The Winter King (Season 1) Episodes 3 & 4: After a break in the release on MGM+, the new episodes of The Winter King have come out to address the return of Arthur to Avalon. Earlier, we saw Gundleus, the King of Siluria, trying to murder Uther’s newborn. Soon after, he realised that the baby he stabbed wasn’t the heir to the throne. 

Although he once again resorted to a course of violence, Arthur returned from his banishment to protect Avalon. In the new episodes, we see Arthur making some critical decisions regarding evil Gundleus and the future of Avalon. On the other hand, we witness Derfel’s conundrum after Arthur’s return which results in complicating his relationship with Nimue. 

*Spoilers ahead*

The Winter King (Season 1), Episode 3 Recap:

Arthur’s Return

The third episode begins right after Arthur’s (Iain De Caestecker) return to Avalon. He rescues the people from his kingdom from Gundleus (Simon Merrells) – the evil king of Siluria. Arthur brings him and Ladwys (Tajana Nardone) to their capital city of Caer Cadarn. Right when Gundleus enters the gate, Nimue (Ellie James) acts upon her impulse to seek vengeance against this monstrous man. She tries to kill Gundleus because of the inhumane way he allowed his men to treat her. However, Arthur stops Gundleus’s killing and brings him and Ladwys in the castle, as prisoners. He decides to keep them in the King’s Chamber where King Uther and Norwenna used to stay. Besides Nimue, Morgan (Valene Kane) also opposes his decision. 

Instead of letting his emotions guide his decisions, Arthur thinks of the distant future of the kingdom. He does not want the kings to not fight amongst themselves, and rather, have a united front against Saxons, for England. That is why he takes the first step by letting Gundleus stay alive. Nevertheless, Nimue is heartbroken by this decision. She returns to speak with Derfel (Stuart Campbell) to bear her heart out. Then, she makes a symbolic gesture by cutting the palm of her hand and his and to represent a connection with those scars. Meanwhile, Morgan shares her regret for not being able to do enough for Arthur when he was banished. Alas, the siblings are back together and their bond seems stronger than before.

New Challenges

During his years in banishment, Arthur did not forget about his past in Avalon. He remembers Derfel as the boy he saved from a death pit. Derfel urges Arthur to let him be in their army. Arthur speaks of all the challenges he needs to be ready for along with the detachment from the affairs of heart. Derfel conveys his readiness for it. On the other hand, Arthur meets his old friend Owain (Daniel Ings) after what seems like ages. Unfortunately, they start off on a bad note since Gundleus is still alive. Like Nimue, Owain also hopes to kill the Silurian king. Arthur stops Gundleus’s death and instead, gets Ladwys to heal the wounded men in Owain’s army. 

Ambitious Plan

Nimue arrives to see Ladwys treating these men. She is furious on seeing Ladwys free and alive after all the torture she went through. Since Morgan does not oppose her brother’s decision, Nimue plans another way to kill Gundleus. She asks Derfel to get Arthur to fall asleep and use that time to murder the Silurian king. But Arthur senses Derfel’s apprehension in betraying the man who saved his life. While speaking with Ladwys, Arthur learns that Gundleus’s uncle Gorfydd wanted him to marry his daughter, Ceinwyn. That is why he does not recognise their betrothal. Eventually, Arthur makes a decision – to set Gundleus free on a mission to convince Gorfydd to attend Mordred’s naming ceremony.

Gundleus does not believe Arthur at first. But, Arthur uncuffs him to show his willingness for this ambitious plan. He keeps Ladwys back in Avalon as leverage for Gundleus to return, sooner or later. When Owain objects to his decision, Arthur accepts the complete blame if his plan fails. He shows his willingness to leave England in that case. While Nimue falls into despair over this decision, Derfel joins Owain for tax collection from King Cadwys (Billy Postelethwaite). Owain also allows Lunete (Olumide Olorunfemi) to tag along with them. 

A still from The Winter King Season 1 Episode 4.
A still from The Winter King Season 1.

The Winter King (Season 1), Episode 4 Recap:

Arthur’s decision to let Gundleus escape Avalon alive does not sit well with many. Morgan hopes her brother’s plan to work means not letting them get subjected to any massacre. But Arthur understands Gorfydd’s importance in the alliance against the Saxons. Ladwys senses this motive behind Arthur’s decision to let her stay behind. So, she tries to stab herself rather than have Gundleus make a difficult decision between choosing her and his other allegiances. Fortunately, Arthur realises her intent just in time to manage to save her life. 

