Outlaw King, Netflix's cinematic foray into the Scottish Wars for Independence, concludes the way you know it will: an invigorating pre-battle speech and a bloody, well-won victory. In the movie's final scene, Robert the Bruce's (Chris Pine) campaign to overthrow Edward I (Stephen Dillane) and his son, Edward, Prince of Wales (Billy Howle), achieves a much-needed victory. The fight for independence isn't over, but it's closer to being done.
Until that moment, Bruce's tenure as King of Scotland had been mired by scandal and tragedy. Bruce had seized the Scottish throne by murdering John Comyn (Callan Mulvey), his co-Guardian of Scotland, culminating in a wee bit of chaos: Edward I and the Pope ex-communicated him, the Corwyns declared civil war on him, his wife and daughter were captured by the English, and his brother was murdered. With the battle against the Prince of Wales' (Billy Howle) army, Bruce establishes himself as an equal — if not stronger — adversary.
But the battle for Scottish independence didn't end when the movie does. Outlaw King concludes with the Battle of Loudoun Hill, which took place in 1307. The movie ends at a pivotal point in the Scottish War for Independence, but not in the final point. Here, we'll explain what happens at the end of Outlaw King, and what happened afterward in history.
How did those scrappy Scotsmen win the battle?
With some guile, that's how. Obviously, the Scots were outnumbered. So, they did what all underdogs do: Set up a trap. When the English army, led by the Prince of Wales, began to charge across the open field, the Scots retreated. The English cavalry fell right into the spear-filled ditch the Scots created. This caused panic among the English army, allowing the Scots to decimate them.
Who survives the battle?
After achieving victory, Robert the Bruce could have easily committed a drastic act against the English monarchy. He could have killed the Prince of Wales. But victory in battle proved to be sufficient, and so he let the Prince of Wales walk free. After King Edward I died of dysentery on his way to fight Bruce, the Prince of Wales inherited the throne and became King Edward II. The leaders survived, but many other men died, like the youngest man in Bruce's army.
How long did it take for Robert to reunite with Elizabeth and Marjorie?
The movie takes liberties with what actually happened to the women in Robert's life while he was away fighting the English. In real life, 12-year-old Marjorie (Josie O'Brien), Elizabeth de Burgh (Florence Pugh), Robert's sisters Mary and Christina, Robert's brother Niall, and the Earl of Atholl were captured by the English as they were fleeing to the Orkey Isles. Niall and the Earl of Atholl were murdered; the women were sent to Edward I to await their punishments.
Sentenced to house arrest in the Tower of London, Elizabeth was treated the most leniently of the women, since the king didn't want to anger her father (and his ally), Richard de Burgh. Mary Bruce, not Elizabeth as in the movie, was kept in a cage for years. Edward I had actually built a similar wood and iron lattice cage built for Marjorie, but advisors convinced him to send the girl to a nunnery instead, where she was kept in solitary confinement. She remained there for seven years. After Scottish victory at the Battle of Bannockburn in 1314, Robert was able to exchange English noblemen for his wife, daughter, and sisters.
What happened to Marjorie, Bruce's daughter, after she was freed?
This one is sad. Marjorie was freed in 1314 after the Battle of Bannockburn. A year after her return, she was married to Walter Stuart, Bruce's 6th Lord High Stuart, who had fought for Robert in battle. Two years later, a heavily pregnant Marjorie got into a riding accident. She went into premature labor and, through Cesarean section, gave birth to a baby boy. Like her mother, Marjorie was 19 when she died in childbirth. Her son Robert, however, survived, and went on to rule Scotland. He founded the Stuart dynasty.
What happened to Elizabeth and Bruce?
After being reunited, Elizabeth and Bruce had four children, three of whom survived to adulthood: Matilda and Margaret, and David, the future king David II of Scotland. Their son John died young. When David II died childless in 1371, Marjorie's son, Robert the Steward, succeeded him on the throne. Elizabeth died in 1327 at the age of 43. Bruce died 18 months later, possibly of leprosy.
Why isn't there a movie about the James "The Black" Douglas yet?
At the beginning of the movie, only one person stands up to Edward I: James Douglas, Lord of Douglas (Aaron Taylor-Johnson). The "Black Douglas," as he's called, was the first Scottish nobleman to declare loyalty to Bruce. He became Bruce's captain during the Wars of Independence, and was ferocious in battle. So ferocious, in fact, that he became an urban legend and the subject of a nursery rhyme — while he was alive. Mothers in England's northern Northumbria and Cumbria regions would sing a lullaby that went, "Hush ye, hush ye, little pet ye, Hush ye, hush ye, do not fret ye, The Black Douglas shall not get ye."
When Bruce died in 1329, Douglas promised to follow through with his final wish: That his heart be taken on a crusade. Douglas traveled to southern Spain, where he was greeted by hordes of admiring knights. Douglas traveled to fight against moors. During one such battle, he spotted a fellow Scotsman stranded and surrounded. Despite being in safety, Douglas reentered the fray and threw Bruce's heart into the field. He was subsumed and died in battle. Allegedly, his men couldn't stand the idea of his body being buried anywhere but Scotland, so they boiled his corpse in a cauldron of vinegar until his flesh fell from the bones, and took the bones to Scotland.
Finally, how much full-frontal nudity is there, really?
Correction: This article has been updated to reflect that the opposing side were English, not British, and that Scotland was an independent nation at this time (although it was not recognized as such by the Prince of Wales).