Winchester, Wessex; Alfred worries that when he dies, he’ll be going to purgatory rather than heaven. Nothing has changed since he’s been crowned, as the Danes still ravage the lands. Father Beocca explains that he is the Lord’s King. Without Alfred, there would be no churches or even an idea of an England. He has laid the foundation for a country for all. And when he’s gone, Beocca will see to it that it continues.
Woods, Wessex(?); Skade has a vision of a battle, in which Bloodhair rips Alfred from his horse and kills him. She calls out to her guards, once of which meets her gaze. She tells them that no man is to see her face before Bloodhair and cuts the leg of the guard. She then instructs the remaining guard to remind the camp that Earl Sigurd must be the first to see her. Once he has delivered her message, they’ll be free to gaze. As punishment for the guard that looked at her, she will cut out his eye and tongue. When he draws his blade towards her, Skade disarms him, takes both of his eyes and stabs him in the throat.
Bloodhair's camp, Wessex (?); Skade returns to camp and instructs all the men to look away. Only the women may see her until the Lord has seen what she has seen. Skade cuts her hand and bleeds into Bloodhair’s mouth so that he can make her vision real. In her vision, she saw the death of Alfred at his hands. Bloodhair cuts open a horse and bathes in its blood. He declares that Wessex will belong to the warriors of Bloodhair.
Winchester, Wessex; Alfred and Ælswith watch as Steapa trains Edward to fight. Uhtred arrives and explains that skills should first be learned through fighting with staffs, not swords. Alfred instructs Uhtred to further test Edward’s ability. After disarming and defeating Edward, Uhtred explains that he will practice only with staffs and learn from being hit. Bishop Erkenwald joins them and asks about Uhtred’s wife, ensuring that she’s well. Accompanying Erkenwald is Bishop Godwin, who has a gift. He knows that Gisela is with child and that it is a boy.
Æthelwold approaches Edward after his training and informs him that certain Ealdormen would rather see him dead than rise to king. He made a whore of a young girl and left her pupped. Edward retorts that she isn’t a whore.
Hæsten arrives in Winchester and informs Uhtred, Alfred, Ælswith, and Beocca of a Dane warrior named Sigurd, who goes by the name of Bloodhair. Hæsten has given his word to the king and has declined all offers to join Bloodhair. Hæsten claims that his wife and children wish to become Christian, and he’s asked Beocca to arrange it. Uhtred is certain that Bloodhair will raid and encourages Alfred to attack first. Alfred, however, throws up on the floor. He continues to grow ill. Alfred agrees that they shall march. He orders Beocca to send word to Æthelred. They will join him at the Burh of Aescengum.
After Alfred and Ælswith have left, Hæsten asks about Æthelflæd and who her child resembles, suggesting that it may be Erik's seed. Beocca reminds Hæsten that he’s in Æthelflæd’s debt. He only has men and ships because she killed Sigefrid. Hæsten hasn’t forgotten what she did and prays that they meet again someday. He then informs Uhtred of Skade, who is a seer. Once Hæsten is gone, Uhtred asks about Alfred’s health, which has only gotten worse. Which is why Uhtred must prepare Edward.
Alton, Wessex; Bloodhair and Skade lead an army of Danes into a nearby village and set it ablaze.
Uhtred returns home to find Thyra and Gisela preparing food for Stiorra and Young Uhtred. Gisela is certain that she’s pregnant with a boy as he will not keep still. She remarks that thankfully he will be the last. Uhtred then informs her that he will be marching, but he has sent word to Hild in Coccham, who will join her in Wessex.
Alton, Wessex; Skade has her men string up a priest in the church and demand to know the whereabouts of their silver. They set a fire under him even as he insists there is no wealth. As he is burned alive, Bloodhair spares him the pain and kills him with a spear. He then asks Brother Hubert where they can find the silver, but he insists they have no wealth. If what he says is true, Bloodhair gives him a knife and tells him to take his own life in order to spare his brothers. However, Hubert is reluctant, as it would mean damnation. And so, Bloodhair leaves, giving Skade control over the priests.
Winchester, Wessex; Alfred, Edward, Steapa, Æthelwold, and Father Beooca march out of Winchester.
