The Last Kingdom (2015) s04e04 Episode Script

Series 4, Episode 4

I am Uhtred, son of Uhtred.
My lifelong ambition to take back my birthright to Bebbanburg has ended in failure.
Beocca! He is with God now.
He is at peace.
While I struggle to come to terms with this devastating loss, Haesten has revealed the true cause of Ragnar's death.
Let me live and I'll tell you who gave the command.
- Speak.
- Cnut.
But Brida knows nothing of Cnut's treachery and prepares to ride into battle with him.
When the kings are dead, we will sit together on Alfred's throne.
Aethelred, blinded by lust and power, has foolishly invaded Daneland.
Cnut did not sail to Irland.
Haesten gave me false information.
- You must tell Aethelred the truth! - If I tell him the truth, he will kill me.
I will do all I can to soften the blow.
Aethelhelm's influence on Edward has caused conflict in Winchester.
These are my people.
I will not send them to be slaughtered while Cnut sets the terms of the battle! You will take a message to the Welsh King.
Aethelflaed is expecting an army.
We must deliver one.
I have taken Cnut's sons as my prisoners and brought them to Aethelflaed to be used as bait in the battle I know is to come.
Destiny is all! The monastery is two miles south.
I am not looking for the monastery.
- Saxons are not welcome here, Father.
- I know.
But I've urgent business with King Hywel.
- Are you Saxon? - Well, I was born a Briton.
You will only find trouble here, Brother.
You will find more than trouble if you do not let me pass.
Oh, Lord, grant us the knowledge of your power when it comes to pass that a man and wife may bring a child into this world.
They clothe him.
They cherish him, but God alone may know his fate.
These children were in darkness.
Now they are saved.
Bring them the light of your love, Lord God and let them walk as children of light.
Where are they? Why is she not ready? They mourn the dead.
than he who considers before his soul's departure how worthy he may be deemed after his death There is no time for this.
They are children, Uhtred.
Sons of Mercia's most revered men.
When did children become the cost of war? You did all that you could.
Now, come.
- They took their heads.
- All of them.
We must move off before the Danes know that you are here.
Not until they have been blessed! - Aethelflaed, please - Not until they have been blessed! Danes! The Danes are here, Lord! - They're heading towards the gates! - How many? Too many, Lord! Stay back, Aethelflaed.
Seeing you will inflame them.
Go! Upstairs now! - They got past the entrance! - Go.
We will hold them off.
Give me the Lady and you will not be slaughtered! Do not even consider it! - I will not have men murdered in my place! - I will not see you taken! You have the word of Cnut! He only wants Alfred's daughter! - Is there another way out? - No! - Can we get to the roof? - We would only get trapped.
- Let me bargain.
- Lady, you are the bargain.
We cannot just let death come to us.
I will not just wait for it.
What are we doing, Lord? The door will not hold! - Bring me Cnut's sons.
- Sihtric! Uhtred, you cannot.
There will be another way.
You must trust me and you must swear - to me you will stay here.
Swear to me! - Do not do this Where is she? Kill them all! Enough! Come and face me.
I have Cnut's sons.
You are lying.
Leave this place or I will cut their throats! Take a son of Cnut every Dane in this land will see it avenged! Yes and every Dane will come for you, too.
The blood of his child will be on your hands.
Do not play games.
Send them down now or all the men here will be killed.
Leave this place or I will cut off their heads! You harm them and every Saxon here dies! No! No! No! No! Leave! Or I will kill the other one also! Go! Now go! No! Stay down.
Look! Your brother's alive.
Cnut will hunt us as soon as he gets word I killed his boy.
- Surely we just show that they are alive? - Danes do not work like that.
We're now headed for battle.
What about the boys? Cut them free and let them run.
They've served their purpose.
And was the purpose to enrage a Danish army? It bought us time and allowed us to escape with our lives.
Fate wants to drag us to fight for the Saxons.
It was definitely fate that dragged us into all of this.
