The Winter King Lost My Allegiance in a Single Scene

The MGM series has a great cast, action, and a gripping story, but one moment sunk my heart. Spoilers for UK viewers ahead.

Nimue in The Winter King
Photo: Copyright © Simon Ridgway 2022 /MGM

Warning: contains major spoilers for The Winter King episode 2 (not yet airing in the UK), and repeated reference to sexual assault.

There are endless ways to hurt a female character on screen. Just like men, they’ve got sliceable flesh and bones that break. Women can be tortured with hot irons or sharp spikes. Their loved ones can be torn from them, their wealth stolen and their homes burned to the ground. Any of the above would motivate a woman to an act of high-stakes revenge. Really it would. Just try it and see.

So… how come it’s always rape?

In The Winter King, MGM’s new Arthurian action series adapted from Bernard Cornwell’s Warlord Chronicle books, King Uther Pendragon puts his trust in the wrong man. By entrusting his new-born heir Mordred to apparently reformed enemy Gundleus, Uther lets a snake into his kingdom. When Uther dies, Gundleus makes an attempt on his throne. Instead of protecting Mordred, Gundleus stabs the baby to death, slaughters the court, and confronts Uther’s Druid priestess Nimue.


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