Winchester, Wessex; Uhtred, Æthelred, Aldhelm, Steapa, and Father Pyrlig inform King Alfred of the brothers’ ransom. They want 3,000 lbs of silver and 500 lbs of gold. The first of the metal is to be delivered by the next full moon, the remaining amount one month later. Odda remarks that this is an impossible amount and the entire wealth of Wessex. Without the money, Æthelflæd will be humped by every Dane as far as the eye can see. Alfred refuses to allow his daughter to be whored to the highest bidder. Ælswith argues that is a tale that would overshadow all others. Odda fears that Wessex will not survive the negotiation. Beocca retorts that God will never allow that to happen and that they will triumph. Alfred states that the metal will be paid in full.
Beamfleot, East Anglia; Erik dismisses Dagfinn from guard duty and brings Æthelflæd ink and paper so that she may write a letter to Uhtred. Erik wonders why Uhtred would come. They’re asking him to risk everything for no reward. She replies that it is in his nature.
Erik finds Sihtric and gives him a letter to take to Uhtred. He reminds Sihtric this is a great responsibility.
Uhtred tells Gisela of Æthelflæd’s plan to escape with Erik. He has to help them. If they escape, there will be no ransom paid and no great army. And therefore, the men of Wessex are saved. However, in doing that, Uhtred will have broken his oath to Alfred. And so, they will have to run.
King Alfred and Odda learn from a messenger from Canterbury that the Northmen are crossing the river and raiding directly into Wessex. They’ve taken a man’s wife and daughter. Odda wants good faith to prevail. He wants to march and fight the Danes. Should they kill Æthelflæd, she will be considered a martyr, her dignity preserved. Odda reminds Alfred how he chose Wessex over his child and advises Alfred to consider doing the same. Alfred believes Odda’s injury and appetite for wine has robbed them both of his worth. He no longer serves a purpose, and so Alfred sends him back to his estate.
Æthelwold finds Odda at a pub and tells him that he doesn’t agree with the payment of the ransom. If he had an army to raise, he would prove it.
Uhtred, Finan, and Osferth find Odda drunk at the pub. As they put him in bed, he drunkenly shares with them his plan to raise the Devonshire fyrd against the king’s wishes. Uhtred orders Osferth to stay behind and watch after Odda. Odda awakens the following morning, in bed with Osferth and Clapa.
Sihtric arrives in Winchester with a letter for Uhtred from Erik and Æthelflæd. Erik has enough oathmen to crew a ship. Three nights before the first of the metal is to be delivered, they make their way down river to Beamfleot. Uhtred, Finan, and Sihtric will kill the men that stand guard over the ships. Erik and Æthelflæd sail away. And Wessex is saved. Gisela questions how many guards. Sihtric tells her 8-10. She is greatly concerned for their safety.
Father Pyrlig Claims to have invited himself to Devonshire with Odda, but in actuality, he’s spying for Alfred. Should Odda decide to do anything rash, Uhtred wants Pyrlig to make him hold fast. Odda joins them and Uhtred reminds him of that plan he spoke of while drunk. Uhtred tells him that the men of Devonshire should remain in the fields. Odda claims that he has no intention of raising the fyrd. Uhtred advises him against going against Alfred. Odda and Father Pyrlig then leave Winchester.
Erik arrives at Æthelflæd’s chamber to find Dagfinn sleeping in her bed. He awakens Dagfinn and demands to know where she was taken. Erik rushes over to the hall, where Sigefrid and Hæsten have Æthelflæd hoisted up in a cage. Erik claims that now all men can guard her because she is the wealth that all mean will prosper from.
Odda and Pyrlig cross paths with the Devonshire fyrd. Odda knows that Pyrlig is a spy for Alfred, so he orders him to get down from his horse and walk back to Winchester with the news of Odda marching against the enemies of Wessex. Father Pyrlig pleads with him to not go through with this, but he continues forward.
Erik ordered 10 men to help scrub the ships but Dagfinn only returns with three. He explains that the others refuses under Sigefrid’s order to protect their wealth, i.e. Æthelflæd. Sigefrid then accuses his brother of growing too fond of Æthelflæd. Sigefrid assures Erik it will pass. Everything that’s transpired was Erik’s plan; to give up London and take the princess and ransom her for ships full of gold and silver so that they can build an army that no man will want to face. Soon, all the lands will belong to them. Dagfinn then informs Erik that the men no longer know where his loyalty lies.
Osferth admits to Uhtred that he is afraid. He wears a sword but barely knows how to use it. He prays that when battle comes, he won’t fail Uhtred. Uhtred explains that courage is finding the will to overcome one’s fear. He even offers to find him an axe, which requires less skill.
Father Pyrlig returns to Winchester with Æthelred and Aldhelm to inform Alfred that Odda has raised the fyrd of Devonshire. He intends to march against Beamfleot. They have no choice but to stop Odda.
Uhtred, Finan, Sihtric, Osferth, Rypere, and Clapa arrive in Beamfleot. They spy at least 20 guards. They attack as soon as it’s dark.
