- "...We were bonded, him and I. He was the man that I could never be, nor did I wish to be. He was a man that I loved and despised... but it was never less an honour to serve him. He was my king. And he did not wish to go to his God without granting me what I have earned many times over! My freedom..."
- —Uhtred about Alfred to the people of Winchester[src]
Winchester, Wessex; Thyra remains trapped under the floorboards of her house as a fire blazes, calling out to her love, Beocca, to rescue her. Finan arrives outside of Beocca’s house to see the flames soaring, so he sends Osferth to find Beocca. Sihtric has begun helping douse the flames with buckets of water. Finan asks if Thyra was inside as she left the palace, but he is uncertain. Osferth retrieves Father Beocca, who attempts to rush into the burning house, but Finan and Sihtric hold him back, as he calls out to Thyra.
As the flames near her, Thyra’s death is all but certain, so she takes her own life, stabbing herself in the stomach with her knife, to spare herself the pain of being burned alive.
Hild joins Beocca by his side as the smoke settles around his burned down house. She assures Beocca that Thyra is with God now. Finan promises Beocca that once the fire settles, he will find Thyra and wrap her body for burial. However, with her being his wife, Beocca insists that this is his task to complete.
Æthelwold and Sigebriht meet with Æthelred and Aldhelm to propose an uprising against Edward. Æthelwold suggests they negotiate with the Danes and allow them to slaughter Edward and his followers. Father Beocca enters with an axe and slams it onto the table, blaming Æthelwold for the bile he spews, encouraging those around him to act unchristian-like.
Æthelflæd visits Uhtred in his cell and informs him that he has been banished from Winchester and Wessex and never to return. Otherwise, her mother will have Uhtred’s killed. Uhtred asks Æthelflæd to fetch Beocca, but he arrives moments later on his own, and he’s come to beg Uhtred to stay. He encourages Uhtred to accept a trial and speak out. Uhtred notices a change in Beocca and asks what happened. Beocca reveals that Thyra died in a fire, which he suspects was set by men of Wessex. Beocca encourages Uhtred to become the light that Wessex needs in the wake of Alfred’s death.
Æthelred tells Æthelflæd to inform her family that Mercia has a king with his own mind. Alfred is gone and therefore all agreements made with Alfred are gone with him. He adds that both countries are equal and free to choose who they ally with or fight against. Aldhelm is, however, in agreement with Æthelflæd. He hopes that Æthelred doesn’t intend to align with Æthelwold or the Danes. Æthelred then asks if Aldhelm sent for his guard of 50 men, which he admits he did not. For his disobedience, Æthelred stabs Aldhelm and tells him that his wound is from an ale house brawl, should anyone ask.
Æthelflæd finds Aldhelm bleeding in her room. He informs her that Æthelred is considering negotiating with Danes, which worries him deeply. Aldhelm then tells Æthelflæd that she has his heart and that he loves her. A love that she does not reciprocate. Aldhelm tells Æthelflæd to act for Mercia and call the men to arms.
Steapa retrieves Uhtred from his cell and escorts him out of Winchester. Finan, Sihtric, and Osferth ask if they should follow behind and leave Winchester for the Danes. Uhtred comes to a standstill. He displays his letter of pardon from Alfred. Ælswith claims that she is gifting Uhtred his life and tells him that he shall leave in peace. Uhtred replies there will be no peace because war is coming. There is a Dane army marching. Edward and Æthelflæd are very much in agreement with him. Beocca speaks in favor of Uhtred as well. He states that only a king can deny a king, and by Alfred’s decree, Uhtred is a free man. Æthelwold argues that Edward is simply Alfred’s son, not a king. Uhtred then offers to leave Wessex only if Edward believes the pardon to be untrue. Bishop Erkenwald commands Steapa to return Uhtred to the palace. Edward orders that Steapa release Uhtred and allow him to speak.
While Uhtred may not be named in the king’s chronicle, he is written on every page; from the Somerset Marshes to Ethandun and all the battle that followed. Uhtred remarks that it was never less than an honor to serve Alfred, who didn’t wish to see God without first granting Uhtred his freedom. Edward wonders why his father chose not to announce it. Uhtred recalls his great friend Leofric. A warrior and Saxon to the bone, who told him once that he could never better Alfred. "Because the bastard thinks," he said. Uhtred surmises that Alfred chose not to announce it so that people could witness the new king, Edward, dispensing justice. Æthelwold objects and continues to argue that Edward is nothing more than an ætheling and such decisions aren’t his to make, but no one appears concerned by his claims. Edward declares that Alfred’s pardon stands and that Uhtred is a free man. Uhtred hopes that one day his path will lead north to Bebbanburg, but until then, he believes he’s needed in Winchester, so he will follow Edward.
