01x01 - Episode One

[Indistinct shouting]

[Waves crashing]

Lord Uhtred: Boy!

[Horse whinnies]

The tide is on the turn.

I'll not warn you again!

Osbert: Ships! There!


The devil's turds.

Are they traders?

No. They come as vikings!

We go!

[Hawk screeching]

Go, go!

♪ ♪

[Shouting indistinctly]

♪ ♪

Lord Uhtred: Where is my son?


Take half a dozen men ride to the river.

There are pagans there.

You watch them, see how many there are.

Of course, father.

Do nothing more. You understand?

Yes, father.

Osbert, what is it?

Ships. I saw them first from the beach.

What ships?


They're heading for the river.


God and the saints preserve us.

They have no soul.

We must pray. We must act.

Uhtred, do not fight them.

Not a single one.

Be back by nightfall.

Yes, father.

They are sent by god to punish us for our sins.

Our sins be damned.

They're here to support the viking army at Eoferwic.

Aelfric! We must instruct the priest to pray for our deliverance!



Get them inside.

We take in as many women and elders as we can.

The rest to higher ground and out of sight.

Send word to rouse the country.

I want every man inside this fortress.

And every man must be prepared to die.

♪ ♪

[Oarsmen groaning]


Man: Rest your oars. Rest your oars.



Fresh... Sweet water.


What else do you see?


I see a clear river, fish as big as a man's leg.

I see a forest alive with meat.

But more than that, I see a place to grow fat and old.

[Horse whinnies in distance]


Yeah. And I see spies sh1tting themselves.

All: Yeah!

[Shouting indistinctly]

We'll meet sword with sword!

You are pagans... we have a greater god on our side!

Kjartan, I think we should teach this boy a lesson.

Kjartan: Taking her in.

At speed!

Man: Pick up the speed!

[Oarsmen groaning]

Lord Uhtred: Why do I leave the villages unprotected and bring the men inside?

Is that your question?

A village can be rebuilt. A warrior can die only once.

The Danes may be heading south to Eoferwic.

But they will kill whoever they can on the way.

Now, go and find the priest.

Yes, father.

Beocca: Come in, Osbert. Don't skulk in the shadows.

He, uh, wants to know if you're ready.


Do you know what I'm tasked with?

A letter?

A response to a letter. This letter from king Aella.

Asking your father for his support, his army, to help recapture the city of Eoferwic.

This is why it's important for you to be able to read and write.

Father can't read and write.

Well, for your father, it's too late.

King Aella could have sent a man on horseback.

But who is to say that the man on horseback speaks the truth?

Or has remembered the true message?

What these letters will represent is history, facts.

Your father is informing king Aella and king Osbert he will be alongside their armies at Eoferwic.

And the mark of Bebbanburg will guarantee the truth of it.

Why do we fight for Eoferwic?

Well, we fight for Eoferwic because we do not wish to see England, piece by piece, become Daneland.


I heard it said that we were pagans once.

That wooden and Odin are the same.

We saw the error of our ways, and we look to Rome.

I heard the pagans had fierce gods of war.

Well, we are right and they are mistaken.

Osbert, we are blessed.

I should make you swear on St. Cuthbert's comb never to mention the likes of wooden again.

But what if I had a hound called wooden?

What if I did? What would you do then?

Well, you haven't.

You have not. What if you had a pig called Thor?

Come, let's go see your father. Come.

[Laughs] A pig called Thor.

Man: Horsemen approaching!

[Dogs barking]

♪ ♪

He rides Uhtred's horse.




Bury what's left of him.

[Breathing heavily]

Osbert, come on.

Remind me of the last words I spoke to him.

You told him to watch, do not fight.

We have no idea of the circumstance...

"do not fight" means do not fight.

He was young.

There was no fight to be had until Eoferwic.

Beocca: You wanted to see Osbert, my lord.


You are now called Uhtred. Uhtred, son of uhtred.

You have your stone, the Amber?

Yes, father.

The priest will show you your history and parchments.

Make him understand who he is.

Beocca: Lord, I should like to baptize him again.

Well, if he arrives at heaven's gate as Uhtred, they might wonder what's happened to Osbert.

Do what you must. Do as I ask.


We were kings here once, boy.

Kings of all the lands between the rivers Tuede and tine.

We should be kings again. Yes, we should.

But it does not matter what they call us, so long as they obey.

Our ancestors took this land, and it has been strengthened with our blood and bone.

