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Characters introduced in the first arc
Thorfinn "Karlsefni", son of ThorsThe Hero of the saga, an Icelandic warrior and son of a great general turned freehold farmer. Thorfinn starts the series as a violent, revenge-driven warrior in employ of his own father's killer. The saga follows his growth from his origins into the "true warrior" exemplified by his father.
- Anti-Hero: When first met, Thorfinn is a sullen boy who lives only for revenge and gives little if any thought to matters not related to killing Askeladd. He grows out of it.
- Ancestral Weapon: The dagger his father gave him before he died. Thorfinn used it as his main weapon for his time with Askeladd. He lost it right before being sent into slavery and it hasn't been seen since. Though it has sort of become a metaphor for his anger. He gained the dagger right before he gained his hate for Askeladd, and lost it right after Askeladd's death. To complete the symbolism, when Thorfinn learns that Floki was ultimately the man responsible for his father's death, he tells Hild about his desire to kill Floki, with imagery of him killing Floki with that dagger, even though Thorfinn lost it ages ago.
- The Atoner: Became one in general because of all the horrible things he did when he was part of Askeladd's band. Hild doesn't think it's enough.
- Bad Dreams: Thorfinn is plagued by bad dreams of his father during the first arc. From the second arc onwards (when we see them from Einar's point of view), it's manifested as him being unable to sleep peacefully at all and constantly muttering, screaming and crying while asleep.
- Badass Pacifist: Post-timeskip, he performs feats such as taking 100 hits for the chance to speak with Canute.
- Bare-Fisted Monk: His knife skills also translates well into fist-fighting. When forced to fight unarmed, he acquits himself well.
- Beard of Sorrow: Following the end of the prologue. It gets shorn off after the second arc.
- Beware the Nice Ones: Post character development Thorfinn is a very affable and kind guy, and has sworn himself to pacifism. However, when forced to fight, he is still able to almost single handedly knock out a squad of Jomsvikings, who are the best of the best. And God help you if you earn his wrath even now, as Floki has.
- Book Dumb: He spent his entire life killing people and thus doesn't know a lot of things that others generally do.
- Celibate Hero: Thorfinn remains either too sullen or too broken to show any interest in the fairer sex (or his own sex) at all.
- He doesn't really know anything about the female body either. After adopting Karli, he thinks Gudrid can just feed the baby with her breasts - not knowing she would have to be pregnant first to actually produce milk.
- Character Development: Cheerful Child -> Sociopathic Hero -> Extreme Doormat -> All-Loving Hero
- Cheerful Child: Before Break the Cutie stands in.
- Child Soldier: He began working for Askeladd at the age of six.
- The Comically Serious: By the third arc, at the latest. Thorfinn's reunion with his mother and sister lets us see him in relatively light-hearted situations, reacting pretty much exactly as you'd expect him to. What really cements it is the panel after Gudrid explains to him that she can't breastfeed Karli: shocked expression, a (realistically drawn) Sweat Drop, horizontally-hatched facial shadows, and a starburst background. Because Thorfinn Karlsefni doesn't know how breasts work.
- Deadpan Snarker: During the first arc, delivering one bitter comment after the other with his usual sullen look. He eventually manages to provoke even Canute with it.
- Death Glare: His default state during the first arc. One of the reasons Askeladd signs him up in the first place is because he's able to stare daggers at his men at the age of six.
- Though it appears much more rarely after the first arc, there are times where he gives one just as well as he used to when he's truly angry.
- Dramatically Missing the Point: About Thors' teachings, up until he finally 'gets it' during the second arc.
- Dual Wielding: Thorfinn uses daggers during his employment under Askeladd.
- The Determinator: In regards to his revenge. Then the guy he wanted to kill gets killed before his eyes.
- Good Scars, Evil Scars: Receives a clean cut on his right cheek during the second arc, which stays. At that point his body is already Covered in Scars, but the facial scar is the first one that permanently changes his everyday appearance. It makes him look more rugged than anything.
- Historical-Domain Character: Loosely based on a real Icelandic explorer.
- Extreme Doormat: During the second arc. Having lost his reason to live with Askeladd's death, Thorfinn is completely calm, humble and stoic and resigned to whatever comes his way, seeing no point to anything. It takes a combination of Einar, Snake and Sverker to make him realize he's still capable of meaningful living.
- Fragile Speedster: During the first arc. Thorfinn is extremely fast and very skilled (a necessity when one fights with daggers) but built lightly and lacks the girth and strength of older, larger fighters. His first battle against Thorkell goes badly as a result.
- Lightning Bruiser: As a result of muscle mass he builds up doing manual labour during the second arc, Thorfinn trades some of his agility for power and mass and becomes more like his father in body build. This allows him to punch out or disable armoured men during the third arc.
- Hes All Grown Up: Puberty seems to have hit Thorfinn pretty hard during the few years time skip after he was sold into slavery.. After he gets his beard shaved, he is shown to have a pretty rugged face.
- Jerkass: Not exactly *evil*, but surly and unpleasant and uninterested in anyone who doesn't help or hinder his vengeance. He completely ditches it after being made a slave though.
- Made a Slave: Canute sells Thorfinn off as a slave after the Prologue as punishment for assaulting him. This is described as being merciful because Canute could simply execute Thorfinn if he wanted to.
- The Magnificent: He gets saddled with the epithet "Karlsefni" (which can be translated a lot of ways but generally comes down to some form or another of "a really skilled guy") after his duel with Thorkell.
- Manly Tears: While dry eyed during the entirety of the first arc (childhood excluded), he becomes far more compassionate in the second arc, complementing his character development after his spiritual awakening. He is shown openly weeping on several occasions such as during his reunion with his mother and after Arneis' death.
- Ninja: Not technically but... incredibly fast fighting style, only uses small weapons, special agent for Askeladd ?
- No Social Skills: Being a child soldier and ruthless raider for so long means has very few actual people skills.
- Not Afraid to Die: After the events of the first arc, Thorfinn states that he cares little if he lives or dies. Snake shakes him out of it with pure Killing Intent, making Thorfinn realize he wants to live after all, though it takes time til he finds his reason for why.
- Offered the Crown: A succession crisis after the chieftain of the Jomsvikings dies pits Floki against Vagn over whom will be the next chieftain of Jomsborg. Floki is grooming his grandson to be the next chieftain and Vagn wants the title himself. Thorkell declares that since Thorfinn is the grandson of Sigvaldi and the son of Thors, he actually has the most legitimate claim to the title. Thorfinn refuses.
- The Only One Allowed to Defeat You: Towards Askeladd. Ends up a Deconstruction as the older man calls him out for being an idiot about it.
- Perpetual Frowner: During the first arc, Thorfinn's three moods are stoic disinterest, frowning and screaming anger. As the arc continues he adds the occasional 'surprise' to his repertoire before his entire personality is rebooted in a Heroic B.S.O.D..
- Screaming Warrior: Thorfinn's main weakness in battle is that he tends to devolve into violent screaming rage when things do not go his way. Askeladd repeatedly points out that it's holding him back.
- Shell-Shocked Veteran: After the first arc is concluded and Thorfinn gives up on his violent ways, he's still haunted in his dreams by the men he's killed.
- Slasher Smile: When not stoic or frowning in the first arc.
- Supporting Protagonist: In the first arc at least, he plays this to Askeladd and Canute who are the characters who really drive the plot. He firmly becomes the lead after Askeladd dies and Canute becomes king however.
- Tears of Remorse: During his dreams in the second arc Thorfinn finally realizes what his father had been trying to teach him as a child and comes to regret all the people he killed in his thirst for revenge.
- The Stoic: For most of the first arc, this is his default mood. Also during much of the early second arc due to becoming an Extreme Doormat by his experiences.
