The Last Kingdom (2015) s04e02 Episode Script

Series 4, Episode 2

1 I am Uhtred, son of Uhtred.
My birthright Bebbanburg was cruelly taken by my Uncle Aelfric.
My greatest fighters or the most fearful? His men desert him and the Scots send raiders, who weaken those that remain.
How many did we lose this time? The time is right for me to take back what is mine.
Give me 100 men.
It will take a week.
Two hundred, I can take it in a day.
But the new king, Edward, has fallen under the influence of Lord Aethelhelm.
I'm no longer the boy who can be bent to your will! Aethelred of Mercia looks to Bebbanburg for a different purpose.
I'm collecting all the bones of our beloved saint as a good omen to signal to the Mercian people that I shall restore their lands to greatness.
He has sent holy men there to bargain for an ancient relic.
I have also sought out the help of a Christian.
Hello, Father.
My son, who was taken by Alfred and raised with a devout faith.
The Mercian commander Eardwulf has traveled to East Anglia to meet with Haesten.
Did you see them leave? Yes.
They're dismantling their camp and packing their boats.
And now Aethelred looks to conquer Daneland as well as Eardwulf's sister.
The feelings that Aethelflaed and I have always held can no longer be contained.
But for now, my duty draws me to the north once again.
To Bebbanburg! Destiny is all! Rán can be a vixen.
This should settle her.
Rán is pagan lies.
I pity you for believing it.
- Finan, give him something to do.
- Yes, Lord! Oh, God.
Hey! You can empty this.
Tell me the truth.
- Am I the bait? - For what? In the plan you are hiding from me.
- Am I the bait? - Nothing is hidden from you.
We are tracking monks who have entry to Bebbanburg.
You will befriend them, enter Bebbanburg and open the sea gate to us.
I think you have another reason for dragging me into your revenge.
Yes, so you may win honor and reputation.
The only reputation that matters is my standing with God.
You cannot force a boy to be a warrior.
My blood runs within his veins.
Why can he not see that? Because your blood is that of a stubborn bastard! - Our Father - Who do you pray for, boy? - Hm? - The men you will slaughter.
You seem to take things when you want them.
When you do, show mercy.
To my Uncle Aelfric, who spent a lifetime wishing me dead? - There is a power in forgiveness.
- Good.
Then you may use it to forgive me.
He continues to sign himself King of Mercia, and now we hear he leads troops out of Aegelesburg.
Aethelred has always been ambitious.
- Do you know where he's gone? - My husband doesn't inform me of anything.
I know he is seeking the bones of St.
Edward, that is grave.
If he is seeking St.
Oswald, he is seeking to break from Wessex.
Many Mercians believe that uniting the body of the saint will restore their land to greatness.
Yes, but the people want peace, not war.
Still, it is a signal of intention.
Or a ploy to pander to the simple folk of Mercia.
The people of Mercia are not simple.
Well, whatever it is he is doing do not allow yourself to be drawn in.
The weak should not be allowed to set terms.
If you do not play, he cannot win.
Leave childishness to the little children.
Here he is, the future King of all the realm.
See how nimble he is! That's a great swordsman in the making! Yes, indeed.
- Lady.
- Lord.
Yes, and he is a child of great authority, too.
You should have seen the way he kicked Steapa to make his displeasure known.
A boy of many talents.
Come with me.
I want to show you a book of your grandfather's.
Do not pester the boy with Latin.
He is to be a king, not a clerk.
The men of Wessex are fighters.
Rule the sword and rule the land.
He digs away at all that is precious.
Yes, it is troubling as are my husband's intentions.
I will ask Aldhelm to make inquiries.
Father Pyrlig? Bring Father Beocca to me.
I was a little unjust with him and wish to ask his advice on a certain person.
Father Beocca has left Winchester, Lady.
He felt there was nothing left here for him.
I doubt he will ever return.
And so our allies abandon us.
Lady, you asked for him to be removed.
Yes, I suppose I did.
Just as I asked my son to be married to that vain, silly girl.
Why the Lord guided me this way, I cannot fathom.
Maybe the Lord didn't.
Any path I chose was to secure the country my husband loved.
And how well did that work, Lady? A pathetic hoard, most of them drunk or senile.
The Scots will laugh.
I cannot hold them off with this! We need more warriors.
I have been trying, Lord.
The slaver can get us trained men, but he wants 10,000.
Ten thousand would empty the treasury.
What good is a fortress without silver? Lord, we must sell the heart of Saint Oswald.
