Uhtred and Bloodhair fight to the death to see who will claim Skade. Ragnar, Brida, Finan, Sihtric, Osferth, Cnut, Skade, Æthelwold, Thyra, and Beocca watch on. Brida routes for Bloodhair to kill Uhtred while Ragnar watches in silence, even as Bloodhair’s men cheat by depriving Uhtred a weapon. Finan recovers Uhtred’s sword and gives it back to Uhtred, who disarms Bloodhair and is moments away from killing him before Ragnar intervenes and calls an end to the battle. Ragnar tells Uhtred to take Skade and leave. Skade remarks that Uhtred has defeated Bloodhair twice and she now belongs to him. Brida launches a spear in Uhtred’s direction and tells him that next time, she won’t miss.
Æthelwold demands to know why Ragnar and Cnut are allowing Uhtred to leave. He suggests they kill Uhtred and his companions, excepting Thyra, before Uhtred returns to Wessex and alert Alfred to their plans. Ragnar questions his worth and why he shouldn’t kill Æthelwold. Cnut reminds him that Æthelwold can drip poison into the ears of Saxons. Still, Ragnar grows upset and attacks Æthelwold, striking him several times. Cnut reminds him that it is Uhtred who has caused their division and they need to remember their task ahead. Ragnar states that nothing has changed and they will march when the time comes. Cnut helps Æthelwold up and agrees that they shouldn’t have allowed Uhtred to leave.
Beocca and Thyra must now part ways with Uhtred. They have a ship waiting at Eoferwic. He tells Uhtred not to get himself killed until Æthelflæd is safe. She is important to the king and all Saxons. After she is safe, faith will decide the rest. Thyra tells Uhtred that no matter what, he will always be her brother.
Hæsten and Dagfinn arrive in Winchester. Steapa tells Hæsten that only he may enter the palace, but he must first give up his weapon. He joins Alfred, Ælswith, and Father Pyrlig in the hall. He tells them how he traveled to Dunholm, where he crossed paths with Uhtred and Æthelwold. The plan is to march before the deepest winter makes it impossible. Hæsten suggests that Alfred march out to meet them. Alfred tells Hæsten that his loyalty towards their agreement will not be forgotten. Ælswith urges Alfred to kill Æthelwold. Alfred then tells Pyrlig to write a letter to Æthelred to inform him of the pending battle.
Ragnar leads Brida, Cnut, Bloodhair, Æthelwold, and the great army to Wessex.
Æthelflæd asks how strong a woman must be to want to spend her life in a nunnery. Abbess replies that she wishes to live like this and regrets not a single moment. They suddenly get word of Danes in the kitchen. Æthelflæd, Sable and the nuns block the door with a table. Abbess tells them that her God will strike them down should they bring harm. Uhtred then reveals himself as the alleged Dane, along with Skade, Finan, Sihtric, and Osferth, who informs Æthelflæd that her men are not guards and that she should find more skilled warriors. They will need real protection when the Danes eventually do invade.
Ragnar informs Cnut that he wishes to send a few men ahead tomorrow to scout for Alfred’s army. Himself, Cnut, and Bloodhair will each send a man. Cnut then goes looking for Brida and tells her that Ragnar belittles her, as he continues to hump other women. She replies that he’s plowing a new field in the hope of sowing the seed of another son. Cnut would like to be with her, however, he will leave because she asked him to. Cnut then tells Bloodhair that Ragnar wants to send a spy ahead to watch for Alfred. He goes on to say that it was an insult for Ragnar to interrupt his battle with Uhtred. Cnut believes that their spies should also act as messengers to carry word of their intentions in order to grow their armies.
Æthelflæd is grateful to Uhtred for answering her call even after she freed him of his oath. She warns him against trusting Skade, as she carries a darkness. Soon, Æthelflæd will travel to her estate and face both her husband and the Danes. When Uhtred tries to talk her out of marching, she kisses him and leaves. Skade enters just after Æthelflæd leaves, having witnessed the kiss. She tells him that after he saves the princess, he must return to the Danes and lead them. And he will need Skade to win. She warns him that if he turns away from her, she’ll curse him and his loved ones. She then kisses him.
