Oswiu: King of Kings
In the struggle between Bernicia and Deira, Oswiu finally orders the assassination of the king of Deira, winning the throne but provoking outrage - he has to establish a monastery at the site in expiation. Oswiu's efforts to maintain good relations with Penda finally fail, and the kings meet in battle, with Oswiu much outnumbered. However, against all expectations, Penda is slain - the last powerful pagan king in England - and Oswiu becomes high king.
The kingdom may be politically one, but as the Celtic and Roman strands of the faith vie for supremacy Oswiu calls the famous Synod of Whitby.