The Last Kingdom (2015) s05e04 Episode Script

Series 5, Episode 4

I am Uhtred, son of Uhtred.
After the shocking death of her daughter - I will catch you! - No! Brida fled Eoferwic in defeat.
Retreat! Aethelstan yearns to know his true father, the King of Wessex, but Edward's attention turns towards his new love, the Lady Eadgifu.
For all its strangeness, I did find our time together enjoyable.
And Aelflaed, the Queen he no longer loves, looks to Christ to salve her humiliation.
God knows your heart.
I will pray for you.
My beloved Aethelflaed is dying.
- She will not see the spring.
- You must be mistaken in this, Finan.
She does not have long.
She has chosen Aelfwynn to succeed her.
Knowing my daughter will be Lady of Mercia in my stead, it is all I wish.
But as ever in Mercia, the succession is not straightforward.
The young Lady Aelfwynn is not fit to rule.
Does your master propose an alternative? He does indeed, Lord Burgred.
Now I ride to be with my love.
I pray that I reach her before it is too late.
Destiny is all! One! Two! - He will not survive.
- This is not about survival.
It is about pain.
Three! An agony of burning that the flesh never forgets.
- Then we wait to see if the blood sickens.
- Four! Five! Six! Seven! Eight! Nine! If the gods have not healed you by the third sunrise, they have abandoned you to die.
As will I.
Go, Lord.
Where is she? I was wondering when you might grace us.
You're not resting? She's the Lady of Mercia.
She can do as she chooses.
As she has repeatedly reminded me.
I have told her that she is sick.
As I have told you that I do not wish to lie still.
There will be time enough for that.
There, I am ready.
- Will you escort me? - To go where? I have some obligations I must attend to.
Let us go.
You knew she was sick and you did not tell me? She asked for my help and my silence.
I gave her both.
She is dying, Uhtred.
I have seen this before in those whose time is close.
They feel suddenly alive before But do not be fooled, she has little time left.
Your nailed god cheated death, yes? After three days suffering all the torments of hell.
You believe that He will raise you from the dead on the day of judgement? It is a tenet of our faith, yes.
He was your god as well, Brida.
Do not forget where your life began with Him, not the Danes.
- You are His child, just like we all are - Tell me then, why did He abandon me? Why? If Vibeke was His child, why did He let her die? Why? Will He protect you, Father, hm? Will He save you in this moment? Tell me.
If He has decided that this is my time, then so be it.
Do not be so eager to believe that He has any control over how your life ends.
This will not be quick.
This is just beginning.
Help him! Help! Where is He, Father? Is He coming? Is He on his way? Help him! It is strange to see it so empty.
It is not empty.
Not yet.
Not yet.
You will not have to do this alone.
- I will remain with you.
- And I am so grateful for that.
I only hope that I might find her strength when the time comes.
I have served your mother for many years.
You are her daughter.
I can see much of her in you.
I always thought that rule would mean conflict, but the truth is the people simply want peace.
If they are well fed, if they have homes, if they are warm, then they will soon come to respect you.
Where are we going? I have some business with one of the Ealdormen that I must attend to.
- Surely this is not the time? - Oh, so do tell me, what time is it? It is time to fight what is happening to you.
Do not be naive, Uhtred.
The battle is done.
- Why are you giving up so easily? - I am not giving up! I did not choose this.
This is the path that God has given to me.
- My Lady.
- Ealdorman Burgred.
I have completed the letter that we spoke of.
- This this is too much.
- It is barely enough.
Mercia needs to be protected and I am sure you will do what needs to be done.
My Lady, you have been good to us.
Just and fair.
I remember when he was terrified at the thought of you on the throne.
People change, given time.
What did you give him? I have land in my name that I wanted to give to the people to ensure that it remains theirs when I am gone.
- And who will take the throne? - Aelfwynn.
She is not the girl you once knew.
She understands her duty.
If Edward and I can maintain our alliance through our successors and they in theirs, our peace and unity could last for generations.
Aldhelm will remain with her to guide her and she will have an army for protection.
I do not wish to ask more favors of you.
- Aethelflaed.
- Please.
Let me speak.
I would feel happier to leave her if I knew that you would ensure her safety.
- You do not even have to ask.
- I do.
Your life is not here with me.
Aelfwynn is not your kin.
- I did not help you when you came to me - Stop.
I will protect Aelfwynn and Mercia as best I can.
Let us find somewhere quiet to sit or some may think I am breaking my oath.
The gate is this way.
There are other gates, ones that are not so fiercely guarded.
