The Last Kingdom (2015) s04e07 Episode Script

Series 4, Episode 7

1 I am Uhtred, son of Uhtred.
After the battle at Tettenhall, Brida has been captured and enslaved - in Wealas.
Aethelred's death has left Mercia with an empty throne and many vying for influence.
As you know, Lady Aelfwynn is dear to me.
I should like her to be betrothed to a man I trust.
Could you be such a man, Eardwulf? [UHTRED.]
With Aelfwynn's hand in marriage, Eardwulf was to become ruler of Mercia.
They cast me aside, treat my child as a bag of silver.
But I was compelled to disrupt their plans and took Aelfwynn into hiding.
Find me 12 men to leave immediately.
If Wessex is incapable, we'll find the fugitives ourselves.
Rumors of fever break out in the land - [SPLUTTERS.]
- bringing fear and desperation.
People are abandoning their villages.
It ravages worse than any Dane invader.
Two of my grandchildren travel on open ground in time of sickness.
Eadith betrayed her brother to protect Lady Aelfwynn.
He murdered Lord Aethelred! I witnessed it! But she has been struck by illness and may not survive.
I fear she's getting worse.
We must return to Aegelesburg, reveal Eardwulf's treachery.
And we tell him what kind of a man he trusted.
A new ruler must be found to bring peace, or all will be lost.
Destiny is all! [INTENSE VOCALIZING.]
In nomine Patris, et Filii, et Spiritus Sancti In nomine Patris, et Filii, et Spiritus Sancti [SOMBER VOCALIZING.]
In nomine Patris [CROWD MURMURING.]
- Ignore it.
- Such disrespect.
I wasn't fond of Aethelred, but he was Lord here.
A curse upon the line of Aethelred! [WHISPERS.]
Quickly! - You will get me executed.
- You've survived so far.
Can you hide them? She's my daughter.
And he's the King's bastard.
- What? - Do not ask.
It is just until I can get Edward to listen.
I fear we are beyond that.
This place is like a tinder waiting for a spark.
Which is why I need you to help me.
Thank you.
Come on, this way.
Curse upon the line of Aethelred! Is this defiance caused by hunger? - Hunger, fever, a lack of leadership.
How long will the grain last? That depends on how much the Ealdormen have kept for themselves.
May God forgive you! Lord Burgred speaks against me yet again.
Ignore the chatter.
Truly dangerous men do not issue threats.
Look at them.
I know that look.
You have no plan.
I have a plan.
Shame on you! We tell the Ealdorman we'll kill their lord.
Forgive me, but there is news.
The Ealdormen have called their Witan for after the funeral.
Why was I not informed? They say you do not need to know and that you may not enter the Witan.
Pater noster qui es in caelis.
May your name be hallowed.
May your will be done What has happened here? Slaughter, betrayal and now ambition.
So, when they come to kill you, - what would you like me to do? - They will not kill me.
I am the only one who knows where Aelfwynn hides.
We will strike a deal.
- The King cannot be trusted.
He calls himself leader of all Saxons, yet he-he schemes against us to make us submissive! We will ask him to explain himself.
So he can lie about Lady Aelfwynn, as he lied about her mother? The time has come to take a bolder step! Isolating ourselves from Wessex would serve Mercia no better than King Edward's tyranny! - Then let us put it to the Witan! - Who would [CLAMORING STOPS.]
Please, continue.
The Witan is closed to all but Mercians.
I am Mercian in blood through my mother.
Lord, no.
We must be able to speak freely.
I do not deny that.
I come merely to listen to your discussions.
You were saying I lied about Lady Aelfwynn? Everyone knows Eardwulf hunts her on the road.
Yes, to bring her here to safety.
We are waiting until the sickness passes and Eardwulf and Lady Aelfwynn return.
That seems an unwise thing to say.
You said we could speak freely and I say this is lies! [WITAN SHOUTING.]
Lord Burgred, remember who I am.
You move in your troops, leader of the Mercian Guard disappears, so yet again we cannot defend ourselves.
Then suddenly, from nowhere, a fever closes the city - and starves the people! - Burgred! You go too far! You cannot be suggesting I created this situation.
The people are hungry because you hoard the grain! We hoard it so it cannot fatten Wessex fighters.
- Enough! Enough! - [WITAN MURMURING.]
- The outlaw returns! - No outlaw.
Just a man who's seen enough conflict in Mercia.
Let me speak.
I am Lord Uhtred, who, with Lady Aethelflaed, has led Mercian fyrds to victory against the Danes at Tettenhall.
I spilled blood for you.
