This story is set in the England of 1044. As dawn breaks over a summer's landscape, Harold Godwinesson is riding east. One of seven sons of the noble Godwime family, he is newly created Earl of East Anglia. But marrying for love sets him against his family and his King. In France, William, the bastard son of a duke, is hungry for power. A charismatic leader, he care nothing for the hypocrisy of court, only his next victory. Matched by his determined wife Mathilda, he casts his eyes towards England. King Edward is alternately influenced and angered by his powerful mother, the Dowager Queen Emma. Manipulated into a marriage of convenience with Harolds sister, he is at the mercy of his nobles - an he lacks an heir.