So, all these years I could have been sneaking in here to hump you? I should send word to my husband that it is finished.
That he might ride to Lindisfarne and see it.
I am sure that both the Lord our God and the King will be impressed with your tribute.
You awake early, do you not? I pray every day to our Lord God in the light of a new dawning sun.
The King departed this morning.
Did you happen to witness it? Did anybody accompany him? I think perhaps the Lady Eadgifu rode with him.
Come with us to Lindisfarne.
The King has warned me that my presence there could be seen as a claim to the land itself and my father would surely take his side.
No, I should remain here.
Travel with us and do not tell them.
It is not provocation.
It is a holy tribute.
Nothing is more pure.
I should like to witness its glory myself.
As I am certain, the King would also witness yours.
Do you wish a chance to pray? What prayer would you have me make? I don't know.
What prayer would be best to beg your god for your life? My life is in your hands, not His.
Think that there is somewhere after this? I think that we will join Him in life everlasting.
Your god came back to life while my daughter is cold.
She will live with Him in eternal life.
Tell Him to give her back.
Give her back? That is not something that my god does.
A life for a life, then.
Orvar! Orvar, will you give yourself to me for Vibeke? No, there is no trading lives! Consider it a threat.
Return her to me, or this one's death will be on your hands.
- I cannot do that.
- But your god can.
You're His voice! So speak! Give her back! - Give her back! - Dear God, spare her! Put no more blood on her hands! She was born your servant.
She need not die in torment.
She can still repent and join her daughter in paradise.
My daughter's dead.
My daughter's dead.
I'm lost.
We're never truly lost.
God will find you.
You were born a Christian.
He has seen the good that was passed on through you to your daughter's heart.
Your god did not save Vibeke, He let her die.
There is no life after this for her.
She's alone.
She's alone.
I am alone! No, you are not.
- Perhaps we should rest here.
- For a short while.
Is it cold? I feel so cold.
It is cold enough.
You should have told me.
I did not owe you a share of my pain.
I have not stopped wondering about what we gave up to become who we are.
Do you regret it? On occasion.
Then when I do, it is with every part of my being.
What of you? Would you have begged fate for a different path over these years? Mercia's people are contented.
They're safe.
How could I deny them all you have done? That does not answer my question.
I have dreamed of us.
As a family.
And a happy one.
But even through that happiness, even in my dreams we never cease worrying that we have made the wrong choice.
That's the curse of life, to think of what might have been.
Your path was to bring peace to Mercia, to protect it.
Who will protect you, Uhtred of Bebbanburg? I do not need protection.
You do.
You do.
You are carrying so much pain.
I would have told you My daughter committed the greatest of all your god's sins.
If He does exist, she will have been sent to the flames.
That part of the Holy Book has never much felt true to me.
It seems to me there's not much separating Heaven and Valhalla.
That if we are right in our beliefs, there is something better after this.
- No, your daughter had no chance to sin.
- She made others kill for her.
That's the same as if the knife was in her hand.
And as our parents teach us, she was trying to please you.
That is all.
It is not her sin to repent for.
It's not too late to believe in Him, Brida.
It is never too late.
Believing in your god made the Danes weak.
They lost their souls.
My daughter lost her life.
I blame you.
I blame your church, your kings and your queens.
And most of all, I blame every so-called Dane who bowed to them and sucked at their teats and who took their baptism rites.
You should eat.
I cannot help to end your pain.
Nothing can.
But your daughter is at peace now.
Maybe in finding peace of your own, you might repent.
I don't want your bread.
I believe it was your bread to begin with.
Should you change your mind.
There is no honor in him freezing to death.
There is no honor in what he did to us - and yet you would forgive him.
- The gods have forgiven him.
He passed their trial.
He must be in their favor.
If his flesh begins to heal, then we can talk about allowing him back into the city.
- Listen to me! He is my brother! - And I am your wife! His fate is set.
It's in the hands of the gods now.
He will die or he will survive.
We will not know until his hands are unbound.
- Here you go.
- Thank you.
What was that? King's men.
When was the last time you saw your father? A long time ago.
Well, you'll be a fair bit taller than him now, I'll bet.
- Uncle? - Aelfwynn.
- Am I too late? Where is she? - She She's not here.
- Where is she? - She is with Uhtred.
- Of course.
- She wanted to see him before I do not understand why she is being taken from us now.
Time robs us, over and over again.
Your mother is the best of us.
If I could keep her here, you know I would.
I know.
The the Ealdormen have been told to prepare.
I'm concerned that they will not honor Mother's wishes.
