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Tear Jerker / Vinland Saga

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  • The slave who escaped from Halfdan's farm trekked through mountains in the middle of a blizzard to find freedom, only to pass out at Thors' doorstep half dead from exhaustion and frostbite. When Thors nurses him awake, the slave can only tearfully beg the man not to give him back to his owner, saying he has nowhere else to go. The slave dies later that day, his only consolations being that Thors purchased his freedom to spare him Halfdan's further cruelty and promised him a warm and peaceful utopia in the afterlife.
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  • Thors being cruelly murdered in front of his young son, pleading for the lives of the boys he had taken with him, then Ari desperately trying to avenge him as tears stream from his eyes, only to be smacked down by Askeladd. That night, Thorfinn sneaks onto Askeladd's ship and vows to take his revenge, only to break down sobbing soon after. Thus ends Thorfinn's innocent childhood and begins a harsh life of war and vengeance.
  • Ylfa, struggling to take care of her mother after both her father and brother are gone, Thorfinn presumed dead and Thors murdered. She desperately tries to keep up a tough and indifferent face to maintain focus on nursing her mother and completing house work, but she breaks down into tears after several days of hard living.
  • The English woman watching in disbelief as Thorfinn's countrymen sack her village, after she had saved his life and treated him as if he were her own son, even going as far as to protect from a soldier on the hunt for him. Thorfinn begging her to run for her life as she just stands there staring at him in horror and disappointment.
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  • The girl found in the snow, holding onto the ring she stole, after fleeing the slaughter of her entire family.
  • Askeladd's backstory. He was born into slavery and forced to work in smithies and stables since he could walk, doing everything he could to feed and support his mother. His mother was a Welsh princess who was captured by a Viking warlord named Olaf and locked in his bedroom to be used as his sex slave for years. She was only released when she became too sickly to keep in his palace, and even then she was just thrown into the stables like an animal. After getting into his father's good graces, Askeladd killed Olaf out of revenge for his mom and travelled all the way back to Wales so she could die and be buried in her homeland. And to think that up until this point the readers had been lead to believe Askeladd was nothing more than an amoral bastard out for himself.
  • The death of Ragnar. Askeladd felt that Ragnar's mollycoddling of Prince Canute was doing nothing to help the prince mature into the man he needed to be rule over Denmark, so he had him killed to spur the prince into growing for himself. Ragnar makes one last request to Askeladd to be able to say goodbye to his beloved prince, only to be met by a cold and resolute 'No'.
    • Canute has a dream after his father figure is killed. Ragnar's spirit admits that he did not raise Canute to become a mighty warrior and king and that his frailty and current predicament is his fault. Canute tearfully begs Ragnar not to leave him as he was the only man to truly love and respect Canute all his life. Once Canute wakes up, he finally comes to terms with the fact that no one else in his life cares for him, not even his own father, King Sweyn.
  • Askeladd's entire crew being slaughtered by Thorkell's men. They may have been murderous thugs themselves, but they still had lives and desires of their own and wanted nothing more than to earn some measure of comfort and compensation after struggling for weeks to keep Prince Canute safe in enemy lands. Thorkell doesn't even spare those who surrender directly to him a second glance, cutting them to shreds like he was swatting away flies.
  • Bjorn, dying in Askeladd's arms. Bjorn tells Askeladd that all he wanted was to be Askeladd's friend, to which his leader replies that he was, in fact, Askeladd's only friend. However, given that Askeladd himself admitted that he despised Norse warriors, it's not clear if he told Bjorn the truth, or merely sought to comfort him in his dying moments.
  • Askeladd getting stabbed by Canute, right in front of Thorfinn. Thorfinn loses it when he realized he had been robbed of his chance to get proper revenge for Thors' death, making everything he'd done to achieve that goal over the past ten years utterly pointless. Worse still, at the same time, Thorfinn realized Askeladd had essentially become his surrogate father, and he simultaneously wanted to save his life and kill Askeladd himself. The fact that Askeladd was stabbed right after telling Thorfinn to stay away, making Thorfinn think that Askeladd cared for him in the end and that his distraction caused his death by Canute's hands.
