The Winter King (2023) s01e09 Episode Script

Episode Nine

- What did he say?
- "Aelle, Aelle.
He will kill you all."
His men raid our borderlands,
steal our sheep, and burn our villages.
[SANSUM] I believe we discussed
the building of a church.
- In Avalon?
- We simply wish to worship in peace.
[NIMUE] This isn't your
land. You shouldn't be here.
[SANSUM] We have a
heathen witch, brothers.
Your charms, Nimue,
they hold no power over us.
[SANSUM] Nimue did this.
Did you poison those men?
It was the will
of the Gods.
[MORGAN] Bishop Bedwin's negotiations
with Gorfydd's abbot at
Ratae have concluded.
[GORFYDD] Not many would be
brave enough to stay behind
to fix your brother's messes.
Arthur very much regrets
any hurt that may have been caused.
Time for the entertainment,
don't you think?
Your bishop, Lady Morgan.
[DERFEL] Don't touch her!
[DERFEL] Whoa, whoa-whoa.
- Come on.
Princess Ceinwyn.
I'm so sorry.
I must be quick, or
Father will know I'm gone.
- What is it?
- I heard him tell Gundleus
I am to be betrothed.
To a Saxon.
He's in an alliance with them.
When? When did he forge this alliance?
I don't know.
Thank you.
I will not be a throw-piece
in a pact that destroys Britain.
Take this news to Arthur.
My lady.
[ARTHUR] Gorfydd will pay for this.
He will pay.
[MORGAN] It won't bring him back.
Why did he return to Caer Dolforwyn?
He pacified Gorfydd
in the past, perhaps
Why do you think he went back?
To clean up your mess.
Thank you for bringing him back home.
For your courage and
for your forbearance.
I humiliated Gorfydd publicly.
It was naive to think a bit of gold
could buy his forgiveness.
I'm sorry that the
true price was so high.
My Lord, we've heard that King Gorfydd
has entered into a pact
with the Saxons.
Heard from whom?
Princess Ceinwyn.
King Gorfydd has sealed the bond
by betrothing her to a Saxon.
- Who? Which one?
- I don't know.
I don't know, My Lady.
You are sure this is real?
It's real, Arthur.
I think that Ceinwyn was sincere,
and I think that this threat is genuine.
Then we must prepare for war.
Gorfydd played a part,
and he played it well.
The wounded patriot
who puts the isle first
and wants nothing but peace
and union.
If only we'd show him some respect.
You're saying that man never existed?
[GUINEVERE] Not for a long time.
He hardened his heart years
ago. He just hid it well.
Patriot for Powys, and Powys alone.
And it is that Gorfydd
that we need to understand.
The strategist,
the cold heart.
What he will demand from the Saxons,
and what he will offer them in return.
In his arrogance, he
misjudges the Saxons.
Thinks he can use them.
All he will do is let them in,
and the isle will be lost.
And Powys with it.
Send word to King Tewdric.
He has the best-placed spies in Powys.
How real is this alliance?
When was it hatched?
Who wooed who and with what bait?
If Tewdric has an inkling of this,
I will be very curious to
know why he hasn't shared.
- I'll leave now.
- No, I need you here, Sag.
Lanval, you go, please.
[ARTHUR] How many bands
do we have like this?
Men who are ready to fight, Sag.
[SAGRAMOR] Perhaps a hundred.
- No more?
- Maybe less.
A hundred bands from Dumnonia alone?
A hundred bands from Dumnonia
and the loyal tribe kings.
- What about Abona?
- Or Corinium?
- Aquae Sulis?
- All counted in the hundred.
Isca, Lindinnis, Glevum?
The same, and a hundred is
being optimistic, Arthur.
I thought you said that
our ranks were swelling,
- surpassing expectations.
- They are, but pitted against
the Saxons and Powys,
they would perish in a
day, and Dumnonia with them.
- A day.
- Training, numbers, weaponry.
We're wanting in all.
We can't win a fair fight.
Or any other kind,
as we've lost our druidess,
and the Gods alone know where Merlin is.
- Thank you, Sag.
- Okay.
You think I made a mistake with Nimue?
I hear her powers are formidable.
A true protégé of Merlin.
It's too late.
Send for Nimue. We need her.
You know that I can't do that.
Even if I wanted to.
I need to speak with him, alone.
If Nimue hears I'm back and
haven't gone to see her
She's not there.
While you were gone, something happened.
Nimue thought wrongly
that I favored Sansum.
Then when her curses failed,
she resorted to violence.
She poisoned Sansum's followers,
and three of them died.
None of us saw how angry she was,
how vengeful.
Where is she?
I had to banish her, Derfel.
Banished her?
Nimue must walk her own path,
as I did mine.
Could you not have seen this coming?
Could you not have stopped this?
Our focus must be on the kingdom.