Uhtred had nothing to do with it.
I do not seek battles.
Battles just seem to seek me.
But you are right, I have unleashed a storm.
Cnut will find us.
This is now our fight.
It was our fight from the moment you took those boys from Haesten, Lord.
The men would be forgiven for abandoning me.
They like an adventure and they're loyal to a good leader.
As are you.
Which is the fastest road to Tettenhall? Do not fear the beast.
He's been fed.
- Does he like strangers? - Only when cooked.
You are from the boy king in Wessex? Why do you come crawling before us? Wessex would like to strike a bargain.
I do not make treaties with Saxons.
Nevertheless, we have an offer.
There is concern in Wessex about Cnut and his incursion into Mercia.
Alfred's actions have bitten Edward on the arse.
So? Cnut's army is slaughtering all in their path.
You are not friends to us, Father Pyrlig.
Why should any of this concern me? Because it brings a dangerous heathen to your border.
And yet, our borders are strong because we've been repelling Saxons for years.
As you know, Alfred wanted all the Christian kingdoms to unite.
Yes, under his banner, so we could all bow to him.
He wanted to conquer, not unite the faith.
Nevertheless that faith is now under threat.
We follow the same one God and share a common enemy.
You know that, Lord King.
And you know to repel Cnut now will save you bloodshed later, so, it is a bargain that works for both of us.
What are Edward's plans? Mercians are gathering at Tettenhall.
There are plans for Wessex to join them.
And what would I get in return, in this holy war against the pagans? And do not tell me recompense in heaven.
Celestial rewards do not build fortresses.
What is it you want? The spoils of battle, all of them, every last piece of Danish silver.
That is not a promise I have the authority to make.
You are here on Edward's orders, you must have his authority.
Do I have your promise, Father Pyrlig? Let him swear upon the book.
Eardwulf! What news of our troops in Lindcylne? The settlements that surround it are resisting, Lord, - but we will prevail.
- I should hope so.
I want all of East Anglia or our bargain does not hold.
It would be a shame for your family to go unrewarded.
After so much effort! He's like a pig rolling in shit.
Ask me nothing of the detail.
It was a favor to you, not to him.
It is enough that humping me has lifted his spirits.
So, you must tell him the news from Mercia.
- Perhaps I should delay - You cannot put it off.
I know you are afraid, but I have bought us some goodwill.
- I'm not afraid.
I'm just - You are afraid and so am I.
But I have done my part, brother.
Now you do yours.
- Do not let me win, Steapa.
- Lord, I am not.
What has happened? The settlements around Lindcylne have capitulated.
If you want to see some hands, it can be arranged.
And what's the bad news? You are clearly waiting to deliver bad news.
News has come from Edward, Lord King.
I regret to tell you that Cnut's armies have raided Mercia and taken your palace at Aegelesburg.
Is this the same Cnut that you told me was heading to Irland to help some feral cousin? Yes, Lord.
Because of whom I left my kingdom undefended? And now it is in ruins? There was no reason to mistrust the information.
My spy in the Danish camp was certain.
He swore it was true.
- Haesten is a close ally of - Did you say Haesten? - Yes, Lord.
He's a close - I know who he is! He is well known to be a liar! You are nothing but a rat's turd, who should never have been trusted with anything more than an ax! I pitied you gave your whore of a sister the chance to restore your family and this is how you repay me.
Only a fool would have trusted Haesten.
- I know, but I've made a plan to retake - My reputation will be ripped to shreds! We've had word from Lady Aethelflaed.
She will be at Tettenhall, where she plans to lure Cnut.
So now my wife is heading to battle before me so that she can be revered as the savior of my kingdom? How in the name of God is that supposed to cheer me? I'm just saying that there is a plan.
Lord, there is advantage in this, if you play it right, a chance to return to Mercia as the avenging hero.
Can the men get here by morning? Uh, yes, Lord.
I can send orders for them to return immediately.
- This could be your greatest triumph - You are finished, Eardwulf! Please do not execute me.
