The Last Kingdom (2015) s04e03 Episode Script

Series 4, Episode 3

I am Uhtred, son of Uhtred.
After many long and patient years, I have journeyed north to take back my birthright.
- So, Bebbanburg's weakened.
- For now.
I have reunited with my son and we have begun to forge a bond.
Uhtred, you see these two monks? They're leaving for Bebbanburg.
- Follow them.
- I will try and do as you need.
And my life-long friend Beocca has joined us on this mission.
You came to help me be a better father.
Well, there is that.
In Mercia, Lord Aethelred's military commander Eardwulf has sought an alliance.
I heard there was a Dane willing to betray his kinsfolk for money.
Perhaps we are fated to work together Lord Arse-licker.
Aethelred has now left his stronghold Aegelesburg undefended and vulnerable.
In Wessex, pressure mounts on King Edward to intervene.
Edward, you must not delay.
- Enough! I will decide how to respond to this affront and when! And while the Saxons are in turmoil [FINAN.]
Go, go, go! my men and I have Bebbanburg within our grasp.
But we aren't prepared for what lies ahead.
You have lost everything Osbert.
Put down the bow.
Destiny is all.
My father's weakness drew you here as it drew me.
He could not hold his lands, so I have put him out of his misery.
Your men, to the wall.
Be ready.
Move! Have faith.
Your father has escaped worse than this.
Your father stole these lands from me, when I was a boy! And he allowed the Scots to ravage them! If you want men to call you the true lord of Bebbanburg earn it! Come down and fight me like a man! I hold the fortress! I have no need to fight you.
Wihtgar! Lord! You do not know me.
I was your father's priest.
I knew his strength and his flaws.
This enmity was of his making! You have settled that! Now let us make peace.
You are cousins! Let this be a new beginning.
Unite against your common foe.
Together, you can defeat the Scots, secure your land, for the sake of your children.
For all Saxons.
You have spent too long in Winchester, priest.
And you have forgotten the north.
We do not seek peace.
You are a stranger here, Uhtred Ragnarson.
But I am wiser than my father.
I will not leave a rival alive to challenge my birthright or my bloodline.
I will kill you, Uhtred.
But first - you will watch the death of your boy.
- No! And all the fools who followed you to your doom.
Don't! Finan, drop your swords! Now! - [BEOCCA GASPS.]
This is the end, Uhtred.
Your name will be forgotten.
- [GASPS.]
Uhtred Beocca! [SCREAMS.]
No! - [UHTRED.]
Make for the ship! They came from the sea gate.
Destroy their ship! [UHTRED WAILS.]
Wihtgar's gone to the walls! They'll try to sink the ship! Lord! - No, Lord! No! - [ROARS.]
You cannot take him! All the men will die if you do not go now.
- [PANTS.]
- Uhtred, please! [PAINED ROAR.]
- Watch out! - [YELLING.]
Lord, we must go! Lord, he's gone! Come on! [YELLING AND GRUNTING.]
Aim for their ship! [CATAPULT CREAKS.]
Untie the ship! Osferth, untie the ship! [GUARD.]
Release! We need to leave soon! Get in the boat! [ALL GROAN.]
We need to get away! Osferth, start bailing! Where is Uhtred? - They're over there! - We need to go now! [FINAN.]
Get going! - Go! - Get in the boat! Lord! We don't have time! Uhtred, hurry! They'll try to sink the bastard boat! - [YOUNG UHTRED.]
Come on, Father! - [FINAN.]
Ready the oars! - [SIHTRIC.]
Easy! - [FINAN.]
Pull! [AIDAN.]
Do we follow them? [WIHTGAR.]
He has failed.
He will not last the night.
- [FINAN.]
Pull! Pull! - Pull! - [THUNDER RUMBLES.]
Pull! Pull! [EDWARD.]
If we move forward with this, we stand a chance against Cnut's army.
Father Pyrlig, you have news from Mercia? Does Cnut march on Wessex? Cnut has left Aegelesburg and is camped near Tameworthig.
And Aethelred? Do we know where he has gone? Aethelred has ridden into Daneland and ravages East Anglia.
He has left his lands undefended and allowed Cnut to shatter the peace.
His ambition is madness.
