I'm Uhtred, son of Uhtred. I was born a Saxon Lord, but raised as a Dane until the Eve of my sister's wedding when my family were murdered.
I am a warrior. But when the Danes attacked Alfred's stronghold of Winchester, all a man could do was run. Some faster than others, including my enemy, young Odda. And so Guthrum took Winchester. Aethelwold pledged his allegiance to the Danes, though Guthrum still feared Alfred's God, I could only hope my now distant wife and child would be safe. We had no choice but to hide and pray for a miracle. Iseult, my virgin queen, saved the King's son, but at a cost only she could see. She gave Alfred strength. With the King alive and well, there is hope for Wessex. Destiny is all.
Agree we have fired a good number of ships.
But in the meantime, we have left hundreds of Danes stranded in Wessex with no means of leaving.
Wulfhere, I did not believe their intention was to ever leave.
And in a few months, there'll be more ships, more men.
Now is the time to fight.
To fight with what?
We're without an army, and the Danes will number thousands.
Men are out there, Wulfhere, and they're waiting.
What they need is the call.
Lord... what if I suggest we escort you to Francia...
That will not happen. I will not hide.
Not here, nor in Francia.
But my Lord...
I have prayed daily for guidance.
The only way I see to save Wessex is with what we have begun.
One defining battle.
We shall be leaving the marshes.
Courage and faith.
I'm not saying I know everything... but the King must continue to trust me.
The arrival of Asser may change him.
The arrival of brother Asser has given him strength.
Brother's not a warrior. Now is the time for warriors.
Though I never thought I'd say it, we need Odda the younger.
He commands the largest feared.
He's the beginning of our army.
That is where we're headed.
Uhtred, I will do everything I can to help.
I will be at your side.
I'll be a flea in Alfred's ear.
Your father would be a proud man.
As am I.
I shall ready my man, and by tomorrow, have horses waiting.
You believe the Danes can be defeated?
I'll see you across the water, ealdorman Wulfhere.
Why'd you take it?!
Aethelgard, Aethelgard, my friend.
A man who be King of Wessex.
Thank you. Thank you for coming to see me.
Lord, it is Aethelwold.
Yes, please, sit down, sit down.
I want you to tell me everything you know about Alfred.
I've told you, Lord, he thinks with his dick.
And he can barely keep his britches on.
Hear the question, boy.
Not everybody enjoys a fool.
Alfred... though he may be afflicted by pain, he's as strong a man as you will find.
He's also as clever a man as you will find.
Yeah, I was ready to have him as my advisor until he stole my crown.
His strength, Lord, I believe, comes from his faith.
From God. [Chuckles]
Do you believe... in this God?
I believe in myself.
Why did Alfred steal the crown?
For silver, or to be a stronger King to the people?
No. Um, uh... yes, yes, in part.
Which is it?
Unfairly, I was not seen as a man to follow, by some.
I was not a man to fight Danes, it was said.
And which is true, because I know the Danes will win.
Yeah, whereas Alfred, Alfred believes that he can win.
Yeah, he's wrong, of course, but... but his faith, you know, that God will not desert him, make him believe that he will win.
Then you have to kill him.
I must kill him?
Then King Aethelgard can walk in to Alfred's camp... and be welcomed...
As a friend.
Wulfhere and his men.
God... stay! Stay away!
I have skills!
Put that piece of tin away, boy.
Oh, thank Christ you're English.
I thought you were one of them... what with the hair.
Where's the ealdorman Wulfhere?
I am Halig. I take care of the horses.
Now, I'm thinking on it, Lord, he did not say.
I thought you would know.
Wulfhere, where is he?
He's gone, Lord.
He has gone where?
He didn't say.
He has left your horses, Lord.
We keep moving.
Our plan doesn't change.
We make our way to Odda's estate.
We cannot use the Roman roads.
We can make our way to my farmstead.
And from there, across covered ground to Odda's.
And that is the safest pass, Leofric?
It is, Lord.
Let's return to the others.
There is pain here for you, my love.
Do you know them?
[Woman vocalizing in Celtic]
We shall bury the dead.
Pray for their souls.
Beocca: When you are ready...