I ask that you listen to me in return.
Lord Uhtred, explain to these people Lady Aelfwynn is safe and about to return for her betrothal.
She is safe, but she cannot be betrothed.
Eardwulf has confessed to the murder of Lord Aethelred - and he has fled Mercia.
Ignore the heathen! He's just a troublemaker! Why do you seek to humiliate Mercia with these outrageous lies? It is no lie.
Eardwulf has near confessed it before his men.
This was found on him.
It belonged to Lord Aethelred and was stolen from his dying hand.
Eardwulf has done many things to harm Mercia.
You all chose to turn your eyes from it.
This is the consequence.
What is it? - I'm not going to tell you.
- Is it wormwood? It will not work.
I've heard it kills men.
Poison can sometimes be a cure.
Mixed with holy water, it will cool the fever.
Look at her.
She is dying.
If she does, we will be blamed.
There's sickness everywhere, Eadith.
Yes, and who gets accused? Sinners, people like me.
You have not been shunned as I have.
- I will not take the risk.
And I thought you were amongst the bravest of warriors.
Now she and I are bothdoomed.
Aelfwynn? [SIGHS.]
Where is my niece, Uhtred? We know you traveled the road with children from Saltwic.
- Where are they? - I will not tell you.
Not until I have your word that Aelfwynn and Lady Aethelflaed will be protected.
You are in no position to bargain! [UHTRED SIGHS.]
So, I will ask you this one more time.
- Where is my niece? - [SIGHS.]
Tell me or I shall have you seized.
I've done nothing wrong.
You know this.
Your actions have caused chaos, disturbed a smooth transition of power and launched an uprising amongst the Ealdormen! So, even you will understand why I call you traitor.
Take him away.
Find out where he hides her.
The girl is our only way to maintain the alliance.
If we cannot betroth her, we lose that bond.
But who to betroth her to? You said there are no suitable candidates.
Perhaps instead of seeking to make a bond with the Ealdormen we should find a way to break them.
Why haven't we slaughtered them? - [GUARD.]
We were tricked! - You say you have them under control, and then I hear they've taken our villages to the south! I've never seen men like this before.
I do not want this news to reach my brother whilst he's on holy pilgrimage.
- You will tell no one of these defeats.
- They are terrifying.
What was that? Huh? Uh Are you thirsty? - [RHODRI LAUGHS.]
Stay back! Come on, move aside.
We are taking it to storage, so that Wessex cannot steal it.
Seize the carts! The King demands the grain be shared fairly amongst the people.
The King does not care for the people.
Guards! - Stand aside! - [WOMAN GROANS.]
I would call this provocation.
What is it? We're being followed.
Come on! [ALDHELM.]
- Could we have been discovered? - [ALDHELM.]
We cannot outrun them.
We must hide.
Hyah! Away! Lord King! Why do you continue to impound our grain and occupy our citadel? May I remind you, this hall is only for the Lord of Mercia and his Ealdormen! And so I shall remain here until the new Lord is chosen.
Yet the Witan are minded to separate from Wessex.
Really? You do not speak for the Ealdormen.
You are merely grasping like a greedy child, and I shall not indulge it.
If you want me to leave the hall, one of your men will have to lay hands on a King, a man anointed by God to rule in his name and a son of Alfred.
They dishonor me, you dishonor Mercia for breaking the accord so long held between us.
Who will be the man to do it? Drag a King through the hall? Who dares throw himself before God like this? [BURGRED.]
I will.
I will fight for Mercia.
You forget I am King and wield power like a King.
Lord Burgred we have taken your son to Wessex for religious instruction.
He will be cared for until his father finds better judgment.
Lady Aethelflaed.
- Run.
- We know you're there! - I'll hold them off.
No, no! Sihtric! [SIGHS.]
Lady, it's Uhtred's men! [BREATHING HEAVILY.]
Thank God it's you.
- My lady.
You are not easy to find.
Did Uhtred send you? What news of my daughter? She is safe.
Uhtred has returned to Aegelesburg - to bargain for your protection.
- Is Aelfwynn with him? She is being cared for, but she became unwell.
- The sickness? - [YOUNG UHTRED.]
It may not be.
She's traveled a great distance.
Take me to her.
Did the King ask you to do this? Do not speak.
Were you sworn to Alfred? Where will we have met? We have fought at Beamfleot.
Must we extract this information from you the hard way? [AETHELHELM SIGHS.]
Can't you just tell us where Lady Aelfwynn is hiding? It's your choice.
Aelfwynn? [PANTING.]
Aelfwynn, please wake up.
