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For others named Æthelred, see Æthelred of Mercia or Æthelred Mucel.

"Alfred is my heir, he knows it. And when the time comes, Odda, my friend, you must steer the Witan to make this choice."
—King Æthelred to Ealdorman Odda[src]

Æthelred of Wessex was a minor character in both The Saxon Stories novel series, and The Last Kingdom television series. He was Alfred's older brother and the father of Æthelwold. He was the king of Wessex from 865 to 871.

Biography[]

The Saxon Stories[]

(To Be Added)

The Last Kingdom[]

Season 1[]

Winchester, Wessex; Æthelred and the council discuss King Edmund of East Anglia’s plea to Wessex for an army. An attack by the Danes is inevitable. Æthelred is consider turning down his plea, and Odda is in agreement. Young Odda also agrees that King Edmund deserves nothing by silence. Nevertheless, they all fear that barring a miracle, East Anglia will soon fall to the Danes. However, they all agree that they shouldn’t send help. Soon, it’ll be them facing off against the pagan army. They must pray and prepare. Lastly, Æthelred will need strong men to fight the nearing battle. ("Episode 1.2")

King Æthelred scolds Æthelwold for being drunk in the garden. Æthelred refers to his son as an embarrassment and an unsuitable heir. Æthelwold claims he plans to change. Afterward, Æthelred confesses to Odda that he isn’t convinced that Æthelwold is his son. If he’s to fall in battle, his son cannot be king. Æthelwold favors Alfred. He is the heir. And when the time comes, Odda must steer the Witan to make this choice. ("Episode 1.2")

Brida and Uhtred return from Readingum to inform King Æthelred that the Danes have come to attack Winchester, and they’ll be marching in no less than few more days. However, Odda and his younger were under the impression that they were to attack in the spring. Uhtred has come with proof. He tells them to defeat the Danes, Winchester must meet them on the road to Abbendum. However, young Odda and Alfred suspect that it might be a trap. Nevertheless, Alfred takes Uhtred’s advice and they will attack on the road to Abbendum. Lastly, he has Brida and Uhtred taken away and put into cages. ("Episode 1.2")

Guthrum leads an army of Danes to Abbendum and right in the path of King Æthelred, Odda, and the Wessex army. ("Episode 1.2")

Alfred, Odda, and Young Odda return from battle with King Æthelred, who was badly wounded and likely won’t survive. He later succumbs to his wounds, resulting in Alfred becoming the king. ("Episode 1.3")

Battle Participation[]

This list shows the battles Æthelred has participated in:

The Last Kingdom[]

The Saxon Stories[]

Family[]

This list shows Æthelred's family:

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

Individual Relationship Notice
Parents Æthelwulf (of Wessex) Father
Siblings Alfred (of Wessex) Brother
Children Æthelwold (of Wessex) Son
Affinity Ælswith (of Mercia and Wessex) Sister-in-law
Others Edward (of Wessex) Nephew
Æthelflæd (of Wessex and Mercia) Niece
Osferth Nephew
Æthelstan (of Wessex) Great Nephew
Ædgyth (of Wessex and Northumbria) Great Niece
Ælfwynn (of Mercia) Great Niece
Ælfweard (of Wessex) Great Nephew

Individual Relationship Notice
Siblings Alfred (of Wessex) Brother
Children Æthelwold (of Wessex) Son
Affinity Ælswith (of Mercia and Wessex) Sister-in-law
Others Edward (of Wessex) Nephew
Æthelflæd (of Wessex and Mercia) Niece
Osferth Nephew
Æthelstan (of Wessex) Great Nephew
Ædgyth (of Wessex) Great Niece
Ælfwynn (of Mercia) Great Niece
Ælfweard (of Wessex) Great Nephew

Individual Relationship Notice
Parents Æthelwulf (of Wessex) Father
Osburh (of Wessex) Mother
Judith (of Flanders and Wessex) Step Mother °
Siblings Alfred the Great (of Wessex) Brother
Æthelstan (of Wessex and Kent) Brother
Æthelswith (of Wessex and Mercia) Sister
Æthelbald (of Wessex) Brother
Æthelberht (of Wessex) Brother
Children Æthelwold (of Wessex) Son
Æthelhelm (of Wessex) Son
Significant Other(s) Wulfthryth (of Wessex) Wife
Affinity Ælswith (of Mercia and Wessex) Sister-in-law
Burghred (of Mercia) Brother-in-law Æthelswith
Judith (of Flanders and Wessex) Sister-in-law ° Æthelbald
Others Edward the Elder (of Wessex) Nephew
Æthelflæd (of Wessex and Mercia) Niece
Æthelgifu (of Wessex and Shaftesbury) Niece Alfred
Æthelweard (of Wessex) Nephew Alfred
Ælfthryth (of Wessex and Flanders) Niece Alfred
Osferth (of Wessex) Nephew ?
Ælfwynn (of Mercia) Great Niece
Æthelstan (of Wessex) Great Nephew
Ædgyth (of Wessex and York) Great Niece
Ælfweard (of Wessex) Great Nephew
Edwin (of Wessex) Great Nephew Edward
Æthelhild (of Wessex and Wilton Abbey) Great Niece Edward
Eadgifu (of Wessex and the West Franks) Great Niece Edward
Eadflæd (of Wessex and Wilton Abbey) Great Niece Edward
Eadhild (of Wessex and the Franks) Great Niece Edward
Eadgyth (of Wessex and the East Franks) Great Niece Edward
Ælfgifu (of Wessex) Great Niece Edward
Edmund (of Wessex) Great Nephew Edward
Eadred (of Wessex) Great Nephew Edward
Eadburh (of Wessex and Winchester) Great Niece Edward
Æthelwine (of Wessex) Great Nephew Æthelweard
Ælfwine (of Wessex) Great Nephew Æthelweard
Arnulf (of Flanders) Great Nephew Ælfthryth
Adalulf (of Flanders and Boulogne) Great Nephew Ælfthryth
Ealswid (of Flanders) Great Niece Ælfthryth
Ermentrud (of Flanders) Great Niece Ælfthryth

Appearances[]

The Saxon Stories[]

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

The Last Kingdom[]

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

Trivia[]

  • This character has been based on a real historical figure of Æthelred.
    • Historically, he is known as Æthelred I or Æðelræd I.
  • Æthelred was born around 845 to 848 and died in 871, between the ages of 23 to 26. If the book series followed factual date of Æthelred's birth then these are his ages throughout the books:
    • In "The Last Kingdom", at the start of the book it is 867, he is 19 to 22 years old. At the end of the book, it is 874-876, he is between 26 and 29 to 28 and 31 years old.
  • Though not touched on in the show (as some of this takes place prior to the series' timeline), four of King Æthelwulf's sons were kings of Wessex: Æthelbald, Æthelberht and Æthelred (who each reigned five years and passed, successively,) and, lastly, Alfred, who went on to reign the longest.
  • The name Æthelred or Æðelræd comes from Old English. The name is made up of the words æthel, which means "noble", and red, which means "counsel, wisdom".
  • Æthelred was a noble; he was born a prince of Wessex, son of King Æthelwulf, and later succeeded his father and brothers as king.
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