- Thou Shalt Not Kill: Attempts to become an Actual Pacifist during the second arc. He is eventually forced to fight in order to save other people, but only as a last resort and still refuses to kill.
- Took a Level in Jerkass: After Thors's death.
- Took a Level in Kindness: After being sold into slavery and the death of Askeladd, Thorfinn becomes a much more somber and kinder character.
- Used to Be a Sweet Kid
- You Killed My Father: Askeladd killed Thors, so Thorfinn has to avenge him by killing Askeladd. It's deconstructed. Not only does the oath of vengeance pretty much ruin Thorfinn's life, but Askeladd makes it clear to him that he's an idiot who has no real clue what really wanting to kill someone means. When Askeladd is mortally wounded he tells Thorfinn he can finish it if he likes, and Thorfinn isn't able to do it, instead getting a Heroic B.S.O.D. and attacking Askeladd's killer.
- Reversed later after Thorfinn makes peace with his past. He happens to meet a woman whose father HE had killed when he worked under Askeladd. Even though he has become a different person since then, she doesn't care and wants nothing but his death.
- Turns out his anger over his father's death hasn't truly dissipated. He has come to terms with his anger towards Askeladd, sure, but when he learns that Floki was the one who actually orchestrated it all, he has to calm himself down and acknowledges that if he met Floki, he would probably tear him limb from limb. And then when he does run into Floki by chance, he picks up a sword for the first time in years, preparing to kill Floki.
- "World of Cardboard" Speech: At the end of the Farmland Saga, as Thorfinn finds a purpose in life, he delivers a three-part speech on his new views on life and suffering at Arneis' grave, to Canute's housecarls and finally to Canute himself that essentially serves as this.
"Askeladd", son of Olaf, aka Lucius Artorius CastusA Danish mercenary commander of mysterious origins, driven to excel through his own unknown motivations. Askeladd serves as antagonist and surrogate father-figure to Thorfinn during the first arc of the saga, pushing around the younger man through having killed his father Thors and using the promise of revenge to make Thorfinn follow him. Through his Welsh mother, he is a direct descendant of King Arthur and aims to change the world by putting an end to viking culture while keeping Wales safe.
- Awesomeness by Analysis: It's not his freakish strength or speed that makes Askeladd so dangerous, it's his mind and his ability to read people. Only Thors ever gets the better of him.
- Boomerang Bigot: Hates vikings and the norse for their short-sighted violent nature while shepherding around a band of marauders and thugs, fully admitting he's really no better.
- Born into Slavery: Was a thrall of a Danish lord.
- Combat Pragmatist: He thinks nothing of using deceit, distractions, feints and taunts to keep people off their game.
- Cool Old Guy: Evil version.
- Deadpan Snarker: Oh indeed.
- Dragon-in-Chief: For Canute after the rest of Askeladd's band is massacred. Canute is perfectly fine with this arrangement, recognizing Askeladd's experience and political acumen.
- Even Bad Men Love Their Mamas: If Askeladd invokes his mother's name, or his ancestor's name, it means he intends to keep his promise. If he invokes his father's name, he isn't.
- He Who Fights Monsters: Wanting to end the Viking Age, he became every bit as bad as his 'opponent'.
- Heroic Lineage: Is a living descendant of King Arthur.
- Heroic Sacrifice: Given the choice of sacrificing Canute or Wales, Askeladd picks "himself" and assassinates Sweyn Forkbeard at the cost of his own life.
- If I Wanted You Dead...: Askeladd eventually throws all pretence to the wind and makes clear to Thorfinn that if he really wanted an end to the constant 'duels to the death' or grew sick of him, he could have killed him years ago.
- Lonely at the Top: Askeladd doesn't really have anyone he can relate to as an equal. Thors was the closest he got, and he had to kill him. Bjorn claims that his professed hate for everyone else probably mirrors a lot of hate for himself.
- Lightning Bruiser: He's just as quick as Thorfinn, and more physically powerful (Though not to the same extent as Thorkell).
- Manipulative Bastard: He's excellent at playing politics, having orchestrated his father's assassination and pinned the blame on one of his brothers. He employs this skill against Sweyn as well, but is Out-Gambitted at the most crucial moment.
- Meaningful Name: Several levels.
- The Askeladden ("Ash Lad") is a well-known Scandinavian Guile Hero archetype, usually The Un-Favourite third son who saves the day when his "noble" brothers fail.
- Askeladd's real name Lucius Artorius Castus is identical to that of a real Roman soldier who some historians think is the basis for the King Arthur legends. In-universe, Artorius (later remembered as Arthur) was the leader of the British (Welsh) against the Anglo-Saxon (English) invaders, as well as the ancestor of Askeladd. In real life, Arthur has a similar role in early literature such as Historia Brittonum. But the real Lucius Artorius Castus lived centuries before the Anglo-Saxon incursions (and the name Arthur might have had a different origin) so most other historians doubt his relevance to the Arthurian legend.
- Morality Pet: Askeladd has a soft spot for his mother's homeland of Wales, and for Thorfinn as well.
- Mysterious Past: He intentionally cultivates an air of mystery. If they know nothing of your origins, they cannot blackmail you.
- No Place for Me There: All but outright states that in being no better than a viking he's lost all rights to trying to build a better world, despite having both the ability and bloodline to become king of Wales or a powerful Norse chief.
- Not So Stoic: Askeladd usually exhibits Nerves of Steel and tends to snark or quietly bemoan his bad luck when things don't go his way. His facade cracks briefly when Sweyn declares his plans to invade Wales, which is all the latter needs to read him.
- Obfuscating Stupidity: Askeladd usually presents a cheerful, joking and jovial attitude to employers and strangers to catch them off their guard. His true nature is far more straight-laced.
- Only Friend: Says this to Bjorn as the latter dies in his arms. Whether he was geniune or just invoking Let Them Die Happy is never made clear.
- O.O.C. Is Serious Business: Towards the end of the first arc, as he loses his men, sees Canute turn into someone who can make his dreams come true and makes an enemy of King Sweyn, Askeladd becomes increasingly morose and introspective. It comes to head in his final 'duel' with Thorfinn when Askeladd forgoes his usual attitude and just beats Thorfinn bloody with his bare hands before giving him a "The Reason You Suck" Speech on how he killed his own father.
- Parental Substitute: Thorfinn eventually realizes that ten years living as a part of Askeladd's band meant Askeladd was practically his father for much of his formative years. He only realizes this after Askeladd is dead however.
- Rags to Riches: Legitimised bastard of a Danish lord turned mercenary commander turned advisor to the future king of Denmark, England and Norway.
- Self-Made Orphan: Killed his own father.
- The Social Expert: Is an adept political operator.
- Spirit Advisor: To Thorfinn during the Farmland Arc, continuing in much the same fashion as when he was alive.
- Supporting Leader: A villainous version. While Thorfinn remains the protagonist and viewpoint of the first arc, Askeladd is the one who drives the plot for much of it and it is his plans that eventually become the focus of the prologue and he and Canute are the ones whose actions end it.
- Trickster Mentor: To Thorfinn. A lot of interactions between them involves Askeladd attempting to imbue the younger man with a bit of wisdom and a sense of perspective, which he doesn't seem to pick up on consciously but eventually ends up shaping his character in a lot of ways.
- Vague Age: The evolving artstyle makes it hard to determine his precise age. He's obviously in his thirties upon meeting Thors and Thorfinn, though, and well into his middle-age by the time the prologue ends, with Thorfinn in his middle teens.
- Villainous Friendship: With Bjorn, possibly. While Bjorn clearly admires Askeladd, it's unclear if he reciprocates. Askeladd claims it's the case as Bjorn lies dying, but if he was genuine or not isn't made clear.