Now you are the new heir of Bebbanburg.

You hear me?

And you will die for it if needed.

Yes, father.

And I will give you the head of the man who killed Uhtred.

No, you are Uhtred!

Have you not been listening to me?!

Do not tell me what it is you will do... you are just a pup!

You will give me nothing!

You will watch, and you will learn!

Put him in the water before his mother's tongue gives me grief.

She's not my mother.

Will you take him with you to battle to watch and learn?

He's old enough.

I need you to choose 30 men to remain here at Bebbanburg.

Protect the boy. He is the heir.

30 will hold and is few enough to feed.

Will you do this for me?

I'd rather be with you at Eoferwic, but I'll do as you ask.

Thank you.

[Bell ringing] Beocca: Hurry, please.


Heavenly father, receive your servant Uhtred into the holy kind of saints and into the ranks of the most bright angels.

Let your holy waters cleanse him and make him worthy of your blessing.

Make him your instrument and your rod.

Let him realize the significance of the written word so that he may learn of your glory, and in turn, may spread your word.

Beo... let him grow in wisdom and in respect so he may lead in a godly manner...

Beocca, he's cleanse.



Uhtred, son of Uhtred of Bebbanburg... [Cheers and applause] welcome to the Christian world.

Behold, your people and your land.

♪ ♪

Where are the people and the soldiers?

On the road to Eoferwic, led by your father, where they'll join the other two kings of Northumbria.

With... without me?

You are to remain at Bebbanburg with your kindly uncle, who's sworn to keep you safe.

Should you wish to fight, we can always arm-wrestle.

Where's the priest?

With your father. Eat.

You have work to do, Uhtred.

In the stables, thankfully, we've been left some horses.

You should eat.

I'm not hungry.

We have work to do.

Horse sh1t to shovel.

Come and find me when you've finished.

[Door opens, closes]

♪ ♪

Scallion, if my brother falls in battle...

The boy must fall.

[Indistinct conversations]

[Indistinct shouting]

Earl Ragnar: All this way and no reception party?

Earl Ragnar.


How are you?

I'm fine. I'm hungry.

And your boy?

He's coming.

Ragnar. Ubba, I brought men and horses.

Good to see you. You're well?


You made a gift of his own son's head.

How did this lord react?

He did nothing.

He brought his warriors into the fortress, kept them inside.

He's saving his men.

That man is Uhtred, one of the three kings of Northumbria... a warrior king.

The other two are fools.

They'd rather be fighting each other.

Is this true?

King Aella and king Osbert... they, both lay claim to Eoferwic.

They have the strangest of names.


So, when do we fight?

Soon, I hope.

I'm still to decide.

Fools or not, they have three armies.

They have numbers. But are divided.

Three kings, but only one who can lead them.

This Uhtred.

Then we kill him, and Northumbria is ours.

All of it.


Listen to him. Listen to the boy.

He reminds me of me.

Yeah, when you were younger.

Of course when I was younger.

He's just a boy.

Uh, just saying.

Earl Ragnar: Ubba.

Did you say I was old?



I'm not getting old.


I have seen the land outside the city.

I have a plan in mind. A good plan.

And my son would like to whet his sword with you.

So do we fight?


The signs are good.

Only this morning, I saw a raven fly towards the Saxon camp, and it was asking me to follow.

I'm sure of it.


Then we fight.

[All shouting]


♪ ♪

[Horses whinnying]

King Osbert: What kind of hell is this?

It's a pagan's hell.

We outnumber them.

But there are more.

There must be.

Nothing changes. We attack with half our number.

The second half to follow, once we have the measure of them.

They have conceded to higher ground.

King Aella, yours and lord Uhtred's armies will attack in the first wave.



[Horn sounding]


[Horn sounding in distance]


No, not without me!

♪ ♪

Come nightfall, we'll be rid of this plague, and counting our share of the plunder!


King Aella: My shield.

[Whispering indistinctly]

[Shouting stops]

♪ ♪

Kill them all!


The wall is holding.

Down! Hands below your shield and drive!






Push! Keep pushing!

It's working!

Drive them!

[Man screams]

Beocca: They're tiring. They can't fight back.

We're winning look!



Come on!

Not yet!

Not yet!

♪ ♪

Dear god, no.

Shield! Wall!

Dear god of infinite mercy, not this.

Kill them all!

[Man screaming]


Lord Uhtred: Legs! Legs!

