Why is Thorfinn Small? Exploring the Protagonist of Vinland Saga

 Why is Thorfinn Small? 

Vinland Saga, a manga and anime series by Makoto Yukimura, has gained popularity among fans of historical storytelling. The series follows the journey of Thorfinn, a young Viking warrior seeking revenge for his father's death. But have you ever wondered why is Thorfinn small compared to other characters in the story? And why is Thorfinn short even as an adult? In this article, we will explore some possible reasons for Thorfinn's stature and how it affects his personality and development.

    Who is Thorfinn? 

    Why is Thorfinn Small, why is thorfinn so short?

    Before we dive into the question of why Thorfinn is small, let's first get to know him better. Thorfinn is the main protagonist of Vinland Saga, a manga and anime series loosely inspired by the historical figure Thorfinn Karlsefni, an Icelandic explorer who embarked on a voyage to North America around 1010 AD.

    Thorfinn is initially portrayed as a teenage warrior in the company of Askeladd, a band of mercenaries notorious for raiding and plundering across England. Thorfinn holds deep resentment towards Askeladd for killing his father, Thors, a legendary warrior who had retired to Iceland to lead a peaceful life with his family. Determined to avenge his father, Thorfinn swears to challenge Askeladd to a fair duel. However, to earn the opportunity, he must accomplish difficult tasks for Askeladd, such as assassinating enemy leaders or sabotaging enemy camps.

    As a character, Thorfinn is depicted as a fierce and skilled fighter, relying on his speed, agility, and cleverness to overcome his adversaries. He possesses a headstrong and impulsive nature, often allowing his emotions to dictate his actions. Alongside his strong sense of honour and justice, Thorfinn grapples with an internal struggle between his thirst for revenge and his father's teachings of nonviolence.

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    Why is Thorfinn Small?

    Now that we have a brief overview of Thorfinn's character, let's try to answer the question of why Thorfinn is small. Several elements, including genetics, nutrition, environment, and trauma, could have played a role.


    One of the causes for Thorfinn's size may be genetics. Thorfinn is the son of Thorns and Helga, both hailing from Iceland. Iceland, an island nation settled by Norse people during the 9th and 10th centuries, is known for its relatively tall population today. However, it is important to note that not all Icelanders are tall, and historical records suggest that height among Icelanders has varied due to factors like famine, disease, climate changes, and migration.

    Studies reveal that the average height of Icelandic men decreased from the 10th to the 18th century before rising again in the 19th and 20th centuries. Similarly, the average height of Icelandic women fluctuated over time. Consequently, it is possible that Thorfinn inherited genetic traits that contributed to his shorter stature, potentially influenced by his maternal grandfather, Sigvaldi, described as "a small man" in historical sagas.

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    Effects on Personality and Development

    Thorfinn's short height has undoubtedly influenced his personality and development. Being physically smaller than his peers, he may have experienced challenges and feelings of inferiority. His determination to prove himself and seek revenge might have been fueled by a desire to compensate for his perceived physical disadvantage.

    Additionally, Thorfinn's smaller size could have contributed to his agile and nimble fighting style, relying on speed and cunning to overcome opponents who possess greater physical strength. His smaller stature might have forced him to develop strategies that capitalize on his strengths, compensating for the disadvantage of being smaller in physical stature.


    In conclusion, Thorfinn's small height in Vinland Saga can be attributed to a combination of genetic factors, nutrition, and the challenging environments in which he grew up and fought. The series explores the consequences of these factors on Thorfinn's character, shaping his personality, and driving his quest for revenge.

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