‘The Winter King’ Episode 8 Recap And Review: Why Did Arthur Kill Cadwys?

The eighth episode of The Winter King juxtaposes steamy romance with brutal killings and organically moves Arthur’s story into a terrifying terrain. Arthur had married Guinevere, and his services had been conducted by Sansum, the Christian zealot. Arthur had listened to his heart, and soon the forces against him were going to attack, as if to punish him for his decision. Gorfydd, obviously, was the one directly impacted by Arthur’s escape with Guinvere, but Cadwys, Nimue, and Bedwin were going to create problems for Arthur, intentionally and otherwise. The show’s brutal turn is shocking, but when the stakes are this high, nothing else can be expected.


Spoilers Ahead

Why was Morgan not friendly toward Guinevere?

Arthur, after having married Guinevere, reached Caer Cadarn, and it seemed that he was altogether taken in by the pleasures of married life. A week had passed, and Arthur had not tended to any of the matters that needed his attention. Morgan had been left in charge by Arthur, but now that he had returned, Morgan had her own qualms about his decision and subsequent leisure time. She couldn’t believe that Arthur had married such a girl, who had lost her land and hence had no leverage or power. Also, Arthur wasn’t so weak-willed; hence, Morgan assumed Guinevere to have deceived her brother. Seeing Morgan’s disdainful behavior, Guinevere confronted her and countered this very belief she might have had. According to Guinvere, both she and Arthur were outcasts, which is why they understood each other, and there was no treacherous reason or deception behind the marriage. Morgan must have believed her to some extent, as she later chuckled at Arthur’s declaration of the value of his ‘word.’ If it was solely Arthur’s doing, then he had lost everyone’s confidence as he’d stated his intention to do one thing, i.e., marry Ceinwyn and form an alliance with Gorfydd, but did completely the opposite.


Why did Arthur kill Cadwys?

Cadwys, after hearing about Owain’s death, wanted to become the protector of the Edling King. Arthur couldn’t trust him, even though Guinevere told him that Cadwys simply needed respect. According to her, he had lost his land and she knew what it was like to be in his shoes. Arthur took her advice and treated Cadwys with as much respect as he could. Cadwys was subdued a little bit by the respectful treatment he received, but not entirely. He wanted his land back, and he thought this was the best time to reclaim it. Arthur, however, wasn’t about to let Cadwys break his treaty with the late Uther. So when Cadwys occupied land that was not his to grab, Arthur ordered his arrest. Cadwys, trusting his sword skills, resisted arrest and asked Arthur to settle the matter in a battle. A similar fate to Owain’s was around the corner for him. Had he surrendered, Arthur would have let him go, but he had to rant about the ‘bastard’s’ will to be king. Arthur punctured Cadwys’ heart with Excalibur. Cadwys’ chapter may not fully be over, and someone else might come to avenge him, as his followers were right behind him up until Arthur killed him.

How did the Nimue-Sansum feud escalate?

Arthur had been married on the break of dawn by Sansum, as Bedwin had gone back to Powys and was totally against Arthur and Guinvere’s union. In a moment of hastiness, Arthur had promised him a church, as he named him a priest, for him to properly bind him and Guinevere in marriage. Arthur didn’t exactly know what problems Sansum could bring with his fanaticism and smug attitude. Sansum was an ambitious man, and he had this opportunity to get his piece of land in Avalon, for the ‘Church,’ of course. What he did not take into consideration was that Avalon was Nimue’s home, and she was a pagan. Sansum believed in the Lord Jesus Christ and the Trinity to be the one true God, while Nimue believed in her gods. Arthur gave away his proposed land, as he did not foresee any problems, but there were many to come. Nimue and Sansum became each other’s nemeses after Sansum refused to budge and started to build his church right there on the disputed land of Avalon. Nimue cursed him and his men, and soon, three of Sansum’s men died. He claimed it was not because her curse held any power but because she had poisoned them. Arthur had to visit Avalon himself before things got out of hand, but he couldn’t sort the matter out. Nimue could have poisoned the men but didn’t confess, and Arthur couldn’t do much on inconclusive evidence.


How did Bedwin die?

The horror show truly began in Powys. Guinevere had warned Morgan not to go with the peace offering to Gorfydd’s land. He was a vengeful and cruel person and was looking for an opportunity to exact his revenge on Arthur. But Morgan didn’t pay any heed to Guinevere’s advice, apart from taking Derfel as her protector. Arthur was busy with the Cadwys mess, and his plate was made full by the Sansum-Nimue feud. Hence, Morgan was essentially going without his backing. She thought Gorfydd was a regal king who would have the decency to not do anything to those who came in peace. There was Bedwin, who had assured Morgan that he was being treated well in Powys. All that was just a tactic for him to get Arthur to show up again, but when Morgan set foot in Powys, it became the next best thing for Gorfydd. Bedwin, who had been treated with respect, was crucified, and Morgan was made to witness his death. The horrific scenes became much more sorrowful as Morgan couldn’t hide the fact that she loved Bedwin and had come to Powys to take him back home. Alas! He was no more. Morgan was kept hostage by Gorfydd, and Derfel was sent back to inform Arthur of Gorfydd’s absolute terror and his intent on war with Arthur.

Episode 8 Review

The eighth episode of The Winter King is potentially the best one of the series so far. It wasn’t held back by its approach to suspense and horror. Some of the fight scenes are quite repetitive, though. Having seen Owain die, Cadwys’ death was imminent, but it could have avoided similar beats during the fight scenes. The tender love scenes were just right to be included for the amount of time for which they were, making the bloodshed feel that much more brutal by contrast. The ultimate sequence ending with Bedwin’s death was elevated by the pacing and the acting. Aneirin Hughes shines as he brings Gorfydd’s evil to the forefront. Whether Morgan would be left alive is hard to say. Arthur must return now and fight Gorfydd, who was aided by Gundleus and others. The alliance was off the table; that much can be said with certainty, if nothing else! How much Guinverere would blame herself would be interesting to see, and how Arthur would save Morgan is the question for the next episodes to come.


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Ayush Awasthi
Ayush Awasthi
Ayush is a perpetual dreamer, constantly dreaming of perfect cinematic shots and hoping he can create one of his own someday.

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The eighth episode of The Winter King is potentially the best one of the series so far. It wasn't held back by its approach to suspense and horror. 'The Winter King' Episode 8 Recap And Review: Why Did Arthur Kill Cadwys?