Uhtred: My name is Uhtred, son of Uhtred. I was born an ealdorman of Northumbria, the rightful heir to Bebbanburg. But fate decreed I would be raised as a Dane. That was my life... Until my family was murdered.
Word was spread that I was to blame.
A Saxon slave, he killed his master at a wedding party.
And so, with Brida, I fled to Wessex. To Alfred, a man who would become King. Though not all agreed.
I am my father's heir.
I swore an oath to this King... An oath that lost me Brida and prevented me from joining my brother, Ragnar. But destiny is all.
You don't deserve to marry.
That woman is a lady, and you're a heathen.
You could bathe all day long, you'd still stink of pig sh1t.
Have you been watching me, Odda the boy?
Should I be marrying you?
10 pieces of silver for you to walk away.
Does your father know you're here?
How about my sword's weight in silver?
Then I'll marry the girl.
And tonight, I'll plough her.
Why must you talk of her like that?
Perhaps you'd like her for yourself, Odda?
You want her beneath you, am I right?
You're impossible to reason with.
Everything is a game.
I hope for Mildrith's sake your time on this earth is short.
You're not an ealdorman. You never shall be.
I wasn't allowed to meet her. I haven't seen her.
It is the way.
I was unaware of her existence till yesterday.
She'll be plain and pious.
Oh, she'll be pious all right.
If she was a leg-spreader, Alfred would've been on her by now.
Have you seen her?
A distance away.
Plain is a fair description.
How much was the bride price?
Which I've paid, to her godfather Odda, and which I'll make sure she receives.
I've made promises.
Revenge and such.
Why are you here?
Do you know?
She brings land.
I'll become a Lord under Alfred.
I'll be able to make wealth, gather men.
Take back what's mine.
All reasons enough.
Plain or not, she serves her purpose.
The promises you have made will stand.
Blood feuds last a lifetime.
What you do, arseling, is you keep living each day until the last.
The priest has arrived finally.
Let's get this done.
You do not need to "get this done."
I'll make a plea to Alfred.
She's here, praise God.
You should stand and look respectful, if not entirely clean.
How's she look?
Terrified, I'll bet.
If you could be brief with the ceremony, father Beocca, I would be grateful.
I have business with the King.
The bride has been given her price?
You are witness.
Mildrith: Thank you, Lord.
If the betrothed couple would like to join me at the altar... and join hands.
May God in his heaven look down with mercy upon his devoted servants, Uhtred and Mildrith.
May he bless their union with love and children and wealth.
And may they, in turn, be sure to give thanks and praise, and live each day according to his holy word.
You are now joined as man and wife in the eyes of God.
Tears of joy.
Allow me to help you with that.
Thank you, Lord.
I'm a lucky man, to have such a beautiful wife.
Must have been many suitors, I'm sure.
You're kind to believe so.
Am I right?
None suitable, Lord.
My name's Uhtred.
Call me Uhtred.
Arseling, time we were on our way.
Or, from time to time, you may wish to call me Arseling.
We walk on.
Mildrith: They're following us.
We walk on. They won't attack.
Then why have you drawn your sword?
To show them at least one of them will die.
One or two.
They're Guthrum's men.
They're a long way from Lunden.
Lord, the marriage has taken place.
They're now on the road to the farmstead.
Good news. Thank you, Odda.
We shall now see how he responds to the challenge.
Now it is done, Lord, I do fear for Mildrith.
She will have to give him the facts.
Oh, he will bark at her, Odda, I'm sure.
But his real anger will be reserved for you and I.
He will not like being beholden to God and to King, but if he is to become a true ealdorman, he must accept his burden... that is the test.
Uhtred: Why are you not already married?
You're old enough to have two or three children by now.
Lord arseling, there's a time for such questions, and it is passed.
Why has Alfred gifted me such a beautiful bride?
Has a debt, I'm guessing.
It's not my place to tell you.
