Vinland Saga season 2 episode 19 was released on Monday, May 15, 2023, bringing with it an incredibly exciting episode that starts the fight between Ketil and Canute’s forces. Likewise, fans see Thorgil and Olmar come up with an incredibly crafty means of ending the fight before it even truly begins.
Vinland Saga season 2 episode 19 also focuses on Thorfinn and Einar’s decisions on what to do with Arnheid, whom they must either leave behind or steal to bring with them. While their decision is unsurprising, there are developments in the episode regarding Arnheid’s status which will surely break the heart of any viewer.
Vinland Saga season 2 episode 19 sets up a climactic finale for the season with Canute and Ketil’s war underway
Vinland Saga season 2 episode 19 begins with Ketil, Thorgil, and Snake standing before their fighters, which Fox says numbers roughly 350. However, only 100 of them will be useful in a fight, according to Fox. He then asks Snake if they’re really fighting, prompting Snake to respond that since Ketil insists on it, they have no choice.
Fox questions how crazy the 350 must be to think they stand a chance, prompting Snake to explain that their debts to Ketil will be canceled if they fight. Snake does admit, however, that they likely wouldn’t have come if they knew they were fighting King Canute. However, their vanity as Norse men will stop them from leaving once the fighting starts.
Vinland Saga season 2 episode 19 sees Snake comment on how as more arrive, the group gets bolder overall, convinced that they can actually win. He concedes that waiting until they were all gathered to reveal their enemy was a shrewd move on Thorgil’s part. Thorgil, meanwhile, laughs at the army he’s created, while Snake sees Thorfinn turn his back on the battle over the hill.
The episode then shifts perspectives to a house on the farm, where Thorfinn is updating Leif Ericson and his crew on the battle. They tell Thorfinn they should leave as soon as possible, which he acknowledges before looking to Einar and Pater, resting by Arnheid’s bedside. Thorfinn clearly doesn’t want to force Einar to leave right now and says as much to Leif when pointing out Arnheid’s current status.
Vinland Saga season 2 episode 19 sees Thorfinn thank Leif for caring about him and coming all this way, prompting the old explorer to say how Thorfinn has changed. Leif admits that he even thought Throfinn was someone else when they first met, calling the look on his face nowadays better than in the past. Leif also says he can’t leave without Thorfinn, while Arnheid begins coughing.
Pater and Einar roll her on her side while taking care to not let her choke on what she spits up. Leif asks if it’s possible to move her right now, but says they need to be cautious since her being unconscious limits what they know about her condition. Combined with the fact that she’s pregnant, Pater says she needs rest until she wakes up again.
Vinland Saga season 2 episode 19 sees Leif say they’ll wait for one day, causing his crew to become incredulous and ask what happens after the one day. Leif doesn’t respond as the scene changes to Snake being alerted that Canute’s forces have been spotted. He comments on how they’re arriving sooner than expected before instructing one of his men to let Ketil know.
The episode then sees Ketil’s fighting force gathering at the beach, where one archer fires a pointless arrow and is yelled at for doing so by Badger. However, just as Badger is explaining their strategy, arrows from Canute’s forces begin raining down on them, taking out several fighters in the process.
Vinland Saga season 2 episode 19 sees Badger order a retreat while questioning how they’re being hit from so far away. The Jomsvikings and Canute’s forces then make landfall, with Canute himself stepping out to lead the charge. He tells Wulf to send a message to Ketil, saying that they’ll wait here for his response in the meantime.
Canute comments on how it would be a shame to stain such good land with blood, as the episode cuts to Canute’s message being read to Ketil and Olmar. Per Canute’s message, the official sentence for Ketil and his clan is ten years of outlawry. Normally, they would be executed, but Canute is doing them kindness by only outlawing them.
Ketil becomes angry upon hearing this, while the soldier tells them to leave the country if they don’t want to die, and that they’ll wait until tomorrow morning for a response. Vinland Saga season 2 episode 19 then sees Ketil berate his fighting force for letting Canute’s forces land without a fight, before scoffing at what Canute is charging him with.
Thorgil returns shortly thereafter from scouting Canute’s forces, discussing how they’re currently cooking and eating leisurely. They have two warships and two cargo ships and are making camp on the beach, with their numbers being 100 in total excluding slaves and servants. This causes Ketil and the fighters to begin laughing, with Ketil questioning if Canute thought they’d simply kneel in his presence.
Vinland Saga season 2 episode 19: Repaying debts
Vinland Saga season 2 episode 19 sees Ketil speak to his troops, promising the man who brings him Canute’s head whatever he wants. Thorgil laughs at the others, calling them fools, as the episode shifts to Snake and Fox doing their own scouting. Snake comments on how these aren’t just any 100 men, calling some of them “thegns,” which is essentially nobility.
Snake adds that if they’re part of the king’s guard, they’re some of the strongest men in Denmark, and also Thorgil’s former comrades. Fox asks if they’re all about as strong as Thorgil, before asking about the soldiers in white capes. Snake explains that they’re Jomsvikings, prompting Fox’s eyes to go wide with fear, which Snake laughs at.
Vinland Saga season 2 episode 19 sees Snake comment that they can’t beat their enemies, since they’re so drastically outclassed. Snake adds that Ketil won’t understand this until they fight them once, telling his men to flee if they want since Canute has given them the opportunity. Snake says he can’t run because he’s the commander, and will instead do his best to keep the 350 alive.
Fox suggests capturing Ketil’s family and handing them over, with Badger agreeing to this. However, the other soldiers point out the issue of Thorgil, as well as the tales about Iron Fist Ketil. Fox begs Snake to run with him, but Snake discusses the legend of Iron Fist Ketil, saying he met him at 15 or 16 and learned how to fight from him, calling him an older brother or boss.