Time is moving against us.
We can only sustain these attacks from the Scots for so long.
He's desperate for it, you say, Aethelred? This is what I have heard.
The monks he dispatched will arrive here soon.
Then we shall bleed silver from him and buy the men.
So, where do we start? Where do you look for monks in a place like this? - St.
Colman's? - The whorehouse! That's it.
I'm staying on the boat.
It's not safe for you to be alone this deep within Danelaw.
- Come.
- Then I will pray for salvation.
I will stay with him, keep us both safe.
- They do not love a priest in Grimesby.
- Thank you, Father.
To the whorehouse then! You misjudge your father, you know.
He's not the bloodthirsty heathen you take him for.
Thou shalt not kill, Father Beocca.
- Or are you rusty on the scripture? - I know the teaching.
But I also know Aelfric.
And having some years on you, I also know that sometimes one must do wrong to do right.
Aelfric tried to kill a child for no gain but wooden walls.
And for that, he wrenched a boy from his Christian life delivered him to the heathens and damned his soul to all eternity.
Uhtred is avenging a great wrong done to him.
Help him in his mission and you will be helping Helping him return to a life of Christian piety? No.
- Not that, but - There is a chance.
All sinners can repent.
Well, we shall see.
Come on.
Grimesby seems like a lovely place.
- I hear the oysters are delicious.
- Hm.
Sihtric, don't make eye contact.
- What's your business here? - We're traders.
We're taking pelts to Frankia.
- Really? - Mm-hm.
Well, you keep trouble out of my alehouse, agreed? Hey, we're just hungry for some food, nothing more.
And do you have women? He needs a woman.
We're not that sort of alehouse.
She's yours until nightfall.
If you're quick, you can both get a turn.
He'll certainly be quick.
Hey, why do I always have to pretend to be the virgin? Because no one would believe I am the virgin.
Harder, like your sister does it.
Hit it.
Lead me out to the darkness, Lord.
And let this sin - I'm a virgin in that, Lord.
- I'm sure you are, Osferth.
We've found our monks.
Oi, watching costs extra.
Harder! Traveling overnight, all that way in the saddle with a red raw ass, a good thing they like pain! It takes six days to get to Bebbanburg on the coast road.
They'll get there before Ascension.
I'm a good Christian boy, Lord.
You should not arrive before them.
The rocks around Bebbanburg do not treat ships kindly.
So, we wait here and enjoy the atmosphere? Uhtred, see these two monks? They're the ones we've been searching for.
They're leaving for Bebbanburg.
Follow them.
It's our strongest chance of getting into the fortress.
- I can't simply follow - If there were, I would not ask.
My men have been there recently.
They would be recognized.
- So, I am the sacrificial lamb - You are our greatest hope.
Do not do this for me.
Do it for your descendants.
Whatever I take will one day be yours.
I'm not the warrior you seem to mistake me for.
Why do you have this faith in me? Because I know that the spirit of our family is within you.
That will give you a strength that you do not know yet.
I will try and do as you need, but I will not kill a man.
That is all I want.
Three pieces of silver says he runs home.
- Take this horse.
- Uhtred.
Ride the road north, close to the shore.
Leave now, so you can be ahead of the monks.
Find them.
Join them.
- Lord! - I would not send you to be slaughtered.
When I see you signal, I will approach the sea gate.
He'll be looked after.
He's blessed, as are you.
All right, come on.
Try it on.
I will, when you leave.
I had it made for you.
I want to see it now.
Lord, I will not undress before you.
- I am a woman from a noble family.
- Whose father disgraced Whose father was unfairly shamed for no reason other than falling from the Ealdormen's favor.
Lady, enough of this game.
You have no good reason to deny me.
I act simply for the good of your soul.
You have a wife.
You are right.
I see that now.
I should make myself a widower and marry you.
Is that not what you want? Along with all of these silks and furs.
Just a good life.
for a girl who has nothing.
Am I being very unfair? Have I misjudged your Christian soul? It can all be arranged.
- Did you do the deed? - No.
Drag it out much longer, he'll lose interest.
How wrong you are.
He's not losing interest.
He's threatening to have Lady Aethelflaed killed, so that he may marry me.
That is good news! No, it is not! I would have the blood of Alfred's daughter on my hands.
It seems like a fair exchange.
Married to a man who kills those who displease him? - Again, it seems like - He is volatile and we must be careful.
Promise me, if he asks you to attack Lady Aethelflaed, you will refuse.
I will never defy the wishes of King Aethelred.
