The Winter King (Season 1) Episode 5: Previously on The Winter King on MGM+, we saw Arthur taking a big risk by letting Gundleus go with the promise that he would bring his uncle to their capital city of Caer Cadarn. Derfel joined Owain to collect taxes from Cadwys, who had evaded them for a while. During their conversation, Cadwys told Owain about a tin-mining spot to find some valuable resources. Upon reaching there, Owain and his men were surprised to see the miners present. In a fight against these miners, Owain’s men defeated them. 

The fifth episode shows the ramifications of Owain’s actions, which result in Arthur taking a daring step to ensure peace between the kingdoms. On the other hand, he tries to make an amicable agreement with Gorfydd to form a united front against the Saxons. 

*Spoilers ahead* 

The Winter King (Season 1) Episode 5 Recap

The previous episode followed Derfel’s (Stuart Campbell) journey with Owain (Daniel Ings)  to acquire the tax hidden by Cadwys. Upon receiving the gold, they all went to a mining site, to satisfy Owain’s avarice. After the sudden conflict at this site, Derfel returns to the kingdom feeling aggrieved by what happened. Owain tries to justify the moral burden that they need to bear together. In an attempt to sway Derfel’s mind, Owain offers some gold coins as a reward. Lunette (Olumide Olorunefemi), who recently got close to him, asks him to accept it as a part of showing his respect. 

Owain’s Return

Eventually, Owain returns with the load of money to Caer Cadarn. Arthur notices Derfel having tagged along with his old friend. Owain hands over the gold, which Arthur senses to be much more than what he anticipated. Still, he lets it go and expects Owain to keep the guests entertained until the naming ceremony. Arthur understands that Gorfydd (Aneirin Hughes) is unhappy that his nephew Gundleus (Simon Merrels) is still a prisoner, although alive. He maintains the fact that he did not break his pact with this Silurian king. 

Morgan (Valene Kane) goes to meet Merlin (Nathaniel Martello-White) to check whether he will be present during baby Mordred’s naming ceremony. He refuses to come and stays firm on his decision. Considering Nimue’s (Ellie James) absence, he asks Morgan herself to perform her duties at the ceremony as a druid. During her excruciating journey, Nimue sees her master Merlin in front of her eyes. He offers something to help her with her fever. On the other side, while discussing the history of the Saxons, Gorfydd joins Arthur on a fishing excursion in a nearby lake. Gorfydd mentions how Uther mentioned the importance of their land for the Saxons. He acknowledges his intemperance upon arrival in Avalon. 

Saxon Spy

In the middle of their dialogue about Gundleus, Arthur notices a body lurking behind the bushes on the other side. He manages to hit this person with a flying spear. The man turns out to be a Saxon spy. Owain finds a map on him, which Arthur realises to be of the southern regions, in great detail. He responds when Owain mentions King Aelle. Before managing to kill himself, he mentions that Aelle will kill every one of them and spread terror across their land. Owain explains how this Saxon leader has been gaining popularity and is hoping to make his mark. 

Later on, Prince Tristan of Kernow (Gabriel Tierney) arrives in the castle with a young girl to meet the king of Dumnonia. He talks about a treaty of peace made between a group of people from his kingdom and Dumnonia. Tristan accuses Dumnonia of betrayal due to a raid on a mining spot. He then brings a young girl, who testifies that her brothers, uncles, and other relatives have been killed. Her description of the culprit closely resembles Owain’s features. This is the same girl that Derfel let go, after their fight with the miners. 

Tristan’s Accusations

Tristan leaves the castle with a warning that the truth must come out in two days before he returns to Caer Cadarn. Owain tries to malign Tristan’s image in Arthur’s eyes and blatantly lies about never having a foot in the mine that was attacked. Since Owain denies the charge, the blame falls upon the black shield Irish. Upon discussing these matters with Gorfydd, Arthur realises that the Irish would never go out of their way to raid a tin mine. Gorfydd expects Arthur to pursue truth and justice in this regard as he preaches. He also expects Arthur to accept Gundleus to attend the king’s naming ceremony. 

The Winter King (Season 1) Episode 5 Ending Explained:

Morgan carries out baby Mordred’s naming ceremony as a druid and performs the ritual. As Merlin earlier saw, she also sees visions of a gore-filled future under Mordred’s rule. Arthur senses that she is uneasy, but she does not openly express anything about what she sees. She cleans her bloodied hands and mentions that Mordred will be a great king, whom the Saxons will be afraid of. So, she essentially tells the truth that the others expect to hear.

Does Tristan get justice for what happened in the tin mine?

Arthur keeps pursuing the case against the killings at the mining site. He learns that Tristan will soon arrive in order to fight against Owain. Arthur speaks with Derfel to realise the truth – for the sake of peace between the kingdoms. Although Derfel does not express anything directly, Arthur realises more than what words can express. Eventually, on the day Tristan returns to their castle in Caer Cadarn, Arthur decides to take matters into his own hands and fight the war of swords. 

Arthur declares that he will represent Tristan in a swordfight with Owain. It looks like he is certain of Owain’s guilt in this matter. He provokes his old friend to accept his proposal for this fight. Owain feels especially betrayed by this bid. However, after an intense battle in a heavy outpour, Arthur manages to win over his friend and kill him. Upon stabbing him in the chest, he feels a moment of remorse. But this way, he stays true to the ideals he stands for. 

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The Winter King (Season 1) Episode 5 Links: IMDbRotten TomatoesWikipedia
The Winter King (Season 1) Episode 5 Cast: Iain De Caestecker, Daniel Ings, Jordan Alexandra, Stuart Campbell, Ken Nwosu
The Winter King (Season 1) Episode 5 Genre: Historical fiction, Fantasy drama | Runtime: 10 Episodes, 55–60mins each
Where to watch The Winter King

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