Gorfydd and the Saxons.
Is that understood?
Yes, it's understood.
I can count the people I trust
on the fingers of a mitten, Derfel.
I'm afraid you're one of them.
[DERFEL] Ralla.
- You're okay.
- Look at you.
You're getting bigger.
Back for good, then?
Caer Cadarn never suited us.
Plus, Mordred has a new nurse.
You don't look too sad about that.
I was proud to serve our prince.
I've just heard about
Nimue and the Christians.
Do you think it's true?
I don't know.
With you and Merlin gone,
I think she felt alone, cornered.
- I don't believe this.
- Derfel,
I tried to talk to
her whenever I saw her.
I'm sorry, Derfel. I
should've tried harder.
No, no, no, no, no.
I'm sure you did your best.
Where would she go, Ralla?
Where can I find her?
- We can't, not here, later.
- A name, a place,
- something that she might've mentioned.
- Sorry to be the bearer of bad news,
but supper won't cook itself.
Glad you're back safe, Derfel.
Whoa, whoa, whoa, Culwyn.
What happened to your eye?
Just a
workhorse didn't wanna work.
Wait, wait.
Please. Help me.
Do you have any idea where
Nimue would go, Culwyn?
I'm sorry.
We're tired. In our bones.
We-we buried our dead,
we rebuilt Avalon, but we can't rest.
We can't sleep, we
can't we can't breathe.
The Saxons are coming.
Gorfydd's coming.
The tribes are massing in the east,
warring in the west.
All we want to do is to live in peace.
Don't judge us for that.
Sister, I hope one
day you can forgive me.
When could I ever deny you anything?
But I can't speak for Bedwin.
Be thankful his god pays no attention
to the body after
death, only his spirit.
His god is also more forgiving.
Perhaps that will stand in my favor.
I believe forgiveness is only granted
to the truly penitent
and sincere of heart.
Did you really think you could betray
and belittle a man like Gorfydd
break his daughter's heart,
and just just walk away?
Gorfydd is responsible for
the evil visited on Bedwin.
And I will make sure that he pays.
That he pays.
That he suffers.
Is that all you can offer?
When did that solve anything, Arthur?
Desire has blinded you.
It has blinded your conscience
and any shred of culpability with it.
You have crushed
all hope of uniting the tribes,
and the Gods know we can't fend off
Gorfydd and the Saxons alone.
Make this right.
Make this right.
Or Dumnonia's ruin will be your legacy.
- Derfel.
- Ralla.
Hello, Derfel.
Ah, my Lady.
May I ask what you're doing here?
Paying my first visit to Avalon.
It's always been my
dream to set foot in here.
Your absence is noted at Caer Cadarn.
Not sulking, are you?
Don't blame you if you were.
What you endured in Powys
It was my decision to go, my Lady.
On top of Arthur's treatment of Nimue.
But she left him no choice.
Can't have people going
around poisoning each other.
That's Arthur's view, anyway.
Not yours?
I don't know Nimue. Never even met her.
But they say she's powerful.
Close to the Gods.
A druidess without equal.
That she is.
To squander her for
some miserable Christian
seems foolish at best
and an insult to all
strange that she'd leave that behind.
Arthur didn't give her a chance
to gather her things.
Where is Nimue?
I don't believe that
Arthur has no inkling.
If he does, he hasn't told me.
What are you doing here?
- What is this?
- Let me ask you a question.
Do you think she killed those men?
Believe she cursed them, yes.
And if those curses failed,
might the great druidess
resort to common murder?
What about Queen Echen in Elmet?
[SAGRAMOR] Arthur, I've already
told you, we only have 20.
Well, that's not enough.
We need twice,
three times that many men.
Tewdric's spies confirm it.
Gorfydd plans to come
south to cement his bond
with the new Saxon leader, Aelle.
- When?
- We don't know.
How did this bond come about?
Who made the first move?
He heard about you breaking
off your wedding to Ceinwyn,
and he sent a message
of condolence to Gorfydd.
A message and an invitation.
Aelle has an eye for an opportunity.
We must remember that.
Why did Tewdric sit on this?
He swears he didn't.
He says this all happened very recently.
Suggested that mining
him for information
while doubting his loyalty
was strategically
Tewdric's man sits at the
heart of Gorfydd's court.
When he knows we'll know.
Do we trust him? Tewdric?
I don't think we have much of a choice.
When Arthur left, he placed Nimue
under guard in the tower.
Two days later, men came in the night
and took her from her chamber.
- Who? Sansum's people?
- I don't know.
Strangers. Bad folk.
- Was Arthur there?
- No,
but Culwyn tried to stop them.
You asked me if I thought
Nimue poisoned them.
They say Arthur asked her over and over,
and she refused to deny it.
You know Nimue. Stubborn as a mule.
Well, that's one explanation.
