When King Edward died on 5th January 1066, leaving no clear heir and several contenders with a claim to the throne of England, it set in motion a chain of events that would define the future of the continent, and therefore the world, for centuries.

Edward’s immediate successor was the Earl of Wessex, Harold Godwinson, the richest and most powerful of the English aristocrats and son of Godwin, Edward’s earlier opponent. Harold was elected king by the Witenagemot of England and crowned by Ealdred, the Archbishop of York. Norman propaganda disputed this claim and stated the ceremony was performed by Stigand, the uncanonically elected Archbishop of Canterbury.

The roots of this were in a pair of interconnected family dynasties, struggling for power across two countries Separated by the English Channel. The dispute would come to a head as Harold of Wessex and William of Normandy were destined to meet at the Battle of Hastings later in 1066. Two allies with no real design on the English throne would be forced by circumstance to fight for the crown.

Former Game of Thrones star Nikolaj Coster-Waldau is teaming up with Bond candidate James Norton (Happy Valley, McMafia) to executive-produce and star in the new period drama set against this backdrop – King and Conqueror. The big-budget BBC One production will play William, Duke of Normandy, and Harold, Earl of Wessex, respectively.

The series was created and will be executive produced by Michael Robert Johnson (Sherlock). Coster-Waldau will also direct one of the eight episodes.

Filming on King And Conqueror will begin in Iceland in 2024 ahead of a BBC One and BBC iPlayer airing in the UK. The show is currently being offered to US networks and streamers.

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