And nor should you.
We will rest here and attack at first light.
Catch the Mercians sleeping in their beds.
How far is Aegelesburg? - Close enough to surprise them.
- Then this is where I say goodbye.
We camp here tonight, march at dawn! You are certain we cannot tempt you to battle? I have no interest in fighting, only women and silver.
Because you have to pay women to hump them? Better than reeling them in with lies.
But everything I did allowed the Danes to triumph.
You will miss a great gathering of armies, Haesten.
Edward is honor-bound to defend the land of his sister and mother.
Aethelred's death will force swift retaliation.
We will ride into Mercia in a fury and will force them to a battle place where we have the advantage.
Wessex, Mercians, all Christians.
This will bring them together.
Then you will have united the Saxons.
Alfred would be very proud.
Cnut! Let's go.
Boys, come here.
I want you to go with our friend Haesten.
He will take you north until our campaign is over.
Should they not witness the battle? I know it's dangerous but There will be battles to come.
Today, they are too young.
Haesten, attend to them and teach them nothing you know.
Come, boys, let's get you ready.
The shit loves his offspring.
How did he draw you to him? We made a bond in blood.
If you ever get bored of the ugly bastard you know, I have fathered ten children.
- That is of no use to me.
- No? No because you carry his pup! I can tell by the tits.
If you tell him this before I fight the Saxons I will cut off your balls and feed them to you.
I'm overjoyed for you, Brida.
The world needs more little Cnuts.
Brida! - Hm? - Come.
Rest tonight.
Prepare yourselves.
There will be many sleepless nights ahead! But, at daybreak, we shall strike and blood will run! Mercia will burn! Bring me Aethelred! Where is he? Where's your Lord? Where's your Lord? Next! Are there any more? Could they be mercenaries come to help defend us? A donation from the slaver? Offering reinforcements from the goodness of his heart? Well, perhaps they will turn away.
Or they are Scots, returning for a fight.
There is one choice, though it sickens me to say it.
Pay them to go away.
So they can return again and we pay them more? Why not just beg them to make us their vassals? I did not say it was a good choice.
Send men out to speak with them.
If they return with heads on their shoulders, we know that the Scots might negotiate.
I shall go myself.
I am sick of sending men to slaughter.
Which is why you will never lead, Aidan.
Open the gate.
Alert Lord Aelfric.
He'll want to see this.
We heard you were drowned.
We were assured.
They said there was no hope.
I nearly did drown, Father.
I believed it was my punishment for sending you away.
No punishment.
Just a moment to learn how much I wanted to live and return to you and Bebbanburg.
I thought my legacy was lost forever.
I assure you, your descendants will thrive.
When I got word you were under attack, I seized the moment.
I've brought warriors men I've collected from every corner of the known world.
Strong men, loyal men.
Bebbanburg is saved.
As magnificent as ever it was.
Indeed if it is real and not a dream.
It is real enough.
- We need get no closer at this point.
- Lord! Drop the sail! Row inland and keep under the shadow of the cliff.
How long do we wait for your son to send a sign? Until it comes.
It is all the will of the gods now.
Is this some plan to become a saint? It is preparation for the royal consecration.
Becoming Queen is a now a holy rite? The insult of it.
I take it this was also Lord Aethelhelm's idea.
He is quiet, but his ambitions for his family grow.
He obsesses over the aetheling and pushes me aside.
Had I known what sort of man he was, I would've selected a different bride for your brother.
What does the King say? Edward cherishes peace both within Wessex and within the palace.
So, I must accept when I am no longer wanted.
She feels my father's loss.
As do we all.
I would like 17 candles lit on my behalf.
One at each shrine and no mumbling in the prayers.
The Lord wants to hear your full hearts.
Seventeen? Is something on your conscience, Lady? Many things.
I fear I've allowed too much to change in the palace.
Tell me, the young Centish lady, Ecgwynn The girl who married your son in secret? Yes.
What do you know of her present situation? She took holy orders, when her marriage was forcibly annulled.
And, from what I've heard, she's very unhappy.
Well, the cloistered life may not suit a simple girl.
She was forbidden from seeing the two children she bore your son.
Her daughter she sees occasionally, but her son she's not looked on since he was taken from her arms.
That seems a cruel punishment.
For the crime of loving Edward and Edward loving her, yes.
You and Beocca are right to question my mistreatment of her.
I would like to make amends, in a small way.
- Where is her son now? - He lives in a monastery.
So, he has a love of God but not that of a mother.
An agony I would not want for my own son.
