- "Destiny is all."
Uhtred of Bebbanburg or Uhtred Ragnarsson (originally named Osbert, sometimes referred to as Uhtred Uhtredson, also known as Uhtred of Cookham) is the protagonist in both The Saxon Stories novel series, and The Last Kingdom television series.
Over the course of the series, Uhtred, a Pagan, has become increasingly complex in his loyalty and general attitude.
Lord Uhtred and his first wife had Uhtred in 850 but she sadly died shortly after giving birth to him. He later remarried to a Mercian noblewoman, Lady Æthelgifu, that union produced a son; Osbert (later known as Uhtred) in 857. Osbert's mother also sadly died while giving birth to him. Lord Uhtred then remarried to the woman Gytha. He had several children with her but none of them survived their first year.
In The Last Kingdom, Uhtred was born into status as son of Ealdorman Uhtred, Lord of Bebbanburg, and raised to have hatred towards the surrounding kingdoms of Mercia, East Anglia, Wessex, Scotland and the Danes. Uhtred was originally called Osbert and was the younger of Ealdorman Uhtred's sons. The name Uhtred was given always to the oldest son, but after his older brother was killed in a failed attack on the Danes, Osbert's name was changed to Uhtred. Uhtred was never taught swordsmanship in his nine years at Bebbanburg as his step-mother wanted him to pursue a life dedicated to being a priest.
In 866, the first of the Danish army began to arrive in Northumbria. In their speed, the Danes were able to capture Eoferwic (York). At this time, the young Uhtred was 19 years of age whilst Osbert was around 9/10 years old. Ealdorman Uhtred was killed in the failed assault to reclaim Eoferwic at the Battle of Eoferwic, and Uhtred, his only living son son, was captured by the Danes following his furious but feeble attack on a Danish warlord. That warlord, Earl Ragnar the Fearless, son of Ravn, decided to nurture Uhtred's fury into a suitable fighting spirit and so adopted him. Uhtred found that living with the Danes was a much freer existence than with the pious Christians and their dour priests at Bebbanburg and embraced the Danish gods of Thor, Odin, and Hoder. Uhtred came to love Ragnar as a father and became a brother to Ragnar's sons, Ragnar and Rorik, and daughter, Thyra.
Living in Ragnar's company was enjoyable, even after Rorik's death of sickness, until everything changed. Ragnar had made an enemy in a man named Kjartan due to an incident between Thyra and Kjartan's son, Sven. The enmity came to a head one night when Uhtred was in the forest making charcoal for weapons. Kjartan led a war-band to where Ragnar and his family were sleeping and set their hall on fire, killing them all. Kjartan initially believed Uhtred to have also died in the fire. Uhtred was crushed by Ragnar's death and left Northumbria to find family amongst the Saxons in Mercia, to the south.
Uhtred ended up in Wessex and in the service of Alfred. Wessex was the last unconquered Saxon kingdom in England and thus always under constant threat from the Danes. Despite Uhtred's childhood he began to fight and revel in Danish defeats. However, Uhtred had a particular hatred towards Alfred whom he believed too pious, weak and trusting to fight off the Danish invasion, although he maintained a healthy respect for Alfred's intelligence. Alfred managed to calm any wanton violence between the two and Uhtred served him faithfully, though grudgingly, and at times with a mind to return to the Danes.
Bebbanburg, Northumbria; As a child in the year 866, Osbert is the 10-year-old second son of English Ealdorman Uhtred, Lord of Bebbanburg in the Kingdom of Northumbria. Whilst exploring with his father outside the Bebbanburg gates, Osbert spots Viking long ships off the coast. At this point in time, the Danes have already raided English cities and monasteries, so Lord Uhtred quickly retreats to the Bebbanburg fortress to raise the alarm. He dispatches his first son, also named Uhtred, to scout the long ships.
Not long after, Earl Ragnar returns, riding Uhtred's horse to the gates of Bebbanburg, only to toss the bloodied head of the younger Uhtred. As a result, Osbert becomes the new Uhtred and is baptised for the second time in front of the common folk so that they may recognise him as the new heir of Bebbanburg. ("Episode 1.1")
Lord Uhtred and his army set off to take the fight to the Danes. Uhtred secretly follows behind, and luckily as well, for his uncle, Ælfric, has already given instructions to kill him to seize lordship of Bebbanburg for himself.
Danish and Northumbrian forces meet on the battlefield. Lord Uhtred leads the offensive attack as the Danes wait patiently. The English forces rush downhill but their blows are rendered useless by the ever-effective Danish shield wall. The second half of the Danish army comes out of hiding to close in on the English from behind, trapping them between two shield walls. The English are slaughtered and Lord Uhtred is killed. Uhtred then rushes the battlefield in a futile attempt to kill a Dane, and is instead captured as a slave along with a young Saxon girl named Brida. ("Episode 1.1")
Ragnar's Hall, Northumbria; Whilst in the Danish longhall that night during celebrations, Uhtred is treated with kindness by Ravn, the blind father of Earl Ragnar.
Northumbrian woods; When Ælfric, Uhtred's uncle, learns that he is still alive, a meeting is arranged to ransom him back to Bebbanburg. Father Beocca, warns him of his uncle's treachery and Uhtred is purchased by Ragnar to live with his family as a slave. Ragnar treats Uhtred and Brida with kindness, as if they were his own children.
Northumbrian woods; One day while playing in the woods with Brida and Thyra, they encounter Sven, the son of Ragnar's ship master, Kjartan. Sven rips open Thyra's dress, leaving her half naked and afraid as Uhtred rushes to her rescue, knocking Sven to the ground. Uhtred is almost punished by Ragnar for starting a fight until he learns the truth of what happened. Ragnar then makes a visit to Kjartan's house to punish Sven by blinding him in one eye and banishing Kjartan from his lands. Later that night, Ragnar gives Uhtred a necklace of Thor's hammer, letting him know that he is proud of him. ("Episode 1.1")
Ragnar's Lands, Northumbria; After a timeskip of several years, Uhtred is grown up. He has a close relationship with his Danish family and is encouraged by Ragnar to marry Brida. That night he goes to Brida in the woods to make love to her.
However, it is that same night, the eve of Thyra's wedding, that Kjartan and his men, now allied with Ælfric, have come to exact his revenge on Ragnar. Ragnar's hall is lit on fire, trapping Ravn and Sigrid within. Those who were able to escape are slaughtered by Danes waiting outside. Uhtred and Brida arrive from their spot in the woods just as Earl Ragnar valiantly attempts to kill as many as he can before burning to death. The next morning, Uhtred and Brida look on helplessly in the smouldering aftermath of the murder scene as Kjartan and his men search for Ragnar's wealth. Bloodthirsty, Uhtred sees Ælfric's right hand man, Scallion, and sneaks in to murder him. Thyra, who was captured by Sven, sees Uhtred but is too scared to call out for help. She is carted away with Kjartan and Sven.
Bebbanburg, Northumbria; Uhtred rides to Bebbanburg with Scallion's head and tosses it at the gates just as Earl Ragnar did years before. He declares that Bebbanburg belongs to him and he will take it back. He and Brida ride away from the fortress as his furious uncle orders his men to mount horses and chase them down. ("Episode 1.1")
Northumbria; Uhtred and Brida flee on horseback from Bebbanburg as Ælfric and his men chase them down. Using a tree branch to cover his tracks, Uhtred shakes Ælfric off in the forest. Uhtred and Brida decide to travel south to look for Ubba. They wish to join forces with Ubba and his army to revenge Ragnar and take back Bebbanburg. They travel to a small Saxon village whose inhabitants have been slain. The sole survivor attempts to shoot them with arrows before Brida hurls her axe into his back. The dying Saxon informs them that it was Danes who murdered his village, as punishment for a rebel Saxon slave who rose up and murdered his Danish master. When Brida demands the name of this alleged "rebel Saxon slave", he says it was Uhtred. Brida declares it would have been better to stay under the radar, let everyone think he was dead, and reclaim Bebbanburg at a later time. Now they have a second story to contend with, one that she thinks Ubba will side with over the truth. They decide to still search out Ubba and plead their case. ("Episode 1.2")
East Anglia; Uhtred and Brida finally arrive in East Anglia. The only way to get Ubba to hear them out is to kidnap his sorcerer, Storri, and hold him ransom. They sneak in by Uhtred pretending to be a Dane foot solider and Brida his hostage. Brida takes Storri away to the woods, with the intention of killing him if Uhtred doesn't return.
Meanwhile, Uhtred waits for Ubba's return, who enters the hall with Guthrum. King Edmund lies beaten and bloody in the middle of the church. Uhtred makes his presence known and tries to explain the truth behind the death of Earl Ragnar, much to the displeasure of Ubba. Barred in, Uhtred stands by as Ubba and Guthrum deal with King Edmund, toying with his Christian ideals by seeing if God would save him if they shot him full of arrows like Saint Sebastian. King Edmund does not survive and they turn their attention back to Uhtred. Ubba does not hear his pleas and wants to kill Uhtred, but immediately calls a halt when he learns Uhtred has kidnapped Storri. Uhtred is released in return for the sorcerer as Ubba swears to kill him one day. ("Episode 1.2")
Uhtred goes back to the woods where Brida hides with Storri, who is flung naked, bound, and gagged over a horse with a stick up his arse. As promised, they release him. Brida wants to go to Young Ragnar who is in Irland. But Uhtred has come to the reality of their situation: they are no longer accepted as Danes. They will go to Wessex instead, hoping to be accepted as Saxons. ("Episode 1.2")
Oxford, Mercia; Stopping in Oxford, Uhtred has a longsword made, with the amber his birth father gave to him welded into the hilt. They flee Oxford when men hired by Ubba come to kill them. ("Episode 1.2")
Winchester, Wessex; Uhtred and Brida arrive in Winchester, where Uhtred is happily reunited with Father Beocca, who takes them to see Alfred for the first time. Alfred is rather reserved in his opinions of the two newcomers, distrusting all pagans (and especially Danes) by nature. In Alfred's hall are thousands of scrolls, in which he writes down the comings and goings and happenings of all friends and enemies that his spies have managed to gather. He tells Uhtred of the importance of the written word not only for documentation but also for legacy. It is his hope that one day, all kingdoms in England will be united as one, under one God. ("Episode 1.2")
After Alfred goes off to prayer, Father Beocca reveals to Uhtred that he has kept the land charter papers of Bebbanburg safe and shown them to Alfred so that Alfred is aware Uhtred is the Ealdorman of Bebbanburg by right. Motivated by this, Uhtred decides to help Alfred by going into Readingham as a spy to gain knowledge of any foreseeable Danish military plans to gain his trust as an Ealdorman. He reports back to the witan that the Danes, led by Guthrum, plan to attack--and soon. The rest of the witan, Lord Odda the Younger especially, is hesitant to trust him, but Æthelred and Alfred decide to follow his advice and march the Wessex army to Ashes Hill. Alfred, still mistrusting of his two guests, imprisons Uhtred and Brida. ("Episode 1.2")
Winchester, Wessex; Following the Battle of Ashdown, the Wessex army have claimed a victory but King Æthelred has been gravely injured by an axe blow.
Uhtred and Brida remain locked in a prison cell at the behest of Alfred. Uhtred is determined to use the Saxons to his personal advantage, but Brida is adamant in her refusal of the Saxon way.
Later, after being released from imprisonment, Uhtred and Brida are less than pleased and demand some sort of repayment for their tip offs. But Alfred has bigger plans in mind. He gifts Uhtred with a Saxon mail coat and helmet and promises him a Saxon marriage which will entitle him to Wessex lands and therefore an Ealdorman title. It is his goal to use Uhtred's Danish knowledge and sword for a service term of one year to take back English lands from his enemies, whilst dangling the deliverance of Bebbanburg over his head. Brida tries to convince Uhtred that their fate lies elsewhere than Wessex, but he has already taken a step towards pledging allegiance to Alfred by agreeing to attend the post-battle negotiations. ("Episode 1.3")
Wessex; At the peace talk, Danish Earls Ubba and Guthrum arrive. They are surprised to see Uhtred standing with the Saxons. Guthrum demands payment in land, silver, grain, and livestock for peace whilst Ubba would simply appreciate Uhtred's head.
