Uhtred receives news that Bebbanburg's defenses have been weakened by Scottish attacks and plans to seize his birthright, but Edward refuses to help.
As Uhtred and his men draw closer to Bebbanburg, prodigal son Wihtgar returns with some tricks up his sleeve. News of Cnut's treachery reaches Wessex.
Uhtred suffers an unbearable loss in his attack on Bebbanburg but takes some valuable captives during his retreat south. Aethelflaed prepares for war.
Hoping to be joined by Edward's troops, Aethelflaed and Uhtred ally with the Welsh to face Cnut's thousand-warrior army at the Battle of Tettenhall.
A repentant Aethelred lingers near death while his ealdormen vie for control of Mercia and Edward uses his niece Aelfwynn as a bargaining chip.
Eardwulf and his men pursue Uhtred's party as it flees through a countryside ravaged by disease. Tensions rise between Edward and the Mercians.
Aelfwynn suffers from the sickness sweeping the land. Edward proposes an unexpected path forward for Mercia. Brida is freed by Cnut's kinsman.
Uhtred reluctantly prepares to take power in Mercia but secretly formulates an alternate plan. Brida joins the Danes in attacking the Welsh.
The Danes under Brida and Sigtryggr sack Winchester, guided by the traitor Eardwulf. Haesten ambushes Uhtred's party and seizes valuable captives.
Edward besieges Winchester as he awaits Aethelflaed's reinforcements, but Uhtred isn't convinced that conquest is really Sigtryggr's ultimate aim.