The Ealdormen will be taken care of.
Do not fear.
Your mother and I had a shared wish to honor our father's desire for unity.
I swear to you and to her I will do all I can to ensure that comes to pass.
Please, let my Lord King listen to the words of this servant.
Please, let my Lord listen to the words of this servant.
I did not get to speak with you I love you.
I will protect all that we have achieved, sister.
This I swear to you.
Receive your servant Vibeke into the ranks of your devout saints and most bright angels.
She is a child of God.
Please let my Lord listen to the words of this servant Lady Aelswith You do not need to say anything, Lord Uhtred.
I would ask you Do you hear anything? Erm It is night.
The town is asleep.
Not out there.
In here.
In this room.
Do you hear anything? No, nothing but our own voices.
Mere mortals.
I do not care for our voices.
He is not speaking.
I thought that He would speak to me now.
Is it not clear that I need Him? All I have ever asked of Him is His voice when I needed it.
Perhaps His silence is Him offering you solace in I do not need His solace.
I need Him to speak to me.
My life, I have given to Him.
I have prayed for so many hours, Lord Uhtred.
I have begged Him to save her.
I need to know that He is listening.
I fear your prayers have been wasted.
Please, let my Lord the King listen to the words of His servant.
Please, let my Lord listen to the words of - Lady Aelswith - I am trying to make Him hear me! Do not say it.
Do not say the words.
He has forsaken me.
He has forsaken her.
I have given Him the entirety of my life.
And I am left with nothing.
Where is Aelfwynn? She is waiting for the Witan.
They will take advantage of her.
They respected Aethelflaed.
Surely they will accept her choice of successor.
Aelfwynn is too young and she is not worldly.
They will turn on her.
She can gain their respect just as Aethelflaed did.
As wise as she had become Aethelflaed still wished to believe the best in people.
But she was wrong.
There has already been so much death, Uhtred.
I could not bear more of it.
I've had too much oh - Leave me here.
- You're all right.
- Oh, God.
- Come on.
Up the stairs.
- Are the men ready? - They're waiting for your signal.
And is there word from Father Pyrlig? A scout reported seeing him with the Danish witch.
Then he is likely dead.
Return to your position.
It will not be long.
Aethelstan? What are you? You came with Uhtred.
He wanted the chance to say goodbye to Lady Aethelflaed.
A chance that his presence here denied me.
Well, it seems he's taken many things from you over time.
I have often wondered of you.
Surely I would not have been hard to find.
We have found each other now, it seems.
There are matters to be attended to.
We I should like to talk further with you.
Much has changed in both of our lives, but now is not the time.
It is good to see you, Aethelstan.
You were much favored by my mother.
She would have been glad to have you here.
You look like her.
Have the Ealdormen been told? We will ring the bells when it is time for the Witan to meet.
They'll be terrified to leave Mercia without a ruler for even a moment's breath.
The Ealdormen respected your mother.
They will similarly respect her wishes.
And Lord Aethelhelm has arrived.
As much as his intentions will be self-serving, his presence might help to delay matters.
My mother has been dead a matter of hours and already he seeks to undermine her.
No, she would not have delayed it and neither will I.
You are in mourning.
You would be forgiven My mother would not forgive me.
I will not deny this land or its people what she wanted for them.
I should have been here sooner.
What matters is that you were here for her when she needed you to be.
Will you be remaining here? - Until Aelfwynn takes the throne.
- Should her grandmother allow it.
Lady Aelswith is afraid it is the wrong decision.
Bitter old women rarely want more for their descendants.
She might be right.
Why do we attach ourselves to these people, Uhtred? I do not think it is our choice.
Because it is our destiny? Then destiny is cruel.
All it seems to do is cause us sorrow and pain.
If that is the path it sees for us.
I wonder if destiny lost its hold on me when I left these lands.
I have been free of pain for a while now and better for it.
Perhaps pain is our choice, not destiny's.
So tell me, Uhtred.
What would finally allow you to be free of your pain? - What are they speaking of? - I do not know.
But I'm sure no good can come of it.
We should head back to the palace.
You served her well.
I tried.
All she wanted was to keep the people safe.
She could think of no way to make it more simple to rule? She tried.
But the Ealdormen, even as they came to respect her, were stubborn.
The old ways appealed to them more than the new.
I think you could yet be of great use to Mercia, Lord Aldhelm.
You do not have to be here this early.
- We've not yet begun.
- Yes, I do.
Stay yourself! The throne is taken after the Witan meets, not before.
I did not expect to see you here.
- I am here to show respect.
