The Last Kingdom (2015) s05e09 Episode Script

Series 5, Episode 9

I am Uhtred, son of Uhtred.
Urgent news has reached Eoferwic.
- Aelfwynn was captured on the road.
- By who? We believe them to be hired men.
We suspect an association with Lord Aethelhelm.
And my fate has altered accordingly.
Lord Aethelhelm is fomenting rebellion.
He has made an alliance with Constantine and has offered him the hand of Lady Aelfwynn.
Where will we find him? In a fortress north of here, name of Bebbanburg.
My birthright, stolen from me by my cousin Wihtgar.
Your name will be forgotten! - [arrows whoosh.]
- [groans.]
Now I have a chance to take it back.
I lead the men of Wessex and we push the Scots back over the border.
Meanwhile, Aethelhelm will be forced to surrender and Aelfwynn returned.
But King Edward has a different plan.
In exchange for marrying Aelfwynn and isolating Lord Aethelhelm, we will divide Northumbria in two.
The lands around Bebbanburg fall to the Scots and Aethelhelm is disposed of.
Yet he could find no support.
I gave your sister my word that I would keep Aelfwynn safe.
- I stand with Uhtred.
- We stand with Uhtred.
Aethelstan, my boy, what do you say? I will follow Lord Uhtred.
Not sure things are going your way, Lord King.
- [clang of swords unsheathing.]
- [groans.]
I will brook no more defiance.
No one will leave on penalty of execution! [Uhtred.]
Destiny is all! [metal scraping.]
Come on! Quicken the pace! Sunrise comes swiftly.
Hey, perhaps don't kill me just before departure.
Move! - Any word if the king will relent? - He has shunned all his advisers.
He wouldn't turn swords on Saxons, surely.
Tell that to the Mercian Ealdormen.
We leave at sunrise.
Do his men still bar the gate? Yes, and the Mercians seem set on departure.
I fear neither will back down.
Another person who cannot sleep? [sighs.]
I am not in the king's favor tonight.
I told him he should not turn his back on Northumbria and he was not pleased.
No man enjoys hearing the truth from the woman he loves.
All the same, when it must be delivered, God is with us.
My orders are still defied.
Prepare the men of Wessex.
All must gather at the gate.
Yes, Lord King.
Edward, do not turn on other Saxons.
Eadgifu, you should be returning to Winchester.
Now is not the time to become allies.
We are not allies, merely the women who love you.
I swear, I will say the truth as I see it and then leave.
Your plan, to forsake Aelfwynn and make a bargain with the Scots is not without merit.
It could bring peace, yes, but at the cost of dividing the Saxons.
Do not risk sundering Mercia from Wessex.
You should be advising Lord Aldhelm.
But I shall not, for I agree with Lord Aldhelm.
Aethelflaed would follow Uhtred.
I am the king.
I do not follow.
You are a king who is choosing not to lead.
A choice so strange, I ask myself why.
And I only have one conclusion.
- I do not fear Aethelhelm, Constantin or - No, but you fear Alfred and his legacy.
So I will tell you one thing.
You are strong enough to be the man to fulfill your father's dream.
You do not have to leave it to your descendants.
You are worthy to live in the chronicles, as the one who unified England.
- It is not fear that holds me back.
- I am your mother and I know when you are afraid.
So I am here to tell you that I believe you are deserving of this moment.
You are as good and true and faithful a man as your father.
And for that, God will favor you.
This is your destiny.
Seize this moment.
Leave your posts! Rejoin the army! Wessex have stood down.
Edward's men no longer defend these walls.
We ride.
- Open the gates.
- [guard.]
Yes, Lord.
To Bebbanburg then, Lord Uhtred? Let the king have his moment.
If that is your command.
I will need someone loyal to hold the border lands in Northumbria.
We confront the Scottish king on the road! We break his alliance with Lord Aethelhelm and make a bargain for Aethelflaed's daughter.
We retain Northumbria for the Saxon people! [cheering.]
- To Bebbanburg! - [roar of men cheering.]
[triumphant music plays.]
[opening theme plays.]
[seagulls cawing.]
[chicken clucking.]
Are we expecting to be besieged? No, we are expecting to decamp and go south for battle.
We shan't avail ourselves of Northumbrian hospitality any longer than is necessary.
As soon as Constantin's army arrives and the marriage is consummated, we will be on our way with our supplies.
When do they arrive, this army? Soon.
