- "Sigtryggr: When one side seeks to destroy the other, you must choose in order to survive.
Stiorra: Well, I refuse. It’s a game for old men. I won’t be held to the feuds from years ago. I have no fight with either side and I will not choose. It would dishonor either my father or my mother.
Sigtryggr: Well, then, I would say this love of honor makes you a Dane. The Saxon cares only for obedience to their God.
Stiorra: Then you know nothing of Saxons. They treasure honor as much as you do.
Sigtryggr: Yet they say their god is the god of peace.
Stiorra: Do you also believe them when they say their god came back from the dead?"
- —Stiorra and Sigtryggr talk for the first time[src]
Winchester, Wessex; Brida, Sigtryggr, Eardwulf, and the Danes attack Winchester in the Sack of Winchester. They kill many men and take Æthelhelm, Ælflæd, and Ælfweard captive. They ask if he would like to fight or yield. Lord Æthelhelm chooses to yield, and Sigtryggr orders his men to kill the Wessex Guards regardless. He then orders for Æthelhelm, Ælflæd, and Ælfweard to be locked up. Eardwulf informs Sigtryggr that they will have the town soon enough.
Thatcham, Wessex; Uhtred, Stiorra, Eadith, Finan, Sihtric, Osferth, Æthelstan, and Pyrlig hold up in Thatcham, where they set up camp for Ælswith, who will offer prayers of thanks on their behalf when she arrives in Bedwyn. She explains how God worked through Uhtred and how he did not give up his throne to Mercia on his own. And for that, she would always be grateful. She hopes that Uhtred will be willing to help her to accomplish the goal that her husband started. However, Uhtred has his own children to look to.
Uhtred tells Stiorra that they’ll be in Bedwyn by tomorrow. Then they will go to Coccham. Stiorra remarks that Coccham is small and she’d rather go to Winchester. The group, with the exception of Eadith, who hides behind the trees, suddenly finds themselves surrounded by Hæsten and his men. Hæsten informs Uhtred that Sigtryggr has landed from Irland and he wants all Danes to follow him. Sigtryggr and Brida have captured Winchester, where Hæsten plans to take Ælswith, Æthelstan, and Stiorra. Hæsten orders his men to tie Uhtred and his men to trees so that they may die slowly.
Aegelesburg, Mercia; Edward fears that it is too soon for Æthelflæd to leave. She assures him that she has the men and silver to do this on her own. He concedes, and she promises him that she’ll return his troops the moment they’ve secured the northern border. When they take Eoferwic, their father’s dream is revived and they banish the Danes.
Thatcham, Wessex; Uhtred, Finan, Osferth, Sihtric, and Pyrlig are tied upside down from a tree and hung by their feet. Hæsten orders two of his men to stay behind to ensure they die. Unbeknownst to them, Eadith watches from within the trees. Sihtric appears to be suffering the worst. Suddenly, they hear the screams of a woman off in the distance. One of the two remaining Danes goes to investigate and is is killed by Eadith. The second Dane comes looking after him. While he’s gone, Eadith frees Sihtric and Pyrlig. As she frees the others, the two of them kill the remaining Dane. Father Pyrlig will return to Aegelesburg to inform Edward while the others head to Winchester.
Winchester, Wessex; Lord Æthelhelm tries to strike a bargain with Brida, however, she isn’t interested. She wants revenge, something that he cannot give.
Ælswith, Æthelstan, and Stiorra arrive in Winchester. She tell them that the Danes will surely kill them, so she suggests that they say their prayers. However, Stiorra refuses as she’s not Christian. Once inside, they are reunited with Æthelhelm, Ælflæd, and Ælfweard, and the six of them are taken to Brida, Sigtryggr, and Eardwulf. Ælswith warns them that her son will burn them all to the ground before he concedes any of Wessex land. As Ælswith is being taken away, she claims that Stiorra and Æthelstan are Dane slaves and that if Brida values her people, she would take care of them. Brida determines that Stiorra is at least half Dane. However, Eardwulf then reveals that she’s in fact Uhtred’s daughter. Brida orders her men to find Uhtred and send him Stiorra’s head, but Sigtryggr takes Stiorra with him instead.
Sigtryggr assures Stiorra that he means her no harm in any form. He only means to speak with her. He asks about her mother, Gisela, sister of Guthred of Northumbria. Meaning they share the same ancestors. Their land in Bebbanburg was stolen but her father will see them restored. Stiorra is of both Saxon and Dane blood. However, when one side seeks to destroy the other, he tells her that she must choose. He asks if she thinks there could be peace between Saxon and Dane. He then asks about Uhtred. Stiorra explains that her father doesn’t hate Danes. Her existence being a testament to that.