- Worthy Opponent: His view on Thors, probably the only person (besides post-Character Development Canute) he ever held any respect for.
BjornThe Dragon to Askeladd, being his second-in-command and closest confidante. Known for his usage of mushrooms to drive him into a berserker rage.
- The Berserker: The real deal, mushrooms and all.
- Cooldown Hug: Given to him by Canute. Sadly, being distracted by it allows one of his opponents to mortally wound him.
- Died Standing Up: As per his own wishes, killed by Askeladd in a Duel to the Death.
- Duel to the Death: After taking a gut wound that gets infected, he requests that Askeladd kill him this way so he can go to Valhalla.
- Undying Loyalty: He's one of only two people in his band that Askeladd trusts unconditionally (the other being Thorfinn).
- Villainous Friendship: With Askeladd, possibly. Bjorn clearly admires Askeladd, and his last words to the latter is that he always wanted to be his friend. Askeladd replies that Bjorn is and was his only friend just as Bjorn dies.
- Your Days Are Numbered: Takes a gut wound during a fight. Bjorn chooses to die fighting before the wound kills him.
Thors "The Troll of Jom", son of SnorreThorfinn's dead father, the mightiest and most favoured captain of the Jomsvikings mercenary band turned anonymous Icelandic farmer and family man. Thors only appears in the saga for less than ten chapters during a flashback, but Thorfinn spends the first two arcs haunted by his death or trying to live up to the ideals Thors attempted to impact on him.
- Bare-Fisted Monk: Able to take on a ship full of Vikings with his bare hands.
- Bumbling Dad: Towards his children.
- Defector from Decadence: Gave up his life as a professional mercenary and ran away to Iceland to become a peaceful farmer. Fifteen years later, his former life comes knocking.
- Died Standing Up: After being killed by multiple arrows.
- Faking the Dead: He faked his death during a battle to run away from his life of killing.
- Heel Realisation: He used to be an unrepentant killer until his daughter's birth, at which point he became a pacifist.
- Heroic Sacrifice: Allows himself to be killed to ensure the safe passage of his crew and son.
- Martial Pacifist: "A true warrior needs no blade."
- Offhand Backhand: Beats one of Askeladd's men in this way.
- One-Man Army: He took on half of Askeladd's mercenary band, including a berserking Bjorn, single-handedly, un-armoured and unarmed and won without a scratch (or without killing anyone).
- Posthumous Character: Is shown briefly in flashback but has been long dead in the actual story.
- Red Baron: The Troll of Jom.
- Spell My Name with an "S": "Thors" is not a common Norse name, and would probably be better represented as "Thor" (with all its mythological undertones). His name as spelled would give Thorfinn the somewhat silly surname of "Thorssson". The father of the historical Thorfinn was named Þórðr, which could be rendered as Thord or Thordar in modern English.
- Spirit Advisor: To Thorfinn, briefly, during the first arc.
- The Strength of Ten Men: He literally rows for five men.
- That Man Is Dead: Tries to tell Floki that his days as the Troll of Jom are over, but things don't pan out so well.
- World's Best Warrior: Even with his vow of not-killing, none of the other warriors seen in the manga could hold a candle to him.
Leif "The Lucky", Son of ErikBased on the historical character of the same name. Son of Erik "The Red" (the discoverer of Greenland and founder of the Norse settlements there). At the start of the manga he has already discovered Vinland (Newfoundland) and come back, and spends his time as a farmer and trader between Greenland, Iceland and the mainland.
- Bold Explorer: His tales of exploring Vinland incite Thorfinn to do the same.
- Cool Old Guy
- Historical-Domain Character: The legendary explorer himself.
- Intergenerational Friendship: Was a quite older friend of Thors and continues to be a friend of Thorfinn.
- Non-Action Guy: The kids in the village make fun of him for not being a strong warrior.
Helga, daughter of SigvaldiThors' wife, mother of Thorfinn and Ylva.
- Arranged Marriage: To Thors, most likely as a way for the chief to designate Thors as his heir. It eventually turned into...
- The Bus Came Back: Like most of the Icelandic characters, she's only seen in Thorfinn's flashbacks and dreams. She's still around when Thorfinn returns home, and encourages him to seek Vinland.
- Hair of Gold, Heart of Gold: Thorfinn and Ylva inherited her hair colour, and she's shown to be a good mother and an all-around moral person.
- Ill Girl: Downplayed, but she has a naturally weak constitution and Thors and Ylva dote on her as a result.
- Silk Hiding Steel: Given she was able to intimidate Thors...
Ylva, daughter of ThorsThors' first child and the older sister of Thorfinn.
- Anger Born of Worry: Once Thorfinn returns home. When she mistakes him for a conman she strangles him a a bit. Once she's convinced it's actually her long lost, thought dead little brother she outright assaults him.
- Bratty Teenage Daughter: Why can't her father just buy them a nice thrall like everyone else?
- Cool Big Sis: Ylva is a multi-talented girl and a good sister to Thorfinn. She can fish, whale, knit, crochet, tend sheep, cook.
- Dude Magnet: Though she herself blames it on the village's small population.
- Indifferent Beauty
- The Unfavorite: Towards her father as a baby. Thors was a hardened warrior who was disappointed when she turned out to be a girl rather than a son like he had hoped. He refused to name her and treated her roughly; Helga protested and this was the only time Thors had ever seen her angry. He got over it eventually and came to love Ylva.
- Women Prefer Strong Men: Thors points out to Ari that his daughter has a taste for strong men and warriors. She marries Ari after he becomes a strong man.
Halfdan "Iron Chain"A powerful Icelandic farmer and money-lender, known for his harsh and unyielding nature and harsh treatment of slaves and men under his employ.
- An Offer You Can't Refuse: Essentially what most of his loans come down to in the end: Give up your farm and serve him, or starve.
- Bad Boss: Nobody seems to like him at all, and he replies in kind.
- Break the Haughty: By his own admission he hates pridefulness, and sees his loans as taking the debtors' pride as collateral.
- The Bus Came Back: He only appears briefly in the flashback during the first arc to underline Thors' good nature. He returns for the third arc, where he becomes far more important.
- Chained by Fashion: He seems to treat a chain wrapped around his arm as common attire.
- Chain Pain: He uses it to strip the flesh off the face of an employee who dishonours him.
- Hobbes Was Right: He seems to believe a version of this, believing that laws are chains that make men out of savages and thinking to himself how men chain themselves to concepts like honour and pride.
- Inadequate Inheritor: He seems to view his own son Sigurd in this way.
- Loan Shark: He wields his economic power like a cudgel, all but enslaving the people who owe him.
- Marry for Love: Despite forcing his son into Altar Diplomacy, his own wife was a fisherman's daughter. She sarcastically notes this when he starts talking about the benefits of marriage alliances.
- The Patriarch: Marries his son to Gudrid for a financial alliance. This is Truth in Television, as Icelandic farmers would frequently intermarry in this manner and family alliances are an important part of the Icelandic Sagas.
- "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Ends up on the receiving end of one from his wife, pointing out that he thinks of men and women both like hnefatafl pieces who always move in fixed patterns, but the truth is they only do so because they choose to do so.
- Secret Test of Character: Inverted and then played straight. Halfdan openly attempts a Break the Haughty deal on Thorfinn because he expects him to act like everyone else, but Thorfinn is a Humble Hero who willingly goes along with it. Halfdan, surprised at this, backs off. This makes him decide to test Thorfinn's determination by giving him Narwhale horns as a 'gift', with the underlying understanding that he wants to see if Thorfinn is willing to go to Greece and back to sell them at a profit to fund his mission.
- The Stoic: His face never seems to change from a view of cold disdain.