And Christian men and women in Mercia are dying for it.
With Aethelred gone, they expect your aid, Lord King.
Cnut has not set a camp at Tameworthig to pillage.
He's cleverer than we imagined.
For years, he has watched us building burhs in Wessex.
This assault is a provocation to draw us out into the open and Cnut has chosen the place where he means to fight.
There is high ground near Tameworthig.
If he waits there and we come to him, he will defeat us.
We must fight him, Lord King.
- Mercia burns like a lighted fart.
- That is Aethelred's responsibility.
Lord King.
We have delayed too long already.
When do you ride? My people suffer, Edward, men who fought alongside Wessex many times.
I know it! But you ask me to risk ten sons of Wessex to save ten sons of Mercia.
These are my people.
I will not send them to be slaughtered while Cnut sets the terms of the battle! - And your duty to your allies, my Lord? - I am King of Wessex.
I am sworn to protect it.
Your father was crowned King of Wessex, but he always sought to unite the Christian peoples.
In spirit, he was King of all Saxons.
My father is not here.
Aethelred must return.
Father Pyrlig, you will dispatch messengers to find him.
Steapa will ready our guards.
When our armies are united, we will face Cnut together.
By the time Aethelred returns, there will be no Mercia to defend.
This is your decision? It is.
You will not oppose it.
Edward! The Ealdormen remain in Aegelesburg? - Any that were not killed in the attack.
- Aethelflaed Edward betrays his father's memory.
He acts in the interests of Wessex.
Perhaps my father would've done the same.
Never! I am Mercian.
I was married to Alfred to knit the two kingdoms together, as you were to Aethelred.
If Mercia falls, then Wessex stands alone against the Danes.
My duty is now to Mercia, not Wessex.
If there is anything I can do, I must do it.
I must go to Aegelesburg to summon the Mercian fyrds.
Edward will see this as defiance betrayal.
Edward is not my king.
And you will throw yourself into the path of the Danes? Aethelflaed, you are a target! You'll be killed or held for ransom and not for the first time! There is no one else to go.
You must not tell Edward I am gone until I have left Winchester.
Promise me.
Then you must choose a place for the fyrds to assemble.
There is a valley in Tettenhall, where lesser numbers might stand a chance.
This is where you must force the Danes to fight.
The fyrds will not be enough.
I will need Edward's aid.
When you're gone, I will speak to him.
Your brother will not abandon you.
Edward will be there.
- [CNUT.]
What do you have for me, Bjorgulf? - The head of a Saxon turd.
So, another village burns in Mercia! - [CNUT ROARS.]
The smell of Saxon blood stiffens our warriors for battle! But I hope not your cock.
I have no choice here, but to act the part of his whore.
He tries to dress me to make me his property.
I swear, I detest the man.
Come with me.
I have news that will put the King in better spirits.
I gave you a gift.
Why are you not wearing it? Am I not beautiful enough without it? On the surface.
What do you want? For you, Lord King.
Ripped from the hands of an ugly Dane named Ulf.
We've taken Lindcylne.
Word will spread.
And Edward will hear of it.
He will hear that your kingdom grows greater than Wessex.
That you have taken what Alfred never could.
While Edward looks like a weak and timid boy.
You have done well, Eardwulf.
You will be rewarded.
I only ask that I retain command of your armies, Lord King.
And to restore my family's name.
To lift your decree that every generation be born into disgrace.
Take all of East Anglia and I shall consider it.
You are generous, Lord King.
My brother and I will withdraw to pray for your swift victory.
You may go.
For now.
Lord? Uhtred, the men are tired and hungry.
There's nothing here.
We must move on.
Where shall we go? [FINAN.]
Somewhere with a fire, an alehouse or a whorehouse that would raise the spirits, eh? I must go back.
I must retrieve his body.
No, Uhtred, you cannot.
Retrieving his body means nothing now.
His journey in this world has ended.
He is left with thieves and traitors! He should lie beside Thyra where his friends can grieve.
Instead, I led him to die among strangers.
I've lost every family I had.
Beocca was always there the only constant.
Without Beocca, I have no home.
His death is on my hands.
I failed him.
Bless you, Sihtric.
Where is Uhtred? He walks alone.
I fear his spirit is broken.
