Vinland Saga Season 2 Episode 6

Vinland Saga Season 2 Episode 6

We Need a Horse

In Vinland Saga Season 2 Episode 6, Einar once again forgets his place as a slave. He’s just not very good at the whole slave thing. He needs to pay more attention to how Thorfinn handles himself. Thorfinn would never ask to borrow a horse. He knows his place.

But, Einar’s actually right about needing a horse. It’s unreasonable to expect him and Thorfinn to make the land workable on their own. However, Einar’s reason for wanting a horse isn’t why they should get one. They should get one because Ketil wants them to work more efficiently.

Now, I know the problem here is that the retainers don’t want the slaves to use the horses. But, Ketil is the one who owns the farm, horses, and slaves. And he should approve their use of a horse because it will be more profitable for him.

Thorfinn (shirtless) from the anime series Vinland Saga Season 2 Episode 6
Thorfinn (shirtless)

Remember, Ketil’s whole business plan doesn’t actually rely on slave labor. Yes, his workers start off as slaves. But, his farm actually uses a sharecropping business model. His investment into Thorfinn and Einar won’t pay off until their plot of land is profitable. And if they have a horse, they can make their land more profitable at a faster rate.

I have no doubt that Ketil would have approved Einar’s request to borrow a horse. Based on what we learned about Ketil from his father, his primary motivation is money. So, if he believes Thorfinn and Einar can make him more money with a horse, he should allow it.

Of course, we know that they don’t end up borrowing one of Ketil’s horses. Instead, they borrow a horse (and plow) from Ketil’s father, Sverkel. And Sverkel doesn’t help them for monetary gain. He seems to appreciate Einar’s desire for a simple life.

The Old Master

Let’s talk more about Sverkel. He’s the opposite of his son in almost every way. While his son is building a farming empire, Sverkel works his own personal farm alone. He doesn’t have slaves to help him. And he only works the land he can manage by himself.

To him, there’s no need for large farms like the one Ketil runs. In fact, he thinks large farms like that will only lead to trouble. The bigger the farm, the more attractive it is for looters. And the more attractive it is to looters, the more you have to pay to protect it.

This then leads to a cycle where you always need to be expanding your farm in order to pay for protection. Of course, now that you expanded your farm to cover the protection cost, you need to pay even more to protect it.

Einar hugging a horse from the anime series Vinland Saga Season 2 Episode 6
Einar hugging a horse

Sverkel believes a farm should only be as big as what you can protect. And this seems to be why he decides to lend Einar and Thorfinn a horse. He overheard Einar talking about how they would work their own piece of land and become free.

Einar doesn’t have the desire to own a plantation like Ketil. He just wants his slice of farmland that he can live and work on in peace. That’s exactly how Sverkel lives his life. So, while Ketil seems to think Sverkel is using his son’s slaves to help on his own farm, that’s not really the case.

Yes, Sverkel is getting help from Einar and Thorfinn. But, that’s because he’s someone who believes you need to earn things. If Einar wants to use Sverkel’s horse, he needs to earn it by doing work for Sverkel. This is also why Sverkel has an issue with Snake.

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Snake’s Foreshadowing

Snake appeared to foreshadow something during the discussion on protecting Ketil’s farm. He mentioned how his 13 men already have their hands full protecting the farm from thieves. And, if a raiding party of about 50-60 men showed up, the farm would be lost.

There simply aren’t enough men on the farm capable of defending it. In response to this, Sverkel brings up Ketil’s payments to King Harald. He claims that they don’t have to worry about a raiding party because of Harald’s protection. But, is that actually true?

I have no doubt that it’s true Ketil pays for Harald’s protection. However, as Snake points out, it would take a long time for that protection to arrive. By the time Harald’s forces make it to the farm, there wouldn’t be anything left. And this is where I believe the foreshadowing comes in.

Snake talking about defending Ketil's farm from the anime series Vinland Saga Season 2 Episode 6
Snake talking about defending Ketil’s farm

It would be a shame if some of Canute’s forces showed up to raid the farm. Well, maybe they wouldn’t raid the farm since we know Canute is against that behavior. But, if Ketil is one of Harald’s allies, Canute’s army could show up to persuade him to change allegiances.

That would add some major conflict to the peaceful farming life Einar and Thorfinn have. And it would be a good way to bring some old characters back into the fold. What if Thorkell was leading this raiding party? He’d want to fight Thorfinn. But, Thorfinn likely wouldn’t want to fight. So, what would happen?

As I said in the Episode 5 review, I don’t see Canute being an antagonist Thorfinn needs to defeat. But, I can see him causing major geopolitical events (wars) Thorfinn gets caught up in. Even if he isn’t a participant, Thorfinn’s not done encountering war.


What do you think of Vinland Saga Season 2 Episode 6? Would Ketil have approved Einar and Thorfinn’s use of a horse? Why do you think Sverkel tolerates Snake hanging around? And do you think Canute’s forces will attack Ketil’s farm? Let me know in the comments.

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2 Replies to “Vinland Saga Season 2 Episode 6”

  1. In Snake’s first appearance, DoubleSama, Snake called Sverkel grandpa, so it’s possible they are blood related, and Snake might be one of Ketil’s sons.

    I think the possibility of Canute’s forces attacking the farm is real. They might try to burn the place down and rape the women. Maybe Thorfinn will have a chance to save the day and have Ketil significantly reduce the cost of buying himself back.

    I don’t think Thorkell will show up to start a conflict. There’s no way Thorfinn has any shot of stopping Thorkell at this point in time. If Thorkell came, Ketil’s farm would be done for.

    1. I’m pretty sure Snake only calls Sverkel “grandpa” because he’s old. They may be related somehow. But, it seems more like Snake is only on the farm because he and his men were hired to be there.

      As for Thorkell showing up, it makes sense to me if he does. He was reintroduced in this season for a reason. If he shows up on the farm, it might be that he offers to call off the raid if Thorfinn fights him. He’s always looking for a strong opponent. But, once he sees that Thorfinn isn’t the warrior he once was, Thorkell may get bored and leave anyway.

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