Aelfwynn You've killed her.
Perhaps it is the poison burning the fever in her body? - Or perhaps she's dead! - No.
No, she's still breathing.
We must take her to a place of-of comfort.
Let us go back to Aegelesburg.
- No, but Lord Uhtred said - I know what Uhtred said.
But Uhtred is not my master and we cannot stay here.
We must get her to a healer in Aegelesburg if she is to stand a chance.
Lord have mercy on us.
How are your expressions of piety? Full-hearted.
Where is Burgred's son? He is safe.
It was a callous decision, but I suspect a clever one.
It has diminished Burgred and you have averted a fight.
For that, I am grateful.
I do not think the conflict is over.
But you've been decisive, and that will help in times of chaos.
Now you could play peacemaker yourself.
How will you proceed? I will not tell you, for you will not keep it to yourself.
Then I will tell you one thing.
The people of Mercia are Saxon, but they will never be of Wessex.
Force them to be, and they will fight back.
If you do not seek to conquer, all will be resolved.
Continue to care for Mercia, find the right match for my granddaughter, and peace will come.
Did we discover if Uhtred has all the children from Saltwic? He will not give us that information.
Believe me, we tried to extract it.
Don't turn away from me.
This was done in your name.
I did not order this, Uhtred.
Aethelhelm claims he acts for you.
Look at me! Fetch him food and water and furs to keep him warm.
Yes, Lord.
I did not order this, because I knew it would not work.
Lord Aethelhelm was foolish to think you would weaken.
Tell me, where does it come from, this courage? You have suffered greatly, and for what? A child you barely know? Not for her.
Then why? The same reason I fought at Tettenhall.
My deep love of Mercian politics.
You love my sister.
Your sister is a widow.
She has my respect.
I've always envied you for choosing your own path.
Looked at the way men followed you and felt inspired, if somewhat grudgingly.
And now I wonder if you are as imprisoned as I am unable to escape a life that was imposed upon you.
Neither of us asked to be here.
For my part, the choices are growing narrower.
I have tried to find a solution here that respects the Mercians and keeps order.
But events have turned against me and I have to ask myself, does God want me to fight for this? I have followed the guidance of others too long.
I have made mistakes, yes.
I have lived somewhat in Alfred's shadow.
And now you see the light? I know he was speaking the truth when he said the kingdoms are stronger united.
So, perhaps I should be unifying them myself rather than making a child do it for me.
You are free to go, Uhtred.
Return to Aelfwynn.
Reunite with my sister and keep them safe until the conflict passes.
Matters may grow ugly here.
It is best they do not see it.
You learn something every day [RHODRI.]
They'll be pushed back to the sea, drowning in their own blood! Picked on the wrong men this time! Hey! Did you hear that, bitch? - Do you want to congratulate us? - [GROANS.]
Oh, she cannot speak for thirst.
Hey, want a drink? Come on.
Come on.
She says your daughter passed into the next life.
And her body was taken to Aegelesburg.
Has Uhtred finally realized the stupidity of his defiance? I would say not.
But I have asked him to leave Aegelesburg.
- And I would like you to do the same.
- Lord? More than once you have taken it upon yourself to interpret my wishes in a way that I find unchristian.
I have tried to guide you on a bolder course.
Is it boldness to confine a widow? Beat a man as he was chained? I simply placed myself between you and some necessary unpleasantness.
- I did what you asked.
- But not what I wanted.
Once again, you used my orders to suit your own wishes.
Perhaps being so far from home has clouded your judgment.
Return to Winchester, and all will be well.
Very well, I shall do as you request.
I hope your mother advises you better than I have.
Wonderful news, Edward! The word is that Aelfwynn has been brought to the gates.
She is here? - Shall I bring her into the town? - Yes, of course! Bring her to me! Open the gate! See? It is a sign! The Lord did not want you to be a tyrant and now has sent you your reward! - [GUARD.]
Move, move! - [CROWD CLAMORING.]
Oh, dear God! We will need a priest.
We've tried everything.
She needs the final rites, Lord.
Find me every healer in town.
Do not speak a word of this to anyone.
Yes, Lord.
Come with me.
Do you think she will survive? [SIGHS.]
Dear God! I'll find the man who did this.
Eh, don't, don't, don't.
What now? There's nothing for us here, Finan.
Where's my daughter? She's insisting on helping Father Pyrlig and I've tried to dissuade her, but She is too stubborn because she is my daughter? - [BOTH.]
The King continues to take the town.
He feeds the people.
Truly, you have lost your judgment.
Think on your son! - [MAN 1.]