  • The death of Lucius Artorius "Askeladd" Castus, rightful king of Britannia. He was undoubtedly the most fun, interesting, and sympathetic character in the story up until this point, and seeing him die was quite a blow. However, he did die content, knowing that his sacrifice saved his ancestral home of Wales from invasion, gave Prince Canute the means to seize power and start enacting his goal of bringing peace to the world, and spurred Thorfinn to cease his quest for vengeance and become a true warrior, just as Thors would have wanted.
  • Thorfinn, after Askeladd's death, becoming a hollow shell of his former self; a submissive and melancholic slave constantly pushed around by his owners with none of the exuberance of his childhood, the pride and belligerence of his adolescence, or even the will to stand up for himself.
  • Seeing that Canute ultimately could not overcome the power of the crown.
  • Arneis's backstory. She lost her home, family and freedom for "pots and pans". (The men of her village all went off to battle over an iron mine and her village was attacked by raiders in their absence, forcing her into slavery.)
  • Gardar using his final breaths to talk to Arneis about how he's going to be a good father to Hjalti, not realizing that their son is dead or that he's dying.
  • Arneis is brutally beaten by Ketil for trying to escape, even though she's pregnant with Ketil's baby. She dies of her injuries as a free woman since she is bought and freed at the same time as Thorfinn. The baby dies too.
  • Einar wanting revenge for what happened to Arneis. Thornfinn manages to talk himout of it, knowing firsthand the pain and suffering caused by one's thirst for revenge. Einar ends up collapsed on all fours, crying. Thorfinn, understanding Einar's anguish and grieving for Arneis himself, holds onto Einar and weeps into his back.
  • Thorfinn's return home and his reunion with his mother counts as a happy Tearjerker as his fears that his own mother wouldn't recognize him are quashed and with tears in her eyes, she says that he looks just like Thors. He breaks down in tears as he apologizes for being a bad son to her and she clearly forgives him. After years of pain and misery, Thorfinn is finally home with his family.
  • In chapter 154, a nameless viking collapses at a bottle-necked opening in a fort, riddled with stab wounds and arrows, including one through his left eye, as he kept the hole open for his allies. As he dies, he prepares to be taken by the Valkyries up the Bifröst bridge to Valhalla for endless ale and feasting at the side of Odin himself ... only ... they don't come. There is only darkness. The viking reacts first with anger at the "unfairness" of it all, wondering why he isn't getting what was "promised" to him. Then he slowly gives into despair, realizing that he essentially wasted his life fighting countless battles, only to die an otherwise avoidable death. He can't even voice his newfound realization to Thorkell and his comrades. As death comes to claim him, the viking's last thoughts are a plead for the others to not die. The chapter ends with a bird's eye view of the viking's corpse, tears streaming down his remaining eye... War is hell, indeed.
    Viking: (Collapses and starts thinking to himself)'s over. My body's got no more strength left. I must be dying. Gotta say I fought pretty well. I bought our side quite a bit of time. It's too late for you, Jomsviking. Our boss will be here any moment now. (Sees Thorkell arrive, tearing his enemies apart) See? He's here. Woah, he's amazing...Our boss really is on a whole other level. (Eyesight begins to grow dim) Ahh...My eyes...(Smiles to himself) The Valkyrie are coming for me. At last, I too will enter Valhalla...(Eyesight is gone, replaced by nothing but blackness)...What? They're not coming...What? Why? I fought loads of times though. (Starts to panic) Shit, my eyes...They're going dim..! I can't see! I can't hear! I can't move! I can't feel anything! Not even pain! The hell?! This is different what I was told! Where's the bifrost!? The Valkyrie!? Nothing's coming for me!! What the fuck?! (Practically despairing) Is this what happens to everyone when they die!? It's just like this forever!? No, it can't be! Just what the hell did I fight all my life for then?!? (Losing his life essence now) Ugh...Cold...Cold and getting sleepy...My consciousness...I can feel myself fading away...(Last thoughts) Scared...I'm scared, so scared...I'm...fading...Boss...Guys...Don't die...Valhalla is, all just a lie...
  • Chapter 160: Mixed with heartwarming and awesomeness, Gudrid offering to fight Thorkell in Thorfinn's place, screaming in tears how Thorfinn is just trying to live honestly and atone for his past, yet greedy and violent assholes keep trying to drag him back into violence. This display of emotions, along with her confession of liking Thorfinn, was enough to impress Thorkell to back down.


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