I would like to say a prayer for Uhtred, son of Uhtred.
I must search for Mildrith.
She may be dead and unburied.
You shouldn't, no. No.
She has buried your son with care, and she has left this place.
It was no longer home for her anymore.
Your tears on the earth will show him that you loved him.
Lord, may I ask what you're writing?
The first of many letters.
Each will say the same.
The men of Wessex and beyond shall gather at Egbert's stone, and together, we will fight.
When you send out your messengers, Lord, might I suggest that you hand them the letters personally.
Perhaps place a hand on their shoulder?
It will embolden them, I'm sure.
Thank you, Beocca.
I will do that.
You know I did this to you when I saved the King's son.
You did not.
I knew an innocent would die.
I'm tired of being like this.
I've seen too much and know too much.
I want to see no more.
Lord, you should be resting.
We should all be resting.
I'm tired of resting.
I've spent too many days doing nothing.
Then at least sit before you become unsteady.
Where's my wife?
She's resting, Lord.
He's away, Lord.
Important business demands time.
It is not a betrayal.
No, 'tis not, Lord.
You are Earl Skorpa.
You are here to surrender and not waste my time.
I'm here to negotiate.
Surrender, and you will live.
Talk too much, and I will kill you.
Of all the ealdorman of Wessex, I am the man who can assemble the greatest feared, the greatest army.
I now have to make a choice... whether to side with Guthrum or with Skorpa.
One Dane looks much like the other to me.
I am occupying your land.
Why should I not simply crush you?
Accept my invitation.
Eat with myself and with my father, and I will tell you all about my land.
The range of my influence.
I am sure an agreement can be reached.
Neither of us need lose any men.
Neither of us need be weakened.
Eat and drink at my hall.
I assure you this is no trap.
I will arrive at your hall after the new moon.
I shall expect you.
Then we have peace... at least for a time?
Oh, we do.
You have lost much.
I have you.
I have a brother.
Your sister, Thyra.
She is alive?
No, she's dead.
In a fire.
Uhtred, she lives and is being held in the north.
Skorpa told me.
I thought at first it could be a lie to torment you.
But now I know that it is true.
You've seen it?
Yes. I've seen her.
But I will see her no more. The gift is fading.
When this battle is done, Uhtred, your path leads north.
It will be time to face your past.
And you'll be with me.
Lord... if God's help is required, how could he look favorably upon Uhtred, a non-believer?
God is good.
Death could be waiting over the very next hill, and it will be Uhtred who stands in its way.
There's no doubt... a Dane will always protect his plunder.
The King is of value.
He is here to protect the King, something neither you or I could do.
He is a man without a soul.
Then I will be his soul, Lord. I will pray for him.
I will ride beside him always and into battle.
I will be his conduit to God.
And if you fall in battle?
With the help of your prayers, brother, I shall become invincible, I'm sure.
I should like you to be the first of my messengers.
He means, did you hump well?
I know what he means.
Sleep well, lady?
Alfred: If I may speak... to you all.
Though we are yet to complete the first segment of our journey to Odda's estate, it is important we begin the second.
Word of our army's gathering point must be dispatched to the further reaches of our land.
Brother Asser here will be my first messenger.
You... will also be my voice.
I will, Lord.
And me, Lord.
Lord... she's a woman.
I'm as good a horseman as anyone here.
If it means more Danes will die, then I'll do it.
Your horses... belong to whom?
The Lord Odda.
You will let us pass.
You selling or buying?
To the Danes.
There is a peace.
Did you not know?
Odda has made a peace?
No, I did not.
Odda is loyal.
We shall see for ourselves what is true.
Lord... you should remain out of sight until we can be sure of your safety.
Odda is not a danger.
But who sits with Odda?
I must see this with my own eyes.
Lord, that is not... I've made up my mind.
If there is treachery, it is something I must witness.
Then I will go with you.
I do not require a nursemaid.
I'm a priest. And I a King.
You'll wait here with Iseult.
I am aware of the care I need to take.
Nuns should not be so pretty, nor have lips that demand to be kissed.
I see you agree.
When is it you're leaving?
When I'm rested, Lord.
Odda: What is it?
Have the Danes arrived?
