The Last Kingdom (2015)

 

 

 

Director:     Peter Hoar, Anthony Byrne, Ben Chanan, Nick Murphy.

Starring:     Alexander Dreymon (Uhtred of Bebbanburg), Ian Hart (Beocca), David Dawson (Alfred), Adrian Bower (Leofric), Brian Vernel (Odda the Younger), Eliza Butterworth (Aelswith), Emily Cox (Brida), Thomas W. Gabrielsson (Guthrum), Harry McEntire (Aethelwold), Tobias Santelmann (Ragnar), Simon Kunz (Odda the Elder), Amy Wren (Mildrith), Rune Temte (Ubba), Henning Valin Jakobsen (Storri the Sorceror), Sean Gilder (Wulfhere), Charlie Murphy (Queen Iseult), Nóra Lili Hörich (Pretty Servant), Nicholas Rowe (Asser), Joseph Millson (Alferic), Gerard Kearns (Halig), Alec Newman (King Aethelred), Lorcan Cranitch (Father Selbix), Madeleine Power (Young Thyra), Nikolett Barabas (Eanflaed), Eva Birthistle (Hild), Laura Döbrösi (Nursemaid), Jonas Malmsjö (Skorpa), Victor McGuire (Oswald), Matthew Macfadyen (Lord Uhtred), Andy Gathergood (Edgar the Archer), Peter Gantzler (Earl Ragnar), Sergej Onopko (East Anglican Dane), Jason Flemyng (King Edmund), Rutger Hauer (Ravn), Grahame Fox (Smith), Alexandre Willaume (Kjartan), Ole Christoffer Ertvaag (Sven), Julia Bache-Wiig (Thyra), Caroline Boulton (Lady in Waiting), Elizabeth Conboy (Glenna), Declan Hannigan (Hostage), Simon Nader (Young Priest), Tom Taylor (Young Uhtred), Nicholas Wittman (Digger), Akos Baji (Archer), Ralph Berkin (Bishop), Balázs Csémy (Young Priest), Alan David ( Bishop Alewold), Zsofia Farkas (Aethelflaed), Kevin Griffiths (Man in Crowd), Andrea Vagn Jensen (Wife of Earl Ragnar), Michael Jibson (Osric), István Koleszár (Lead Dane), Alexis Latham (Man at Witan), Jocelyn Macnab (Young Brida), Helen Monks (Gwen), László Mátray (Messenger), Mark Phelan (Drunk Man), Paul Ritter (King Peredur), Geoffrey Thomas (Priest), Craig Whittaker (Godric).

TV series set in the time of Alfred fighting the Vikings of what became Denmark

 

 

Spoiler Warning:

 

Part 1. 

866 A. D.  Bebbanburg, Kingdom of Northumbria, northern England.  A boy, named Osbert, sees Danish ships off their coast.  He alerts his father, Lord Uhtred, who curses the Danish Vikings. The Lord orders everyone back to the castle on the coast.  The Lord tells his older son, Uhtred, to go down to the shore and count the number of Vikings coming.  Mother asks Osbert what is happening and the son says that the Danes are coming.  Mother gasps and says:  "Oh, God and his saints preserve us, they have no soul."  Dad warns Uhtred not to fight with any of the Danes.  The Lord says the Danes have come to support the Viking army in Eoferwic (York).  He then tells his aide Aelfric to send word to rouse the countryside because he wants every man inside the fortress.

The Danes row up the river.  They spot Uhtred and his men, denounce them as spies and then pull down their pants to "moon" the Northumbrians.  Uhtred loses his temper and starts denouncing the pagan warriors.  The Viking leader Ragnar tells Kjartan:  "I think we should teach this boy a lesson."

Father tells Osbert to go fetch the priest Beocca.  The priest tells Osbert that he is writing a response to a letter from King Aella asking Lord Uhtred for his support to recapture Eoferwic.  Lord Uhtred is informing King Aella, and King Osbert, that he will come to their aide at Eoferwic. 

A small group of Danes on horses ride up to the outside of the castle.  Ragnar stops his horse and then holds up the severed head of young Uhtred.  He then throws the head into the mud.  The Danes ride off. 

The Lord now gives the name Uhtred to Osbert.  Beocca tells the Lord that he will baptize Uhtred.  The Lord has no objections.  He tells his son that now he is the new heir of Bebbanburg.  Beocca baptizes Uhtred. 

The Lord and his fighting men leave the castle for battle at Eoferwic.  When young Uhtred learns about this, he puts his fighting gear on and takes off to catch up with his father. 

Earl Ragner now meets up with another Danish commander, Guthrum.  Also there is a fierce leader named Ubba.  They talk about Lord Uhtred, one of the three kings of Northumbria.  Kings Aella and Osbert fight each other for Eoferwic.  Only King Uhtred is the fighter.  If they kill Uhtred then Northumbria will belong to the Danes.  Ragnar asks Ubba if they will take the castle?  Ubba consults with his holy man and the man says the signs are good for a battle.  Ubba turns toward Ragnar and says:  "Then we fight."  A big cheer goes up from the men. 

The Northumbrians attack the Vikings who have put up a shield wall against the attack.  The Vikings thrust their swords into the Northumbrians through the gaps between their shields.  Then more Danes hidden in a gully charge the Northumbrians.  They spot Lord Uhtred and manage to kill him.  Young Uhtred sees this and attacks Earl Ragner.  Ragner just keeps knocking the boy down as Uhtred keeps attacking.  Uhtred becomes a nuisance, so Ragnar knocks him out. 

Uhtred witnesses the Vikings using their captive men and women as toys to be dragged around by horses, raised in the air by ropes and then dropped to the floor and other such tortures.  Uhtred is shocked by what he sees. 

Ragnar takes Uhtred upstairs and shows him to his father Ravn.  Ragnar then leaves to join in the tortures.  Ravn gives Uhtred a knife to test him.  He tells Uhtred to cut the chicken for him.  Uhtred does not try to harm Ravn.  Instead, Uhtred asks him questions about his life.  Ravn then gives Uhtred some good advice:  never cross Ubba and never, never fight him. The old man then says they will destroy all the English kings and take their lands.  Northumbria is theirs and soon Mercia will be theirs too.  Then to be conquered is East Anglia, Cornwallum, and the last kingdom, Wessex.  Uhtred says he is the Ealdorman of Bebbanburg.  Ravn concludes after talking to Uhtred that he sees why his son Ragnar saved Uhtred.  Uhtred is a warrior. 

Uhtred sits on the steps going to the floor above.  A little Northumbrian girl , named Brida, sits down beside him. They hold hands for mutual support. 

Uhtred picks up weapons on the battlefield along with Brida.  Uhtred runs into his father's dead body nailed through his mouth to a pole. 

