Datchet, Mercia; Three years have passed since Uhtred and Ragnar took Dunholm and now he arrives on shores of Datchet with Finan, Sihtric, Clapa, and an army of men. They can hear the screams of nearby villagers.
Elgin and another man are attacked by Uhtred, Finan, Sihtric, and Clapa. Finan gives Elgin a chance to drop his weapon, but he tries to attack and is cut down by Finan. They’re not to find cover until Uhtred signals them. They wait for a small group of Danes to approach with woman prisoners and attack. Uhtred rescues a young Saxon Woman and a child named Æthelflæd. Same as King Alfred’s daughter. Uhtred tells them to return home. He then orders Finan to string up three of the dead from the trees so that they can be seen from the river. They leave one Dane alive to return to his people and inform them that beyond Lundene the River Temes belong to Alfred.
Coccham, Uhtred’s Estate, Wessex; He greets his wife Gisela and his children, Young Uhtred and Stiorra. Æthelwold is waiting for him inside. Not a drop of ale has passed his lips in ten days or more. Æthelwold is sober now. He tells Uhtred that the dead speak. He saw a corpse rise from its grave. He said that Æthelwold should be King of Wessex and that Uhtred will be crowned King of Mercia. Bjorn, the dead man, heard it through the three spinners. Uhtred isn’t convinced that what Æthelwold speaks is the truth. He claims to have seen the corpse in Mercia. Beyond Watling Street. Meaning he crossed into Daneland. Æthelwold claims he was invited and the same will happen for Uhtred.
Wessex; Godwine warns Erik that they’re crossing over into Wessex and that this stretch of river is protected by Uhtred, but they have trade there, so Erik instructs him to proceed. Unbeknownst to them, Clapa watches from the shore.
Coccham, Uhtred’s Estate, Wessex; Alfred is bothered by Uhtred’s pagan hall. Gisela brings them refreshments. She assures them that she is well, as is her family. She asks about Alfred, who is apprehensive about his daughter being gifted in marriage. Uhtred and Finan join them, greeting Steapa at the door. Alfred has come after getting word that Uhtred hung a man of Wessex. Uhtred admits he did so, but the man was guilty. However, Uhtred never held a trial. If Uhtred wishes to remain an Ealdorman, he’ll have to adhere to their laws. He then asks about Æthelwold, however, Uhtred claims to have no knowledge of him crossing over into Daneland.
Coccham, Wessex; While walking through Coccham, Alfred and Odda discover that Uhtred has built a church for his people. Clapa then informs Uhtred and Finan that a ship of traders approaches.
Hild takes off her armour and removes her weapons before putting her cross back on. Alfred joins her in the church. He asks if Hilda found her lasting peace. She's near. She feels more content in the church with God than she does with her sword. Alfred prays that she finds her peace.
Godwine arrives with the axe-heads. He had as many as Uhtred needs. He questions Godwine about the warriors that were seen upon his ship. Godwine admits that he brought three men over. Erik wishes to speak with him alone.
Uhtred approaches Erik, who claims that he didn’t come to fight but rather to meet with a dead man. He will make his appointment in Mercia and then return to Frankia. Erik informs Uhtred that they’ve grown stronger and have 19 ships. They have no plan other than to follow Bjorn, who speaks the words of the three spinners. After his defeat at Ethandun, the Earl Guthrum rejected their gods and they are angry. They want revenge. Uhtred allows Erik to pass, and for that, Uhtred will always have Erik’s respect.
Coccham, Uhtred’s Estate, Wessex; Uhtred, Gisela, Finan, Alfred, and Odda have dinner together. Alfred again asks about Æthelwold. Uhtred and Gisela inform him that Æthelwold had been sober for days. He remarks that Æthelwold is as good of a man as Æthelred. Uhtred is merely concerned about the safety of Wessex, which Guthrum’s old men threaten. They gather at the mouth of the Temes river at Beamfleot. 200 or more. Should they decide to block the river, Wessex will be starved of trade. Alfred believes that Guthrum, now known as King Æthelstan, should stop them. Until then, they will hold the peace. Uhtred warns them that Danes are rogues and won’t listen to Æthelstan. Should they find a lord, they’ll become an army. Uhtred advises Alfred to send ships and men to Beamfleot. However, Alfred reiterates that they will maintain the peace.
Hild seeks Uhtred’s permission to build a nunnery in Coccham. She has his permission and his protection.
Beamfleot, East Anglia; Erik orders Hæsten to stow the oars and make sure the ships are guarded well. Erik then joins his brother, Sigefrid. The look upon the fortress of Beamfleot. They intend to take it. As well as Uhtred.