There's grain! - [MAN 2.]
Come with me.
The cart's here! - Okay, there's plenty to go around.
Form a line.
- Don't push! [STIORRA.]
Stand back and form a line! - [MAN.]
You don't need it! - Hold on! You would think the grain was silver.
Hey, calm yourselves.
Calm yourselves! There's more than enough.
- Stop this! - [PYRLIG.]
Stand back! - [WOMAN.]
Get off me! - [STIORRA.]
Get off! [ALL GRUNTING.]
Finan, take Stiorra! - [FINAN.]
Look at me.
You're fine.
Stop! Drop it! - Enough! Get back! - [MAN GRUNTING.]
I know you suffer, but turning on each other will not save you! You must work as one rather than quarreling amongst yourselves.
Now, get back behind the cart and form a line.
Each person will be given what they need.
- Look how he influences them.
Trust me.
He will make them rise against you.
Mercian must not fight Mercian.
Anyone who wants grain must keep the peace.
- Finan, help me with the bags.
- [FINAN.]
Bring him before me.
Bless you.
Thank you.
Kill anyone who looks like they cannot work! Fat ones we can sell as slaves.
Secure the fort! [SCREAMING.]
Spare him! [RHODRI PANTING.]
You want the silver? I have no interest in silver.
We are looking for a Dane named Brida.
Too late.
I killed her.
You did not! [SIGHS.]
Lord King, I was leaving as we agreed.
But then you chose to be part of a disturbance in the town.
I did not choose to be part of it.
You were just guided by forces beyond your control? As ever, Uhtred is but a plaything of his gods.
You wanted to bring peace to Aegelesburg.
Which is better than wanting to start another battle.
You truly think I seek battles? Perhaps not, but that is what will happen.
The Ealdormen will not back down, so you will finish the slaughter that the Danes have started.
I fear you are right.
There is a risk of great slaughter.
Innocent people will suffer.
I will crush them, leave the town in the care of the Wessex Guard.
They will run the place as they feel they need to, which is rarely an easy life for the people, is it? Strange things happen in times of conflict.
The Ealdormen are passionate that they could repel us for a while.
Whichever way, the conflict would continue.
They might try to hunt down my sister.
They would not find her.
So you will live as fugitives for months, years? Is that how you see it? I've spent many years on the road.
True, but it is not the life that was meant for Aethelflaed.
- Hardly what she deserves.
- That is a choice you are making.
If I place someone to rule here who might forge a path to peace, someone who might not necessarily please the Ealdormen, but whose popularity with the people might force them to accept it Let us call him a Lord and Protector who would rule here just for a few years until things are less volatile.
I wondered if that person should be you.
Me? I do not want to rule here.
Yes, but as we know, you rarely get to make your own choices.
Find an equilibrium, wait for an Ealdorman to come of age, if my niece survives, betroth her to someone Aethelflaed chooses.
It is clear to me you have the respect of the people here.
They listen to you.
So, perhaps we should use that to our mutual advantage.
I do not seek advantage.
Even to bring peace? You accept, you ensure Mercia returns to how it was, before Aethelred destroyed everything.
- If I do not? - As you said, there will be slaughter.
And that will be a choice you are making.
Accept and your reputation will be restored and your men given status and wealth.
And in a few years, you will be free to pursue whichever dreams you may have.
I could give you the troops you need to retake the fortress you lost.
And in return? I would be your King and expect your loyalty.
I expect an answer by tomorrow.
How do I know you are Brida? [STAMMERING.]
I fought with Guthrum.
I followed Ragnar.
I killed men at Tettenhall So, you have heard of Saxon battles.
That does not make you Brida.
It is Cnut's babe you carry, or that of a Welshman? The babe was made by Cnut, but Cnut's fallen.
I do not know you.
Cnut's cousin, Sigtryggr of Irland.
Sigtryggr was defeated and killed.
Defeated, yes, driven from his settlements, yes.
But at this moment, quite alive.
And who do you belong to now, Brida? No man.
I am a warrior alone.
You do not look like a warrior.
Give me your sword and I will show you.
Give you my sword? You might kill me.
No, the Brida I have heard of is cunning, so I will stay armed.
If you are who you say you are, then show me.
Listen to me.
Prepare to be broken, as you tried to break me.
Brida! You have the anger of a she-wolf! [LAUGHS.]
- Is he joking? - [UHTRED.]
So, he's either lost his mind, or he's a genius like his father.
He says that Aethelflaed will be defended.
And it is true.
No other leader in Mercia would protect her like I would.
But? But I was not born to be the Lord of Mercia.