But Alfred, newly anointed as king, is firm in his decision to not give up any more land. He demands the heathen Danes return to London and confine themselves to Mercia, East Anglia, and Northumbria. A compromise is agreed upon and later that night in the English camp, Alfred and his witan begin their long term plan to defeat the Danes in the years ahead. The next day, Uhtred finds Brida in the woods by herself, suffering from a painful miscarriage. Uhtred buries the remains. Uhtred also begins military training with Alfred's men by teaching them the shield wall while a mysterious hooded figure watches from the trees. ("Episode 1.3")
The next evening, Uhtred and Brida meet with the hooded figure, who turns out to be Young Ragnar. Young Ragnar demands the truth of his father's death. Uhtred, still pained by the event, yields his dagger to Young Ragnar if he would truly believe he could kill their father. Relief washes over Young Ragnar as he rushes in to embrace Uhtred and Brida. They vow revenge on Kjartan, but with a carefully calculated plan. Brida does not hesitate to accompany Ragnar on his ship, but Uhtred reveals he has already sworn his oath to Alfred. Ragnar acknowledges the oath and tells him that he will wait until they can kill Kjartan together. Uhtred watches from a mountain as Ragnar and Brida sail away together. He hopes to see them in a year when his service is done, but as Leofric poignantly asks of him, "who will you be in a year?" Uhtred of Bebbanburg or Uhtred Ragnarsson? ("Episode 1.3")
While bathing in a stream, Uhtred is confronted by Odda the Younger, who tries to bribe him to walk away from the arranged marriage Alfred has planned for him. The girl is Mildrith, goddaughter of Odda the Elder. Uhtred has already paid the bride price of 33 pieces of silver and knows that she owns land and will therefore serve his long-term purpose of giving him what he needs to be a respected Ealdorman. In the chapel, Mildrith removes her hood and Uhtred sees her for the first time with a look of pleasant surprise on his face. Uhtred, Mildrith, and Leofric set out to their new home. Uhtred, a little disbelieving that Alfred would gift him such a beautiful bride, begins to ask prodding questions and soon learns that Mildrith's deceased father had promised a tenth of his land's yield to the Church, despite not being able to pay in full for many years. The sum of the current debt is 2,000 shillings, which Alfred could remove but has chosen not to in order to test Uhtred's obedience as an English Ealdorman. ("Episode 1.4")
Upon arrival in Lyscombe, Mildrith greets her commonfolk and gifts them the silver from her bride price, of which Uhtred learns she was cheated by almost half. Months pass and Mildrith is now pregnant. She joins Uhtred and Oswald on an overlooking ridge as they patrol their lands, seeing an endless line of Danes crossing through the trees. Uhtred rides with Mildreth and Leofric at once to Winchester to warn Alfred. The peace has been broken and King Guthrum's army marches west towards Wareham. In retaliation, a great Wessex army is raised and sets out to meet them. Uhtred confronts Alfred about the outstanding debt of his deviously arranged marriage. But before Uhtred can begin, Alfred informs him that Ivar the Boneless, brother of Ubba, has been killed in Ireland and Ubba has deserted Guthrum to avenge him. Alfred reveals that his distrust of the Danes stems from their desire for personal gain and pleasure without sacrifice. To Alfred, penance is what separates the good English Christians from the pagan heathens. ("Episode 1.4")
Wareham falls at the hands of the Danes, resulting in a talk at the gates between Alfred and Guthrum. Alfred demands the Danes exit Wessex by ship back to East Anglia in one month's time. Ten hostages from each side are exchanged as a condition during the one month peace term. Among the Wessex hostages are Father Selbix, who has been instructed to convert Guthrum to Christianity, and Uhtred, who has been instructed to escape and light beacon signals should word of Ubba's return be heard. That night in Wareham, the reunion between Uhtred, Ragnar, and Brida is joyful as they drink together. Uhtred finally feels at home, but his new Saxon family proves to be another obstacle in his Danish affinity. Albeit tempted to join Ragnar, he is still drawn towards the dream of Bebbanburg despite Alfred's incessant attempts to test his allegiance. ("Episode 1.4")
A messenger arrives from Ireland with the news of Ubba's return to England as well as reinforcements from London. Guthrum then orders his men to get rid of the English hostages. All but Uhtred is slain when Ragnar steps in and tells Guthrum that he will have to kill him first if he wants to kill Uhtred. Uhtred is released and lights the signal beacons as Alfred instructed. ("Episode 1.4")
At Cynwit Hill, the Saxons set up camp and bide their time on the high ground, waiting for Alfred's reinforcements. Ubba and his men camp below, intending to strike sooner rather than later knowing food and water supply is short on the hill. But at negotiations, Uhtred taunts Ubba and provokes him into thinking the gods are against him for not avenging Ragnar's murder, and in so doing, buys the Saxons a little more time. Uhtred then urges Odda the Elder to strike that night after he sets fire to the long ships while the Danes scurry in disarray. Odda must keep his word and not abandon Uhtred in his one-man mission, despite his son suggesting they flee Cynwit to meet with Alfred and form a larger army. ("Episode 1.5")
Taking inspiration from a grease fire, Uhtred prepares wads of pig fat soaked in oil and sneaks into the Danish camp, successfully setting fire to all their ships. When fleeing, he is spotted by Storri and Ubba challenges him to a man-on-man fight to the death, from which he cannot back down. Both men fight without armour, using only a shield and one weapon. Things do not look good for Uhtred as he's knocked to the ground defenseless, but when Ubba raises his axe to deal the final stroke, Uhtred grabs a nearby shard from his splintered shield and stabs Ubba above the knee. In Ubba's moment of pain, Uhtred reaches for his sword and in one fell movement, slices Ubba's ankles open. Ubba falls forward as Uhtred makes another slice at his neck. Respectful of his opponent as a warrior, Uhtred places the battleaxe in the dying Ubba's right hand and sends him on his way to Valhalla. ("Episode 1.5")
The Danes surround Uhtred and are about to kill him, but men suddenly emerge from the shadows and surround Uhtred to form a shield wall. Odda kept his word and the Saxons are able to defeat the Danes. In the aftermath, Lord Odda has been gravely injured and his son rides immediately to Alfred to claim credit for the victory with Ubba's axe as proof. Uhtred is more concerned with going to his wife and son, whom he has not seen since his departure to Wareham as a hostage. Together, they ride to Winchester where Uhtred barges in on Alfred's silent victory prayers, maddened that his efforts at Cynwit have gone unrecognised. Alfred is enraged by Uhtred's continued insolence, and even moreso in the presence of God. He punishes him by forcing him and Æthelwold into penance by grovelling on their hands and knees through the city of Winchester. Uhtred has reached a new level of humiliation under Alfred's service and can no longer hold respect for the Christian religion which, in his eyes, is not able to serve justice the way justice should be served. ("Episode 1.5")
Upon returning home to Lyscombe, Uhtred notices Oswald dragging a felled tree to the lumber yard. Suspicious of Oswald pocketing a profit from timber that rightfully belongs to him, Uhtred questions him. Oswald flees, but he's not quick enough and is run down and trampled by Uhtred and his horse. This, along with Uhtred's recently peaked hatred towards the Saxon-Christian way of life, causes irreparable damage between him and his wife. ("Episode 1.5")
Uhtred grows further apart from his wife and decides to take Leofric up on his offer of masquerading as plundering Danes in order to loot silver from the neighbouring kingdom of Cornwalum. But Danes have already raided the towns they visit and there is no silver to be found. They are met by Brother Asser on the road and brought in front of King Peredur of Cornwalum, who offers to pay Uhtred and his men to help rid him of fellow Britons that have taken over a nearby fortress. Peredur is a newly-converted Christian with pagan tendencies and calls for his shadow queen, Iseult, to read his fate with Uhtred. Iseult tells him that Uhtred is the chosen one to save them. ("Episode 1.6")
Upon approaching the fortress, Uhtred and his men are confronted by Danes, led by Skorpa, the war lord. Skorpa informs Uhtred that there is no silver to be found within the fortress either, they've already ripped it apart. Uhtred realises he has been tricked by Peredur, and so enters into a 50/50 agreement with Skorpa to turn on the Britons in a surprise attack. Skorpa convinces Peredur to tell him where the silver is really hidden by promising to spare his life, but stabs him in the chest once he gets his information, much to Uhtred's disdain. ("Episode 1.6")
Both Danish parties then return to Peredur's hall to unearth the silver hidden beneath his throne. Iseult slyly lets on to Uhtred that she lied to Peredur because she had foreseen Uhtred as the one to free her. Unsurprisingly, Skorpa goes back on his word to Uhtred and threatens to kill Iseult unless him and his men are able to leave with the whole loot. Leofric refuses to lose more men in chasing down Skorpa, but Iseult reveals that there is more silver hidden elsewhere. Uhtred makes a stop in Exeter to see Bishop Alewold regarding the outstanding debt on his and Mildrith's land as well as the wergild he is being summoned to pay for Oswald's murder. He presents the bishop with an Irish relic of a solid silver, as a way to pay off both debts. He then returns home, debt free, but with Iseult in tow, to whom Mildrith does not take a liking. But this no longer matters to Uhtred as he does not see Mildreth (or his son, who was baptised against his wishes) as a lasting part of his future. ("Episode 1.6")
Summoned to the witan by Alfred, Uhtred walks blindly into a one-way trial where he is accused of not only raiding and plundering Cornwall by plotting with Skorpa, but also of helping Skorpa burn down the church being built at Cynwit. Leofric is brought in as a prisoner and admits to plundering Cornwall alongside Uhtred as his equal, but Odda is intent on blaming Uhtred. Uhtred refuses to get on his knees to beg forgiveness and Alfred is left with no choice but to sentence him to die. In a desperate attempt to give Uhtred the dignity he deserves as a warrior, Leofric requests a fight to the death instead. Leofric argues that God would be on his side, an argument he knows Alfred can't refuse. ("Episode 1.6")
Uhtred and Leofric share an ale the night before their duel, admitting respect and friendship for one another. Alfred offers Uhtred one last chance for redemption, but Uhtred refuses to give Iseult up knowing she would be killed should she return to Cornwalum. Alfred, who does not wish to see bloodshed on the feast day of Saint Chad, walks away. Leofric and Uhtred have discarded their weapons at this point, throwing punches at each other, when suddenly the Danes have entered the city walls. Leofric is quick to declare the end of their fight as they flee in the ensuing panic. ("Episode 1.7")
Uhtred, Leofric, and Iseult hide in the rafters of a mill house when Vikings burst in and begin raping a nun. Iseult, unable to look away, hops down from above to stab the Dane and save the nun's life. The group's number is now four, and they must make their way out of the city by pretending to be two Danes and two hostages. They are almost out until Brida recognises Uhtred and confronts him. She is not friendly, but allows them to escape. They make their way to the marshlands when a small party of Danes chases after a group of priests. Uhtred and Leofric fend off the attackers and help everyone escape by boat. The priest they manage to save is none other than Alfred. Uhtred is quick to remind him that like every other kingdom before it, Wessex has fallen and he is now king of nothing. In the safe haven of the Athelney marshes, both Alfred and his infant son, Edward, grow sicker. Alfred reveals to Uhtred that to save Wessex from crumbling at the hands of the Danes, there must be a single, defining battle that will determine the fateful outcome of either nation. To do this, Alfred dispatches his priests in every direction to inform his enemies of his current whereabouts. ("Episode 1.7")
Iseult prepares herbal tonics for Alfred's hemorrhoids which work well enough that he can eat meat again. But another way must be found for Edward--a pagan way which Ælswith is not keen on. Iseult predicts the child only has one night left and Alfred, whose fate as a king is tied to fate as a father, is desperate to save him. Iseult warns Uhtred that to save one life, another must be taken. When they awake the next morning, the baby is magically healed. Alfred, overcome with joy, is deaf to Father Beocca's exaltations that their prayers were answered by God. Uhtred excursions and devises a plan: kill all of Skorpa's men who are currently water-bound and force the remainder to join forces with Guthrum, leading to the penultimate battle. They goad Skorpa's men into the deep marshes, letting the wetlands trap them before they attack. In the sunset, they look on at the burning long ships with renewed hope for a Wessex retaliation. ("Episode 1.7")
Alfred, Uhtred, Leofric, Iseult, Brother Asser, Hild, and Halig travel towards Odda's estate in Devonshire to start gathering Alfred's army. Avoiding the Roman roads which are filled with Danes, they travel by way of Lyscombe, only to find death and destruction. All the villagers have fled and a small grave is marked outside Uhtred's house with a wooden cross. The stranger's baby that was taken in lieu of Alfred's son was Uhtred's. Iseult is torn for Uhtred and the knowledge she has as a seer. She goes to Uhtred in the woods that night so he may take her virginity, and therefore her sight. Afterwards, Iseult finally reveals what Skorpa had whispered to her in Cornwalum: Thyra lives and is being held by Kjartan in the north. ("Episode 1.8")
Odda the Younger, who believes Alfred is dead, tries to make an agreement with Skorpa. But when Uhtred and Leofric, Alfred hidden amongst them, arrive to their estate and rally him to their cause, Odda refuses to believe the king still lives. His father, who has seen Alfred in the crowd, stabs his own son for his traitorous deeds. Uhtred sends Skorpa back on his way to Guthrum, who informs the Viking leader of the Saxon numbers. ("Episode 1.8")
The battle commences and the Saxons let the Danes fall upon their shield wall first and then slowly advance, gaining ground. Leofric takes an axe blow to the neck and falls behind. Skorpa, realising they are already at a disadvantage, leaves the battlefield to attack the Saxon camp where he runs down Iseult and returns to the battle, flinging her bloody head at Uhtred. Enraged, Uhtred breaks formation and leaps over the enemy shield wall and begins killing Danes at will. Father Beocca, calling on the might of God, launches his spear towards Uhtred, who swiftly takes it and throws it into Skorpa's chest, knocking him off his horse. ("Episode 1.8")
In the aftermath of the battle, Uhtred orders Leofric's grave marked as an Ealdorman and a pyre for Iseult. The Battle of Æthendun won, Alfred admits that he is indebted to Uhtred, that Wessex is indebted. Peace is secured by Guthrum's conversion to Christianity and also with hostages including Brida and Ragnar. Brida refuses to look at Uhtred but Ragnar remains both his brother and friend. Having saved Wessex, Uhtred's path now leads back north so he can face his past. ("Episode 1.8")
Lichfield, Mercia; Hild crosses path with a young woman who has stolen Uhtred's sword. She recovers the sword and wakes Uhtred and Halig up. It’s time they leave. Hild wants to head to Northumbria, where Uhtred is to kill Sven, though he is reluctant given he is without an army. ("Episode 2.1")
Uhtred, Hild, and Halig arrive in Eoferwic to find the village on fire. They discover that the remaining Danes have been beaten, killed and strung up. They've taken Hæsten prisoner and tortures him. Uhtred intervenes and asks Hæsten who does he serve. He reveals that he serves Sigefrid and Erik, who left to fight the Scots. Uhtred frees Hæsten and tells him to leave. Father Hrothweard is familiar with Uhtred's reputation after the battle of Ethandun. It's because of Uhtred's actions against the Danes that Father Hrothweard welcomes him to Eoferwic. ("Episode 2.1")
Uhtred reunites with Father Beocca, who introduces him to Brother Trew. They’re traveling North with Alfred’s blessings and silver. It is for a ransom to pay to free a slave. This slave is marked to become a king. His name is Guthred. He is a Dane. The spirit of Saint Cuthbert has decreed that Guthred shall be king. He appeared in a dream to the abbot Eadred of Cumbraland. He named Guthred as king of both Saxons and Danes. Beocca asks Uhtred, Hild, and Halig to join them. Their bargain is with his slave-master. The village in which they are meeting sits on land that belongs to Sven. Sven's land will be full of warriors. For protection, they have gathered a group of sickly men, who suffer with the White Riff. Leprosy is a terrible curse that no man dare approach. Uhtred suspects that should Guthred rise to the throne, he would be prepared to raise an army against Sven, so he is willing to help. ("Episode 2.1")
Hild asks about the amber on the hilt of Uhtred's sword. It was given to him at his birth by his father to remind him of who he is. Hild worries that Father Beocca asks too much of Uhtred, but he believes it’s his destiny to face Sven. ("Episode 2.1")
Uhtred, Hild, Halig, Beocca, and Brother Trew leave Eoferwic to rescue Guthred. Hild would like for Uhtred to teach her how to fight, in order to protect herself and those she cares for. Beocca informs Uhtred that they are being followed, which he is aware of. They’re willingly walking into a trap. Uhtred tells the others that they will enter the slave market alone. He will follow with the Lepers. ("Episode 2.1")