Alfred informs Edward that they are to march in less then a week. Edward has looked to God and it is before God that he did swear his love for his wife. Alfred and Ælswith have commanded that he get a divorce. Bishop Erkenwald states that Edward’s wife has chosen to enter a nunnery. And therefore, the marriage is dismissed. Edward claims that this isn’t true and wishes to see her, but Ælswith refuses. Edward doesn’t wish to be king, but neither did Alfred. However, he was the rightful choice, as is Edward. Alfred tells Edward that he will marry Ælflæd. Alfred then asks Father Pyrlig to gather the holy relics. Edward asks what of his children. Alfred and Ælswith tells him that they will be cared for. But right now, the crown is the only thing of importance. Edward then swears upon a holy relic.
Steapa and Bishop Erkenwald confiscate Edward’s children and take Ecgwynn back to Winchester.
Hæsten and Dagfinn arrive at the nunnery, where they kill a guard and demand that Æthelflæd be brought to them. The Abbess witnesses the assault and runs inside to inform the others of the Danes’ arrival. Uhtred wishes to send the Abbess back out to talk to them as they are not aware of Uhtred, Skade, Finan, Sihtric, and Osferth’s presence. Sable volunteers to go out there, but Abbess takes the responsibility.
The Abbess offers Hæsten and Dagfinn food and ale, though she insists they don’t have any silver. Hæsten demands that Abbess bring Æthelflæd to him. When she claims that Æthelflæd isn’t there, Hæsten kills another guard. With only one guard remaining, Hæsten gives her one last chance. When she fails to give up Æthelflæd, they kill the remaining guard. The Abbess is outraged by their actions and grabs an axe to defend the nunnery, but Dagfinn launches a spear into her chest. Hæsten demands that Æthelflæd make herself known, taunting her over how many people, including Erik have died protecting her. Hæsten and Dagfinn lead their men inside, where they are ambushed by Uhtred, Skade, Finan, Sihtric, and Osferth. Hæsten and Dagfinn escape as their men are slaughtered in the Siege of Wincelcumb. What’s left of them surrounds the nunnery. Æthelflæd is prepared to give herself up so that no one else has to die for her, but Uhtred angrily talks her down, snapping that if Aethelflaed gives herself up, her guards and the Abbess will have died for nothing.
After discussing battle plans with Cnut and Bloodhair, Ragnar goes to hump another woman. He promises Brida that this is the last time, as he only wants one more son.
Æthelwold has been contemplating his next actions after Cnut told him that Ragnar will likely kill him. Æthelwold intends to kill Ragnar first. Cnut wonders how he will do so. Æthelwold will wait until he sleeps. Cnut encourages him to do so tonight, as Ragnar will want Æthelwold gone before the coming battles demand his full attention. Once it is done, Æthelwold will have Cnut’s protection.
All doors have been blocked except for the front door. Finan and Sihtric are prepared to fight to the death. Uhtred orders Osferth to open the door on his word while the rest of them form a shield wall and negotiate. Uhtred is certain that Hæsten will want his prize. He then tells Skade that if she truly belongs to him then she will do as he asks of her and leave with Hæsten. He promises that he will come for, however, Skade suspects that Uhtred is simply choosing Æthelflæd over her. Skade curses Uhtred. He will remain cursed until he finds her. He promises her that he will. They open the door and approach Hæsten and Dagfinn. Uhtred offers Hæsten Skade in return for him leaving peacefully. Hæsten agrees and Uhtred lets Skade walk to him.
Æthelhelm arrives in Winchester and meets with Alfred and Edward. Alfred informs Æthelhelm that a Great Dane army is coming and they will pray for their defeat.
Æthelwold waits for the army to fall asleep and creeps around camp to Ragnar’s tent. He sneaks inside and kills Ragnar in his sleep, stabbing him as well as the women he lays with, multiple times. Ragnar reaches for his sword so that he may go to Valhalla, but Æthelwold pulls it away. He then drags the woman out of bed and stakes her with Ragnar’s sword before putting the blade he used to kill them both in her hand, so that it will seem as if she killed Ragnar.
- Godric - Throat slit by a Dane soldier, on Hæsten's orders.
- Ragnar - Stabbed repeatedly by Æthelwold.
- Abbess - Dagfinn threw a spear at her.