The Last Kingdom (2015) s03e10 Episode Script

Series 3, Episode 10

I am Uhtred, son of Uhtred.
On the eve of his death, I finally made peace with the great King Alfred.
You are hereby pardoned.
He is gone.
Wessex is in chaos.
Have a messenger return to Mercia.
I'd like the comfort of further hearth-guards.
And his vision of one England is incomplete.
It is the purpose of the witan to choose a king.
Uhtred cannot be allowed to ally himself to Edward.
This is the moment the Danes have long waited for.
But Brida seeks the truth.
Men are saying he killed Ragnar.
- Aethelwold? - Was it him? He was in fear of Ragnar.
Then he's mine to kill.
Only with Thyra's blood can we send my brother Ragnar to Valhalla.
You will tell your friend Uhtred his pardon is to be rescinded.
He must leave Winchester or I shall have him taken.
The lady Aelswith has dishonored her husband's wishes and I am imprisoned, at a time when my sister is seen only as a Dane.
Is that not what she is? An enemy.
In a hole is where you belong.
Destiny is all.
Beocca! Beocca! Beocca! Beocca, my love! Beocca! He is with God.
May his soul rest in peace for all eternity.
Amen.
Fire! Sound the bell.
Fire! Fetch the water! We should meet, Lord.
Continue our previous discussion.
For what purpose? The Danes will hear of Alfred's death and they will attack Mercia.
Mercia will be ready.
To die? Or to thrive? Find me.
I find him to be lower than a snake's belly.
That does not mean that he is wrong.
We need to stop the fire spreading! Get more water! For Christ's sake, get more water! Oh, be-Jesus! Oh, dear Lord! Fetch Father Beocca! Fetch him now! Go! More water! Thyra? Is she inside? - I thought she was at the palace.
- No, no, she left.
She walked out! More water! Father Beocca? We would like a last moment with the king.
Alone.
Yes, of course.
Lady Aelswith, forgive me.
You're going against the king's wishes.
Father Beocca? You may be needed.
Get the door! Get the door! Get back! Get back! No! No, this is not happening! Thyra! I'm here! I am here! Thyra! Thyra! Beocca.
Father, she is with God now.
You know that.
And he will welcome her, I'm sure.
It's how her family died, in a fire.
You think that would be a comfort? Or would it terrify her further? Father, all we know is that she's at peace now.
She's at peace.
You need to walk away now, Father.
A drink of ale, maybe? Once the heat has gone, I shall recover her and wrap her for you to bury.
I No I will find her.
She is my wife.
She is.
We'll help you then.
This fire did not just happen.
It did not.
These are dark and important days for both Wessex and Mercia.
Just as soon as the Danes hear of Alfred's death They will attack, you have said, and we agree.
- We will fight.
- Why? Why fight only to lose? Who says we must lose? To have even a chance, Mercia would need Wessex, and Wessex has been left with a pup as its master.
You'll lose.
The Danes will march and we will have to fight.
We negotiate.
Then let them slaughter Edward and the small number of idiots who choose to follow him.
Small number? Edward does not have all of Wessex behind him.
Some will follow, but not all.
Wessex will not have great numbers of men.
Lord Sigebriht is about to return to Cent and ready his own considerable guard and fyrd.
To do what? To join the Danes? Edward is not Alfred and never can be, but - There'll be no need for swords! - I am merely introducing myself.
- You will let me go! - Not until there is calm.
There is madness.
Father Beocca, you are suffering.
I do not wish to hear your voice.
It was you who killed her, not some stray ember on a bed of straw.
I am not to blame for your misfortune It was you.
If not directly, then by the words you whisper, by the lies you tell, the bile you spew! I think we should find another table.
In the eyes of some, a gentle woman became an enemy and nothing more.
You should turn a deaf ear to this man.
Father Beocca, I will forgive this display, just once.
Another word and you will pay.
What have I said? Wessex is splintered.
I will have no more of it.
Haesten? What is this? It is the beginning, my friend.
