Synopsis[edit | edit source]
Plot[edit | edit source]
Outside Winchester, Wessex; Winchester has been 30 days under the Siege of Winchester (911). What’s left of the Wessex army has camped out near the kingdom. Pyrlig has tried to convince Edward from staging another attack, setting fire to the kingdom, but he won’t listen. And so, Uhtred tries to talk him out of it as burning the land and the people inside is not the answer. Edward fears that he has no other choice, he does this and in time Winchester will rise again. Uhtred suggests they try to speak with Sigtryggr but Edward refuses. Aldhelm arrives to report that Æthelflæd has taken Eoferwic and the Danes there have submitted to her rule. She now travels south with her army.
Brida and Hæsten watch as the guards near. Cenric approaches the kingdom to send a message of intent. Either they leave the town or the Wessex army will burn it down. Brida isn’t interested and shoots Cenric with an arrow, killing him.
Winchester, Wessex; Stiorra remains in the Reading Room with Sigtryggr. She reads from one of the books, though she quickly grows tired of it. She tells him that she’s too hungry to read and Sigtryggr gives her the last of his bread. Brida and Hæsten enter with plans to kill Stiorra as Edward is threatening to burn the kingdom. However, Sigtryggr won’t allow for it. Instead, he tells Hæsten to dampen the roofs with clay and water to protect it from catching fire. Sigtryggr will personally select a hostage, but not Stiorra.
Hæsten has kept Eadith hidden in an attic. He begins to hastily pack his bag and assures her he’ll look after her.
Ælswith, Æthelstan, Æthelhelm, Ælflæd, and Ælfweard remain locked up. Æthelhelm finished the last of the water. Ælswith tells him to pray they offer more. Ælflæd repeatedly states that she is hungry as she is not accustomed to discomfort. However, she is grateful the screaming has stopped. However, that’s likely due to the fact that everyone is dead. They’re being kept alive so the Danes can make a show of their deaths. Ælswith explains that there’s a plant that flowers in the courtyard. The purple blooms, when dissolved in water, are tasteless and effective, especially in children. It was planted there should this situation arise. Sigtryggr comes to take Ælfweard but Ælflæd reveals that Æthelstan is the king’s first born. Æthelstan admits that he’s the elder brother, and Sigtryggr decides to take both.
Outside Winchester, Wessex; Uhtred and Pyrlig continue to try and convince Edward against burning the kingdom. However, each hour they wait is an insult to Edward’s father. Young Uhtred arrives after hearing of Stiorra’s capture.
Sigtryggr sounds the horn and calls to King Edward. He wishes to speak eye-to-eye. Edward orders Aldhelm to tell Sigtryggr to surrender or he will burn them all. Sigtryggr then shows that he has both of Edward’s heirs. Edward orders his men to lower their weapons. Aldhelm advises Edward against approaching the gate, but he does so, with Aldhelm and the Wessex army behind him. Sigtryggr opens the front gate to meet Edward with Æthelstan and Ælfweard. Edward demands to be reunited with his children. He offers to only give Edward one of his sons but only if he retreats. Instead, Edward walks away.
Edward looks to Pyrlig and Aldhelm for answers. He wonders what happens to one child if he chooses the other. Aldhelm believes that if they show weakness now, Sigtryggr will make a show of cruelty. Edward is simply unsure of what to do.
Young Uhtred looks to his father and asks what he would do in Edward’s position. Uhtred says he would break much like Edward as it is unnatural for a man to chose between his children. Should that happen to them, young Uhtred would like for his father to pick Stiorra, as he will be able to defend himself.
Aldhelm suggests choosing Ælfweard as his legitimacy isn’t in question, but Edward refuses to choose one son over the other. Pyrlig questions what else Sigtryggr must want. Uhtred knows that Sigtryggr wants him dead, so he proposes that he give himself up as Sigtryggr might want the man who has come to be known as the Dane Slayer. And Brida will also want revenge for her imprisonment at Wealas. Should Uhtred not return, Edward assures him they’ll speak of his name for ages to come.
Finan, Osferth, Sihtric, and Aldhelm accompany Uhtred on his path to the kingdom. Aldhelm presumes that Uhtred is just trying to buy them some time until Æthelflæd arrives, and she’ll persuade Edward to endure a longer siege. However, that’s not Uhtred’s plan. He’s doing this because he believes he can end it.
Uhtred approaches the kingdom on his own and calls out to Sigtryggr, much to Hæsten’s surprise, as he was under the impression that Uhtred was dead. Uhtred tells Sigtryggr to send out both of Edward’s children and he will walk into Winchester alone. Hæsten admits that what Uhtred says is true. They’ll never be able to truly conquer Winchester while he lives. Sigtryggr agrees to make the exchange. Uhtred enters Winchester as Æthelstan and Ælfweard exit, running into Edward’s arms.
Winchester, Wessex; Ælswith, Æthelhelm, and Ælflæd are escorted out their prison and taken to Brida and Sigtryggr. He reveals that Edward couldn’t choose between his sons, and he has given them Uhtred in his place. Uhtred is surprised to see that Brida is pregnant, as he did not know when he allowed her to be captured by the Welsh. She orders for Uhtred to be tied to the crucifix in the marketplace. However, Sigtryggr wants Uhtred taken to the hall first. He assures Brida she will have Uhtred when he’s done. Lastly, he has the captives taken to the chapel and fed. As Æthelhelm is being taken away, he bargains with one of the guards.
Ælswith wonders why Sigtryggr is showing such kindness. Æthelhelm suspects they're being toyed with. He then exchanges his gold ring for the purple flowers from the yard retrieved by the guard. Æthelhelm tells Ælflæd to drink enough water and give the jug back and after that not to drink anymore. He plans to poison Ælswith.