Leofric. He's outside.
Then bring him inside. He's our man.
He's with Uhtred.
Bring them both to me.
Uhtred, my prayers have been answered!
God is good.
Lords... it is good to see you both safe and well.
Leofric, you are home.
Where in God's name have you been?
Hiding, Lord, and killing Danes.
Hopefully not on my land.
Uhtred: We've been sent by the King.
We bring orders from the King.
What King is that?
Who else, Lord?
Wessex, it seems, is full of kings.
There is Guthrum, who is King of East Anglia, who now sits in Winchester.
There is Aethelwold here who will tell anyone who cares to listen that he is King.
Where will it end?
I have Alfred's written order.
It means nothing.
You are to raise the feared.
It is over for Alfred!
Alfred gave up in Wessex.
He decided to save himself!
No man has been more loyal to Alfred than my father and I!
But he has failed us!
Danes surround us, and he is hiding.
Alfred is King of the Eels... slippery and elusive.
I see it's true.
You have sided with the Danes.
What has Skorpa promised you?
Are you to be King, Odda?
Leofric, are you stay...
Am I right?
I asked you a question, Leofric.
I am still your man, Lord.
Then you will finish the business you have with this Dane and kill him.
You have my order... kill him.
Lord, I cannot do that.
I stand here as Alfred's messenger...
I will not tell you again, Leofric.
If any man tried to kill me, then that man is a traitor to the King.
Leofric, you will kill him.
Alfred is no longer my King!
I will not do it, Lord.
Father, you will not interfere.
May your mother forgive me, and may you be forgiven for your treason.
Let him die noble.
Odda... you will do as I command.
You will raise the somerset feared.
Lord, forgive my son!
I will not forgive what I have seen.
You will raise the feared.
I will need 20 horsemen... to take word to all men able to carry sword, hook, or spear.
The word is that Alfred is King!
Together: King Alfred!
And will fight alongside the swords of Wessex to his dying breath!
May we speak?
About our son.
Then there is nothing left to say.
I'm sorry that his death was something that you had to face alone.
[Scoffs] I was not alone.
Being without a husband does not mean that I am alone.
And I am sorry for the life that I have given you.
I've found peace.
I hope you can do the same.
Was there sickness?
I would like to understand.
Children are frail.
And you'll have other sons, I'm sure... with your queen.
Is she here?
I would like you to leave me alone.
Never speak to me again.
We have nothing that binds us, nothing.
Avoid me, please.
Should I be pleased to see you?
Skorpa of the white horse.
I am expected. By the Lord Odda.
The Lord Odda's in the ground, buried as a traitor.
So what now?
Do I speak with you?
Does the truce stand?
For today, it stands.
Tomorrow, we'll kill you.
You will kill me?
I have almost 1,000 men to call upon.
Your ships have been burned, Skorpa... by Alfred.
He's gathering a great Saxon army.
I am aware my ships are gone.
And I will have my revenge.
You should return to Guthrum and prepare to die.
Did your queen tell you... that your sister is being humped in the ass each and every night by one-eyed Sven?
Beocca: Did your mother tell you that she should have kept her legs closed?
I will look for you first across the battlefield!
I will be there!
And I will not be difficult to find!
Alfred: He will go to Guthrum?
I believe he will, Lord.
Then the battle is one step nearer.
Beocca... you should wash out your mouth.
Yes, Lord, I will.
How many men?
400. No more.
And this is a great Saxon army?
Their numbers will grow.
We need to march.
There needs to be a story of a slaughter.
Only days ago, Ragnar was asking if the war was over.
Oh, Skorpa is right. There must be a slaughter.
We must take the fight to Alfred and his God.
And you are ready to kill your brother?
If it comes to that, yes.
Then we should face one great honor with another.
Once the armies are assembled, I shall speak to them as one.
Each man should know... this war is not only about land.
Should the heathens win, then Christ is defeated.
When you speak to the men, Lord, you cannot make it a sermon.
And what do you suggest I say?
Tell them that you'll die for them.
Tell them that we'll make the Danes pay in blood, and that they'll be rewarded in plunder.
I am to talk of revenge and greed?
They're men, Lord, not angels.
