The latest episode of Vinland Saga was the most poignant episode in the history of anime. It was filled with subtle touching movements and this single episode seemed to capture the entire season in one go!
We witness the death of Arnheid as her journey comes to an end. It was tragic yet so beautifully done. The battle between Ketil and Canute also seems to have come to an end after seeking multiple lives!
This episode is a masterpiece, and the creators deserve every credit! Let’s get into the details of this episode!
The twentieth episode of Vinland showcases one of the most brutal and gruesome battles of the season. It then shifts the tone, as Arnheid passes away after saying her final goodbyes! This situation solidifies Thorfinn’s decision to find Vinland!
Thorgil’s Surprise Attacks Fails!
The battle goes in full throttle and Jomsvikings wreck Ketil’s soldiers. Fox goes into full despair when he sees how much these Jomsvikings enjoy the battle. He dreads this scenario.
In the meantime, we see Ketil’s helmet fly away after an axe attacks him. Wulf notices this and tells Canute that Ketil might have been killed by this attack. However, Canute sternly reminds him that his orders were to capture Ketil alive, prompting Wulf to leave his place.
As Wulf departs, Thorgil slowly creeps up from behind and kills the two soldiers guarding Canute with ease. He also tries to kill Canute with the same attack, but the King somehow withstands it.
Wulf returns and manages to hurt Thorgil, however, he narrowly escapes the situation. Canute orders not to follow Thorgil. On the other side of the battlefield, Ketil isn’t dead and is picked by Snake who believes that Ketil should take responsibility as the commander of the losing side and death would be an easy let-off!
Arnheid’s Final Goodbye!
In the last episode, we see Arnheid come back from what seems like a passage to the afterlife to bid her goodbyes to Einar and Thorfinn. She gains consciousness for a brief moment.
She asks if there’s a fight going on nearby as she can hear the sound of the “world falling apart”. Einar reassures them that this isn’t their fight and that they are going to a safer and calmer place.
However, Arnheid tells him that she is going elsewhere and that Gardar and her children are waiting for her. She came back because she wanted to bid farewell to Einar and Thorfinn and show gratitude for all they have done for her.
Arnheid tells Einar and Thorfinn that she was lonely and miserable as a slave. But after the duo turned up, she began enjoying their morning talks. Einar tearfully asks her not to leave and tells her to stay for her child.
Arnheid tells him that the unborn child has already passed away and everyone she loved is no longer here. She says she doesn’t see the point of living and takes her final breath!
Her goodbye was super emotional and is one of the most impactful movements in the entire series! It was subtle and nothing too over the top. The scene manages to deliver every emotion and the screenplay is very commendable!
Thorfinn’s Decision to Find Vinland Solidifies!
After Arnheid passes away, Einar seems to try everything to bring her back, but Thorfinn asks Einar to stop as she has passed away in peace. He then holds her gently and tells her about Vinland.
Thorfinn tells her that she would have been able to live there in peace as the land is bountiful and there is no flame of war. At the same time, Snake comes with Ketil on his back. This enrages Einar as he launches to kill Ketil.
However, he is stopped by Thorfinn who punches him to bring him to his senses! He pleads with him not to fall under the same curse as him and this seems to calm Einar down a little bit.
This entire situation seems to have solidified Thorfinn’s belief to find Vinland. He tells Leif that he is proud of his ancestors for running away from war. He also decides to go and confront Canute as the war hasn’t ended yet.
He intends to prevent more deaths. We will have to wait and watch how things go. But from the looks of it, Thorfinn seems to have realized that violence is sometimes necessary. We will most likely get to see Thorfinn find a balance between non-violence and violence in future episodes!
To conclude, this was the most heart-wrenching episode with characters taking major decisions! The episode was one of the most beautiful episodes right from the screenplay to the choice of background music!
About Vinland Saga
Vinland Saga is a Japanese historical manga series written and illustrated by Makoto Yukimura. The series is published under Kodansha in its monthly manga magazine – Monthly Afternoon – aimed at young adult men. It currently has 26 volumes in tankōbon format.
Vinland Saga is set in ancient Viking times, where a young Thorfinn’s life goes astray when his father Thors – a well-known retired warrior – is killed while on a journey.
Thorfinn then finds himself under the jurisdiction of his enemy – his father’s killer – and hopes to seek revenge on him when he grows stronger. The anime is loosely based on the expedition of Thorfinn Karlsefni in his search for Vinland.
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