Season 2 of HISTORY's Knightfall has been quite the rollercoaster for Landry du Lauzon (Tom Cullen). The brother of the Knights Templar started the season expelled from the Order because he broke his vow of celibacy with the wife of King Philip IV of France (Ed Stoppard), which is certainly the quickest way to make a life-long enemy.
Landry then spent the better part of this season's narrative crawling back up the ladder of respect under the brutal tutelage of Master Talus (Mark Hamill), who was certainly all about making the Knight pay for his sins.
Actor Tom Cullen tells SYFY WIRE that from the start of the season all he really wanted for his character was to play out his redemption. "The writers have done an amazing job constructing a story that was surprising for all of us when reading the scripts," he enthused. "We get scripts as we go along, so we are like the audience. I enjoyed the powerlessness of that, of not knowing what's happening, and allowing the character to really evolve. I guess that the only thing that I really was searching for was a point where Landry really felt like he was whole again and himself again, and I think that we definitely get there, and I was pleased with that."
In this exclusive clip from Monday's season finale, "As I Breathe, I Trust the Cross," something obviously goes awry for King Philip, who is sporting a nasty hole in his arm and an attitude towards Pope Clement V (Stephen Fewell) that is going to earn him a lot of rosaries when he eventually goes to confession.
Audiences can only assume that in the penultimate episode of the season, where Landry and his fellow Templars are rounded up by King Philip's army (see what a grudge can do!), marched into Paris as heretics, and sentenced to death by burning at the stake, things don't go as the King expected.
Of the final scene of the episode, where Landry and his brothers pray as the flames lick at their heels, Cullen shares that the moment was a culmination of events he did not see coming.
"In the arc of the show, Landry starts feeling like God has abandoned him and in the moment of his death, he feels so free," the actor says of his character's state of mind. "He feels safe and calm, and ready to die knowing that he has God. For me, the first moment of that is when Philip is torturing Landry in the Iron Maiden. Philip is hurting him and there is an epiphany moment for Landry when he realizes that Philip can't touch him. There's nothing that he can do. He could torture him for 15 years and it won't matter because Landry is free and he has God. I found that quite powerful."
"It was a really hard scene to shoot," Cullen continues. "We ended up shooting it over the course of about five weeks and we had to shoot it every Friday because of lots of different reasons. You're working with fire and the weather; at one point we had to stop shooting because a huge storm came in and started to blow the cranes down. It really felt quite spooky, like something was working against us and stopping us from being able to complete this scene. It was tough but it was great. The cast all knew that at some point we were going to get to this point and so that felt weirdly triumphant."
Come back Monday night for the rest of our Season 2 finale discussion with Tom Cullen. And be sure to tune in to see how it all plays out in the Knightfall Season 2 finale Monday, May 13 at 10PM ET/PT.