Following the death of King Edward, invaders and rival heirs do battle for the crown. Uthred and his comrades strive to form a united England.
Alexander Dreymon reprises his lead role as the great warrior Uhtred of Bebbanburg, who must ride once more across a fractured kingdom with several of the series’ much-loved returning characters, as they battle alongside, and against, new allies and enemies. Following the death of King Edward, a battle for the crown ensues, as rival heirs and invaders compete for power. And when an alliance comes seeking Uhtred’s help in their plans, Uhtred faces a choice between those he cares for most, and the dream of forming a united England.
Set during the 10th century, before England was a united kingdom, the movie, directed by Ed Bazalgette, takes place as the recent death of King Edward and the ascent of his son Aethelstan (Harry Gilby) threaten a fragile peace among the country’s pagan and Christian nation states. The loyal Lord Uhtred of Bebbanburg (Alexander Dreymon), a man of deep honor, wants to avoid a conflict that he thinks will continue for generations.
In this film alone, Uhtred’s sword is stolen, his land and title are stripped away, and a conniving Danish king, Anlaf (Pekka Strang), seeks to exploit him. Ingilmundr, the lover and Svengali of Aethelstan, also wants to turn the impressionable ruler against Uhtred.
Main article: Anglo-Saxon England
The kingdom of England emerged from the gradual unification of the early medieval Anglo-Saxon kingdoms known as the Heptarchy: East Anglia, Mercia, Northumbria, Kent, Essex, Sussex, and Wessex. The Viking invasions of the 9th century upset the balance of power between the English kingdoms, and native Anglo-Saxon life in general. The English lands were unified in the 10th century in a reconquest completed by King Æthelstan in 927.
During the Heptarchy, the most powerful king among the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms might become acknowledged as Bretwalda, a high king over the other kings. The decline of Mercia allowed Wessex to become more powerful, absorbing the kingdoms of Kent and Sussex in 825. The kings of Wessex increasingly dominated the other kingdoms of England during the 9th century. In 827, Northumbria submitted to Egbert of Wessex at Dore, briefly making Egbert the first king to reign over a united England.