FlokiCurrent captain of the Jomsvikings and recurring minor antagonist of the series. He orchestrates the assassination of Thors and later shows up in the service of the Danish royal family.
- A Day in the Limelight: He takes centre stage during the Baltic War arc as leader of one of the two major factions gearing up for war, after having been The Dragon to one king or another for most of the storyline.
- The Dragon: To Sweyn Forkbeard, and later one of two Co-Dragons to Canute. He takes a leadership role in the third arc.
- Even Evil Has Loved Ones: Despite being a venomous snake of a man most of the time, he genuinely seems to adore his grandson.
- Evil Old Folks: He mentions during the Baltic War arc that he's forty-nine, an impressive age for a career soldier.
- Good Scars, Evil Scars: A reverse example in that he has a 'good' scar on his left brow but is not a good character at all.
- Hoist by His Own Petard: Thorfinn's involvement in the entire Baltic War arc is essentially his fault. If he'd simply let that person go on his way the whole arc may have gone a lot better for him.
- Non-Action Guy: A villain example. His one fight shown on-screen so far against Askeladd ends badly for him.
- The Resenter: Upon meeting Thorfinn and realising his parentage he reflects on how much he disliked Thors for always being better than him.
- Smug Smiler: During his initial appearance.
- Smug Snake: He tends to misjudge both his allies and his enemies while holding them in contempt.
Thorkell "The Tall"Former captain of the Jomsvikings, Thorkell is an extremely tall and mighty and above all jovial warrior based on the historical/mythological figure of the same name. He has his own band of Blood Knights defined by their tendency to switch to whichever side is losing so they'll have the stronger side to fight against.
- Achilles' Heel: Despite his size and strength, Thorkell has a glass jaw and gets knocked out very easily if hit in the face. Knowledge of this allows Askeladd to instruct Thorfinn on how to beat him.
- An Axe to Grind: He dual-wields Dane axes, two-handed poleaxes designed to stop horses in their tracks and break shield walls.
- Anti-Hero: Type V.
- Attack Hello: Upon reuniting with Thorfinn after the Farmland Arc, he "greets" him by trying to fillet him with his axes. This also proves to him (since Thorfinn dodges) that it really is Thorfinn and not an imposter.
- Blood Knight: This is his most prominent personality trait. Upon realizing that the Vikings would steamroll through England, he decides that sort of war is no fun, and so switches to the losing side. When Askeladd declares his intention to kill King Sweyn Forkbeard to his face, in front of his whole court, Thorkell's knee-jerk reaction is to demand they switch places so he can kill Sweyn.
- Boisterous Bruiser: Less nice version.
- Colonel Badass: In the past he served as one of the four battalion captains of the Jomsvikings.
- Cool Old Guy: Is mentioned to be fifty in the arc he first appears in. This would make him fifty-four by the Baltic War arc.
- Chronic Backstabbing Disorder: Thorkell likes to fight. If your side would be more fun to fight, he'll switch sides to fight you instead.
- The Dreaded: Despite being friendly and jovial, his legendary battle abilities makes him this to his enemies.
- Dual Wielding: Dane axes. Holy shit.
- Eyepatch of Power: Receives a menacing black eyepatch after losing his eye to Thorfinn.
- Eye Scream: Has an eye gouged out by Thorfinn.
- Famed In-Story: Thorkell is already famous throughout Scandinavia as the story begins, and beating him in a duel is what gives Thorfinn his nickname and reputation as "the one who beat Thorkell".
- Four-Star Badass: He used to be a Jomsviking captain until old age forced him to retire. He then became a general for the English (and later for Canute).
- Heroic Comedic Sociopath: What else can you call a man who breaks through someone's wall because of a domestic dispute and frightens both participants into loving each other by demanding to be let in on the fighting?
- Historical-Domain Character: Based on the historical character of the same name, who was a jomsviking, fought for Ethelred, and eventually became one of Canute's staunchest supporters. The real-life Thorkell was made an earl of East Anglia and eventually moved to Denmark. History is uncertain what became of him, save that he lived to at least his fifties and remained Canute's companion until the end.
- Hidden Depths: Canute describes him as the inversion: A man who hides nothing at all about himself.
- Large and in Charge: Thorkell is easily over two metres tall.
- Luke, I Am Your Father: He's the uncle of Thorfinn's mother, making Thorfinn his great-nephew. Revealed when they are duelling.
- Manly Tears: Was a sobbing wreck during Thors' funeral, when he thought his comrade had died.
- My Greatest Failure: He mentions that his greatest regret was not following Thors when he met him again after his "death" and discovering what a "true warrior" was. Which is why he'll follow post-Character Development Canute because there's no way he's letting it happen to him twice.
- Nothing Personal: He has this attitude towards killing in battle.
- Older Than They Look: Looks like he is in his thirties but due to the timeline his real age is closer to his late forties or early fifties.
- Out of Focus/Put on a Bus: He briefly appears near the beginning of the second arc but is absent for the rest its duration. He comes back to the forefront during the third arc, where he's severely bored from being an earl in England and decides to get involved in the internal drama of the Jomsvikings.
- Rated M for Manly: Thorkell is the measure of all vikings. Most of the other warriors in the series strive to be more like him.
- Real Men Love The Aesir: He and his men believe in the old gods, wanting to die in battle and be claimed by Valkyries.
- Rewarded as a Traitor Deserves: Thorkell despises cowardice, deserters and traitors, preferring open battle. When encountering deserters he tends to chop them to pieces.
- Super Strength: No other way to justify his improbable feats of badass. He kills a horse with a single punch, amongst other things.
- Telephone Polearm: Chucks massive logs like javelins.
- Victory Is Boring: Finds easy victories tedious. He joins the English side when Denmark invades just so there will be a challenge for both sides.
- During the third arc, we see that the lack of fighting during his tenure as the earl of East Anglia has left him tired and depressed.
- War for Fun and Profit: Emphasis on the fun. Thorkell enjoys battle like a boisterous toddler getting to have a romp outside.
- Warrior Poet: He's capable of being eloquent and thoughtful, especially on the concept of battles and duty. Most of the time, however, he doesn't want to, and he's completely unable to grasp Thors' philosophy on what a "true warrior" is.
- We Can Rule Together: Offers Thorfinn his backing if he wants to become the chief of the Jomsvikings, mainly because it would involve fighting both Floki and Vagn. Thorfinn rebuffs him.
- World's Strongest Man: He may not be as skilled as Thors or Askeladd, but his prodigious strength makes up for it.
- Worthy Opponent: He regards Thorfinn as this, being the son of the one man he could never beat.
Prince Canute, son of Sweyn aka King Canute "The Great"Youngest son of Sweyn Forkbeard, king of Denmark and England. Based on the historical king of the same name, making his character arc somewhat of a Foregone Conclusion to any student of history. Starting the story as a girly-looking Royal Brat, he comes into importance during the latter half of the first arc and is an important background figure and ultimate antagonist of the second arc.
- Beauty Equals Goodness: He's one of the fairest characters in the manga, and one of the kindest. With becoming king, his eyes becomes noticeably harder and he gains the scar on his cheek. He also stops smiling until Thorfinn manages to coax a laugh out of him.
- Big Bad Friend: During the farmland arc, he is the looming threat on the horizon that threatens Ketil's farm. He's also personally acquainted with Thorfinn.
- Break the Cutie: He beings as a rather meek and introspective prince. The tribulations of losing his surrogate father figure and realizing his actual father has no love for him breaks him.
- Break Them by Talking: Willibald pretty much breaks him with his speech on true love, destroying his Shrinking Violet persona. Later, Thorfinn manages a more benign version, making him realize he's not alone in trying to make a better world.
- Cain and Abel: His internal narration reveals that he poisoned his elder brother, Harald, so he would inherit the throne of Denmark.