The men who came for Nimue,
what does Culwyn say about them?
- He won't talk to you, but
- Why won't he talk to me?
Because they scared him witless.
What, with a few punches?
He said they were other.
More and less than men.
I have to go. I'm sorry.
Bye, Derfel.
Sorry about your friends.
I must say, strange
that you should fall ill,
but none of these men did.
You share food, you share water.
Do you believe in the one true God?
- Then leave us in peace.
- Bishop Bedwin,
rest his soul, used to speak
of the common ground,
and I believe in that.
And what is the common
ground between us?
I want to understand how you fell ill.
The witch.
She poisoned us.
Are you tree fellers?
- Are you woodsmen?
- Yes.
What about those three?
Thank you.
[SANSUM] The Lord is my shepherd.
I shall not want.
He maketh me to lie
down in green pastures.
He leadeth me beside the still waters.
He restoreth my soul.
He leadeth me in the
paths of the righteousness
for his name's sake.
Beneath the tenderness of thy heart,
we take refuge.
O Mother of God
disdain not our supplications,
but deliver us from perils.
O pure blessed one.
This is why they took
so long to recover.
This is why the woodsmen
and the woodsmen alone
fell ill and died.
Only they drank from the well.
Nimue is innocent.
Why would you take
Sansum's word over hers?
- Careful, Derfel.
- Why couldn't you trust her?
It wasn't about trust.
I made a judgement based
on what I knew at the time.
- What judgement?
- I had no choice but to do what I did.
I sent her to the Isle of the Dead.
It was that or a sentence of death.
You were sparing her?
Three men were dead.
- Fathers all.
- Saving her, almost.
People were frightened.
- I had to act for the greater good.
- No. No.
Not before you found out the truth.
But your debt to Sansum
was too great to waste time doing that.
You've had your say, Derfel.
You get her back, Arthur.
You un-banish her,
and you bring her home.
I can't.
She's already reached the isle.
They say that no one ever comes back.
There's a first time for everything.
Derfel, we will bring her back together,
but first I need you here.
I don't believe you.
I don't believe you
because you say one thing,
and then you do another.
Where was the greater good,
when you dropped Ceinwyn
The Arthur who saved
me from the death pit,
whose return I longed for
I prayed for,
would look upon you as a stranger.
You will be by my side
when we face the Saxons,
if not for loyalty and respect,
then because I saved
you from the death pit,
and you will honor that.
You are my man and you
will play your part,
help with Saxon translations
and customs, so on.
And when we have dealt with Aelle,
then we will bring Nimue back to Avalon.
Do you understand?
I will see you tomorrow, my Lord.
Something tells me I have you to thank
for Derfel's rotten lamb.
You absent yourself
for the guts of the day,
and Derfel turns up demanding
to know what happened to Nimue.
You underestimated him.
No. You told him to keep digging.
Didn't you?
He loves her, Arthur.
Every time he utters
her name, it's plain.
So, you did seek him out?
- He deserves the truth.
- Perhaps.
But from my lips, not yours.
And don't pretend you'd care for Nimue
if she was just a peasant girl.
But she's not just some peasant girl!
She's a uniquely powerful asset
we can scarcely afford to lose.
Sending her to the Isle
was hasty and ill-judged.
The only question is,
can it be rectified?
Hasty and ill-judged?
You condemned her for a
crime she didn't commit.
What would you call it?
And even if she did kill them, so what?
She was defending Avalon.
No reason to let Sansum force your hand.
He didn't.
We should never have put
ourselves in that man's debt.
Uther grew wary in his old age.
Wary and suspicious,
not least of me.
- You're not your father.
- Give it time
my love.
You sound like you relish the prospect.
Everyone's so supportive.
So courteous, so keen to offer counsel.
What they really mean is
they could do it better.
But when push comes to shove
none of these wise heads
will show you a shred of loyalty.
Is that something Uther said?
It's something I'm discovering.
I can't talk to you.
Did you or did you not
seek out Derfel in Avalon?
All Derfel did was show you the truth.
You should be thanking him, and me.
There you are.
That wise counsel.
But I suppose I only
have myself to blame.
Why is that?
Gorfydd warned me about you.
Hey, Culwyn.
Culwyn, wait.
Wait, wait.
The men who came for Nimue,
you said they were other.
- Ralla!
- You were right.
They came from the Isle of the Dead.
- You're mistaken.
- Arthur sent her there,
in accordance with Sansum's wishes.
You fought emissaries
of the dead, Culwyn.
That makes you brave.
I apologize.
I've been thoughtless. Stupid.
Guinevere, stop.
I can't imagine the wounds
he inflicted on you that night,
physical and mental.
How long they must've taken to heal.
And then you had to
survive banishment
remake and rebuild yourself
become a man who trusted no one.
Relied on no one.
