My name is Uhtred, son of Uhtred... born a Saxon, but raised as a Dane. I now serve King Alfred of Wessex. I have married a pious wife for Alfred. I have taken on land burdened with debt and cheating workers. And I killed the mighty sword Dane, Ubba.
But with Odda the elder wounded in battle... his son took the credit for my kill. The truth was ignored...
I fought Ubba man-on-man and I killed him!
And I was forced to my knees before Alfred's God.
I will lead, but you owe me.
You must lay flat. Kiss the cross.
Kiss my arse.
Fate is testing me, but I will survive.
Destiny is all.
Leofric: You certain you want to do this, arseling?
Is there a law against it?
Dressing up as Danes... no.
Plundering Cornwalum... yes.
We're supposed to be at peace.
If I'm to reclaim Bebbanburg, I'll need an army.
If I'm ever to raise an army, I'll need silver.
I have no quarrel.
Will Odda not miss you?
I'm doing as he asks... I'm watching you.
He's building Alfred a church at Cynuit.
Have you heard?
With an altar of gold, they say.
Who are they?
They belong to Oswald.
Their mother sends them, hoping to shame me for killing their lying, thieving father.
I see her plan is working.
They're not the first to lose a parent.
The food is good, Mildrith.
I'm pleased you like it.
I was beginning to believe you'd lost your tongue, wife.
I was worried.
I doubt it.
She grieves for the thief.
Not my business.
He kills a man I have known all my life, he refuses to pay Wergild to a family I have known all my life, and the village my father helped build now call him Uhtred the godless.
Not forgetting I refused to have my son baptized a Christian.
I'll excuse myself.
Leofric sit, please.
None of this is my business.
Tomorrow I'll be gone.
Should anyone ask, we're keeping Alfred's kingdom safe... again.
For how long will you be gone?
And gone where?
No idea how long.
Your place is here.
Oswald's wife has gone to bishop Alewold.
The bishop will go to Alfred and Alfred will send men to our door...
I won't pay a penny, and if men do come calling, that's what you'll tell them.
He was killed because he was a thief, that's my law!
Leave me and I'll go directly to the church and have our son blessed.
Then he won't be my son.
May God forgive you for saying such a thing.
What has happened to you?
What has happened to the kindness and perhaps even the love you have once shown me.
I was made to crawl!
Yes! Before God!
We all fall to our knees before God!
I won't forget what Alfred did to me in the name of his God!
I reject that God!
I will excuse myself.
Are you there still... the man I cared for?
Are you there still, the woman I ached to plough?
Odda: Progress is being made daily, Lord.
You must come to Cynuit and inspect the building work.
Oh, I will, I will. I would like that.
It's impressive enough, even now.
We have the nave here.
The transept's thus, and then into the chancel.
With its already famous altar of solid gold.
It will be gilding, no more, Lord, but you know how tongues wag.
Mm. With your permission, I would like to place the altar just here.
Why would you need my permission?
It's on the exact spot where Ubba Lothbrokson is now buried.
You wish God's altar to be built over the buried remains of a pagan?
Oh, no. No, Lord.
With your permission, we will exhume the remains and, I don't know, have them thrown into the river.
You will exhume the remains and have them buried elsewhere... unmarked, but with respect.
'Twas a joke, Lord, a poor joke.
We must do nothing to endanger the peace.
With respect, Lord, I am not the fool my father...
[Beocca clears throat]
...at times, made me out to be.
Father Beocca, you wish to see me?
Ah, a letter, Lord, from the bishop Alewold.
Private or business?
A matter of law, I was told.
Then read it.
Well, can you not read the writing, Beocca?
It concerns the ealdorman Uhtred.
He has slain a farm worker and is refusing to pay the monies owed to the family... the Wergild.
Would you like me to investigate further, Lord?
No. No, 'tis not your place.
Odda, you shall investigate the rights and wrongs of the matter on my behalf.
I only hope for the sake of Uhtred's wife, the killing was justified.
Uhtred has always been fair-minded.
I'm sure there are mitigations.
Mm, we shall see.
In the meantime, Odda, do your best.
Keep the peace.
Uhtred: I'll find the wealth to pay off the debt.
We want the same thing... the land of our birth.
Yours won't be taken from you.
Are you no longer the ealdorman?
I'll never be accepted as an ealdorman... not here.
Then I beg you for one last time... change your ways, Uhtred.
If you allow God into your heart, he will guide you.
I can never become the man you want me to be.
You could try.
I would despise that man.