With his identity hidden under a skull, Uhtred and several lepers arrive on horseback and claim that they've come to take the Danes’ souls. Uhtred subdues Sven and orders everyone to leave. As Gelgill is fleeing, he is stabbed in the back and killed by Hild. Beocca pleads with Uhtred to spare Sven, who is begging for his life. Father Beocca and Brother Trew call out for Guthred. He emerges from the crowd and they take him home. ("Episode 2.1")
Guthred rewards Uhtred with food for coming to his rescue. Guthred knows of Alfred and Uhtred's time with him. And while a slave, some of the men spoke of Ethandun and how Uhtred broke a shield wall. Guthred is indebted to Uhtred and wants Uhtred to join him as his commander. Uhtred tells Guthred that if he builds an army, he will command it. ("Episode 2.1")
Uhtred, Hild, Halig, and Beocca arrive in Cumbraland. They mistake Uhtred for the king, as does the abbot. Uhtred reveals that Guthred is in fact king. He gets off his horse and reunites with his sister, Gisela. He then thanks Abbot Eadred as it was his dream that called upon Guthred’s release. Abbot Eadred announces that King Guthred will lead both Danes and Saxons against the evil in Northumbria. He then hands Guthred the sword of Cumbraland. ("Episode 2.1")
They enter the church for the royal oath, which shall be sworn upon the corpse of the blessed Saint Cuthbert himself. Saint Cuthbert's casket is brought in and the Abbot prays over his body. Guthred approaches. He asks Uhtred to join him at his side. Guthred takes Saint Cuthbert’s hand and swears to defend Cumbraland. ("Episode 2.1")
Cumbraland, Northumbria; Tekil arrives and asks for Uhtred. They’ve come to offer their swords, claiming to serve the Dane, Earl Brynjar. They claim to be worried that Kjartan will take their land. ("Episode 2.2")
Uhtred finds Gisela in the temple. She’s not Christian, but she finds sitting in the temple peaceful. Gisela is thinking about her brother, who now believes that he owns her, but she will not be his gift. She has her own mind. The abbot Eadred dreamt her brother to be king, but it was not his idea to offer a ransom. It was not his idea that we should go to Alfred for silver. It was Gisela's. Should she be offered as a bride, she will look to Uhtred for advice. She will decide whether to stay or to leave, should that time come. ("Episode 2.2")
Uhtred gets word that his horse is sickly and goes to check on it, where he is ambushed by Tekil and his men. He pulls a dagger in preparation to take one of Uhtred's eyes. However, Uhtred is saved by Hild, Halig, and Clapa. Uhtred kills Tekil and his men, all except for one, Sihtric, who he keeps alive. The rest of the men, Uhtred wants Halig and Clapa to remove their heads so that he may send them as a gift to Kjartan. Hild would like some of their mail or leather, so she will earn it by taking the first head. Halig tells her an axe would be easier, but she uses a small knife instead, to take Tekil's head. Afterwards, she throws up. ("Episode 2.2")
Uhtred and Beocca share a jug of ale as tomorrow, Beocca will be returning to Winchester. He has the teeth belonging to Saint Cuthbert as protection. He makes Uhtred promise him that he won’t do anything stupid. Lastly, Beocca warns Uhtred to stay away from Gisela, as she has a higher purpose. He should tread carefully as Brother Trew and the Abbot don’t trust him. ("Episode 2.2")
Saint Cuthbert leads the way on the shoulders of monks to Eoferwic. Uhtred follows behind with a fleet of soldiers, including Hild, Halig, and Clapa. ("Episode 2.2")
Sihtric disarms Halig and demands to speak with Uhtred. Sihtric merely wishes to serve Uhtred. Sihtric is Kjartan's bastard son, whelped on a slave girl. Sihtric releases Halig. Abbot Eadred orders Uhtred to kill Sihtric, but he refuses. On Thor’s hammer, Sihtric swears his sword to Uhtred. And so, Uhtred welcomes him in. ("Episode 2.2")
Uhtred sneaks into Gisela’s hut, where they proceed to have sex. Brother Trew passes by and overhears the moans. ("Episode 2.2")
Hild, Halig, Clapa, and Sihtric spot an army of Danes coming in North. Sihtric suspects that it’s Sigefrid and Erik. Halig orders Hild and Sihtric to report back to Uhtred. They eventually return with Uhtred and King Guthred and follow the Danes to their camp, where they spot Sigefrid, Erik, and Hæsten with a small group of men. Uhtred wishes to attack tonight while they’re vulnerable, but Guthred has to think it over. ("Episode 2.2")
Uhtred, Guthred, Gisela, Hild, Halig, Ulf, and Abbot Eadred discuss the small army of Danes led by Sigefrid and Erik. Uhtred and Ulf wish to kill them. But Guthred wants to bargain with them. A message is already on the way. They will attend the negotiation and Guthred’s voice is the only they shall hear. ("Episode 2.2")
Uhtred, King Guthrum, Gisela, and Abbot Eadred attend the negotiation with Sigefrid and Erik. They too are familiar with Uhtred's reputation. They thank him for killing Ubba. They’ve gained much wealth since his demise. King Guthred is willing to negotiate with them, but he will kill them if necessary. In exchange for peace, he will offer them a fortress at Dunholm, which currently belongs to Kjartan. They will take it from Kjartan. One way to defeat him is to deny him food and freedom. They would need to surround him with men, with defences, and deny him what he needs to live. Their men would need to be fed and remain sober, for months. It would take too much time and too many men, some hundreds of men, Uhtred retorts. However, King Guthred agrees with Sigefrid and Erik. ("Episode 2.2")
They arrive in Eoferwic. Uhtred wants Sihtric to tell him about Kjartan’s fortress in Dubholm and it’s weakness. Sihtric replies there aren’t any weaknesses. Uhtred decides to go and see for himself. Uhtred arrives outside of Dunholm with the heads of Kjartan’s men. He places them on posts in the late hours of the night. The following morning, Tiske, recovers the heads, reporting back to Kjartan and Sven. They sent eight men but only seven heads can be seen. The last is Tekil. Uhtred rides by on a horse and takes Tekil’s head, as well. He continues to disguise himself as the dead horseman. Kjartan believes that it is in fact Uhtred under the hood and calls him out. ("Episode 2.2")
Uhtred meets with King Guthred and tells him that he cannot continue to be a friend to all men. There are times where he must be ruthless, but he isn’t, and now Sigefrid and Erik think him to be weak. Guthred admits that Uhtred is right and that fear is a beast he must use. Uhtred then asks to be seen as Sigefrid’s equal. Like the brothers, Uhtred is a lord of the North. Uhtred asks that Guthred offers his sister in marriage. And he does so willingly. ("Episode 2.2")
Abbot Eadred orders his men to take Uhtred and Halig. Hild draws her sword, but Uhtred orders her to put down her sword and find Gisela. However, Gisela is being taken by Brother Trew. She tells Hild that she must help Uhtred. Guthred has double-crossed Uhtred. He and Halig are to be sold in exchange for 200 men from Bebbanburg. They’ve struck a deal with Ælfric. While being taken to the ship, Uhtred and Halig make a final attempt to escape, but they are captured by Sverri and the guards. ("Episode 2.2")
Uhtred and Halig are slaves on a ship headed for the North Sea. They manually row the boat with the other slaves; among them is a man named Finan. Uhtred assures Halig that their journey won’t end with them as slaves or in a grave. Hakka, a member of Sverri’s crew, tells Uhtred to stop talking. In unison the slaves start to say "Pull!" Finan promises Uhtred that one day, he will kill Hakka himself. ("Episode 2.3")
The slave ship is filling up with water. Uhtred, Halig, and Finan dump the water out of the ship using buckets. Uhtred asks Hakka to release them of their chains, but he refuses. Either they’ll bail out the water or sink with the ship. Whilst the other slaves rest, Uhtred continues to bail out water. Sverri orders him to rest as well and to let go of his pride, as he is nothing more than property. Finan agrees that Uhtred should conserve his strength so that when the chance comes, they can run, but Uhtred explains that in order to run, they’ll need skin on their feet, not rotting flesh. And so, Finan helps him bail. ("Episode 2.3")
The slave ship nears East Anglia. Halig becomes hysterical. Hakka orders him to get back in his place, when he continues, Hakka whips him. Uhtred gets on top of Halig to cover him from the whip. Finan informs Hakka that Halig is sick with the fever and that they will control him, but Hakka continues. Uhtred reminds Halig that he is a warrior and that he is alive because of him. He tells Halig to row, and when the time comes for them to escape, they will. ("Episode 2.3")
Uhtred, Halig, and Finan are shivering cold on the slave ship. Sverri and Hakka inform the slaves that they are finished until spring. Winter will be on land, where there’s work to be done. He then gives them a loaf of bread to share. Sverri takes the slaves to Iceland. Uhtred, Halig, and Finan are held up in the stable with the pigs. Sverri gives them what’s left of the carrots. ("Episode 2.3")
Hakka watches as Uhtred, Halig, Finan, and the other slaves chop down trees. Hakka practices his aim, throwing his blade into the tree, right next to that of an archer’s head. While they re distracted, Finan helps Halig break free of his chains. Halig charges towards the archer. He is shot in the shoulder, but manages to kill the archer. He then kills Hakka. After setting the slaves free, they each escape. However, Uhtred, Halig, and Finan have hounds on their heels. They make it to the beach, where they find a boat to escape in. However, Halig is shot in the leg and all three are captured. ("Episode 2.3")
Uhtred and Finan are back in the ship with the other slaves and forced to row. Sverri only keeps him alive because he wants to know who Uhtred is and if he’s worth anything. Halig has been bound to the front of the ship, where he screams until his last breath, as he drowns. ("Episode 2.3")
Sverri arrives ashore looking for Jonis. He is intercepted by Sven. He’s come looking for Uhtred and picks him out of the crowd of slaves. He gives Uhtred a sword to battle to the death. Finan tries to intervene as Uhtred is too weak but he is knocked back. Sven raises his sword to kill Uhtred but Ragnar, Hild, and Steapa arrive. He embraces Ragnar, who then orders for all the slaves to be freed. Finan picks up a sword and stabs Sverri in the throat. ("Episode 2.3")
Hild finds Uhtred sleeping in the field. She cuts Uhtred’s shirt off of him, as he is too weak to remove it himself. She discovers the whelps on his back as she cleans him. She then proceeds to cut his hair. She remarks that Uhtred has yet to look her in the eyes. He is ashamed of what he’s become. She gives him back his sword and reminds him of who he is. He realizes that Alfred sent help because of Hild. And for that, she will always have his protection. She then gifts him a necklace with a cross for protection. ("Episode 2.3")
Abbot Eadred and Brother Trew seize Gisela. They will have her married immediately. He orders Aidan to stand in for Ælfric, at Gisela’s side. When Gisela refuses to marry against her will, Abbot Eadred strikes her. Aidan forcefully takes Gisela’s hand and Abbot Eadred marries the two. Uhtred, Finan, Hild, and Ragnar arrive. Abbot claims that it’s too late, however, Uhtred and Ragnar are willing to kill everyone in their way. And so, Abbot Eadred lets Gisela go. Although, he repeatedly states that Gisela is now married. Uhtred orders him to stop, but when he continues, Uhtred stabs him, much to Hild’s displeasure. He sends Aidan back to Bebbanburg to tell his uncle that his wife is with him. ("Episode 2.3")
Uhtred returns to Winchester. For Ragnar fulfilling his task, Alfred would like to free both him and Brida. Alfred lights candles in an attempt to measure the passing of time. He’s trying to find a candle that burns from midday to midday. Alfred would like Uhtred in his service yet again. Alfred then confronts Uhtred for killing Abbot Eadred on blessed ground. However, Uhtred was in the company of Ragnar, who was under Alfred’s orders and whom he will hold responsible for the killing of Abbot Eadred. Uhtred refuses to allow Ragnar to take the blame for his actions. However, Alfred orders that Ragnar stand trial. And he lastly request that Uhtred serve him. Uhtred agrees to serve Alfred only if he allows Ragnar to go free. ("Episode 2.3")
Uhtred visits Beocca in the temple. He wants Beocca to marry him to Gisela before they ride off to Eoferwic. Uhtred loves Gisela, and so Beocca tells him to bring her to him and to be quick and discreet. Father Beocca marries Uhtred and Gisela in the temple. He bounds their hand and they kiss. ("Episode 2.4")
Uhtred finds Ragnar gearing up to leave. He'd ask Uhtred to come with him but he’s already heard that Uhtred has sworn his sword to Alfred. Uhtred promises that he’ll be with Ragnar when the time comes. Alfred is sending him to kill Erik and Sigefrid. If he succeeds, then Guthred will be in Uhtred’s debt and he will demand the use of his men. Ragnar tells Uhtred that in swearing Alfred his sword, he’ll remain a slave. However, Uhtred will do whatever he has to in order to kill Kjartan. ("Episode 2.4")
Uhtred visits Beocca in the temple. He wants Beocca to marry him to Gisela before they ride off to Eoferwic. Uhtred loves Gisela, and so Beocca tells him to bring her to him and to be quick and discreet.Father Beocca marries Uhtred and Gisela in the temple. He bounds their hand and they kiss. ("Episode 2.4")
Uhtred, Ragnar, Hild, Finan, Æthelwold, Steapa, and Beocca head to Eoferwic, where they gather with Brida. They find Sigefrid and Erik’s camp. Brida and Ragnar don’t believe the plan is safe as there are too many uncertainties. They don’t even know which tent the brothers are in. Æthelwold informs them of the game Tafl. The king is positioned at the centre of the pieces. Æthelwold presumes the brothers are in the center. ("Episode 2.4")
Uhtred, Finan, and Steapa go in alone. They take out three guards. Uhtred enters Sigefrid’s tent. He is disarmed by Sigefrid’s woman, and then Uhtred and Sigefrid exchange blows. Uhtred cuts off Sigefrid’s hand and then drags him out the tent for all to see. Finan and Steapa stand by his side. Erik and Hæsten arrive. Sigefrid orders his brother to kill Uhtred, but Erik instead tries to bargain with him. Erik gives Uhtred his word that he is willing to pay whatever price necessary. He tells Erik to take one ship and leave Northumbria, never to return. Erik agrees to his terms and takes his brother and castrates his hand. ("Episode 2.4")
They arrive Eoferwic. Uhtred throws Sigefrid’s hand on the table. In return, King Guthred will ready his army. King Guthred asks Uhtred to join him. Admittedly, he is afraid of Uhtred. He also feared that Uhtred would take his newly found power. And for that, he made Uhtred a slave. Uhtred slaps him when he tries to explain how he spared him rather than killing him as his uncle ordered. He then asks about his sister. Uhtred replies that Gisela is his wife. Guthred will write to Alfred to inform him that Uhtred’s journey to Dunholm is his instruction. He hopes that one day, Uhtred will forgive him, as he considers Uhtred his greatest friend. Uhtred tells Ragnar that Dunholm is his to take and then calls Sihtric over and asks why he lied to him about Dunholm not having weaknesses. Uhtred saw a door along the east wall. Sihtric replies that Uhtred could never bring an army through it. Uhtred replies that he doesn’t intend to. ("Episode 2.4")
Uhtred, Ragnar, Brida, Hild, Finan, Sihtric, Æthelwold, Steapa, and Beocca lead an army of men to Dunholm. They send the signal for Ragnar and Brida to lead their army to the front gate. They invade the fortress, killing many men. Steapa kills the guards by the gates and opens them for Brida, Ragnar, Clapa, and the others to enter. They eventually force Kjartan to retreat. Ragnar then challenges him to a battle to the death and kills him. However, after doing so, he continues to stab his lifeless body repeatedly. Even his own comrades watch in disbelief. Uhtred has to pull Ragnar off of Kjartan’s body. Afterward, Uhtred and the others return to Wessex. ("Episode 2.4")
Datchet, Mercia. Three years have passed since Uhtred and Ragnar took Dunholm and now he arrives on shores of Datchet with Finan, Sihtric, Clapa, and an army of men. They can hear the screams of nearby villagers. They wait for a small group of Danes to approach with woman prisoners and attack. Uhtred rescues a young Saxon Woman and a child named Æthelflæd. Same as King Alfred’s daughter. Uhtred tells them to return home. He then orders Finan to string up three of the dead from the trees so that they can be seen from the river. They leave one Dane alive to return to his people and inform them that beyond Lundene the River Temes belong to Alfred. ("Episode 2.5")
Coccham, Uhtred’s Wessex Estate. He greets his wife Gisela and his children, Young Uhtred and Stiorra. Æthelwold is waiting for him inside. Not a drop of ale has passed his lips in ten days or more. Æthelwold is sober now. He tells Uhtred that the dead speak. He saw a corpse rise from its grave. He said that Æthelwold should be King of Wessex and that Uhtred will be crowned King of Mercia. Bjorn, the dead man, heard it through the three spinners. Uhtred isn’t convinced that what Æthelwold speaks is the truth. He claims to have seen the corpse in Mercia. Beyond Watling Street. Meaning he crossed into Daneland. Æthelwold claims he was invited and the same will happen for Uhtred. ("Episode 2.5")
Alfred and Odda arrive in Coccham to speak with Uhtred. Alfred is bothered by Uhtred’s pagan hall. Gisela brings them refreshments. She assures them that she is well, as is her family. She asks about Alfred, who is apprehensive about his daughter being gifted in marriage. Uhtred and Finan join them, greeting Steapa at the door. Alfred has come after getting word that Uhtred hung a man of Wessex. Uhtred admits he did so, but the man was guilty. However, Uhtred never held a trial. If Uhtred wishes to remain an Ealdorman, he’ll have to adhere to their laws. He then asks about Æthelwold, however, Uhtred claims to have no knowledge of him crossing over into Daneland. ("Episode 2.5")