- Character Development: Shrinking Violet -> The Wise Prince -> Dark Messiah -> The Good King.
- Dark Messiah: What he sees himself as after the first Time Skip. He will save the world from the predations of his own people, and some have to be sacrificed towards that end.
- Drunk with Power: The crown does the same to him as his father, though Canute is able to avoid the worst of it.
- Dude Looks Like a Lady: In his younger years, to the point of using an actual woman as a Body Double.
- The Emperor: Downplayed. He refers to himself as the "Emperor of the North Sea" even though that isn't officially one of Canute's titles. He's still the sovereign of multiple nations so he fits the definition well enough.
- Generation Xerox: Most of the Farmland arc is devoted to how he starts becoming just like his father in the name of building a better world. Thorfinn manages to shake him out of it.
- Good Scars, Evil Scars: A clear cut on his check during the Farmland Saga, given to him by Thorfinn in the prologue.
- Hime Cut: In the Prologue arc. It emphasizes his feminine appearance and demure nature.
- Historical-Domain Character: The meek prince in the Prologue will end up becoming Canute the Great.
- I Did What I Had to Do: His chief rationale after becoming King is that any ruthless actions he takes are justified in pursuit of his greater goals.
- Lonely at the Top: The power of the crown has that effect.
- Long Haired Prettyboy: In the Prologue.
- Nay-Theist: Has a grand speech in chapter 97 covering the subject.
- Rage Against the Heavens: He plans to build paradise on Earth to spite God for leaving His creation such a mess.
- Real Men Cook: Inverted. In a society that puts no 'manliness' stock in cooking (it is seen as slave's work, at least to the upper class), Canute's ability to cook becomes another strike against him as someone who's not a real man.
- Saved by Canon: Being a historic character and all.
- Scars Are Forever: Still has the scar that Thorfinn gave him even after four years.
- Sheltered Aristocrat: Begins the story as an inexperienced young prince.
- Shrinking Violet: Social interaction with others sends him into into an anxious episode.
- Took a Level in Badass: Goes from a meek and frail prince to a cold and calculating monarch.
- Took a Level in Jerkass: Hand in hand with his increasing confidence and regal qualities, Canute becomes much more manipulative and calculating in prosecuting his political and military campaigns.
- Tsundere: Acts like one once Thorfinn got him to speak.
- The Unfettered: Post-Character Development.
- Used to Be a Sweet Kid: In his youth he is depicted as a kind and mild child under the tutelage of Ragnar.
- Visionary Villain: His goal is to consolidate all the vikings in the world in order to save themselves from their own violent nature.
- You Are Not Alone: What Thorfinn eventually makes him realize by challenging Canute not to muck up too badly so Thorfinn won't have so much trouble building a place for everyone Canute neglects, which softens his stance.
RagnarDanish nobleman and Canute's Parental Substitute.
- Commander Contrarian: Towards Askeladd when the two are forced to work together to aid Canute.
- Killed Off for Real: By Askeladd.
- Mentor Occupational Hazard: Invoked by Askeladd.
- Real Men Cook: Taught Canute how to cook. As mentioned above, it really underlines how he's not a 'true' viking.
- Real Men Love Jesus: Is a Christian, as opposed to most of the other characters.
- Overprotective Dad: Non-blood related version, but he loves Canute as a son and tends to be overprotective of him.
Father WillibaldA drunkard English priest who's lost his faith. He considers God evil and is searching through Creation for any signs of true love that might convince him otherwise.
- The Alcoholic
- Evil Stole My Faith: More specifically, God Is Evil stole my faith.
- I Need a Freaking Drink: Constantly, or he goes into shouting fits.
- Never Gets Drunk: Never seriously so, anyway. He's seen taking on several vikings in a row in a drinking contest and still looking fine after fifty-seven horns of wine.
- Younger Than They Look: When shaven he loses about twenty years. He's really twenty-three but looks like he's in his forties with the hair on.
King Sweyn "Forkbeard", son of HaraldKing of Denmark and the Danelaw at the beginning of the series, father of Canute, and later the sovereign of all England.
- Archnemesis Dad: Doesn't really have any personal enmity for Canute, but becomes his political rival for kingship of England.
- Beauty Equals Goodness: Yeah, there was no way that guy was ever going to be good.
- Greater-Scope Villain: For the first arc.
- The Chains of Commanding: He likens his crown to a sentient being that drives him to commit atrocities to increase the power of the king.
- Deadly Decadent Court: Rules over a court full of intrigues and plots.
- Death by Adaptation: Well, he died in Real Life after a very short reign of England too, but he probably didn't get his head cut off by the last scion of king Arthur.
- He Who Must Not Be Seen: Until Canute confronts him directly at the end of the arc, he's always shown with his face cloaked in shadows or by the camera angle.
- Historical-Domain Character: The real son of Harald Bluetooth and first Danish king of England.
- Nerves of Steel: Not even Askeladd putting a sword to his neck visibly unnerves him.
- Self-Made Orphan: Nonlethal version, he drove his father into exile to seize the crown for himself.
- Played for Laughs in a non-canon omake, where his head introduces Canute to his father, grandfather and great-grandfather, all of whom are severed heads killed by their respective sons.
- Spirit Advisor: His head haunts Canute for the Farmland Arc, mocking and praising him in equal measure for the Dirty Business he does to remain king.
- The Un-Smile: Sweyn's face is so decrepit that even his smiles become creepy by association. The fact that we know none of them are genuine probably doesn't help either.
- The Uriah Gambit: He puts Canute in charge of besieging London — against defenders led by Thorkell — in a blatant attempt to get him killed or otherwise made not his problem.
Characters introduced in the second arc
EinarA slave from the Danelaw who is the first character introduced in the second arc. Purchased by Ketil to work on his farm, he encounters Thorfinn and becomes his first true friend and blood-brother. Having only seen the world from the viewpoint of the oppressed, he is extremely focused on social justice.
- And Now for Someone Completely Different: The first chapter of the second arc doesn't even include Thorfinn until the very end. Einar continues to be the viewpoint character for a good while afterwards.
- Dogged Nice Guy: Towards Arneis, a fellow slave, who either never picks up on it or chooses not to.
- Get Ahold Of Yourself Man: He attempts to take vengeance on Ketil for killing Arneis. Thorfinn, who has already been down that road, has to knock it out of him.
- I Want My Belovedtobe Happy: When he learns the fugitive slave of the neighboring village is Arneis's husband, Gardar, he persuades Thorfinn to reunite the former couple and help them escape. They fail to protect Gardar and Arneis dies from punishing wounds inflicted by Ketil for trying to escape.
- Made a Slave
- Nice Guy: Just in general.
- Non-Action Guy: He is one of the only main characters who has no fighting skills and has never killed anyone. He also hates warriors until he meets Thorfinn. That said, he manages to fight off three farmers single-handed in a fist fight, and displays impressively quick thinking during Thorfinn's knife-fight with a bear. And more impressive again trying to protect Thorfinn from Hild.
- Only Friend: To Thorfinn.
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: The Red to Thorfinn's blue, being much more passionate and optimistic.
- The Ishmael: For much of the beginning of the second arc. The story is still Thorfinn's, but Einar is the POV character.
- What the Hell, Hero?: Since Thorfinn is mostly stoic, Einar is usually the one of the two to speak up.
Ketil "Iron Fist", son of SverkerA rich Danish farmer with a rumoured past as a great warrior known as "Iron Fist Ketil". He is the master of Einar and Thorfinn during the second arc.
- Afraid of Blood: He's shown to be clearly uncomfortable with blood and violence.
- Ambition Is Evil: More like 'Ambition is Well-Intentioned but Ultimately Foolish'. Ketil constantly expands his farmland and hires on more people, which Sverker claims will only cause trouble down the line by attracting attention. He is eventually proven right.