I have loved you.
Don't pray for me.
Did you hump her goodbye, arseling?
I want to have left Wessex by tonight.
You're gonna have to ride faster than that, arseling.
Come on! Yah! Aah!
[Horses whinny, snort]
No one is to wear these till we have crossed into Cornwalum.
What you can do is Polish them.
So that when we do wear them, they'll be seen clearly... and you'll be feared.
You're going to find out what it's like to be a Dane.
Every man stand where he is.
No one move. You!
Stay where you are.
Do I know you?
Lower your hood.
I said lower your hood!
I...I-I merely want to come with you... to be part of your adventure.
I wanted it to be a surprise.
He cannot be here. He cannot hold his tongue.
I say we kill him.
You can't kill me. I'm the rightful King, you fool.
Not here. Leofric, not in Wessex!
Then I will drag him into Cornwalum!
No, you can't! Uhtred, you owe me a favor.
I call it in now.
If Alfred hears of Christians raiding Cornwalum, we will all be killed!
He guarantees that outcome!
Leofric, I am a changed man.
We kill him.
He will not be missed.
We take him with us.
I owe him.
He's my responsibility.
He has my protection.
And who will protect the rest of us?
I've never seen him so angry.
You will clean our mail and tend to the horses.
You'll wipe our arses if I say so.
I'm gathering the moss and dock leaves as you speak, Lord.
What do you know of Cornwalum?
That it's not Wessex.
The Wessex-Cornwalum border is this river... the Tamar river.
Which is why we are camped here.
It flows north to south, and Cornwalum itself has a coastline shaped like a leg.
So they are traders?
Yes, on the north coast to the welsh kingdoms and Ireland, and on the south to the Franks.
How do you know this?
I'm an educated man, Leofric.
I simply enjoy hiding the fact.
You do it well.
Do they have a King?
More than one.
Have no fear, Leofric, we are Danes.
I want to be blooded... in battle.
[Chuckles] Don't worry, boy, you'll be first in line.
I look forward to it.
Good day, Lord.
Tell your master ealdorman Odda is here with God's bishop Alewold.
It's not the most desirable farmstead I've seen.
Ealdorman Odda, bishop Alewold... a pleasant surprise.
May I offer a refreshment?
We are here on the King's business.
'Tis with your husband.
Is he here?
He is not.
Can he be fetched, my dear?
All crucifixes and crosses.
You are God-fearing Christians no more.
You don't cross yourself nor look to the heavens.
Let's make ourselves rich!
Mildrith: My husband is protecting our kingdom.
From whom? We're at peace.
He only said he was doing Alfred's work.
He doesn't trust the Danes.
He thinks he knows better than the King.
Your own man, Leofric, will give you detail, I'm sure.
Alewold: Odda, it's not the child's fault that she was married off to a tyrant and a fool.
Of course not.
Mildrith, it is with great reluctance that I must serve you with this letter... for your husband upon his return.
He must settle the Wergild for Oswald's death or face confiscation of his property.
Which is also my property.
If you're ever in need, my father's house will always be your house.
How is Lord Odda faring? Well, I hope.
He's still very frail.
The blow would have killed many a man.
Take consolation, lady, that should your land be confiscated, it is the church that'll benefit.
[People screaming, shouting indistinctly]
No, no, no! Please, get off me!
Where's it buried? Where's the silver?
Where is it?
These people have nothing.
Five days and nothing.
There is time yet.
We're not the first Danes they've seen.
I need silver.
So we keep looking.
And what if the whole of Cornwalum's been sacked already?
We keep looking.
We keep heading west.
Do they want to speak?
Five men to match theirs.
And only I speak.
Only the great Uhtred speaks.
I am brother Asser.
I bring you a gift from my King.
From King Peredur.
Never heard of him.
I assure you my King has heard of you.
A troop of Danes raiding villages in Cornwalum does not go unnoticed.
Why does your Peredur send me these miserable offerings?
A gesture of peace... a token.
Our King has been attacked by a fellow Briton and neighbor...
Callyn... whose forces have seized the fort guarding our land.
I am sent to tell you Peredur will pay you well to help him recapture this fort.
Pay us well?
I do not know the sum, but I am sure he will be generous.
He has silver?
He is a King.
[Dog barking in distance]
Winchester, it is not.
Alfred, he is not.
The King greets you.
I hear nothing.
You are pagans.
The King is Christian and will only speak with you through me.
If you would come forward and pay your respects...
Please inform the King Danes don't bow to Christians.
