In episode 98, after leaving the port of Nicodranas, Caleb takes Fjord aside for a conversation that beautifully encapsulates Fjord’s journey so far. Together they think back to the moment Fjord held a sword to Caleb’s neck in Zadash; think back to a Fjord that Caleb describes as much “darker” than the Fjord before him now.
Fjord responds by saying that really he had just been “full of it” and attempting to control the situation. He admits that it hadn’t felt good — doing that — but he didn’t really know what that said about him at the time.
Growing up, Fjord never had control over his life. He was raised in an orphanage, at the mercy of horrible people who used children for work. And even when he left he was still at the mercy of others, looking for work just to survive. Vandran had been the first to really take him in, take responsibility for him, show him the ropes, and perhaps discipline him.
What Fjord admired most in Vandran was his control, his ability to influence people and take charge of a situation. He admired him so greatly that after losing everything in that shipwreck and starting over, he created a new persona modeled after Vandran. He even took on his accent, hoping it would gain him respect and influence over the people he interacted with.
Vandran’s sword and the new powers Fjord discovered were at the heart of this act he put on. They represented control and they allowed Fjord to move through the world with more ease, even though he now had to wear this mask constantly.
But eventually that quest for control, for power, would lead to Uk’otoa punishing him for abandoning his task two-thirds of the way through, attempting to force him back onto the path he wanted Fjord to follow. Perhaps then, Fjord began to realize that he price of his ability to influence the world around him, was his own freedom.
The price for freedom then, was control. Rebellion meant giving up his powers, his ability to effect change, to fight alongside his friends. It meant relying on the others to protect him, it meant being vulnerable. And then, because this persona had been crafted around the sword and around Vandran’s power, he dropped that as well.
Fjord took a leap of faith. Not faith in himself, not faith in Uk’otoa or the Wildmother or any other god. He put his faith in his friends, and the Mighty Nein rose to the occasion. They offered him their love, protection, magical items, and most importantly, their own faith and trust in him. Armed with that, Fjord responded to them by fighting ferociously to protect them, saving the day with only a magical whip and his physical strength.
Perhaps then he marveled at how simple it all seemed on this side of that choice. How easy it was to leap into this cycle of faith and trust with the Mighty Nein. Perhaps that’s the reason he didn’t hesitate to accept the Wildmother’s offer once they returned to the Kiln. Fjord had no way of knowing where that path would lead him, and he didn’t bother asking. He’d been guided to this point by Caduceus, and decided to take yet another leap of faith.
Fjord ended a cycle of control and manipulation by throwing away the Sword of Fathoms. And he began a cycle of trust and faith by asking for help. The Wildmother has yet to tell him what she expects of him, but Fjord had decided not to concern himself over it. He still has lots of questions, but he’s decided to wait. In the meantime, he’ll watch over the rest of his friends as they find what they’re each looking for, content with the role of protector, until the day he’s called upon.