- "On my way to make this complaint to King Alfred, I came via Cynuit. And such a sight I hope never to see again. For, where the church to commemorate Lord Odda's victory over Ubba was to be built, I saw devastation, destruction, and the charred remains of 15 monks or more. Men have told me, that this evil was the work of the very same Skorpa who was in Cornwalum, and that with him, once more, was the Ealdorman Uhtred."
- —Brother Asser lying to the Witan about Uhtred[src]
Asser is a supporting character in both The Saxon Stories novel series, and The Last Kingdom television series. Asser is a priest. After witnessing Uhtred betray King Peredur, Asser informs King Alfred of Uhtred's crimes.
Biography[edit | edit source]
In "The Pale Horseman", Uhtred goes off raiding into Cornwall. He comes across a settlement ruled by the British king Peredur, who hires Uhtred and his men to fight an invading Danish force led by Svein of the White Horse.
Hhowever, Uhtred and Svein ally to kill Peredur and pillage his settlement, and Uhtred carries off Peredur's wife, the shadow queen Iseult. A monk named Asser, who was at Peredur's court, witnesses the betrayal and escapes to Dyfed in Wealas.
The Witan summons Uhtred to an audience with King Alfred in Cippanhamm, where he is accused of using the king's ship to raid the Britons with whom Wessex is at peace based on the testimony of Asser, who has made his way to Alfred's court, and wrongfully accused Uhtred of attacking the Cynuit abbey on the false testimony of the warrior Steapa Snotor, who is loyal to Uhtred's enemy Odda the Younger.
"Sword Song" (To Be Added)
In "The Burning Land", while celebrating the Mercian/Saxon victory at Farnham, Uhtred is devastated by news that his beloved wife, Gisela, has died in childbirth, along with the child she bore. When Uhtred and Skade return to Lundene, Alfred's advisor, Bishop Asser uses the mad Brother Godwin to denounce Gisela's name, ranting that Gisela was the devil's whore, and has come back from the dead as Skade.
"Death of Kings" (To Be Added)
"The Empty Throne" (To Be Added)
Cornwalum, Wealas; Brother Asser approaches Uhtred and his men with a proposition. Asser has brought them a gift from King Peredur, of the Britons. The king has heard of them and wants to enlist in their help as the king is under attack by a fellow Briton, Callyn. Peredur is prepared to pay them well if they help him recapture their land. ("Episode 1.6")
Brother Asser takes Uhtred, Leofric, and Æthelwold to meet King Peredur. Their rivals have between 40 and 50 men. The king only has 30 fighting men at his disposal. In return for their help, he will pay them 100 pieces of silver. Uhtred wants 400 pieces instead. King Peredur calls down his second wife Iseult. She’s a shadow queen. She asks Uhtred who he is and what he will do for the king. Uhtred replies that he’ll only fight if he is paid what he’s worth. She examines Uhtred closely and says that he is the one. And so, King Peredur agrees to pay Uhtred the 400 pieces of silver, but they must first reclaim the fortress, where his silver is hidden. ("Episode 1.6")
Brother Asser noticed that Uhtred has some Saxons among his ranks. Uhtred explains they’re Mercian warriors. Asser then explains that Iseult is a sorceress. She can see into the future for as long as she remains a virgin. Brother Asser believes she’s merely the devil. ("Episode 1.6")
The following day, Uhtred, Leofric, and Æthelwold lead King Peredur, Brother Asser, and his men into battle. However, Uhtred and his men turn on them after striking a deal with Skorpa. Brother Asser watches from the bushes before running off and returning to the kingdom. ("Episode 1.6")
Winchester, Wessex; Brother Asser goes to Winchester, where he reveals Uhtred's plunder in Briton to King Alfred. Uhtred is called back to Winchester for a Witan. He’s charged with taking a troop of the king’s men into Cornwalum and making war against the Britons. He is also changed with joining forces with Skorpa. The punishment for these crimes is death. Brother Asser swears this to be true. Also, he reveals that the church in Cynuit was destroyed and the monks there killed. This is the work of Skorpa and Uhtred, Brother Asser claims. Uhtred now speaks, explaining that the only time he was in Cynuit was to kill Ubba. Nevertheless, for his crimes, he is sentenced to death. However, Leofric convinces Alfred to allow them to fight to the death. ("Episode 1.6")
Alfred, Ælswith, Æthelwold, Young Odda, Brother Asser, and Father Beocca watch as Uhtred and Leofric fight to the death. King Alfred does not wish to watch the outcome and leaves, asking Ælswith to fetch the children. As Uhtred and Leofric trade blows, the town gets word of a Dane invasion led by Young Ragnar and Guthrum. Beocca, Wulfhere, and Brother Asser retreat to Sherborne, where they get word that the king is alive and well. ("Episode 1.7")
Athelney Marshes, Wessex; Uhtred, Leofric, Beocca, Alfred, Brother Asser, and Wulfhere discuss their next course of action. They leave the marshes and set sail for Winchester. They arrive on land and cross paths with Wulfhere’s man, Halig. He reveals that Wulfhere left without saying where. So, they continue on their path to Odda’s estate. ("Episode 1.8")
Brother Asser questions how could God look favourably upon a non-believer such as Uhtred. Alfred replies God is good. Beocca reminds Asser that death could be waiting for them just over the next hill and it will be Uhtred who stands in its way. Brother Asser believes Uhtred to be without a soul. However, Father Beocca will be his soul and conduit to God. Alfred then tells Brother Asser that he would like for him to be the first of his messengers. ("Episode 1.8")
Alfred informs Uhtred, Leofric, Iseult, and Halig that he will be sending word of their army’s gathering point. Brother Asser will be the first messenger. Alfred appoints Halig as his second messenger. Hild wishes to be a messenger as well, and Alfred allows it despite the fact that she’s a woman. ("Episode 1.8")
Appearances[edit | edit source]
|The Saxon Stories||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔|
Trivia[edit | edit source]
- This character has been based on a real historical figure of Asser.
- Asser is from the Tyddewi (St David's) in the Welsh kingdom of Dyfed (modern Pembrokeshire).
- The name 'Asser' is thought to based on the Hebrew name "Asher", meaning 'blessed'. It was common for ordained Christian priests and monks to adopt names derived from the Bible. Asser's native birthname may have been Gwyn, which also means 'blessed' in Welsh.