This fort you want us to recapture... it's defended by how many Britons?
And what price will you pay?
It would be much simpler if the King addressed me directly.
Easy... they have between 40 and 50 men.
No more than 50.
We are 30... fighting men.
And we are 20.
How much in silver?
100 pieces of silver.
I won't bargain. I'll tell you the price.
400 pieces of silver.
That is an absurd sum.
Is Peredur a King or not?
I will call for queen Iseult.
Lord, perhaps, instead, you should take a moment and pray for guidance.
You are needed!
I am blessed with two wives... two queens.
Iseult is a shadow queen.
You know what I require of you. Of course you do.
Who are you... and what will you do for the King?
I am Uhtred Ragnarson.
I'm here to fight for your King... if he pays me what I'm worth.
He is the one.
You are fortunate to have such a wife.
She's not to hump.
She's too valuable.
400... [Sighs] pieces of silver...
I'll see it?
You'll see it once the fort is taken.
No, I'll see it now.
All of my wealth is hidden within the fort.
Then your enemy has it.
You have your price. You have my terms.
I know you'll accept.
I know you can smell the silver.
You have a nose for blood and silver... and women.
And so I will add to the price, my queen... this queen.
If we win back the fort and you're lying about the silver, I'll kill u.
Which is why I do not lie!
Call the men up. We stay here.
I'll dream about that shadow queen.
You told her your name, and word travels.
Asser: Uhtred Ragnarson!
I noticed that you have some Saxons amongst your ranks.
Some from Mercia.
They'd rather fight than work in the fields.
The pay is better.
He would like to attack at the earliest opportunity... does not wish to feed you for more than one night.
How Christian of him.
He would like to be a man of God, but, as you have witnessed, he cannot let go of his pagan ways.
The queen Iseult.
Mm, she's a gwrach. A sorceress.
What are her powers?
Peredur believes she can see into the future... for as long as she remains a virgin.
Tell the King to have his men ready.
Peredur, any in the fort who try to escape are yours, yes?
You will do your part, Dane. I will do mine.
Walk on! Advance!
Leofric: Let's scare the sh1t out of the b*st*rd Britons... see if they have the stomach for this.
We hold here.
Why would they leave a fortress to face us?
Go on the Ridge and see why they are prepared to leave the fortress.
On my own?
You wanted to be first in line.
[Sword slaps, horse whinnies]
What do you see?!
They are Danes!
Stand still! Hold!
Peredur: What are you waiting for?
Uhtred: They're Danes!
What do you care?
You people will fight anyone for money... even yourselves!
You lied to me.
Think of the silver!
The queen has seen your victory, so fight!
He's a sword-Dane... a Lord of war.
Aethelwold: If the Lord of war wants to talk, may I suggest we listen?
I am Uhtred Ragnarson.
Who are you?
Skorpa... of the white horse.
You are the Uhtred Ragnarson who was at Cynuit?
The Saxon son of Earl Ragnar.
You will not defeat me. You know this.
Perhaps not, but I could kill half your men trying.
Yes, you could.
Then it would be best for us both if you did not try.
Lord, I fear what will happen if they're allowed to speak.
Then go to them. Listen to what they're saying.
My presence, Lord, will serve only to antagonize the Dane.
Uhtred Ragnarson! What is happening here?!
They must leave my kingdom or die!
The queen saw victory.
I pray, Lord.
What is your battle price?
Uhtred: Silver... and he says it's hidden in the fortress.
No, we have ripped the fortress apart.
We found nothing.
He must have something... somewhere.
Peredur: Uhtred Ragnarson!
Whatever he has, I say we split.
Half and half.
We kill his men, we spare the King, he takes us to his wealth.
Half and half?
I will advance, you will turn, and we will attack together.
Now, this is for the benefit of the King.
You b*st*rd piece of rassragr!
I'll destroy you!
Be ready. We kill them all!
Every last one of them dies!
Tell the men we're with the Danes.
At the ready!
You trust this Skorpa?
We have no choice but to trust him.
To the death!
You b*st*rd Danes!
You'll cry for your stinking whore mothers!
[All screaming, horses whinnying]
[All grunting, groaning]
You lying, thieving, b*st*rd Danes!
I could kill at least one more of you! Aah!
It is over.
My wealth for my life, is it?
Your wealth and your shadow queen.
[Scoffs] Useless bitch.
She saw victory.
Where's the silver?
If I tell you, you'll kill me, and I would rather you remain poor.
You have my word as a warlord... you will be spared.
Where is the silver?
