people he will be emotionally attached to, but I doubt that the first people fitting this description will be his sister and mother. It might be his fellow slave or his current master and his farm, but I'm not quite sure about it.
Last edited by Roflkopt3r; November 25, 2010 at 01:26 PM.
A possible break-down/reincarnation of his former self is entirely possible though I wouldn't expect it to be permanent of course. But clearly his real challenge when it comes to becoming a true warrior like his father is control on the battlefield.
And as far as who he would want to protect, I imagine his family (if they are still alive, which I assume at least his sister is). He may not think of them now but once he sees them again (assuming he does), I imagine him being flooded with emotions.
I'm most interested to see how Yukimura chooses to rebuild him Thorfinn up from the ashes of hatred and revenge. That's what excites me most about this series.
However, I'm absolutely certain that Thorfinn's new character won't be a dogged, bloodlusted guy. I'm sure that his current calm and desperate state will result in a more stable, "good" character, pursuing the ideals of his father.
Well, we'll see one day
wow, you just revive a necro thread
Thorfinn obsession with revenge already ended in the Farmland arc. and i dont think askeladd death is not his own mistake, i think he the same as Thorfinn before the Farmland, obsessed with something and in his case Arthur legacy or something.