- I would like to see them both.
- I can have it arranged.
I am presuming you do not want anyone else to know.
It would put the boy in danger.
We both know that.
Send scouts to look for a battle place.
Make sure the grain stores are emptied and no food remains.
Gut this palace before the other Saxons retaliate! - Did you see the Ealdormen? - I did.
You're inventive in your cruelty.
Have you found Aethelred? Not yet.
I'm just enjoying his bed.
Would you like to join me? What are you reading, child? You are Aethelstan, are you not? Yes.
Who are your family, Aethelstan? I've been told not to answer that.
That is probably wise.
Are you an abbess, Lady? No.
I am a friend.
Though many great abbesses feel I could have been one of their number.
Come with me, Aethelstan.
A lady wants to meet you.
Go to the garden.
- Oh, Lord help us! It is a beggar.
- Don't look at him.
Ignore him.
I cannot.
He's heading straight for us.
Travelers! He looks insane! Be wary! Ignore him.
Travelers, this road is full of murderous thieves! - Be careful, my brothers in Christ! - Why do you call us brothers, madman? - Because I am one of your number.
- You look a beggar.
No! I am a deacon, cruelly kidnapped from his church.
A boy whose mind is spent and life is ebbing! - Let me ride with you.
- We should move on.
In the name of the Virgin, there are bandits on this road! Abandon me and I shall perish and lie here unburied! Come on.
Please, did Christ not pity the leper? Please, brothers.
I know about your sins in Grimesby.
Don't let me speak of it to your abbot.
What do you want? Nothing but traveling companions.
I swear to it, I mean you no harm.
- Are you any good in a fight? - No.
Good, they can kill you while we escape.
Are you the kind soul who arranged this meeting? I am.
Do I know you, madam? Content yourself with knowing that I am a mother who feels for your plight.
Then I thank you.
To see him even briefly heals a wounded heart for both of us.
You have shown us a great mercy.
Tell me am I still out of favor to the Lady Aelswith? Lady Aelswith disfavored no one.
She simply chose what was best for her son as you will want the best for yours.
What is best for my son is what he once had, a mother and a father living in happiness.
What is done is done.
But yes, it would be foolish for him to be raised without a woman's nurture.
Men raised by men turn savage.
So we must ensure there is always a lady to guide him when he is permanently moved to somewhere more secure.
Why must he be moved? There is concern that he could be in danger in Wessex.
But rest assured, he will be well-protected.
But I am afraid you will not be able to visit again.
Why am I being punished? Did I deserve this cruelty? Did I hurt someone as I am now hurt? Did he? All I wanted was a husband and family! To be with the one I loved in a quiet place to call home.
Then you would have been unsuited to life in the palace at Winchester, Ecgwynn.
Which is why this has all come to pass.
- Stop staring at me.
- I'm not staring.
I'm admiring your appetite.
Does death make you hungry? - Have they found Aethelred? - Yes.
And where has that little turd hidden himself? He's in East Anglia.
He has attacked farms there and many Danish settlers were killed.
There is no way that fool outwitted us.
It sickens me to say he has.
No This was not his doing, but ours.
He thought we were in Irland, that there would be no reprisals! We have let this happen, Cnut! Then we must prevail now.
Farmers and their families die in war.
It's just the way of things.
Danish settlers, Saxon children they pay the price.
Besides, if Aethelred has left his people undefended, they will be easier to slaughter, and slaughter will bring Edward sooner.
I knew it! I said this! I said Cnut was trying to trick us! - What of Lord Aethelred? Is he dead? - I will try to find out.
Call off the coronation.
Send men to Aegelesburg to retake it.
No, do not call off the ceremony You cannot leave the Mercians to their doom.
By the sounds of things, we're too late.
Send men you must! What they did to humiliate the Ealdormen, Lord King! It must be avenged! - Lord King - They are men of honor, men of my blood! We should not act in haste.
- Maybe Aethelred's right - Edward, you must not delay.
Enough! I will decide how to respond to this affront and when! Not you, nor you, nor you will set the terms.
And certainly not Cnut.
Hard to tell! Maybe 40 helmets! He has put all his men on the ramparts to make it look like he has more.
- He was always a cunning one.
- Still two against one.
- We're twice as good.
- Yeah, keep saying it, it becomes true.
We don't need to slaughter 'em all, just hold 'em off.
Lord, the real fight will be you against Aelfric.
Tell me, Beocca is it the right time? I'm not leading men to defeat? You are not leading men to defeat.