Leeds, a city in today's West Yorkshire.  Ragnar has settled in Leeds.  Brida and Uhtred work as slaves for the family.  They often play with Ragnar's daughter Thyra.  One day some big boys come around and Uhtred and Brida run from them.  The boys catch Bebbanburg and she screams out for Uhtred to save her.  Uhtred runs back.  Sven  rips and tears down the top part of Thryra's dress.  Uhtred then jumps on Sven. 

Uhtred and Brida are being questioned by the family about what happened to Thryra and her dress.  Ragnar starts hitting Uhtred, but now Thryra speaks up in Uhtred's defense, saying it was Sven who started the fight. 

Now the men of the family come go to Sven's house.  His father is Kjartan and the men speak to him.  Kjartan said his boy is remorseful and has been punished.  Ragnar asks the father if he going to fight Ragnar or fetch his son.  The boy is brought out of the house and Ragnar says he is only going to take out one of the boy's eyes.  He removes one eye and then tells Kjartan that he is banished from the Ragnar land. 

Ragnar gives Uhtred a pagan amulet.  Uhtred accepts it.  Ragnar then says that Uhtred made him proud today.

Kjartan goes to speak with Uhtred's uncle.  He says he has news that the uncle will want to hear.  He says that Ragnar has a slave that the uncle has the right to buy back from Ragnar.  It's the man nephew, Uhtred.  He lives.

So a trading negotiation is opened up for the uncle to buy back Uhtred.  Uhtred tells Ragnar that he has no family.  Beocca comes to whisper a message to Uhtred.  "Your uncle will kill you.  You cannot go back to Bebbanburg.  You must escape."  He suggests that Uhtred escape to Wessex along the southern coast of England.

Ravn tells uncle that he wants 300 pieces of silver for the boy.  Uncle says that amount is ridiculous.  Ragnar listens to the negotiations, then he walks over to Ubba and whispers something into his ear.  Now Ubba says that the boy has been sold to Ragnar. So, the matter is closed.  The uncle and his men have to leave.  Ragnar tells Uhtred that he is now his son, Uhtred Ragnar.  He then pushes the boy off his horse and into the water below. 

Uhtred grows up.  In fact, all three children are grown up.  Thryra is going to be married.  Ragnar takes Uhtred aside and says now that Thryra is getting married, it's time for Uhtred to marry.  He says Brida will be watching the fires tonight, so Uhtred can take his horse and join Brida for the night.  Uhtred mentions that if he was to become a real Dane, he must marry a Dane.  Not necessarily. 

Uhtred joins Brida by the fires.  The two kiss and hug each other.  They have sex. They hear the sound of voices below them. They check it out and Uhtred says that the leader of the group is Kjartan.  They have to take a run around the area to avoid being spotted by Kjartan.  Kjartan arrives before Uhtred and Brida and sets fire to the Ragnar home.  The home is soon enveloped in fire and smoke.  The family members start rushing out, but Kjartan's men cut them down with swords and arrows.  Ravn is hit by arrows.  Ragnar wife gives Ragnar a knife and with it Ragnar kills his wife. 
Ragnar puts on some of his armaments and with a sword in his hand he busts through the door to the outside.  Ragnar is completely covered in fire and he doesn't get far. He kills some of Kjartan's men,  but other men strike Ragnar down with their swords. 

Uhtred and Brida arrive too late.  They see Ragnar fall to the ground still covered by flames. 

Morning arrives and the men are still searching for Ragnar's silver.  Sven now wants to get revenge on Thryra.  Uhtred sees that one of the men with Kjartan is a Saxon spy.  He is determined to kill the spy, even against Brida's wishes.  He sneaks into the farm complex.  He bides his time until he can get a chance to kill the spy.  When the spy gets close to Uhtred, the young fellow grabs him from behind and thrusts his sword into the spy's throat.  Kjartan gives up on the search for the silver and he and his group head out. Brida knows where the silver is and she and Uhtred dig it up.  They take the chest of silver with them. 

Uhtred tells Brida that he's going back to Bebbanburg to get what is rightfully his. He and Brida now head toward Bebbanburg. Uhtred rides up to the castle gates and shows uncle the severed head of the spy he killed.  He shouts who he is and that he will take what is his.  Uncle immediately tells his men to get to their horses to chase Uhtred down. 

 

Part 2.

Uhtred and Brida escape being captured and killed by uncle.  While riding they come upon a small village where all the people are dead, except an archer who tries to kill Uhtred.  Brida throws her axe into the archer's back and he goes down.  They ask the dying man who did this and why.  The villager says it was revenge for a Saxon servant killing a Dane master [Ragnar].  And the leader of the massacre was Uhtred.  Brida fears that Ubba will believe the story he first hears and he will kill Uhtred. 

Winchester, Kingdom of Wessex.  Father Beocca goes to see Alfred and passes by a woman coming out of Alfred's chambers.  Alfred tells the priest that he is a sinner and he should have never married.  Instead, he should have joined a monastery.  Beocca says Alfred is needed for if the king should die, it would be to Alfred that the people would turn.  Alfred says he would be a lousy king.  Beocca says that Alfred would be God's king. 

Beocca now tells Alfred that there is an English uprising in the north. The uprising was defeated, but the leader was a nobleman, Uhtred of Bebbanburg. He adds they say Uhtred killed his Danish master and forty men.  Alfred doesn't want to hear about a tale of a man that might be a ghost, for all they know. 

Alfred goes into the King Aethelred's council meeting.  The king tells Alfred that King Edmund of East Anglia writes a plea to Wessex for an army.  Earl Ubba is on the warpath.  Brash Young Odda says King Edmund deserves nothing but silence.  Alfred says that's too harsh of a reaction.  The king and the council, however, agree that Wessex will not send any men to aid King Edmund.  They also agree that now Wessex will be the last kingdom standing up against the Danes.  So Wessex must prepare for a Danish attack.

Uhtred sees a town in East Anglia burning.  At night Uhtred and Brida have sex.  In the middle of this Brida suddenly realize how they can manage to get  a hearing with Ubba without getting Uhtred killed.  They will take hostage Ubba's sorcerer Storri hostage as a guarantee for Uhtred's life.

Bury St. Edmunds, Kingdom of East Anglia.  Uhtred tells people in the village that he has Brida as his prisoner and the woman is for Storri.  He learns that Storri is at the monastery looking after King Edmund and killing the king's priests.  The couple go to see Storri and Brida quickly captures the man.  Storri says that Ubba will come looking for him.  So Uhtred says he will wait for Ubba's arrival while Brida takes her prisoner away. 

Earl Ubba and some of his men come into the church looking for Storri.  Uhtred makes his presence known. Ubba wants to kill Uhtred for killing Ragnar.  Uhtred says those that killed Ragnar were Ragnar's former ship's master, Kjartan, and his half-blind son, Sven.  Ubba will deal with Uhtred after he finishes taunting his prisoner King Edmund.  The Vikings ask King Edmund to prove that his God is all powerful.  Will God save the king from their arrows, like God saved St. Sebastian?  They then shoot arrows into the king and the king dies. 