Alfred, king of the shit-eating Saxons has breathed his last! The king is dead! Haesten, and you are certain this time? - Dagfinn? - It is true, Lord.
We have heard it many times, from priests and warriors and peasants alike.
They cry in the streets of Winchester.
- Then it begins.
- Hmm.
It begins.
Sharpen your blades! It begins! Is there to be a trial, or a simple execution? It was my mother's intention to cut your throat, but she has been persuaded to revert to banishment.
You are to leave Winchester and Wessex and never return.
And what of Edward? What of the king's letter, his pardon? Does that count for nothing? Uhtred, you must leave or she will have you killed.
Find Beocca.
I must speak to Beocca.
Fetch him, please.
I cannot fetch him.
He has trials enough.
What trials? I am here.
I have heard what the lady has said, and I am here to beg you, Uhtred, to beg you to stay.
Father Beocca, he cannot stay.
- There will be a hearing.
- Perhaps.
- And we shall be heard.
We must.
- What has happened? Accept a trial and speak out.
If you do not, the devil will have won! - Beocca? - Do not abandon what you helped to build.
There is a change in you.
Thyra is with God the gods, even.
- How? - Fire.
Set by good Christian men, no doubt.
Which men? She is with Gisela now.
She is with her mother.
We cannot allow ourselves to be consumed by her death.
All that Alfred stood for is crumbling.
You, Uhtred, cannot be dragged into the shadows.
You must become the light.
My Lady Aethelflaed.
You will inform your brother and your mother that Mercia has a king with his own mind.
I will do nothing of the sort.
Alfred is gone.
Therefore, all agreements made with Alfred no longer stand.
Mercia will remain allied with Wessex.
The two countries will stand together or they will fail.
The two countries are equals.
Each free to choose who to befriend and who to fight.
Who to fight? Lord Aldhelm, you must remind my husband what it means to be a Mercian.
Lord King, I must say I do not disagree with her.
I need assuring, Lord, that you will not align Mercia with Aethelwold, nor the Danes.
It would be a betrayal.
You need assuring? - We are proud Mercians, Lord.
- Do you question me? I am concerned.
Do you doubt me? I simply wish to understand your thinking.
My guard of 50 men.
Did you send for them? You will agree they are needed at home.
Did you send for my guard of 50 men? I did not.
Should you live, Aldhelm, never disobey me again.
Never.
Your wound is from an alehouse brawl.
I have been considering my defection to the Danes.
- I will hold until the very last moment.
- Meaning what? Edward will march and I will promise to join him, but I will arrive late.
As the Danes attack from the front, I will attack from the rear.
My army against a fyrd of peasants.
It'll be a slaughter and my men will survive.
I can almost hear the screams of panic.
Lady, forgive me.
I did not know where else to go.
He believes he can negotiate or is at least considering the possibility.
The bleeding has stemmed.
I hope.
A gut wound is a slow death.
A gut wound can heal.
It will heal.
Lady you have my heart.
I fear that I love you.
If I can't say it while dying, when will I? You are not dying.
Lady, you must act, for Mercia.
You must.
Call the men to arms and save us.
It's time.
I am to take you to the frontier of Mercia, to witness you leaving Wessex.
Lord? What is this, a hunting party? I am an outlaw once again.
To be banished or executed.
Shall we follow you, Lord? Leave Winchester for the Danes? Lord? Walk.
What is he doing? He's standing still, Lady.
Uhtred, you will walk and you will get up onto your horse! I am a free man.
I have a letter of pardon.
It bears the king's seal.
It is written in the king's hand Someone take his tongue.
Does Alfred's word count for nothing, now that he is gone? And you are a man who once held a knife to the king's throat.
Show us one witness who can say this letter was written willingly.
- One witness.
- There was no witness.
We are gifting you your life! You shall be grateful and you shall leave this land in peace! There will be no peace, Lady.
War is coming.
There is a Dane army marching this very moment.
And I will not abandon the people of Wessex Who do you think you are? Steapa! - The entire city is watching.
