Guthred was a former Danish slave who, with Uhtred's help, became the nominal King of Northumbria. Using him as a pawn for his ambition to retake his ancestral lands within Northnumbria, Uhtred aided this pretender King in raising an army in the hopes of battling the forces of Ælfric and his childhood enemies Sven the One-Eyed and Kjartan the Cruel. In an effort to legitimatize his claim, Guthred was baptized as a Christian in order to gain the support of the Christian Saxons and the local clergy.

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