Arthur’s Past

Later, Arthur visits a place with Morgan where their mother used to live. He recalls his memories of his beautiful, clever, and wonderful mother who used to tell him stories as a child. Morgan corrects him by mentioning how that wasn’t their mother, but her. She explains how their mother held a grudge against him since she blamed him for King Uther’s rejection. Despite that clarification, Arthur continues to hold his mother in high regard. He also brings a rusted sword back to the castle recalling his mother’s connection to it. 

Derfel & Owain

Meanwhile, Derfel embarks on a journey with Owain to collect the overdue tax from King Cadwys. They gradually reach a villa where Cadwys and his men live. That’s where they stay in hiding and keep a watch on Cadwys’s activities. Owain sends his messenger to convey that he will be coming to collect the taxes. At night, once the messenger leaves, Cadwys’s men take boxes filled with a lot of wealth away. So, Owain sends Derfel to check where the boxes are being taken. Later, upon Owain’s arrival in his villa, Cadwys pretends that he has no capital to skip taxes. Owain pretends he does not know the truth about Cadwys’s plans and decides to stay for a feast.

Nimue grows more and more unsettled over the course of time. She keeps having nightmares of all the things that she witnessed. In the midst of that mental chaos, she finally meets Merlin (Nathaniel Martello-White). He makes her believe that she is destined to be the most powerful druid that their isle has ever known. Later, Merlin meets Arthur and conveys his satisfaction over Arthur’s return. However, he is not content with Arthur’s recent decision to let Gundleus leave. Arthur explains how he does not wish others to submit to him. 

The Winter King (Season 1), Episode 4 Ending Explained:

Does Gundleus bring Gorfydd to Avalon?

During a feast at Cadwys’s villa, Derfel goes to collect the boxes of wealth. Eventually, Cadwys realises that his truth is exposed and agrees to pay off the tax with that wealth. Afterwards, Owain gets information from Cadwys about a nearby mine of tin, that can yield him higher profits. While looting this place, Owain tells his men to paint the swords black to make it seem like the doing of an Irish raider, who is known to do that. To their surprise, they get attacked by the miners. But Owain’s men fight back and protect themselves. It appears to be Cadwys’s plan to get them killed. 

At the end of The Winter King episode 4, Merlin goes to the baby Mordred’s chamber and touches his feet. Once again, he sees visions of a terrifying future where Mordred would potentially become a tyrant. He believes it to be the result of King Uther’s decision to betray the old Pagan gods. So, he tries to take the baby out without anyone’s notice. Arthur catches Merlin just in time to confront him about his actions. Merlin says he plans to leave baby Mordred elsewhere than the castle to avoid the possibility of a horrific future for the kingdom. But Arthur believes Merlin will kill the baby if he leaves. So, he decides to stop Merlin to protect his step-brother as he had sworn to King Uther.

Later on, after weeks of distance from Avalon, Gundleus finally returns with Gorfydd at the naming ceremony of Mordred. Arthur feels content that his plan worked. But Gorfydd probably comes also with an intent to kill Mordred to take over the kingdom of Dumnonia. He tries to incite Arthur by making him recount the humiliating treatment by King Uther. Arthur refuses to get swayed by Gorfydd’s heedless manipulation. Eventually, Gundleus tries to kill Arthur with his sword. Arthur fights back with the sword he brought back from where his mother lived which ends up breaking Gundleus’ sword into pieces. In the end, Arthur imprisons Gundleus again in the castle and snatches his liberty. He also makes sure that Gorfydd and Gundleus pledge to the Edling King. 

<< Previous Episode

The Winter King (Season 1) Episodes 3 & 4 Links: IMDb, Rotten Tomatoes, Wikipedia
The Winter King (Season 1) Episodes 3 & 4 Cast: Iain De Caestecker, Daniel Ings, Jordan Alexandra, Stuart Campbell, Ken Nwosu
The Winter King (Season 1) Episodes 3 & 4 Genre: Historical fiction, Fantasy drama | Runtime: 10 Episodes, 55–60mins each
Where to watch The Winter King

Similar Posts