- Uhtred speaks the truth.
- And you are nothing but smitten.
- Lady Aelswith! I cannot let this injustice go unchallenged.
If Uhtred of Bebbanburg claims to have been made a free man by King Alfred himself we cannot dismiss it so lightly.
Only a king can deny a king.
Wessex has no king.
Wessex has no king! We have Edward Rex.
The witan decides who is king.
Edward is the aetheling.
He has no authority.
He is Alfred's son and nothing more! I'm sure the monasteries are full of Alfred's sons.
Do all bastards have a claim to the crown? Bishop Erkenwald, you will end this display.
King or not, if Edward believes the letter of pardon to be untrue, then I will leave Wessex.
Steapa, you will return the prisoner to the palace.
This is no place for such decisions.
This is precisely the place! Justice must be seen to be done! Steapa! Unhand the prisoner.
Though he remains a prisoner, I will allow Lord Uhtred to speak.
He has earned that right.
Though you have not, Lord, not yet.
You have no authority.
Do you object to the people bearing witness to justice, Lord Aethelwold? I do not.
Uhtred, the king swore that you were to die.
Why the change in his heart? Because he believed that I deserved his forgiveness.
Is that a boast? Look to his chronicle.
I am on every page.
That is a lie.
You are not named, even once! But I am there.
Unwritten, Lady, but I am there! The warriors of Wessex know it.
The Danes know it.
And it is what the king has told me himself.
I have heard enough.
I am with him from the Somerset Marshes to Ethandun and all of the battles that have followed.
We were bonded, him and I.
He was the man that I could never be, nor did I wish to be.
He was a man that I loved and despised but it was never less than an honor to serve him.
He was my king.
And he did not wish to go to his God without granting me what I have earned many times over! My freedom.
But the question remains: Why did he choose not to announce it? You will remember my great friend Leofric, a warrior and a Saxon to the bone! He told me once that I could never better Alfred.
"Because the bastard thinks," he said.
Perhaps your father chose not to announce my freedom for this very reason so that the people could witness their new king, Edward, dispensing justice.
Fairly, I hope.
Will you accept the decision of Edward Rex? I will.
I give you my word.
- Lord - Again, I say, and with respect, the boy does not have the power to make such a statement.
He is an aetheling and nothing more.
He is no more an heir to the crown than myself.
Lord, the decision is yours to make.
My father, King Alfred, demanded loyalty, unity.
He believed in his god and doubted those who did not.
A heathen would not be trusted completely until he had embraced Alfred's god as his own.
And yet it was a heathen he did trust most.
It was the word of Uhtred that he respected most.
Uhtred of Bebbanburg, I find the letter written by my father to be true.
Alfred's pardon does stand.
You are a free man, able to choose your own path.
May I ask, Lord Uhtred, may I ask? Now that you are a free man once more, where will your path lead? I would like to know.
Steapa, my sword.
One day, Father, I hope that my path will eventually lead north to Bebbanburg, but now, I believe I am needed here.
I will follow Edward Rex! Cnut, swear to the gods that it was Aethelwold who killed Ragnar.
It was.
I swear.
He must not fall in battle.
If you wish to see Ragnar in the hall of the slain, then Aethelwold must not just fall to any sword.
- I do not understand.
- Keep him safe until I'm ready.
Do it for me and for Ragnar.
I will.
I will keep him safe.
We fight for Ragnar! And for every Dane that has ever fallen to a Saxon sword! If the Danes are moving through East Anglia and towards eastern Mercia, then that land is Danelaw.
Their army can only grow.
As before, we must march out to meet them.
I've spies inside Danelaw.
They confirmed they are moving closer.
I have issued an order for my men at the frontier to retreat.
Retreat? It is good sense, Lord.
Every warrior must be made to count.
But how far do I retreat? Where and when does Mercia make a stand? Where and when will we be joined by Wessex? That is to be decided.
I would like to know.
Because Wessex appears to be in a land of chaos and doubt.