The day Uhtred is broken is the day you grow hair down there, Osferth.
It'll never come.
Now, he lost a friend and grieves him as we all do.
He told me we must return south.
Well, come on.
We'll need horses and provisions for the journey.
Buy what you can.
There's a village beyond the ridge.
Try not to spend it all on women.
Frigga, tell me I'm not deceived that the curse is lifted.
He grows inside me.
- Any word of the Saxon armies? - Not yet.
We will burn every village in Mercia until Edward comes to fight.
There's a limit to the suffering the boy king can allow his fellow Christians to bear and we will exceed it.
- Your sons should be here to see this.
- Haesten will keep them safe.
All my children will inherit everything.
And I will slaughter Edward and Aethelred's armies here.
And when the kings are dead, we will sit together on Alfred's throne.
- That is my promise to you.
- Mm.
Do it for Ragnar.
We do this in his memory.
For Ragnar.
Lady Aelswith.
Lord Aethelhelm.
You have heard? Cnut burns villages from Tofeceaster to Fagranford.
He defiles our holy places and slaughters our priests.
Because I wait for the right moment, it does not mean I do not care.
- Edward, I must talk - [CLEARS THROAT.]
My daughter called at the nunnery today.
You said the Lady Aethelflaed had withdrawn there for reflection? She had.
Then she misled you.
She's not there.
Concerned for your sister I asked Steapa to make further inquiries.
The Lady was seen leaving Winchester.
Where is Aethelflaed? Mother! Where has she gone? She has gone to Mercia.
This cannot be true.
I am sorry, Edward, but what was I to do? I am of Mercia.
And by marriage, so is Aethelflaed.
We could not leave the people to die.
She defied me and you defy me.
I only wish to counsel you to follow the Christian path, as I did your father.
You think I do not fear my God? I know you have true faith.
But the burden of kingship is heavy.
I have experience, Edward.
I can share it.
I have given instructions that we will fight Cnut on our terms, when we are prepared and have the best chance of victory! Now Aethelflaed has walked directly into Cnut's trap! She puts the men of Wessex and all the Christian kingdoms at risk! I demand you call her back.
You will show loyalty to your king.
I cannot swear loyalty to a plan that is misguided! Aethelflaed will summon the Mercian fyrds to Tettenhall.
You must join her.
Lord, forgive my sins for they are all very grave.
Whoever fears you, Lord God, knows that is your will and you'll show that man just [UHTRED.]
Stop this nonsense! I pray for Father Beocca.
Please allow the soul of Father Beocca to rise to heaven Get up! You think he needs your words, hm? Do you think I need them? I know you blame me for his death.
I am told your God gives mercy.
Where is he? Where is he? I've never seen him.
It is not my God that you hate but the fact that I am not you.
Are you all right? He does not want me! You know, I will return to the church.
And that's what you want, is it? To run away? I remind him of his defeat and of Father Beocca's sacrifice.
Oh! The blindness of youth.
Uhtred is a warrior and a father.
It was his job to save you and he could not.
That's what eats at him.
As a warrior perhaps, but not as a father.
- He has never been a father.
- Because he was absent? Do you know how many battles he's fought? How many times he's sworn oaths and risked his life for your Christian kings at the cost of his own hopes and comfort? I met your father as a slave, when we had nothing.
Now, you look at what you lack, not what he has given to others.
He fights for Bebbanburg, not for himself, but for you to give you the legacy he never had.
I swear he is a great man and his blood runs in your veins.
You should be proud to follow him.
The men can no longer go on wandering in the wilderness like this.
They will need silver.
There'll be opportunity to earn it.
We're warriors.
There's always battles to fight.
To fight, men need a lord who can lead them into battle without fear.
I'm tired.
My reputation is waning.
These men depend on you.
I know what you do, Finan.
I know what you say to them.
I'm finished with battles.
I thought that my destiny was to return to my home.
I have not.
I have lost my lands.
I've lost my name.
I can no longer call myself Uhtred of Bebbanburg.
I am nothing.
If men want to leave me, you should let them go.
I can no longer be their lord.
Is there word of Aethelflaed? No.
She forces my hand.
This is not the vision of England that I swore to protect.
Yet, these events could work to your advantage and serve your father's vision.
