Vinland Saga season 2 episode 7 was released on Monday, February 20, 2023, bringing with it several new characters. Fans met Thorgil, the eldest son of Ketil, who returned home from the theater of war Canute was in just episodes prior. The episode also introduced thieves Sture and Thora, who reveal a shocking side of Ketil with their presence.
Vinland Saga season 2 episode 7 also focused on Arnheid, seemingly setting the stage for how her and Einar’s relationship may eventually and greatly affect their lives. While the episode, unfortunately, steps away from Thorfinn and Einar for the most part, it’s still an engaging, fulfilling, and exciting installment to the sequel season.
Vinland Saga season 2 episode 7 deals with complexity of war and peace via Ketil’s dreaded decisions as owner of the farm
Vinland Saga season 2 episode 7: Praying for freedom
Vinland Saga season 2 episode 7 opens with Snake and some of his men looking at footprints on the ground, establishing that something has happened while Ketil is gone. It seems that one bag of flour and some dried meat were stolen from the farm, with Fox reporting that he’s unable to track them due to the footprints being mixed up with others.
Snake says that while the thieves don’t steal much, they’ve clearly developed a taste for it. Snake says that “they need to be punished” as the episode begins its opening theme sequence. Upon returning, fans see morning breaking over Ketil’s farm, with Arnheid and Einar talking to each other by the well.
Thorfinn is also present but remains silent as Arnheid points out to Einar how clear it is that they’re liked by the “old master,” meaning Sverkel, Ketil’s father. Einar is in disbelief but eventually comes around after she points out that slaves normally aren’t paid back. Einar then questions why he likes the two of them, causing Arnheid to laugh.
Vinland Saga season 2 episode 7 then sees her call Einar a good person, even if he doesn’t see it himself. This flusters Einar, clearly bringing forth his feelings for Arnheid, prompting Thorfinn to say he’s heading out. Einar says goodbye to Thorfinn and questions if he’s being considerate. He then tells Arnheid that Thorfinn is a good guy despite not speaking much.
However, the two are interrupted by Arnheid being called away by the farm’s mistress, saying that she looks forward to every morning now that she has Einar to talk to. He tosses up his town to celebrate being called a good person by her, as Arnehid is getting slapped by the mistress for chatting when breakfast isn’t ready yet.
The mistress continues that Arnheid must earn her keep since they don’t keep her around for fun. Vinland Saga season 2 episode 7 then sees her reveal that Ketil returns today and that he’ll likely have guests with him. The mistress then spitefully comments on how she supposes an enslaved man would be a good match for an enslaved woman.
The episode then sees Thorfinn and Einar inspecting some wheat seedlings, with the former curiously asking questions and commenting on how frail they look. Einar mentions how farming is impressive, prompting Thorfinn to call it amazing. Einar then says that they’ll be free someday, calling this field their first step towards freedom.
Vinland Saga season 2 episode 7 then sees Einar wonder aloud if Arnheid has a similar deal, prompting Thorfinn to suggest asking her. Einar expresses reservations before Thorfinns asks what they’re doing with the wheat today. Einar responds that they don’t have to do anything for a while, so they’ll pray.
He then falls to his knees and clasps his hand, begging God to make his crops ripen and grow, keep insects away, and bring rain to the field. Einar demands Thorfinn to join him, saying he should pray to everyone and anything to guarantee their crops’ success. He adds that they have nothing to offer but will pray extra hard together to make up for it.
Vinland Saga season 2 episode 7: The prodigal son returns
Vinland Saga season 2 episode 7 quickly shifts perspectives to Ketil arriving back at the farm with what is established as his other son, yet to be named. The seemingly-older son asks Ketil how his mother and Olmar are, with Ketil responding that Olmar is anxious to head to battle like him.
The older son, eventually named Thorgil, laughs at how Olmar hasn’t changed since he was little despite still being a coward. Ketil responds that people have strengths and weaknesses and that Olmar isn’t fit for battle and should stay where he belongs. Thorgil comments on how the battlefield can sometimes change a man, such as with King Canute.
Vinland Saga season 2 episode 7 sees Ketil shocked to hear that this is his title, with Thorgil explaining how he has changed in the war and has earned the respect of others. He suggests sending Olmar to the battlefield to see what happens, but Ketil claims that he would never survive with his skills.
The group then runs into Snake and Badger, with Snake and Thorgil greeting each other in a friendly manner. Ketil asks what Snake has behind him, showing two small children who are revealed as the thieves from Ketil’s farm. Snake shares his hunch that the pair are behind a long string of robberies, adding that thieves are thieves who must be punished despite their age.
Vinland Saga season 2 episode 7 shifts perspectives to the two children sitting beside a well. The younger girl calls her older brother Sture, asking him what they’ll do now and complaining that her hands hurt. He responds that it’ll be okay as the two watch Thorgil, Olmar, and Snake all eat lunch together.
Thorgil is regaling his family with tales from the battlefield, commenting on how there are no allies or enemies in battle, especially when there are spoils such as women to fight over.
Thorgil then asks Olmar if he wants to go to England, seemingly disapproving of Olmar’s initial reservations. This goads Olmar into saying he wants to prove himself, with Thorgil giving Olmar a necklace of ears for a souvenir.
Olmar freaks out upon realizing what they are, prompting Thorgil to laugh heartily at the prank he pulled. He calls Olmar a scaredy-cat and asks how he’ll fight like that, reminding him they’re sons of “Iron Fist Ketil.”