We shall stop for a moment.
Halt! We hold!
It is Egbert's stone.
Within these next few yards, we will know if we have an army... of angels or otherwise.
I will go alone.
If no one is there, what then?
Not a single one.
Not a single man has answered my call.
Then we wait.
We must wait, Lord.
A fine knife.
A dane's knife.
Yes, I took it from a Dane.
A Dane I killed.
This is before you groveled on your ass to Guthrum?
Before I presented myself to him, yes.
I was not, however, treated in a kingly manner and decided to escape.
The King under the Danes is not King.
Uhtred, I do like you, but I rather tire of your preaching.
You ever thought of becoming a priest?
Ever since I was a boy.
That's a lie. I baptized him twice.
He's still not a Christian.
Now I'll need a lock from you.
Waiting for his army.
I think I shall go and sit with him a while.
You are fond of him now?
I thought you would like company.
What do you see? What do you hear?
I hear nothing, Lord.
There is a change in the shadows and the air.
They are out there.
I see nothing but grass, Lord.
And beyond the grass, trees.
And more men there.
They have answered the call.
They have answered the call.
The swords of England are coming.
It's the swords of Wessex.
The swords of England.
Today is a day for warriors... a day to kill your enemies.
A day we make the pagans wish they had never heard of Wessex.
Today, we fight for Wessex!
And not only for Wessex.
We have men here from Northumbria, from Mercia, from East Anglia.
And why are the pagans here?
They want your wives for their pleasure.
They want your children as their slaves!
They want your homes as their own!
But they do not know us!
They do not know our swords!
They do not know our axes, our Spears.
They do not know our courage.
And today... we kill them!
We shall make the ground red with their blood!
We shall strip them of what they have plundered!
We shall make them cry out for mercy, and there will be none!
No mercy, no mercy!
[Chanting "no mercy!"]
Should I fall, you and... are to take my horse and ride clear of here.
You will not fall. I forbid this.
Every I have is packed in my bags, it's yours.
You will not fail.
I fight for you.
Kill them all!
[Chanting "no mercy" continues]
Then no mercy it must be.
Should you meet Uhtred in battle, there can be no doubt.
We should not be holding back, Lord.
We should attack with every man.
I will decide how we fight.
You will follow my orders.
Form our lines.
Form our lines!
Hold the line! We work as one!
We do not break!
Hold the line!
Wulfhere! I will have your guts, you traitorous b*st*rd!
This is our land!
First in line, as you wished.
Here they come.
Keep the wall tight!
Have that, Wulfhere, ya b*st*rd!
Leave him! Leave him!
Narrow the gap!
Keep the wall tight!
Three, two, one!
No more ground should be lost!
God have mercy!
We fall back as one!
We hold here! We go no further!
Edge backwards with me with my level!
Skorpa: Uhtred Ragnarson!
Can you hear me?
I hear you, Skorpa!
Do you wish to surrender?
I have a gift for you.
You will be struck down with my spear!
And you will spend eternity in the fires of hell!
Take the horse.
Lord! What are your orders?
Did you see that?
He came, as the priest said.
Their God is with them.
So what are your orders?
[Woman vocalizing in Celtic]
His grave is to be marked like that of an ealdorman.
I shall see to it.
Iseult is whole.
She has been wrapped and made ready for burial.
I want her to have a pyre.
Then she shall have it.
Uhtred... for all that you have done... all that you've shown me, thank you.
You have given everything.
You are the man I always hoped you would become.
[Woman vocalizing in Celtic]
In the year 878 at Ethandun, King Alfred defeated Guthrum of the Danes and drove them from Wessex.
I am indebted, Uhtred of Bebbanburg.
Wessex is indebted.
There can be no negotiation, Lord.
That is your advice?
I hear you.
Peace was secured with hostages, including my friend Brida and my brother, young Ragnar. Peace was further secured by Earl Guthrum's baptism and acceptance of the Christian God.
Do you renounce the devil and all his work?
Let this water cleanse you and make you worthy of God's blessing.
Guthrum, you are now a child of God.
As for Uhtred the godless... my journey continues... My path's leads north... to blood fields. To revenge... and to Bebbanburg. Destiny is all.