Alfred is the King of the West Saxons. He eventually styled himself as the "King of the Anglo-Saxons", and is driven by a vision for a united Kingdom of all the English (England).
His father was King Aethelwulf of Wessex, and he succeeded his brother King Aethelred of Wessex following battle against the Danes. King Alfred defeated the Norse at the Battle of Ethandun, secured a treaty defining his kingdom and the Danelaw with Earl Guthrum, and made Earl Guthrum convert to Christianity under the name King Aethelstan of East Anglia.
Alfred is a king of cunning, bravery, wisdom, piety and intelligence, who uses his deep Christian beliefs and innate drive towards a Kingdom of the English to gain alliances and defeat his enemies.
King Alfred of Wessex is a man of medium stature and slim build, but nonetheless courageous in battle, a strong tactician, and a man of great political acumen.
As a younger son of King Aethelred, he was not immediately groomed to be king. However, his scholarly abilities, in analysing many religious and historical scrolls in his court, have aided him being a king of great wisdom and insight.
As King of Wessex, he is much loved by his subjects, retainers, and council, such as Father Beocca, Ealdorman Odda, and close family such as his wife Aelswith, and daughter Aethelflead.
Uhtred of Bebbanburg treats Alfred with a mixture of respect and disdain, though whilst Alfred shares this ambivalence, he also believes that Uhtred is a great warrior with ambition and foresight, and is elemental in his goal to have a Kingdom of the English.
His wife, Aelswith, is dutiful, loving, and supportive of Alfred in his role and goals. She often provides good counsel and advice on issues of kingship, and provides good intuitive points about Alfred's friends, rivals, and enemies.
His eldest child and daughter, Aethelflead, is in her late-teens by the middle of season two, and has learnt with her father the art of governance and rule. Whilst women did not rule in that period, Alfred recognises in her a keen sense of authority, and believes she has great potential. He sees this as key, in her marriage with Lord Aethelred of Mercia, as means to curb Norse incursions into Mercia, and to support him as Alfred's chief servant or lord in the region.
Aethelwold is Alfred's nephew, the son of the deceased King Aethelred of Wessex, Alfred's brother and predecessor as king. Aethelwold was young at the time of his father's death, and despite being King Aethelred's son was not seen as eligible to be king due to his youth and inexperience.Since this point, he has developed a strong hatred and resentment of Alfred, leading to almost killing him at Egbert's Stone prior to the Battle of Ethandun, and colluding with then Earl Guthrum to this end.
His resentful feelings have not abated, and is again colluding with Danes to ensure he can be king, which he sees as his birthright that Alfred denied him.
Edward is a young son of Alfred and Aelswith, who nearly died as an infant at the marshes in Athelney. He survived due to help from a deceased love of Uhtred, and is in line to succeed his father as King of Wessex when he comes of age.
King Aethelred Edit
Seen briefly at the start of the series in season one, King Aethelred was the elder brother of Alfred, whom he served dutifully in defending Wessex against the Norse. He like his younger brother was also brave and strong in battle, but ultimately died whilst fighting the Danes, leading to Alfred being made king.
Father Beocca is a leading ecclesiastical figure in Alfred's court, and also a long-time friend and ally. As a Catholic priest, he provides both Christian and political counsel to Alfred, ensuring he is close to the word of God at all times. He accompanied Alfred in the marshes of Athelney, and was highly astute as a warrior at the Battle of Ethandun.
Odda is an ealdorman of Wessex, appointed by Alfred to provide him with counsel and military support for his kingdom. He is a tall, middle-aged and balding man, who ensures that Alfred has a continuous bodyguard around him. He also is a proven and brave warrior, supporting Alfred in Athelney, Ethandun, and continued battles with the Norse.
Steappa is a warrior, or thegn, in Alfred's service, who is also a good friend of Uhtred. He was sent on the order of Alfred to rescue Uhtred from slavery, and then together with Uhtred to kill Earl Kjartan the Cruel and his son Sven One Eye.
Alfred's view towards Uhtred is complex, He respects him as a warrior and an ealdorman under his service. He also recognises his unique perspective as being a Saxon of noble line (Beddanburg) but with a Norse upbringing. He thus embodies his vision of a Kingdom of the English, though encompassing both ethnic Saxons and Danes.
However, he acknowledges that Uhtred is a man with an impetuous will, and with the ultimate aim of reclaiming his rightful Earldom of Beddanburg. He thus is stern, but ultimately respectful of Uhtred, knowing he is a great warrior who too has a keen need or will to rule.
Osferth: His bastard son. He had this son in the first season with his servant.
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- Alfred (lived from 849-899 CE) is the youngest son of King Aethelwulf of Wessex (reigned 839-858 CE) and his wife Osburh, daughter of Oslac, the Pincerna (Latin: butler) of Aethelwulf's court.
- Alfred was preceded to the throne of Wessex by three of his older brothers, Aethelbald (reigned 858-60 CE), Aethelberht (860-65 CE) and Aethelred (865-71 CE).
- Alfred is mentioned in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle of joining his father, King Aethelwulf, on a pilgrimage to Rome in 855 CE. The Liber Vitae of San Salvatore of Brescia records the young Prince Alfred of being granted a consulship by the Pope Leo IV. The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, however, states that Pope Leo invested Alfred as the future king of Wessex, when in fact consulships were granted as a token honour to foreign royalty.
- Alfred is believed to have suffered from Crohn's Disease throughout his life.