Sigtryggr enters the hall and attacks Uhtred, but Uhtred doesn’t believe that Sigtryggr is actually trying to kill him. Sigtryggr has been reading Alfred’s chronicle and Uhtred isn’t mentioned. Uhtred explains that Alfred didn’t want it known how much he owed to a heathen. Sigtryggr then reveals that he knows that Stiorra is his daughter, and she has been well taken care of. She’s told Sigtryggr much about Uhtred, such as how he’s lost his home in Bebbanburg. This interests Sigtryggr as he too lost his home, and so that puts them in common ground. Sigtryggr wishes to strike a bargain, and he doesn’t trust Edward to do so. Sigtryggr wants peace and land. All they have to do is get Edward to agree to a meeting and argue terms. Unbeknownst to them, Hæsten eavesdrops on the conversation. Brida catches him and demands to know what he knows. Hæsten reveals that Sigtryggr seeks a truce, which means better for them all. However, Brida sees this as a betrayal. Brida takes Uhtred’s sword and throws it over the kingdom’s walls.
Æthelhelm watches as Ælswith drinks from the jug of water he poisoned with the purple plant.
Outside Winchester, Wessex; Uhtred’s sword is recovered and brought back to the camp. Yet Finan, Osferth, Sihtric, and young Uhtred are certain that he’s still alive within the walls and plead with King Edward to give him more time.
Lady Æthelflæd arrives outside of Winchester. Aldhelm tells her that while the king is trying to be bold, his decisions are rash. Aldhelm is certain that with more time, the siege can be ended without slaughter. Æthelflæd tells Edward that Mercia will support him with whatever he decides. Losing Winchester would kill their father’s dream. Rather than fire, Edward decides to use smoke to conceal an attack. It will hopefully choke those guarding the gate. Aldhelm begs them to give Uhtred more time, but Edward is certain that he’s already dead. So, Edward moves forward with his plan.
The Wessex and Mercian Guard smoke out the Kingdom and the Danes within. Finan, Osferth, Sihtric, and young Uhtred assist in the assault.
Winchester, Wessex; Hæsten returns to the attic, where Eadith awaits. He tells her that he’s leaving. They’re attacking the gates, and Hæsten doesn’t want to be there when the fight starts. And he is taking Eadith with him, even as she opposes. The Danes are being smoked out. Hæsten has a plan to escape, but Eadith refuses to leave with him. He lets her go and leaves on his own.
Æthelflæd, Aldhelm, Edward, Pyrlig, Finan, Osferth, Sihtric, and young Uhtred along with the Wessex and Mercian armies, breach the front gate to Winchester. Where Brida and the Danes await. Uhtred and Sigtryggr reach the courtyard, where the battle has erupted. Uhtred tells Edward to stand down. He does so after some convincing, as does Sigtryggr. Finan then lifts Eadith up off the ground after she was caught in the crossfire.
Uhtred, Æthelflæd, Edward and Sigtryggr go to the hall to negotiate. Sigtryggr wants Eoferwic, which Æthelflæd only just recaptured. Edward offers East Anglia, but Sigtryggr only wants Eoferwic. Uhtred then leaves to find Stiorra.
While searching for his daughter, Uhtred is attacked by Brida. Uhtred refuses to kill Brida or her child. Brida states that it’s not Cnut’s child, but hers alone. And he will be loyal to her like no man ever before. She will breed to him a hate of all Saxons. Uhtred disarms Brida and tells her that she will be killed if she continues to fight, but Brida isn’t afraid to die. She tells Uhtred to either kill her, or she won’t stop until she’s his undoing. Uhtred spares Brida and tells her to leave while she can.
Edward and Æthelflæd return from the hall and tell Uhtred that they’ve struck a bargain with Sigtryggr. He will take Eoferwic and agree never to enter Wessex, Mercia, or East Anglia. Lastly, he wants to take Stiorra. Which Edward and Æthelflæd did not refuse.
Uhtred reunites with Stiorra, who tells him that she’s willing to go with Sigtryggr. There’s nothing for her in Coccham. Uhtred isn’t destined to be the Lord of Coccham any more than she’s meant to live a small life there. They follow where the Gods lead them, and they’re sending Stiorra to Daneland. She wishes to live amongst her mother’s people. She pleads with her father to let her go.
Finan patches up Eadith. He asks her how it felt to be in her first battle. She displayed the courage and spirit of a true warrior.
Æthelflæd brings her mother to her room and tells her to rest, but Ælswith collapses onto the floor.
Edward reveals to Uhtred that his mother is ill and that she can no longer care for Æthelstan. He looks to Uhtred to take care of the child. He will need guidance and protection. Bringing him into the palace would create a major strife. Edward wants Uhtred to teach Æthelstan how to be a warrior, all he knows of the Danes and Northumbria. Sigtryggr has shown them that there are ways to take land without fighting for them.
Uhtred and young Uhtred watch as Stiorra leaves with Sigtryggr and the Danes. Young Uhtred suggests that his father was being guided. He then gives Uhtred a hug and tells him of his plan to return to his church. Young Uhtred hugs Stiorra goodbye before he leaves.
Stiorra leaves with Sigtryggr for Eoferwic.
Brida gives birth under a tree, in a field.
Uhtred leaves Winchester with Æthelstan to go to his estate in Cookham.
Appearances[edit | edit source]
First[edit | edit source]
Deaths[edit | edit source]
- Cenric - Shot with an arrow by Brida.
- Numerous unnamed Saxon soldiers
- Numerous unnamed Dane soldiers
Cast[edit | edit source]
Starring[edit | edit source]
Guest Starring[edit | edit source]