Uhtred approaches Erik, who claims that he didn’t come to fight but rather to meet with a dead man. He will make his appointment in Mercia and then return to Frankia. Erik informs Uhtred that they’ve grown stronger and have 19 ships. They have no plan other than to follow Bjorn, who speaks the words of the three spinners. After his defeat at Ethandun, the Earl Guthrum rejected their gods and they are angry. They want revenge. Uhtred allows Erik to pass, and for that, Uhtred will always have Erik’s respect. ("Episode 2.5")
Uhtred, Gisela, Finan, Alfred, and Odda have dinner together. Alfred again asks about Æthelwold. Uhtred and Gisela inform him that Æthelwold had been sober for days. He remarks that Æthelwold is as good of a man as Æthelred. Uhtred is merely concerned about the safety of Wessex, which Guthrum’s old men threaten. They gather at the mouth of the Temes river at Beamfleot. 200 or more. Should they decide to block the river, Wessex will be starved of trade. Alfred believes that Guthrum, now known as King Æthelstan, should stop them. Until then, they will hold the peace. Uhtred warns them that Danes are rogues and won’t listen to Æthelstan. Should they find a lord, they’ll become an army. Uhtred advises Alfred to send ships and men to Beamfleot. However, Alfred reiterates that they will maintain the peace. ("Episode 2.5")
Uhtred, Finan, Sihtric, and Clapa watch as Æthelred arrives, though they don’t think great of him. Æthelwold then informs Uhtred that Bjorn wishes to see him. Æthelwold claims that he and Uhtred are bonded. Their ancestors are kings and yet they are barely acknowledged as Ealdorman. Æthelwold refuses to stand by and watch while power and wealth is given to Æthelred. He seeks Uhtred’s help. Æthelwold tells Uhtred that if they leave now to see Bjorn, they can be back in two days for the wedding. They will leave as soon as Uhtred’s horse is cooler and fed. ("Episode 2.5")
Æthelwold takes Uhtred, Finan, Sihtric, and Clapa to Skald’s hall. Uhtred orders Sihtric to stay back and remain unseen. If the dead man rises, when he returns to his grave, Sihtric will watch. Uhtred, Finan, Sihtric, and Clapa follow Hæsten inside the hall, where he explains that he serves Erik, who sends Uhtred good wishes. At the moment, Erik is in Beamfleot with Sigefrid. It is hoped that Uhtred will join them there. Eilaf is resting in preparation for the rising. Hæsten advises they do the same. Once Hæsten leaves, Uhtred shares that the Danes have 19 ships, meaning it is the start of the end of peace. ("Episode 2.5")
Uhtred, Finan, and Clapa are joined by Hæsten and Eilaf. The time has come for the rise of Bjorn. And so, they go out to the graveyard, where Sihtric watches from afar. To raise the dead, they have to send a messenger across the gulf. A sacrifice. They bring a twice convicted thief. He pleads for his life, but his prayers go unanswered. Hæsten shoves a harp string down his mouth to build a bridge from their world to Bjorn’s. Hæsten then puts the message in his mouth and slits his throat. They proceed fertilize the grave with his blood. Moments later, Bjorn rises and spits out the harp string. Bjorn has a message for Uhtred. He informs him that the brothers are ensuring that London’s streets run red with Saxon blood. He then tells Uhtred that he’s to be King of Mercia. King of Saxon and Danes. King of Kings. He then falls to the ground and Eilaf orders that he be reburied. After everyone leaves, Sihtric enters the graveyard. He witnesses as Bjorn raises from the dirt. ("Episode 2.5")
Winchester, Wessex. Uhtred returns and washes in the lake with Gisela. Afterward, he tells her about his encounter with Bjorn. She doesn’t wish to hear any talk of going against Alfred. They’re approached by Æthelred, who makes a crude remark towards Gisela. Uhtred draws his sword and pulls Æthelred off his horse. Aldhelm tells his men to fallback as he is sure Uhtred won’t hurt the lord. Aldhelm then politely requests that Uhtred let Æthelred go and apologizes to Gisela on his lord’s behalf. Uhtred releases Æthelred and parts ways. ("Episode 2.6")
Steapa takes Uhtred to see the king. Alfred and Odda tell Uhtred that he was seen crossing into Daneland. Ælswith wants the truth. Uhtred informs them that London has been taken by Sigefrid and Erik. They have an army at Beamfleot. Aldhelm still questions why Uhtred crossed into Daneland. Uhtred explains that he was invited to Padintune. And there, he was asked to join with Sigefrid and Erik. Æthelflæd greets Uhtred as she did not see him at the church, but he assures her he attended the wedding. Æthelred tries to cut her off, but she continues by asking if the Northmen intend to stay in London. Alfred and Æthelred want to offer negotiations. After the celebration, Uhtred and Æthelred are to travel to London to assess the threat. Aldhelm wonders what bargain was struck in Northumbria to allow the brothers to leave with their lives. Uhtred has told Æthelflæd this story. He defeated Sigefrid in combat but spared him on the condition they leave. He did this to preserve the lives of his own men. ("Episode 2.6")
Uhtred, Finan, Sihtric, Clapa, Æthelred, and Aldhelm arrive in London. Uhtred knows the streets well as he stayed there for a time with Earl Ragnar. They are greeted by the brothers. He shows them the attachment he has in place of his missing hand. Sigefrid claims that he no longer wishes to kill Uhtred. Uhtred informs them that Alfred and Æthelstan wish to negotiate. However, the brothers are reluctant to leave London. Although, they decide to discuss it over ale. Uhtred then notices that Father Pyrlig is one of the prisoners. ("Episode 2.6")
Erik asks Uhtred about his encounter with Bjorn. Erik wonders if Uhtred can guarantee Ragnar and all the men he commands. However, Uhtred can guarantee nothing, as Ragnar is far to the north. Uhtred asks about the prisoners. Sigefrid explains that Guthrum sent them to Beamfleot begging for peace. Uhtred suggests that they let the priest fight for his freedom. It’s what the Romans used the area for. Sigefrid is in agreement and tells his man Boltan to fight the priest. ("Episode 2.6")
Uhtred, Æthelred, and Aldhelm return to Winchester and report back to Alfred and Odda. The Danes have well over 1,000 men in London. Uhtred and Æthelred argue over the best method of attack. Alfred then asks Uhtred why the brothers call him the King of Mercia. Alfred can’t trust Uhtred as he behaves like a spy, floats into Daneland and back again, tells half-truths, keeps secrets and refuses to accept the existence of the one, true God. Not to mention, he serves Alfred reluctantly. And so, the King now intends to devise a plan of attack without Uhtred, which appears to alarm Steapa and Odda, though they don’t make their concerns heard. ("Episode 2.6")
Odda tells Uhtred that Alfred wants him to return to Coccham. Odda is getting old, with no son to follow him. He makes Uhtred that he won’t desert Alfred. Uhtred replies that he’s not an oath-breaker, but he can’t serve a man that doesn’t trust him. All Alfred can see in him is his he’s different. ("Episode 2.6")
Uhtred must accept that Æthelred is in charge of all men. They will travel down river and meet with the armies of Mercia and Wessex. There, they will make camp a short distance from London. Uhtred and his men will attack from the north gate while Æthelred leads his men from the marshes. Steapa then hands Æthelred a letter from the king, assigning him to Uhtred. Æthelwold follows behind Steapa. ("Episode 2.6")
Uhtred leads Finan, Sihtric, Clapa, Steapa, Æthelwold, and Beocca to the north gate. They find it open and unguarded. An obvious trap, but they proceed. They meet up with Æthelred and Aldhelm, neither haven’t crossed a single man. Æthelred believes that the Danes have fled and celebrates. Suddenly, fire is set in a tower above. Undoubtedly a signal. Uhtred realizes that the signal was to alert the Danes to attack their camp. ("Episode 2.6")
Uhtred, Finan, Sihtric, Clapa, Æthelwold, Æthelred, Aldhelm, Steapa, and Beocca return to camp to find it in ruins. Beocca and Steapa call out to Thyra and Æthelflæd, respectively. Thyra emerges from the woods and runs into Beocca’s arms. Uhtred then asks her about Æthelflæd, but Thyra is unaware of her whereabouts. They return to Coccham. Assuming Æthelflæd is still alive, Finan knows that Uhtred would never abandon her, so he questions why they’re not going to Winchester. Uhtred won’t be part of a whispering court. They will go to Winchester when he has something to say. Uhtred then orders Sihtric to take Rypere to Beamfleot to confirm Æthelflæd’s whereabouts. ("Episode 2.7")
Gisela worries about Æthelflæd. If she lives, Uhtred will be her hope. It should not be for Uhtred to resolve, but he will do it. By sending Sihtric, he has already begun. They are approached by Osferth, who joins them for dinner. He tells Uhtred how everyone in Winchester is praying that Æthelflæd is alive. Osferth wishes to serve Uhtred as his Uncle Leofric often told him that Uhtred is a good man. Gisela tells Osferth that while Uhtred may be a good man, he’s only allowing him to join his crew to embarrass Alfred. Gisela wants to go to Winchester, but Uhtred has no news to share yet. ("Episode 2.7")
Uhtred arrives in Winchester with news of Æthelflæd’s health. The Danes have been boasting about her abduction and outrageous demands are soon to follow. Alfred will do what he has to to recover his daughter, even if it means negotiating. Uhtred advises him against attending the negotiation. The presence of the king will increase their price. And so, Alfred orders Æthelred to go to Beamfleot and negotiate. Selwine suggests sending a representative of Wessex as well. Odda and Æthelwold again vouch for Uhtred. Beocca reminds Alfred that Uhtred is his only choice, and with Ælswith’s reassurance, he orders Uhtred to accompany Æthelred. ("Episode 2.7")
Uhtred leads the negotiation with Erik and Sigefrid. Uhtred claims that Æthelflæd is unloved and was sent to Mercia to be humped by her husband. And because of that, Alfred’s not willing to pay a great sum. They’re willing to pay 300 pounds in silver. Pyrlig assures him it’s a fair price. Sigefrid is insulted by their offer. He threatens to have her brought in and have every man take a turn with her, though Uhtred can see that Erik is very much conflicted. Sigefrid wants 10,000 pounds weight in silver and 1,000 pounds weight in gold. Delivered by Alfred. However, Uhtred refuses his offer. ("Episode 2.7")
Erik tells Uhtred that Æthelflæd is praying with the priest. Uhtred can see her afterwards. Uhtred spots 26 ships in the river. By the next moon, there will be more, Erik tells him. Alfred will pay for his own destruction. Uhtred remarks that he was surprised at Erik’s anger towards Æthelred. He questions the purpose behind it. Uhtred realizes that Erik cares for her. Erik replies that he cannot give her up. ("Episode 2.7")
Uhtred goes to see Æthelflæd and informs her that they’ve arranged her release. She asks if he’s spoken with Erik and what he has told her. Uhtred tells Æthelflæd that any hope she has of a life with him is nonsense and can never happen. However, Æthelflæd despises her husband. Uhtred warns her that she will lose her entire family, and she will die. A life with Erik is what Æthelflæd wants. She can only say this to Uhtred, though. She looks to him to help her escape with Erik. ("Episode 2.7")
Uhtred tells Gisela of Æthelflæd’s plan to escape with Erik. He has to help them. If they escape, there will be no ransom paid and no great army. And therefore, the men of Wessex are saved. However, in doing that, Uhtred will have broken his oath to Alfred. And so, they will have to run. ("Episode 2.8")
Uhtred, Finan, and Osferth find Odda drunk at the pub. As they put him in bed, he drunkenly shares with them his plan to raise the Devonshire fyrd against the king’s wishes. Uhtred orders Osferth to stay behind and watch after Odda. Odda awakens the following morning, in bed with Osferth and Clapa. ("Episode 2.8")
Sihtric arrives in Winchester with a letter for Uhtred from Erik and Æthelflæd. Erik has enough oathmen to crew a ship. Three nights before the first of the metal is to be delivered, they make their way down river to Beamfleot. Uhtred, Finan, and Sihtric will kill the men that stand guard over the ships. Erik and Æthelflæd sail away. And Wessex is saved. Gisela questions how many guards. Sihtric tells her 8-10. She is greatly concerned for their safety. ("Episode 2.8")
Night falls and Uhtred, Finan, Sihtric, Osferth, Rypere and Clapa attack the Northmen. Osferth watches in fear as his comrades go to war. He notices a weakened Dane in front of him and kills him. Uhtred scolds him for claiming a kill that was not his to make. He hands Osferth an axe and tells him to find his courage. ("Episode 2.8")
Uhtred, Finan, Sihtric, Osferth, and Clapa set fire to the fortress to cause a distraction. They rush into the hall and kill the guards and free Æthelflæd. Sigefrid breaks the barricade and enters the hall. He kills Erik as the others escape. Uhtred, Finan, Sihtric, and Osferth ride off with Lady Æthelflæd. They meet with Alfred, Odda, and the fyrd. The Danes breach the shield wall, and Uhtred is knocked to the ground. Uhtred gets to his feet and calls out to Sigefrid. Just as he is about to kill Æthelred, Uhtred comes to his defense. Uhtred and Sigefrid trade blows, allowing for Æthelflæd to sneak up behind a stab him with a sword. ("Episode 2.8")
Uhtred returns to Winchester after the battle. Æthelflæd thanks him for not only saving her but risking his life at the cost of helping her and Erik escape. She tells Uhtred that she may be pregnant with Erik’s child. And should her husband come to think what Uhtred is thinking, then it would be a great comfort for her to know that she can call upon him again. Uhtred is the man she trusts the most and makes him swear that he will come during her time of need. She kisses him and says goodbye. ("Episode 2.8")
Alfred approaches Uhtred and states that he has a habit of rescuing Wessex. Odda told Alfred that Uhtred believed he was acting under the king’s orders. Uhtred questions what will happen to Odda for raising the fyrd. Alfred replies there will be a trial. And following, Odda’s execution. Alfred tells Uhtred that he is free to go as his oath man. ("Episode 2.8")
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. ("Episode 3.1")
Hæsten arrives in Winchester and informs them 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. ("Episode 3.1")
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. ("Episode 3.1")
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. ("Episode 3.1")
Uhtred, Finan, Sihtric, and Osferth arrive in Alton to find the village destroyed. They spot small group of Danes in front of the church. Osferth approaches them head on, allowing the others to get into position and attack. 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. ("Episode 3.1")
They 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. ("Episode 3.1")
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. ("Episode 3.1")
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. ("Episode 3.1")
Uhtred, Sihtric, Osferth, and Skade arrive at 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. ("Episode 3.1")
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 and Skade watch from nearby. That night, Uhtred stayed by his wife’s grave. ("Episode 3.1")
Hild prays as Uhtred and Finan dig up Gisela and give her a pyre. Uhtred sobs as she goes up in flames with Finan and Hild at his side. ("Episode 3.2")
Beocca takes Uhtred to see Alfred, Ælswith, and Edward, who have come to discover that Uhtred desecrated Gisela’s grave. Uhtred meant no disrespect and apologizes. Æthelwold looks over to Brother Godwin, who remarks that Gisela was a pagan whore who never should’ve been buried on blessed grounds to begin with. He continues to insult Gisela even as Uhtred commands him to stop. When he persists, Uhtred strikes him. In knocking him to the ground, Uhtred kills Brother Godwin unintentionally. Alfred orders his men to seize Uhtred, but he manages to escape the hall. Alfred orders Steapa to lock Winchester down and bring him Uhtred. ("Episode 3.2")
Steapa approaches Uhtred’s home and demands he exit. However, Finan and Sihtric deny him entry. Hild arrives and Finan allows her to pass. Hild tells Uhtred that there cannot be any bloodshed. He agrees and asks Hild to bring the demands of the king. Skade tells Uhtred that he has no other choice but to break his oath to Alfred. He blames her for everything and threatens to end her life should she continue to talk. ("Episode 3.2")
Beocca and Æthelwold return to Uhtred with Alfred’s demands. There will be no trial. He wants 100 pieces of wergild, and Uhtred must swear an oath to Edward. Finan replies that the king asks for too much. Regardless of all else, Beocca reminds Uhtred that it is because of Alfred that he has had a good life in Wessex. He tells Uhtred to make a choice: either accept his punishment or allow his friends to kill each other. Uhtred hands his weapons off to Finan and Sihtric and informs Steapa that he will come peacefully to the king. Steapa assures him that Alfred is merciful. ("Episode 3.2")
Uhtred meets with Alfred. While he is willing to pay the wergild, he can’t swear himself to Edward. Such an oath would be for the rest of his life. Alfred wants Steapa at Edward’s left hand and Uhtred at his right. When Alfred refuses to release Uhtred, he pulls a blade from his armor and holds it to Alfred’s neck, ordering Steapa to stay back. Beocca is taken by surprise though he ensures that Ælswith and Edward remain unharmed. Ælswith orders Steapa to kill Uhtred, but Beocca insists that no one move. Alfred informs Uhtred that this can mean nothing but his certain death. Uhtred then exits with Alfred as his hostage. ("Episode 3.2")
Uhtred reminds Alfred of the glory and freedom he has given him. And still, Alfred treats him no better than a hound. Uhtred kicks Alfred to the ground and escapes. The King returns to the hall and orders Uhtred to be killed. ("Episode 3.2")