- Cool Sword: He's in possession of an Ulfberht sword, which is considered one of the finest Viking swords in the world...not that he gets to use it.
- Despair Event Horizon: When he's outlawed.
- Empty Shell: By the end of the Farmland arc he's left a one-eyed, shell-shocked mess in a deep depression, unable to do much beyond sitting on his porch and bemoaning Arneis.
- Fake Ultimate Hero: He happens to share the name with the warrior known as "Iron Fist"; Ketil himself isn't much of a warrior.
- Kick the Dog: His beating of pregnant Arneis.
- Non-Idle Rich: No matter how rich his farmland gets, he constantly strives to improve upon it.
- Pet the Dog: He spends a lot of the early farmland arc showing what a kind and soft-hearted man he is. This only makes it all the more noticeable when he breaks.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: A generally kind-hearted man who allows his slaves to buy their freedom through honest work, and trusts men Snake and his fellow outlaws as household guards. Subverted in that he regularly rapes his female slave Arneis and does not offer her the same bargain. Being outlawed by Canute only exaggerated his worst attributes.
- Verbal Tic: He tends to say "aye" to himself a lot, as in thought.
SverkerThe "old master", Ketil's (now-retired) father and former owner of the Ketil farm who spends his retirement working his own field.
- Beauty Equals Goodness: An inversion. Sverker looks exactly as old, decrepit and weather-bitten as you'd expect from a man of his age and status, but he's one of the nicer people on the farm.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Despite his blunt demeanour and his tendency to quarrel with anyone within sight, he's genuinely good at heart, offering to give Snake his remaining farm so he can keep an honest job and even offering to sell it to pay weregeld for the men Gardar killed.
- Perpetual Frowner: He has a constant sour look on his face. He's a nice man despite it, however.
- Reconstruction: He offers one to Thorfinn's character, pointing out that being "empty inside" can be a good thing because it means you can be filled by something constructive.
- Screw Politeness, I'm a Senior!: Constantly brutally honest and has little regard or care for things like social class and thralldom in how he deals with people.
- Vitriolic Best Buds: With Snake, who seems to pay more attention to him than his own flesh-and-blood family.
Thorgil, son of KetilKetil's older son. A picture of the norse warrior ideal as a man who enjoys fighting and killing. He left the farm to serve in Canute's household and dislikes the rest of his family for their peaceable nature.
- Big Brother Mentor: To his little brother, in the stern, disapproving style only a real big brother who's been looked up at all his life can manage. About the only thing he succeeds at is to make Olmar realise what he's not.
- Blood Knight: Relishes the thought of having to fight his former liege lord.
- Good Scars, Evil Scars: He's got a split lip from a wound, which aids in making him look menacing.
- Foil: To Olmar. A lot of Olmar's character arc is realizing that Thorgil is everything he thought he wanted to be.
- Genius Bruiser: Despite his menacing appearance and bloodlust, he's also quite savvy. He immediately smells a rat about his brother's duel, realizes Canute has set them up, and later concocts a scheme to assassinate Canute which comes very close to succeeding.
- Proud Warrior Race Guy: As opposed to his brother. Thorgil is as hung-up on being a 'true warrior' as Olmar but he has the strength and skill to live up to it.
- Put on a Bus: He disappears after the Farmland Arc, with the narration only mentioning his current location is unknown.
- Social Darwinist: Believes that battle is the means in which the worthy are separated from those who aren't.
Olmar, son of KetilKetil's younger son and heir to the farm. Starts out the arc as a bratty rebellious teen with designs of following in his brother's footsteps, who goes through severe Character Development and ultimately proves himself a better man than his father.
- A Real Man Is a Killer: Inverted: Olmar only becomes a 'real man' by realising that this trope doesn't hold after killing a man in a fixed duel.
- Actual Pacifist: The end of his character arc.
- Art Evolution: He becomes noticeably better-looking the more his character develops.
- Boisterous Weakling: All the swagger of his brother. None of the strength and skill.
- Emo Teen: Starts the second arc in this position.
- Heroic Wannabe: He really wants to be like his brother.
- Unwitting Pawn: He is the (unwilling and unwitting) linchpin in Canute's plan to appropriate his family's farm.
- "World of Cardboard" Speech: Delivers one near the end when he decides to surrender to Canute and accept outlawry to spare further loss of life, pointing out that he can never live up to the Nordic warrior ideal of 'death before dishonour' nor does he want to.
PaterA freedman farmer and former slave on Ketil's farm. He serves as Ketil's main assistant and is responsible for Einar and Thorfinn.
- The Consigliere: Serves as Ketil's main voice of reason and provides a point of view from the farmers and farmhands to his boss. Ketil appears to genuinely appreciate him for his role.
- Eyes Always Shut: His character model. Unlike Fox, his never open fully.
- Meaningful Name: His name means 'father' in Latin. True to his name, he is a kind and fatherly figure to the younger Einar and Thorfinn.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: To Einar and Thorfinn. It's notable that even after Ketil's Face–Heel Turn, Einar and Thorfinn still hold Pater in extremely high regard.
ArneisA beautiful Swedish houseslave on Ketil's farm. Einar has a rather transparent crush on her.
- Death by Despair: While she probably suffered from a cerebral haemorrhage, her death evokes this trope pretty hard.
- Imperiled in Pregnancy: She is secretly pregnant with her master Ketil's child. When her former husband comes to take her back - slaying several guards of the farm in the process - and she tries to escape with him, Ketil does not take it well. Just before her punishment, she reveals to him she is pregnant with his child; his response is to suspect that the child isn't his, and beat her half to death. And not only half, as she dies shortly after.
- Made a Slave:
- Sex Slave: Downplayed since she does common slave labor as well.
- Killed Off for Real: By Ketil of all people.
Badger and Fox
"Badger" and "Fox"Two of the 'guests' of Ketil's farms, functioning as guardsmen to their 'host'.
- Animal Motifs: They even look a bit like the animals they're named after.
- Butt-Monkey: Every time they show up, someone or something ends up pummelling them. First Fox gets his nose broken by Snake for messing around with Thorfinn. Then Gardar ambushes and defeats them both. Finally, they fight for Ketil during the battle of the farm and Badger dies.
- Dark and Troubled Past: Fox mentions that he's outlawed for killing a noble.
- Eyes Always Shut: Fox. When he realizes that Canute has brought the Jomsvikings to the farm Snake notes that this is the biggest he's ever seen his eyes.
- The Fettered: They end up joining Snake in defending the farm despite it being hopeless because they want to stick to their guns.
- Only Known by Their Nickname: All the 'guests' of the farm use nicknames because they're outlaws.
- Outlaw: In the classical sense. They have no legal rights at all, but since no-one on the farm wants them dead it doesn't matter.
- Punch-Clock Villain: They're not as nice or reasonable as Snake is, but they're not actively malicious either. Fox attacks and mocks Thorfinn because he's a thrall, and not because he's got anything against him personally.
- Those Two Guys: Their role in the series, functioning as viewpoint characters whenever the guards are involved.
"Snake", aka Roald, son of GrimmUnofficial 'captain of the guards' of Ketil's farm as the leader of the warrior band who have settled on the grounds. Snake serves as an on-off antagonist and/or ally to Einar and Thorfinn during the farmland arc. He is hinted to have been a former member of the Varangian Guard, given his use of a sabre and his ability to read an Orthodox Bible.
- A Father to His Men: None messes with his men and gets away with it.
- Armour Piercing Question: Asks Thorfinn very openly why Gardar's life should be more valuable than the five of Snake's men he killed. Thorfinn is unable to answer him.
- Authority Equals Asskicking: He's the strongest of his band by far.