He does not know.
For all this bluster, he does not know when these Scotsmen will come.
He just hopes they do.
Does your cousin Uhtred still fight for the King of the Saxons? Yes.
Which is why we will not be leaving these walls whatever promises we have made, whatever alliance.
Look who I found on the road ahead.
You're late.
Lord, I've had a momentous journey, so much to tell.
First I found myself lost - by the broken bridge in - No! No, not the time, Cynlaef.
What news do you bring? Just what was seen by scouts two nights ago.
Constantin's men preparing a boat near his port at Dynbaer.
One boat will not transport an army.
It could be an advance guard, sailing with Constantin himself? Constantin is a great king.
He would not arrive into a fortress by the sea gate like a trader.
He could be bringing a gift for the wedding feast? No, this endeavor is a show of strength.
He will lead as many men on the road as he can gather.
I agree.
It is unlikely he will arrive south by sea.
Constantin is strategic.
He will know how changeable the tides are, the risk of summer storms.
All right, we stay with the plan.
With luck, his full army will take days to gather.
Each man is to report back three times daily.
When King Constantin's army appears on the horizon, set fire to that church.
This is where you will stay.
Imagine that is a line you do not cross.
Oh, Edward, my life is unimportant.
Your bloodline is safe and that is all that matters.
How far is Bebbanburg? Five miles, but our journey is longer.
At dawn we head west through the woods, go around the fortress at a distance.
Make our ambush on the roads above it.
I am not one to ask military questions, but surely word will spread of a mighty army camping nearby? There comes a point at which we cannot hide.
We just have to pray that God is with us.
You will stay here and not foolishly go out onto the battlefield? - If the injured need my help I may - She will not.
We know our role in this.
Some moments men must face alone, and this is one.
[men chanting, shouting.]
Alert our lord.
It is the king.
A king would choose a finer ship.
Except for perhaps this one.
My men disembark at the sea gate.
A king arrives at a fortress through the front.
[laughs heartily.]
Here they come.
Stand alert for the King of the Scots! Lord King.
You are a little in advance of what we had planned.
I like to catch people off guard.
I was hoping your arrival would be a little more clandestine.
I did not become a king to hide in a forest.
Yet we have on our side the most precious asset one can gain in war, the element of surprise.
Squander that and we risk Edward learning of [groans.]
There are spies everywhere.
He will hear soon enough.
Indeed, but his weakness is his impulsiveness.
- When he learns of our alliance he will - I will not sit and wait for an attack.
It is cowardly.
I thought we had agreed an attack would be launched once you had cemented ties with Mercia.
And I am a man of my word.
[approaching footsteps.]
Is that the boy who'd be King of the Saxons? Indeed.
Aelfweard, come and bow to King Constantin A word of advice from a king to a future king.
Trust no one who advises you.
[laughs heartily.]
- Understood.
- [laughing.]
Well, let's eat.
[Constantin chuckles.]
Ask Lady Aelfwynn to join us.
No! I should prefer to meet her alone, after we've dined.
Never meet a bride on an empty stomach.
[laughs heartily.]
Eh? [laughing merrily.]
[Constantin continues chuckling.]
- [wind blowing.]
- [waves crashing.]
Hey, what do you say, Lord? Lose the deadwood, jump on some horses, ride up to the gate, just the three of us, teach your cousin a lesson? Riding up to the gate is something I've tried before.
Perhaps better your way than to drag all of these people to their doom.
Ah, come on! They want to join you.
This is what they've been waiting for.
They'll tell stories of this their whole lives.
"Bebbanburg, my part in its conquest.
" [Sihtric.]
Lord, the news is heavy.
Our plan to ambush is mistimed.
Constantin is already within the fortress.
The spies say he came by sea.
- I am at fault.
I counseled this.
- [Uhtred.]
You're not.
Much of this is judgment and we misjudged it.
How many men were in this boat? We think only a household guard.
As Uhtred predicted.
Do not assume it is a sign.
We simply make another plan.
It is a sign we should attack.
Before his army arrives - No.
- Our targets are all in one place.
Storm the fortress now and we trap Aethelhelm and Constantin.
Aelfwynn is within.
She will be forced to this marriage and they will threaten her.
Yes, they'll try to use her in a bargain, but But we trust Aethelhelm to act with reason when he's in a corner? If we'd got to Constantin, then it would be a negotiation, but now we give him nothing to lose.
We have hundreds of men.
