Submitted by Steve
(2018 – Netflix)
Robert the Bruce and his army defeat Prince Edward and the English Army at the Battle of Loudoun Hill, but Robert spares Edward life. The epilogue reveals that Edward would become King Edward II, but would later be killed by his own nobles. James “Black” Douglas would earn back his family’s ancestral lands, Elizabeth and Marjorie would eventually be reunited with Robert in a prisoner exchange, and Robert’s descendant King James VI would become the King of England and Scotland 300 years later.
In the year 1304, Robert the Bruce (Chris Pine) and other Scottish nobility are swearing their fealty to King Edward I of England (Stephen Dillane), following the defeat of William Wallace at the Battle of Falkirk. As part of the agreement, Robert is allowed to marry the king’s goddaughter Elizabeth (Florence Pugh). Another Scot, James Douglas (Aaron Taylor-Johnson), petitions to get his family’s ancestral lands back, but Edward refuses because his father was a traitor. That night, Robert and Elizabeth do not consummate their marriage, at his request. He’s still mourning the loss of his first wife, who died giving birth to their daughter Marjorie (Josie O’Brien). A year later, Robert is collecting the taxes to be paid to England when he comes to the town of Berwick. A large crowd has gathered near English soldiers who are also in town. The townspeople have learned that William Wallace was captured and killed earlier that year and his body was dismembered. They are seeing Wallace’s arm and are threatening the soldiers guarding it. When rioting erupts, the English soldiers fight back and seriously injure several townspeople.
Robert returns home and meets with his family and other nobles and, after telling them what happened, suggests another attempt at independence. Some agree to join but others, namely John Comyn (Callan Mulvey), refuse. When Comyn threatens to report this to King Edward, Robert panics and kills Comyn at a church altar. Realizing what he’s done, he pleads with the local clergy for forgiveness. They do, on the condition that Robert leads the rebellion against England as the King of Scotland, which he accepts. On the way to the village of Scone to be crowned, Robert encounters James Douglas, who agrees to join the rebellion on the condition he gets his family’s lands and titles back. Back in England, King Edward learns of the death of Comyn and Robert’s ascension to the throne. He declares Robert an outlaw king and commands his son, Edward the Prince of Wales (Billy Howle) to capture him. Prince Edward, under his father’s orders, marches with recently knighted members of the English army to Scotland under a dragon banner, meaning they will abandon chivalry and show no mercy to whomever gets in their way.
While traveling to England, King Robert and his men meet the English army assigned to Scotland, led by Aymer de Valence, the Earl of Pembroke (Sam Spruell). Wanting to avoid bloodshed, Robert challenges Valence to single combat. He accepts, but asks the fight be delayed a day since it’s Sunday. Robert agrees and he and his men make camp. That night, Robert and Elizabeth, who has pledged loyalty to her husband over her godfather King Edward, finally consummate their marriage. But later, Valence breaks his word and orders the camp attacked. Robert is able to get away from the battle, but most of the army is massacred. As they escape, Robert commands his brother Neil (Lorne MacFadyen) to take Elizabeth and Marjorie to the home of his friend Simon Fraser (Benny Young), while he and the remaining army will travel to the home of another one of his friends, Angus MacDonald (Tony Curran). On their way there, Robert is ambushed by the MacDougall clan, who are cousins of John Comyn, but they allow them to pass. But later, they attack Robert and his men. They escape, but Robert’s brother Alexander (Jack Greenlees) is killed.
Meanwhile, Prince Edward and his knights are mercilessly killing Robert’s supporters and pillaging every town and castle in their path, including Robert’s own castle. They soon learn of the whereabouts of Elizabeth and Marjorie. Upon arriving, Simon stalls Edward while Neil gets Elizabeth and Marjorie to safety. But they are soon found by the knights, and Edward personally kills both Simon and Neil and orders the women to be sent to England immediately. When Robert learns of the deaths and the capture of his family, he and his men begin to fight again, but this time guerilla-style, since fighting the English in traditional battle would be suicide. They are able to recapture Robert’s castle and later the Douglas castle, killing many English soldiers in the process, then head towards England again. In England, Marjorie is sent to a convent while Elizabeth is brought to the prince. He tells her she will be pardoned for her crimes against the crown if she forsakes Robert and annuls her marriage to him. She refuses, and mocks the prince for his inability to capture her husband. The prince then sentences Elizabeth to be held in a metal cage suspended over the castle.
After learning of Robert’s recapture of the castles, King Edward himself decides to lead the army against him. But in route to Scotland, the king collapses and, on his deathbed, orders his son to carry his bones to every battle until the outlaw king is defeated. Prince Edward, who never loved his father, defies him and orders the late king to be buried on the spot. Soon, the prince’s army and Robert’s army meet each other. Tired of fighting then running, Robert wants to fight on Loudoun Hill. The prince accepts, and the next day, the English cavalry charge Robert and his men, going through a muddy field in the process. But Edward didn’t know that Robert’s men booby-trapped the field by digging a ditch and filling it with stakes the day before. The stakes impale the horses, and the Scot army is able to kill the English riders with ease. The battle, which will later be called the Battle of Loudoun Hill, turns into a bloody fight, with the Scots routing the English. Edward then enters the fight, but he is defeated by Robert himself. Instead of killing him, Robert allows the prince to leave with the remainder of his army. This would be the first major victory by the Scots against the English. However, after the battle ends, Robert sees that this last remaining brother Euan (Chris Fulton) was killed.
The movie ends with an epilogue. Prince Edward would become King Edward II, but was later killed by his own noblemen. James Douglas, now going by the name “Black” Douglas, would earn back his family’s ancestral lands. Elizabeth and Marjorie would be reunited with Robert due to a prisoner exchange. Finally, 300 years later, Robert’s descendant King James VI would become the King of England and Scotland.