Outside Winchester, Wessex; Uhtred, Finan, Osferth, Sihtric, and Eadith arrive outside of Winchester. They see for themselves that the Danes have conquered the land and have strengthened their defenses. They plot to find a way inside. Eadith volunteers to sneak in with the villagers. She will find out where they captives are being kept.
Kingsclere, Wessex; Pyrlig arrives in Kingsclere, where he finds Edward and informs him of the Danes' attack on Winchester and capture of his mother and child. He suspects that someone must’ve betrayed him for the Danes to know that Winchester was unguarded, but Prylig suggests that maybe it was Edward's fault for making his presence in Mercia less than subtle.
Outside Winchester, Wessex; Brida orders the Danes to dig up the bodies of dead Wessex men. Eardwulf asks her to stop, as it is clear sacrilege. He fought alongside some of the men. However, that is no concern of hers. She tells Eardwulf that he doesn’t get to decide which Saxons he betrays.
Winchester, Wessex; Eadith enters Winchester, where she discovers that Eardwulf is among the Danes, though she remains hidden from him.
Ælflæd blames Edward for not being in Winchester to protect them. Ælswith retorts that if not for his actions, Cnut and Sigtryggr would’ve joined forces and they would be facing a bigger threat. Æthelhelm, realizing that Æthelstan is far too young and noble looking to be a servant, asks why he is traveling with Ælswith. Æthelstan reveals that he’s to be educated at Bedwyn. Æthelhelm realizes who Æthelstan is and confronts Ælswith. She explains that it was Edward’s wish for them to go to Bedwyn. Ælswith tells Æthelhelm to focus on his account with God and Ælflæd to reflect on her anger towards a child, when her own is in danger. She then calls Æthelstan over and tells him about his grandfather Alfred.
Outside Winchester, Wessex; Uhtred, Finan, Osferth, and Sihtric lay low outside of Winchester as they wait for Edward and his army to arrive. However, Uhtred’s men grow tired of waiting. They’re looking for the man who used to run head first into battle to lead them. Uhtred reminds them how he lost Beocca in Bebbanburg because of his haste, so now he’s trying a more cautionary approach.
Winchester, Wessex; Drunk off ale, Eardwulf enters the reading room, where Stiorra sits alone. Stiorra fears that Eardwulf has come to kill her, but she tells him that’ll throw him out of favor with the Danes, which Eardwulf no longer wants. He realizes now that bargaining with them was a mistake. He wants to enact his vengeance on Stiorra for her father turning Eadith against him. Stiorra tells him that he brought this on himself, so he slaps her. Sigtryggr enters and disarms Eardwulf before hitting him. She then reveals to Sigtryggr that the reason Eardwulf ran from Mercia is because he killed King Æthelred.
Sigtryggr gathers his men and brings Eardwulf out before them. He reveals to Brida that Eardwulf works to his own plan and they need to be of one mind. Hæsten jokingly tells Eardwulf that Sigtryggr is playing with him and will show mercy. Sigtryggr then makes a speech about how when they fight, they work as one to achieve a common goal. And at all times, they are united and never fight out of anger as this is the way of the old generation. He then turns his attention to Eardwulf, who works for his own desires. Eadith screams out from the crowd for them to have mercy. However, Eardwulf tells them to ignore her as she’s only a whore he once knew. Brida questions how Sigtryggr can speak so frivolously against the greatest of their kind who has ever walked the land. To which Sigtryggr retorts they’d still be there if they were truly so great. Eardwulf is then executed by the Danes.
Eadith searches for the captives. She finds them locked up in Alfred’s tomb. However, before she can free them, she is caught by Hæsten, who suspects that she’s Eardwulf’s sister and recognises her as Æthelred’s mistress. He drags Eadith out the castle and takes her somewhere Sigtryggr won’t find her.
Outside Winchester, Wessex; Uhtred and Finan watch as they dispose of a body outside of the kingdom and start to discuss of this as a possible way of entry. Suddenly, Edward, Pyrlig, Cenric, and the Wessex Guard arrive and charge towards the kingdom, but the gates are shut before they can enter. Edward’s strategy is foolish, and he inevitably falls back as his men are killed. Brida and Sigtryggr watch as they retreat. Edward warns them that soon they will be surrounded and massacred if they don’t surrender. Uhtred hides himself with a shield and approaches Edward while remaining concealed. He tells Edward to fall back, but Edward sends his men to attack.
- Orm - Stabbed repeatedly by Eadith.
- Eardwulf - Executed by a Dane soldier on Sigtryggr's orders.
- Several unnamed Winchester residents and soldiers - Killed by Dane soldiers.
- Several unnamed Dane soldiers - Killed by Saxon soldiers.