A fierce soldier fighting for the Spanish cause in Flanders returns to a drastically different Spain to fulfill the dying wish of a fallen friend, only to find that life isn't what it once was in his decaying homeland in director Agustín Díaz Yanes' adaptation of Arturo Pérez-Reverte's popular series of best-selling books. Compelled to fulfill the final wish of his dying friend, noble warrior Alatriste (Viggo Mortensen) makes his way back to Spain to care for the man's young son, Iñigo (Nacho Perez and Unax Ugalde). Things have taken a sharp turn for the worst back home, however, and as Alatriste does his best to help the boy reach manhood while earning his keep as a hired swordsman, he sees his country crumbling at the feet of a feeble monarch who is failing to grasp the inner workings of his own corrupt court. The impulsive handling of the Spanish Inquisition, coupled with the corrosive influence of the Count-Duke of Olivares (Javier Cámara), has brought a once-powerful nation to its knees as the growing chasm between the deceitful upper class and the miserable life of the commoners has effectively served to polarize the populace. In a time when corruption reigns and honor has faded, Alatriste remains a lone figure who refuses to relinquish his noble spirit as he raises Iñigo and enters into a passionate love affair with actress Maria de Castro (Ariadna Gil).
by Jason Buchanan synopsis