Now Obba is going to have his archers kill Uhtred.  Uhtred now tells Ubba that he has his sorcerer as a hostage, and, if Ubba kills him, Storri will be killed too.  He demands that Ubba have the church doors opened.  Ubba orders it done, but he says:  "One day I will kill you."  Uhtred rushes out of the church.

Uhtred reunites with Brida and tells her that Ubba believes that he is the one that killed Ragnar.  He asks why Storri is naked and stretched over a horse?  The man got a little unruly and it had to be done, says Brida.  Uhtred slaps the horse's rear end and the horse takes off following the path.  He then tells Brida that they are now no longer Danes. 

Uhtred and Brida head out for Oxford, Kingdom of Mercia.  He wants a blacksmith to makes him a sword to last a lifetime. 

In Wessex Beocca tells Alfred that the king's son Aethelwold is drunk again.  Should he take the drunk into see the king?  Yes.  So a huge soldier known as Leofric picks up Aethelwold and takes him to the king.  The king screams at his wayward son.  He sends his advisers outside and tells his son that he is an unsuitable heir.  This scares Aethelwold and he says he will change this very day.  He is excused. 

The king tells the elder Odda that he favors his brother Alfred over his own son to be the next king.  Meanwhile, Uhtred and Brida have sex to help pass the time while they wait for the sword to be finished.  (very brief partial nudity)

The sword is finished and Uhtred is very pleased with the work.  The blacksmith tells Uhtred that five or more men are out looking for him.  Uhtred rushes to Brida to tell her they must leave now as men are after them.  They start rushing to their horses.  A man comes chasing Uhtred and Brida dispatches him with her axe in his back.  Uhtred kills another man.  Two men capture Brida, but Uhtred kills the two men.  There is another man that chases them.  They kill him too. 

Away from Oxford, Brida tell Uhtred that he must forget about his Saxon lands.  Uhtred rejects that idea, saying:  "No, I won't vanish.  Nothing changes.  Kjartan and my uncle will pay for Ragnar's death, and I will have those lands."  They will go to Wessex. 

In Wessex Uhtred draws a lot of attention, because he is dressed like a Dane.  The people start jeering him.  Wessex soldiers surround Uhtred.  Leofric and Uhtred insult each other and a duel is going to take place, but Beocca intervenes just in time. 

Alfred talks with the couple.  He talks of Uhtred having killed Ragnar.  Brida speaks up and says they lie.  Alfred then talks about his dream that there will be a day when all the kingdoms in the land will be united under one king.  All that remains of England now is Wessex.  He then updates the couple on the gathering of a great Danish army. They have moved upriver from Lundene to Readingum.  Earl Guthrum leads the army. 

Uhtred decides to go to Readingum. He checks out the situation there and then returns to speak with Alfred and the king.  He tells them that the Danes intend to attack. They will be marching within days.  He suggests that if they want to defeat the Danes they must meet them on the road to Abbendum.  There's a place called Asec's Hill. Alfred doesn't trust Uhtred and Young Odda is disgusting in what he says about Uhtred and his plan.  Alfred now sides with Uhtred, but still doesn't trust Uhtred, Alfred has them placed in cages suspended by chains in the courtyard. 

Guthrum is on the march to Wessex.  He is surprised when he sees the Saxons arranged along a ridge near the road.  King Aethelred prepares his men for the attack on the Danes. 

 

 

Part 3.

Winchester, Kingdom of Wessex. The king has been wounded and might die.  Beocca comes to the jail cells of Brida and Uhtred and brings them good food.  He tells the couple that Alfred is well and victorious over the Danes.  Beocca adds that Uhtred shares in the glory with Alfred. 

Young Odda tells the king's son that he should go to his father and  and tell everyone that he heard the king choosing his son as his heir, regardless of whether or not his father says anything to him at all. 

Dane's encampment.  Ubba complains to Guthrum:  "Guthrum, you went into battle without me."  Ubba says that Guthrum lost the battle.  Guthrum replies that they killed the Saxon king.  Ubba is still not happy.

The king's son goes out drinking and whoring on his father's last night instead of going to visit his father.  When he finally goes to see his father, Aethelwold is too late.  Alfred tells him that the king is dead.  Aethelwold goes inside the king's room.  He tells everyone that before the king passed, he named him, his son, as heir to the throne.  Elder Odda say he will inform the Witan of Aethelwold's claim.  [Witan are the members of the national council or witenagemot.]  He adds that everyone in the room heard the king approve Alfred as his heir.

Alfred speaks with Uhtred.  He admits that Uhtred told the truth.  He says he and Wessex are indebted to Uhtred. The young man says he wants his lands.  Alfred says that the king is dead.  They will speak latter on about his lands.  His first act as the new king will be to offer the Danes a peace. 

Elder Odda speaks with Aethelwold on the grounds as Leofric holds a sword to the throat of the former king's throat.  He tells the young man that Alfred will not abide by any more of Aethelwold's schemes.  Aethelwold tells Elder Odda that his own son is with him in his schemes.  Elder Odda becomes angry and warns Aethelwold not to name other people to his conspiracies. Leofric now kicks Aethelwold into unconsciousness. 

Alfred speaks with Young Odda, saying he will negotiate with the Danes, but at their own convenience. 

Alone with a pretty female servant, Alfred starts kissing her.  Beocca appears just at the wrong time.  The servant quickly leaves and Alfred says that his conscience has arrived.  Alfred tells Beocca that his Uhtred may have a role in Wessex.  Beocca is happy to hear that. 

Young Odda tells Guthrum his messages.  Guthrum accepts the invitation, but takes Young Odda's horse for himself. 

Brida prepares a potion with hallucinogenic mushrooms and then drinks it all down. She has visions of things to come.  She is on a Viking boat with Young Ragnar.

Alfred offers land, title and wealth to Uhtred if  he will marry a young Wessex woman.  Alfred says:  "Marriage would show your commitment to Wessex."  Uhtred keeps saying he doesn't need a wife. 

Uhtred finds Brida not feeling well after her mushroom concoction.  She says they must leave Wessex and go anywhere else. She tells Uhtred of her vision about Young Ragnar.  She wants Uhtred to come with her, but Uhtred wants to stay in Wessex.  She tells him to leave her.  Uhtred leaves her. 

Alfred is anointed as Rex Alfredus.  Brida shows up at the anointment.  She leaves the room in disgust, followed by Uhtred who has sex with her. 

Wilton, Kingdom of Wessex.  Guthrum and Ubba come to the negotiations.  Guthrum says that if Alfred wants peace, he will have to pay for it.  Alfred is willing to pay the Danes if they promise to leave Wessex and not come back.  The Danes reject that idea, but then Ubba changes his mind and says Alfred can have his peace if the king will give over Uhtred the traitor to them.  Alfred will not give them Uhtred.  But he will give silver to the Vikings and it will be written that Alfred is the one who sought peace. 