Does each of the handful of ealdormen here stand with Edward? We do.
Of course we do.
He is to be king.
Lord Sigebriht? We do.
And what of those who are not here? Those who hurried back to their halls, despite knowing there is talk of war? They are with us Lord Aethelred! Wessex will not have great numbers, I am hearing.
- We shall be marching to fight, Lord.
- Lord King Do not believe there is another option.
Haesten and Cnut are men without honor.
They will take your land, your silver and the tin crown from your head.
All of you, hear me.
Yes, it is likely that the Danes will have greater numbers, but this is a battle that we can win.
Though it will take all of us, every man and every sword, and we will fight with all the guile and wit that Alfred has instilled.
God is with us.
I shall return to Mercia.
Send word of your intentions, and soon, but, I warn you, I will not fight a battle that cannot be won.
I won't send my subjects into a slaughter.
Do you wish to become a puppet, Lord Aethelred? Send word.
Lord.
He's right.
I am not my father.
When Winchester fell to Guthrum, your father hid himself away in the marshes, for months.
He hid in fear for his life and of failure, but he overcame that fear.
We will find the words and you will write letters to each and every ealdorman and thegn of Wessex and they will answer your call.
They will come.
To where? Lord, if we have fewer men, the very last place we want to fight is open ground.
Bedanford.
Bedanford is a good distance away.
That is the path they would take.
It is a long march, Lord, but the land could be to our advantage.
It could, Lord.
Bedanford it must be.
Then I will do it.
With your help, I will find the words.
The devil cannot win.
The devil will not win.
I will need a sword, or an ax.
A shield.
This is a battle I will not watch.
I need to fight, Uhtred, till I can fight no more.
Lord Sigebriht.
- You are leaving in the night? - There is an army to raise.
You have been sitting with Aethelwold for some time.
If you are questioning my loyalty, do not.
I am Wessex, as was my father and my grandfather.
But you are not for Edward.
That does not make me a traitor to my country.
- Then you will be there, in battle? - I will.
Wessex will need the men of Cent.
A letter will soon find you.
We will be there.
For the good of Cent, and for Wessex.
Yes, for Wessex, Lord Sigebriht.
You are one day Saxon, the very next day Dane, Uhtred.
I have not yet offered you my condolences for Ragnar.
Your brother deserved a warrior's death.
I am sorry you will not see him in Valhalla.
This is where you belong, Aethelwold.
Winchester? Standing on a stable floor like a horse's turd.
Will you be riding for Edward? I will be there and I will be praying for a great victory.
- For Saxon or for Dane? - Do you care? You belong to neither.
I did once fear you, Uhtred, but now I see you are nothing but a sword.
A lump of metal.
Yes, you have reputation, but that will fade.
And you will die forgotten and unwritten.
You will go neither to Heaven nor to Valhalla.
This letter from Edward, it had better be good.
A letter has been sent.
It speaks out to every man in the kingdom, demanding that he answers the call and joins us on the road to battle.
It says that this will be a battle that will be spoken of for lifetimes to come.
It is a battle that no man can ignore, no man can stand by and watch.
Every man must find a weapon and every man must fight! Wessex will always be the light.
And no matter how heavy our swords become, we must fight.
Fight! Fight and keep on fighting until the victory is ours! We march! Aethelwold is not with us.
I wondered why the stench had gone.
No doubt he's making his way to the Danes.
He may know of Bedanford.
He will tell them.
Which is why we're heading towards the woods.
Beyond Bedanford.
We are? We assemble at Bedanford as requested, in the letter, but then we march on to attack the Danes in the woodlands.
A small advantage for our smaller numbers.
You have the blood kept safe? I do, Lord.
Always.
And it is blessed.
Thyra's blood? Yes.
And it will save Ragnar's soul? It will take him from Niflheim to Valhalla, yes.
From Hell into Heaven.
I must kill the man who killed Ragnar, with a blade marked with Ragnar's blood.
Thyra's blood.
It is the same.
Who is this man you will kill? I do not know.