I never sought that kind of power.
Well, perhaps that in itself makes you the best man.
Mercia has suffered from being led by ambition.
So, apart from the silver and the power and saving the woman you love, what is holding you back? Giving my loyalty to another Saxon king.
I swore to myself I would not do that.
I swear I will not drink too much ale and I frequently go back on my word.
Nobody wants to rip the two kingdoms apart, least of all Aethelflaed.
It is a path to peace.
And she would be safe.
So, we have no conclusion other than Edward has outwitted you.
- For now.
- So, he is as clever as his father.
Which will be good for all Saxons, including you.
How did Cnut fall? Was it his arrogance or his anger? Both, but mainly his betrayal.
So, who did he murder to further his ambition? He took Ragnar, who I loved, and blamed another.
The man had a reputation for cunning.
I had always admired that.
But he died dishonored, if he allowed his woman to be enslaved.
That was the work of Uhtred the Dane Slayer.
But I will have my revenge on him.
I have heard of this Dane Slayer and what he has done to our people for years.
Why did Cnut not come when we requested help? We had our own battles.
What? - You escaped without our help.
- My kinsfolk did not.
Our women and children were murdered by the Irish before we had a chance to save them.
Then you should avenge them and make more children.
Perhaps you're right.
Grow strong here.
Rest the men, get more silver, then retake Dyflin.
- It seems empty, no? Yes, the greatest riches are in Wessex.
Sadly, the Saxons do not like to share.
And yet they say their faith is based on love.
They talk a lot of shit.
More shit than the Irish? This I can't believe.
You have a lot to learn.
What are you gonna do for now? I'll cut off the head of this man and send it to Hywel.
It's just around the next corner.
- Where are we going? - It's a safer place to hide.
Let's go.
That's it.
Go inside.
Stay there.
Show me that child, Father Pyrlig.
Do not hide him from me.
He is here? - You know about him? - Indeed.
I fear he had been taken, or lost forever.
Did Uhtred bring him here? Apparently, even Aegelesburg is better than the road.
- Had quite the adventure by all accounts.
- Then I thank him for it.
I know you dislike him, but maybe Edward is right this time.
Father Pyrlig, what have I not been told? [DRAMATIC VOCALIZING.]
There is a rumor you have struck a bargain.
- I do not like the man.
- I do not need your approval.
But it may be the only compromise.
The Ealdormen will complain, but this time, do not treat them too harshly.
Then you will find some redemption.
- I do not need redemption, either.
- Oh, my son, you do.
If only for the sins of your mother.
Who is this? - He is Aethelstan.
He cannot be here.
I know it is difficult for you to acknowledge him, but I wondered, now that certain threats are absent perhaps the moment has come for you to be reconciled.
- Mother, I cannot.
- Please.
He has lived a life of lies, and that must be righted.
I was wrong to wrench you apart, and it's something that I deeply regret.
I thought my past actions were protecting you and Wessex, that I acted in the name of God.
But God put love in your heart, for your first wife and this child.
And I should not have ignored that.
So, I ask for your forgiveness and his.
He needs your protection.
Place him back to where he was concealed.
My King.
Have you made your choice? - I will accept.
If I can rule as my own man.
I've never wanted to control Mercia.
Only see it at peace.
Good, then we are of one mind.
At long last, I strike a bargain with Uhtred of Bebbanburg.
That is a name from another life, but yes, for now, we strike a bargain.
Guards! Cenric, stand down your men.
Lady, I cannot.
The King forbids it.
I am told this is where my daughter's body is.
This is where your King has led us.
Cenric, please, in the name of Alfred, open the gates and stand down your men.
Open the gates! - Oh, my dearest girl, you've come home.
Aelfwynn is dead.
No, child.
A miracle has occurred and you are mistaken in your heartbreak.
- Mama? [SIGHS.]
- [FINAN.]
This night together! - [LAUGHTER.]
Oh, oh! Eh, eh! To Eadith, for not killing the Lady Aelfwynn.
- [ALL.]
To Eadith! - Yes! Your brother has restored peace, the people are being fed, and the fever passes.
To Sihtric and Aethelflaed and Young Uhtred, too.
May they return safely.
But if there's ale still left when they get here, then we have let ourselves down.
Mostly, everyone now looks forward to the new Lord.
Who is that to be? He has asked Uhtred.
To the lands, to the silver and to the women! To Uhtred of Mercia! [ALL.]
Uhtred of Mercia! [LAUGHTER.]
Finally, he can pay us some money! [PYRLIG.]
I very much doubt it.

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