Alfred asks Uhtred to promise a year's service to Alfred and Wessex  In exchange, at the end of the year they will talk about Uhtred of Bebbanburg. 

Alfred calls for a discussion of what the Danes will do. Uhtred says it could be a year before the Danes could build up a new Great Army.  Alfred announces that Uhtred will teach those of Wessex the Danish way of war.  Knowledge will dispel some of the fear the Saxons have of the Danes.  He adds that Uhtred has agreed to a year of service.  Brida is furious to heat this news.

In the morning, the Saxons are going to move.  Uhtred goes looking for Brida.  He finds her leaning against a tree.  She tells Uhtred that she lost a baby.  She says she did not know she was pregnant.  Uhtred believes that it was the mushroom potion that killed their child. 

Uhtred starts teaching the Saxon soldiers. 

Young Ragnar finds Brida.  She digs up the silver and tells Uhtred that the silver will go to Ragnar.  Uhtred asks her if she is leaving him?  She says that she and Uhtred can join with Young Ragnar and his men.

Elder Odda offers his god daughter Mildrith as a bride for Uhtred. 

Brida once again tries to get Uhtred to come with her and Young Ragnar.  Uhtred again says no.  Now Young Ragnar comes up to Uhtred and asks him if he killed his family?  Uhtred replies while throwing his short sword on the ground:  "If you believe that I would kill our father, our mother and our family, take your revenge."  This convinces Young Ragnar that Uhtred did not kill his family.  Uhtred tells him it was Kjartan and his son Sven.  The two brothers talk to each other about how they can kill Kjartan.  Ragnar gets ready to leave.  Brida is going with Ragnar.  Uhtred says his goodbyes to Brida. 

Leofric tells Uhtred that Alfred wants him to help him take back all of England from the Danes.

 

Part 4.

Young Odda stops to tell Uhtred that he doesn't deserve to be married.  Mildrith is a lady and is above Uhtred.  Uhtred in turn insults Young Odda. 

Uhtred is going to marry without ever seeing Mildrith's face.  Mildrith arrives her head covered and wearing a cloak.  Young Odda tells her that she doesn't have to marry Uhtred.  He can make an appeal to Alfred.  Mildrith ignores Young Odda.  The marriage ceremony is led by Beocca.  Now Uhtred gets to see her face.  She is a pretty girl. 

Uhtred tells Mildrith that he's a lucky man marrying such a pretty woman.  Mildrith thanks him for the compliment. 

With Loefric, Uhtred leds Mildrith back to her home and lands.  They see some Danish foragers and get concerned.  Uhtred says they will not attack as long as his group just keeps on its path. 

Elder Odda tells Alfred that Uhtred is going to be mad when he arrives at his new homestead.  Alfred says that Uhtred must pass a test, and this will be the test.

Uhtred wants to know why Alfred gifted him with such a beautiful wife.  Mildrith says it's not her place to tell him, but Uhtred wants his wife to tell him.  Her father pledged the product of one-tenth of his land, and the tithe has to be honored regardless of bad weather or an attack by the Danes.  So, Uhtred has a debt to pay to the church.  The debt is 2,000 shillings.  Uhtred says about Alfred:  "Damn him!" 

Lyscombe, Kingdom of Wessex.  Mildrith says the land is good, but the buildings need repairs.  There are other families that live on the land too.  The fat man is Oswald and he manages the farmstead.  Uhtred will not attend the supper prepared for them, saying they are tired.  The newlywed is also disappointed by the small size of the master's home.  Moreover, he doesn't trust the farm manager.  He says he will have to be watched.  He then asks Mildred how many pieces of silver did she receive as her bride price?  18 is the answer.  33 is what she should have received.  "You were robbed.  As I was robbed.  That price is your security and you will have it, all of it."

In the morning, Uhtred scoots over over with his wife and they kiss.  Mildrith is soon very pregnant. 

Guthrum and his men are on their way to the fortress at Werham.  Uhtred sees them and tells Oswald to take the people into the hills, while he and Mildrith go to Winchester. 

Winchester, Kingdom of Wessex.   The Danes are invading Wessex.  Alfred says:  "The peace is over.  We have no choice but to march on Werham and pray God we arrive before the fortress falls."  When the king goes to pray, Uhtred asks for the full bride's price.  It appears it is Young Odda the has pocketed the missing money.   Elder Odda tells Young Odda to pay Uhtred.  Young Odda pays off Uhtred. 

The Wessex army moves out for Werham.  Mildrith stays behind. 

Alfred tells Uhtred that the brother of Ubba has been killed in Ireland, and now Ubba wishes to avenge his brother personally.  Guthrum won't attack alone for fear of losing too many of his men. 

Werham has fallen to the Danes.  Alfred now moves his men to Werham.  Young Ragnar informs Guthrum that Alfred is here.  Guthrum says that until Ubba returns the Danes will have to make peace.

Guthrum and Alfred agree that Alfred will feed the Danes for one month and the Danes will leave at the end of the month.  Each party will give up ten hostages to the other party.

Alfred tells priest Sibley that he will be one of the hostages.  The priest will teach Christianity to Guthrum who has shown a interest in knowing more about the Saxon's God.  Sibley admits that he is afraid of what might happen.  Also to be a hostage is Uhtred.  When Ubba returns, Uhtred is to escape and he will light a beacon fire to inform other beacon keepers to light their beacons.  Uhtred doesn't like it, but he agrees to follow Alfred's orders. 

Brida watches as the Saxon hostages walk over to be the enemy's hostages.  Guthrum gives Uhtred a rough time, but for now the hostages can roam around the place during the day, but sleep in the locked church at night. 

Guthrum tells Ragnar Ragnarson to be responsible for Uhtred during the day.  Now Brida comes to welcome Uhtred.  She whispers to Uhtred that now Ragnar in her man.  He tells Brida that now he is married.  Latter he tells Brida that Mildrith is beautiful and she carries his child.  And, he has the land he wanted in Wessex.  Ragnar says that Uhtred should have come with him, when he first asked him to come with Brida and he. 

Mildrith gives birth to a baby boy, Uhtred, son of Uhtred.  Sibley teaches Christianity to Guthrum.

Ubba returns.  It's time for Uhtred to leave.  Guthrum now kills Sibley.  Uhtred finds the dying Sibley and asks him if Ubba has arrived?  Yes.

Guthrum orders the hostages to be killed.  Only Uhtred is left alive and Ragnar intervenes to save Uhtred.  He tells Guthrum that he will have to kill him first, if he's going to kill Uhtred.  So Guthrum says he will give Ragnar one last charity.  He orders the hostage to be released.  Uhtred and Ragnar hug then Uhtred hugs and kisses Brida.  He has to leave without a horse. 