Protect your legs!

Lift up your sword and spare these men of England who fight in your name.

Let the heathens' hearts crumble and wither.

Bestow your power upon these men of England so they can glorify your name with the blood of the devils.

Have mercy now, lord.

Do not forsake us.

Do not forsake England.

Follow me!

Follow me!

Take him!

Close the shield wall!

Close the wall and take him!




He's like a wasp.

[Breathing heavily]


The wasp has lost its sting.




Are you sure he's a Saxon?

He fights like a Dane.


[Indistinct conversations] Woman: No!

[Man screaming]


[Chains rattling]

[Women screaming]

Earl Ragnar: Leave her.

She is to live.

Some of these young ones can come in useful.

Father, here is the boy I spoke of.

The one who almost killed you.

You're leaving him with me?

I've never seen a man get the better of you yet.

[Indistinct shouting]

[Woman screaming]

Ravn: Cut me some chicken.

Careful. The blade of sharp.

It can kill a man.

[Screaming continues]

The chicken is on your platter.



Have you always been blind?

Oh, I see enough.

So, who have they been killing below?

[Screaming continues]


Just now, a king.

Did he die well?


Well, then he shouldn't have been king.


Tell me, who sits in the middle of the hall?

[Shouting indistinctly]

[Body thuds]

Is it the big man and the small man?


And a gray man sits in between them.

If you get to live, you should be aware of the big man... ubba.

My advice for you is to never cross ubba, and never, never fight him.

If I get to live?

He listens to no one but the gods.

Men who take their orders from the gods are...

[Woman screaming]



What did you mean when you said "if I get to live"?

You're my prisoner.

The gray man will be Egbert.

He's a Saxon ealdorman.

He has pledged allegiance and now calls himself king.

He is king of nothing.

Soon, all of the kings in England shall be kings of nothing.

Northumbria is ours. Mercia will soon be ours.

Then east Anglia, Cornwallum, and then the greatest prize is the last kingdom... Wessex.

I've heard of Wessex.

Anything will grow in Wessex.

[Body thuds, crowd groans]

Tell me your name.

Uhtred. I'm the ealdorman of Bebbanburg.

You are, eh?

I am.

I own lands to the north.

How long have you been an ealdorman of these lands?

Your father chose to fight us and is now dead.

He... he was not... Fond of me.



I now understand why my son spared you, Uhtred of Bebbanburg.

You are a warrior.

Have some ale.

Drink it.

Lots of it.

Here. Take it up there.

[Metal clanging]


I'm thinking of keeping them both.

The boy and the girl. They can help your mother.



But you did kill his father.

And if he's an ealdorman, we can sell him for ransom.


[Birds cawing]

[Breathing heavily]

♪ ♪

[Mournful vocalizing]

Brida, be careful not to spill the water.

You'll turn the floor to mud.

Uhtred, wood needs to be chopped.

Brida, you can do the goats.

Thyra: Will there be time for Uhtred to play?

Only when work is done.

I don't like our daughter having to play with the slaves.

They're only children.

They have a place.

[Chuckles] Grumpy.

What does the play involve?

We built a hall in the gorge.

I am the mistress and Uhtred is a warrior.

Not a servant?

[Chuckling] It is a game.

[Children laughing]

Brida: A wolf!


Uhtred: That's it, a wolf.

Boar! Watch out!

I saw it... it had sharp teeth and yellow eyes.

Don't let the wolves get me, Uhtred!

Use the fire to keep them away.

I see them.

They're as big as ubba and smell worse.

[Laughs] [Call in the distance]

Did you see that?

[Twig snaps]


Stay up there.

[Gasps] Look.

Uhtred, what is happening?

Stay up there, thyra. It's Sven.

He won't hurt you.

But he'll kill us.


He'll kill us!


♪ ♪

[Breathing heavily]

That was a real sword.

I saw it.

[Thyra screaming]






What's this?

You been fighting again?


With Sven?

Kjartan's son?


Uhtred, he's much bigger than you.

He's a turd.

Why do you say that?

Ravn: Who started it?

Who began the fight?

I began the fight.

For no other reason than that he's a turd?

Danes have murdered for less.

Uhtred, that's enough.

You want to be sold, boy?

I wish to eat.

Speak up.

I wish to eat.

You want to eat?

You want to eat?

You know what? I say you starve.

Fighting is expected.

Disobedience is not.



Sven began the fight!