My father wanted to find favor with God, so he devoted a tenth of his land to the church.
They do not own it, but they are entitled to its yield.
Indeed, they demand its yield, even when crops fail and Danes raid.
God is good.
So the bishop took my father to law.
How much is the debt?
Church is the law, and the law decreed that my father owed them a huge sum...
Quite beyond his ability to pay.
He died soon after.
'Tis a substantial amount, Lord.
It increases yearly.
Alfred could remove the debt, but he has chosen not to.
The amount owed is 2,000 shillings, Lord.
Damn everything he stands for.
Damn his church and damn his God.
Lord, I must say, I do not like your blasphemy.
It is wrong.
My name is Uhtred!
By all means, call me arseling for not seeing this sooner.
Mildrith: Your new home, Lord.
The land is good, but the buildings are in need of repair.
Look! The families who live on the land have come to wish us well.
Send them back to their homes.
They've come to wish us well.
I've known them my whole life.
Oswald manages the farmstead.
He lives nearby.
And may we offer our good wishes on your marriage.
Thank you, Oswald. Thank you.
And how kind of you all to gather to greet me and my Lord, Uhtred.
We have prepared a table, Lord, for your pleasure.
You have my thanks, but we're tired.
Of course, Lord.
Thank you, Oswald. You are kind.
I have a wedding gift for each family.
Woman: Thank you, lady Mildrith.
For your kindness and your loyalty.
Thank you so much.
For taking care of the land in my prolonged absence.
Now, there's a welcome sight.
I was expecting there to be a hall, and I find this.
Pay off your debts and you can build a hall.
Didn't I tell you the b*st*rd thinks?
If he believes he can make me beg, he can think again.
He doesn't want you to beg.
He wants you to obey.
If you have need for me, Lord, I'll be resting.
It seems I am tired.
I'm 2,000 shillings in debt to the church and you hand out silver to your tenants.
'Tis my silver.
You can have what's in my purse.
I don't want what's in your purse.
Then why scold me?
The stoat... your farmstead master.
His name is Oswald.
He'll need to be watched.
He was trusted by my father.
He lives too well by the look of him.
Leofric: I'll make my way to the barn.
You're a guest. You can sleep in the house.
I prefer the barn. Thank you.
It is your wedding night.
Good night, lady. Arseling.
[Dogs barking in distance]
May I leave now?
How many pieces of silver did you receive?
As your price?
Is that correct?
The price was 33.
I'm sure it was an honest mistake.
You were robbed.
As I was robbed.
That price is your security, and you'll have it.
All of it.
May I rest?
I'm sorry the day has been a disappointment for you, Lord.
For us both.
You have a good heart... gifting your silver.
Odda owes you 15 pieces more.
I'll see that he pays.
And the debt's not something I blame you for.
It's Alfred's deceit.
I should've been wiser.
Though I was blinded by you.
You should eat.
I should eat.
But I don't want to eat alone.
God has made me your wife.
There must be a reason.
God is good.
What is it you're looking at?
There's a scar across the land. There.
The never-ending line of Danes on the march.
Ragnar: By the time word reaches Alfred, it will be too late.
They would need wings.
Oswald, what town lays in that direction?
If they keep going to the west, in a day or so, they'll come to the fortress at Werham.
Take your family and the others to the hills till we're sure they've passed.
Do it now.
And the lady Mildrith?
She travels with me.
Leofric: How many do you see?
Question is how many will follow?
Wessex is being invaded, and we're told to wait while he prays.
God is his strength, Uhtred.
He needs to be on horseback, not on his knees.
I hate this place.
It grows worse.
I was not told you were here.
How pleasing to see you.
And so much of you.
Uhtred: Is he ready?
The King is ready, as is his council.
You watched 300 men or more march clean across Wessex and you did nothing?
Uhtred: I'm here.
A messenger could've been sent in your place.
Why did you not confront these Danes?
