Born of Robert I, or Robert the Magnificent, William was also known as William the Bastard because Robert was not married to William's mother, Herleva. This fact, along with the continuous power struggles of the time, threatened William's accession after his father, Robert, died on his return from a pilgrimage to Jerusalem.
The filming is predominantly in cooler hues, which gives it a certain atmosphere. I also found the dialogue to be almost theatrical, which from the point of view of anybody learning French is welcome, with clear, well enunciated sentences.
The history comes across as well informed and while I don't doubt that some dramatic licence has been applied, the end credits certainly suggest academic input and there is little in the way obvious sensationalism. For me the Norse influence came as a surprise and it was only after I researched the actual history (recommended) that this fell into place.
William is portrayed as a very sensible young man who approached things in a very calm way, refusing to be provoked into rash actions. In an early scene he is shown dismissing a soldier accused of desertion, when one might have expected a far more severe punishment in those days. This was obviously a dramatic device but I guess it was included to show his character.
This is a low budget film and at times this shows, with the reviews (mainly French) being decidedly mixed. Criticisms include the aforementioned theatrical representation, unconvincing acting and uninspiring actions sequences. I wouldn't totally disagree but it is sometimes refreshing to not have modern CGI where battle scenes largely exist in a virtual space and characters lack real world credibility. Here they aren't superheroes but just men.
On the positive side it came across to me as an interesting history of the man who was ultimately to shape Britain's future.