Earl Ragnar: Kjartan!


Earl Ragnar, let me first say he's... he's a good boy.

He brought a sword onto my land.

I will have words with him.

In time, he'll serve on your ship.

He... he...

He has offended me.

He will honor you, and he meant no harm, lord.

He meant no harm?

He looked at my daughter's nakedness.

And he was punished. Your Saxon slave cut him.

Shall I make a square of branches?

Are you gonna fight me for your son or fetch him?!


Come out here.

Tell him what you have to say.

I'm sorry.

Can't hear you.

I'm sorry, lord, for what I did.

You laid hands on my daughter.

You stripped her naked.

Half-naked, lord. He's at an age, lord.

Is this true?


Yes, lord.

Then I shall only take his one eye.

Kjartan: No, lord, please!


Kjartan, you are banished from my land.


♪ ♪

I have something for you.

What is it?

An amulet. Thor's hammer.

Ah, but...

But what?

You're Christian.

Take it.

Take it. I'm trying.

Take it. [Grunts]

I don't think he wants it.

I do want it.

[Chuckling] No. I don't think so.

Thank you.

Tell me about Denmark.

What can I say about Denmark?

It's wet.

And harsh.

The ground is so flat and Sandy, you can't grow a fart.

[Chuckles] Which is why we're here in England.

To grow.

And why young Ragnar will soon be going for Ireland.

You leave to fight?

To make my wealth.

If you want land or silver, you have to take it.

You made me... Proud today, Uhtred.

You made me proud.

[Birds squawking]

Aelfric: I don't know you.

You don't have the appearance of a messenger.

And Ubba's payment's not yet due.

Kjartan: No, lord.

I was a ship's master.

Ah, well. I have no ships.

I need no ship's master.

I have news that you will want to hear.


Two days south of here...

Is a rat with the man I used to serve.

Until he banished me.

He has a slave.

He treats him well.

This is a slave you're entitled to buy back, if you wish to.

Buy back?

He's your nephew.

Uhtred, lord.

He lives.

[Indistinct conversation]

Uhtred: What if I'm against being ransomed?

Your family has discovered that you're still alive.

And they wish for you to be returned.

But they must pay.

Pay Ragnar?

Ubba takes more than half.

It's normal.

But I have no family.

Man: Keep him over there. Tether the horses.

Scallion. Here.


They're treating you well?

I am fed, yes.

Good, good. That's all we ask.

What is that around your neck?

Some symbol?

Oh, this?

They... they make me wear it.

May I see it?

Look, I will speak plainly, your uncle will kill you.

Right, you cannot go back to Bebbanburg.

You must escape.

He wants to be the ealdorman.

He wants to be the king, in fact, like the pathetic Egbert over there.

A puppet king for his Danish masters.

You should go to Wessex.

King Aethelred real king Aethelred... and his brother, the prince Alfred... they're good men, good Christian men.

Earl Ragnar: That's enough whispering in his ear, priest.


One more word, I'll have your ball bag for a purse.

I'll meet you there.

That will not be necessary.

What did he say?

He... he asked if you were treating me well.

Aelfric: How much?

Ravn: 300.

That is a ridiculous amount.

How can a boy be worth 300 pieces of silver?

Because I say so.

Because he is a lord and an ealdorman.

No, he is a boy.

I am the ealdorman of Bebbanburg.

I carry the seal and the banner.

That seal is my father's, which is now mine!

Ubba: You be silent.

You are for sale, nothing more.

For ransom, lord.

That's what I said.

My lords, I have given up land, horses.

I've offered a generous supply of food as well as my sword.

All I ask in return is a fair price for my only nephew.

What would you say is a fair price?

I will offer 100 pieces of silver.


My allegiance and 100 pieces is surely a fair price.

It is not.

I will give 120 pieces of silver for the boy.

[Laughs] Not enough.

Very well.

200 pieces.

I agree to your terms.

The boy is sold to Earl Ragnar.


Ransomed, lord.

That's what I said. The matter is closed.

My lords, I have come a long way.

I have offered my allegiance.

Which is why you're allowed to breathe.

If you have an argument, it's with me now.

If business is done, we have ale to drink.

And king Egbert needs to sh1t!


♪ ♪

Uhtred: You bought me for how much?

Too much.

How much is too much?

My sword's weight in silver.

I agree I may have been robbed, but we like you, boy.

We're going to keep you.

Does this mean I'm a Dane?