Uhtred attempts to make his escape from Winchester with Steapa and the Wessex guard hunting him down. Uhtred makes it outside the wall, where he reconvenes with Finan and Sihtric and rides off to Dunholm. ("Episode 3.2")
Skade tells Uhtred that she would like to ride alongside him as his woman. He now has his freedom and he should embrace it along with her. She saw what would occur to his wife, though she was not the cause of it. She adds that Bloodhair isn’t the warrior that Uhtred has proven himself to be. She’d rather be lovers than enemies. Should he continue to deny her, he will remain cursed. Finan questions why Skade isn’t dead yet. Uhtred replies that she had a gift and she has taken hold of his path. Sihtric adds that in killing her, the curse will live on. ("Episode 3.2")
Uhtred is growing weaker by the moment. He vomits while riding his horse and his skin is pale. He falls off his horse and Finan, Sihtric, and Osferth come to his aid. He explains that Skade is squeezing the life from him. He orders Finan to put him in a cart and haul him to Brida in Dunholm. She will know what to do. ("Episode 3.2")
While in a hallucinative state, Uhtred dreams of Leofric, who demands that he fight him. He calls Uhtred a Dane traitor. Uhtred awakens from this hallucination and grabs his sword tight. Osferth brings Uhtred broth to eat so that he may regain his strength. Leofric reappears and tells Uhtred that now he knows how Alfred feels. Belly and bones aching. But everyday he got on his feet and built Wessex. Uhtred replies that Alfred built Wessex with his sword. Leofric then questions why his nephew Osferth with Uhtred when he is no warrior. Uhtred replies it’s because of Gisela that he allowed Osferth to join him. She was fond of him. Leofric claims that Uhtred has made all the men traitors and that Alfred is their king. Brida arrives at their camp and takes them to Dunholm. ("Episode 3.2")
Uhtred has recovered from his sickness. Cnut confronts Uhtred, who he’s come to know as the Dane-Slayer. He questions just how many Danes Uhtred has killed. Ragnar tells Uhtred that he’s back where he belongs, to which Uhtred replies that he’s a Dane for life as Brida and the other Danes cheer him on. ("Episode 3.2")
Cnut informs Uhtred and Finan that he has an army of 200 men though he’s not sure where they are headed next. Though, if Wessex is undefended, Cnut is considering heading south. Uhtred is not fond of the name Dane-Slayer and tells Cnut to stop referring to him as such. Ragnar remarks that the prospect of Alfred without Uhtred will bring many Danes, Ragnar included. Finan tells Uhtred that he came to Dunholm to hunt, rest, and find a woman, not wage war against Alfred. Brida rejoins them and informs Uhtred of Skade’s power. She believes that Uhtred could wield it. Either he takes her as his woman or kill her. Brida will ask a seer more powerful than Skade on how to kill her. Uhtred takes Brida’s hand and remembers the very first time they met. On the steps of the great hall of Eoferwic. Brida tells Uhtred that much like him, she has been cursed and cannot have children. Uhtred tells Brida that he is sorry for her. If Uhtred is to truly be a Dane, she tells him that he must undo the past and destroy Alfred. ("Episode 3.2")
Even as Uhtred recovers, he continues to have hallucinations of Leofric, who tells him that he can’t escape who he is. Osferth offer his condolences to Uhtred for the loss of Gisela, who was often kind to him. Leofric then tells Uhtred that if he hadn’t killed Alfred’s monk, he would still be his oathmen. ("Episode 3.3")
Bloodhair and Hæsten lead a group of soldiers to Dunholm, asking Ragnar and Brida for food, shelter, and negotiation. Bloodhair is willing to resolve his matter with Uhtred peacefully. Ragnar orders his men to open the gates and to allow them in. Uhtred is certain that they’ve come to speak of Alfred. Among the Danes is Æthelwold. ("Episode 3.3")
Uhtred enters Skade’s cell. He tells Jackdaw to leave them, but he cannot or else Brida will kill him. Uhtred approaches Skade and asks what she wants. Skade would like to be a part of his life. To live beside him and through him. Skade tells Uhtred that Alfred will die and with him his kingdom. And it is Uhtred who must rule when that happens. She merely wants to be his queen. Bloodhair enters the cell. He has come to reclaim Skade and is willing to kill Uhtred in order to take her. Rather than challenge him, Uhtred kisses Skade in front Bloodhair, who is defenseless as Jackdaw stands at his rear with a spear. Uhtred claims Skade as his own. ("Episode 3.3")
Father Beocca arrives and informs Uhtred that he’s actually come on behalf of Æthelflæd, as Æthelred is planning to have her killed. Uhtred claims this is not his concern, but he is bothered by this news nonetheless. Beocca also reveals that before arriving here with Hæsten and Bloodhair, Æthelwold stopped in Merica to see Æthelred. He presumes that the plan is to make Æthelwold the next king of Wessex. And with Hæsten returning south, they soon he will know Æthelflæd is in hiding. Beocca reminds Uhtred of the promise he made to Æthelflæd that he would come to her aid when she called on him. Furthermore, he is the man she trusts most. ("Episode 3.3")
Finan, Sihtric, and Osferth reconvene with Uhtred. They all know the great army will never hold. Furthermore, they didn’t come north only to turn and march south. Not to mention that men like Hæsten and Bloodhair are no better than Kjartan. They have no desire to fight along side such men. Finan questions why they aren’t looking towards Bebbanburg. He begs Uhtred against marching to Wessex. However, Uhtred cannot dare abandon his brother. ("Episode 3.3")
Æthelwold tells stories to Cnut and the other Danes of Alfred in his youth. Uhtred then asks what Æthelwold said to Æthelred when he visited Merica. Æthelwold spoke of an opportunity to enrage Alfred and cause division, which included killing Æthelflæd. Uhtred tells Æthelwold to not sleep or else he might not awaken. Æthelwold questions why Uhtred cares. He surmises that the real reason Beocca came was to ask that Uhtred save her. Æthelwold predicts that Uhtred is about to desert them. Cnut reminds Uhtred that they’re supposed to be joined as one. Bloodhair agrees that Uhtred appears conflicted, and so Ragnar asks what side he is on. Uhtred replies that the army will never hold. They’re enemies bound only by greed. Ragnar tells Uhtred to choose to either stand with them or abandon them. Finan, Sihtric, and Osferth enter as he reveals that he will be leaving to save Æthelflæd. Brida calls Uhtred a whore to the crown of Alfred. Ragnar reminds Uhtred that he gave his word and he is going back on it by leaving them. And for this, Ragnar takes back his name from Uhtred. He is no longer Uhtred Ragnarson. Thyra pleads with him to no do this, but Ragnar’s decision is final. Lastly, Bloodhair challenges Uhtred to a fight to the death with Skade as the prize. ("Episode 3.3")
Uhtred and Bloodhair fight to the death to see who will claim Skade. 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. ("Episode 3.4")
Uhtred arrives at the nunnery at Wincelcumb, 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. ("Episode 3.4")
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. ("Episode 3.4")
Hæsten and Dagfinn arrive at the nunnery, where they kill a guard and demand that Æthelflæd be brought to them. Abbess witnesses the assault and runs inside to inform the others of the Danes’ arrival. Uhtred wishes to send 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. Unfortunately, they kill Abbess and enter the church, where they are ambushed by Uhtred, Skade, Finan, Sihtric, and Osferth. Hæsten and Dagfinn escape as their men are slaughtered. 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. ("Episode 3.4")
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 let’s Skade walk to him. ("Episode 3.4")
Saltwic, Mercia; Æthelflæd finds Uhtred in the stable talking to his horse. She explains that he is a man who instills trust, which she finds admirable. She would like for him to kiss her, but he can’t. He tells Æthelflæd that much like Erik, he is someone who she can never be with. He fears that Skade will find out and destroy them both. And so, Uhtred has to save her as he promised he would. To fight Hæsten’s army, they will need an army. Alfred is to join the Mercians in Aegelesburg. Æthelflæd will meet with them and tell her father of Hæsten’s attack on her. She hopes Uhtred will come with her and use her father’s army to recover Skade. ("Episode 3.5")
Brida finds Uhtred and informs him that Ragnar is dead. He doesn’t feast in Valhalla. Instead, he lies under a pile of stone. There was no honor in his death, and she blames Uhtred for leaving him. He chose Saxons over them, and so Brida will let him live with knowing that he’s the reason Ragnar is dead. Finan comforts Uhtred, who suspects that this is Skade’s doing. So, he plans to meet with Alfred and Æthelred and beg for an army. ("Episode 3.5")
Uhtred, Æthelflæd, Finan, Sihtric, and Osferth arrive in Aegelesburg to see Edward. They are greeted at the gate by Æthelred, Aldhelm, and Steapa. They claim that they only want to warn Alfred about Hæsten. Æthelred allows them in but without their weapons. The Witan requests the presence of Uhtred, Æthelflæd, Finan, Sihtric, and Osferth. Edward has come in place of the king. Æthelflæd claims that Danes are near and it was Hæsten who attacked her. Æthelred and Æthelhelm question how Uhtred knew where to find Æthelflæd. He accuses Uhtred of making a plan with Hæsten in order to gain Æthelflæd’s trust. Alfred joins them and demands the truth. Uhtred wants 1,000 men and he will give them Beamfleot and peace. He reveals that Ragnar is dead, meaning the Danes will have half their army and less leadership. Alfred denies Uhtred's proposal. He then tells Uhtred that while he remains an outlaw, he is under the protection of Lady Æthelflæd and free to leave when he is ready. ("Episode 3.5")
Beocca and Pyrlig take Edward to find Uhtred and Æthelflæd as he has a proposition to offer. He needs to understand why Uhtred believes he can defeat Hæsten. Uhtred wishes to draw Hæsten out, as he will not be able to resist the chance to kill him. Men will die however this goes, but at least at Beamfleot, they stand a chance. Finan adds that it’s a plan that can work but Uhtred will need men. And so, Edward offers Uhtred 500 men or more. He tells Uhtred to set a day for the attack and he will be there. ("Episode 3.5")
Uhtred, Finan, Sihtric, and Osferth lead a group of men to Beamfleot. Hæsten, Skade, and Dagfinn watch from the fortress as they approach. Uhtred goads Hæsten into the battle, reminding him of all the times he fled and how Skade will always be his woman. He challenges Hæsten to a fight, but he is certain he will be too cowardly to agree. Hæsten angrily agrees to a one on one fight, denouncing any cowardly ways. Half a day has passed and Hæsten finally comes down to battle Uhtred, but he comes with Skade and an army. Uhtred orders Finan, Sihtric, and Osferth to form two lines and build a shield wall. However, the Danes proceed to surround them and attack. They are vastly outnumbered and picked off. ("Episode 3.5")
Uhtred, Finan, Sihtric, Osferth and a small group of men continue to battle against the Danes while Alfred watches from the forest. Edward takes charge and leads Steapa, Beocca, and the Wessex guard into battle. Uhtred becomes distracted and is knocked to the ground. He returns to his feet but Hæsten is gone. However, they do manage to win the battle, taking multiple Danes prisoner. Afterward, Uhtred, Finan, and Sihtric tend to Osferth, who was injured during battle. Uhtred forbids him from dying and wants Osferth to return to Æthelflæd’s estate. ("Episode 3.6")
Saltwic, Mercia; The Wessex guard returns to Æthelflæd’s estate. Æthelflæd finds Uhtred holding his necklace of Thor’s hammer, that he was gifted by Ragnar the Fearless. Uhtred wants to go to Ragnar’s grave. Æthelflæd is regretful at all Uhtred has lost in order to protect her. So, she’d like for him to have Merica as his home. For him and his men to live. ("Episode 3.6")
As soon as Osferth is recovered, Finan wants to recover Skade. However, she is out of reach. Uhtred doesn’t wish to chase her to their deaths. Sihtric replies that death will find them regardless. Uhtred plans to go to Ragnar’s grave and help him find peace. Sihtric remarks that no man who serves Uhtred can rest until Skade is reclaimed as they are all cursed. Sihtric is tired of marching and being called a traitor with nothing to show for it. Uhtred tells him that he can leave if he wishes. Sihtric reminds Uhtred that he has fought for him. Finan intervenes and plays peacemaker, however, Sihtric continues, even challenging Uhtred. Uhtred warns Sihtric that if he’s still at Æthelflæd’s estate when he returns from seeing Ragnar, then he will kill him. ("Episode 3.6")
Uhtred visits Ragnar’s grave, where Brida awaits him. She claims that Ragnar calls to her in her dreams, from Niflheim. Asking to help him cross from Hel to Valhalla. She puts out the fire, reasoning that Niflheim is much colder than they will ever be. So, if Ragnar suffers, then so shall they. While Brida goes to sleep, Uhtred goes over to Ragnar’s grave and asks for his strength, heart, and wisdom. He then gives Ragnar his necklace. ("Episode 3.6")
Uhtred and Brida awaken the following morning and journey to Legaceaster to meet with the seer, Storri, in hopes of helping Ragnar escape Niflheim. They take cover after being attacked by Danes. They’ve come on Cnut’s behalf to kill Uhtred. Brida tells the archer to leave and as Uhtred is under her protection. However, when she returns, Cnut can have her men. ("Episode 3.6")
It’s during their journey that Uhtred reveals to Brida that the reason for his second oath to Alfred was to save Ragnar’s life. She kisses him on the cheek and thanks him both for herself and Ragnar. They arrive in Salhford in search of Storri. They remain hidden and watch as Storri performs a ritual and reveals to a man that while his wife will bear many children, none will be born living. Uhtred and Brida then follow Storri to his cave. All they want is his knowledge. He recalls Brida and her shoving a branch up his ass. Uhtred insists that they mean him no harm and will pay for information. They reveal that Ragnar is stuck in the cold of Niflheim and needs to crossover to Valhalla. He agrees to help them for the right price. However, he goes into the back and escapes out the window, though Brida circles around and catches him before he can get away. ("Episode 3.6")
Uhtred and Brida take Storri back inside and force him to help them save Ragnar. Storri prays to the Goddess Hel and asks her to surrender Ragnar’s soul in exchange for the man that killed him. They must wet the blade with Ragnar’s blood and with that blade, kill the man who sent him to Hel. Only that way will Ragnar be free to enter Valhalla. While Ragnar is dead, they can use Thyra, as they share the same blood. Lastly, Uhtred asks how to kill a curse. Before he can answer, Brida sneaks up from behind and strangles the life from Storri, breaking her curse. She reveals to Uhtred that the only way to break a curse is to kill the sorcerer without breaking the skin or shedding a drop of blood. Uhtred will either have to do the same with Skade or make her his woman. Brida reveals that Storri cursed her many years ago and it’s because of him that she couldn’t have a family. ("Episode 3.6")
Uhtred wonders why Brida didn’t act sooner. She replies that it’s because she was a warrior before all else. Also because she’s a fool. She’s known how to kill a curse for a while but chose not to tell Uhtred because she knew he wouldn’t stay. So, she wanted to see him suffer. Brida tells Uhtred that she no longer loves him, but he knows that they are one and that what she speaks isn’t true. From the moment he took her hand in the great hall of Eoferwic, they’ve been bound, as love is immortal. Uhtred will kill the curse and then go to Thyra for her blood. And Brida will discover who killed Ragnar, and they will see to it that he answer for his actions. ("Episode 3.6")
Uhtred returns to Saltwic. He is welcomed by Finan and Osferth, who reveal that Sihtric has left with the prisoners. Uhtred now knows how to break the curse, but it’s a near impossible task to reach Skade. Finan informs Uhtred that Sihtric’s departure has disturbed the men. They feel as though Uhtred is the blame. Some may not want to go looking for her again. ("Episode 3.7")
Uhtred walks with Æthelflæd, who informs him that her husband will be coming to her estate soon. Now that she is wise to his tricks, she can defend herself. Uhtred suddenly realizes that they’re being followed. They are being tracked by Offa and a group of Danes. One by one, Uhtred and Æthelflæd kill their attackers. He recognizes Offa from Winchester and takes him prisoner. ("Episode 3.7")
Uhtred knows Offa as Æthelwold’s man. Æthelflæd questions why he tried to kill Uhtred. Offa explains that Uhtred is Alfred’s sword and shield. Uhtred sends Offa back to Æthelwold to inform the Danes that he is coming as a shadow walker. And they will all die as his brother died. Uhtred then proceeds to assure his men that he will lead them down a path of reputation. His mind is clear of what must be done, but he needs their help to do it. With that, his men are back on his side. ("Episode 3.7")
Crowland, Mercia; Uhtred, Finan, and Osferth arrive at a village in the heart of Daneland. They are approached by Guthlac, thegn of the village. They’ve come for food, shelter, and ale. He allows them to stay but they must leave their weapons with their horses, however, the men refuse. Uhtred suspects that Guthlac will soon report their arrival to the Danes. ("Episode 3.7")
Guthlac surrounds the ale house with Uhtred, Finan, and Osferth inside. Uhtred explains that Guthlac belongs to the Danes and when they get word that he’s trapped, the Danes will come for them, meaning less men at their camp. Guthlac claims that he only wishes to talk. He tells Uhtred to yield and his men will live. Uhtred refuses. He heads upstairs and smashes a hole in the roof. He then takes several torches and sets the village on fire. While the men are distracted and scrambling to save the village, Uhtred, Finan, and Osferth exit. Guthlac asks for mercy, but Uhtred kills him and leaves. ("Episode 3.7")
