Snake, the boss, turns Fox’s face into mush and scolds everyone for picking on the slaves. But having seen how Thorfinn reacted to Fox’s cuts, he decides to test him himself. Thorfinn’s body moves on its own to protect him from a surely fatal slash from Snake’s sword. Snake tells him that must mean his body wants him alive, so he’d better stay that way.
Maybe Snake doesn’t want to pay for needlessly killed slaves, or maybe there’s a shred of kindness in him, but he has Thorfinn and Einar escorted to Pater, who treats Thorfinn’s wounds so they won’t fester. When Einar tells Pater if Snake hadn’t intervened they’d have died for sure, Thorfinn says “the strong kill the weak” and that’s just the nature of things.
While Thorfinn is allowed to take the day off to heal up, he heads into the woods anyway, since his wounds are “nothing”. As he continues to fell trees like nothing happened, Einar asks Thorfinn straight up if he’s been to war, if he’s killed, and how many. Thorfinn truthfully answers that he doesn’t remember how many; only that he’s killed a lot. That tends to happen when you’d been a warrior since you were six.
After Thorfinn owns up to this, he apologizes to Einar, whom he thinks must hate him now. Indeed, that night an enraged Einar puts his hands around a sleeping Thorfinn’s throat and starts to squeeze. Thorfinn happens to be in his standard dream, a hellscape of a burning village where he must kill or be killed. Einar lets go, and when Thorfinn starts screaming, he wakes him up by grabbing his arm.
Einar asks Thorfinn if he really wants to die, and tells him he’s spoiled if he truly thinks nothing good has ever happened in his life. The very fact the two of them are alive is a good thing, made possible because someone kept them alive. Whether that’s Einar’s father, mother, and sister, or for Thorfinn, Thors, Askeladd, and others. A sulking Einar returns to his hay pile, saying it’s not as if Thorfinn personally killed his family.
Then Thorfinn says to Einar what he neglected to say to Pater: Thank you. Thank you for reaching out,: for pulling him from the hellish dreams of his sleep, if only for a moment.
In this tense and moving sequence, Einar learns more about who Thorfinn is (or rather was) and why he is the way he currently is. He also makes his peace with that, not letting his hatred for those who took everything away from him dictate how he treats Thorfinn, who had nothing to do with it.