Speak or you will die.
It is buried... in the hall... beneath my throne.
I need a small amount mys...
[Women and children screaming]
Do we split her, too?
You have the tits, I'll have the arse.
You are here for the silver.
It is beneath this seat.
I have a question.
Have you been waiting for us?
Then you saw what would happen?
I knew that you would come.
That is all.
Uhtred, what do you know of a church with a golden altar?
At Cynuit... to celebrate the killing of Ubba.
I hear they're building a church.
Who's been telling you this?
Men... begging to live.
Would say anything.
And that's where you'll go... to Cynuit?
Well, I have ships to repair.
The coastline here has been murderous.
How do we do this?
How do we share?
We don't... share.
Oh, we can fight... and some of us will die, including your queen.
Uhtred Ragnarson, keep your sword in its scabbard.
She stays with me.
She stays with me!
Uhtred, no! Uhtred!
Uhtred: They have our treasure!
No! I will not fight these Danes for silver.
For King, yes, but not for silver.
I am tethered by debts, I need to raise an army, and they get away further with every second.
I will not allow half these men or more to die.
Iseult: I can give you what you need.
There's more... silver.
What did he whisper?
Skorpa, when he was leaving.
I will tell you when I believe you need to know.
How was I... as a warrior?
Aethelwold, you're as much a warrior as you are a King.
This isn't part of the plunder.
It's a holy cross. It goes back to the church.
There'll be blessings.
But the rest... [Grunts] it's all ours.
Wessex... and our separate ways. There's a bishop I must see.
[Children playing, chickens clucking]
Iseult: I've never seen a village like this before.
Uhtred: We will be here for just the day.
[Door squeaks open]
Who are you?
I'll speak with the bishop Alewold.
Bishop Alewold is at prayer.
He'll see me.
He is at prayer and won't be disturbed.
Alewold! Bishop Alewold.
What is this? Get out! Out!
We-we-we're busy with our work.
So I see.
I said get out!
I know you.
The godless... yes.
And my wife, through her father, has inherited a debt to the church.
Oh, yes... a substantial debt, I recall.
Which I would now discharge.
You would? Very well.
As you see, we're busy with...
That's Irish work.
It looks Irish, and its weight.
A thing of beauty and of great value.
It seemed a fitting way of settling the debt... if you'll accept. Of course, if not, I'll put it in the Smith's fire.
I accept on behalf of the church.
I trust I can rely upon your good judgment in dismissing the matter of my servant Oswald's Wergild.
He was a thief.
Consider all matters resolved.
[Cow moos, sheep bleating]
I've been praying daily for your safe return.
She's a queen.
Queen of where? Of whom?
Uhtred, you walked by your son without a look.
Is he baptized now?
Against my wishes.
I have done nothing that requires forgiveness.
What's her name?
I am called Iseult.
I'm speaking with my husband.
You can kindly remain silent.
Mildrith, we are hungry, thirsty, and in need of rest.
[Scoffs] I am not your servant!
Do not speak to me as if I were!
I am your wife!
You are no longer a part of Uhtred's path.
It is true.
This "queen" can sleep with the animals!
You should know that your land is safe.
I have seen bishop Alewold. The debt's settled... all of it.
That's what I've come to tell you.
And what of Oswald's Wergild?
That, too, is settled.
His family won't receive a penny.
Then you can explain that to the King's council.
Alfred has called you to the Witan.
Before I left, I said that I've loved you... and it's true.
You will not speak of us in this way... and in the presence of a pagan whore!
She's with me.
Will you be resting with your family or with the animals?
You chose the company of pigs and a goat over your wife and son?
My wife's a good woman.
She loves her God and it's hard for her to be with the like of me.
And if the marriage is to be ended, I must become used to life without my son.
I'm here because I choose you.
Though I won't keep you against your will.
I will be with you, Uhtred, from now until the very end.
That is what I see.
I want you to see my home... my land in the north.
It is this Alfred who directs you, for now.
You must give in to fate.
Attend his Witan.
Will you sleep alongside me tonight, under the furs?
I would like that... as the only other source of warmth would be a goat.
Please inform your family that I will be travelling... with the child.
We will leave for Lord Odda's estate.
I would like you with me, but it is your decision.
I know how important it is to be amongst the people who care for you.
I would not wish to leave you.
The very day I am told that my home is my own... is the day I decide I must leave.
Oh Lord, grant wisdom to your servants gathered here.
Help them to decide what is right, what is just, and what is fair.
Grant us this, oh, Lord.
