Vinland Saga (Season 2) Episode 13: Vinland Saga season two introduces another major conflict in the form of a new, dangerous character while the looming battle with King Canute is approaching as well. This episode catches us up on what has been happening on Ketil’s farm while he, along with his sons Olmar and Thorgil, have been in Jelling. It is an interesting episode that adds another twist to the tale and makes it so that Ketil returns home to a very different situation than the peaceful one he had left behind.
Vinland Saga (Season 2) Episode 13 Recap:
The episode opens at an unknown farm at night, where a house is on fire, and a man with a sword has killed many people. Through a conversation with another man begging for his life, it is revealed that he is an ill-treated slave and the other man is his master. Despite his pleas, he kills his master with his sword. Leaving the burning building behind, he says it is time for a reunion.
At Ketil’s farm, Thorfinn inquires whether Einar has decided on his plans after they become free, to which Einar expresses uncertainty about continuing to work for Ketil. Einar makes a lighthearted comment about being a slave for too long, making it difficult for him to make his own decisions once he is free. When Thorfinn suggests that Einar might stay on the farm, Einar notes the strained relationship with the retainers but acknowledges that remaining there could ultimately help him free Arnheid.
Snake, who emerges from Sverkel’s house, asks the two if they’ve seen Sverkel, and when they say they haven’t, he rushes to the fields where he last was with Thorfinn and Einar following. There, they find Sverkel collapsed.
Later on, Sverkel is in bed and laments about how he will die in his bed rather than out working in the fields, as Arnheid arrives per Ketil’s wife’s orders to look after him. She cooks a massive meal for him, Snake, Einar, and Thorfinn, which the latter three start gorging on. However, Sverkel is revealed to be too shy to be fed by Arnheid, causing everyone to start laughing.
After dinner, Einar and Arnheid are washing the dishes as they both comment on how it was the most fun meal they’ve had in a long time, reminding them of when they were free. They also agree that Sverkel is a kind old man despite his appearance and his reputation on the farm.
At that moment, Fox appears on horseback suddenly and asks to speak with Snake. According to Fox, a slave has fled from Kjallakr’s farm due to the poor treatment of slaves. However, the situation is not as simple as it seems, as the slave has killed Kjallakr and his sons and burned down their house.
Fox warns that the slave is a violent and skilled fighter, and a reward of three horses for his capture has been offered. Snake advises caution and tells Fox to have the soldiers keep watch in groups of three. He further suggests calling for backup rather than attempting to apprehend the slave alone, as a cornered individual can be unpredictable.
The scene shifts to Fox, Badger, and another mercenary called Lizard encircling the escaped slave, who is resting against a tree with his sword drawn, with his face unseen up until this point. Fox comments on the slave’s appearance, warning the others to keep their voices down. However, they continue to behave excitedly, shouting and laughing about their good fortune.
Fox’s attempts to caution them are ignored, while Badger ridicules Lizard for suggesting calling for backup, escalating into a heated argument with shouting and threats. As they argue, they suddenly realize that the slave has woken up and is approaching them, swinging at Lizard before the scene ends.
Meanwhile, Einar, Thorfinn, and Arnheid are performing various tasks for Sverkel at his residence. Snake is reading him the Bible, and Thorfinn is listening too, despite not being a Christian himself. Snake gets bored of reading it as Sverkel suddenly falls down, saying he must go harvest the wheat, and Snake reminds him that it has already been done.
Vinland Saga (Season 2) Episode 13 Ending, Explained:
Who is the runaway slave?
Outside, Snake observes that Sverkel has grown senile and is unlikely to live much longer, causing Thorfinn and Einar to express concern. However, Snake advises them to repay Sverkel’s kindness while they still can, as his time is running short.
When Thorfinn inquires about Snake’s relationship with Sverkel, Snake states that it is nothing noteworthy and that he intends to inherit and sell Sverkel’s Bible after his passing. As Arnheid is shown to be in pain from blisters on her fingers and hands, Snake instructs the group to return to work.
In the next scene, a lone horse rider approaches Sverkel’s house, and Snake notes that the rider is not one of his men. An injured Fox and Badger arrive almost immediately after the rider, informing Snake that he is the escaped slave and that Lizard has been killed.
Arnheid seems to recognize the slave and begins to chase after him, calling him Gardar. Gardar stops and looks in Arnheid’s direction, addressing her by her name and joyfully stating that he has finally found his wife. Arnheid appears shocked and fearful in response.
Thorfinn recently swore off violence in an earlier episode of season two, but with so much happening in this episode, as well as the impending arrival of King Canute with his soldiers, it will be interesting to see if he takes up arms again to defend his home. Gardar is clearly a skilled, dangerous warrior who has no qualms about taking a life, and it may well be his willingness to kill that causes Thorfinn to once again fight to defend those who can’t fight.
At this stage, we do not know if Gardar means to harm Arnheid or if he means to rescue her from slavery. It is likely to be the latter, but with Snake and his mercenaries around precisely for situations like this, this will undoubtedly lead to a fierce fight, especially since Gardar has already killed one of Snake’s men. However, if Gardar does mean to harm Arnheid, Einar will not simply stand by and will attempt to help her, even if he cannot fight. With so many conflicts in motion, the stage is set for future episodes to shine with the series’s brutal action sequences and emotional drama.
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Vinland Saga (Season 2), Episode 12 Links: IMDb
Vinland Saga (Season 2), Episode 12 Cast: Yûto Uemura, Naoya Uchida, Mike Haimoto
Where to watch Vinland Saga