Vinland Saga season 2 episode 15: Gardar's storm gets a second wind, dragging Arnheid, Einar, Thorfinn, and more into its destruction

Gardar's nature has disastrous consequences on the state of affairs for Ketil's farm (Image via MAPPA Studios)

Vinland Saga season 2 episode 15 was released on Monday, April 17, 2023. The episode brought with it a truly shocking turn of events following the closing messages of last week’s episode. Arnheid’s visit to Gardar takes a truly dark and shocking direction, while Thorfinn and Einar clearly begin looking to the future.

Vinland Saga season 2 episode 15’s main purpose seems to be wrapping up the current storyline while still setting fans up for the future of the series. With several episodes left in the season, fans can undoubtedly count on more exciting twists and turns. However, despite what’s left in the season, the series seems determined to continue building toward its long-term future.

Vinland Saga season 2 episode 15 shows just how violent and destructive a storm Gardar truly is

Vinland Saga season 2 episode 15 begins with Gardar staring up at the moon, still imprisoned at the mercenary camp. The episode then cuts to Arnheid, who is walking alone towards the camp, and Gardar. She stops just before the entrance to the camp, looking onward sullenly before deciding to go through with it.

Her walk is interrupted by Snake barging out of a building, with Fox calling out to him that Ketil’s wife insisted on whatever had Snake upset. It is revealed that it has to do with Snake’s group being replaced for security purposes, which Fox suggests is due to the reward for Gardar. Snake calls her a greedy hag, clearly recognizing her game when he stops short and is shocked to see Arnheid.

Vinland Saga season 2 episode 15 sees her ask for permission to see Gardar, her husband. Snake rejects this, prompting Arnheid to try and ask about his injuries. Snake says he doesn’t care since Gardar killed one of his own men when one of the mercenaries gives Snake a horse. He commands Fox and the other mercenary to escort Arnheid back to her house.

However, with no horses left, the soldier has to walk Arnheid back himself. He initially complains about this but is smitten by her beauty after looking at her. She begs him to see Gardar, promising that she isn’t planning to free him. The soldier initially refuses, but eventually caves, clearly trying to impress Arnheid and get on her good side.

Vinland Saga season 2 episode 15 sees the two walk into the camp, with the other mercenaries questioning what’s going on. The one escorting Arnheid says that Snake gave her permission to treat Gardar’s wounds. She then sees him, tied to a post and having been beaten. He springs to life when she calls out to him, clearly happy to see her.

Arnheid kneels in front of him, reaching out to touch his face before hesitating and pulling back. The two’s emotions for one another are apparent in their expressions, as Arnheid laments that he was beaten. Gardar asks her to cut the ropes, saying they could go home. The mercenaries watching on, question this, but the one who vouched for Arnheid promises she has nothing to cut the rope with.

Vinland Saga season 2 episode 15 sees the other mercenaries begin teasing Arnheid, but she composes herself and asks to temporarily untie him so she can treat him. The soldiers refuse and tease her once more, as Gardar apologizes to her. The episode saw him promising to never leave her side or Hjalti’s again, clearly unaware of or choosing to ignore what their son’s eventual fate was.

Arnheid begins sobbing, falling to the ground on her hands and knees as she does so. Gardar continues apologizing, talking about how they can go back to how it once was if she frees him. She also apologizes to him in kind while sobbing, prompting him to point out how he should be begging for her forgiveness and telling her to control herself.

Vinland Saga season 2 episode 15 sees the other soldiers’ moods ruined by this turn of events, prompting them to go inside. The soldier who vouched for Arnheid points out Snake’s orders on keeping watch, but the others respond that one man is enough. Likewise, since he brought her here, it’s his responsibility to watch them.

He calls out to Arnheid, asking if she’s done over there since she got what she came for. However, she doesn’t respond, while the soldier laments that his one flaw is being unable to say no to women. He tells her to stand up as he approaches her and puts his hand on her shoulder. However, this sends Gardar into a frenzy, prompting him to lunge at and bite the soldier's jugular.

