How would you rate episode 11 of
Frieren: Beyond Journey’s End ?
Community score: 4.7
With Aura defeated and our heroes continuing on their journey, this episode dives back into the series’ core theme: immortality. This time around, the facet explored is the question of what immortals would come to truly care about—and we dive into this topic by having Frieren encounter another elf for the first time in centuries.
Interestingly, we are introduced to the theme of what Frieren and Kraft care about by showing that both don’t care about the survival of their species. It’s been 300 years since Kraft has seen another elf—and likely longer for Frieren given her millennium of seclusion. Yet, both seem at peace with the idea that their kind is all but extinct—that their time on the planet has reached an end.
Instead, what Kraft and Frieren crave is Beowulfian immortality—the idea that you live forever in the minds of others thanks to the great deeds you performed while alive. Unfortunately, their literal immortality means that they outlive their own stories. Kraft, for one, is so old even legends and myths of him have been forgotten. Everything he’s done, everything he’s cared about, is remembered only by him and no one else. This makes for a painfully lonely existence—one that can seem bereft of meaning in the long run.
Kraft has dealt with this by finding religion. Having an all-knowing supreme being waiting for him at the end—someone who knows everything he has done and will recognize all he went through and accomplished—is what keeps him going. Seeing that Frieren has not turned to religion, Kraft offers to trade life stories with Freiren, so that at least these two immortals will be able to give Beowulfian immortality to each other—have someone else out there in the world who can give them the credit and praise they deserve for all they have done.
Yet Frieren, while understanding the pain of being forgotten by the world—a path she consciously chose to defeat demons—does not feel the need to have Kraft do this for her. She has already told her life story to another, Heiter, and he deemed her life a good one. While Heiter may be gone now, this is all she needs to carry on.
However, what hits her right in the heart is Kraft’s statement that she should treasure friends such as Heiter—those who truly see her for who she is. The problem is, she didn’t. It was only with Himmel’s death—only after it was too late—that she even started to realize the importance of her companions. Of course, she’s trying now with Fern and Stark to not repeat that mistake—and more than that, she hopes to tell Himmel and Heiter about how much they meant to her when she reaches Heaven. She might not believe in its existence but it’s the quest that is currently giving meaning to her life—just like how Kraft’s faith in the goddess keeps him going.
• It was nice of Fern to help repair all the damage her fight with the demons caused.
• On a time scale like Frieren’s, I can’t imagine how annoying it would be to keep up with licenses and certifications. It’d be like us having to get new ones (or renew old ones) every few months.
• Kraft implies that Frieren is practically a child in his eyes. Imagine how old he must be to feel that way.
• Kraft’s question to Frieren about who she was before defeating the Demon King, isn’t an insult aimed at her thousand years of a quiet life in obscurity. Rather, it’s that, as elves, their lives are so long they are likely to be known as several different famous people throughout history. And this is true even for Frieren. I mean, before defeating the Demon King, Frieren spent 50+ years as the apprentice to the greatest human mage to ever live, Flamme. I’m sure that put her in some history books whether she wanted to be there or not.
is currently streaming on Crunchyroll.