Uhtred sees the Danish fleet coming into port.  He rushes up a hill to light the beacon fire for Alfred. 

 

 

Part 5.

Young Odda rushes over to Mildrith's place to get her to come with him to get her away from the oncoming Danes.  Mildreth wants to wait for Uhtred.  Odda insists that she leave and she decides to leave her home.

Uhtred buys himself a horse to return to his home. 

Alfred tells his military plans to Elder Odda and Wulfhere.  The two men will ride towards the Severn River to face Ubba.   Alfred will ride south to face Guthrum.  And once again the Wessex army is on the move.

Uhtred returns home to find his wife gone.  He searches for her and finds the manager having sex with a young girl.  The manager says this has never happened before and it will never happen again.  Uhtred demands to know where his wife is.  The manager explains that his wife and her newborn baby boy went with Young Odda. 

Cynuit Hill, Kingdom of Wessex.  Elder Odda and Wulfhere hold the high ground overlooking the Danish encampment by the river.  Ubba and Storri decide to attack the Wessex army even if they do have the high ground. 

Uhtred rides into the encampment on the hill.  Older Odda tells Uhtred that they all thought Uhtred was dead.  Uhtred quickly gets off his horse and immediately throws Young Odda to the ground demanding to know where his wife and son are.  Older Odda says that Mildrith and the baby are at his house in the care of his wife.  Leofric arrives and places his sword next to Uhtred's throat.  He says that he gives Uhtred his word that his wife and baby have not been harmed.  Uhtred lets Young Odda up.  Elder Odda is extremely angry with Uhtred.  He tells him to go get himself together and then come back and tell him how Uhtred escaped from the Danes and why Uhtred is still so stupid.  Leofric tells Uhtred that it would have been better if Uhtred had gotten off his horse and asked if anyone knows where his wife and baby are. Uhtred says that would have been the better choice, but that way Young Odda wouldn't have soiled himself. 

Odda says he will negotiate with Ubba and, meanwhile, he will send out hunting parties to bring food in to feed the Wessex army until Alfred arrives. 

The negotiations take place at the base of Cynuit Hill.   Uhtred takes part in the negotiations, much to the distaste of Ubba.  Ubba wants the Wessex army to surrender to the Danes.  Elder Odda says several times that there will be no surrender.  To shake Ubba's confidence a bit, Uhtred tells Ubba that Guthrum's fleet is gone down to the sea-bed.  He then tells Ubba that he is the next Danish leader to die.  That infurites Ubba and he demands that Uhtred fight him right this minute.  Uhtred is not going to fight Ubba.  Ubba leaves.  Uhtred tells the Wessex negotiators that they should attack the Danes. 

Elder Odda discusses their situation with Uhtred.  Uhtred comes up with the idea of setting fire to the Viking fleet.  He volunteers to carry out the mission.  All he needs is Odda's promise to attack the enemy when the fleet is on fire and the Danes are disorganized.  Odda gives his word that he will attack at the right moment. 

Uhtred grabs big balls of pig fat and places them into sacks.   Meanwhile, Young Odda is trying to undermine Uhtred's plans by speaking to his father. 

Uhtred takes his balls of pig fat and walks down the hill to the Danish encampment.  Elder Odda tells Leofric and Wulfhere to prepare their men to move.  The two sub-leaders are upset that Elder Odda won't tell them anything else. 

Uhtred studies the encampment closely.  He waits until Ubba retires to his tent with two pretty maidens.  Uhtred kills the guard and then sets the pig balls on fire.  He throws the sacks of fire onto the various ships and the ships are soon ablaze.  Now Uhtred shouts out that the fleet is burning.  There is great panic amongst the Danes.  They try to throw water on the sacks, but water just make the fires flare up more.  Uhtred is still hanging around and Storri spots him.  Now Ubba challenges Uhtred to fight him.  Meanwhile, the Wessex men start moving down the hill.

The two men fight.  Ubba is a huge man and he muscles Uhtred around the circle.  With his axe, Ubba smashes Uhtred's Viking shield.  It looks bad for Uhtred, but the young man grabs his short sword and thrusts it into Ubba's knee.  He then cuts both Achilles' tendons on the giant's ankles.  Ubba goes down.  Then Uhtred slices Ubba with his sword.  He finally thrusts his sword into Ubba's chest dispatching him to Valhalla.  But now the Danes are going to kill Uhtred.   Uhtred starts backing up and runs right into the Wessex army.  It's victory for Wessex! 

Elder Odda was hurt badly in the battle.   Leofric tells Uhtred that his first priority now it to go directly to Alfred and tell him that Uhtred defeated Ubba and his Danes.  If he doesn't do this, then someone else will claim the victory for himself.  The problem is that Uhtred wants to check on his wife and baby first. 

Uhtred sneaks up on Mildreth and scares her.  They are happy to see each other.  They hug and kiss.  Then Uhtred goes to meet his baby.  Mildreth says she wants Young Uhtred to be baptized by Father Beocca in Winchester.  Elder Uhtred is not happy with the idea. 

Holdenhurst, Kingdom of Essex.  Young Odda has come to tell about the victory that he will claim to be thanks to him.  Alfred is pleased with the news and says now Guthrum will have to negotiate a peace.

Winchester, Kingdom of Wessex.  Uhtred and his family come to have Father Beocca baptize their baby.  It soon becomes clear to Uhtred that no one has even acknowledged that Uhtred was at the Battle of Cynuit.  Alfred again becomes furious and is going to tell the king and others off.  He proceeds directly into see the king as Beocca tries to calm him down.  He says that Uhtred cannot disturb the prayers.  Of course, Uhtred ignores all good advice and confronts the king and everyone else.  He says he was at the battle and it was he that killed Ubba.  The king is really angry once again at Uhtred's behavior.  He tells Uhtred that he has broken the peace of Christ.  The upshot of this is that Uhtred lands himself in jail.

Uhtred and the former king's son have to walk on their knees through the thick mud to be humiliated before the king.  The former king's son really helps out Uhtred by putting on such an exaggerated display of contrition that it disgusts Alfred, who now leaves the rest of the ceremony.  Uhtred now becomes very defiant and walks out of the ceremony without completing it and insulting the Winchester people as he leaves.  He then tells his wife that their son will be a pagan, like his father.  Now Uhtred says he's going drinking and whoring. 

Leofric drinks with Uhtred and he suggests that they behave like the Danes:  they will plunder to get wealth.  They will become raiders.  They will go to Cornwalum and take from the Britons. 

Uhtred and his family return home.  He catches his manager stealing his trees and selling them to the mill owner.  For this, Uhtred now kills the manager by letting his horse smash in the head of the manager.  Then Uhtred plunges his short sword into the manager's chest.   Mildrith is utterly shocked.  Uhtred tells her:  "That was justice."