Alton, Wessex; The following morning, Skade has killed most of what remained of the priests in the church. Hubert has remained alive but strung up. She asks what else can he give her aside from silver.
Aegelesburg, Mercia; Aldhelm informs Æthelred that they are prepared to march. However, Æthelred instructs Aldhelm to march with only half of the guards. He shall remain in Mercia, claiming he needs to defend the northern border against Dane raiders. Aldhelm advises him to remain close to Wessex as Alfred doesn’t have much time left, but the Lord is insistent on staying where he is. Æthelflæd joins them, insisting that she ride off into battle as well as she wishes to see her father. She tells Æthelred that he should be leading his men, but he’d rather she leave him alone. Æthelred then asks Æthelflæd how is her daughter. Æthelflæd retorts that the child is their daughter. Æthelflæd and Aldhelm then prepare to lead the Merican guard into battle. Æthelflæd gives a speech rallying the men.
Alton, Wessex; Uhtred, Finan, Sihtric, and Osferth arrive in Alton to find the village destroyed. They spot a small group of Danes in front of the church. Osferth approaches them head on, allowing the others to get into position and attack, known as the Fight of Alton. They’ve come in search of Skade, who stands in the church with a human heart in hand. She puts a curse on Uhtred. She holds his heart in hand and will squeeze it and break it. As Sihtric binds her hands, she claims that Uhtred now belongs to her and his spirit is hers to torment.
Aescengum Burh, Wessex; Uhtred, Finan, Sihtric, and Osferth arrive in Aescengum with Skade as prisoner and regroup with Alfred, Edward, Beocca, Æthelwold, and Steapa. Uhtred fears that they have left Winchester unprotected. Sigebriht wonders what alternatives Uhtred may have, as it was his village that the Danes attacked. Uhtred is certain that Bloodhair won’t attack as the wall is too strong. And it is for that reason that Uhtred would like to attack first. Although, given that they have Bloodhair’s seer, Alfred would like to wait before going into battle. He wishes to see her for himself.
Uhtred takes Alfred to see Skade. He tells Uhtred to leave them. Skade remarks that Alfred reeks of death. She tells him to ask whatever it is that he must. Alfred asks if she knows how much time he has left. She tells him that he will not see another summer but his name will live on as the first, the last and only king of all Saxons. Skade then calls out to Bloodhair to free her and continues to do so for the entire night.
Æthelwold informs Uhtred that Sigebriht wants to kill Edward because Edward has whelped twins with the girl who Sigebriht loved. Æthelwold is certain that Alfred will make Uhtred tend to the matter, as he is a kingmaker, and it could pose a threat to Edward.
Bloodhair arrives at the gates of Alton with Saxon hostages. He slits a woman’s throat and demands that they return Skade to him. He then kills two more women. Uhtred exists the fortress with Skade. Uhtred punches and kicks her in front of Bloodhair. Skade encourages Bloodhair to kill everyone, but he is more concerned with her safety. Uhtred tells Bloodhair to spare the hostages and send them across the burh. He has until sunset or each man in their fortress will take their turn with Skade.
Winchester, Wessex; Gisela goes into labor. Hild and Thyra see her through the birthing process.
Fearnham, Wessex; Uhtred, Sihtric, Osferth, and Skade arrive at Fearnham for the Battle of Fearnham. Moments later, Finan arrives with Æthelflæd, Aldhelm, and the Mercian guard. They form a shield wall as Bloodhair and the Danes near. They charge towards the Saxons and the battle begins. Alfred, Edward, Æthelwold, Steapa, Beocca, and the men of Wessex arrive and form a shield wall on the other side of the battlefield and attack. Enclosing the Danes within. Bloodhair gets on a horse and flees. Skade witness as her love abandons her.
Winchester, Wessex; Uhtred returns to Wessex to find Hild awaiting. She informs him that Gisela died during childbirth, but she’s given him another son. They buried her days ago. Finan, Sihtric, Osferth, Alfred, and Skade watch from nearby. That night, Uhtred stayed by his wife’s grave.
- Gisela - Died in childbirth.
- Brother Hubert - Chest cut open by Skade.
- Several unnamed priests/monks by Skade.
- Numerous unnamed Dane and Saxon soldiers.