- Brilliant, but Lazy: He may look like a scruffy vagrant, and he mostly acts like a scruffy vagrant, but Thorfinn considers him in a fighting class similar to Askeladd. He could probably have joined the Jomsvikings or the household of a king (and is implied to have done just that in the past), but chooses to live on a farm instead.
- The Fettered: He may not have much pride, honour or friends left, but by gum he's sticking to what little he's got.
- Hidden Depths: He's literate (very rare in 11th century Scandinavia) and can read Greek (even moreso), and hides a very strong sense of fairness under his scruffy, jerkish behaviour. His relationship with Sverker is also a lot warmer than it looks on the surface.
- Lightning Bruiser: As fast as Thorfinn, with considerably more girth.
- Noodle Incident: We never learn exactly what he did that outlawed him.
- Not So Different: During his fight with Thorfinn.
- Only Known by Their Nickname: Like the rest of his men he's outlawed and refrains from using his true name as a result.
- Outlaw: Like the rest of his men. As such they stick together and serve Ketil because he's willing to shelter them.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: Saves Arneis even though he blames her for the deaths of his men.
- Shout-Out: With that nickname, it should hardly be a surprise that he looks a lot like Solid Snake.
- Vitriolic Best Buds: With Sverker, who lets him bum around his house and eat his food in return for company and copious amounts of Snark-to-Snark Combat.
- Weapon of Choice: A Damascus steel sabre.
GardarA Swedish slave from a nearby farm who decided to kill his master, his master's whole family, and burn down the house. He is now running into the territory that Thorfinn and Einar work.
- Made a Slave
- Rasputinian Death: Receives numerous cutting wounds during his escape. Snake then knocks him out with a concussion. During his second escape he takes a wound to the side that incapacitates him, and is then stabbed in the heart by Snake. He still almost manages to kill Snake (suffering another fatal stab in the process) until talked down, and manages to cling on to life for almost an hour until he bleeds out.
- Unstoppable Rage: His fighting skill seems entirely based on 'too angry to hold back'.
- Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds
UlfA jarl (Norse nobleman) serving as Canute's right-hand man during the farmland saga.
- The Dragon: To Canute.
- Eye Scream: Thorgil pokes one of his eyes out.
- Good Scars, Evil Scars: Scars on his brow and a clean cut over an eye that still works. He's also presented as an honourable man.
- Honest Advisor: To Canute, who respects him for his honesty.
- Historical-Domain Character: Probably based on Ulf Torgilsson, a real Danish Jarl from the 11th century and one of Canute's most trusted men. Unfortunately he ended up betraying Canute by making Canute's son Hardeknut king, wich in practice would make Ulf Denmarks real ruler. When Norway and Sweden invaded Denmark in a joint attack, Ulf helped Canute defeat them. Howeve Canute never forgave Ulf for his treachery and later had him murdered.
- Hypercompetent Sidekick: In terms of fighting, he's stronger than Canute.
- The Stoic
Thorfinn "Bug-Eyes", son of LeifThorfinn "Bug-Eyes" is the adoptive son of Leif Eriksson, who ransomed him out of slavery while searching for "our" Thorfinn. He accompanies Thorfinn, Leif and Einar on a trading mission to Greece.
- Ascended Extra: He is introduced in chapter 76, but doesn't get much focus until the third arc.
- Brutal Honesty: He often whines about their predicament in the third arc, although his complaints are usually well-founded. He rightly points out that bringing a Sole Survivor baby and a Runaway Bride that attracts the attention of the groom-to-be will give them additional problems in their already hard journey.
- The Complainer Is Always Wrong: Averted. See Brutal Honesty above; most of his points make sense (from his perspective) even if they're usually delivered in a harsh way.
- Foil: To Thorfinn (the main character). Both named Thorfinn, former slave, short, blonde. While Thorfinn is a former soldier who became a Nice Guy and an Atoner, Wide Eyes is a Jerkass former friar, already has a fully developed personality and is the Plucky Comic Relief.
- Happily Adopted: Treats Leif as his father, noting that his biological parents are likely long dead.
- In-Series Nickname: Everyone calls him "Bug-Eyes", to prevent confusion.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: He's not really a bad guy, but he's kind of selfish and he complains a lot.
- Made a Slave: Twice in his backstory; his parents sold him to a monastery because they couldn't afford to feed him, and then he was kidnapped by vikings and enslaved again before Leif rescued him.
- One Steve Limit: The notable exception.
- Only Sane Man: What he claims to be.
- Plucky Comic Relief: Next to Atoner!Thorfinn, Einar, and Leif he's sure to stick out in the crew.
- No Social Skills: Ditzy, oafish, and quick to overreact or panic at the drop of a hat, but he's a skilled sailor and one of the more practical-minded members of the crew.
- Sitcom Arch-Nemesis: To Gudrid. The two rib on and mock each other constantly and they're hardly friends, but as members of the same crew they have to rely on each other.
- Wide Eyes and Shrunken Irises: Always has a goofy facial expression, leading to his nickname.
Characters introduced in the third arc
GudridA young, feisty woman who longs to become a sailor and travel the world. She is a widower - Gudrid was once married to Leif's brother and thus she is his sister-in-law. She is set to be re-married to Halfdan's son, Sigurd, but dreads living the life of a "normal woman" where she will be locked in the house for life and will never experience adventure.
- Arranged Marriage: With Sigurd, entirely unwillingly.
- The Chick: Aboard the crew.
- Foregone Conclusion: If you're up to scratch with your Nordic history then you'll know she is Thorfinn's future wife and mother of his child, Snorri (who is the first European born on American soil).
- Important Haircut: Cuts her long hair to look "less like a woman" because she wants to perform masculine duties.
- Lethal Chef: She's a terrible chef.
- Runaway Bride: Stabs Sigurd (nonfatally) on their wedding night and runs off.
- Ship Tease: She develops a crush on Thorfinn (Karlsefni, not Bug-Eyes).
- Tomboy and Girly Girl: She's very tomboyish compared to the other women in this series but is quite girly when put against Hild.
Sigurd, son of HalfdanGudrid's fiancee and Halfdan's son. Because Gudrid stabbed him and ran in their wedding night, he must to chase the crew to Grikland and capture Gudrid to reclaim his honour.
- Arranged Marriage: With Gudrid, entirely unwillingly.
- Art Evolution: He starts out looking like a young version of his father, and becomes less and less similar the more the arc progresses.
- The Chew Toy: Nobody gives him any respect and the story seems to delight in causing him setback after setback in humiliating fashion.
- Chained by Fashion: Like his father he favours the chain as part of his imagery.
- Chain Pain: Also like his father, he can use it as a weapon.
- Inadequate Inheritor: His father, in his way, thinks he is this.
- Hidden Depths: A couple of farmers lampshade that despite his look, he knows manners produced from strict education.
- Ineffectual Sympathetic Villain: His mission to essentially abduct Gudrid after almost raping her aside, Sigurd isn't exactly 'evil'. What with all the barriers the story throws in his way, he's no threat to the heroes at all and as a result is presented sympathetically.
- In-Series Nickname: His friends call him "Siggy". He hates it.
- Lie Back and Think of England: Male example. He neither loves nor cares about Gudrid, and the feeling is mutual, but attempts to go through with it anyway. Gudrid chooses not to and stabs him.
- Machiavelli Was Wrong: Halfdan is a feared man, and has no real friends except people who follow him because they have no other choice. Sigurd's crew, meanwhile, consider him a friend and follow him willingly despite Sigurd repeatedly trying to tell them off.
- Made a Slave
- Marital Rape License: His attempt to consummate his wedding with Gudrid is done when she's clearly not in the mood, and she ends up stabbing him and running off rather than go through with it.
- Surrounded by Idiots: Practically his Catch-Phrase when dealing with his friends.