 

 

Part 6. 

Leofric tells Uhtred that Young Odda is building Alfred a church at Cynuit and it will have a gold altar.  Mildrith is mad at Uhtred for killing the manager, for not paying wergild to the harmed family and not allowing his son to be baptized.  She says the people in the area call her husband Uhtred the Godless.  And now Uhtred is constantly gone for long periods of time.  Mildrith now warns Uhtred that the manager's widow has gone to speak with Bishop Alewold, who will go to Alfred and Alfred will send men to their home.  Mildrith says if Uhtred leaves her, she will go to the church and have their son blessed. Uhtred says then the boy will not be his son.  Their arguments heat up so much that Leofric leaves the dinner table. 

Alfred is told about Uhtred killing the farm manager and refusing to pay wergild.  The king assigns Young Odda to investigate the situation. 

Uhtred and his gang of outlaws head out to plunder.  Nearing Cornwalum they stop to change into Danish clothing.  Leofric notices a stranger among the group and challenges the man.  The stranger turns out to be Aethelwold.  He says he just wants to be part of their adventure.  Leofric wants to kill the former king's son, but Uhtred says that he owes Aethelwold for helping him get out of the groveling before God punishment. 

At the encampment for the night, Aethelwold says that the border between Wessex and Cornwalum is the Tamar River.  Aethelwold also mentions that he wants to be blooded in battle. 

Young Odda and Bishop Alewold come to Mildrith's home, but her husband is not at home.  Odda tells Mildreth that her husband must settle the wergild for Oswald's death or face confiscation of his property.

Uhtred raids a village, but they have nothing of value for the men.  So they march on.  They run into a Brother Asser who has been sent to them by King Peredur of the Britons.  Their king has been attacked by a fellow Briton and neighbor, Callyn, whose forces have seized the fort guarding their land.  Brother Asser says they will pay Uhtred well for his services in driving off the offending Britons. 

Uhtred speaks with King Peredur, who says that there are 40 to 50 men in the fort.  The king has 30 fighting men, and Uhtred has 20 men.  Peredur says he will pay 100 pieces of silver for the job.  Uhtred wants 400 pieces of silver.  The king says:  "I will call for Queen Iseult."  He calls for her and a pretty woman appears.  The king explains to Uhtred that he is blessed with two wives.  Brother Asser says that Iseult is a shadow queen.  Iseult comes down to Uhtred, looks at him closely and asks him what he will do for King Peredur?  Then she goes to the king.  She says, he's the one.  Uhtred is very taken by her.  Later, Brother Asser says Queen Iseult is a gwrach, a sorceress. 

The combined groups of fighting men are now on a hill looking toward the fort.  The front gate is opened. Uhtred sends Aethelwold to talk to the Britons.  Aethelwold goes up to the fort gate, but quickly comes riding back, shouting:  "They are Danes!  Real Danes!"  Three real Danes come forward to talk.  The leader's name is Skorpa, of the White Horse.  Skorpa suggests that whatever the Briton king has, they shall split among their two groups, half and half.  The two groups of "Danes" attack the Britons and kill them.  Brother Asser runs from the battlefield.  The Britons are easily defeated, but their king is still alive.  Skorpa gives the king his word that he will not kill the king if he tells them where the silver is hidden.  The king says it's buried beneath his throne.  Skorpa now kills the king, shocking Uhtred. 

The men destroy the throne getting to the silver.  Skorpa says he's going to pay a visit tovCynuit and the new church with the golden altar. When they find the silver, Skorpa turns on Uhtred, holding his sword to Iseult's throat.  He takes the treasure and also takes Iseult, who keeps warning Uhtred to do nothing.  As Skorpa leaves, he releases Iseult.  Uhtred wants to go after them, but Leofric says they are not going to lose half their men to a band of Danes.  Uhtred shouts that he needs that silver!  Iseult says she knows where there's more silver.  She takes them out to a small hill of hay compost.  The men dig for the silver.  There is a smaller treasure chest here.  Amidst the silver is a holy cross and Uhtred says it will go back to the church.  The group will split up, with Uhtred and Iseult, going to pay Bishop Alewold a visit and give him the holy cross.  As the men split up the treasure, Brother Asser watches them scornfully. 

Uhtred and Iseult come to Exeter, Kingdom of Wessex.  He demands to see Bishop Alewold.  He tells the bishop that he has come to discharge his family's debt to the church. He now unwraps the holy sword.  Alewold is very pleased and agrees to call settled all the issues against Uhtred.  Now Uhtred is very pleased. 

Uhtred and Iseult now pay a visit to Mildrith's place.  Mildreth says she prayed everyday for his return, but she wants to know who is this woman with him.  Uhtred says she is a Briton queen.  Mildrith gets very angry with Iseult and orders her out of her home.  She says the queen can sleep with the animals.  Uhtred now tells Mildrith that he has seen Bishop Alewold and now all of the debt is settled.  Mildrith says that Alfred has called Uhtred to the Witan. Her husband tells her that even that dispute has been settled.

Iseult and Uhtred sleep out with the animals.  Uhtred speaks of his marriage being ended.  He adds:  "I'm here because I chose you."  Iseult replies:  "I will be with you, Uhtred, from now until the very end."  She then suggests that Uhtred attend Alfred's witan.  Mildrith hears the couple's laughter and decides that she, the son and the nanny will all go to Lord Odda's estate. 

Uhtred and Iseult now head to Winchester and the witan.  Beocca greets them saying that they are late.  There is a matter of bridges being discussed in the witan, but Alfred says the case can wait.  They will handle the case of Uhtred.  The case involves the matter that happed in Cornwalum.  Uhtred is charged with going to war with Briton without his king's consent.  The punishment for these crimes is death.  Brother Asser says he's the one who swears these oaths against Uhtred.  He accuses Uhtred of being there with Skorpa when fifteen monks were killed at the church at Cynuit.  Uhtred says he was not there at Cynuit when Skorpa killed the monks, but Alfred says they are here to deliver judgment on the murder of King Peredur and the Christian Britons of Cornwalum.  Alfred calls in Leofric to testify against Uhtred.  Leofric, who is being helped by testifying against Uhtred, testifies against Uhtred without going into any of the details of what happened.  Now Alfred condemns Uhtred to death without Uhtred being allowed to tell his story. 

Now Leofric interrupts saying that he wants a fight to the death against Uhtred.  Alfred agrees and the death match will be set for tomorrow morning.

 

 

Part 7.

Leofric speaks with Uhtred in a tavern.  They both say they must kill the other.  They will meet tomorrow morning. 

Iseult tells Uhtred that she has not seen his death.  Beocca comes to Uhtred in the morning saying that Alfred needs his advice.  Alfred just wants a way to call-off the fight.  So he gives his terms, but Uhtred will not send Isault back to her people because they will kill her.  She will stay with him.  Alfred now says he has lost patience with Uhtred and the fight will be held tomorrow. 