- Oh, I doubt that.
A man who has no respect cannot show it, surely.
Lord King.
This is taking too long.
- We must announce her death.
- I would think it were the King's decision as to when the bells should be rung, my Lord.
- I was merely suggesting - That you understood the King's grief - better than he himself? - Who are you to speak to me this way? You would watch your tongue! The bells will ring in good time.
It is nearly dawn.
Let us see the day in with the saddest news.
Shut that door! My balls are freezing to nothing! - Something's wrong.
- Just go back to bed.
Get some sleep.
Lord Uhtred might need us in the morning.
There, did you see that? Wake up.
No, no, it's the ale.
Your eyes are playing tricks on you.
Just - Think about where you're pointing that.
- There are soldiers here.
You think it's an attack? The King is here and undefended.
Go and find Uhtred.
I'll get the others.
Do not do anything stupid.
- Do you hear me? - Yeah.
It is time.
Ring the bell.
Let my sister's death be known.
You seem troubled.
I don't like black.
It's so cold.
It would be a strange man who does.
It is time.
She asked that you protect Mercia.
You have only done as you saw right and good.
Aethelstan! Shit! Uhtred! Uhtred! Uhtred! Leave him.
What happened? Are you all right? Lord, I think you need to see this.
- Who are they? - The Ealdormen.
Come! - Who gave your orders? - Come on.
Tell us! Uhtred, I know him.
I saw him talking with the King last night.
Did you see them? - Did you see the Ealdormen? - I did.
- So, where are they? - They are dead.
Dead? That cannot be.
You What did you do? You overstep your bounds, Lord Aethelhelm! The only explanation I need offer is the example of our past.
The strength of Wessex and Mercia both only improved under the alliance with my sister.
I could not see that strength fade now.
Lady Aethelflaed's choice of successor is her daughter.
- She has her mother's strength.
- I have not seen it.
My sister's strength came with time.
To leave my niece to find her own strength would leave Mercia vulnerable.
She will not take the throne.
Then there are others who could rule whilst staying within the family's line.
Father's hopes were of unity.
It was a dream my sister and I bore from him and shared, but now she is dead.
Had she known it were possible to unite the kingdoms She would not have done it with the blood of innocents on her hands! Her hands are unsullied.
The choice was mine alone and I was forced to act.
The Ealdormen had already accepted bribes to sway their minds away from my sister's wishes.
These men were standing in the way of progress.
- I merely acted to remove the corruption.
- This is not how succession is determined! Until my sister's rule, succession was always determined by bloodshed.
I did not want it to be so again.
Better the blood of the few, than the blood of the many.
You have murdered Mercia's Ealdormen.
And in doing so, I have ensured Mercia's protection.
I will do as God wills.
I will be King of the Angles and of the Saxons.
You are still alive, then? That's because of you.
Will you look? The flesh has begun to heal.
The gods have forgiven you.
What of you, brother? Have you forgiven me? If it were Stiorra's choice, you would be left to fend for yourself.
Then I am lucky that it is not.
She is not a true Dane.
A true Dane would not betray their family as you did.
You are my blood.
Do you understand? You are my blood.
The rest will come in time.
- Have you seen Lady Aelswith? - Yes, she came through here with Aelfwynn.
- They left for - Don't say it out loud.
You should leave this place.
It is not safe here.
Ah, it's just a scratch.
It'll heal.
You might get a good scar out of it.
It did not bleed like a scratch.
All right lads, at the ready.
My men are merely seeking their horses.
There's to be no trouble here.
You killed the Ealdormen.
- It is only what needed to be done.
- They were old men.
Uhtred has taught you his strong sense of morality, then.
Surely he has also taught it is better to strike first if it might prevent more violence.
Yet it was not my intention for you to be caught in this.
My man tells me you fought well.
Not well enough, or he would not be here to tell you of it.
- Your blood is strong.
- My skill comes only from my training.
I must ready myself for the ceremony.
Will you attend? I will be with Uhtred.
Well, you'd be welcome should you change your mind.
Aethelflaed was your blood as am I.
It's done.
She gave me peace.
When I was with her, I felt it.
I'm sure she would want you to find that feeling again.
I can think of no better tribute.
It looks to be a worthy procession.
It is.
- Are you going to retaliate? - He did what kings always do.
No king has ever ruled bloodlessly.
It is not in their nature.
It is no way to become a king, Uhtred.
I think it might be the only way.
It is over now.
Edward's rule will not be challenged.
His line will watch the throne until it becomes their turn just as King Alfred wanted.

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