- The Knights Who Say "Squee!": Is a huge fan of Thorkell. He's even willing to endure being a slave when he realizes he's been made a galley slave on Thorkell's ship, and expresses the wish to fight alongside Thorkell on the battlefield.
- "Well Done, Son!" Guy: He is very clearly craving his father's respect.
KarliA baby that Thorfinn's crew comes across and adopts on the Shetlands, after they find his own family slaughtered.
- Children Are Innocent: ...He's a child. The worst he'll do is cry loudly and soil his diaper.
- Cycle of Revenge: Thorfinn points out that as a 'true Norse', Karli's first priority when he comes of age should be to avenge himself on the clan that killed his own family.
- Sole Survivor: Of his family.
- Tagalong Kid: The crew picks him up in the Shetland Islands. They eventually try to leave him with a foster family, but Gudrid and Thorfinn can't go through with it.
Hild, daughter of HrafnkellA hunter/trapper Thorfinn and company meet in Norway. She harbours a dark secret.
- Ambiguously Christian: Makes the sign of the cross and thanks God for leading her to Thorfinn. It's something that she probably grew up with, since her father told her that "bearing a heart of forgiveness will lead to salvation."
- Action Girl: Hunts bears and other animals for a living.
- Aloof Ally
- Archer Archetype: Handy with a crossbow and quite distant.
- Automatic Crossbows: A weird version, combining the reload time of the Zhūgé Nǔ historical examples, but the strength and accuracy of an Arbalest .
- Badasses Wear Bandannas
- Batman Gambit: Hild sees that Thorfinn's friends won't let her fight him one-on-one, so she says that she poisoned the soup she made and that only she has the antidote (a Poison-and-Cure Gambit). If Thorfinn wants to save his friends, he (and only he) would have to fight her. Since Thorfinn would sooner claw his eyes out than leave his friends to die, he follows her into the forest, as she knew he would.
- Big Damn Heroes: Does this several times throughout the story.
- Blinding Bangs: When she was younger.
- Crazy-Prepared: Prepared traps and a crossbow that can fire multiple bolts without having to reload each time so her prey can never escape from her.
- Death Glare: Hoo boy. If looks could kill, she wouldn't even need a crossbow.
- Doomed Hometown: She lost her family years ago when raiders led by Askeladd attacked her village.
- Determinator: Whatever she sets her mind to, she'll stop at nothing to accomplish it; from building a water-powered sawmill, to learning how to track and hunt, to reverse engineering (and improving) a crossbow, to [[killing Thorfinn.]]
- Establishing Character Moment: Snipes a rampaging bear from at least 30 meters away, through the space between a pot and it's handle (that was being waved around), and killing it in one shot. Shows that she's the Viking equivalent to a Cold Sniper.
- Foil: Is an obvious one to Thorfinn. Her character motivation mirrors younger Thorfinn to a tee.
- Forging Scene: Works with a blacksmith to help reverse-engineer a crossbow.
- Gadgeteer Genius: She used to design advanced (and anachronistic) mechanisms at home, like a circular saw for her father's sawmill. Her crossbow is a bit too advanced for the period also, hinting at this.
- Good Scars, Evil Scars: Has a large scar on her face from where her face hit a rock when she fell off a cliff running from the vikings that raided her town. It looks like an evil scar, but she is generally a good person. She does have a huge amount of hate for Thorfinn however.
- Hunter Trapper
- Ironic Echo: "'This is just a hunt. It's only natural for the strong to hunt the weak. That's how it is for every living thing in this world. If you want to hate someone, hate yourself for your own weakness. I'm the hunter, and you're the hunted. That's all there is to it.' Remember now? Those were the words you said to me. I've longed to return these words back to you."
- It's Personal with the Dragon: Even though it was Askeladd who ordered the attack on her family, Hild's main enemy is Thorfinn, who actually carried out the deed.
- Not So Different: She's essentially first-arc Thorfinn.
- No One Should Survive That: Said almost word for word by one of her pursuers. Then again, she did fall off a cliff, smash her head against a rock, break her leg, and nearly drown in the river.
- Pre Ass Kicking One Liner: "I'm the hunter, and you're the hunted."
- Red Right Hand: Or eye, specifically. The eye underneath her scar is visibly bloodshot, giving her a sinister appearance (Truth in Television: Some eye injuries can cause bleeding in the whites of the eyes, called subconjunctival hemorrhages. However, since subconjuctival hemorrhages usually heal quickly, it might be something more serious. Then again, she still has vision in that eye, so the injury probably wasn't too bad).
- Scarily Competent Tracker
- Shout-Out: The water wheel she invented in her backstory is a reference to Vicky the Viking, who also invented a water wheel. Makoto Yukimura watched the show as a child.
- The Stoic
- Not So Stoic: When she wants revenge.
- Teen Genius: In a flashback. Some of her designs are similar to what Leonardo da Vinci was thinking up centuries later.
- The Only One Allowed to Defeat You: Towards Thorfinn.
- Token Evil Teammate: Not exactly evil but she only agrees to join Thorfinn's crew so she can kill him after he completes his mission.
- Training from Hell: It's not easy to learn how to track, hunt, and survive in the wild-learned everything from her mentor Old Bear.
- Used to Be a Sweet Kid: She was much happier then, though introverted.
- You Killed My Father: To Thorfinn. When she recognizes him, she wants revenge.
BaldurFloki's ten year old grandson, who he's planning to set up as the next chief of the Jomsvikings.
VagnAn old captain of the Jomsvikings. Following Sigvaldi's death, Vagn attempted to become chief of the Jomsvikings, which put him in direct conflict with Floki and his own ambitions to put Baldur in that position. The two are currently gearing up for war as a result.
- Affably Evil: He's very nice to Thorfinn and lives by Norse virtues of honour, honesty and glory in battle... Rape, slavery and piracy, meanwhile, he has no problems with and allows his men to commit atrocities as they please.
- Decapitation Presentation: Garm beheads him and parades his head around on his spear.
- Drop the Hammer: Wields a giant two-handed hammer as his Weapon of Choice.
- Inelegant Blubbering: His reaction upon meeting the son of Thors (i.e. Thorfinn).
- We Hardly Knew Ye: Despite being the one who sets the Baltic War arc in motion by splitting the Jomsvikings, he barely gets three chapters of runtime before Garm kills him off-screen.
GarmA young warrior who lives to fight anyone who's known to be strong. Floki hires him to kill Thorfinn. Looks and acts like a Japanese Delinquent despite living in 11th century Scandinavia.
- Ax-Crazy: Lives to fight and casually talks about the desire to fight and kill people he's just met.
- Blade on a Stick: His favoured weapon is a spear.
- Blood Knight: Just as battle-crazy as Thorkell, and much less Played for Laughs. The two eventually end up fighting. They're so alike that people speculate that he actually might be Thorkell's bastard son.
- Death Seeker: Apparently wants Thorfinn to fight him seriously to the death because he wants to fight someone who will kill him in combat. It comes up again after his fight with Thorkell.
- Dissonant Serenity: Has a constant boyish grin, even while talking about killing people.
- Foil: Set up as an obvious one to Thorfinn, being about the same age and just about as skilled, but having a completely opposite view on the value of life.
- Evil Cannot Comprehend Good: Cannot for the life of him figure out why Thorfinn won't fight him in a battle to the death, and finds the idea of living a nonviolent life to be incredibly boring.
- Names to Run Away from Really Fast: 'Garm' was the name of a monstrous wolf in Norse Mythology that guarded the realm of Hel: For comparison, imagine someone called 'Hell Hound'.
- Psycho for Hire: Originally hired to kill Thorfinn. Quickly ends up derailing Floki's plans with his bloodlust.