Ælswith: "Ignore this girl! She speaks without authority. Look how she trembles."
Ælflæd: "Do you defy the will of the King?"
Ælswith: "You are not the king."
Ælflæd: "No, but I am anointed Queen, and in Edward's absence, my will takes precedence."
Ælswith: "I will not fight against it..." [src]

Ælflæd of Wessex (before, Ælflæd of Wiltshire) is a supporting character in both The Saxon Stories novel series, and The Last Kingdom television series. She is the second wife of King Edward, the daughter of ealdorman Æthelhelm, and the mother of Ælfweard.

Biography[edit | edit source]

The Saxon Stories[edit | edit source]

(To Be Added)

The Last Kingdom[edit | edit source]

Season 3[edit | edit source]

Winchester, Wessex; Ælflæd arrives in Winchester with her father to meet with Edward, who she is engaged to marry. Edward hopes that he and Ælflæd can find happiness. She’s quiet, but it’s not because she is scared. Ælflæd explains that she’s nervous and doesn’t wish to say anything foolish, as often advised not to by her father. Edward too worries about the weight of his words. ("Episode 3.7")

Ælflæd and Æthelhelm have arrived for the arranged marriage with Edward. They’re guided in by Father Pyrlig. Edward asks to have some time alone with his wife-to-be, but Æthelhelm is very much against it after hearing talk of Edward’s bastard children. Still, Edward marries Ælflæd and a union is formed. ("Episode 3.8")

Ælflæd sits by her husband and her father at the royal feast following her royal marriage. ("Episode 3.9")

Ælflæd attends Alfred's funeral in the great hall. ("Episode 3.10")

Season 4[edit | edit source]

Winchester, Wessex; Ælflæd and Ælfweard approach Edward, though he doesn’t appear interested in either of them. Æthelhelm tells Ælfweard that the men of Wessex are fighters; "Rule the sword, and rule the land". ("Episode 4.2")

Later, Ælflæd prepares for the royal coronation. The day of the coronation has arrived, as the ceremony is about to begin, Steapa interrupts to inform Pyrlig that the Danes have attacked Mercia. Pyrlig then relays this to the king. Despite the attacks, Edward decides to proceed with the coronation. ("Episode 4.2")

Ælswith joins King Edward, Lord Æthelhelm, Ælflæd, and Pyrlig at the table and asks if they’ve heard about Cnut and how he continues to burn villages from Tofeceaster to Fagranford. ("Episode 4.3")

Ælflæd interrupts Edward’s prayer and tells him to come to bed and that God is guiding him. She tells him that their son would like to see him as he often speaks fondly of his father. Edward tells her to leave him alone. ("Episode 4.4")

Ælflæd tells her father that Edward is too deep in prayer and that he shouldn't be bothered. Lord Æthelhelm explains that what Edward needs is to listen to those wiser than him, who knows the cost of battle. He then reveals to his daughter that Ælswith was seen visiting Edward’s bastard at the monastery. She arranged a reunion between the boy and his mother. And a rumor persists that her marriage to Edward was legitimate. One that could endanger Ælflæd’s son when the time comes. Lord Æthelhelm encourages his daughter to keep the king satisfied. Another son would strengthen their position. Ælflæd tries to but matters of Kingship weigh heavy on Edward. Æthelhelm must act before Ælswith turns Edward away from them. Æthelhelm assures his daughter he will do what he must. ("Episode 4.4")

Ælswith, Ælflæd, and Ælfweard pay their respects to the fallen soldiers from Tettenhall as they are brought into Winchester. Ælflæd worries that he’s too young to be displayed before people, but if he’s to send men to war as the future king of Wessex, he must know the consequences, Ælswith argues. ("Episode 4.5")

Ælflæd follows Cenric as he goes to inform Ælswith that an order has come from Aegelesburg. Ælswith is to be confined to punishment for raising an army without the king’s consent. Cenric has been asked to enact the will of the king. She will be guarded in the Reading Room. Ælswith calls into question Ælflæd’s authority. She reminds Ælswith that she is anointed Queen. And in Edward’s absence, her will takes precedence. ("Episode 4.5")

Ælflæd discovers that Lady Ælswith has escaped and demands to know who betrayed her. Meanwhile, Ælswith rides off with half a dozen guards. ("Episode 4.6")

Brida, Sigtryggr, Eardwulf, and the Danes attack Winchester. They kill many men and take Æthelhelm, Ælflæd, and Ælfweard captive. Sigtryggr then orders for Æthelhelm, Ælflæd, and Ælfweard to be locked up. ("Episode 4.9")

Ælswith, Æthelstan, Stiorra, Æthelhelm, Ælflæd, and Ælfweard are taken to Brida, Sigtryggr, and Eardwulf. After talking, Sigtryggr sends the rest of the captives back to the chapel whilst Stiorra is to be held separately; in the Reading Room. ("Episode 4.9")