You will pray for execution.
When we return to Aegelesburg, I will publicly castrate you.
And your family will never prosper and your sister will never leave my bed.
Why have you sent Father Pyrlig to Wealas? Do not lie to me, Mother.
We have spies in every court from here to Rome! Hywel has Danes, rampaging near his borders.
It is only right for Pyrlig to alert him to it.
Have you asked Hywel for help? That is unforgiveable.
I had to do something! Your sister has thrown herself into the lion's mouth.
I challenge any mother to act differently.
You are not just any mother.
You are the mother of a king.
Cnut wants us to march on his terms.
It is a trap you have walked into.
But Hywel is a Christian, and God wants us to be united.
Hywel serves no one but his own people.
In going to him, you have made Wessex look divided.
Cnut will hear of it and think we are weak! Yes, but I want my daughter safe.
Then you should have persuaded her to stay in Wessex.
My men would not forgive me for chasing my sister into a hopeless battle.
And yet you know they'll also revile you for letting her die.
Like it or not, Aethelflaed has forced your hand.
So I trade the life of Wessex soldiers for my own honor? That is what soldiers are there for, to do the King's bidding Yes, but not the bidding of the King's mother.
Besides, it is too late.
Aethelflaed's fyrds are marching.
You had word of that and did not tell me? You were elsewhere, making other plans.
If you wanted men to speak your name in awe, believe me, this was not the way.
I want all of these defenses finished by sunset.
- Yes, My Lord.
- Good.
We are so close, Brida to everything we ever wanted.
Lands for our people to settle in for generations.
Cnut? Yes.
- There's something - Ah.
It's Bjorgulf, returning with Alfred's little bitch.
Where is Aethelflaed? She escaped.
How did this happen? Tell us.
Uhtred Ragnarson is in Aegelesburg.
He had your sons with him.
Haesten appears to have traded them for his life.
Tell me that my sons live.
I will not harm you.
Just tell me the news.
Uhtred beheaded your eldest son.
He would have killed Esgar had we not left.
No! Why? Why? I want Uhtred Ragnarson taken immediately! - No.
- No one sleeps until he is found! No! This will be paid for in blood, but we cannot let it distract us.
Avenging my child is not a distraction! Jackdaw! Cnut, I share your grief and your anger.
The gods know I do.
Please do not let Uhtred lure you into a fight.
He's not the priority.
He killed my firstborn And Esgar is still with him! - If I have no heir, all of this - Cnut.
- All of this is for nothing! - Cnut.
Do not give up our battle position! It does not matter where we fight! We have a thousand warriors! - Jackdaw! Prepare the men to march! - I will.
And send men ahead to find them! We will follow now! - Cnut - Leave me! This way is foolishness, Cnut! You find him, Jackdaw! You got a numb arse there? You get used to a numb arse kneeling through church all day.
It's a damp arse that kills you.
What do you think will happen when we face the Danes? A numb arse will be the least of our problems.
- We're good fighters.
- When we are all fit to fight.
I have fought alongside your father for a while now.
And he tends to come up with something at the last minute.
And many men are loyal to Aethelflaed, even at their own cost.
And no doubt the pair of them are devising a battle plan to save us all.
Not here.
Not with them so close.
You would deny yourself the day before a fight? It gives me strength.
What if you die on the battlefield? I will not die, because God favors those with goodness in their hearts.
I believe the gods play with us.
And we do not know their reasons or what is destined for us.
But tonight, I will believe what you believe.
I thought your destiny was Bebbanburg.
I thought that.
For so long.
But now I ask myself why I failed there.
I know there is a plan for me, yet I do not know what it is.
Only that it leads me to you.
And Finan is right.
I chose to be here, so, that must mean something.
It means that you care for the fate of Mercia and the Saxons.
Now you sound like your father.
He only used me for his own wishes.
Yes, he was a wise man, and I tried to follow in his path.
So, perhaps then, I, too, should only use you for my wishes.