 A big crowd starts to grow.  Brida is in Winchester today.  The fight begins.  Brida signals to the Danes to start moving against Winchester.  The match goes back and forth.  The Danes are inside Winchester now.  A man calls out that the Danes have breached the city walls:  "Save yourselves!"  Young Odda quickly leaves the city.  Uhtred, Iseult and Leofric hide up in an attic. 

Aethelwold decides he can talk sense with Guthrum and approaches him.  He says he is the rightful king of Wessex, but Alfred stole his crown from him.  And, as king, Aethelwold says he is prepared to negotiate.   Guthrum just knocks Aethelwold to the floor and then really kicks him hard.

Vikings below on the first floor are going to kill a nun.  In the attic Iseult takes her knife and then jumps to the floor below.  She stabs one of the Danes.  Now Uhtred and Leofric jump down and kill the other Danes.  Now Uhtred says they have to get away.  Leofric dresses as a Dane and they pretend that Iseult and the nun are their prisoners.  Brida calls out to Uhtred.  She holds an axe in her hand.  Uhtred can't understand that Brida might mean him any harm.  She finally softens her demeanore and she says the guards at the gate will be drunk and they can get out that way.

Atheliney. Uhtred and his other three companions are at the marshlands of the Severn.  Priests anda  nun are trying to reach a boat to get across the Severn River and away from the Danes chasing them.  Uhtred and Leofric go into action against the Danes. The first group of priests and nuns gets their boat underway.  One of Danes kills a priest.  Uhtred and Leofric kill the three Danes.  Three more Danes on horseback are headed for Uhtred's group.  The two women get in the boat followed by a priest and then by Leofric and Uhtred.  They get away from the second group of Danes.  They say that they're glad to have saved the priest.  The priest lowers his hood and the priest turns out to be King Alfred.  Uthred mocks Alfred saying the king is just a man.  A king of nothing. 

Now Alfred and his group are living with other people of Wessex out on the marshlands.  Alfred and his family are there too.  Their baby is sick.  The king has been wounded but the wound doesn't show.  Alfred walks right by Iseult.  She tells him she has prepared him a tonic for the pain.  She assures him that the tonic will not harm him.  Alfred drinks the tonic. 

Uhtred comes to speak with Alfred.  He says he must send out messengers to tell his people that their king is safe and they are to gather at a certain place.  The priests are send out as messengers to the people. 

Alfred's baby is still very sick.  Uhtred asks Iseult to do what she can for the baby.  Iseult says there is a way to save the baby but it is a bad way.  Uhtred says she must do what she can for the baby.

In the morning Uhtred tells Alfred that Iseult is a healer and she can help the king's baby. 

Guthrum is amazed at all the scrolls that Alfred has on his shelves.  He says he's going to learn how to decipher these scrolls.

Uhtred tells Alfred that he has seen the Danish fleet on the Severn.  They carry Skorpa's colors.  There are 20 or more ships in the fleet.  Alfred says that means 1,000 Danes. 

Sherborne, Kingdom of Wessex.  One of the messenger priests reaches Sherborne.  The people are so happy to find out that the king is still alive. 

Iseult tells Alfred that she will help his child, if the king so wishes.  The queen does not want any help from Iseult.  She calls Iseult a witch.  Alfred picks up the baby.  He wants Iseult's help. 

Iseult prepares a place in the marsh mud that will help cool the baby down.  She then warns Uhtred that if this child is to live, another child has to die.  She will be taking an innocent's life.  Alfred assures the young woman that this must be done.  Meanwhile, the nun traveling with Uhtred assures the queen that there is good in Iseult.  In addition. Uhtred says that God helps through anyone, Christian or Pagan.  It also links the saving of the king's child with Alfred's chances of defeating the Danes.  If the boy is saved, it will be a good sign for Alfred's victory over the Danes.  He now asks Alfred to let him take the baby to Iseult.  Alfred gives over the baby.  Uhtred hurries down to the marsh mud with the baby. 

In the morning, Beocca arrives to tell the king that his message has arrived.  He also mentions that all the priests are praying for baby Edmund's recovery.  This sends Alfred running down to the mud area carved out by Iseult.  He hears his baby cooing.  Iseult says the baby is well.  Alfred is so relieved by this information.  He picks up the baby and realizes that he is cool and very alive. 

Uhtred notices that Iseult is crying. She says her tear's are for the stranger's child.  Uhtred hugs her. 

Uhtred tells Alfred that the Danish ships are guarded by no more than 60 men.  When most of the Danes are out hunting, they can kill the Danes watching the ships and then burn the ships.  And then Skorpa will go join forces with Guthrum. 

Uhtred is going to make the Danes watching the ships chase him and his small group of men.  He has his archer keep firing arrows into the midst of the Danes. Then Uhtred starts insulting the Danes.  And the chase is on.  The problem for the Danes is that don't know the marsh like the enemy does.  They start splitting up into small groups, running and tripping into wet canals through the marsh vegetation.  The Danes becomes disoriented as they fall into the marsh channels.  The archers then put arrows through the Danes floundering in the water.  And now Uhtred and his men set fire to the ships. 

 

 

Part 8. 

Alfred says they will be leaving the marshes now.  Uhtred tells Beocca tht now is the time for military men and he wants Beocca to be his contact man with Alfred.  He doesn't want a bunch of priests telling Alfred what he should do.

Guthrum has Aethelwold tell him everything he knows about Alfred.  He asks Aethelwold if Alfred thinks he can defeat the Danes?  Aethelwold says Alfred's strength comes from his belief in God.  He believes that God will never desert him, and, therefore, he thinks he will win.  Guthrum is upset with this explanation.   So he gives Aethelwold his short sword and tells that the young man then  he will have to kill Alfred.  Aethelwold is taken aback by this news. 

Alfred and the others start moving out of the marshland.  On solid land, the group starts moving to Elder Odda's estate.  To get there they will have to take a diversion to Uhtred's home. 

Coming to Uhtred's home, Iseult tells him that there will be pain for him here.  Uhtred finds dead tenants and his wife and boy gone.  He then finds the grave of his son behind his farm house.  He digs his boy out of the grave and holds him.  Iseult tries to calm Uhtred, who cries over his child's body.

At night, Alfred says that the men of Wessex and beyond will gather at Egbert's Stone. Together they will fight the Danes.  Iseult says that she killed Uhtred's son when she saved Alfred's son.  Uhtred says it's not her fault.  She replies that she has seen too much and it has exhausted her.  She wants to stop seeing things in the future.  Now she takes off her clothes before Uhtred, thinking if she loses her virginity with Uhtred, her gift of seeing things in the future will be taken from her.  (Brief, partial nudity.)