Bebbanburg is well defended, yes, but we will surely outman them.
His own daughter died amidst the fury of his scheming.
We cannot risk Aethelflaed's child in the chaos that will engulf Bebbanburg.
There is another way.
I will leave with some of my men.
Wait until you have word from us.
We shall get Aelfwynn out of the fortress, then you can attack.
- How? - The sea gate, Lord? No.
There is a route to Bebbanburg which [sighs.]
it cannot take an army, not even half a dozen men.
I had dismissed it as too perilous, but with a tiny number, maybe it is possible.
What happens when this tiny number meets the Household Guard of Bebbanburg? Pyrlig, are you strong enough to join us? Are you strong enough to stop me? Lord, let me be a part of this.
Whatever the danger, I'm man enough to face it.
Four is a number that's always served us well in the past.
Stand the men down.
Do not attack until I signal.
Enough evasion.
What is the plan? If it works, we will return with Aelfwynn.
If it does not? Then this will be the last time we speak together.
We go north, past Bebbanburg, on to the next cove.
We will seek the help of someone I know.
What if help is not forthcoming? Then Finan will have to think of something.
What? [chattering, chuckling lightly.]
We have work to do.
No flirting with the nuns.
We'll leave that to you, Uhtred.
If you had written, we would have brewed some ale.
- [Uhtred.]
You are here! - [chuckles.]
You are lucky.
I've been on the island most of the month.
You should have sent word.
I did not know I was coming.
- But the Gods had other plans.
- Have you come for Aalys? She's in much better spirits, though she does still dream of the queen's death.
I come for Bebbanburg.
Is it the time? Have you the men? Edward has an army south of here.
Normally we hear of such things.
First, I must get into the fortress with a small number of men to secure the Lady Aelfwynn.
Have you a plan? One is forming, yes, but I will need help.
- Not yours, I will need the help of - No! No, he's too young.
Not his help.
No, not his at all.
Is by any piece of luck the trader Haesten still in these lands? [chuckles lightly.]
Uhtred, truly the Gods are with you.
He refuses to leave because he's making such good coin here.
- We've become quite the marketplace.
- I will find you.
Steal from me and you'll regret it! [chuckles.]
[Haesten groans.]
- Uhtred! - I've come to offer silver not to take it.
I'm not in need and I have already done your bidding.
- Yes, I know, and now I want more.
- [scoffs.]
I am to enter Bebbanburg and you are to help me by distracting the Household Guard.
No, absolutely not.
Not today, not any day.
It is an unwise choice.
I will retake my lands and then we will return to punish you for this refusal.
Threaten me and I shall go to Bebbanburg tonight and warn them of your attack.
No, you will not.
I'm busy making silver.
Tell me.
Will Valhalla welcome a man who sells relics to fools? My ancestors came to these lands to become rich, Uhtred.
I'm merely living my birthright.
You will not even need to wield your sword.
All I ask is that you draw the guard to the shore.
And for that, I will pay you handsomely.
You do not have the coin.
And yet you know that I will when I retake Bebbanburg.
And in the contest between Wihtgar and me, you know who will win.
I'm not known for my loyalty, Uhtred.
It is not wise to put this in my hands.
[inhales sharply.]
It is not simple to lure a guard away from their defenses.
- It will cost you.
- Yes, I know.
Finan is outside.
He will explain the plan.
Pyrlig can borrow our smallest boat.
If they spot him on the water they should just assume he's part of the pilgrimage.
Make sure you return it.
I will do all I can.
Good luck.
[sighs lightly.]
I wonder perhaps I should join you.
No, please do not.
You have things to protect here.
I'm never certain Haesten can be trusted.
Am I making the right choice? It cannot be wrong to protect the Lady Aelfwynn or to seek a home for your children.
Whether this is the time that has been chosen for you, that I cannot say.
I hope it is.
But your motive is pure and so my God will be with you.
Get it done as dawn rises.
And tomorrow will be the first day of a new world.
- Does everyone understand the plan? - Yes! - Yes.
- Hey, do it for him.
He draws the guards down to the beaches before the tide turns, giving you a very small and frankly slightly reckless opportunity to get in by the guards' room before they return.
You're forgetting the bit where you sit on your ass.
Yeah, I I sit on my ass in the boat.
- Hm.
- Get them out when the signal comes.
Excellent, we're all agreed.
Night approaches and there is still no word from Uhtred.
Lord King, be patient.