Vinland Saga season 2 episode 15 sees the man stumble away as Gardar spits out a bloody chunk of flesh. As Arnheid turns around, the soldier’s throat erupts with blood, with a sizable chunk shown to have been taken out by Gardar. He draws his sword as he’s bleeding out, but dies and falls on a nearby table after a few moments.

As Arnheid watches horrified, Gardar tells her to grab the man’s knife and use it to cut his ropes. A soldier heard the commotion and came out, rallying the others to come outside once realizing the man was dead. All the while, Gardar keeps telling Arnheid to cut the ropes and pull herself together, but she doesn’t answer, clearly too horrified to do so.

Vinland Saga season 2 episode 15: Old hunts and new beginnings

Vinland Saga season 2 episode 15 sees her stand as the soldiers come outside, still not moving from the spot she’s in. The scene then cuts to black before returning to the mercenary camp later that night. The knife and a bundle of cut ropes are shown, along with a rageful Snake and the dead bodies of the soldiers that were left behind.

It seems that some time has passed since Arnheid and Gardar escaped, with Snake telling Fox that they’ve all died. Snake comments on how he told those “idiots” not to let their guard down several times when a soldier calls him over. He points out how one of the swords has been covered in grease, which apparently suggests that someone was stabbed with it.

Vinland Saga season 2 episode 15 sees Snake assert that it’s Gardar’s injury, and that combined with the fact of a preexisting injury and no horses, the two are still nearby. Snake rallies his troops to search for them and settle this before he leaves Ketil's farm, promising to execute him as soon as they find him.

The episode then jumps ahead in time to daybreak, where Einar is sitting at the door of his and Thorfinn’s living quarters. As the rain stops, Thorfinn wakes up and stands next to Einar, asking him if he couldn’t sleep. Einar responds that Thorfinn couldn’t have either, since he didn’t groan in his sleep and he came to wake Einar up.

Vinland Saga season 2 episode 15 sees Einar ask if Thorfinn was watching him in case he did something reckless. Thorfinn doesn’t respond, as Einar continues that he wouldn’t do so since it would cause trouble for Arnheid. Einar muses on how they were living quietly and how the sudden chaos of their lives doesn’t make sense, saying it’s wrong for freedom to be taken away by violence.

Thorfinn clutches his fists and comments on how he has no right to say anything as someone who was a soldier for so long, but still calls war wrong and his past self wrong. Einar says he doesn’t think Arnheid knows him as a warrior, prompting Thorfinn to comment on how pathetic it is that he’s afraid for someone like her to find out about his past.

Vinland Saga season 2 episode 15 sees him question how he wasn’t even bothered by all the people he killed or hurt, with Einar saying he can’t even imagine Thorfinn acting like that. Einar then brings up Thorfinn’s words from the other day, asking him if he was serious when asking if it was possible to eliminate slavery and war from the world.

Einar praises the idea, adding that Thorfinn must have some good ideas before asking what they could do to eliminate war and slavery. Thorfinn explains how war inherently creates slaves, and that the line between warrior and slave trader is blurry. He also acknowledges that slaves come from other sources too, but affirms that most come from war.

Vinland Saga season 2 episode 15 sees Thorfinn assert that fewer wars would mean fewer slaves. He adds that unfortunately, Norse men don’t think war is a bad thing, with the profits of war equating to worth and respect in society. As a result, each generation teaches the next to fight and sends them off, with Nords having done so all the time without questioning it.

Thorfinn ends by saying it’s difficult to stop doing what you think is natural, but Einar comments on how there must be others like him too. Thorfinn responds that in Norse society, cowards can’t survive. He adds that it’s fine anyway, since he’d rather be an outcast than be burdened by any more of “them.”