You have men.
That is your purpose, to create warriors.
I've been given barely 20 men and their wives, most of whom work the fields.
It would've been a slaughter, Lord.
But you chose not to fight. We'll never know.
A warrior can only die once. Why die in vain?
The Danes have traveled from either Lunden or East Anglia.
Were they not being watched?
We have been watching the ships, which remain on the tames.
If Werham is captured, the ships will follow.
300 men will become 3,000.
My advice is that we march without delay.
Don't recall the King seeking your advice.
Leofric, my trusted man, how many Danes did you witness?
More than 200 by far.
Warriors to a man.
Werham will struggle to hold them back.
The peace is over.
We have no choice but to march on Werham and pray God we arrive before the fortress falls.
You believe it is an invasion, Lord?
Could well be the beginning of a great Dane army, yes.
Council is over.
Ealdormen of Wessex, prepare your men.
Father Beocca, I shall pray before we leave.
Fr. Beocca: Yes, my Lord.
Father, I wish to speak to the King privately.
I will ask.
But I note that you have still to learn respect.
Ealdorman Odda, if I may speak out, you owe my wife half of her bride price.
I paid 33 pieces of silver.
She received only 18.
An honest mistake, she assures me.
Is this true?
Ready the men to march on Werham.
You should know that Mildrith is a joy to plough.
You're a heathen.
And you're a virgin.
No, I'm not.
Yes, he is.
What is it? Hmm?
Promise me you will come back safely.
Two arms, both ears.
[Laughing] Promise me.
I'll do my best.
But only if you do the same.
If they come, don't shelter in a church or a nunnery.
Go to the hills, the woods.
For both of you.
Arseling, kiss her and let's be on our way.
Mildrith, my dear. I've been looking for you.
My lady Aelswith. How good to see you.
And to see you looking as you do.
It refuses to keep still.
Mine is the same.
Oh, how we suffer.
I pray we both survive.
I pray we four survive.
God will decide.
I've missed you, Mildrith, and have prayed for you each day.
Living with the man they foisted onto you.
Having to take his seed and the like.
Uhtred is decent.
He treats me well.
God will bless your loyalty.
But with luck, he will fall in battle, and soon.
Please tell me that you're hungry.
I am, a little.
Meet me in the kitchens.
I have arranged a meal for the pregnant.
But do not rush prayers.
No, no. Of course not.
[Door opens, closes]
Lord, he is not your most humble and devout servant, but I pray... keep him safe.
Let him do your work.
Let him see his child.
I was pleased to see your lady today.
Your wife... and carrying a child.
It's God's blessing.
It seems like only yesterday I was baptizing you as Osbert, and then again as Uhtred.
What is it you wish to speak about with the King?
That's ween myself and the King.
He's watching you, Uhtred.
He's watching how you behave.
He's judging you as a Lord.
He has no right to judge.
He's a King.
He lied to me.
Regarding the marriage.
Oh, you're referring to the debt?
You know of it?
It's not a secret.
And I urge you to show him you accept it, especially as it is owed to the church.
You must remain calm, Uhtred.
My Lord, I request a private audience...
Have you eaten?
There are times when I crave meat... and other things.
But I know the gratification will be fleeting, the suffering prolonged, and so I suffer gruel.
Though my wife will not allow it to be called anything other than broth.
You will be happy to learn that my spies have news.
Ivar, the brother of Ubba, has been killed there, which would be irrelevant but for the fact that Ubba wishes to avenge him personally.
This is true?
An Irishman across the sea kills a Dane, and the world changes.
The hand of God.
Is this something Ubba would do, abandon Guthrum?
To avenge his brother, yes... if guided by his sorcerer's story.
He has a sorcerer?
And, uh... what does this sorcerer do?
Cast spells? Perform magic?
He advises, Lord.
Looks for omens.
Signs, good and bad.
Oh, what nonsense.