Let the Lord of Mercia return to defend his wife and lands.
They say Aethelred has 400 men in East Anglia, no match for Cnut's.
So, the battle will remove the problem of King Aethelred.
Once Aethelred is gone you will defeat Cnut and unite the kingdoms.
Edward will fulfill Alfred's dream.
By sacrificing Mercia? And my sister? Your father knew that uniting the kingdoms could not come without a cost.
And your sister has chosen her own fate.
Beocca would not want you to starve or stay destroyed by grief.
He held me on the ramparts, when Earl Ragnar rode to Bebbanburg with the head of my brother.
When my father named me Uhtred in his stead and told me to die for Bebbanburg [BREATHES HEAVILY.]
Beocca was at my side.
He put me into the water to baptize me.
He held me underneath it for so long I nearly drowned while he prayed to his God.
He saved my life as a boy and as a man many times.
He was like a father.
Hey, it's all right.
He'll have no grave no place blessed by his god.
He is with God now.
And with your sister.
He is at peace.
Hm? I'm sure he'd be touched how you mourn for him while we're stuck in the middle of nowhere.
But if he were here now, he would tell you this is not the end.
- We will gather more men.
We will return with an army and batter down the gates.
What brings you here? I ride from Wessex with a message from King Edward.
You may tell it to me.
I have instructions to deliver it to Lord Aethelred and him only.
I command the King's Guard.
No doubt you've heard stories about the King, about his delicate temperament.
I'm telling you he does not wish to be disturbed, so, if you want to test it Cnut's armies have attacked Mercia.
The Lord's estate has fallen.
The heart of Mercia is gone.
They've taken everything? [GRUNTS.]
It is Haesten.
Where is he going? He's with his kinfolk.
He'll not want to fight.
Uhtred Ragnarson! [CHUCKLES.]
I thought I could smell something rotten on the air! We should kill him now, Lord, while we have the chance.
I've had enough of fighting Danes, even weasels like Haesten.
Uhtred and his pretty boys looking so sad and far from home.
Why? It's none of your concern.
I suppose, once more, you ride out to save the Lady Aethelflaed.
Continue if you like, Uhtred.
It seems fate has brought us together again.
Your men look like ragged dogs in need of meat and we have plenty.
We camp here tonight.
Join us.
Haesten's men say Cnut and Brida have attacked Mercia.
I knew they did not sail for Irland.
Edward and Aethelred will need us now.
I owe them nothing.
And Aethelflaed? It is true, I fear for her.
Join me.
There was a rumor you had gone north to regain your lands.
Are you here with your tail between your legs? Your men say the Danes have gone to war, yet you are here, playing nursemaid.
What happened, Haesten? Have they cut off your balls? [CHUCKLES.]
What can I say? I'm a family man.
I do not see your fat wife.
She died.
- Oh, did she? - Mm.
As you know, I once had the desire to claim Mercia and Wessex for my own.
But that did not go well for me.
And now, like you, Uhtred, I only want a woman to hump and a piece of land to call my own.
I had both, in Skade and Beamfleot until you took them away from me.
How is Aethelflaed? In my experience, the bitch has never known when to lie down.
No doubt she'll be riding into battle with Cnut with her silly husband and her pretty brother.
And you have always been there to save her, Uhtred.
But not now.
She does not need me.
That's not what I heard.
How is she? To bed? I imagine she squeals, like a big fat pig.
Come on, Uhtred! We were having a nice dinner.
Of course, I would slit her throat after she'd been ridden! [PANTS.]
Wait, Uhtred.
She's too well used to fight over.
Now I will kill you! [SWORDS CLANG.]
Wait, wait, wait! There is something I can give you.
The name of the man that killed Ragnar Huh? - Aethelwold! - No.
He held the dagger, but another whispered poison into his ear.
Let me live and I'll tell you who gave the command.
He wanted to lead the Danes [BREATHES HEAVILY.]
and he wanted Ragnar's woman who used to be yours.
He told Aethelwold that Ragnar would kill him.
He guided the blade [INHALES.]
into Ragnar's heart.
These are Cnut's sons hm? [BREATHES HEAVILY.]
You can go.
You will leave Cnut's bastards behind.
I'm tired of the red-headed runts.
You can take them.