Uhtred, Finan, and Osferth remain hidden in the nearby woods as the Danes arrive at the village. Sihtric finds them hidden among the trees and gives Uhtred a hug. As it turns out, they staged the entire fight in order for Sihtric to infiltrate the Danes. Sihtric informs them that Bloodhair is dead and only Hæsten remains at the camp. Bloodhair was killed by Skade, who knows of Uhtred’s promise to shadow walk, but there are too many guards. She is ,however, allowed to collect grass and herbs by a single tree on the other side of the camp. Uhtred orders Sihtric to tell Skade he is near and to take her by the tree. ("Episode 3.7")
Sihtric breaks Skade free of her chains and takes her to meet Uhtred at the tree with Finan and Osfeth. The five of them retreat as Hæsten gets word of their arrival. Sihtric leads them to the dock, where they kill the guards before jumping into the ship and sailing away. Hæsten watches as Uhtred sails away with Skade. ("Episode 3.7")
While on a ship headed back to Mercia, Skade grabs Uhtred’s blade and cuts her hand. She’s seen the rebirth of Uhtred Ragnarson. She’s seen 50 men become 5,000. And she’s seen Alfred fall. She bleeds into Uhtred’s mouth and then they kiss. ("Episode 3.8")
Coccham, Wessex; Uhtred, Skade, Finan, Sihtric, and Osferth return to Uhtred’s estate, where Edwin informs Uhtred that they have taken more than half of the village’s animals and grain. It is to feed Alfred’s army. They enter the hall, where they find Bishop Erkenwald accompanied by several other priests. He claims they’ve come on the king’s behalf. Uhtred notices a cross hanging in his hall and demands that it be taken down. Bishop Erkenwald is reluctant as he can not deny his faith. Hild arrives and reveals that she hung the cross and meant it as no insult. Just as it seems Uhtred is willing to leave it be, Skade knocks the cross down. Uhtred tells Erkenwald that when he leaves, he will only take half of what he’s already gathered. He will not allow for his village to starve. ("Episode 3.8")
Uhtred has come to see his children, but Hild informs him that they’re under the care of the crown. He asks if his children have been baptized, as he fears that Alfred has taken his kids to spite him. Skade joins them briefly, leaving Hild to wonder about her. Uhtred admits Skade is his woman. He then tells Hild that he would like to see his children at Winchester and asks for her help. ("Episode 3.8")
Uhtred meets Skade in the river and they kiss. She tells him that she loves him and believes in him. While she’s distracted, he flips his shirt over her head and proceeds to drown her in the river. Osferth watches from nearby as this unfolds. Uhtred then returns to the hall, where Osferth has started a fire and prepared food. He reveals that she saw Uhtred kill Skade. While he’s not proud of his actions, it was necessary. Even though Osferth feared that Uhtred could not rid himself of the curse, Osferth stayed by his side in honor of Gisela. ("Episode 3.8")
Uhtred sneaks into Winchester and makes his way to Beocca's house. Thyra brings Uhtred inside and questions why he has come when he knows he’ll be killed on sight. Uhtred wants to see his children but also save Ragnar. He is trapped in Niflheim. He did not die a warrior's death. And only her blood can save him now. So, she gives Uhtred her blood. He questions why she came to the door with a knife. She explains that some people only see her as a Dane and object to her presence. They are afraid now that Uhtred is gone and Alfred is sickly. ("Episode 3.8")
Beocca returns home to find Thyra and Uhtred awaiting his arrival. Uhtred explains that he’s come for Thyra’s blood to save Ragnar. Beocca sees this as nothing more than heathen paganism and will not stand for it. However, Thyra is insistent on saving her brother. She begs him to understand her, just as she understands his God. Beocca remains upset and goes outside until they finish. He comes back inside and asks that Uhtred speak with Alfred. ("Episode 3.8")
Rather than attending the wedding, Beocca takes Uhtred to meet with Alfred in his Reading Room. On the table, Uhtred finds many pages that tell the tale of Alfred’s rule. He looks upon the pages, all the while unaware that Alfred stands hidden in a darkened corner. ("Episode 3.8")
Alfred explains to Uhtred that what he’s looking at is a chronicle of Wessex. From the moment of his brother’s death until now. None of which will mention Uhtred. Nevertheless, men will remember what Uhtred did in the name of Wessex. Alfred retorts that men die, though the chronicle is permanent. People 100 years from now will know nothing of Uhtred, not his loyalty, advice, or bravery. He asks why Uhtred has come. Uhtred tells Alfred that he would have never killed him, not even when he held the knife to his throat. Uhtred understands his absence from Alfred’s chronicle, even though they both know he has helped him many times over. Alfred lifts his sword and points it towards Uhtred, though he struggles to keep it lifted, as he weakens with every moment. Uhtred tells Alfred that he cannot kill him because they are bonded. They proceed to talk about God and how he often works through Uhtred, such as when he broke the shield wall at Ethandun. The devil also works through men, and Alfred fears his death will bring the devil in some men to the forefront. ("Episode 3.9")
Alfred reveals that he had Uhtred’s children brought to Winchester and baptized just to damn him. He admits that taking Uhtred’s children was an irrational decision, though they have been taken care of. Alfred also admits that he was wrong in both his provocation and punishment of Uhtred for killing Godwin. Alfred was afraid of losing Wessex. His work must continue. England must emerge and God must be praised. Ælswith barges in and demands to know why Uhtred has returned. Alfred invited him and asks if Ælswith keep this matter to herself. Ælswith pushes back, as she refuses to have Uhtred guide her son, but Alfred again tells her to leave. Alfred explains that Ælswith is simply upset that he’s dying. Like many in Wessex, his wife is afraid of the uncertainty that comes next. Uhtred tells Alfred that the gods will decide what comes next. Alfred’s last act is to ensure good men hold power. That is why he invited Uhtred. ("Episode 3.9")
To Alfred, it feels like just yesterday he was giving baby Edward over to Uhtred and Iseult when he was sickly and dying. Uhtred is surprised that Alfred remembers his wife's name, to which Alfred replies that he will always remember her. He wishes to give Edward over to Uhtred to ensure he lives. All he asks is that Uhtred remain in Winchester until he is crowned the King. Afterward, he can do as he pleases. Alfred then pardons Uhtred. And if beyond that door Alfred’s wife has summoned guards, which he suspects she has, Alfred will dismiss them. Alfred takes Uhtred’s hand and tells him that he’s made his Peace. And regardless of Uhtred’s answer, he is pardoned all the same. Alfred raises his cup to Uhtred, the true lord of Bebbanburg, who without, Alfred would not have died a king. ("Episode 3.9")
Bishop Erkenwald struggles to understand why the king panders to Uhtred. He neither appreciates the king’s trust nor does he deserve it. Uhtred retorts that the king is a smarter man than the Bishop. Even if Uhtred isn’t an enemy, Erkenwalk remarks that he’s their most dangerous ally. And he will do his utmost to keep Uhtred far away from Edward. Hild joins Uhtred, who worries that he has no place in the world. Hild tells Uhtred that he'll only follows what he truly believes. He’s a free man and his path is his own. Uhtred reminds Hilda that she’s one of his greatest friends and that she’s too good a woman for God alone. Lastly, Hild tells Uhtred that Winchester is better when he’s around. ("Episode 3.9")
Uhtred awakens Alfred from his sleep and swears that he will remain in Winchester until Edward is crowned king. Later, Beocca informs Uhtred that Ælswith rescinds his pardon, but Uhtred refuses to leave before Edward’s crowning. Finan advises him to run, but Thyra argues that a battle is coming and Uhtred has to pick a side. ("Episode 3.9")
Alfred’s service is held in the hall. All of Wessex is in attendance. Steapa approaches Uhtred to inform him that he’s been given orders to kill him should he not leave the hall quietly. And so, Uhtred leaves, with Finan not far behind, though he tells Finan to fall back. Steapa then places Uhtred in a cell. ("Episode 3.9")
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. ("Episode 3.10")
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. Uhtred 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. ("Episode 3.10")
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. 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. ("Episode 3.10")
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. They soon march for Bedanford and set up camp in High Wycombe. There, they learn from Jackdaw that Æthelwold killed Ragnar. ("Episode 3.10")
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. After the war, Uhtred visits Ragnar’s grave one last time and retrieves his necklace of Thor’s hammer. ("Episode 3.10")
Cookham, Uhtred’s Estate, Wessex; Uhtred and Æthelflæd have sex. Uhtred hears a noise coming from outside. He goes downstairs to investigate. Aldhelm has come to tell Uhtred that Lady Æthelflæd’s absence has been noted by her husband and that she should leave before she is discovered. Uhtred pleads with Æthelflæd to stay with him, but she continues to get dressed. She refuses to allow men to die just so that she can love Uhtred. Hopefully, in time, things will change for them. Until then, Æthelflæd will go to Winchester to comfort her mother. She kisses Uhtred goodbye and assures him that his men will return from the north soon. ("Episode 4.1")
Uhtred spends the entire night sitting in front of a fire, waiting to hear back from his men up north, though he receives no such news. ("Episode 4.1")
Cookham, Wessex; Uhtred greets Finan, Osferth, and Sihtric as they return from the north. Finan informs Uhtred that his uncle is under attack by the Scots pushing south. He lost half his men in the most recent assault. Leaving him with barely 40 soldiers. Unable to even raise a fyrd. Finan, Osferth, and Sihtric urge Uhtred to attack now while Bebbanburg is weak. Finan explains that the trip will cost a ship and men, as well as all their silver. Uhtred is willing to take the risk. However, they’ll need to ride to Winchester to raise an army. ("Episode 4.1")
Winchester, Wessex; Uhtred, Finan, Osferth, and Sihtric arrive in Winchester. Uhtred is welcomed by Beocca and Hild. He greets them both with a hug. Uhtred informs them that he has good news; Aelfric and Bebbanburg have been weakened by the Scots and Uhtred is planning to claim what his rightfully his. Aelfric had a son but the heir Wihtgar was banished. He died last summer in the southern sea. Uhtred is hoping that Beocca and Hild will join him. However, their fighting days are over. Although, Beocca promises that he will join Uhtred when the hard work is done. Hild then asks about his children. Uhtred tells them that Stiorra thrives. She lives at Æthelflæd’s estate. However, he doesn’t get to see his son. Alfred’s influence has made him holy. Hild and Beocca inform Uhtred that Wessex is doing well. Edward’s son is walking and the king’s wife is to be crowned a queen. ("Episode 4.1")
Pyrlig, King Edward, and Steapa approach Uhtred. He informs the king that Cnut has brought his sons over from his homeland, which means he has ambition here. Uhtred has come to Winchester to make Edward an offer. He can help Edward fulfill his father’s dream of a united land if King Edward gives him men to retake Bebbanburg. Uhtred, Pyrlig, Lord Æthelhelm, and King Edward discuss the matter further inside. If Uhtred takes Bebbanburg, it becomes a foothold in Northumbria. King Edward could then unite the four kingdoms. One country, one king. With 100 men, Uhtred can take the kingdom in a week. with 200, in a day. Lord Æthelhelm doesn’t believe it is wise to distract themselves with other matters given the ongoing threat with the Danes. Uhtred urges Edward to accept his offer, but he instead agrees with Lord Æthelhelm and refuses to lend Uhtred his men. ("Episode 4.1")
Uhtred reports back to Sihtric and Finan with the unfortunate news that King Edward is refusing to help them. Osferth joins them and they proceed to discuss the possibility of taking down Bebbanburg on their own. Uhtred assures them that they don’t need an army. All they have to do is kill Ælfric’s and the gates will open. ("Episode 4.1")
Winchester, Wessex; Uhtred, Finan, Osferth, and Sihtric plot their path into Bebbanburg. Hild finds Uhtred and thanks him for offering his men to clear the stables. While they’re distracted, Hild tells Uhtred that Lady Æthelflæd will meet him in the garden. ("Episode 4.1")
Winchester garden, Wessex; Uhtred finds Æthelflæd in the garden just as Hild said. Her woman Sable is works at Lord Æthelred's estate and she knows of something that will be of use to Uhtred. Lord Æthelred is collecting the relics of St. Oswald. When St. Oswald’s body is reunited in Mercia, the land will be returned to greatness. All that remains to be gathered is the heart of St. Oswald, which Aelfric keeps at Bebbanburg. Lord Æthelflæd has sent a pair of monks up north to strike a bargain for it. They should reach Grimesby by Sunday, then Bebbanburg on the day of Ascension, which is ten days before Pentecost. Should Uhtred intercept these monks, he could gain entry into the fortress. ("Episode 4.1")
Winchester, Wessex; Uhtred finds Finan, Osferth, and Sihtric in the stable and tells them of his plan to intercept the monks headed for Bebbanburg. They will need another horse for the priest that’ll be joining them. Before leaving Winchester, Uhtred says goodbye to Beocca and Hild. Beocca tells Uhtred to fulfill his birthright and restore Northumbria to greatness. Uhtred promises Beocca that one day soon, he will live like a lord in Bebbanburg. Hild then gives Uhtred a silver cross, telling him to turn it into hack-silver and pay for bribes along the way. ("Episode 4.1")
St. Wilfrid’s Church; Wessex; Uhtred, Finan, Osferth, and Sihtric kidnap young Uhtred and take him into the woods. Young Uhtred wants no part of whatever his father has planned, claiming the church is his family. Whether young Uhtred likes it or not, Uhtred insists that they’ll be leaving together, headed to Coccham, where they will collect the ship that will take them north to reclaim both of their birthrights. However, young Uhtred doesn’t even know of Bebbanburg. ("Episode 4.1")
Cookham, Wessex; Uhtred, Finan, Osferth, and Sihtric prepare the boat. At the last minute, Beocca arrives after changing his mind and deciding to join Uhtred on his journey. Uhtred questions if Hild sent Beocca to keep an eye on him. Beocca insists that it was his own decision. He admittedly allowed himself to get old too quickly. However, Uhtred questions the real reason Beocca decided to tag along. Beocca reveals that word reached him about the abduction of a young deacon. ("Episode 4.1")
Young Uhtred wonders what use his father has for him. Uhtred sees the man that he will be, not the boy that he is. Uhtred knows what it is like to be ripped from life to live another, but it will make young Uhtred stronger. Uhtred points to his sword, which once belonged to his father. One day, it will be young Uhtred, so it is fated. However, young Uhtred retorts that it feels more like penance. Uhtred, young Uhtred, Finan, Osferth, and Sihtric then sail to Bebbanburg. ("Episode 4.1")
The Sea; Uhtred, Beocca, young Uhtred, Finan, Osferth, and Sihtric continue on their journey to Bebbanburg. Uhtred cuts his arm and bleeds into the water to hopefully settle the sea goddess Rán. Young Uhtred is unconvinced, writing her off as pagan lies. Young Uhtred suspects that he’s the bait in the plan that his father is hiding from him. Uhtred explains that they’re tracking monks who have entry to Bebbanburg. It’s young Uhtred’s job to befriend them and gain access to Bebbanburg and then open the sea gates for them. However, young Uhtred still suspects that something is being hidden from him. He then begins to pray for the men that his father will undoubtedly slaughter. He asks that Uhtred at least show mercy and forgive his uncle. However, Uhtred will do no such thing. ("Episode 4.2")
Grimsby, Northumbria; Uhtred, young Uhtred, Beocca, Finan, Osferth, and Sihtric arrive in Grimsby.
Uhtred, Finan, Osferth, and Sihtric enter a tavern. They claim that they’re simply traders taking pelts to Frankia. They're in search of women companionship. They are taken down into the dungeon, where the women are. There, they find the monks, Brother Oswi and Brother Iestyn receiving sexual favors. Afterward, Uhtred, Finan, and Osferth follow them out. It takes six days to get to Bebbanburg on the coast road. They’ll get there just before ascension. Uhtred reconvenes with Beocca and his son. He instructs young Uhtred to follow the monks to Bebbanburg. However, he is no warrior and questions why his father has such faith in him. Uhtred explains that he has the spirit of their family within him. It’ll give him a strength that he does not know yet. He instructs young Uhtred to take a horse and ride the road north, close to the shore, where he’ll find the monks and join them. Uhtred, Beocca, Finan, Osferth, and Sihtric suddenly find themselves being confronted by the villagers, who are less than welcoming. ("Episode 4.2")
Bebbanburg's waters, Northumbria; Uhtred, Beocca, Finan, Osferth, and Sihtric scout out Bebbanburg from afar. Ælfric supposedly only has 40 men, but that’s twice as many as them. Uhtred looks to Beocca to answer if he’s leading men to their deaths. Beocca admits that while the fight will be furious and men will fall, he’s certain Uhtred will win. ("Episode 4.2")
Uhtred and Finan spot the signal and move in, along with Beocca, Osferth, and Sihtric.