What are miracles, Lord, if not magic?
Miracles are performed by God, not man.
The Danes would say the same, that omens are gifts from the gods...
And they are mistaken.
Who gave the sign for Ubba to go to Ireland?
Was it the hand of your God or theirs?
There is only one God.
Then you must've spoken to the Danes.
With Ubba now in Ireland, Guthrum must now decided whether he will fight alone.
He won't fight alone.
Not that he couldn't win.
He will fear losing too many of his own men.
I am learning... that the heathen cares only for personal gain.
A Dane could never suffer my gruel.
You are happy, ealdorman Uhtred, with, Mildrith?
Yes, Lord. She's a good wife.
Though I never would have married her had I known I'd owe 2,000 shillings.
Which increases yearly.
I'm told that on your word, the debt can be lifted.
Why should I deny the church 2,000 shillings?
I wasn't aware I'd owe it.
It is not a secret.
Sacrifice and penance are what separate us from the heathen.
I have my broth. You have your debt.
Wessex needs an army. Would you agree?
A permanent and formidable army.
England, when it finally emerges, shall need a greater army.
Garrisons of many thousands of men all will need feeding and payment.
It is my intention that all land owners shall contribute to the feeding of this army and its commanders.
And I will need commanders, Uhtred.
Men like the great generals of Rome.
Look upon the debt as a gift.
A means of proving your devotion to Wessex and to England.
If I'd been told the truth from the outset, Lord, I could've...
You still wear the amulet, I see. to remind me of Earl Ragnar.
And why do you not attend church with your wife?
Why do you not pray to God?
God... created everything that surrounds me... the fields, rivers, the forests.
The land is my church.
And I pray each day, Lord.
He cannot be tamed.
But he can be trusted.
I will not abandon him completely.
He may have a use, I'm sure.
Hear me now! Werham has fallen!
We march at once!
Every man is to be ready to do as the King asks!
The Danes have taken the fortress!
Werham has fallen! We march at once!
We could be slipping in blood and entrails before the day is out.
Man: There's loads more over here!
Easy. There's enough for everyone.
Guthrum, they're here.
The Saxon army is gathering.
Is it Alfred?
Is the fortress repaired and secure?
He will not attack. He doesn't need to.
He knows we will be hungry within days.
We can raid.
He will empty all the grain stores in the surrounding villages.
I have found these church rooms to be strangely quiet and peaceful.
Lord, I didn't march my men halfway across England for them to starve.
I shall be on the ramparts.
We came for war, Ragnar.
But Ubba has reneged.
To avenge his brother.
You are here.
Should you not be avenging your father?
When the time is right.
Yes. When the time is right.
We are taking the first steps against Wessex.
But Ubba has left us weak.
He put all our lives at risk.
So until Ubba returns, we have to make peace.
So if you are there, God of Rome, strike me down.
I thought not.
We are here to show them how many we are.
We are here to show them how many we are!
That we are here with God, and that this is our land.
That we are here with God, and this is our land!
This is our land!
This is our England!
And we shall murder any heathen b*st*rd that tries to take it!
[Men cheering, yelling]
[Cheering, yelling stops]
They wish to talk, Lord.
Alfred: I know what they want.
They want time.
Odda, with your guards, you shall go with me.
Leofric, you as well.
And father Selbix.
Leofric, what do you make of the fortress?
It looks strong enough, Lord.
No breach. No signs of lasting damage.
And if we attacked?
We would suffer.
We'd be lucky to see the inside, Lord.
Good morning, King Alfred.
Guthrum of the Danes.
I, too, am a King now.
Of East Anglia.
You don't need to bow.
I will begin.
I propose a truce.
For any truce to occur, Earl Guthrum, you must leave Wessex once again.
And if I refuse?
We surround you.
Yes, you surround a small fortress, but we Danes surround your entire kingdom.
That said, I have decided I shall leave.
Therefore I will send for ships.
