Vinland Saga season 2 episode 2: Thorfinn and Einar's chance at freedom explained as season's plot set up

Fans are finally and formally reunited with Thorfinn in Vinland Saga season 2 episode 2 (Image via MAPPA Studios)
Fans are finally and formally reunited with Thorfinn in Vinland Saga season 2 episode 2 (Image via MAPPA Studios)

Vinland Saga season 2 episode 2 was released on Monday, January 16, 2023, bringing with it the exciting continuation of the highly-anticipated sequel season. With fans having been fully introduced to Einar in the previous episode, the focus is ready to shift back onto Thorfinn, with the former getting plenty of time to shine in the process.

Episode 2 of Vinland Saga's second season also sets up the overarching plot of the Slave arc that relates to Thorfinn and the plot points surrounding his own adventure. Moving at an incredibly quick pace, fans are truly delighted with the season thus far, with the slight caveat of only two episodes in.

Vinland Saga season 2 episode 2 sees Thorfinn and Einar’s overarching goal established, other key characters introduced

Vinland Saga season 2 episode 2: Freedom isn’t free

Vinland Saga season 2 episode 2 begins with the continuation of Einar and Thorfinn’s introduction. Ketil then reveals that the two will be working together on the same project, eventually allowing them to buy their freedom. With Einar in disbelief, Ketil confirms that Pater, his employee, also bought his own freedom by the same means, proving the deal to be legitimate.

Ketil then instructs Einar to observe Thorfinn’s work today, prompting the pair to set off into the forest together. Einar tries to talk to Thorfinn, but he’s his typically quiet self even in his new life as a slave. The former expresses disbelief in Ketil’s plan before asking Thorfinn where he’s from. The latter says Iceland, to which Einar asks where that is.

The two then come to a clearing where Thorfinn has chopped down several trees, with Einar asking how much work there’s left to do beyond the clearing they’re standing in. Thorfinn explains that everything on their side of the adjacent river must be cleared for their work to be finished, with the camera giving a bird's eye view of the massive plot of land.

Vinland Saga season 2 episode 2 then sees Thorfinn chopping a tree down, with Einar attempting to follow suit despite Ketil saying otherwise. However, he gets his axe stuck in a tree, prompting Thorfinn to approach and remind him of Ketil’s instructions. Einar counters that he wants to free himself as soon as possible.

After a moment, Thorfinn accepts this and asks Einar to move farther away while he works and to cut the trees in a way that has them fall perpendicular to the river. Einar deduces that they flow the logs downriver, with the scene then hanging to the two trimming branches off of tree trunks. A starved Einar asks if they get lunch, which Thorfinn confirms is brought to them.

Vinland Saga season 2 episode 2 then sees the four attendants responsible for bringing their lunch approaching the pair. The attendants seem to be discussing a local woman they’ve all been sleeping with when Einar happily approaches them and introduces himself. The attendants criticize him before handing them a sack which reveals their half-eaten lunch of bread and cheese.

Einar asks them what this is, to which they say that it’s his lunch. Einar feels shocked learning that this is meant for the two of them, prompting one attendant to ask him if it’s his first time being a slave. Einar confirms this, to which the attendant says they’re lucky to get lunch at all, especially being brought by free men like them.

Vinland Saga season 2 episode 2 sees Einar grow frustrated as the attendant demands to be thanked. The attendant asks him what he’s looking at as Einar prepares to fight. It is then that Thorfinn intervenes by calmly thanking the attendant and accepting the lunch, who tells him to teach Einar some manners and not to “injure the horse.”

While the attendant and his three friends nap, Einar rants about how they’re shirking their work onto them and tells Thorfinn he shouldn’t be so obedient just because he’s a slave. The latter ignores this comment, telling Einar to push from the back while he pulls from the front of a tree he just tied up.

Vinland Saga season 2 episode 2 sees Thorfinn explain that they’ll use it to build a raft when they get to the river. Einar points out that they should cut it shorter since the old horse won’t be able to drag it by itself. However, Thorfinn responds that the trees are their masters, and they can’t do so without his permission.

Einar points out that this is supposed to be the attendants’ job and that the old horse isn’t gonna be a help anyway. Thorfinn tells him not to worry about it and starts pulling, prompting Einar and the horse to begin dragging the log to the water. The trio all seem invested in their work as the scene changes to sunset on the farm.

Vinland Saga season 2 episode 2: Einar’s crush and Olmar’s dream

Vinland Saga season 2 episode 2 sees a tired and sore Einar and Thorfinn walking home, with the latter saying he’s so hungry he feels sick. He then begins ranting about the attendants, saying they won’t get away with this while calling them halfway to being slaves. Einar then shares his intent to rat them out, which Thorfinn instantly argues against, pointing out that the two will only be harassed more.

Ketil then approaches, asking Einar how his first day was. The latter begins saying he has something to report about the former's retainers, before seeing and being entranced by a beautiful woman riding in a carriage. Ketil asks him what he had to report, but Einar is speechless, prompting the former to leave without hearing what the latter had to say.