Who saw need as weakness,
kindness as dependence,
love as poison.
A man who was truly alone.
But you're not alone,
and once you accept that,
I mean truly accept it, embrace it
everything will work.
Gorfydd is leaving tomorrow,
day after at the latest.
To meet with Aelle and the Saxons?
On the sacred ground at Nodens' Vale.
[SAGRAMOR] The Saxons' closest
stronghold to our border.
[TEWDRIC] And he's
sailing down the coast,
rather than risking crossing Dumnonia.
- [LANVAL] Wise man.
- Maybe not.
King Tewdric
if we pivot east
to Venta, then we head south,
cleaving to the river all the way
We can steal a march on Gorfydd
and reach the Saxons first.
[SAGRAMOR] And offer them
what, exactly? Lanval?
Aelle is the key, not Gorfydd.
Aelle's plans and ambitions.
Truer than you know.
Aelle was supposed
to fight under Cerdic,
supreme Saxon leader on the isle.
But Aelle had other ideas?
A fracture's opened up
between the two Saxons,
one you could exploit, Arthur,
by allying with Cerdic.
Cerdic is the old guard.
He's still powerful.
I will make my approach to Aelle,
and he will listen.
Thank you, Tewdric.
Arthur. You can thank me
by granting me an audience.
Your man Lanval as good as
accused me of betraying you.
of knowing about Gorfydd and the Saxons
and keeping you in the dark.
Blame me, not him.
I do.
What have I done for you to mistrust me?
Insult me?
Even after you provoked Gorfydd,
without a thought for the consequences,
the certainty we'd be
caught in the middle.
Suspicion runs deep in me
but I wish that it didn't.
If Gorfydd's pact with the Saxons
was forged months ago,
you're off the hook.
- Absolved.
- Of what?
Ruining our best chance in years
for a lasting peace,
a united isle.
Your marriage to Ceinwyn's
neither here nor there
if Gorfydd was stringing you along,
waiting for his moment,
waiting for Aelle.
I hadn't thought of it like that.
What do you want from me, Tewdric?
Your trust.
You have my trust.
And you have my apology.
I met your father not
long before he died.
He said a curious thing, he said
"I always thought it
was unfair to judge a man
by his worst decision,
by a moment of stupidity or cowardice.
But now I know different.
Now, I know it is
our worst decisions that define us.
They're the ones we have to live with."
Not sure, but I had the sense
he was speaking of you.
And the harsh treatment he showed you.
send word to King Mark,
tell him to send Tristan
and plenty of tin.
- Tin?
- As much as he can carry.
- He'll understand.
- As long as someone does.
Lanval, ready the horses
plus three days' sustenance.
And find Derfel. We need someone
who speaks the bloody language.
- [MAN] Welcome, Tristan.
- Thank you.
[ARTHUR] When I was small,
eight or nine, my father taught me
how to build a post fence.
He learned me to thatch
and board a roof, too.
He'd say, "That's real
wisdom. No man's above it."
Uther was a wall and
borders man to his boots.
The higher the wall, the better.
To him, security meant hostility,
peace was a lie,
and the only good Saxon was a dead one.
- Not a bad philosophy.
- No.
And it's served Dumnonia well.
You want to try something different.
I do.
Aelle is a man open to
new ways of doing things.
He's also a man in need of tin.
- Isn't that right, Tristan?
- We know the Saxon land
boasts few tin mines.
It's not their land.
It's our land.
That's how we know.
[MORGAN] Across the isle, their
weaponry is blunted and broken
and they need tin to repair it.
They're running low?
They're running out.
But if they want ours,
then they must come to the table.
So, we give them our tin,
they patch up their weapons,
- and slay us with them?
- Good plan.
Why don't we just give them our weapons?
Ah, even better plan.
We're not giving them
our tin. We're trading it.
For what? Gold? Land?
You have something to say to me?
I do.
I'll be careful. Promise.
That wasn't it.
I mean, I do hope you
come back in one piece.
- That's a relief.
Go on, then. I'm curious.
You talk a lot about your father.
Your differences, similarities.
If you ask me, his legacy is poison.
For you personally, I mean.
But the one part that might help you,
you've ignored.
Which is?
His grasp of the Saxon heart,
and their obsession with land.
You think tin is insufficient?
If it is,
you'll be in the middle
of a Saxon encampment
when you find out.
It would be prudent to have
something up your sleeve.
- Where did you get this?
- I drew it.
Gift Ratae to Aelle,
and you kill this alliance at birth.
Without his fortified stronghold,
Gorfydd's finished.
You're right.
My father did understand the Saxon.
But you have misunderstood him.
"Give them coin, give them gold,
horses, livestock,
your fairest daughters.
But no land, ever.
Not a stony pasture
or a blade of grass."
Derfel was seen on the
southern road last night.
He's gone for Nimue.
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