The Best Episodes of The Pillars of the Earth
Last Updated: Feb 4, 2019
Set against a backdrop of war, religious strife and power struggles which tears lives and families apart. In that time, there rises a magnificent Cathedral in Kingsbridge. Against the backdrop, love-stories entwine: Tom, the master builder, Aliena, the noblewoman, the sadistic Lord William, Philip, the prior of Kingsbridge, Jack, the artist in stone work and Ellen, the woman from the forest who casts a curse. At once, this is a sensuous and enduring love story and an epic that shines with the fierce spirit of a passionate age.
#1 - The Work of Angels
Season 1 - Episode 8
Eight years later, Jack’s fixation with the cathedral leaves him little time or energy for anything else, while Aliena’s fixation with the distant Earldom of Shiring has married her to Alfred, a man she hates. Waleran and Alfred develop a plot to get rid of Jack for good and it seems to be working until evidence comes to light that makes all wrongs rectified.
#2 - New Beginnings
Season 1 - Episode 7
As a result of his journeys, Jack has learned how to fulfill Tom Builder’s dream of a cathedral filled with light. Aliena tracks Jack by following the trail of his carvings. Waleran offers Philip a new position, but it means that Philip must always obey Waleran. Kingsbridge becomes prosperous again which infuriates Regan and William, who plan an attack that is met with resistance from Richard, Jack and Philip.
#3 - Legacy
Season 1 - Episode 5
Waleran and Regan engineer the prisoner exchange so that they remain on the winning side of the war. Tom wants Jack and Alfred to be friends, but their rivalry over their work lives and Aliena is too intense. Meanwhile, William decides to attack Kingsbridge as a way to stop the fleece fair and Aliena’s success. The Hamleighs and Prior Philip are granted rights to Shiring land, but it comes with a price.
#4 - Battlefield
Season 1 - Episode 4
William applies to have his father’s title of Earl transferred to him, and discovers a mysterious knight is also a rival for the Earldom. King Stephen, frightened by Jack’s appearance, orders an assassin to kill him. The battle between King Stephen and Maud sees each side’s leader being taken hostage. Philip is tortured into a confession when Waleran tells Maud that he is the man who betrayed Earl Bartholomew.
#5 - Redemption
Season 1 - Episode 3
Aliena protests her father’s imprisonment. Prior Philip and William find themselves in a standoff over access to stone in the Shiring quarry. Jack’s artistic talents take hold as he begins to carve a statue to honor the cathedral relic. King Stephen visits the cathedral work-site, but collapses in a fit of terror. Aliena starts a fleece business to help earn money for Richard’s chance to become a knight.
#6 - Witchcraft
Season 1 - Episode 6
Richard returns from war to find his sister penniless, with no more money to support his knighthood. Alfred offers himself to Prior Philip as master-builder. Aliena has to choose between her love for Jack and her oath to her father. Regan forces Waleran to speak to the King about William’s long-delayed Earldom. A disaster at Kingsbridge becomes a way for Waleran to remove Prior Philip from his position.
#7 - Master Builder
Season 1 - Episode 2
A fire destroys Kingsbridge church, giving Tom, son Alfred and stepson Jack the chance to build a new cathedral. Prior Philip learns the power of politics when he gets caught between Bishop Waleran and the Hamleighs’ quest for Shiring Castle. Kingsbridge is rocked by the accusation of Ellen being a witch. William takes Aliena and Richard by surprise in a brutal attack. Aliena makes a promise to her father.
#8 - Anarchy
Season 1 - Episode 1
The succession to the crown of England is in doubt and causes King Henry’s daughter and nephew to compete for the throne. The Hamleigh family’s hope for an advantageous marriage for their son William falls apart. Tom Builder and his family search for work and encounter Ellen and her mysterious son Jack. Church politics see Philip, a monk, elected the new prior, which leaves him indebted to Deacon Waleran.