He has never let you down.
Never before was he fighting for his own lands.
As much as he speaks of Saxon unity, we know what brings him here.
- I do not think that is fair.
- Perhaps not.
But who has the best interests of the Saxon people at heart, - Uhtred or me? I will not - Lord Spies north of here say the Scots have left a camp and march in this direction.
- How long until they reach Bebbanburg? - [Cynlaef.]
It will depend on whether they stop to meet reinforcements - or if that is the full force.
- And what of Uhtred? [sighs.]
No word, no sighting.
We cannot track him.
What is being discussed that we should know? What is being kept from me? I fear he is going to attack.
Without Lord Uhtred? He does not seem to care if my father lives or dies.
Talking to him of Aelfwynn has no effect and he has no thought for Lord Aelfweard.
Edward is lost.
To be so enraged by Aethelhelm's treachery, he would risk his own son in a siege? Something has gripped him.
It is as if he now believes he has divine blessing.
My lady.
I may have been too emphatic in my encouragement of the king.
Come, ride with me south.
No! I will not flee the battle.
I will stay where I may be of use to injured men.
I am not suggesting we flee, but if you want to avert a slaughter, then follow.
[door clatters, unlatches.]
Do you plan to jump and swim away? Perhaps.
Well, do not be fooled by the calm.
The tides here change quickly.
You'd be dashed on the rock.
I do not care.
My life is over.
Are you the King of the Scots? Are you the bride? So I'm told.
Why are you not married? You're older than my father.
Which father would that be? [distant laughter.]
My apologies, it's an unkind joke.
- You already hate me? - Yes.
Why? Because I do not wish to marry you! It is a simple truth.
This is being forced upon me.
I do not wish to marry you either.
- Then free me from this bargain.
- No.
Because I have given my word.
I am being traded.
- That's just the way of things.
- [scoffs.]
You will be rich and well-cared for.
- It is not a terrible curse - You have no idea! None! Who is it that you're fond of? I'm sorry? Who has your heart that fosters so much resentment? Lord King, I'm pure.
I'm not asking that.
I will not share the content of my heart.
Well, um as we we will be married, I feel I should offer you my trust.
I am in love.
The woman is married herself [chuckles.]
Yet she is mine.
And I have no wish to betray her by humping a girl of noble blood.
So you will be my wife.
You will live in comfort in whichever fortress best pleases you.
I shall enjoy the riches of your lands in Mercia.
I may visit but not your chamber.
In short, the marriage will be barren and I will never love you.
Lord King that is the first time someone has been honest with me for quite a while.
[both chuckle.]
[door rattles, closes.]
Thin fellas were they, your forebears? [grunting.]
How long will we have to get in and out? [Uhtred.]
Haesten makes landfall and all goes to plan, long enough.
My lord.
The seas have betrayed another ship.
This shore is the land of Wihtgar of Bebbanburg.
You know this.
We do not seek to trespass, only to wait for our cargo and salvage it.
Who travels with you, Nun? A trader bringing relics to Lindisfarne.
Name yourself.
Allow us to wait for the tide and you can have some spoils.
Wait here.
The path has gone.
Is there another way? Can we go back on ourselves? There's no time.
The tide is turning.
Men will be leaving their posts.
[exhales deeply.]
You always wanted to die at Bebbanburg.
Less talk.
We climb.
Offer no help.
Now is not the time to be distracted by acts of local charity.
Lord King, we have extended much hospitality to you and Lord Aethelhelm.
Allow me to claim the spoils as recompense.
What's the cargo? Salt and relics.
When the tide comes in, more may follow.
On my land, I take what washes in.
That is indeed the custom.
You may do as you see fit.
But I'd be wary of a ploy.
Danes send men to observe in the weeks before they attack.
Once we have departed south, you may be at the mercy of sea raiders.
Then you'll seek to welcome us.
You men, to the shore.
You men, to the courtyard.
You may take your fill as the tide turns.
- [Haesten.]
Is that the cousin? - Yes.
There's not such a resemblance.
I know a greedy man when I see one.
You should have much in common.
You should be able to keep him talking.
Thank you for allowing us to gather our treasure.
We will see what else washes up and leave your land.
Not at all, consider yourself my guests.
Come into the fortress where we have fire.
That is a kindness, but we have much to do.
I have pilgrims I need to ferry to the island.
Too many dangers present themselves to travelers here.
Come into the fortress.