Chapel, Winchester, Wessex; Ælflæd blames Edward for not being in Winchester to protect them. Ælswith retorts that if not for his actions, Cnut and Sigtryggr would’ve joined forces and they would be facing a bigger threat. Ælswith tells Æthelhelm to focus on his account with God and Ælflæd to reflect on her anger towards a child, when her own is in danger. ("Episode 4.9")

Ælswith, Æthelstan, Æthelhelm, Ælflæd, and Ælfweard remain locked up. Æthelhelm finished the last of the water. Ælswith tells him to pray they offer more. Ælflæd repeatedly states that she is hungry as she is not accustomed to discomfort. However, she is grateful the screaming has stopped. Sigtryggr comes to take Ælfweard but Ælflæd reveals that Æthelstan is the king’s first born. Æthelstan admits that he’s the elder brother, and Sigtryggr decides to take both. ("Episode 4.10")

Winchester, Wessex; They are escorted out their prison and taken to Brida and Sigtryggr. He reveals that Edward couldn’t choose between his sons, and he has given them Uhtred in his place. He has the captives taken to the chapel and fed. As Æthelhelm is being taken away, he bargains with one of the guards. ("Episode 4.10")

Chapel, Winchester, Wessex; He exchanges his gold ring for the purple flowers from the yard retrieved by the guard. Æthelhelm tells Ælflæd to drink enough water and give the jug back and after that not to drink anymore. He plans to poison Ælswith. ("Episode 4.10")

Family[edit | edit source]

This list shows Ælflæd's family:

  • The † means that the individual is dead.
  • The ° means the individual appears more then once in this list.

Individual Relationship Notice
Parents Æthelhelm (of Wiltshire) Father
Sibilings Æthelhelm (of Wiltshire) Brother
Ælswyth (of Wiltshire) Sister
Children Ælfweard (of Wessex) Son
Æthelstan (of Wessex) Step Son
Ædgyth (of Wessex and Northumbria) Step Daughter
Significant Other(s) Edward (of Wessex) Husband
Affinity Alfred (of Wessex) Father-in-law
Ælswith (of Mercia and Wessex) Mother-in-law
Æthelflæd (of Wessex and Mercia) Sister-in-law
Osferth Brother-in-law
Uhtred Uhtredson Brother-in-law
Others Uhtred Uhtredson Nephew

Individual Relationship Notice
Parents Æthelhelm (of Wiltshire) Father
Children Ælfweard (of Wessex) Son
Significant Other(s) Edward (of Wessex) Husband
Affinity Alfred (of Wessex) Father-in-law
Ælswith (of Mercia and Wessex) Mother-in-law
Æthelflæd (of Wessex and Mercia) Sister-in-law
Osferth Brother-in-law

Individual Relationship Notice
Parents Æthelhelm (of Wiltshire) Father ?
Children Ælfweard (of Wessex) Son
Edwin (of Wessex) Son
Æthelhild (of Wessex and Wilton Abbey) Daughter
Eadgifu (of Wessex and the West Franks) Daughter
Eadflæd (of Wessex and Wilton Abbey) Daughter
Eadhild (of Wessex and the Franks) Daughter
Eadgyth (of Wessex and the East Franks) Daughter
Ælfgifu (of Wessex) Daughter
Æthelstan (of Wessex) Step Son
Ædgyth (of Wessex and York) Step Daughter
Significant Other(s) Edward the Elder (of Wessex) Husband
Affinity Alfred the Great (of Wessex) Father-in-law
Ælswith (of Mercia and Wessex) Mother-in-law
Æthelflæd (of Wessex and Mercia) Sister-in-law
Æthelgifu (of Wessex and Shaftesbury) Sister-in-law
Æthelweard (of Wessex) Brother-in-law
Ælfthryth (of Wessex) Brother-in-law
Osferth (of Wessex) Brother-in-law ?
Charles the Simple (of West Francia) Son-in-law Eadgifu
Herbert the Old (of Omois) Son-in-law Eadgifu
Hugh the Great (of the Franks) Son-in-law Eadhild
Otto the Great (of the East Franks) Son-in-law Eadgyth

Appearances[edit | edit source]

The Saxon Stories[edit | edit source]

Books 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13
The Saxon Stories                      

The Last Kingdom[edit | edit source]

Episodes 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
Season 1                
Season 2
Season 3
Season 4
Season 5

Trivia[edit | edit source]

  • This character has been based on a real historical figure of Ælfflæd.
  • The name Ælfflæd comes from Old English. The name is made up of the words ælf, which means "elf", and flæd, which means "beauty".
  • Ælflæd is a noble; she was born to the lord of Wiltshire, and then married King Edward of Wessex which made her his consort.
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