Brida looks to Cnut and makes him swear to the gods that it was Æthelwold who killed Ragnar. Cnut swears. And so, Brida declares that he must not fall in battle. Æthelwold cannot fall to any sword.
Uhtred prepare Wessex for a battle with the Danes. Æthelred has spies inside Danelaw that have confirmed the Danes are moving closer. Æthelred has issued an order for his men to retreat, but he wants to know when they will be joined by Wessex. Æthelred asks if the Ealdormen stand with Edward. Æthelhelm insists that they do. Uhtred reminds them that the Danes will have greater numbers. Although, they can still win. Æthelred will return to Mercia and wait for Edward’s orders. Edward admits that he is not his father. Uhtred tells Edward that much like his father, he will overcome the fear inside and write letters to every Ealdormen of Wessex. Finan advises against fighting on open ground as they have few men. Uhtred and Finan agree that Bedanford is the battlefield of choice.
Uhtred and Finan approach Lord Sigebriht as he is leaving in the night. They question his loyalty, as he has been seen in Æthelwold's company. Sigebriht insists that he’s loyal to Wessex. He assures them he will be there in battle.
Uhtred, Finan, Sihtric, Osferth, Edward, Pyrlig, and Beocca march for Bedanford. They set up camp in High Wycombe.
Kimbolton, Mercia; Æthelwold has left Wessex and reconvened with Brida, Cnut, and Hæsten. He reveals that Uhtred now rides with Edward. Brida reminds Æthelwold that he was supposed to kill Uhtred, questioning if he couldn’t find Uhtred sleeping, similar to how he killed Ragnar. Æthelwold becomes nervous and diverts the subject back to the battle and how they will have an ally in Sigebriht of Cent. He will attack the Saxons from the rear once battle has begun.
Brida tells Jackdaw to follow the spies that Cnut sends out in search of the Saxon camps. She wants him to deliver Uhtred a message.
Finan and Sihtric cross paths with Jackdaw just after taking out several Dane spies. He comes with a message from Brida for Uhtred, who reveals that Æthelwold killed Ragnar. Jackdaw adds that his people are near. While Uhtred doesn't have Jackdaw killed, he is then taken away. Uhtred then asks Osferth for the blood.
Edward leads Uhtred, Finan, Sihtric, Osferth, Pyrlig, and Beocca into the Battle of the Holme. Brida, Cnut, Hæsten, and Æthelwold lead their army into the woodlands, where they find their spies hanging from trees. Suddenly, they are ambushed by the Wessex army. Sigebriht and the Mercians have yet to arrive, leaving Wessex to fight on their own. Æthelflæd then arrives and leads the Mercian army into battle.
Hæsten asks Æthelwold where his Saxon army is. Sigebriht arrives with his men, however, they fight in honor of Wessex, taking out many Danes. Cnut takes a spear and launches it into the chest of Sigebriht, killing him.
Uhtred and Brida simultaneously notice Æthelwold on the battlefield and charge towards him. However, Æthelwold manages to escape on a horse as Uhtred is attacked by a Dane. Fortunately, Brida saves him from slaughter. Uhtred steals a horse and goes chasing after Æthelwold. During the chase, Æthelwold hits his head on a branch and falls off the horse. He takes cover behind a tree, as Uhtred searches for him. Æthelwold pleads for mercy. Uhtred demands that he admit to killing Ragnar. Æthelwold does so reluctantly while begging to have his life spared. Uhtred stabs Æthelwold in his chest, sending him to hell and setting Ragnar free. Brida arrives just after Uhtred kills Æthelwold. A ray of sun suddenly shines down. Brida believes it to be a bridge for Ragnar to cross over into Valhalla.
The Saxons defeat the Danes, and Edward returns to Wessex, expanding the chronicle started by his father. Although, some Danes, such as Brida, Cnut, and Hæsten, did manage to escape death and persecution.
Uhtred visits Ragnar’s grave one last time and retrieves his necklace of Thor’s hammer.
- Thyra - Stabbed herself in the stomach before being burned alive in a fire caused by Tidman.
- Sigebriht - Killed with a spear thrown by Cnut.
- Æthelwold - Stabbed in the chest by Uhtred.
- Dagfinn - Killed by Saxons. (confirmed fate)