- Of course Cnut will hear of this.
Finan! - [FINAN.]
- Tie them up! - [ESGAR.]
Let go! - Come on.
Jesus! [GRUNTS.]
No, no, no! Where are you going? Where are you going? [BOYS GRUNT.]
Cnut's sons? I thought you did not want to be a part of this war.
Brother? - What have you done? - [PANTS.]
I had to or all is lost.
The rider came from Wessex.
Edward sends word to Aethelred.
Cnut did not sail to Irland.
The Danes have sacked Aegelesburg and taken Mercia.
Then you were tricked.
Yes, the Dane Haesten gave me false information.
And Aethelred left Mercia undefended upon my advice.
You see now why he cannot receive this message.
But if Aethelred loses Mercia, then we lose our position! You think I do not see that? Do you think I can bear to return to nothing? [BOTH BREATHE HEAVILY.]
But there is benefit in delaying our return.
If the Lady Aethelflaed throws herself into the path of the Danes, it will leave a path open for you.
I've no need of a husband who used to be king! You must tell Aethelred the truth and persuade him to defend his kingdom.
If I tell him the truth, he will kill me.
I will do all I can to soften the blow.
Leave us.
Be careful, lady.
Like you I'm tired of caution.
What will you do with the boys? [UHTRED.]
We will take them to Aethelflaed in Mercia.
I remember watching you ride out from Winchester before you fought at the battle of Fearnham.
I remember.
Your mother was there.
It was the last time I saw her.
I still see her in my dreams.
But then I wake and she's gone again.
I feel her loss also every day.
That day I asked her why you left us.
And she said you fought, because you believed in a cause not for God, or the gods or for Saxons, or for Danes.
But to keep safe the people that you love.
She said that is why you will always have the strength to stand up when others fall and to go on when those around you say it is hopeless.
It is why these men love you and will follow you wherever you go.
As will I.
Lady Aethelflaed.
How many remain here? Where is the king? We will find you food.
Search for survivors and bring them here.
We should not delay here.
The Danes could return.
I know.
I have summoned the Mercian fyrds.
They are marching to Tettenhall.
Cnut will pay for this bloodshed.
My husband valued loyalty.
I have been loyal.
- At least as far as I can remember.
- But he was also practical.
If he saw a person make the wrong decision he took action to correct it.
Edward's rule in Wessex is vulnerable and Mercia has been left undefended by its king.
Wessex needs our protection and the support of all our Christian allies.
You will take a message to the Welsh king, Hywel.
Lady, you are Edward's kin.
If I disobey him, - he will string me up in the marketplace! - I know what I ask.
But you have sworn an oath to God, Father.
What use is your mortal life if you disobey your conscience for fear of man's vengeance? You and I must protect the faith, Father Pyrlig.
Aethelflaed is expecting an army.
We must deliver one.
So, the Lady Aethelflaed has returned to Mercia.
Do you think she's alone? If she is, the rest of the Saxons will not be far behind.
Take her and they are in our power.
You will find Aethelflaed and you will bring her to me.
Horsemen! - Wake the Lady Aethelflaed now.
- Lord.
Uhtred! What are you doing here? You two, get those boys off the horses.
Why are you not at Bebbanburg? What happened? - Where are the guards? - [SIGHS.]
You see all we have.
Uhtred, who are those boys? You should not be here without a guard.
Where should I be? Decorating Edward's palace? My place is in Mercia! [BREATHES HEAVILY.]
What have you done, Uhtred? They are Cnut's heirs.
Then Cnut will hear of this and he will come for you.
So, you must get the boys to your armies.
Where are they? Aethelred is in East Anglia with his men.
I have ordered the Mercian fyrd to Tettenhall, and I believe Edward will meet us there, then we will summon Cnut to fight.
So, you've put yourself in danger.
I do not know if Aethelred is coming and I had to force Edward's hand.
You should not be here undefended.
- Lord.
- We leave at first light.
Aldhelm, prepare the survivors.
We march to Tettenhall at dawn.
Every man must be put to watch.
- [SIGHS.]
Every man to the ramparts! [EXCITED CHATTERING IN BACKGROUND.]
Uhtred, what happened at Bebbanburg? [UHTRED SNIFFLES.]

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