Vinland Saga season 2 episode 15 sees Einar ask him to elaborate, to which Thorfinn explains that he means the people he’s killed. He shares his nightly visions of them tormenting him with Einar, explaining how they point out his own hypocrisy to him regarding his father’s death. Thorfinn asserts that he needs to atone for these sins, taking these souls to somewhere they can rest peacefully.

He adds that he can’t take on even a single additional person, before explaining that he’s been thinking about how to make it up to them. Since changing one’s ways isn’t atonement, Thorfinn decides to do so by growing more wheat than he trampled, rebuilding more houses than he burnt down, and so on.

Vinland Saga season 2 episode 15: Penance decided

Vinland Saga season 2 episode 15 sees Thorfinn admit he doesn’t know how to eliminate war from the whole world, but even a single village where people don’t need swords is fine. Einar is silently watching the entire time, eventually asking him how he plans to defend that land. Einar admits that he doesn’t like war either, but the Vikings will eventually show up everywhere.

Thorfinn says it’s not good enough to fight for the defense of peace and freedom, saying there’s no point in fighting for peace since it doesn’t break the cycle. Einar says it’ll never be more than just a dream, since one would have to travel beyond the ends of the earth to find somewhere Vikings can’t reach. He calls it a land for the outcasts as Thorfinn stands silent with his eyes closed.

Vinland Saga season 2 episode 15 then sees someone ask what’s on the other side of the ocean, as the scene changes to a wintery climate where snow is falling. A blonde woman is seen walking, continuing to talk about how there’s likely nothing on the other side of the ocean, and that it would be as filled with wars and slave traders as where she is now.

This is seemingly a vision Thorfinn has, with the scene then returning to the present and seeing him detail a place “far to the west, beyond the sea.” Thorfinn explains that beyond the reach of any authority and unknown to slave traders lies a land on the horizon. Einar asks if such a place really exists, to which Thorfinn says it does, recounting what Leif Erickson once told him about it.

Vinland Saga season 2 episode 15 shows a younger Leif sailing the chaotic seas, as Thorfinn discusses how an untouched, fertile land lies on the other side of the sea to the west. Einar calls it amazing, beginning to bring up going there. However, Thorfinn says it’s impossible, explaining that it’s incredibly far away and he himself doesn’t even know the exact location.

Furthermore, since they’d be establishing a nation, they’d need to take lots of outcasts with them, making it a huge undertaking. Einar says he understands, but still calls it the first good news he’s heard in a while. The sounds of hooves and horses are then heard, as Fox is seen riding over the horizon with other mercenaries in tow

Vinland Saga season 2 episode 15 sees the group approach the pair, drawing their swords as Fox warns them that “he’s” strong. They ignore Einar and Thorfinn, entering their living quarters as Einar asks what’s going on. The men begin stabbing at the hay piles, eventually deciding to remove everything from the shed to confirm whether or not Gardar is there.

Einar questions what’s going on, but Thorfinn instantly deduces that Gardar escaped since that’s the only reason they’d have to search their shed. Einar’s mind instantly goes to Arnheid as the scene shows Snake sitting in Sverkel’s home. Sverkel is shown being awake, while Snake sits with his sword in his hand, waiting for Gardar to be found as the episode comes to an end.

Vinland Saga season 2 episode 15: In summation

With the unexpected turn of events due to Arnheid’s intervention, Vinland Saga season 2 episode 15 makes for an incredibly memorable episode that juxtaposes its two halves. While the first focuses on someone willing to kill to make up for his mistakes and get his old life back, the latter focuses on someone willing to create life as penance for his mistakes and create a new life for himself.

Gardar and Thorfinn’s current life situations being the consequences of war-related choices they each made only further heightens the narrative quality of this juxtaposition. It makes for an incredibly engaging episode focused on the themes and morals of the second season thus far. While it may not have been as action-packed as some liked, there was still plenty of good in this installment.

Be sure to keep up with all Vinland Saga anime and manga news, as well as general anime, manga, film, and live-action news as 2023 progresses.