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"I judge very little, for I am in no position to."
—Eadith whilst talking to Osferth[src]

Eadith of Mercia (later in the books, Eadith of Bebbanburg) is a main character in both The Saxon Stories novel series, and The Last Kingdom television series.

She was the mistress of Lord Æthelred and is the younger sister of Eardwulf who was the commander of Lord Æthelred's household guards.

BiographyEdit

The Saxon StoriesEdit

In The Empty Throne, after Eardwulf is forced to flee with only a handful of his troops because Uhtred outwits him, his sister, Eadith, is captured.

Eadith becomes Uhtred's lover, and she reveals to him that she knows the location of Ice-SpiteAsser, a monk with a strong animosity towards Uhtred, took the sword after the Battle at Tettenhall and has had it taken to Wealas.

Later, the sword Ice-Spite is found, and Eadith uses it to drain the pus from Uhtred's body. His pain immediately stops which he's been suffering since his fight with Cnut in The Pagan Lord.

The Last KingdomEdit

Season 4Edit

Avlesburv, Mercia; Æthelred tells Eadith to come and lie with him, but she turns him down. He shall only have her when the time is right. He threatens to use force but is interrupted by the arrival of Eardwulf. He reports that he met a Danish spy who revealed that Cnut is taking his warriors from East Anglia and heading to Irland, leaving their women and children in undefended settlements. Æthelred plots to take over East Anglia while the Danish are gone. Eardwulf suggests they leave quietly, before the Ealdorman can disapprove. Æthelred remarks that relics of St. Oswald are already working in his favor. He’s collecting all the bones of their beloved Saint as a good omen to signal to the Mercian people that he shall restore their lands to greatness. Monks are leaving with silver to bargain for his heart. Once Æthelred leaves, Eadith questions if what her brother says is true. He admits that it is. Eardwulf explains that he’s simply trying to keep the king happy and instructs his sister to do the same. However, the moment she has sex with him, he’ll lose interest in her. She refuses to return to being landless and ridiculed. ("Episode 4.1")

Mercia; Eardwulf, Æthelred, and Eadith lead a group of warriors to conquer East Anglia. ("Episode 4.1")

East Anglia; King Æthelred has made settlement at the Kingdom of East Anglia. Inside his tent, he encourages Eadith to try on the dress he had made for her, but she refuses to get dressed in front of him. He questions why she continues to deny him. She claims that she acts solely for the good of his soul, as he has a wife. And so, Æthelred plans to make himself a widower, so he can then marry Eadith. ("Episode 4.2")

Eadith exits her tent, where she is immediately asked by Eardwulf if she gave herself to Æthelred, which she didn’t. Eardwulf fears that the king may lose interest if his sister continues to deny him. However, Æthelred’s willingness to kill his own wife would suggest otherwise. Eadith doesn’t want anyone else’s blood on her hands nor does she want to be married to a man who kills so frivolously. Eadith makes Eardwulf promise her that if Æthelred asks him to attack Lady Æthelflæd that he will refuse. However, Eardwulf won’t deny the wishes of the king. ("Episode 4.2")

King’s Lynn, East Anglia; Eadith tells Eardwulf that she has no choice but to act the part of the king’s whore. She detests him however. Eardwulf tells Eadith to follow him as he has news to put the king in better spirits. Eardwulf hands Æthelred a sword that they ripped from the hands of an ugly Dane named Ulf. They’ve also taken Lindcylne. Æthelred promises Eardwulf that he will be rewarded for his hand in their victory. Eardwulf only asks that he remain in charge of the king’s armies and to restore his family’s name. To lift the king’s decree that every generation be born into disgrace. Æthelred says he’ll consider it after Eardwulf takes all of East Anglia. ("Episode 4.3")