Edward come and rest.
God is guiding you.
I know it.
Do not turn away from all of your family.
I know your son would like to see you.
He often speaks fondly of you.
A child without its father's guidance will grow weak.
Which is why I endeavor to seek the Lord's help.
So if you would leave me in peace.
There's no point disturbing him.
He is still deep in prayer.
He does not need divine guidance.
He just needs to listen to those of us that know the cost of battle.
His mother's been advising him.
I'm afraid that's not all she's been doing.
Lady Aelswith was seen visiting Edward's bastard at the monastery.
I am told she arranged a reunion between the boy and his mother.
Why? What business has she showing kindness to a whore and her offspring? I do not know.
But a rumor persists that their marriage was legitimate.
A false rumor.
But still one that could endanger my son, when the time comes.
I trust you are keeping your husband satisfied.
Another son would strengthen our position.
I try to, Father, but he is not as attentive as he once was.
The matters of Kingship weigh heavy on him.
Then you must try harder because it is clear that Lady Aelswith is following a plan of her own.
Then you must do something to stop her, before she turns the King from me and my son! I will do what I must.
Trust me.
I have not come this far to be thwarted by a bitter widow.
Um Is this the place? Yes.
I'm not sure I can see Edward's camp.
I'm not sure I can see anyone.
He will be here.
I sent word that the fyrds should gather in the woods.
I will ready them for battle before my brother arrives.
Men! - That is not a fyrd.
- And they are not Mercian.
You do not look like Christians.
We are men from Wealas, loyal to King Hywel.
Are you an ally or an enemy of Mercia? We are here to fight Cnut, Lady.
And best The Dane as we have bested the Saxon for so many years.
And the fyrds? I put them under the command of the little bald priest.
I am not bald! I'm certainly not little! Father Pyrlig! I do not understand? He rode to Wealas to beg King Hywel for his army.
Edward sent him to find allies.
I knew he would not abandon me! No, Lady.
It was your mother who sent me.
I have had no word from the King.
Then we fight with what we have.
- It's good to see you, Pyrlig.
- You, too, Lord Uhtred.
Finan! Sihtric! - Father Pyrlig! - It's good to see you are alive.
Even with these Welshmen, we may not be enough.
I know you have summoned Cnut, but you can still turn away with honor.
No one would condemn you for leaving an unfair fight.
I do not fight for honor, Uhtred.
I fight because someone must make a stand against Cnut even though I am forbidden.
As a sister, I am defiant, but as a daughter of Alfred, I am just doing my duty.
Even if it wasn't made for me, I can't blindly follow the King's command.
That is something I understand.
Yet I cannot believe he has left me to face this without him.
I thought, somehow, he would find it in his heart.
What do I tell my men? Tell them your brother is close behind us.
They must believe we have a chance.
We've heard from Uhtred and the Lady Aethelflaed.
Where are they? They're waiting for you at a place called Tettenhall.
We go? It mocks the gods to give away the advantage! I will have my revenge.
There are worse places to defend.
With a few more men, we would stand a chance.
Follow me.
It is prepared.
Will it work? I do not know.
They're coming.
Get into position! Follow me! Mercians to the woods! To the woods! If this fails and there is no escape for you promise me you will find a man you trust to kill you softly.
I have already picked a man.
Be merciful to me, oh God! When I am afraid, I will trust in You.
In God whose word I praise.
In God I trust.
I will not be afraid.
What can a man do to me? Nothing.
For you have delivered my soul from death and my feet from stumbling that I may walk before God.
Something isn't right.
Die! Die! No! Wait! Hold back! Now charge! With me! It's a trick! Where is he? Give me your hand! Pull! Uhtred! Uhtred, I will cut you into pieces, you murderous coward! Father! No shame in having a Dane atop you, but, honestly, I've seen prettier.
The ridge, Father! It's Aethelred! Can they reach us? Charge! Who fights alongside Aethelflaed? The Mercian fyrds, her husband, even the Welsh.