The fight will be furious.
Men will fall.
But I would not encourage you, if I thought you would lose.
Feel the air here, Uhtred.
Feel its cold breath.
This is the air that you and I were born to breathe.
We're meant to be here.
Let us see if my blood runs thick if the signal comes.
- Do you know what that is? - It's a fort.
Beating heart of this land they called Bernicia.
The lord who resides here is volatile, so be on your guard.
- What if he does not welcome us? - Then we will not be welcomed home.
And we will be forced to sail to Frisia to sell your backside in return for food.
It is only monks, Lord.
Aethelred's errand boys.
Let's see how desperate they are for my holy treasures.
Greetings to Lord Aelfric of Bebbanburg.
I am Brother Iestyn.
We are sent by Aethelred of Mercia to make a trade.
Um, you can turn back.
I've decided I cannot bear to part with so dear a treasure.
Lord Aethelred will offer a good price.
I put no price on holy relics, nor should you.
The legacy of my forebears cannot be measured in silver.
Then might we at least rest the night here, Lord? The road has been long.
Perhaps we could discuss the trade.
We are not a lodging house! Your master has sent you on a pointless errand.
If Aethelred wishes to reunite the relics of the beloved saint, he'll have to fight me for them, sword to sword.
Lord! I am but a young man, but since my childhood, I have heard that Bebbanburg was the greatest fortress in the north.
And that its true lord was a man of honor and great reputation.
Well, who does not take to a little flattery? Please, Lord.
I've traveled many weeks just to admire it.
Reject our plea to sell us your riches, but do not deny my boyhood dream.
Well, I am generous and a loyal servant to the Church.
So, um you are welcome.
Put them in the slave quarters.
Stop looking impressed.
You will push up the price.
- Has he given the signal? - Lord.
Did you see that? There, look! It's the signal! Move your arses! Follow us along the rocks.
The rest of you stay here until I call for the ship.
Which one do you want? That one.
All yours.
Halt! Do not move! Are you there? Keep this way.
Backs against the wall.
Are you there? What do we do, Lord? Do we lift the gate? - It's worth a try.
- Come on, lift it! On my count, one, two, three! Come on! Put your back into it! Finan, stop.
It's too heavy.
Move! This is a mistake.
I was lost! - You were trying to steal away! - I was not! Why? Huh? Why? Get me those oars.
In there, Osferth.
Put your back into it! Come on! It's moving! Come on! Can you get under it, Lord? A little more.
Go on, Lord! Summon all to the yard.
Get up! Let them see how we get thieves to tell the truth.
Go on, Lord! Come on! Heave! Heave! He's got it! He's got it! He's got it! Yes! Yes! - Is it a trap? - Is it a trap we can fight our way out of? Again, who do you really serve? My flock and God himself! - You, what is your mission? - Simply to Must I kill another before I get the truth? Let the holy man go free.
He means you no harm! This one schemes against us, Father.
He is a spy.
We move on.
Who sent you? Hm? You can tell me.
Have the Scots allied with Aethelred? No recognition in his eyes, but his face is familiar somehow.
You are an imposter but for whom? Who are you? I am Uhtred of Bebbanburg! It is unwise to mock me.
Kill him.
- Guards - Silence! - Only I shall speak! - Get back! Well done! Do you know who I am? Hm? Do you know who I am? I am the true Lord of Bebbanburg! And I am taking it back! I have no fight with you.
Only this man is doomed.
Are you happy to see me, Uncle? Huh? I have waited a lifetime to avenge myself.
I will enjoy taking my time with you! Mm? No one else will suffer, if you swear loyalty.
None of you are my enemies.
You are men of Bebbanburg! And, as Lord of Bebbanburg, I will provide for and protect you! And this cruel shit, who has hated you and mistreated you, will die.
I've come home! Swear to me and you will have my oath.
Aidan you remember me? Who has your allegiance? I am loyal, to the true heir of Bebbanburg.
Bear witness all, the true heir of Bebbanburg! Who are you, boy? Wihtgar, son of Aelfric.
Very much alive and back at Bebbanburg as flesh and blood.
And I could kill you with this arrow in a heartbeat.
You can try.
The arrow would miss.
Then you know nothing of the weapons of the desert.
Put down the bow.
Put down the bow! You've lost everything, Osbert! I won't tell you again, put down the bow! A son does not always love a father.
Learn from that, fool.
Now, who's with me? Who is with Wihtgar of Bebbanburg? Get ready! Get ready to fight!
Previous EpisodeNext Episode