Vinland Saga season 2 episode 16: Thorfinn fights once again as he and Einar help Gardar and Arnheid escape

Gardar and Arnheid are given a legitimate means of escape in Vinland Saga season 2 episode 16 (Image via MAPPA Studios)
Gardar and Arnheid are given a legitimate means of escape in Vinland Saga season 2 episode 16 (Image via MAPPA Studios)

Vinland Saga season 2 episode 16 was released on Monday, April 24, 2023, bringing with it an incredibly exciting start to a rescue operation for Gardar. Fans see Einar, Thorfinn, and Arnheid all make difficult decisions in the episode, each wanting to do right by those they care about with their eventual choices.

While Vinland Saga season 2 episode 16 does primarily focus on the setup for future installments, fans are nonetheless given an exciting and engaging plot to enjoy. Furthermore, the episode excites fans about episode 17’s eventual release.

Vinland Saga season 2 episode 16 sees Thorfinn raise his fists once more for the sake of others

Vinland Saga season 2 episode 16: Gardar's location revealed

Vinland Saga season 2 episode 16 begins where the last episode ended, showing Fox and other mercenaries arriving at and ransacking Einar and Thorfinn’s barn to search for Gardar. The episode then cuts to new material, showing Einar running after Arnheid with Thorfinn chasing after the former.

Einar shares his worries that Arnheid will be targeted, prompting Thorfinn to ask what he can do to protect her. Einar says he doesn't know what it is, but there has to be something he can do for her. The two continue running until they come across Sverkel's farm, where they see Arnheid exiting the old master's house. Einar runs to her and shouts out her name, while Badger watches the interaction from inside.

Vinland Saga season 2 episode 16 sees Snake recognize that Badger is talking about Einar and Thorfinn, instructing Badger and co to allow the pair to do what they want. Arnheid, meanwhile, realizes that the two are here regarding Gardar. She tells them that she helped him escape, cutting the ropes that bound him due to thinking they'd both be killed after Gardar's initial murder of a guard.

She begins crying softly here, elaborating that Gardar killed everyone who was present once he had escaped. Thorfinn seemingly gets angry on hearing of more deaths, before realizing that Badger and other mercenaries are watching them. He instructs Einar to begin pretending to wash dishes, with Einar himself then asking Arnheid to stay calm and tell them about the current situation.

Vinland Saga season 2 episode 16 sees her confirm that Gardar was injured in the fight and that the two fled to Sverkel’s house after. She tended to his wounds here, but he lost consciousness and was too heavy for her to carry. She says that she was barely able to hide him, confirming to Thorfinn that Gardar is here and Sverkel helped her hide him.

However, Snake and his men arrived soon after, and haven't yet realized the truth about Gardar's location. She explains that Snake and two others are ironically waiting for Gardar to come to her at the house, not realizing he's already there. Einar asks why she would be so reckless, especially after agreeing to her request to wait out the storm that is Gardar's presence.

Vinland Saga season 2 episode 16 sees Arnheid begin crying. Eventually, she explains that she was dreaming of a life where she, Gardar, and the child she's pregnant with (via Ketil) could live together. She says she thought he'd returned, explaining that she saw his once confident eyes become miserable due to the lives they've led since losing Hjalti.

Arnheid concludes by saying that she still dreams of a life with Gardar despite this. Thorfinn asks her how bad his injuries are, with Arnheid explaining that he was still bleeding from the right side of his chest when she hid him. Thorfinn says that every moment counts, while Einar asks Arnheid if she's prepared to "cast her lot with Gardar."

Vinland Saga season 2 episode 16 sees Einar say, with the most serious expression he's worn yet, that he will help her and Gardar flee so they can live together if it's what she wants. He emphasizes how difficult a road it is, but also how it's the only option they have left. Thorfinn agrees to help as well after seemingly agreeing that it's the only option.

Arnheid becomes silent with tears in her eyes, seemingly taken aback by their kindness. The episode then shows Badger having fallen asleep by the window, prompting Snake to throw a bottle at him and threaten to break his nose if he stops watching Arnheid again. Arnheid herself then enters and asks to begin preparing lunch, to which Snake says to take what she needs and go to the yard since she's bait.

Vinland Saga season 2 episode 16 sees her beginning to cook while in the yard, as Sverkel comments on how pitiful a bunch she, Einar, and Thorfinn are. He asks Snake for agreeance, before commenting on how it's said that inferior people can't help but become slaves, since it's where they belong. However, he shares that he disagrees, simply calling slaves unlucky and adding that they could've been unlucky as well.