So Uhtred lives? - Now rides with Edward? - Yes.
You were supposed to kill him.
And I did not.
Could you not find him sleeping? It barely matters because Wessex is broken.
Half the ealdormen will not answer Edward's call and in one that will, we have an ally.
Sigebriht of Cent.
He commands one of the greatest armies of Wessex and he is with us.
He is? Then he will join us when? He will join us in battle.
My plan is that he will arrive to attack the Saxons from the rear, once battle has begun.
Good.
- Jackdaw? - What? Cnut will be sending out spies in search of the Saxon camp.
You will follow.
I will? You will find Uhtred and give him a message.
Still no word from Lord Sigebriht.
I'd hoped some men would be here already.
They will come not.
We must continue on to the woodland and begin the fight.
We cannot allow them into open ground.
Then this may well be the place we die, Uhtred.
Or it may well be the place you become king, Lord.
A great king, like your father at Ethandun.
There is nothing more useless than a dead spy.
Finan? Jackdaw? He says he has a message, Lord.
I do, Lord.
It's from Brida.
Say it.
Am I to be spared? Yes, you will be spared, but you will not be returning to the Danes.
Say your message.
She says, "Aethelwold," Lord.
She says, "Do not fail.
" How long before they come? They are near.
You are facing death, for certain.
You are wrong, Jackdaw.
I will not die.
Osferth! The blood.
Today, I ask you not to fight for Alfred.
I ask you not to fight for Edward, nor the crown.
But to fight for yourselves.
And your forefathers! They are buried in the soil of Wessex and Mercia, and they have become the soil.
They are the land.
And even as I speak it is for them we are fighting! They're attacking the rear! Defend the line! Move! Everyone! Attack! Attack! Move! Now! Kill every shit-eating Saxon bastard! Uhtred, there's too many of the bastards! Keep your ground! Where are the Mercians? Uhtred, the line is breaking! Push back! Where is Sigebriht? Lord! Horses! Horses! It is Aethelflaed! It is Mercia! They are holding firm! Aethelwold! When will your man attack? Soon! When they are tired! Very soon! There! There! There he is! Did I not say? What position is he taking? For our forefathers! And for Wessex! Is he joining our line? That is your man! That is your man.
And he's fighting for Edward! He has betrayed us! We still have the numbers! That is your man! Push! With me! Fight! Stand your ground and fight! We have been betrayed.
They are possessed by devils! It is lost.
Uhtred, please.
My arm is broken.
I have no way of wielding a sword.
You have another arm.
Please.
I will go north, east or west.
I will go to Frankia.
To Ireland, even You killed Ragnar.
- No.
No, I didn't.
I couldn't.
- You killed him.
- Never.
- Admit your guilt.
I am guilty of nothing more than wanting what is rightly mine.
- Admit it.
- We are the same, our kingdoms stolen.
You killed my brother! Admit it to me! Yes.
Or he would have killed me.
It was a war of sorts between us.
I am not worth it.
I swear you will never see me again.
I will go anywhere, travel as far away as you wish.
Please.
Please.
Please, please.
Uhtred Uhtred, please.
You will need silver to travel.
A ship's fare.
Yes.
I would.
Not much.
You will never see this face again.
You will go to Hell.
Uhtred? Look, a bridge.
He's crossing to Valhalla.
He's free.
It will be written in the Saxon chronicle that Edward did gain a great victory over the Danes, ensuring he would become King of Wessex.
But other battles lie ahead, both with the Danes and within Wessex itself.
A king must decide who he can trust and who he must discard.
He must understand the minds of both his enemies and his friends.
He must recognize that the truth of a man lies not in the land of his birth, but in his heart.
A king must be a king on his own terms.
He cannot be his father.
He can only be himself.
The chronicle will grow.
Pages will be added.
But Uhtred of Bebbanburg will not be mentioned.
Although I, too, was victorious.
My name is Uhtred, son of Uhtred.
My name is Uhtred Ragnarson.
Destiny is all.