Vinland Saga season 2 episode 19 sees Snake explain that years ago, after he messed up, he found Ketil’s farm thinking he would be sheltered. However, when he got there, he says he found a “completely different person.” Snake laughs and calls Ketil a liar, saying he’s taking advantage of the fact that they share the same name.
The other men are shocked to learn this, questioning how this hasn’t ever been exposed before. Snake then explains that, with nowhere else to go, he stayed here to be a guard dog, and says he’s gotten a free ride long enough and it’s now time to pay his tab. He then looks to his men, telling them to do what they want and elaborating on his point that it’s not worth dying for.
Vinland Saga season 2 episode 19 sees Snake depart and say goodbye to them, but everyone else decides to follow him into battle, each with a stern look on their face. He tells them all not to show off or they’ll die before they pay off their tabs. Fox tells Snake to shut up, adding that to dine-and-dash a con artist would make them absolute scumbags.
Snake adds that they can’t tell anyone what he just told them, as the episode shifts to show Ketil riding into battle with his men in tow. Canute and his men see them from over the hillside, as the episode cuts to Thorgil talking strategy. He outlines how Canute’s men are set up to Olmar, explaining that Canute’s forces have left their backs undefended because they don’t know they have proper forces.
Vinland Saga season 2 episode 19 sees Thorgil ask Olmar how he’d attack, saying at night. However, Thorgil says that this isn’t something amateurs can do, and they’ll all be dead by the time they count to 100. Olmar asks why they recruited all these men in that case, prompting Thorgil to laugh and explain they’re meant to draw the king’s attention while Olmar counts to 100.
The episode then cuts to the battlefield, as the two forces line up opposite each other. Ketil calls out for Thorgil, but he’s seemingly nowhere to be found, prompting Snake to say that they’re ready to attack. Ketil gives the order for archers to draw their bows, prompting Snake to warn Ketil one last time that if they fight, they’ll lose.
Vinland Saga season 2 episode 19 sees Ketil dismiss this claim by using “his” Iron Fist Ketil moniker, which Snake allows with a displeased expression. As the archers fire, the others rush forward at Canute’s lines, with Thorfinn observing the battlefield from a nearby hill. Pater is also shown to be fighting, with Thorfinn wishing him to stay safe before running back to a cart with Leif, Einar, Bug-Eyes, and Arnheid within.
The group then departs, with Bug-Eyes lamenting how he isn’t to blame for what happens to Arnheid and the fact that he’s now a thief. Leif says he left behind enough money to pay for Arnheid, adding that they can’t abandon Thorfinn’s friend. Likewise, if she stays on this farm, she’ll undoubtedly be killed.
Vinland Saga season 2 episode 19: Final goodbyes…?
Vinland Saga season 2 episode 19 sees Thorfinn lament not getting to say goodbye to Sverkel, while Einar focuses intensely on Arnheid. As the camera closes in on Arnheid’s face, the scene changes to a wagon wheel hitting a bump, which wakes up a fully-healthy Arnheid in what is clearly a mental image of Arnheid.
A newborn and a young child are shown to be resting by her sides, with the young child looking like Hjalti did in Gardar’s pre-death visions. The wagon driver, clearly Gardar, then asks if the children are sleeping, which Arnheid confirms. She comments on how the rocking of the cart puts them to sleep so quickly before being asked by Gardar if she’s afraid of the dark woods and that they’ll be out soon.
Vinland Saga season 2 episode 19 sees Gardar call the forest a place “of pain and despair” for “beasts who thirst for blood.” Gardar says it isn’t a place to foster life, but they have a warm home waiting for them soon. Despite the long and difficult road, their pain will end soon, which Arnheid says he’s correct about.
She then sees a deer and a wolf in the distance, causing her to say that “they’re still here” and that life still struggles in this dark, awful place. Gardar then stops the wagon before they reach a well-lit area, telling Arnheid to bid the ones who looked after her farewell. He adds that he’ll be waiting for her here with the children, to which she says he’s right and she needs to thank Einar and the others.
Vinland Saga season 2 episode 19 then sees Arnheid wake up in reality, with Einar instantly berating her with questions. She weakly says his name, as the episode cuts to the battlefield between Ketil and Canute’s men. Floki is optimistically commanding Canute’s forces, seemingly confident in their victory.
Canute and Wulf watch from the back, with the latter commenting on how impressive the Jomsvikings are for holding a thin line of 70 men. Canute says they won’t need the rearguard, and should instead use the second line of thegns to capture Ketil. Meanwhile, Ketil keeps sending his fighters to their deaths, telling them not to retreat while wondering where Olmar and Thorgil are.
Vinland Saga season 2 episode 19 sees Olmar swimming onto the beach behind Canute’s forces, with nothing but a sword on his back. He says that he can’t be like Thorgil while apologizing, as the issue shows Thorgil stealthily sneaking up on Canute. Thorgil exits the water while drawing his sword, clearly intent on assassinating Canute as the episode comes to an end.
Vinland Saga season 2 episode 19: In summation
While Vinland Saga season 2 episode 19 likely doesn’t spend as much time on the war between Ketil and Canute as some fans may have liked, it’s still a phenomenal episode. The focus on setting up the battle’s climax concurrently with Arnheid’s presumed final moments of life is incredibly well done and highlights the overall themes of the season thus far.
The episode also does a fantastic job of setting up the next few episodes to focus exclusively on the war between Canute and Ketil. With Thorgin and Olmar now apparently in a position to execute whatever plan they came up with, fans are in for an exciting follow-up to this amazing installment for the series.