East Anglia; Eardwulf buries the body of a dead messenger in a shallow grave. Eadith asks what has he done. Eardwulf explains that all would be lost if he hadn’t. Edward sent word to Æthelred that Cnut did not sail to Irland, but has rather been attacking Mercia. Meaning Eardwulf was tricked by Hæsten, who gave him false information. There is benefit in delaying their return however. If the Lady Æthelflæd throws herself into the paths of the Danes, it will leave a path open for Eadith, but she has no desire to be married to a husband who used to be king. Eadith advises Eardwulf to tell the king the truth and persuade him to defend his kingdom. However, Eardwulf fears the king will kill him. ("Episode 4.3")

Eadith will do what she can to soften the blow of her brother’s misguidance. So, she puts on the dress that Æthelred had made for her and enters his tent. She proceeds to kiss Æthelred and have sex with him. ("Episode 4.3")

Eardwulf finds Eadith lying in bed after having sex with the king, who is in a considerably good mood. Eadith reminds her brother that she had sex with the king as a favor to him. So now, he must tell the king the truth about Mercia. However, Eardwulf is reluctant, in fear of the king’s response. ("Episode 4.4")

Mercia; Eardwulf returns from battle. Eadith suggests that they take advantage of all the chaos and run. The king will simply think that Eardwulf died in battle. However, Eardwulf refuses to run. He will find Æthelred and beg him for forgiveness. Eadith assures her brother that the king will never forgive them for what they’ve done. King Æthelred is carted back to camp. He is wounded, unconscious, and the back of his head is split open. ("Episode 4.4")

Aegelesburg, Mercia; Eardwulf and Eadith lead a fleet of men back to Aegelesburg, where they can tend to King Æthelred. King Æthelred is weak and barely conscious. He asks why have the Ealdormen circled around him. Eardwulf and Eadith tell him that he’s been sleeping since the day of the battle, where he fell and hit his head. However, they did defeat the Danes and Erdwukf assures the king he'll recover. The last thing Æthelred remembers is arriving at the battle. ("Episode 4.5")

Æthelred holds Eadith’s hand and demands that she do not leave his room. Eardwulf returns and asks his sister if the king blames him for their late return. Eadith reveals that he has not spoken of Eardwulf, but they should leave before his mind returns. However, Eardwulf believes the king will be dead soon, and if that’s the case, they’ll have no need to run. This is an opportunity to regain their influence. The Mercian Guard is loyal to Eardwulf and the Ealdormen are against the king. Groups are forming. Æthelflæd then unexpectedly arrives, familiar with both Eardwulf and Eadith. Æthelflæd would like to be left alone with Æthelred and tells everyone to withdraw. ("Episode 4.5")

Eardwulf and Eadith plan to ingratiate themselves with King Edward. However, Eadith is reluctant. She wants to take this opportunity to escape and avoid the turmoil when Æthelred dies. She’s the mistress of a soon-to-be dead king and Eardwulf is the favorite. Such people will not thrive. Eardwulf replies that for a whore, his sister lacks ambition. Unlike her, he refuses to run merely because it’s become dangerous. They are interrupted by Uhtred and Æthelflæd and part ways. ("Episode 4.5")

Eadith sits at Æthelred’s side. He realizes that all his people wish him dead and wonders what he did to offend them. He then asks to be alone with Eadith. He can’t recall much, but he remembers her name and asks if they were in love, but they weren’t. Æthelred apologizes if he’s ever mistreated her. He asks if she’ll survive without him, but she doesn’t know. She’s survived a great deal already. He asks for her to tell him the truth about his status. Eadith truthfully tells him that he is in fact dying. He’ll need a miracle to survive. She suggests he could pray on the relics of St. Oswald. ("Episode 4.5")

Eardwulf tells Æthelred that he’s been chosen as the successor. However, the king will not agree to it. He promised Æthelflæd that he would not act without her. While Æthelred cannot place it, his stomach tells him that Eardwulf lies. Æthelred tells Eardwulf that he isn’t worthy of his daughter and he will never rule Mercia. Eardwulf becomes enraged. He climbs on top of Æthelred and snaps his neck. Unbeknownst to him, Eadith watches through the curtains. ("Episode 4.5")