Christians united.
And without Wessex to lead them forward.
It's the Lady Aethelflaed! - There she is! - Surround her! There are too many of them.
Get her! Aldhelm.
Withdraw! You will not take her from us! You do not have the courage.
Aldhelm, you must.
Since you are Alfred's daughter, I'll let you choose which of us humps you first.
- Aldhelm, please.
- I can't.
I can't.
You Saxons have Lord King! Stay close! Hold fast, men! Hold your lines! They are fleeing to the forest! Stop them! Uhtred! What the My Lord! My Lord! Push on, men to victory! Uhtred! Finally.
Fight me.
Fight me! Murderer! You killed my firstborn.
You killed my boy! Why? It was fair revenge for Ragnar! Ragnar! Ragnar was weak and I needed him to die! But my son my son was innocent! Brida Give me your seax! Give me your seax! You sent Aethelwold to kill Ragnar? Because Because we're destined to be together.
You know this.
Please, my love.
Your boys live.
The body your man saw was a Mercian, killed by Danish hands.
- Both both survive? - Both.
But you will not live to see them grow old.
You should not have trusted him.
Keep up! Send me to Valhalla.
They will take you as a prisoner.
That's worse than death.
Please, I cannot be a slave.
Let me die with honor here on the battlefield.
You owe me that, Uhtred.
I want to be with Ragnar.
Please, Uhtred.
Take the pagan bitch! Brida.
King Hywel, you have done all Christians proud.
It is an honor to meet you.
And I am pleased you were able to make the battle, Lord.
Well, we would not have won without you and your men.
I am most grateful.
And your generous rewards are appreciated.
Your priest conveyed to me your kind offer of the spoils of battle.
Of course.
It is the least your bravery deserves.
May it strengthen our new union.
As we are united in faith let us be united in prosperity and security! I promise you, we shall feast tonight! There will be no alliance and no more favors.
The people of Wealas do not need Saxon help.
The Lord favored us.
I've just sent Brida to her doom.
It is battle.
What matters is we both survived and Mercia is safe.
- My Lord King.
- My Lord.
My Lord - He dares to walk amongst the fallen? - Do not.
There has been enough fighting.
Your men need you.
Lady, the triumph is all yours.
You led us to a great victory they will speak of for years to come.
And I thank you I am alive to see it.
I probably wasn't the man for that task.
Edward, thank you.
If it were not for you, I would be amongst the dead.
I came despite my better judgment.
I do not take your defiance lightly.
- Yes, but surely it was a great victory.
- With a great loss of many men.
Steapa is dead.
- No.
- Yes.
The man who has stood since our childhood like a giant oak.
He stood with our father, then with us.
Now he's been taken in a battle of your making, sacrificed for your husband's ambition and for yours.
No, I have no ambition.
You seek to be loved by all chronicled for your bravery, no matter if it costs the blood of men.
- That is not true.
- Yes, it is.
You've chosen Mercia over the kingdom of Alfred.
I suggest you do not return south for a long time.
You should not exile me from Winchester.
I fear you would not be welcome there, Lady.
The widows of these men will not forgive you easily.
Still, you may receive adoration in this place.
It may be some compensation.
None of this was done for anything but love of my country! Come away from this place, Lord King.
I have been made to look a fool unable to reward my own men, paying tribute to the Welsh.
This will be made right.
What excuses did he make for his cowardice? He wanted to avoid bloodshed for his men.
Which created more bloodshed.
- I have to speak with him.
- No! At least not now.
The Danes are defeated.
Let us just enjoy the peace just for one night.
I will do as you ask just for one night.
Let us go, take advantage of the chaos.
- He can believe you died in battle.
- No.
I have half killed myself fighting.
I will find him and I will beg him.
He will never forgive us for what we have done.
It is over for us, brother.
Clear a path! Move! Stand aside! Lord Aethelred is wounded.
Fetch a healer!
Previous EpisodeNext Episode