Vinland Saga season 2 episode 14: Einar and Thorfinn weather the storm of Arnheid and Gardar's resurfaced past

Arnheid's heartbreaking history with Gardar serves as the primary focus of Vinland Saga season 2 episode 14 (Image via MAPPA Studios)

Vinland Saga season 2 episode 14 was released on Monday, April 10, 2023, bringing with it an incredibly exciting and informative episode. While it wasn’t the all-out brawl fans were hoping for, season 2 episode 14 does treat fans to a brief, but memorable and engaging, combat scene between Snake and Gardar.

Vinland Saga season 2 episode 14 also saw backstory and lore information about several key characters in the season, including Sverkel, Ketil, and Arnheid. Many are expecting these backstories, especially those of Sverkel and Ketil, to play a major role later on in the season. Likewise, the impact of these backstories on Thorfinn and Einar may also play a role in future episodes.

Vinland Saga season 2 episode 14 focuses on backstory, saving combat scene time for imminent war

Vinland Saga season 2 episode 14: Snake vs. Gardar

Vinland Saga season 2 episode 14 begins with a continuation of the previous episode’s final scenes. Gardar further confirms that Arnheid is who he was looking for. He also establishes that he’s aware that this is Ketil’s farm.

Gardar calls Arnheid more beautiful than ever before as she stares at him in horror. Thorfinn and Einar, meanwhile, wonder if he’s Arnheid’s husband or not. Seemingly confirming this, Gardar asks about “Hjalti,” commenting on how he “must be so big by now,” in the way that a father would.

Further confirming this is Arnheid’s horrified reaction. Gardar then approaches her, sticking his hand out and saying that all three of them should go home together.

Snake then approaches the two, telling Arnheid not to take Gardar’s hand as he draws his sword. He promises that if she does, he will kill him, as Fox and Badger finally draw near to Gardar and his horse. He reaches for Arnheid’s hand, but Snake makes good on his promise and swings at Gardar and his horse.

As Gardar and his horse both keel over, Snake tells Fox to take Arnheid away from here, to which he agrees. Vinland Saga season 2 episode 14 then sees Fox comment on how something is wrong with Gardar, who has seemingly forgotten he’s being chased. Snake asks Fox if he really killed Lizard, which Fox confirms to Arnheid’s horror.

Snake calmly acknowledges this truth, reminding Fox that Gardar is here to kidnap Arnheid and that he needs to protect her with his life. Gardar stands and asks Snake if he’s Ketil, with Snake asking in response what if he is. Gardar says he will kill him as Arnheid, struggling to get on Fox’s horse, begs Gardar not to do anything.

Vinland Saga season 2 episode 14 then shows Einar’s worried face, as he grips his axe and runs to go help. Thankfully, Thorfinn stops him, reminding him that they don’t know what’s going on and that he can’t attack Snake. Einar acknowledges that Gardar is Arnheid’s husband and is here to rescue her, seemingly confirming his intent to attack Snake and support the two.

Thorfinn admits that he wants Arnheid to be free, but three men would have to die for everyone involved to get away safely. Einar acknowledges his weakness, but Thorfinn says that’s not his point, asking Einar if he could truly use the axe he’s holding to kill a man. Einar relents, asking what he’s supposed to do instead.

Vinland Saga season 2 episode 14 sees Snake congratulate Thorfinn’s choice, ordering them to watch from the sidelines quietly. He then approaches Gardar, saying he will capture him alive in order to question him and confirm his identity. Gardar then begins attacking Snake, but the head mercenary masterfully dodges each of Gardar’s attacks without using his own weapon.

Badger warns Snake to be careful, and in response, the latter questions who Badger thinks he’s talking to. Immediately after, Snake is almost hit in the face by Gardar’s swing, quelling Fox’s concerns about taking Gardar alive by saying that this was a warmup. He asks Fox and Badger if they were able to land a single blow, which Fox confirms they weren’t.

Vinland Saga season 2 episode 14 sees Snake ask Fox how they lost to an injured man, while Gardar rushes at him violently. Snake continues dodging, before swinging at Gardar’s chest and seemingly landing a blow with the back of his blade. This sends Gardar crumbling to the ground, while Snake comments, “That’s where it was after all” before knocking his foe unconscious with the back of his sword.

Snake tells Badger to tie Gardar up, while Fox congratulates Snake, Arnheid continues calling his name, and Thorfinn and Einar are wearing worried expressions. The scene then jumps ahead in time to where Gardar is awake, with him being dragged away as he continuously calls Arnheid’s name.

Vinland Saga season 2 episode 14: A stormy past

Vinland Saga season 2 episode 14 sees Snake warn Fox not to let his guard down, demanding that five men watch Gardar at a time. He also has Fox tell Kjallakr’s uncle that they’ve apprehended the murder suspect. Fox departs with this news while Snake turns his attention to Einar and Thorfinn, commenting on how they look like they have something to say.

Hilariously, Snake adds that a slave’s opinion doesn’t matter as he begins walking past them. Einar asks if they can let Gardar off the hook, but Snake responds that he has killed one of his own men and is suspected of killing others. He adds that since he wants to kill Ketil and kidnap Ketil’s lover Arnheid, their hands are tied.

Vinland Saga season 2 episode 14 then sees Arnheid crying behind a building, with Snake commenting that she should forget about him as he passes. He adds that Gardar isn’t her husband, but a runaway slave who lost his mind. Snake warns them all to stay out of this matter, adding to look after Sverkel for him as he departs.

