Vinland Saga (Season 2) Episode 14:  In what was anticipated to be an action-packed chapter of Vinland Saga’s second season, this episode instead gave us a brief fight before some exposition from Arnheid and then Sverkel. It made for a relatively disappointing episode in many ways, the first in the second season, which goes to show just how good the anime has been until now.




The very fact that Arnheid, and even Sverkel, were given backstories is odd, considering they’ve been around for a while, and we, as viewers know a lot about them as characters already. All of this made for a fairly subdued and slightly mismatched episode, but this episode will likely be an aberration rather than the norm moving ahead, so I look forward to a stronger outing next week!

Vinland Saga (Season 2), Episode 14 Recap:

“Freedom”

Picking up right from the previous episode’s cliffhanger, Gardar approaches Arnheid and asks her to escape with him on horseback, also enquiring about Hjalti, who is presumably their son. Arnheid, however, is horrified and tries to tell him something about Hjalti but is cut off. She is further horrified when one of Snake’s men, Fox, confirms that Gardar killed Lizard, another of Snake’s mercenaries.




Snake prepares to fight Gardar, and Gardar asks him if he is Ketil, the owner of the farm and thus of Arnheid. Snake asks what he will do if he is. Gardar angrily swears to kill him, as Arnheid begs him not to.

Einar appears greatly concerned and grasps his axe as he rushes to help. However, Thorfinn intervenes and advises Einar not to attack Snake since they are uncertain about the entire situation. Einar concedes that Gardar is Arnheid’s spouse and is present to rescue her, indicating his willingness to support them by attacking Snake. Although Thorfinn shares his desire to free Arnheid, he explains that three people would have to perish for them to escape safely. Thorfinn goes on to question Einar’s ability to use his axe to kill someone, causing him to reconsider his approach, given his passive nature and hatred of violence.




Snake commends Thorfinn’s decision as the right one and instructs them to remain and observe but do nothing. He approaches Gardar and aims to take him captive to ascertain his identity. Gardar attacks Snake, but the experienced mercenary eludes each blow without using his own weapon.

Badger cautions Snake to be careful in his battle. Shortly after, Gardar swings his weapon, narrowly missing Snake’s face. This adds to Fox’s worries about capturing Gardar alive, and Snake assures them that this was merely a warmup. He then inquires whether Fox and Badger were able to strike Gardar, to which Fox responds negatively.




Subsequently, Snake evades Gardar’s aggressive advances and strikes at his chest with the back of his sword, the blunt edge, causing Gardar to collapse. Snake comments that he had correctly identified Gardar’s weakness before delivering a final blow to render him unconscious.

After the end of the fight, Snake instructs Badger to restrain Gardar, while Fox praises Snake for his victory. As Arnheid continues to call out to Gardar, both Thorfinn and Einar appear anxious. The scene then cuts to a later moment in time when Gardar has regained consciousness and is being dragged away while repeatedly calling Arnheid’s name.




Snake cautions Fox to remain vigilant and assigns five men to guard Gardar continuously. He instructs Fox to inform Kjallakr’s uncle that they have caught the suspect in the murder case. Fox departs with this information while Snake turns his attention to Einar and Thorfinn, remarking that they appear to have something to say.

He then dismisses Einar’s inquiry about releasing Gardar, stating that Gardar has killed one of his men and is a suspect in other murders. Furthermore, since Gardar wants to kill Ketil and abduct Arnheid, his hands are tied. He also remarks that a slave’s opinion is irrelevant and begins to walk past them.




Arnheid is seen crying behind a building as Snake passes by, advising her to forget about Gardar. He explains that Gardar is not her husband but rather a runaway slave who has lost his mind. Snake warns everyone to stay out of the matter and requests that they look after Sverkel before departing.

Later that day, the scene shifts to Einar, Thorfinn, and Arnheid sitting in Sverkel’s house in silence. Suddenly, Einar stands up in anger, causing Thorfinn to caution him to wait. Arnheid also interjects, much more firmly, telling him to sit back down since dinner will be ready soon. However, Einar insists that their optimal chance to rescue Gardar is during the night and asserts that Arnheid’s husband will perish if they fail to act.




Vinland Saga (Season 2), Episode 14 Ending, Explained:

What is Arnheid and Gardar’s shared history?

Arnheid delves into her past, talking about the Swedish village where she and Gardar’s family resided once. She discloses how they lived a simple life, neither rich nor poor but content, and the flashback shows images of their joyful family. When iron was discovered in a far-off forest around the time their son Hjalti turned one, conflicts erupted between various groups over the ownership of the land where the iron was found. Gardar’s friend got involved and asked for his assistance. Gardar and the rest of the village weighed the opportunity, finally deciding to join the fight to reap the potential financial benefits.

She continues the story and explains that the women were taken aback by this choice and noted that they already had all the iron they needed as a village. She mourns the fact that women cannot overturn decisions made by men, as she’s seen pleading with Gardar to reconsider. He took hold of her hand and insisted they required the iron, explaining how others getting their hands on it could disrupt the balance of power in their area.




Gardar assures Arnheid that their decision will make their village, including her and their son, wealthy. The scene then jumps to Gardar bidding farewell to Hjalti and Arnheid. Arnheid expresses her confusion as to why Gardar would leave them in order to protect them. She continues that all the men left while the women and children were left to defend their homes.

Later on, Arnheid and her village see ships approaching, assuming that the men have returned. However, it is enemy forces that invade and pillage their village, burning it to the ground while the men are away. Arnheid laments the casualties and how the women were taken away. She shares that she lost her son to these very raiders.




The scene shifts back to the present, with Arnheid crying and expressing her fear of Gardar, acknowledging that the suffering he has endured has changed him. Referring to him as a storm, she emphasizes the need to protect her child from the men’s storm.

When Einar asks about her child, she reveals that she is pregnant with Ketil’s baby and is certain he will welcome the child on his farm, where she can raise a healthy child in peace. The scene shifts to later that night when Arnheid is cleaning up and reflecting on the woman’s past, Thorfinn and Einar having left.




She then approaches Sverkel and tucks him into bed before returning to her cleaning duties. However, she suddenly leaves, prompting Sverkel to remind her that she said she was waiting for the storm to pass. He reveals that he overheard their earlier conversation and that he has not yet gone completely senile. Arnheid explains she thought she could tend to Gardar’s wounds but acknowledges that she shouldn’t see him again.

Sverkel shares his own similar and sad story of waiting for a storm to pass. He recounts an event from over 20 years ago when his son Ketil was in love with a girl from their village. However, a man named Ebbe, who was gaining power in the area, also loved her. Sverkel was forced to make a difficult decision, and their forces were too weak to fight against Ebbe.




As a result, they submitted to Ebbe’s wishes, which Ketil wanted to fight against. Sverkel reveals that he regrets this decision and that Norse men would be ashamed of him for giving up a young woman to protect himself. On the day of the wedding, Ebbe was then killed by a man who was jealous of his wealth, and the village was burned to ashes.

Sverkel sadly explains to Arnheid that even if one waits for the storm to pass, it leaves scars behind. Arnheid questions why such things always happen, to which Sverkel truthfully admits that he doesn’t know the answer. She leaves the house as Sverkel apologizes for being unable to do anything.

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Vinland Saga (Season 2), Episode 14 Links: IMDb
Vinland Saga (Season 2), Episode 14 Cast: Yûto Uemura, Naoya Uchida, Mike Haimoto
Where to watch Vinland Saga

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