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Everything We Know So Far About the Period Drama 'King and Conqueror'

james norton and nikolaj coster waldau
Period Drama About William the Conqueror is ComingGetty Images

British history buffs have something new to look forward to. CBS Studios is reportedly working on a period drama series centered on the Battle of Hastings, which formally began the Norman invasion of England in 1066. The historic battle, which shifted the country from Anglo-Saxon Norman-French rule, took place between the armies of King Harold II, also know as Harold of Wessex, and William, Duke of Normandy, later known as William the Conqueror, suggesting a story that will be the kind of courtly intrigue and sword-and-shields action that has kept fans of shows like the HBO hit Game of Thrones coming back for more.

Aptly, the role of William the Conqueror will be filled by none other than Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, who played the Kingslayer Jaime Lannister on Game of Thrones. Opposite him will be James Norton (Grantchester, Happy Valley) as King Harold.

They will be joined by Emily Beecham and Clémence Poésy. Per THR, Beecham will play Harold's outsider wife Edith Swanneck, who, according to the show's plot description, "married Harold for love and protection, but never expected her husband to end up fighting for the English crown." Poésy will play William's wife Matilda. "Raised in the cutthroat world of the royal court, she has realized that in order to succeed she has to be more devious, more ruthless and more bloody than her male opponents," the show description states.

Both Norton and Coster-Waldau will serve as executive producers on the series, which is being written by Sherlock Holmes's Michael Robert Johnson.

What is King and Conqueror about?

The show's official description explains that it will depict "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."

When will it air?

So far, no dates have been announced for when the show could debut. It is currently set to begin production in Iceland in the near future, suggesting a possible late 2024 or early 2025 premiere. The BBC has acquired broadcasting rights for the series in the U.K., while the Hollywood Reporter reports that outside of the UK, distribution will be handled by Paramount Global Content Distribution. Whether that means the show could appear on the streamer Paramount+ is not yet clear.

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