How many ships?
No more than 15.
Your ships have one month in which to arrive.
Not enough time.
Food and ale for one month only or you will walk back to East Anglia.
Then I will send for 200 ships and hope they arrive before we starve.
One month is not enough.
That is my limit.
You cannot take back the fortress.
You know this.
Food and ale for one month, no more, by which time the sea storms will have arrived.
We will be gone within a month... beginning upon the delivery of food and ale.
Uhtred, you will come to me following prayers.
Father Selbix, you will pray with me.
Alfred: Please, sit.
Thank you, Lord.
I have a task for you, father.
Mm, you only have to speak it.
As a guarantee of the peace, you will be given up as a hostage... 1 of 10.
The Danes, too, will give 10 in exchange.
Lord... the pagans do not value priests.
You might just as well offer a hound.
I hear Guthrum is curious about our faith.
I would like you to become his teacher.
And if he refuses to be a student?
Gently, with humor, as is your manner.
Make no mistake... should Guthrum ever consent to being baptized, then this war is over.
England is ours.
This would be truly God's work you do.
Forgive me, Lord, but I cannot help but feel afraid.
They are not content to simply kill a priest.
Fear is within all of us.
As is strength.
Lord, I'd be more useful as a warrior... for when the truce fails.
Oh, the truce will hold for a time.
And in that time, you will be my eyes and ears inside the fortress.
Listening for what?
If and when you hear of his return, you will escape.
And if I'm in chains?
Our men here shall disband.
There are fields to work.
But I will build a beacon on the hill.
You will escape and light the fire.
Lord, you know that escape will be near impossible.
If Ubba returns, the hostages will be killed and the Danes will attack.
Upon sight of this first beacon being lit, other fires will start, and the whole of Wessex will be called to arms.
And if I refuse to become a hostage?
Then another man shall light the beacon.
Why can't you accept me?
I've been nothing but truthful to you.
Why am I always being put to the test?
Why do you not show your King the respect that is due? Because you, Uhtred of wherever, you do not see me as your King.
You do not see my God as your God.
I am not finished with you yet.
Guthrum is waiting to hear of Ubba's return from Ireland.
I need to know when this occurs, sooner rather than later.
You are the only man who could possibly provide this information sooner.
Yes, it is possible that you will die, but it is likely that we shall all die.
You will go to the Danes.
How you go, as a Saxon hostage or as a viking warrior, becomes your choice.
I'll do as you ask.
But if my child is born while I'm captive, I ask that you send word.
And should you die as a captive, rest assured, your debt shall die with you.
Will they treat us well?
You are one of them.
If I am one of them, then why am I a hostage?
They'll treat us well for as long as the truce holds.
If it fails?
They'll kill us all.
Starting with the priest.
I've made my peace. I am ready.
And God bless you all.
And us, father, what are we?
We are fortunate, Lord. We know God.
Although, granted, I'm in no hurry to meet him.
Let us pray he feels the same.
Is this rabble what so many are afraid of?
Aah! They're like children!
They are our guests for a while.
There's one rule only.
At nightfall, you will gather and sleep at the church.
The doors will be barred.
At daybreak, you will then be free to walk, talk, jump, hump, carry weapons.
My men have orders not to kill you.
Unless you deserve to be killed.
I am Guthrum, and one day, I shall be your King.
Do you understand what I have said?
You will all say "yes, Lord."
I did not hear you.
I understand you, Lord.
Maybe I will make a present of you to Ubba.
Should he ever return from Ireland.
He may not. That's possible.
But then his men will become my men, and I will honor him by killing you myself.
With arrows, perhaps.
Ragnar Ragnarsson. Here.
You know this one well. Keep him out of my sight.
Take them to the church. Feed them.
Now you are where you belong.
Now I'm with my brother.
I will remind you what it's like to be a Dane and make you stay.
I dream about you, ViXen.
I'm not surprised to hear it.