All: Grant us, oh, Lord.
Man: Leave your sword.
Quickly. You're late.
You were sent for days ago.
You should have been here on time.
Since when has my presence been so important?
Who is she?
She's with me.
Is she part of your plunder?
What's been said?
You will hear it all soon enough.
Now, we must go, and you must be respectful... now more than ever.
And as local Thegns skimp in their duty to repair the Bridges, I wish to ask of the King to appoint an official to survey the kingdom's roads.
The bridge on the road...
What reason do I have to beg for mercy?
What's been said?
Is it Cornwalum?
We shall talk of Bridges later.
Beocca, what is this?
You will be quiet, there!
Face your King!
There is a, um, an urgent matter, which, with the Witan's permission, we shall deal with now.
[Doors slam closed]
Ealdorman Uhtred... also known in your parish as Uhtred the godless...
You are on this day charged with taking a troop of the King's men into Cornwalum and there making war against the Britons without your King's consent.
You are also charged with joining forces with the Dane called skorpa, to murder Christian-folk in Cornwalum, despite these folk all living in peace with Alfred and with Wessex.
All this is proven with oaths, and the punishment for these crimes is death.
Who swears these oaths?
We shall get to that.
I, brother Asser, swear these oaths.
Uhtred, to your knees.
Lord, we were patrolling your borders and protecting your kingdom, nothing more.
There is more to my story, Lord, if I may.
Now is the time to beg.
Yes, let him speak.
Let's hear his story.
On my way to make this complaint to King Alfred, I came via Cynuit... and such a sight I hope never to see again.
For, where the church to commemorate Lord Odda's victory over Ubba was to be built, I saw devastation, destruction, and the charred remains of 15 monks or more.
Men have told me that this evil was the work of the very same skorpa who was in Cornwalum, and that with him, once more, was the ealdorman Uhtred.
No! No, these are lies. Lord, Lord, [crowd shouting] He lies with every breath.
Lord, hear me. Let me speak, and hear the truth.
We are the Witan... and we shall behave in the way of a Witan.
The ealdorman is entitled to respond!
Yes, I was at Cynuit. I was at Cynuit once... and once only.
I was at Cynuit on the day that I, Uhtred of Bebbanburg, killed Ubba.
I look around this hall and into the eyes of the warriors who know this to be true... and that is the only occasion I was at Cynuit.
We are here... we are here to deliver judgment on the murder of King Peredur and the Christian Britons of Cornwalum.
Then if I can speak of Cornwalum, Lord.
There is a further witness, I believe.
What if Peredur's queen was to stand in front of this Witan and tell you that Peredur lied and cheated us?
She is a shadow queen and a pagan, Lord.
Her words would be meaningless.
Is the truth not important, Lord?
Odda, we shall move on.
There is a further witness.
Bring in the prisoner.
What is this?
Odda means for you to die as a traitor, and you will die.
If it is Valhalla you want, I will do my best to give it.
I said you will stand separate.
Leofric, you have sworn your oath, and you will tell the truth.
I will, Lord.
God is merciful.
You're a man of Wessex and have been loyal to the King?
I am loyal to the King, Lord. Always.
Were you in Cornwalum with the ealdorman Uhtred?
Did you kill and plunder Peredur and his Britons?
Leofric, have you now donated your share of the plunder to the church?
I have, Lord, and have begged forgiveness.
The Witan hears you, Leofric.
Whom did you follow into battle?
I went willingly, Lord.
No, Uhtred led, you followed.
He is the ealdorman, and he is to blame!
I share the blame, Lord.
No, he is responsible!
And he will pay for it with his life!
For the last time, beg.
No, I will not beg!
I will fall to my knees for no man, no King, and no Christian God!
He must pay with his life.
Lord, if I may make a plea to the King and the Witan.
I have not yet finished.
I beg your pardon, Lord, but if I may.
It is clear that, like me, the arseling here is guilty.
Thank you, my friend. [Grunts]
Because of my own guilt, and because of my respect for Uhtred as a warrior, I request that he dies at my sword.
You wish to become executioner, Leofric?
My plea is for a fight to the death, Lord... me against the arseling.
If God is with me, I will be the Victor and the ealdorman is allowed to die as a warrior should.
And if he should win this fight to the death, what then?
He will not.
It would take God's intervention for him to beat me.
Let them fight, Lord.
Let God decide.
Leofric, you have spoken well, and your request is granted.
You will fight tomorrow... to the death... swords and shields.
God shall determine the Victor.