A wedding feast is imminent and that is a delight we wish to share.
My men will gather your cargo, though, of course we will take a tribute.
Take your fill of the riches, men! Haesten is feeling generous.
Oh, Jesus! - [laughs.]
- Can you believe that? - [seagull caws.]
- [Finan screams.]
[Finan yells.]
Give me your hand! Give me your hand! Give me your other hand! Pull! Pull up! [grunting.]
[yells, laughs.]
Thank you.
[sighs with relief.]
Quickly grab what you can and return to your posts.
And keep an eye out for more Danish ships! I'd like somewhere quiet to dress.
Are there ladies' quarters in the fortress? You may find your way down to the kitchen.
There are some women there.
This one.
This repair looks weakest.
Try it.
Too fast and too loud! I cannot hear anyone.
I think Haesten has got them to the shore.
Haesten! Now that is a face I would not forget.
Are you the poor soul that was shipwrecked? - Yes.
- Ah.
I do not recall you, Lord.
No, it seems you do not.
[laughs nervously.]
The last time we met, you imprisoned me in Alfred's tomb.
Siege at Winchester, it is imprinted on my memory.
[chuckles softly.]
And yet you lived and thrived afterwards.
- [scoffs.]
- We were both younger men.
My grandson barely slept for years afterwards.
Well, I have removed the icicles from my balls and will be on my way.
Stay a while, Haesten.
We have such memories to share.
Block the hole.
That's enough.
[Sihtric whispers.]
[Finan whispers.]
Hey, hey.
Here, you are most likely to be recognized.
What if one of you two gets spotted? I've a plan for that.
Come on.
Let's find Aelfwynn! [Finan laughs.]
- Lord King, wait for Uhtred's signal.
- We have waited and heard nothing.
The time offered to prevail is slipping away.
But what of Uhtred or Aelfwynn? They will be killed! - This is madness.
- Yes.
But we must follow.
[dramatic music plays.]
Is that the King of the Scots? Aye.
Lord! Lord! Lord! [mutter of nearby voices.]
You men! Stay in the courtyard.
Why does Constantin place his men here? [in Scottish accent.]
We do not discuss what measures we take.
Aye! [clears throat.]
King Constantin? Your man strays where he is not wanted.
He's no man of mine.
[clang of swords unsheathing.]
I think you've been fooled, Lord Wihtgar.
How did you get past my men? Are you shipwrecked Danes also? [Wihtgar.]
Torture them for answers.
Show them what any sea raider would face.
You do God's work, my friends.
You shall make twice this on my next cargo.
[mutter of nearby voices.]
[door slams.]
- Lady Aelfwynn? - Yes? - Come.
- No! Come! I'm trying to rescue you! I have heard that many times before and it's never been true.
Lady Aelfwynn, I am Lord Haesten.
- I was a friend of your true father! - Lord Haesten? Tried to kill my mother! Help! Help me! Lord King! This man is trying to seize me.
The girl is mistaken.
If I offended the young lady, I apologize.
Our ways with women are not the same as yours.
[Haesten pants.]
I'm a man of honor.
Perhaps I am misunderstood.
You're a liar.
Your plot is discovered and your other men captured.
Tell me the truth of why you came to Bebbanburg and I shall take only their lives.
I will tell you the truth, for I serve no one but myself.
I have no allies here and I'm part of no plan.
[Haesten groans.]
- [groans.]
- [clattering.]
Have rid of this.
And fetch the priest! Get this marriage over! Perhaps we have gone the wrong way.
The farmer said this was east, but now I think it is west.
I was told many have joined her, here amongst the trees.
We know you are here! We have seen your scouts! [Stiorra.]
Lady Aelswith.
Do your worst! You'll get nothing out of us.
It is very foolish of you to come here.
I'm no friend to Christians.
Perhaps, yes.
But we need your help.
Halt! - Let me strike the first blow.
- [Finan spits.]
My lord! Soldiers approach from the south.
- How many? - Many.
I shall return.
- [grunting.]
- [shackles clattering.]
[bell ringing.]
[guards shouting.]
You, secure the gate! Secure it! [Uhtred.]
Oh no, no, not yet.
[horn blows.]
[men shouting.]
Come no closer! Speak! I bring a message from Edward, King of the Saxons and king in these lands! Give us Lord Aethelhelm and Lady Aelfwynn and we will not attack.
Refuse and we will besiege and kill you all! None will survive!
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