Vinland Saga revolves around the Vikings and their search for the mysterious, prosperous land of Vinland. Historically, Vikings were warriors who looted villages and monasteries.
So naturally, Vinland Saga has a lot of conflicts and ferocious battles. Many Viking characters in the series display fighting prowess in both armed and unarmed combat. Their incredible strength surpasses even the English army at times.
Let’s now rank the strongest characters in Vinland Saga manga so far, based on sheer strength and power scaling.
Gardar cuts an intimidating figure due to his huge, scarred physique. But his tale is a tragic one.
Gardar used to be a Viking warrior with a loving wife and son, but he was separated from them after he became a slave. He vows to make amends with his family and run away with them.
Gardar goes to Ketil’s house to rescue his family, but he has to face Snake’s mercenaries and Snake himself. He kills some mercenaries, but he’s unable to defeat Snake. Ultimately, he dies after sustaining serious injuries during his encounter with Snake.
Hild is similar to the War arc Thorfinn in many ways. She wants to avenge the death of her family, just like Thorfinn. However, her revenge plan involves killing Thorfinn since he’s responsible for killing her father.
Hild uses a crossbow, an unconventional weapon that works well when Hild is fighting her opponents on her home turf. She successfully overwhelms an unarmed Thorfinn during their first encounter in the forest by using the element of surprise.
Bjorn was the second-in-command of Askeladd’s gang. His combat style reflected the Viking fighting tradition of using berserker mushrooms.
Bjorn rarely fought when he was sober. He ate berserker mushrooms to go berserk. In his berserker mood, he took down nearly ten companions of Canute.
But his berserker mode failed to scratch Thors. Askeladd ultimately killed him during the War arc.
Wulf’s official position among Canute’s Royal Guard is a testament to his true strength. Wulf is Canute’s head Thegn and his loyal teacher.
Wulf participated in the battle of Ketil Farm during the Slave arc. He wasn’t actively fighting at first, but he had to intervene when Thorgil tried to kill Canute.
He successfully pinned Thorgil down for several seconds, but he wasn’t strong enough to hold him down for long. Wulf was forced to let Thorgil escape when the latter ruthlessly gouged out his eye with his bare hands.
However, this incident doesn’t deter Wulf. He assists Thorkell as a personal guard during the Baltic Sea War, which shows that he isn’t completely out of the game yet.
Apparently, Thorgil’s ruthlessness scares even his father. Thorgil enjoys fighting and killing people, just like Garm and Thorkell.
Thorgil is a former Thegn of Canute’s, which explains his fearsome combat prowess. During the Canute versus Ketil battle, he slaughters several Vikings before they can react. He even slices the arms of Canute’s guards without restraint.
However, his only weakness is that he is weak against attacks or counters he doesn’t anticipate. This weakness leads to Canute blocking his sneak attack during the end of the Slave arc.
Snake makes his first appearance in Vinland Saga during the Slave arc. He is the head of Ketil’s farm guards who protect Ketil’s farm from any dangers.
Snake’s identity is a secret in the beginning. But later on, it’s revealed that he used to serve Roman Emperors as a Varangian Guard.
If you don’t know what a Varangian Guard is, think of someone who holds the position of an emperor’s personal bodyguard. This means that Snake is actually a lot more powerful than he seems.
During the Slave arc, Snake saved Thorfinn and other slaves from brutal punishments by using his combat skills. In fact, Thorfinn considers Snake stronger than Old Askeladd. Speed-wise, Snake is as fast as Thorfinn.
Unlike other Vikings, Askeladd uses his shrewd schemes and his exceptional brain to win his battles. He becomes a deadly opponent once he pairs his analytical skills with his swordsmanship.
Askeladd was already so skilled at using his sword as a child that he easily killed seasoned warriors like his father. He even bests berserker Bjorn in combat by ultimately killing him. He kills Ragnar, Canute’s bodyguard, and several other Vikings in countless battles.
When Askeladd fought Thors during his prime, the latter was forced to use some strategy to ward off the former’s sneak attacks. Moreover, a skilled Viking like Thorfinn couldn’t beat Askeladdin in any duels they had while Askeladd was alive.
Thorfinn has grown greatly as a fighter and a Viking since the prologue. After fighting countless opponents twice his age, he’s finally becoming a seasoned fighter.
Thorfinn’s fighting style prioritizes swift, deadly attacks over heavy punches. He uses his agility to dodge his opponents and hit their vital spots to incapacitate them. He easily beats Garm by blocking his quick spear attack.
Thorfinn is also quite durable. Even when Thorkell throws him around like a toy during their first battle, he survives. He also withstands nearly 100 blows from Drott, who’s literally infamous for being a bear killer.
Thorkell aka Thorkell the Tall or Thorkell the Invincible is one of the strongest Vikings alive who serves under King Canute.
Thorkell’s specialty is his superhuman strength. He can beat powerful beasts like bears without breaking a sweat. During the War arc, he achieves the impressive feat of lifting a boulder that weighs several tonnes. Losing two fingers of his hand barely deters him.
Besides, he has great speed and reflexes despite his towering height. Thorfinn could barely dodge his quick punches during their first battle in chapter 19. He can also keep up with Garm, who’s well-known for his agility.
Thors Snorresson might be a pacifist, but we can’t deny that no character in Vinland Saga has come close to matching his raw strength and fighting technique.
Thors can take down an entire ship of enemies through hand-to-hand combat. He beats an armed Thorkell just by using his bare hands. He has great endurance, and he can also dodge multiple enemy attacks at once, which makes him the strongest character in Vinland Saga.
Thors remained undefeated till his death. Askeladd succeeded in killing Thors only because he used underhanded means to kill him.
About Vinland Saga
Vinland Saga is a Japanese historical manga series written and illustrated by Makoto Yukimura. The series is published under Kodansha in its monthly manga magazine – Monthly Afternoon – aimed at young adult men. It currently has 26 volumes in tankōbon format.
Vinland Saga is set in ancient Viking times, where a young Thorfinn’s life goes astray when his father Thors – a well-known retired warrior – is killed while on a journey.
Thorfinn then finds himself under the jurisdiction of his enemy – his father’s killer – and hopes to seek revenge on him when he grows stronger. The anime is loosely based on the expedition of Thorfinn Karlsefni in his search for Vinland.