Bebbanburg, Northumbria; Uhtred and Finan take out the two guards by the gate and wait for young Uhtred to open the gate. When young Uhtred never shows, they’re forced to pry the gate up. Uhtred manages to slip under and raise the gate from inside. They proceed into the fort and kill every guard they cross. ("Episode 4.2")
Meanwhile, young Uhtred has been captured by Wihtgar. He suspects that young Uhtred was trying to steal away and demands to know why. Wihtgar tortures young Uhtred for answers. When he can’t get the answers out of him, Wihtgar kills both monks. Ælfric joins them. He remarks that young Uhtred’s face is familiar somehow. When Ælfric demands to know who he is, young Uhtred replies that he’s Uhtred of Bebbanburg. Ælfric isn’t convinced and orders for young Uhtred to be executed. When one of Ælfric's men attempts to kill him, Uhtred tackles his attacker to the ground and nearly chokes the life out of him before Uhtred, Beocca, Finan, Osferth, and Sihtric arrive. Uhtred holds a blade to Ælfric’s throat. Uhtred explains that no one else has to die save for his uncle. As Lord of Bebbanburg, he swears to provide for and protect them. Uhtred then looks to Aidan and asks where his allegiance lies. Aidan replies that he’s loyal to the true heir of Bebbanburg and points up to Wihtgar, who’s pointing a crossbow at Uhtred. He demands that Wihtgar put down the bow. Instead, he fires it, striking Ælfric in the eye, killing him instantly. The men of Bebbanburg then pledge their allegiance to Wihtgar. ("Episode 4.2")
Ælfric’s body lays on the ground after being killed by Wihtgar. Uhtred, young Uhtred, Beocca, Finan, Osferth, and Sihtric are surrounded by the men of Bebbanburg. Wihtgar explains that his father was weak, so he put him out of his misery. Uhtred tells Wihtgar that Ælfric stole the land from him when he was a child, so if Wihtgar wants to be considered the true Lord of Bebbanburg, he has to a fight. But Wihtgar declines the challenge. Beocca reveals that he was Ælfric’s priest. Beocca knew his strengths and flaws. He proposes that they make peace and unite against the Scots. However, Wihtgar does not seek peace. He only wishes to kill Uhtred so that he doesn’t repeat his father’s mistakes. But first, he wants Uhtred to watch as he kills his son. Wihtgar fires an arrow at young Uhtred, but Beocca jumps in front of him, taking the arrow in the chest. Uhtred becomes enraged and kills Wihtgar’s men. Finan, Osferth, and Sihtric assist him. Uhtred checks on Beocca but he has succumbed to his wounds. Outnumbered by their adversaries, they retreat to their ship. Wihtgar tries to sink it by catapulting boulders, but he fail. Aidan questions if they should follow them, but Wihtgar assures him they won’t last the night. ("Episode 4.3")
Northumbria; Uhtred, young Uhtred, Finan, Osferth, and Sihtric just barely make it on shore. They’re tired and weak. Finan tells Uhtred that the men are tired and hungry and that there’s nothing there for them here. It’s time they move on. Uhtred contemplates going back to retrieve Beocca’s body, but Finan insists that he doesn’t. Uhtred blames himself for Beocca’s death. He has lost any family he’s ever had, but Beocca was always a constant. Without him, Uhtred has no home. ("Episode 4.3")
Uhtred returns to camp. He tells young Uhtred to quit his praying, but he persists in honor of Beocca. Uhtred calls his son’s God unto question; asking where was his mercy when Beocca needed it. Young Uhtred explains that it’s not his God that Uhtred hates, but the fact that young Uhtred is not his father. Uhtred tells Finan that they’ll need silver and to get out of the woods. To do that, they’ll have to fight battles, which Uhtred feels he is no longer equipped to do. He wants Finan to lead them into battle. He thought that his destiny was to return to his home, but he’s lost everything. He can no longer call himself Uhtred of Bebbanburg. He’s nothing, and he can no longer be their lord. ("Episode 4.3")
Uhtred walks alone. He begins digging in the ground with his knife. He buries the silver cross that Hild gave him in Beocca’s honor. Finan approaches Uhtred and tells him that Beocca would not want to see him mourning so. Uhtred recalls how Beocca held him on the ramparts, when Earl Ragnar rode to Bebbanburg. When his father named him Uhtred and told him to die for Bebbanburg, Beocca was at his side. He even baptized him. He saved Uhtred’s life many times over. Finan hugs Uhtred as he cries over Beocca’s loss. Finan assures Uhtred that this isn’t the end. They will return with more men and concur Bebbanburg. ("Episode 4.3")
Mercia (?); Uhtred, young Uhtred, Finan, Osferth, and Sihtric cross paths with Hæsten as he’s with younger Cnut and Esgar. He questions why Uhtred is so far from home, joking that he rides once more to save Lady Æthelflæd. He then tells Uhtred that he’s free to pass, however, he also welcomes Uhtred and his men to join them. ("Episode 4.3")
After setting up camp, Osferth reveals to Uhtred, young Uhtred, Finan, and Sihtric that Cnut and Brida have attacked Mercia. While he owes the kings nothing, Uhtred does fear for Æthelflæd. Hæsten then invites them all over to join him. He heard of the rumors that Uhtred returned to Bebbanburg to reclaim his land. Hæsten once had the desire to claim Mercia and Wessex for his own, but now he only wants a woman to hump and land to call his own. He had that twice before Uhtred took it from him. He then asks about Æthelflæd, who will undoubtedly ride into battle against Cnut with her husband and brother. Hæsten asks how Æthelflæd is in bed, comparing her to a squealing pig. Uhtred gets upset and attacks Hæsten. He spares Hæsten, only to return to kill after he makes another remark. In exchange for his life, Hæsten offers Uhtred the name of the man that killed Ragnar. Æthelwold may have held the dagger but another whispered poison into his ear. Hæsten reveals that it was Cnut. He wanted to lead the Danes and he wanted Ragnar’s woman. Uhtred lets Hæsten go, but keeps Cnut’s sons, younger Cnut and Esgar, with him. Uhtred orders Finan and Sihtric to tie the boys up. One makes a run for it while the other tries to stab Finan, but they are both captured. ("Episode 4.3")
Young Uhtred asks his father what he will do with the boys. Uhtred plans to take them to Æthelflæd in Mercia. Young Uhtred recalls his father riding out from Winchester before he fought at the Battle of Fearnham. Gisela was there. It was the last time Uhtred saw her. He still sees her in his dreams. Young Uhtred feels her loss every day. That day, he asked her why his father left them, and she said he fought because he believed in a cause to keep the people that he loves safe. She said that is why Uhtred will always have the strength to stand up when others fall and to go on when those around him say it is hopeless. It is why Uhtred’s men love him and are willing to follow him wherever he goes. As will young Uhtred. ("Episode 4.3")
Aegelesburg, Mercia; Uhtred, young Uhtred, Finan, Osferth, and Sihtric arrive in Aegelesburg. Uhtred hands young Cnut and Esgar over. With Cnut’s heirs in his possession, Cnut will surely come for them. So, Uhtred asks where is Æthelflæd’s army. She replies that Æthelred is in East Anglia with his men. Although, Æthelflæd has ordered the Mercian fyrd to Tettenhall, and she believes that Edward will meet them there. Æthelflæd doesn’t know if Æthelred is coming, so she had to force her brother’s hand. Uhtred tells Finan that they leave at first light, and Æthelflæd instructs Aldhelm to prepare the survivors. Æthelflæd then asks Uhtred what happened at Bebbanburg, and he starts to cry. Unbeknownst to them, Bjorgulf arrives with a fleet of soldiers just up the hill. ("Episode 4.3")
Young Uhtred says a prayer for the lives lost during the Dane attack. Uhtred tells Æthelflæd that they don’t have the time for such luxuries. However, many of the dead are children, which deeply saddens Æthelflæd as she further explains that the Danes also took their heads. Uhtred urges Æthelflæd to leave before the Danes arrive, but it’s too late. Finan and Osferth alert the others that the Danes are charging towards the gate. Uhtred guides Æthelflæd to safety while Aldhelm and Sihtric stay behind with the others to hold off the Danes. ("Episode 4.4")
Uhtred goes to the roof. Finan and Sihtric follow him with knives held to young Cnut and Esgar’s throats. He tells Bjorgulf to leave or else the children will die. Bjorgulf refuses to leave, and so Uhtred tricks him into thinking that he cut off the head of young Cnut by throwing the body of one of the dead Mercian kids off the roof. In fear that Uhtred will kill Esgar, Bjorgulf retreats. Cnut will hunt them down the moment he learns they killed his boy. So, they prepare to leave. Young Cnut and Esgar are set free by Sihtric as they have served their purpose. They join Æthelflæd and Aldhelm as they leave for Tettenhall. ("Episode 4.4")
Mercia; Uhtred and Æthelflæd kiss in the nearby woods. Æthelflæd believes she’ll survive the battle with the Danes because God favors those with goodness in their hearts. Uhtred argues that the Gods simply play with them. But tonight, he will believe what Æthelflæd believes. She then asks about Bebbanburg. He thought it was his destiny for so long, but it apparently was not. All he knows for certain is that destiny has brought him back to Æthelflæd. ("Episode 4.4")
Tettenhall, Mercia; Uhtred, Æthelflæd, young Uhtred, Finan, Osferth, Sihtric, and Aldhelm arrive at Tettenhall. They are joined by Father Pyrlig and King Hywel’s army. Pyrlig explains that it was Ælswith who sent him to find allies, as he’s heard nothing from the king. Uhtred still fears that the men they have may not be enough. However, Æthelflæd refuses to back down. With no word from Edward, Uhtred advises Æthelflæd to lie to her men to keep their spirits up. ("Episode 4.4")
Uhtred, young Uhtred, Finan, Osferth, and Sihtric devise a plan to fend off the Danes. However, they aren’t certain it will work. Æthelflæd, Aldhelm, and Pyrlig join them as the Danes get close. Cnut, Brida, Jackdaw, and the Dane army arrive in Tettenhall. Brida notes that something isn’t right and orders them to fallback, but Cnut leads his men forward, right into Uhtred’s trap; a large, camouflaged ditch. As the Danes try to recover, Uhtred, Æthelflæd, young Uhtred, Finan, Osferth, Sihtric, Pyrlig, and Aldhelm charge, with the Welsh as backup. Brida is knocked off her horse, but she manages to take out two enemies in the same breath. Meanwhile, Cnut pulls himself up from under the pile of dead bodies in the ditch. Young Uhtred is nearly killed by a Dane, but Uhtred saves him, and Father Pyrlig helps him up. ("Episode 4.4")
Tettenhall woods, Mercia; Cnut follows Uhtred into the woods and they fight. Cnut demands to know why Uhtred killed his first born. Uhtred claims it was revenge for Ragnar. Brida arrives as the two fight for control, though she doesn’t intervene. Cnut claims that Ragnar was weak and needed him to die, while his son was innocent. Unbeknownst to Cnut, Brida has overheard him admit to killing her former lover. As Uhtred places him in a chokehold, he tells Brida to give him his seax. She slowly picks up his blade and Uhtred lets Cnut go. She confronts him for sending Æthelwold to kill Ragnar and stabs him with his own sword. As Cnut kneels there with his sword in his chest, gasping for air, Uhtred reveals that both of Cnut’s boys are alive just before he dies from his wounds. ("Episode 4.4")
Brida finds herself surrounded by the Welsh as they take in Dane prisoners. She asks Uhtred to spare her and send her to Valhalla. She refuses to be a slave, which is a fate worse than death. Brida simply wants to be with Ragnar. She pleads with Uhtred to kill her, but they take her in as a prisoner. ("Episode 4.4")
Tettenhall, Mercia; Uhtred wonders what excuse Edward gave for his cowardice. Æthelflæd explains that he wanted to avoid bloodshed for his men. Which Uhtred argues created more bloodshed. He wants to speak with Edward personally, but Æthelflæd asks him to leave it be and for them to celebrate their victory over the Danes. ("Episode 4.4")
Saltwic, Mercia; Uhtred, Æthelflæd, young Uhtred, Finan, Osferth, and Sihtric arrive at Æthelflæd’s Mercian estate. Uhtred has come to bring Stiorra home. Æthelflæd asks where is her daughter, and Ælfwynn rushes into her arms. Æthelstan has been held up with them as well. Aldhelm arrives to report that Æthelred is fatally injured and he may not last a week. No plan has been made for the succession, so Æthelflæd is eager to speak with him and the Ealdormen. Uhtred then tells Stiorra to take the children and secure them. If Æthelred dies, times will be unstable. Uhtred questions what will happen if the successor the Ealdormen chooses seeks to have Æthelflæd removed. He fears they'll send her to a nunnery and her daughter will be sold to the highest bidder. He urges Æthelflæd to follow him to Coccham, where he can protect her and her daughter. ("Episode 4.5")
Aegelesburg, Mercia; Uhtred, Æthelflæd, and Aldhelm meet with Edward and Pyrlig to discuss the succession of the king. Uhtred informs Edward of the rumors of a break from Wessex. Edward intends to betroth Ælfwynn to the successor and seal the bond between lands. In return for the strength it’ll bring to Mercia, they’ll simply ask for loyalty. Edward wants Ælfwynn brought to Aegelesburg immediately, but Æthelflæd refuses. Instead, she asks that Edward first find a suitor and they will arrange a match. ("Episode 4.5")
Uhtred informs Æthelflæd that Edward has ordered all his troops to Aegelesburg. Uhtred fears that this means a war is coming. Æthelflæd urges Uhtred to trust her brother. They then stumble upon Eadith and Eardwulf in the middle of an argument. Eadith assures Uhtred that she’s fine, and then Æthelflæd tells Eadith that Æthelred is asking for her. Again, Uhtred asks Æthelflæd to leave with him, but she fears that if she leaves, she’ll never be able to return. ("Episode 4.5")
Æthelflæd informs Uhtred and Aldhelm of Æthelred’s demise. She thought his death would bring her peace, but it hasn’t. Aldhelm promises that he will bargain their way out of this, but what they need is to alert their allies. Rally them against Eardwulf if necessary. This would set the Mercian Fyrd against the Wessex army. Pyrlig reveals that a group of riders were just sent to retrieve Ælfwynn. Æthelflæd will try to speak with Edward. In the meantime, she orders Uhtred to go to Ceaster and take her daughter somewhere she can be protected. ("Episode 4.5")
Saltwic, Mercia; Uhtred arrives at Æthelflæd’s estate to find that everyone is safe. After evading capture, they proceed to pack their belongings and head for Ceaster. ("Episode 4.5")
Mercia; Uhtred, Finan, Osferth, and Sihtric come to a stop, if only for a second as Edward and his men won’t be far behind. Eadith arrives with a message from Æthelflæd. She wants them to meet her at the ruins of St. Milburg’s Priory. They do not entirely trust Eadith, but they have no choice. Uhtred wonders what’s next for her. Eadith has family in Frankia, but that way is Inland, so Uhtred invites Eadith to travel with them. ("Episode 4.6")
Eadith tells Uhtred that he’s kinder than his reputation and that Lady Æthelflæd is lucky to have him serve her. Uhtred explains that he simply owes her his respect. Eadith never sought to disrespect Æthelflæd, but only to protect her brother, but he did not protect her in return. ("Episode 4.6")
As they ride through the woods, hungry villagers rip the bread that Stiorra is eating right from her hands. They come to a stop as the road is blocked with the bodies of dead men piked on large wooden sticks. Finan and Sihtric go to investigate. They realize that at least one man is still alive but that he’s dying of a sickness. Finan claims that it is spread by touch while Uhtred and Osferth state that it spreads by air. Young Uhtred believes that it only takes sinners. Finan suggests that they return to Aegelesburg. However, they don’t have the power to defend themselves against Edward. Uhtred changes the plan. They will now go across land to Wenloca to avoid the bad air. Sihtric worries that the children won’t make the trip on foot, but they proceed nevertheless. ("Episode 4.6")
They continue on the road to Ceaster on foot. Uhtred carries Ælfwynn as Finan carries Æthelstan. From Uhtred, he learns that Æthelstan is Edward’s hidden bastard son. ("Episode 4.6")
St. Milburg’s Priory, Mercia; They arrive at St. Milburg’s Priory but Æthelflæd and Aldhelm are nowhere to be found. Finan continues to grow more and more worried. He suspects there may even be bodies laying in the fields. Uhtred orders Stiorra to get Ælfwynn out the sun, but she’s tired of mothering her. Stiorra has done it for months and has no intentions on being a wife. Nevertheless, she takes Ælfwynn under the trees. Finan suspects that Æthelflæd isn’t coming and advises they leave. Uhtred realizes that Æthelflæd must’ve gone ahead to Ceaster as agreed, so they do the same. ("Episode 4.6")
Mercia; Osferth proposes to Uhtred that they rest. Fortunately, they find a place to stop for the night. They sleep as Uhtred watches over them. Day breaks and the group awakens. Ælfwynn goes following behind a crow, chasing it through the woods on her own. That’s when she crosses paths with a sleeping Eardwulf and his men. Fortunately, Uhtred gets to her in time before she can awaken them. The group then run off into the woods. ("Episode 4.6")
The group rest at a river stream. As night falls, the group settles down to sleep. Eadith thanks Uhtred for not killing her brother. He replies there is no honor in killing a sleeping man. Although, if Eardwulf comes for them, Uhtred will not hesitate. He wonders why Eadith didn’t betray them when she had the chance. Edith explains that she would rather sleep on cold earth than in a palace where people see her as a whore. She asks if his Gods look down on him from the Heavens. Do they sit in judgement. Uhtred explains they’re more fickle than that and he isn’t always sure how to please them. Sometimes, he thinks the path of the warrior is his way to Valhalla. Other times, he isn’t sure. He asks if Eadith’s God looks over her. She looks for signs if he does, but she rarely sees them. ("Episode 4.6")
