Bringing a finale-esque finish, season 2 brings plenty of tense moments.
This recap of Amazon’s The Legend of El Cid season 2, episode 5, “The Path of Hate” — the ending explained — contains spoilers.
Well, season 2 has certainly been a complex ride, and it ends brilliantly as well. Let’s recap.
Offered the Count of Leon
Alfonso returns to his lost kingdom with Orduno, imprisoned. Urraca asks Ruy if Alfonso will be killed, with desperation on her face, but it is met with silence. Afterwards, Sancho tells Ruy that he’s the best right-hand man he’s ever had. He knows without him, he wouldn’t have defeated Alfonso or Garcia. He tells him that after Orduno’s execution, he will be made Count of Leon. Everything that belonged to Orduno will be made Ruy’s by right.
To have it all, Orduno has to die
After a long battle, Ruy and Jimena finally get the chance to talk; Jimena references how Ruy killed his own grandfather, but he said it was necessary. She asks if he can save Orduno, but then it turns into an argument about their love for each other but how they committed to others. Jimena knows that for Ruy to “have it all”, Orduno has to die, so she walks off angry. Amina was lurking in the background, listening.
Amina speaks to Jimena and tells her she’s the one who has stolen the heart of Ruy. Jimena is taken back by her words. Amina raises how she and Ruy are not guaranteed to get together and taunts her slightly before Jimena walks away.
Begging for Alfonso’s life
Urraca begs Sancho to not kill Alfonso. Sancho raises how if it were the other way round, she’d have witnessed his execution instead, but she denies that. Urraca offers her life for Alfonso’s. Sancho tells her she can’t fool him because she doesn’t have a heart.
Urraca meets Alfonso in his cell to check up on him. He tells her he’s trying to be strong, but he’s afraid. Urraca tells him not to give up and vows to get him out, but he warns her against it as Sancho wants to take her life as well. Urraca then visits Don Bernando and asks him to find a way out for Alfonso. She claims Sancho is lost.
Swear allegiance to the King
As the episode keeps moving, you can feel this anxiety, but also Ruy shows that he can navigate a moral compass.
Orduno is taken into the courtyard, and Jimena is disgusted at Ruy for allowing this to go ahead. Ruy announces Sancho as the legitimate King of Leon and that the decision has been made that every nobleman will have their lives spared, titles kept and privileges if they kneel before him. Orduno kneels and swears allegiance to the king, and other noblemen follow suit. Jimena thanks Sancho for his grace, but he tells her to thank Ruy, as he refused to be Count of Leon, interceding for Orduno.
Roy tells Jimena to have faith
Privately, Jimena thanks Ruy for what he did. Ruy tells her life is more than titles. Jimena says she doesn’t have the strength anymore and begins to sob, but then they kiss. Ruy says she must break her commitment and have faith. Afterwards, Sancho tells Ruy that he has to execute his brother Alfonso as he knows he will come after him if he doesn’t.
Bear the weight of the crown
Alfonso tells Sancho that he wants a confession, which his brother grants. The brothers argue about forgiveness, and Alfonso tells Sancho not to expect his sympathy for what he’s about to do — “if you want the crown, then bear the weight of it.”
The House of God
Urraca tells Amina to return the favour after she was given protection. Meanwhile, Father Don Bernando speaks to Sancho to offer counsel regarding his brother. Sancho wonders if his sin can be absolved for what he’s about to do. Don Bernando invites him to the House of God. When he gets there, Alfonso is present — Don Bernando asks Alfonso if he wants to be a martyr or be committed to God and offers him monk’s vows. He tells him his alternative is decapitation. Don Bernando asks again if Alfonso can take the holy vows. Alfonso’s eyes well up, and he agrees.
But not everything is as simple as it looks in the finale, as there is an underlying plan.
After he gives his vows, Sancho tells his brother that he must plead allegiance to him at his coronation and kiss his hand. Urraca asks Sancho if she can visit Alfonso before she leaves. When she visits him, Alfonso says she saved his life, but he will be confined to these four walls and has nothing. But then it’s revealed that this is an escape plan orchestrated by Urraca. Amina is joining them.
Sancho is announced as King, and Orduno kisses his hand. Knowing something is wrong, Sancho asks his men to find Alfonso. Ruy tells Sancho that Urraca, Don Bernando, Amina and Alfonso have fled Leon. Meanwhile, Urraca and Don Bernando split from the group — Urraca tells Amina to take care of Alfonso. Bernardo reveals the vows Alfonso spoke were not real vows. Sancho has been completely fooled. Amina and Alfonso seek protection at the Kingdom of Toledo, while Urraca is in Zamora.
A furious Sancho
Sancho is furious that he didn’t execute Alfonso. He wants to go to Toledo and reconquer it while recapturing Alfonso. First, he wants to take Zamora as he feels Urraca is the biggest threat to his Kingdom. Ruy is alarmed, but Sancho wants to prepare the troops.
The battle to breach the castle
So the attack goes ahead, and Ruy feels he has no choice but to serve his King. Urraca is leading the defence of the castle. Ruy is made aware that they are dropping like flies, and they need a new strategy. Ruy makes his way up the castle wall, but he’s met by Urraca, who kicks him off. This is clearly not a battle they will win, so Sancho asks his men to retreat. As his army retreats, he sees Urraca in the distance smiling at him.
Asking Ruy to encourage a surrender
Sancho tells Ruy that there wasn’t enough courage at the castle. He wants to start a siege, but Ruy warns that it will take months and people will starve — Sancho doesn’t care and wants Urraca to surrender. He asks Ruy to go to Zamora and ask Urraca to surrender and save her people.
Urraca decides to surrender
So Ruy meets Urraca and asks her to surrender, and if she doesn’t, they will besiege the city until everyone dies of starvation. Urraca asks Ruy to speak to her alone. Ruy tells her he will do anything in his power to stop her brother from killing her. Urraca asks Ruy for advice, but he doesn’t have many answers. Urraca tells her people that she will surrender as she feels she has no choice.
Zamora never surrenders
Urraca asks her soldiers to open the gates so she can surrender, but no one does, and a villager lady nearby says, “Zamora never surrenders”. This is chanted and repeated by everyone around her, and she is inspired, her eyes filling with tears.
The ending of The Legend of El Cid season 2, episode 5
And then Sancho proves that he’s gone too far, even for Ruy.
Ruy returns to Sancho without Urraca. Sancho wants to humiliate Zamora; he wants their people to beg for food. However, Ruy disagrees with the King — he cannot support it. Sancho tells Ruy to leave, or he will cut off his head — the king has lost his best right-hand man. Orduno tells the King to reach Ruy a lesson. Ruy leaves and tells his close friends that he will rid himself of a burden — he curses the King to end season 2.
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