King and Conqueror – Nikolaj Coster-Waldau leads new historical drama

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The series, which also stars James Norton, tells the tale of William the Conqueror. 

The BBC have announced a high-profile new drama series, King and Conqueror. The series tells the story of a real-life clash of would-be English kings which culminates in the Battle of Hastings. The subject of many a school history lesson, the conflict is to play out over eight hour-long episodes.

King and Conqueror stars James Norton & Nikolaj Coster-Waldau
James Norton (Image: Michael Shelford) and Nikolaj Coster-Waldau (Image: William Lacalmontie/Getty Images)

Game of Thrones‘ Nikolaj Coster-Waldau takes the role of William, Duke of Normandy. His rival is the ill-fated Harold, Earl of Wessex, played by James Norton.

The series, for CBS Studios, comes from writer Michael Robert Johnson (The Frankenstein Chronicles). Filming takes place in Iceland next year.

Here’s the premise:

King and Conqueror is the story of a clash that defined the future of a country – and a continent – for a thousand years, the roots of which stretch back decades and extend out through a pair of interconnected family dynasties, struggling for power across two countries and a raging sea. Harold of Wessex and William of Normandy were two men destined to meet at the Battle of Hastings in 1066; two allies with no design on the British throne, who found themselves forced by circumstance and personal obsession into a war for possession of its crown.

Michael Robert Johnson writes and executive produces King and Conqueror. Other executive producers are James Norton & Kitty Kaletsky (Rabbit Track Pictures), Robert Taylor (TDP Development Partnership), and Dave Clarke & Richard Halliwell (Shepherd Content). Plus, Ed Clarke, Robert Jones, Coster-Waldau, Baltasar Kormákur and CBS Studios’ Lindsey Martin. Baltasar Kormákur directs the premiere episode and, as executive producer, will steer the series creatively.

Sue Deeks, Head of BBC Programme Acquisition, says:

“In the UK we learn about William the Conqueror, the Battle of Hastings and King Harold’s gruesome death in our school history lessons – but those headlines are all most of us can remember. King and Conqueror will bring Harold and William to life, depicting their lives, loves and families, and the gripping, high stakes power game that led to their fateful meeting in 1066. With incredible talent both in front of and behind the camera, I cannot wait for this exciting project to be realised.”

The show will air on BBC One and BBC iPlayer. We’ll keep you posted.