Vinland Saga Season 2 Episode 14

Vinland Saga Season 2 Episode 14

Gardar the Storm

Vinland Saga Season 2 Episode 14 was an alright episode. I liked that we got backstories for a few characters. But, I also don’t think it was quite as interesting as some other episodes. Backstories are good. However, they’re no replacement for character development in the present.

That’s why I think next week’s episode is going to be better. The backstories we got in Episode 14 appear to be setting up for new character development. Specifically, it looks like both Arnheid and Einar are going to get some good development. Though, Einar’s might take another episode or two.

Now, there was some action at the start of this episode. We got to see Snake fight against Gardar. But, this fight wasn’t a very exciting one. Gardar kept attacking Snake and Snake kept dodging the attacks. Then, Snake used the back of his sword to incapacitate Gardar.

Snake confronting Gardar from the anime series Vinland Saga Season 2 Episode 14
Snake confronting Gardar

Something that immediately stuck out to me when Gardar showed up was how Arnheid reacted. Initially, she called out his name. But, once she actually got a good look at him, her demeanor changed. She looked like she was afraid of him. And she later confirms that to Einar and Thorfinn.

As I predicted in my review of Episode 13, she no longer recognizes the man he’s become. The things Gardar saw and experienced while at war changed him. And, that makes complete sense. That’s what this entire series is all about — the negative impact war has on all people.

In my Episode 12 review, I also pointed out how every character in the series brings a new perspective. Arnheid and Gardar are no different. Both of these characters bring new perspectives on the tragedy of war that are new and unique. And that’s the best part of this episode.

Hjelti and the New Child

So, what happened with Gardar and Arnheid? Although their parents arranged their marriage, it was a good marriage. They even had a son named Hjelti. But, things changed when an iron deposit was found in a marsh near their village.

Different groups were fighting over the iron. And at some point, the men from Gardar’s village decided to join in on the fight. They chose to do so for 2 reasons. First, they wanted to stop a different faction from gaining more power and influence. And second, they wanted to get rich from the resources.

The women objected to the war. But, the men left the village anyway to go and fight. While they were away, a Viking raiding party showed up and razed the village. They killed the elderly and kidnapped the women and children. And this is the last time Arnheid saw her son.

Gardar and Hjelti from the anime series Vinland Saga Season 2 Episode 14
Gardar and Hjelti

Something important to keep in mind here is that we have no confirmation of what happened to Hjelti. For all we know, he’s still alive. Of course, he might not be. But, if he is, we might run into him later in the series. And he may not know he was ever kidnapped.

It doesn’t seem like Arnheid believes she’ll ever see Hjelti again. So, maybe she knows something we don’t. But, that combined with the fact that she’s afraid of Gardar means there’s no going back to her old life. And besides, she has a new baby on the way.

That’s right, Arnheid is pregnant with Ketil’s latest child. So, does this mean Einar’s chances of being with Arnheid are over? Not at all. I still believe they’ll end up together. And I believe Einar will raise Ketil’s son as his own. He’s going to abandon a baby.

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Why Ketil Hates War

Toward the end of the episode, Sverkel gives us a little bit of background information on himself. Like his son, Sverkel doesn’t like war. And he even once gave away Ketil’s girlfriend to a warlord in an attempt at saving his village.

This is probably why Ketil is such a coward. For starters, he was raised by a coward who would sacrifice a girl to save himself. So, there’s that. But, what I’m thinking had more of an impact on who Ketil is today is what happened to that former girlfriend of his.

On her wedding day, a rival faction attacked the village and slaughtered everyone. So, Sverkel gave this girl away to protect his own village, and then the village she was given to got massacred. Needless to say, she did not survive the attack.

Young Ketil and his girlfriend from the anime series Vinland Saga Season 2 Episode 14
Young Ketil and his girlfriend

So, why does Ketil hate war? Well, he’s a coward who doesn’t want to die. But, I also don’t particularly want to die any time soon, so I can’t blame him for that. What we really need to look at is how this experience in his past may have changed his outlook on life.

Before this event, he may not have ever worried about getting killed. But, seeing his former girlfriend killed in this way may have made reality hit home. At any point, someone who hates him could kill him. And that kind of explains why Ketil is the way he is.

Why do you think he became wealthy? So he can afford armed security and the protection of the King of Denmark. And why do you think he’s so nice to his slaves? So they don’t rise up and kill him. Everything Ketil does, he does to protect himself from the violence of others.


What do you think of Vinland Saga Season 2 Episode 14? How do you expect Gardar’s story to end? Do you think Hjelti is still alive somewhere? And does Ketil’s background explain the way he acts today? Let me know in the comments.

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Finally, I’d like to thank Roman and JasonHK for supporting at the Heika tier this month. To learn more about how you too can become a supporter of this blog, check out

My review of Episode 15 is available now.

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