Exeter, Ealdorman Odda's Estate.  Elder Odda calls out for Mildrith.  Mildrith comes to him in the clothes of a nun.  Odda is disappointed that she has become a nun.  He says she deserves a better life than this.  She says there are days that she's close to God, and this gives her some happiness.  Odda then tells Mildrith that she need not fear the Danes.  His son will protect her. 

Young Odda is presently trying to negotiate with the crafty Skorpa.  He tells Odda:  "Surrender and you will live."  Odda tells Skorpa that he has the biggest Wessex army under his command.  And now he has to decide whether to side with Guthrum, or with Skorpa.  He says there is no way for either the Danes or the Oddas to lose any men.  Odda invites Skorpa to dinner with he and his father.  Skorpa says he will come with the new moon.  Young Odda says they will be expecting him. 

Uhtred and Iseult have had sex and now talk to each other.  Iseult tells Uhtred that Mildrith is being held in the north and that it was Skorpa who told her.  She says when this battle is over, his true path lies in the north. 

Alfred now sends out three messengers to tell their troops where to meet. 

A little latter, Uhtred learns that Young Odda has made a peace with the Danes.  Alfred tells Uhtred that he will see that Young Odda is loyal. As they come to Odda's place, Beocca convinces Alfred to stay behind.  Uhtred and Leofric go ahead. 

Young Odda tells Uhtred that it is over for Alfred!  Alfred gave up on Wessex.  He has failed us.  Uhtred tells Young Odda that he has sided with the Danes.  The Elder Odda suddenly realizes that his son is a traitor. While Young Odda demands that Leofric kill Uhtred, Elder Odda pulls out his knife and stabs his son in the mid-section. Younger Odda dies.  Alfred now tells Elder Odda to raise the Somerset army.  And now he asks for 20 men to send the message to the others that Alfred is king!

Uhtred goes out to speak with Mildrith.  Mildrith says she would like Uhtred to leave her alone and never speak to her again.  Avoid me, she says, please.  She leaves. 

Uhtred starts to leave and runs into Skorpa.  He tells Skorpa that Lord Odda was a traitor and now is buried in the ground.  Then he tells Skorpa that he should return to Guthrum and prepare to die.  Skorpa leaves.  Alfred and Uhtred lead the convoy forward.

Skorpa goes to Guthrum and urges a quick attack on Alfred leading to a slaughter.

Alfred reaches Egbert's Stone but not one of his armies are here as of yet.  Aethelwold goes to speak with Alfred.  He considers killing Alfred, but then changes his mind.  And now Alfred's armies start arriving.  He says to Aethelwold:  "They have answered the call."

Now Alfred gives his speech to the assembled armies.  He says today is the day they will make the pagan's wish they had never heard of Wessex. Today, they fight for Wessex. And today, "we kill them".  The men cry out with the chant of  "no mercy". 

The Danes with the traitor Wulfhere with them stand across the way.  Both armies start moving forward toward each other. 

Both sides put up shield walls, but then the Danes get impatient and attack the enemy.  Leofric manages to kill Wulfhere, as he shouted he would.  Then Leofric gets wounded.

Skorpa sees the army of Wessex starting to push the Danes back.  So he pulls out of formation and attacks the women in the back of the Wessex army.  Skorpa personally kills Iseult, cuts off her head and when the two armies pull back a bit he rides through the no-man's land taunting Uhtred Ragnarson with Iseult's severed head.  Uhtred gets so angry that he charges the Danes and jumps up on the Dane shield wall.  He gets behind the wall and starts cutting down Danes one after another.  Skorpa gets angry at this and starts to charge Uhtred on his horse.  Beocca throws Uhtred a spear and Uhtred throws it right into Skorpa's chest. 

Ragnar Ragnarson rushes to Guthrum for his orders.  Guthrum says that the Christian God is with the Wessex army just like they said. 

Leofric is dead.  Uhtred has Iseult's body burned. 

In the year 878, at Ethandun, King Alfred defeated Guthrum of the Danes, and drove them from Wessex.  Surviving the battle were Ragnar Ragnarson and Brida. 

Peace was further secured by Earl Guthrum's baptism and the acceptance of the Christian God.

Uhtred says:  "As for Uhtred the Godless, my journey continues."

 

 

Good movie.  Nice to have a film dealing with King Alfred (ruled 871-899), who was the first King of the West Saxons to style himself "King of the Anglo-Saxons".  He became known as Alfred the Great. Traditionally, the Kingdom of England is usually considered to begin with Alfred the Great, King of Wessex.  He defended his kingdom against the Viking attempts at conquest, and by the time of his death he had become the dominant ruler in England. He was a faithful Christian and a level-headed ruler.  He unified most of England.

Patrick Louis Cooney, Ph. D.

 

 


Historical Background:

 

c. 600 AD  -- there were 4 territories dominated by Anglo-Saxons (north to south and then to the west):

1) Northumbria  --  dominated by Angles

2) Mercia  --          dominated by Angles

3) East Anglia  --    dominated by Angles

4) West Saxon  --   dominated by Saxons.

The west coast and inland was dominated by the Celtic peoples: Strathclyde in the north and Britons in the south.

The Jutes held 2 small areas of the Saxon territory of West Saxon:  Kent and the area of Isle of Wight and South Hampton.

 

787  --  first recorded landing of Vikings took place in Dorsetshire, on the south-west coast.

793  --  first major attack in Britain was at Lindisfarne monastery.

866   --  beginning of story for The Last Kingdom  Ćthelred, king of Wessex died and was succeeded by his younger brother Alfred. Alfred had to defend Wessex against the Danes and for the first five years of his reign, he paid them off.

867  --  Northumbria fell to the Danes.

869  --  East Anglia fell.

871  --   Wessex managed to contain the Vikings by defeating them at Ashdown.

878  --  Alfred's forces were overwhelmed at Chippenham in a surprise attack.

 

By 878:  the English held a big part of Northumberland, including cites of Bamburgh and Durham.  They also held land in land west and south of a line going east of Litchfield, west of Leicester, east of Wantage and south of London.

Strathclyde and Wales was owned by the Britons.

The Danes held a big section south of Strathclyde and south of most of Northumberland, and included the cities of York, Leicester, Cambridge and London.

 

878 (May)  --  Alfred led a force that defeated the Danes at Edington.  The victory was so complete that the Danish leader, Guthrum, was forced to accept Christian baptism and withdraw from Mercia. 

899  --  Alfred of Wessex dies. 

910 & 911  --  Alfred's success was sustained by his son Edward, who had a decisive victory over the Danes in East Anglia.

917  --  Edward had a crushing victory over the Danes at Tempsford.

 

978 --  the accession of Ćthelred the Unready and the resurfacing of the Danish threat. 

991  --  Anglo-Saxon forces were resoundingly defeated at Maldon.

 

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