AIRDATE: Thursday 12 November 2015 at 9.00pm on BBC Two
Season 1 Episode 4 (of 8)
Uhtred’s relationship with Alfred hits a new low. Alfred invites Uhtred to peace talks only to use him as a pawn. Held hostage by the Danes, Uhtred renews contact with Ragnar, who saves his life. A great battle looms.
Uhtred marries pious but beautiful country-girl Mildrith, much to Odda the Younger’s jealous displeasure. Uhtred soon realises that he’s been tricked, and that marrying her comes at a price; her dead father’s debt to the church. Alfred has cunningly found an additional means of keeping Uhtred close at heel. Despite the debt and his humble living conditions, Uhtred devleops a strong affection for his wife.
Meanwhile, Guthrum’s troops have been spotted flouting the peace treaty and advancing through Wessex. Alfred raises his troops and travels to Werham fortress, which Guthrum has just siezed. However, just as battle is about to commence, word reaches Alfred that Guthrum is prepared to negotiate. It becomes clear that the reason for the U-turn is that Ubba has left for Ireland to avenge the death of his brother, thereby leaving Guthrum vulnerable. Uhtred rides with Alfred to be present at the negotiations.
Uhtred is shocked when Alfred hands him over as a hostage to ensure the terms of the peace are held. Uhtred knows that he and his fellow hostages, including Father Selbix, will be killed by Guthrum if Ubba returns from Ireland with reinforcements. His only consolation is that he finds himself reunited with Ragnar and Brida, now Ragnar’s lover. But with a new wife and a child on the way, Uhtred feels conflicted.
When Ubba’s fleet make a surprise appearance, Guthrum reneges on the truce, and starts killing his hostages. It is only by Ragnar’s intervention that Uhtred is saved. Uhtred makes his escape as battle for Wessex looms.