The use of the name shocks both Ketil and Olmar, prompting Thorgil to explain that their father was a legend when he was young, shattering weapons under his own strength and fighting barehanded after.
Vinland Saga season 2 episode 7 sees Olmar shocked to hear this, with Thorgil adding that their father comes up a lot when he talks to veterans. He adds that Olmar should show more respect to their father, prompting Ketil to heavily “suggest” that Thorgil rest inside. Thorgil responds that if the great Iron Fist Ketil commands it, he’ll do so.
Snake then asks Ketil to take care of the two thieves before he goes off to rest, prompting him to speak to the two and ask them their names. A soldier yells at the pair, but Ketil tells him not to do this since they’re frightened and cannot speak. The two then introduce themselves as Sture and Thora, which Ketil happily repeats.
Vinland Saga season 2 episode 7 then sees Ketil ask if they have anyone who can speak in their defense. Snake explains that the rest of their family is a mother and baby, with the mother being sick in bed and their father missing. He asks their father’s name, which they reluctantly reveal as Snorri. Per Sture, Snorri went out to sell vegetables last fall and never returned.
Pater then asks them if their grandfather’s name is Bo, which they confirm. Unfortunately, he tells Ketil that their father owes money on the land he rents from Ketil. The latter comments on how he knew he hadn’t seen Snorri recently, while Thorgil says he must be dead since he has been gone a year.
Sture angrily says that his father is just out on an errand as tears flood his eyes. Ketil then ponders on how families in their situation are typically hired by other families to work. He tearfully adds that while the two children before him are healthy, they have a sick mother and a baby and that nobody would take them in as a result.
Vinland Saga season 2 episode 7: A regretful inevitability
Vinland Saga season 2 episode 7 sees Ketil’s wife ask him what’s wrong, to which he responds that he just has dust in his eye. Ketil then asks what they stole, with Snake explaining that their crimes are numerous, but they only confessed to stealing one bag of flour. Ketil asks if they threatened their confession, to which Snake says he didn’t, only convincing them to talk.
It’s then revealed that Snake fooled them into thinking that Ketil’s name is written on the bottom of their flour bags. He then pours the flour out in front of them to get their confession on stealing it, which Ketil calls practically threatening. Snake counters that it wouldn’t have been enough to get a confession if they weren’t guilty, with Thorgil adding that the punishment is the loss of one arm.
Vinland Saga season 2 episode 7 sees Sture ask for mercy for his little sister, with Thorgil countering that they’ll cut off both of his arms in that case. Thora and Sture are both shocked, but Snake says that he’d like Ketil to go easy on them despite what he said earlier. Ketil is more focused on Thorgil, who he calls horrifying and cannot believe is his son.
Ketil curses the children for stealing from him, saying that he has to punish them despite clearly not wanting to. Pater then says that he’s against the punishment since it’s practically an execution. To Ketil’s delight, Pater then suggests that the 12-year-old Sture and his mother and sister begin working to pay back Ketil for both what they stole and what their father owes Ketil.
Vinland Saga season 2 episode 7 then sees Ketil volunteer to teach Sture how to farm, pointing out that they don’t need to steal anymore and that Ketil will be repaid. Ketil begins happily agreeing before Pater adds that a beating would be an appropriate punishment for now. This shocks Ketil, as Thorgil seemingly accepts Pater’s argument.
Ketil argues that they don’t need to be beaten, but Snake and everyone else says they can’t get off without punishment. This would result in people not taking Snake and his men seriously, as he pulls the blade off of an ax handle and comments that no one likes thieving children anyway.
Snake adds that the punishment is for their own good, as Vinland Saga season 2 episode 7 sees him ask Ketil how many strokes it will be. He says five at first but then says ten, with Snake preparing to give each ten strokes. However, Sture begs to be hit 20 times to spare his sister, with Thorgil commenting on how Sture has some guts.
He then asks Ketil to let him do it, with Snake commenting that he doesn’t know how to hold back and can’t kill the kid or hit his head. Thorgil then begins beating Sture, clearly being quite aggressive despite the warnings. Ketil tries to get him to stop so he can do it himself but is clearly broken up about the need.
Vinland Saga season 2 episode 7 sees Ketil swing the ax handle back before the scene changes to a party later that night. Thorgil asks Olmar where their father is, commenting that Iron Fist Ketil must be getting old. Ketil, however, discusses how the Iron Fist Ketil moniker is a lie since a Norse man can’t be a coward and survive in their world.
He laments how everyone expects him to be brave, laughing about how nobody suspects someone as great as Ketil would lie about that. He adds that he fears Thorgil and war and violence. He confesses all of this in the lap of Arnheid, who responds that being kind can’t possibly be a bad thing and that she knows his pain.
Ketil laments that she’s the only one who would say this and that she’s the only one to whom he can tell anything. He asks her to stay with him, saying that without Arnheid, his world is full of darkness, as Vinland Saga season 2 episode 7 ends.
Vinland Saga season 2 episode 7: In summation
Overall, Vinland Saga season 2 episode 7 is a fairly exciting installment to the sequel season. While the focus is unfortunately pulled from Thorfinn and Einar, the series rewards viewers for their acceptance with a very character and theme-driven episode. Likewise, the introduction of Thorgil is exciting and seemingly pushes the season’s events in a new, exciting direction.
Vinland Saga season 2 episode 7’s establishment of Arnheid and Ketil’s relationship is also exciting. While it was suspected that the two had no emotional intimacy, their relationship would appear more than just physical, at least on Ketil’s side. While it’s unclear how she feels about him, this will surely become a focal point of future episodes.