You've grown up. [Chuckles]
You should know I'm with Ragnar now.
He's my man.
That's good. That's good.
You should know that I am married.
You have grown up.
Yes, he is married.
Time is moving quicker than I thought.
Tonight, we get drunk.
I need to be inside the church.
No, tonight we get drunk.
I'll take you to the church myself.
Or we sleep where we fall.
And, uh... we must talk of the future.
[Men cheering, shouting]
Pull! Pull! Uhtred, pull for me!
I need to piss. I'll return.
I haven't laughed so much in a long time.
Then you haven't been living.
Or as ravn would say, tomorrow we die.
When did he ever say that?
When you were out chopping wood.
Well, I actually do need to piss.
What you need to do is to stop drinking.
Tomorrow we die.
He's happy to see you.
I've missed him.
I miss you both.
Are you his wife?
I'm with him.
Is she beautiful?
Her name's Mildrith.
Yes, she is beautiful.
She carries my child.
Who decided you should marry?
I have the land I asked for in Wessex.
You swear an oath to Alfred... you marry for Alfred, you've land given to you by Alfred... your wife carries your child, and yet you're given up as a hostage by Alfred?
Are you a spy, Uhtred?
The first sign of Ubba returning, I am to escape.
But I know that when Ubba returns, the hostages will be killed.
[Scoffs] Alfred's not fond of me.
Refuse to be a hostage. Join us.
I should ask you, Uhtred... not that it matters, but I should ask.
Is it a problem to you that Brida's with me now?
I'm happy about it. I swear.
Not that she cares what you think.
I would hump her regardless.
With... with affection.
And with my permission.
Do you know Uhtred's to be a father?
Soon, I'm told.
You would want to see it?
I hope to return to my wife and child.
Ragnar, I'll be with you to avenge our father.
Kjartan will pay.
You should've joined me months ago.
I had sworn an oath.
To a poxy Saxon King.
Ubba wanted to see me dead.
There was nowhere else to go.
You know, I have thought about that night in the woods.
You had the choice to be a Saxon or a Dane.
No. No, I had sworn an oath.
You should've joined me.
I'll be with you to kill Kjartan.
I will take you to the church.
To your bed.
It's a son, lady.
A handsome boy.
You will be Uhtred, son of Uhtred.
Good morning, Uhtred.
One day seems like the next.
[Yawns] It does.
Still, at least we're alive to feel it.
How are your conversations with Guthrum?
Is he a Christian yet?
I believe the time is near. I do.
Onward. God bless you.
May you enjoy a good day.
Thank you, father.
He is the King of Kings.
Capable of great, great things.
Such as what?
Such as miracles.
Such as what?
Such as... you, Lord.
You are a miracle.
He has made you strong yet merciful.
He has made you proud yet humble.
He has given you free will, hoping that you will find the courage to choose him above all else.
And I believe... I truly believe he will be rewarded.
I have a message for Guthrum.
Man: He's in the church.
Lord, may I speak?
Ubba and his army have returned from Ireland.
They are coming ashore north of here, at the Severn.
And my fleet is where?
They left Lunden several days ago and are nearly here, Lord.
Every last ship will be here.
Every man will be with you.
That is good news.
I dispatch you to heaven.
No need to thank me.
Ubba has returned?
Did they say?
Guthrum: Men, the peace is over. Prepare for battle.
The Saxon hostages, kill them all.
Catch him! Get him!
Cut him to pieces!
I say leave him!
Please, step aside.
You know all the hostages have to die.
Then kill him. You're welcome to kill him.
But you have to kill me first.
I could happily manage without this.
He's a Saxon.
He's a traitor. He's an enemy.
Well, to get to him, you'll have to kill me.
My men, they will not follow you.
I will give you one last charity.
Release him... without a horse.
Are you all right?
I have no words.
You should go. Go and see your child.
I'll be with you.
Both of you.