Snake counters that even so, Gardar killed five of his men, and that he personally won't be satisfied until Gardar is dead. He adds that he can't walk around with a sword while he's crying himself to sleep over his unavenged men. Sverkel laughs, telling him to throw away his sword in that case. Sverkel adds that even he can tell that Snake’s sword isn’t "from around here," adding that Snake has a reason for ending up here.

Vinland Saga season 2 episode 16: A plan gone wrong

Vinland Saga season 2 episode 16 sees Sverkel just as readily acknowledge that throwing away his sword will allow him to escape whatever his reason for being here was. Snake tells Sverkel to go to sleep, but Sverkel shockingly responds by offering Snake his own farm. He calls it a better life than swinging a sword around, adding that he will soon die and that giving Snake the farm is a good opportunity to straighten out his life.

Sverkel says he owes Snake for reading the Bible to him, but Snake snidely rejects the offer as one of his men calls out to him. Someone has appeared outside, hiding behind a tree nearby. They suspect that it's Gardar, which Snake agrees with. The episode then shows Thorfinn crouching in a field overlooking Sverkel's house when he sees Snake and the others come out on horseback.

Vinland Saga season 3 episode 16 sees Thorfinn say he's counting on Einar, who is revealed to have been the man Snake and his men spotted. The trio chase him as Thorfinn runs to Sverkel's house, entering with Arnheid and telling Sverkel he needs to borrow a horse and cart, which he will pay back by working for him.

Sverkel shockingly asks to be loaded into the cart as well, since his presence allows them to travel around the farm unquestioned. Thorfinn says he doesn't want to involve Sverkel, but he reminds him that he's already involved before once again demanding to be taken. Snake and his men, meanwhile, are still chasing Einar under the impression that he is Gardar.

Vinland Saga season 2 episode 16 reveals that Gardar was under Sverkel's bed all along, and is still alive despite being "cold as a stone." He's apparently lost too much blood, and Thorfinn nervously begs him to survive. Snake, meanwhile, realizes that a man as injured as Gardar shouldn't be able to run this fast, telling Spider and Badger to stay on him but not to force a confrontation in case it is Gardar.

He tells them to keep following him and wait for reinforcements before pulling off, clearly having realized what is going on. Thankfully, Thorfinn already has the cart ready and is actively loading Gardar into it. He establishes their plan of attack as Snake returns and walks up to Thorfinn, commenting on how Gardar is unconscious, which is why he couldn’t "sense" him.

Vinland Saga season 2 episode 16 sees Arnheid come outside, watching in horror as Snake draws his sword and warns that there will be no negotiations. He demands Gardar, saying that he will kill Thorfinn if he doesn't comply. Thorfinn then recognizes how only Snake has come back, and that subduing him should still result in their successful escape.

Thorfinn decides to evade Snake's attack and knock him unconscious with a blow to the chin, prompting a vision of Askeladd to appear. He puts his first on Thorfinn's shoulder, saying that he's about to fight to help someone, which is a good reason to raise his fists. Askeladd also recognizes that Snake must have a good reason as well, asking Thorfinn if he will remain a pacifist or fight for someone else's sake.

Vinland Saga season 2 episode 16 sees him ask which road leads to becoming a true warrior, adding that there's no time to think about it since his enemy is right in front of him. A clearly distressed Thorfinn stands still as Snake approaches before he decides to lunge at Snake's chin. Snake dodges and swings his sword in return, which Thorfinn is able to block before jumping back.

Arnheid watches in horror, with Sverkel also having crawled to the door and watching with a shocked expression. Askeladd returns once more, asking Thorfinn if he can win while he's still "half-asleep." Thorfinn gets into a fighting stance, which Snake calls an odd one. An image of a younger Thorfinn flashes as Snake realizes what his stance is meant for, bringing the episode to an end.

Vinland Saga season 2 episode 16: In summation

Vinland Saga season 2 episode 16 is, overall, an incredibly exciting installment for the series which sees Thorfinn return to the battlefield once again. While his return is a fight for the sake of others, it's nonetheless a return that will certainly weigh heavy on his mind regardless of how the current situation ends.

The episode also perfectly demonstrates Einar's love for Arnheid while simultaneously showing him to be a caring and mature person able to put his own self-interest aside. While he clearly loves Arnheid, he recognizes that she can never be his, and would rather see her happy with Gardar than stuck with Ketil on his farm.

While Vinland Saga season 2 episode 16 doesn't push the story forward all that much, it sets up potentially massive developments in the upcoming episode and those beyond it. Furthermore, with the return of a fighting Thorfinn in this episode's closing moments, it's hard not to get excited about future installments of the season.

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.