Erik takes a Saxon slave into the chamber and presumably humps her. He then brings her back into the hall and tells everyone that she belongs to him. Erik accuses his brother of weakening him. As it should’ve been him who took Æthelflæd and put her in the cage. With only three days before the silver arrives, Erik tells them that after tonight, there will be no more games or ale. His men cheer him on, all except for Hæsten. Meanwhile, the Saxon woman tells Æthelflæd to have faith and that she will be rescued tonight.
Night falls and Uhtred, Finan, Sihtric, Osferth, Rypere and Clapa attack the Northmen. Osferth watches in fear as his comrades go to war. He notices a weakened Dane in front of him and kills him. Uhtred scolds him for claiming a kill that was not his to make. He hands Osferth an axe and tells him to find his courage.
Erik has yet to arrive, so Uhtred, Finan, Sihtric, Osferth, and Clapa are forced to go inside the fortress. They meet Erik in the stables. Erik reveals that their plan is hopeless. He has no crew for the ship and they still have to free Æthelflæd. She hangs where every man can see her. So, they must first get rid of the men.
Sigefrid notices the fortress has been set on fire. He orders six men to stay with Æthelflæd while everyone else goes to douse the flames. Uhtred, Finan, Sihtric, Osferth, and Clapa kill the guards and free Æthelflæd.
Sigefrid and Hæsten notice Æthelflæd riding out the rear gate and they chase after her. Sigefrid suspects this is his brother’s doing and tells Dagfinn to find him. Hæsten chases the woman down only to discover that it isn’t Æthelflæd, but rather a Saxon woman.
Sigefrid breaks the barricade and enters the hall to find Uhtred, Erik, Finan, Sihtric, Osferth, and Clapa rescuing Æthelflæd. Sigefrid begs his brother not to do this. Erik tells Sigefrid that if he wants his reputation, he’ll have to kill him first. Clapa frees Æthelflæd from the cage whilst the others fight. They escape with Æthelflæd as Sigefrid kills Erik. "You did this. You have killed us both." Sigefrid says as the hall burns around them. While escaping, Clapa is killed in battle against the Danes, though he manages to buy his comrades enough time to escape. Sigefrid and Hæsten go chasing after them.
King Alfred, Æthelwold, Æthelred, Aldhelm, and Steapa lead an army of warriors to stop Odda and the Devonshire fyrd. They eventually manage to catch up to him. Odda explains that he lied to his men and told them that they were there to fight on Alfred’s orders. Odda explains that he’s done what he had to for Wessex. Before long, Uhtred, Finan, Sihtric, and Osferth arrive with Lady Æthelflæd. Uhtred warns Alfred that Sigefrid and his men are near and that now is the chance to kill them all.
Sigefrid and the Northmen catch up to Uhtred only to find him under the protection of the Devonshire fyrd and Wessex and Mercia guard. He tells Hæsten that he’s ready to die and leads his men into battle. Hæsten, however, stays back.
Alfred and Odda order for a shield wall as the Danes charge towards them. However, they don’t construct the wall fast enough and the Danes breach. Uhtred is knocked to the ground. He watches as his comrades, Finan, Sihtric, Æthelwold, Aldhelm, and Pyrlig defeat the Danes. Steapa protects Æthelflæd as Sigefrid searches for her. He demands her head. Uhtred gets to his feet and calls out to Sigefrid. Æthelred attempts to come to his wife’s aid, but he is no match for Sigefrid, a superior warrior. Just as he is about to kill Æthelred, Uhtred comes to his defense. Uhtred and Sigefrid trade blows, allowing for Æthelflæd to sneak up behind a stab him with a sword.
Winchester, Wessex; Uhtred returns to Winchester after the Battle of Beamfleot (886). Æthelflæd thanks him for not only saving her but risking his life at the cost of helping her and Erik escape. She tells Uhtred that she may be pregnant with Erik’s child. And should her husband come to think what Uhtred is thinking, then it would be a great comfort for her to know that she can call upon him again. Uhtred is the man she trusts the most and makes him swear that he will come during her time of need. She kisses him and says goodbye.
Alfred approaches Uhtred and states that he has a habit of rescuing Wessex. Odda told Alfred that Uhtred believed he was acting under the king’s orders. Uhtred questions what will happen to Odda for raising the fyrd. Alfred replies there will be a trial. And following, Odda’s execution. Alfred tells Uhtred that he is free to go as his oath man.
Æthelwold brings Odda a blade to kill himself with. Odda would’ve liked to see his land of Devonshire once more. He asks Æthelwold how it looked. He replies it was beautiful. Odda takes the blade and plunges it into his heart.
- Rypere - Slashed with a sword by a Dane soldier.
- Erik - Stabbed in the chest by Sigefrid.
- Weland - Killed in battle by Saxon soldiers. (assumed)
- Clapa - Killed by two Danes with axes.
- Sigefrid - Stabbed in the heart by Æthelflaed.
- Odda the Elder - Committed suicide.
- Numerous unnamed Dane and Saxon soldiers.