In an episode full of highs, lows, and surprises, Ketil’s character is the highlight, showing viewers another side of him while his voice actor tugs at your heartstrings with his performance.
We recap the Crunchyroll anime series Vinland Saga Season 2 Episode 7, “Iron Fist Ketil,” which contains spoilers.
Vinland Saga Season 2 Episode 6 was rather eventful for Thorfinn (Yuto Uemura) and Einar (Shunsuke Takeuchi), as they ended it having planted their first crop of seeds.
Although it took a lot of struggle to get to this point, hopefully, growing successful crops won’t be nearly as difficult. It will bring both men one step closer to buying their eventual freedom if they can. Of course, not everything is looking up, as it seems that more and more thieves have been raiding Ketil’s farm and making it harder to protect. However, what that means for Thorfinn and Einar remains to be seen.
Vinland Saga Season 2 Episode 7 Recap
The episode opens with Snake and some other guards discussing the recent break-ins, thinking it is the same duo that keeps targeting the farm. Although they are not taking much, it is becoming too often, so Snake decides to teach the thieves a lesson.
Outside of the well, Arnehid tells Einar he is pretty lucky, specifically for getting Sverkel to like him enough to lend them equipment and eat with him. Although Einar says it’s just their reward for doing his chores, Arnheid laughs and reminds him that enslaved people are not entitled to rewards. It baffles Einar why Sverkel would like him otherwise, but she assures him that Einar is a good man, causing him to blush and stutter. She then tells him she looks forward to having someone to speak to every morning.
Why does Arnheid get in trouble?
Upon returning to work, Arneheid is slapped by her mistress, Ketil’s wife, for “fooling around while breakfast isn’t even ready.” The woman scolds her, reminding her of her place, before telling Arnheid that Ketil will bring guests home that she must prepare for.
Thorfinns first successful crop
Seeing that their seeds have finally sprouted, Thorfinn looks on in awe of the entire process. Einar comments that after they clear more trees, they’ll soon be able to double the wheat they grow each year until they can buy their freedom. Einar then begins praying, forcing Thorfinn to join him.
Who is Thorgil?
After running into his father, Ketil, at a meeting in town, Thorgil decides to visit the farm. Unlike his younger brother Olmar, Thorgil is trained in battle.
As Ketil and Thorgil return to the farm, Snake approaches, having caught the thieves plaguing the farm. Ultimately, it is just a young brother and sister, but Snake says they should be punished in some form. Looking torn, Ketil has their hands tied up, forcing them to sit by the well as he and his sons catch up.
READ: Vinland Saga Season 2 Review
Over a meal, Thorgil relays war stories to his family and friends. He gifts Olamar a necklace made of dried ears he took from various slain Englishmen, laughing when his younger brother freaks out and reminding him they are the sons of the legendary youth “Iron First Ketil,” which seems to surprise him. Thorgil then tells stories of how ruthless their father was rumored to be in battle, but Ketil quickly attempts to change the subject.
Punishing the thieves
Snake tells Ketil they must figure out what to do with the thieves, so Ketil begins questioning them. Although his men are rough, he is gentle in his approach, learning that the children’s mother is sick and their father disappeared the year before. He begins to tear up at the thought of no one wanting to take in a family with an ill mother, two children, and a baby. He then scolds Snake for the intimidation tactics he used to get the children to confess.
Thorgil suggests taking an arm from each child to make things right, but as Ketil grows more uncomfortable, Pater steps forward, saying that a punishment that severe would not fit the crime. He says the boy, Sture, is old enough to begin working and suggests Ketil instead hire the family to work on the farm to pay off their debts. Ketil is eager to agree to these terms but immediately tenses when Pater says that flogging is still necessary regardless.
Ketil tries to keep the number low, only suggesting ten lashings each. Sture demands all 20 for himself, and Thorgil volunteers to carry out the beating. However, after seeing one brutal hit, Ketil immediately takes over the punishment himself.
Vinland Saga Season 2 Episode 7 Ending Explained
That night, Ketil lies in bed with Arnheid, admitting that the entire Iron Fist Ketil story is a lie. Nordic men are expected to be brave, he tells her, and no one would ever suspect that a well-off man like him would tell such a lie. Still, he tells her that he is, in fact, terrified of Thorgil, as well as war and violence. As she strokes his hair, Arnheid assures him she understands and that there is nothing wrong with kindness. Ketil then says she is the only person with whom he can be honest while begging her to stay by his side.
For a season with less than half the action of the first, I find myself missing it less and less with each episode. Something about the storytelling this season, the way the characters drive every episode, has me on the edge of my seat as much as any fight. Between the voice acting, the music, and the overall buildup to every reveal, it makes even the dullest moments feel thrilling. When Thorfinn was mesmerized by their crops, I thought it as genuinely and intensely as I did when Ketil said he was terrified of his son. Every scene commands attention and seems essential for later, no matter how trivial it feels.
Watching Sture felt like watching young Thorfinn all over. He was intense and headstrong, with good intentions, but a bit misguided. I hope to see them cross paths in the future because something tells me that for Thorfinn, it will be a lot like looking in a mirror. The kid may even learn a thing or two if given a chance.
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