The scene then changes to later that day, with Einar, Thorfinn, and Arnheid silently sitting in Sverkel’s house. Einar suddenly and angrily stands, prompting Thorfinn to tell him to wait. Arnheid also calls out to him, asking him to sit since dinner is almost ready. Einar responds by saying that their best opportunity to rescue Gardar is in the night and that her husband will die if they don’t do anything.

Vinland Saga season 2 episode 14 sees Arnheid thank him, but essentially say that sometimes things can’t be changed. She says that it’s better to wait for the storm to pass, adding that she doesn’t want him getting caught in the storm either. He responds by asking her if she loves Gardar, which she confirms, adding that he was kind to her and their son.

Einar says that’s reason enough for them to go no matter what happens, looking to Thorfinn for help. After Thorfinn doesn’t respond, Einar begs his friend to lend him his strength. He begins sharing a plan, but Arnheid interrupts him by saying she lost her son because of pots. She asks them if she can tell them a little about herself, as Sverkel is shown to be awake and silently listening.

Vinland Saga season 2 episode 14 sees Arnheid begin to discuss her past, taking viewers to the village in Sweden where she and Gardar’s family lived. She explains that they lived a quiet life, neither wealthy nor poor, as images of the happy family are seen on screen. She adds that iron was discovered in a distant forest around the time her son was one year old.

She explains that fights broke out between several groups for ownership of the land where the iron was found, with Gardar’s friend being involved and asking him for help. Gardar and the rest of the village discussed the opportunity, eventually deciding to join the fight to capitalize on the potential financial benefits.

Vinland Saga season 2 episode 14 sees her share how the women were shocked by this decision, explaining that they had all the iron they needed as a village. She laments that women can’t overturn decisions made by men, as she’s seen begging Gardar to reconsider. He grabs her hand and says that they need it, explaining how others getting the iron could upset the balance of power in their area.

He adds that the village, including her and their son, will become wealthy. The episode then sees Gardar saying goodbye to Hjalti and Arnheid, as she explains that she couldn’t understand why he’d leave them in order to protect them. Arnheid continues that all the men left while the women and children were forced to defend their homes.

Vinland Saga season 2 episode 14 then shows her and her village seeing ships approaching several weeks later, believing that the men had returned. However, it was enemy forces, who pillaged their village and burned it to the ground while the men were gone. She laments the casualties and how the women were taken away, before sharing that she lost her son to enemy forces.

The heartbreaking scene where she loses Hjalti is shown, as the episode returns to the present where she’s seen crying. Arnheid explains that she was now afraid of Gardar, acknowledging that the suffering he’s experienced has changed him. She calls him “the storm itself,” as she adds that she must protect her child from the men’s storm.

Vinland Saga season 2 episode 14: New life and old scars

Vinland Saga season 2 episode 14 sees Einar question what she means by her child, with her explaining that she recently learned that she’s pregnant with Ketil’s baby. She adds that she’s sure he will welcome this child, adding that he’s been wanting one and that on his farm, she could peacefully raise a healthy child.

She concludes by asking Einar to stay there until the storm passes, with the episode then jumping to later that night. Arnheid is cleaning up as she continues thinking about her past. She then approaches Sverkel, tucking him into bed before returning to her cleaning duties.

Vinland Saga season 2 episode 14 then sees her suddenly depart, prompting Sverkel to point out how she said she was waiting for the storm to pass. He adds that he hasn’t gone completely senile yet, confirming that he heard the earlier conversation. She explains that she thought she could at least tend to Gardar's wounds, adding that she knows she shouldn’t see him again.

Sverkel explains that he once patiently waited for a storm to pass too, adding that he trembled as he hid. He says that more than 20 years ago, his son Ketil and a beautiful girl from their village were in love at the time. However, a man named Ebbe from a nearby village also fell in love with her, and since he was growing in power, Sverkel was forced to make a painful decision.

Vinland Saga season 2 episode 14 sees him explain that Ketil wanted to fight to protect her, but their own forces were weak at the time and feared Ebbe. Thus, they made the decision to submit to Ebbe’s wishes, with Sverkel adding that Norse men would be disgusted to hear that he gave up a young woman to protect himself.

However, on the day of her wedding to Ebbe, he was killed by a man who envied and resented his wealth. Sverkel explains that by the time he arrived, everything was already burnt to ashes, with the girl Ketil loved dead. Arnheid questions why “this” always happens, with Sverkel responding that he can only say that even if one can wait out the storm, it leaves scars behind.

Vinland Saga season 2 episode 14 sees Sverkel apologize for being unable to help her, as she opens the door and says she will be back soon. She departs, presumably heading to Gardar’s side, as the episode comes to an end.

Vinland Saga season 2 episode 14: In summation

While Vinland Saga season 2 episode 14 may not be the exact showcase of strength that fans were hoping for, it’s nevertheless an incredibly exciting and engaging episode. The focus on Arnheid’s backstory in the episode’s second half is easily the highlight, with the first few minutes of the fight between Gardar and Snake serving to hook viewers in.

Especially intriguing in this episode are the reactions of Einar and Thorfinn to the situation unfolding between them. While Einar obviously wants to help them and is far from conflicted on the matter, Thorfinn seems unsure of what he wants to do about Arnheid and Gardar. With Arnheid herself departing to Gardar’s side at the end of the episode, fans could see Thorfinn and Einar do the same in the next installment.

Vinland Saga season 2 episode 14 also gave fans a bit of a backstory about both Sverkel and Ketil. Backstory and lore are always welcome, with this latest tidbit likely to play a role later on in the current season, especially with Ketil and co set to imminently return.

Follow along for more Vinland Saga anime and manga news, as well as general anime, manga, film, and live-action news as 2023 progresses.