The woman looks back at the pair while Thorfinn asks Einar why he didn’t end up reporting them. A slightly blushing Einar tells Thorfinn to shut up, as Vinland Saga season 2 episode 2 cuts to the next day on the farm. The focus now is on those collecting wheat, of which there are several dozen workers contributing to the job.

Among them is Ketil, first seen calling over some children wheeling around a water jug. He and several others partake in the spring water, with Ketil thanking them for helping him feel rejuvenated. Ketil then speaks to the other workers with motivational words, amazing Einar who is looking on.

He comments on how everyone looks the same while working, whether they’re Danish or English, staring out at the workers for a moment after. Suddenly, Vinland Saga season 2 episode 2 sees Ketil fighting with someone in the fields about how to cut the wheat. He argues that it must be done in a specific way, leaving the livestock something to graze on.

However, the youth seems indifferent about this fact, being revealed to be 17 years old in the process of Ketil’s lecturing. The latter begins yelling at the youth now, who yells back before swinging his scythe in the way Ketil wants. However, this starts another argument between the two over how violently the youth is swinging his scythe.

Vinland Saga season 2 episode 2 sees Thorfinn and Einar looking on, prompting the former to explain that the youth is Ketil’s son, Olmar. Olmar then throws the scythe down and says he can’t take this anymore, saying he wanted to help but is now leaving. Ketil explains to him that he’ll be taking over the farm before long, which he needs to accept.

However, Olmar counters that he doesn’t want to take over the farm, mentioning that a grown man shouldn’t be doing such dull and tedious work as farming. Olmar then tries to draw his sword to make a point but is unable to fully pull the sword out from the sheath on his back. After trying several times, he sheaths the sword before riding off and saying he’ll use the blade to make a name for himself.

Vinland Saga season 2 episode 2: Dreams on hold and pasts revisited

Vinland Saga season 2 episode 2 then sees Olmar in a house at nighttime, swinging his blade while explaining his plan to leave and become a warrior. A naked girl is seen lying down in a nearby bed, attentively watching and listening to Olmar. He then sees a moth flying around the room, trying to slice it in two but failing.

The girl asks him what he means by he’ll soon be joining Prince Canute’s army, specifically asking how long “soon” is. Olmar ambiguously answers, prompting the girl to say she thinks he should take over Ketil’s farm. Olmar suggests that she’s being just like the others who lecture him, but she explains that it’s just because she’s worried about him.

A flustered Olmar seems unsure of how to respond, after which the girl beckons him back to bed and say they should “go again.” Vinland Saga season 2 episode 2 then sees the girl’s father happily listening in as her mother approaches with food for Olmar. The parents excitedly discuss how this should secure their family’s future, laughing sinisterly in the process.

Suddenly, Olmar departs the house, leading the parents to ask what’s wrong and if their daughter did something. However, Olmar tells them to be quiet, saying that he knows what they’re up to and after. He accuses them of thinking they’ll live a life of luxury if they join Ketil’s family, before riding off and saying that all women are rotten as the young girl is seen crying in bed.

Vinland Saga season 2 episode 2 then sees two workers for the farm call out to and approach Olmar, crossing a wheat field in the process. Olmar quietly says something about what they’re doing to the wheat, betraying his facade regarding the farm. Meanwhile, the two workers are lamenting about how they “went to see a woman” but were beaten there by some attendants.

The woman and the attendants are likely the same seen earlier. The two drunk workers then lament how they’ll get in trouble again if they start a fight with them instead of leaving it be. The two then call Olmar lucky since he can do whatever he wants on the farm, which is when the latter says they have no idea how he feels.

The two tell him not to be mad and ask if he has something on his mind, prompting Olmar to say he doesn’t have time for them and that they should go home. However, the two goad him into coming with them for a drink, saying they should stay up all night talking about his youthful troubles.

As the three ride off, Vinland Saga season 2 episode 2 sees Einar and Thorfinn sleeping in a barn, with the former mentioning Olmar should just take over the farm. Referencing Olmar’s dream of becoming a famous warrior, Einar says he doesn’t know war but thinks of warriors as cool. He then calmly says that everyone who goes to war is a beast, which prompts Thorfinn to roll over and say they should sleep.

Meanwhile, Einar shares his backstory with Thorfinn, replaying the two times his village was pillaged and razed. It’s revealed that his village was first attacked by the English, then by the Danes. Einar calls warriors just “beasts wearing human skin” before asking Thorfinn if he’s still awake.

Vinland Saga season 2 episode 2 sees the still-awake Thorfinn remembering his own past, seeing a village burnt to the ground in front of him. He then shuts his eyes and falls asleep.

Vinland Saga season 2 episode 2: In summation

While not eventful, Vinland Saga season 2 episode 2 sets up a majority of the series’ immediate conflicts and plotlines. The introduction of Olmar as Ketil’s son is especially intriguing, as he may end up being something of a foil character to both Einar and Thorfinn.

The episode also establishes what the overarching plotline of the Slave arc will be. However, it doesn't confirm to fans if they’ll see Thorfinn and Einar spend the next three years here. While several potential developments could change this, it currently seems like the best possible fate awaiting the series’ current heroes.

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