Winchester, Wessex; Father Beocca and Father Pyrlig discuss the upcoming wedding and Thyra, who Pyrlig refers to as a strange beauty. He adds that there is no finer sight than that of a naked woman, arms outstretched. They join Alfred in his Reading Room. He reads of the raids in Daneland. Ælswith interrupts to inform Alfred that they are prepared. Before joining the others, Alfred tasks Father Pyrlig with traveling to East Anglia to deliver a letter to King Æthelstan. After Father Beocca and Father Pyrlig leave, Ælswith calls Æthelflæd into the room to show off her wedding dress. Alfred has not ever seen something so beautiful. As for Æthelred, he is a good and godly man. Æthelflæd asks if Uhtred will be coming to the wedding, as she considers him a lucky charm.
Wessex; On the road to Winchester Sihtric asks Uhtred if he has considered allowing him to marry the woman he loves. Gisela tells Uhtred to answer. Uhtred will speak with her at Winchester and give Sihtric his decision. But he is to give her no more of his arm-rings nor silver.
Uhtred crosses paths with Father Beocca, who seeks his advice with Thyra. She is well, but she must leave. Possibly join Uhtred in Coccham or Ragnar in Dunholm. He can’t think, work, or sleep with her around. He is attracted to her and she can’t be around because of that. Uhtred tells Beocca to marry Thyra as he is her happiness.
Winchester, Wessex; Uhtred, Finan, Sihtric, and Clapa watch as Æthelred arrives, though they don’t think great of him. Æthelwold then informs Uhtred that Bjorn wishes to see him. Æthelwold claims that he and Uhtred are bonded. Their ancestors are kings and yet they are barely acknowledged as Ealdorman. Æthelwold refuses to stand by and watch while power and wealth is given to Æthelred. He seeks Uhtred’s help. Æthelwold tells Uhtred that if they leave now to see Bjorn, they can be back in two days for the wedding. They will leave as soon as Uhtred’s horse is cooler and fed.
Uhtred tells Sihtric that he will allow him to marry his girl upon a completion of a task. He’s to fetch Clapa and go to the stable and wait for him. He should also make sure the horses are fed.
Beocca asks Thyra to marry him. She has become someone that she cannot live without. She accepts his proposal to marriage and kisses Beocca.
Skald’s Hall; Æthelwold takes Uhtred, Finan, Sihtric, and Clapa to Skald’s hall. Uhtred orders Sihtric to stay back and remain unseen. If the dead man rises, when he returns to his grave, Sihtric will watch. And so, the four of them, ride to the hall, where they are greeted by soldiers. Æthelwold explains that they’ve come to see Eilaf, the Skald. Hæsten greets Uhtred and remembers that he spared his life at Eoferwic.
Uhtred, Finan, and Clapa follow Hæsten inside the hall, where he explains that he serves Erik, who sends Uhtred good wishes. At the moment, Erik is in Beamfleot with Sigefrid. It is hoped that Uhtred will join them there. Eilaf is resting in preparation for the rising. Hæsten advises they do the same. Once Hæsten leaves, Uhtred shares that the Danes have 19 ships, meaning it is the start of the end of peace.
Winchester, Wessex; Whilst having dinner, Ælswith warns the servant girl that she stands too close to the king. She then tells Alfred that once the marriage is made that he should consider making Æthelred earn his privileges. Raids from the Danes will not be tolerated. And the Mercian Ealdormen should be invited to attend Wessex Witans. Odda joins them to inform Alfred that Uhtred has left Winchester, but they don’t know where he went. As for Gisela, Steapa informs them that she remains in Winchester. He adds that Æthelwold is with Uhtred and that they went to Mercia. Alfred orders Steapa to put a watch on Gisela until Uhtred’s return. Beocca joins them and informs them that he is to be married.
Beamfleot; Sigefrid and Erik prepare their Dane army to go after King Æthelstan. They will avenge the Gods for Guthrum’s treachery.
Skald’s Hall; Uhtred, Finan, and Clapa are joined by Hæsten and Eilaf. The time has come for the rise of Bjorn. And so, they go out to the graveyard, where Sihtric watches from afar. To raise the dead, they have to send a messenger across the gulf. A sacrifice. They bring a twice convicted thief. He pleads for his life, but his prayers go unanswered. Hæsten shoves a harp string down his mouth to build a bridge from their world to Bjorn’s. Hæsten then puts the message in his mouth and slits his throat. They proceed fertilize the grave with his blood. Moments later, Bjorn rises and spits out the harp string. Bjorn has a message for Uhtred. He informs him that the brothers are ensuring that London’s streets run red with Saxon blood. He then tells Uhtred that he’s to be King of Mercia. King of Saxon and Danes. King of Kings. He then falls to the ground and Eilaf orders that he be reburied. After everyone leaves, Sihtric enters the graveyard. He witnesses as Bjorn raises from the dirt.
Uhtred wonders if Finan, Æthelwold, and Clapa believe that Bjorn rising from the dead is true. All three of them are convinced that Bjorn’s words are true and that Uhtred is meant to be King of Mercia. Æthelwold reminds them that it’s their birthright to be kings. Uhtred then asks Hæsten if it is true that the brothers are attacking Lundene. Hæsten cannot say for certain, but he admits that was the plan.
- Elgin - Slashed with a sword by Finan.