The eight-part limited drama series THE CONQUEST is an epic revelation of the personal and political events surrounding the Norman conquest of England in 1066. With a focus on the broken friendship between the warring William the Bastard and Harold Godwinson, the series will follow a core group of Norman and Anglo-Saxon nobles and warriors through the most significant historical clash in England’s history.
The series begins in the summer of 1064, when the richest and most powerful man in Anglo-Saxon England – the charming and savvy Harold Godwinson, Earl of Wessex – is shipwrecked on the coast of Normandy and captured along with his discerning common-law wife Edith Swan-Neck. Their unlikely rescuer is none other than the Duke of Normandy, William the Bastard, a crude and militaristic leader with a complicated agenda. As an unwilling but good-humored guest in the court of William and his quiet but domineering wife Matilda, Harold develops a close but twisted friendship with William built on jealousy, competition, and a devastating standard of toxic masculinity that has haunted the illegitimate William his entire life. While they fight side-by-side against French rebels and while Matilda and Edith find common ground in managing courts of power, a tension marks the air. With Harold pressured to swear allegiance to William in order to win his release back to England, the stage is set for the ultimate betrayal.
Just over a year later, in 1066, Harold breaks his oath by claiming the crown of England for himself, a crown that William believes is rightfully his. So begins a fraught year of political machinations and personal recriminations. Through secret councils, brothers betraying brothers, calls to war, Viking attacks, and marital difficulties, both William and Harold struggle to balance their past promises and broken friendship with their hopes for the future. In the end, an invasion leads to them facing each other in a final military showdown at Hastings that would change the face of England – and the world – forever.
THE CONQUEST is the real-life Game of Thrones – a medieval story filled with complex family dynamics, heartbreak, hidden plots, betrayal, war, and a close study of the expectations of gender roles. At its heart are two leaders and two queens who fumble their way through broken promises and political stakes that challenge their beliefs and humanize the tragedy of 1066.