While continuing their journey to Ceaster, Eadith fears that Ælfwynn is getting sick. Uhtred is aware, but tells Eadith to simply reassure her. Unfortunately, they are tracked down by Eardwulf and his guards. They find themselves in a swamp filled with dead bodies, certainly the result of the sickness. So, they are forced to fight their way out. Eardwulf demands they hand over Ælfwynn, but Uhtred refuses. Finan tells Æthelstan to run into the trees when the fighting starts and Sihtric hands him a knife. As the guards inch towards them, Eadith reveals that her brother killed Lord Æthelred and she’s willing to swear it on the book. She adds that Eardwulf is also responsible for the delay of their return to Mercia. Eadith has proof off his crime. She tells the guards to look inside the pouch that her brother wears around his neck. In it is Æthelred’s ring. And so, Eardwulf’s guards turn on him. Eadith advises Eardwulf to save himself and flee to Frankia. He heeds Eadith’s warning and leaves. Uhtred then picks up Æthelred’s ring off the ground. ("Episode 4.6")
Wollerton, Mercia; They arrive in Wollerton; Kingdom of Mercia. Sihtric asks for his blade back from Æthelstan. Uhtred orders young Uhtred and Sihtric to find Æthelflæd and tell her that Ælfwynn is safe. Eadith and Osferth will guard her until Edward has sworn he won’t harm her. Eadith fears that Ælfwynn is getting worse. Uhtred asks that Eadith keep her alive until he returns. Eadith tells him that she and Osferth will do everything they can. ("Episode 4.6")
Aegelesburg, Mercia; While the town is distracted by King Æthelred’s funeral, Pyrlig sneaks Uhtred, Finan, Stiorra, and Æthelstan inside. Pyrlig fears they are beyond getting Edward to listen. Aegelesburg is like a tinder waiting to spark. Uhtred then interrupts the Witan. He assures them that while Ælfwynn is safe, she will not be betrothed as Eardwulf has confessed to the murder of Æthelred and fled Mercia. He then presents Æthelred’s ring as proof, handing it over to Ludeca. ("Episode 4.7")
Edward asks Uhtred where is Ælfwynn. Uhtred will only reveal her location if Edward promises that Ælfwynn and Æthelflæd will be protected. Edward threatens to have Uhtred seized, but he’s done nothing wrong. Nevertheless, Edward has him taken away and orders Æthelhelm to find out where Uhtred hides Ælfwynn. As for who to betroth her to, Edward thinks that instead of making a bond with the Ealdormen, they should find a way to break them. ("Episode 4.7")
Cenric chains up Uhtred, who recognizes him. He initially asks if Cenric was sworn to Alfred before realizing that Cenric fought at Beamfleot. Æthelhelm pleads with Uhtred to tell him the location of Ælfwynn so that they don’t have to torture him, but he refuses. So, Cenric begins to punch him repeatedly. ("Episode 4.7")
Edward finds Uhtred and bloody and beaten in his cell. Edward explains that he made no such order. Uhtred tells him that Æthelhelm claims to act for the king. Edward opens Uhtred’s cage and tells the guard to fetch Uhtred food, water, and fur to keep him warm. Edward elaborates that he didn’t order the torture of Uhtred because he knew it wouldn’t have worked. Edward questions where Uhtred’s courage comes from. He realizes that Uhtred loves his sister. Edward always envied Uhtred’s ability to chose his own path, but now he wonders if Uhtred is as imprisoned as he is, unable to escape a life that was imposed upon him. Edward’s tried to find a solution for Mercia that respects them and keeps order, but events have turned against him. And now he’s questioning if God wants him to do this. He’s lived in his father’s shadow but now he sees the light. Perhaps Edward should be unifying the kingdoms himself instead of having a child do it for him. Edward tells Uhtred that he’s free to go. He wants Uhtred to return to Ælfwynn, reunite with his sister and keep them safe until the conflict passes. ("Episode 4.7")
Uhtred meets back up with Finan, who reveals that his daughter is insistent on helping Father Pyrlig, as she is as stubborn as her father. Stiorra helps Father Pyrlig distribute the grain among the people, but the villagers become too unmanageable and start fighting over the grain. Stiorra is thrown to the ground and Uhtred and Finan intervene. Uhtred takes control of the situation. While they may have suffered, turning on each other won’t save them. He urges them to work together. He tells everyone to form a line and they will be given what is needed. All the while Edward, Ælswith and Cenric watch from above. With Uhtred’s influence, Ælswith fears he will make the Mercians turn against Edward. And so, Edwards orders Uhtred to be brought before him. ("Episode 4.7")
Uhtred is brought to Edward for his involvement in the riot over the grain. Uhtred simply wanted to bring peace to Aegelesburg rather than another battle. Which will surely occur as the Ealdormen won’t back down, so Uhtred suspects Edward will finish the slaughter the Danes have started. Edward fears he is right. Edward wants to place Uhtred at Aegelesburg as he can forge a path to peace. While the Ealdormen may not be pleased with him, they’ll have to accept it given Uhtred's popularity with the people. Uhtred would be a lord and protector over Aegelesburg just until it becomes less volatile. Uhtred has the respect of the people and they can use that to their mutual advantage to bring peace. If Uhtred doesn’t accept, they will undoubtedly be slaughtered. If he accepts the offer, his reputation will be restored and his men given status and wealth. And in a few years, he will be free to pursue whatever path he wishes. Edward could even give Uhtred the troops he needs to retake Bebbanburg. In return, Edward would be Uhtred’s king and expect his loyalty. He gives Uhtred a day to answer him. ("Episode 4.7")
Uhtred informs Pyrlig of the offer made to him by King Edward to be the Lord of Mercia. While he’s right that Æthelflæd will be defended, Uhtred never sought such power. Pyrlig argues that this is perhaps what makes Uhtred the best man. He doesn’t have such ambition. Pyrlig questions what’s holding Uhtred back. Uhtred swore he would never give his loyalty to another Saxon king. Pyrlig advises Uhtred to take the offer as it is a path to peace. ("Episode 4.7")
Uhtred has made his choice. He tells Edward and Ælswith that he will accept the deal so long that he can rule as his own man. Edward explains that he never wanted to control Mercia. He only wanted peace. And so they come to an agreement. ("Episode 4.7")
Æthelflæd sees Uhtred headed towards the monastery and expresses her displeasure with him accepting to be Lord of Mercia. She doesn’t believe he’s right for the role. Mercia needs someone more diplomatic, who can rebuild the kingdom and forge alliances. She fears that people will see him nothing more than a tyrant imposed by Wessex. However, Uhtred fears that the next Lord may banish Æthelflæd. If he’s ruler, Mercia will protect her. ("Episode 4.8")
Father Pyrlig comes to discuss Uhtred’s baptism. The Lord of Mercia must be Christian. Some of the Ealdormen wish to witness Uhtred’s baptism in person. Uhtred reluctantly agrees despite getting baptized by Father Beocca twice before. ("Episode 4.8")
Uhtred is baptised by Father Pyrlig in front of the Edward, Ælswith, Aldhelm, Ludeca, Burgred, and the other Ealdormen. Ælswith explains that it’s not that she doubts Uhtred, but rather the fact that he held a blade to Alfred’s throat and threatened to kill him. Young Uhtred watches angrily before leaving. Pyrlig then calls Edward forward. Uhtred undresses and goes under water to be baptised. ("Episode 4.8")
Uhtred and Pyrlig arrive for the Witan, where Edward, Aldhelm, Burgred, Ludeca, and the other Ealdormen await. Æthelflæd and Ælswith watch from above. Ludeca takes lead. They must choose a leader to defend. One who will stand shoulder to shoulder with their allies in Wessex. Edward assures them that Wessex has no desire to influence Witan. He only wants to maintain the bond. Ludeca explains that Uhtred has both defended Wessex and Mercia. He also only holds the position until a younger Ealdormen can come of age and Lady Ælfwynn is old enough to marry. There are no objections from the Witan and Uhtred is crowned king. Despite the Witan accepting him as their Lord, Uhtred believes there to be someone better suited to rule. As his first act as Lord of Mercia, Uhtred relinquishes the throne in favor of Æthelflæd. Edward and the Ealdormen argue that Æthelflæd can’t rule because she is a woman. However, Ludeca explains that it was never a rule that women can’t take the throne. King Offa’s widow ruled for years. Æthelflæd proposes a solution. She will swear an oath that as long as she is Lady of Mercia, she will remain chaste. Still, Edward is very much against his sister ruling. With Witan’s support, Æthelflæd takes the throne. ("Episode 4.8")
Aldhelm tells Uhtred that while his reign was brief, he served Mercia well and they now have the ruler they need in Æthelflæd. Finan, Osferth, and Sihtric enter the monastery to inform Uhtred and Aldhelm that King Edward’s guards have taken control of Aegelesburg. Æthelflæd reminds them all that Mercia and Wessex are allied. She would like to speak to her brother, but Pyrlig explains that Edward is at prayer and doesn’t want to be disturbed. ("Episode 4.8")
Uhtred questions the whereabouts of the Mercian Guard. Ludeca explains that they are leaderless without Eardwulf and the fyrd is disheartened and scattered. Æthelflæd tells Uhtred and Aldhelm to restrain themselves until after she’s had a conversation with Edward. Uhtred and Aldhelm agree that Æthelflæd is not safe and should flee Aegelesburg, but she refuses. Uhtred orders Finan to stay with Æthelflæd and guard her quarters. He then tells Sihtric and Osferth to follow him. They mean to ensure that Æthelflæd won’t have to rely on Edward’s goodwill for her survival. ("Episode 4.8")
Uhtred, Osferth, and Sihtric return with a fyrd. Æthelflæd now has enough men to fight Edward. She tells them to remain calm as she will not sacrifice a single Mercian life unless it’s necessary. The fyrd will remain outside, but she has no doubt that Aegelesburg will soon be in Mercian control once again. She then orders Edward and Cenric to open the gates for Uhtred as there’s no need for conflict. ("Episode 4.8")
Pyrlig informs Uhtred that his son has left for Wessex to return to his church. Uhtred asks if this is because of the baptism. Pyrlig explains that God simply called him away. Uhtred wonders if he’ll return. ("Episode 4.8")
Uhtred tells Æthelflæd that he’ll be leaving for Coccham. Seeing her in Aegelesburg everyday and not being able to be with her would be too painful. She starts to cry and tells Uhtred she will miss him, giving him one last kiss goodbye. He tells Æthelflæd that he will always answer Mercia’s call with her on the throne. Later, Uhtred, Finan, Stiorra, Osferth, and Sihtric gather at the tavern, unsure of their next move. Eadith pays for their next jug of ale in exchange for them allowing her to travel with them when they leave Aegelesburg. ("Episode 4.8")
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. ("Episode 4.9")
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. ("Episode 4.9")
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. ("Episode 4.9")
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. ("Episode 4.9")
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 Beoccain Bebbanburg because of his haste, so now he’s trying a more cautionary approach. ("Episode 4.9")
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. ("Episode 4.9")
Winchester has been under siege for 30 days. 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. ("Episode 4.10")
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. 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. ("Episode 4.10")
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. ("Episode 4.10")
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. ("Episode 4.10")
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. ("Episode 4.10")
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. ("Episode 4.10")
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. Afterward, 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. ("Episode 4.10")
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. ("Episode 4.10")
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. ("Episode 4.10")
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. ("Episode 4.10")
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. ("Episode 4.10")
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. Uhtred then leaves Winchester with Æthelstan. ("Episode 4.10")
In his youth, Uhtred is described a restless child, resisting his education and playing with armour and the harp. After his capture by the Danes, his restlessness is shaped into a warrior's fierceness.
Alongside him to avenge the elder Ragnar's death, retaking the stronghold of Dunholm in the process. Uhtred uses the name of his foster brother on a number of occasions to hide his true identity from the enemy he is interacting with, such as when going ashore when recapturing Lundene in Sword Song. Outranking all other priorities is his determination to oust his usurper uncle and take his rightful place as Lord of Bebbanburg.
Uhtred does not like breaking oaths and is therefore hesitant if he must take one and his arrogance, although rightly earned through the killing of fearsome Danish warlords, gives some people the wrong impression about Uhtred.
Uhtred shows love for his children, his first son died due to swallowing a pebble and choking and although cold at first, he weeps when it actually hits him. His second son lives well but he shows great love for his daughter, Stiorra, with whom he is always playing, and nurturing. Although he shows a dislike for his first son, with Gisela, as he wants to be a Christian and not a warrior. Uhtred is a complex character with his own loyalties constantly being questioned, even by himself, though he is a trustworthy man.
Uhtred dislikes the Scots, but has a grudging respect for their fighting abilities. In The Lords of the North, Ivar Ivarsson's army is ambushed and decimated by the Scottish king Aed, after Ivar invades Scotland in response to Aed's men raiding across the Border. Uhtred, when he hears accounts from survivors of the battle, comments, "Ivar's shield wall had held, but I could well imagine the ferocity of that battle. My father had fought the Scots many times, and he always referred to them as devils. Mad devils, he said, sword devils. Howling devils. And Ivar's Danes told us how they rallied from that first attack, and used sword and spear to cut the devils down - and still, the shrieking hordes came. Climbing over their own dead, their wild hair red with blood, their swords hissing."
In the novel The Burning Land, Uhtred again quotes his father, "Dealing with the Scots is like trying to geld wildcats with your teeth."
This list shows the victims Uhtred has killed:
- "I am Uhtred, son of Uhtred"
- "The future is fate, it won't change."
- "I will not stand by and have everything that's mine taken from me."
- "God works in the strangest of ways, known only to himself."
- "Every lord is the hero of his own songs."
- "Courage is finding the will to overcome your fear, nothing more."
- "An empty throne provokes more trouble than a weak king."
- "I do not seek battles. Battles just seem to seek me."
- "Wyrd bið ful āræd. Fate is inexorable."
- "Not every sword stroke is a kill! A kill is something you must fashion."
- "What binds a man to his land? What power within allows him to give his life to preserve his land and the lives of the families who work it? It can only be love."
- "The preachers tell us that pride is a great sin. But the preachers are wrong! Pride makes a man, it drives him. It is the shield wall around his reputation... Men die, but reputation does not die."
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- Uhtred is in part based upon the historical Uchtred the Bold who flourished at the start of the 11th century.
- Uhtred was born in 858, taken by Ragnar at the age of 9 in 867.
- In The Last Kingdom, at the end of this book, it is 874-876 and Uhtred is 16-18 years old.
- In The Pale Horseman, it is 876-878, Uhtred is 18-20 years old.
- In The Lords of the North, it is 878-881, Uhtred is 20-23 years old.
- In Sword Song, it is 886, Uhtred is 28 years old.
- In The Burning Land, it is 892-893, Uhtred is 34-35 years old.
- In Death of Kings, it is 899-902, Uhtred is 41-44 years old.
- In The Pagan Lord, it is 909-910, Uhtred is 51-52 years old.
- In The Empty Throne, it is 911, Uhtred is 53 years old.
- In Warriors of the Storm, it is 917, Uhtred is 59 years old.
- In The Flame Bearer, it is 918, Uhtred is 60 years old.
- In War of the Wolf, it is 923-924, Uhtred is 65-66 years old.
- In Sword of Kings, it is 924, Uhtred is 66 years old.
- In War Lord, it is 937, Uhtred is 79 years old. (assumed)
- Serpent-Breath is the name of Uhtred's longsword and Wasp-Sting is Uhtred's seax/short-sword.
- Bebbanburg (meaning "Bebba's fort") is now known as Bamburgh Castle in the modern English county of Northumberland.
- Bebbanburg was once the political centre of the kingdom of Bernicia, which was originally the northern-most Anglo-Saxon realm in Britain prior to the unification with the kingdom of Deira in the early to mid-7th century. Bernicia was composed of the modern English counties of Durham, Tyne-and-Wear and Northumberland, as well as parts of the modern Scottish counties of Berwickshire and East Lothian.
- Bebbanburg was first conquered by Ida son of Eoppa, who was a warlord of either Angle or Frisian origin. He took the fortress from the native British/Welsh tribe of the Bryneich (the origin of the name "Bernicia") in 547 CE. Ida is the grandfather of Aethelfrith, the first unifier of Northumbria, and ancestor of the House of Uhtred.
- Uhtred converted religions, he was born a Christian, baptised twice, but converted into paganism after being adopted by Earl Ragnar. He later got baptised a third time before the ealdormen of Mercia to prove that he was a Christian, however he still is a pagan at heart.