It means you're Uhtred Ragnar son.

You're a son to me now.

♪ ♪

Brida, not that way. Take the goat outside.

Next time, I promise.

Mother, look.

It's beautiful. It really is.

I can't believe I'm losing you already.

I will be living across the field.

And if he doesn't treat you well, you just come marching right back across that field.

Whoa, look at this place.

Thyra: Uhtred.

Do you like my wedding necklace?

I do. Very pretty.

He doesn't know anything about necklaces.

You might as well ask me.

Uhtred, with me.

You can help me slaughter the goats.

I've only just washed.

[Chuckles] The goats will be pleased.

Later, you can sweep the floor.


Move over. [Clicking tongue]

This is an excuse to talk, that's all.

With thyra to be married, maybe it's time you got together with brida.

There are men... good men... asking about her.

So you have to decide what you are to her.

What you are to each other. [Chuckles]

Brida has her own mind. She has.

But I see the way she looks at you.

She's watching the charcoal tonight in the woods.

Take my horse and join her.

The earth will be warm.


Why not?

I just thought in order to be a real Dane, I had to marry a Dane.


Come on.

I love you like I love young Ragnar.


[Indistinct conversations]

[Horse snorts]

What are you doing here?

[Both laugh]

Do you ever think of your English life?


Who you were before we came to Ragnar?


Do you?

I think of who I my... shh!


Men below.

[Indistinct conversation]

Danes. Who are they?

Man: This way.

That's kjartan.

And that man...

That must be Sven.

This is wrong. We need to tell Ragnar.

They're between us and the hall.

Then we go up and around. We leave the horses and run.

In front of the door.

That's it.

♪ ♪

[Dogs barking]

Ravn: Ragnar! Smoke!


Thyra, wake up! Wake up!


Come on! Come on!

This way! Ravn!

Come! Come, quickly!



[Indistinct shouting]

The door is blocked!

So is this one!

Be ready.

[Screaming continues]

This one's open! This one's open!

Come on! Follow me!

Man: This way!

Kjartan: Take the children!



Take them all!

[Screaming continues]

Ragnar: Archers!

Don't go up there! Wait for me!

Sigrid: Come, come.


Close the doors.

We have thyra. Let the rest burn.

[Screaming continues]


[Speaks indistinctly]

♪ ♪

Take her with you to Valhalla.


I'll meet you there.


[Screaming continues]

[Screaming continues]

[Screaming stops]


Find the silver.


[Indistinct conversations]

They're searching for Ragnar's wealth.

They'll never find it.

Search in the back.

Come on! We're leaving soon!

Sven: You thought I'd let you marry someone else?

But do you know what I will do with this body?

This mouth?

I will do all I dreamt of and more.

And who will call a halt?

Earl Ragnar the fearless is gone.

And with him, Uhtred... his Saxon pet... a pile of ashes.

[Breathing heavily]


Get down!

Uhtred: Look at that man... the Saxon.

His name's scallion. He works for my uncle.

He'll tell him that I'm dead.

Let him do it.

I see him with kjartan.

Kjartan: Burn it to the ground.

He and your uncle... maybe they're in it together.

And what makes them believe that they can do this without punishment?

Shh! Shh!

They will be punished, but not by you.

Uhtred, listen to me. We serve Ragnar best alive.

We tell the story.

I need to kill someone.


And I choose him.

Uhtred, no.

Come on!

Man 1: The barn's over there!

Man 2: Check in his pockets.



The main thing is to keep the horses together.

Don't leave any weapons behind.

Leave those open, and we'll look in the back.

[Exhales sharply]

♪ ♪

Man: Over here!

[Speaks indistinctly]

Right, come on.

[Muffled grunting]

[Breathing heavily]

You know who I am?


It's me you're looking for.


It's me you're looking for.

You remember me? You remember me?



[Breathing heavily]

There's no more.

We're going. Come on.

Bring the horses.



By right, it belongs to young Ragnar.

Yes. But we spend what we need to spend.

We stay alive.

We tell the story, and then what?

We find a new lord to serve.

I will not stand by and have everything that's mine taken from me.

I'm going back.


To the beginning.

♪ ♪

[Horn sounding]

Is it scallion?

Man: No, my lord.

He looks like a Dane.

Could be one of Kjartan's men.

♪ ♪

I am Uhtred of Bebbanburg, and I shall take what is mine.

Bebbanburg is mine!