Eadith watches as Eardwulf steals Æthelred’s ring off his finger and leave. She enters the room, as does Edward and Æthelflæd soon thereafter. They discover that Æthelred is dead. Edward tells Eadith to prepare the body and tell her brother that the betrothal will happen imminently. However, Æthelflæd intends to fight this. ("Episode 4.5")

Eadith comes to set Æthelflæd free. She’s alerted Aldhelm, who’s outside the window waiting with a horse. Æthelflæd suspects it's a trap, wondering why a mistress would help a wife. Eadith explains that Mercia has wronged them both and both of their brothers have turned on them. Eardwulf cannot be controlled and will bring disaster. Before leaving, Æthelflæd tells Eadith to find Uhtred on the road to Ceaster and tell him to meet Æthelflæd at the ruins of Saint Milburg’s Priory. Do this and Æthelflæd will ensure that Eadith never goes penniless. Æthelflæd jumps out the window and onto the horse. ("Episode 4.5")

Mercia; Eadith catches up to Uhtred. She arrives with a message from Æthelflæd. She wants them to meet her at the ruins of St. Milburg’s Priory. They do not entirely trust Eadith, but they have no choice. Uhtred wonders what’s next for her. Eadith has family in Frankia, but that way is Inland, so Uhtred invites Eadith to travel with them. ("Episode 4.6")

Eadith tells Uhtred that he’s kinder than his reputation and that Lady Æthelflæd is lucky to have him serve her. Uhtred explains that he simply owes her his respect. Eadith never sought to disrespect Æthelflæd, but only to protect her brother, but he did not protect her in return. ("Episode 4.6")

As they ride through the woods, hungry villagers rip the bread that Stiorra is eating right from her hands. They come to a stop as the road is blocked with the bodies of dead men piked on large wooden sticks. Finan and Sihtric go to investigate. They realize that at least one man is still alive but that he’s dying of a sickness. Finan claims that it is spread by touch while Uhtred and Osferth state that it spreads by air. Young Uhtred believes that it only takes sinners. Finan suggests that they return to Aegelesburg. However, they don’t have the power to defend themselves against Edward. Uhtred changes the plan. They will now go across land to Wenloca to avoid the bad air. Sihtric worries that the children won’t make the trip on foot, but they proceed nevertheless. ("Episode 4.6")

St. Milburg’s Priory, Mercia; They arrive at St. Milburg’s Priory but Æthelflæd and Aldhelm are nowhere to be found. Finan continues to grow more and more worried. He suspects there may even be bodies laying in the fields. Finan suspects that Æthelflæd isn’t coming and advises they leave. Uhtred realizes that Æthelflæd must’ve gone ahead to Ceaster as agreed, so they do the same. ("Episode 4.6")

Mercia; They sleep as Uhtred watches over them. Day breaks and the group awakens. Ælfwynn goes following behind a crow, chasing it through the woods on her own. That’s when she crosses paths with a sleeping Eardwulf and his men. Fortunately, Uhtred gets to her in time before she can awaken them. The group then run off into the woods. ("Episode 4.6")

The group rests at a river stream. Eadith looks after Ælfwynn. She’s getting a fever, so Osferth gives her something to drink. Eadith then asks Osferth about Finan and how they’re true warriors. As night falls, the group settles down to sleep. Eadith thanks Uhtred for not killing her brother. He replies there is no honor in killing a sleeping man. Although, if Eardwulf comes for them, Uhtred will not hesitate. He wonders why Eadith didn’t betray them when she had the chance. Edith explains that she would rather sleep on cold earth than in a palace where people see her as a whore. She asks if his Gods look down on him from the Heavens. Do they sit in judgement. Uhtred explains they’re more fickle than that and he isn’t always sure how to please them. Sometimes, he thinks the path of the warrior is his way to Valhalla. Other times, he isn’t sure. He asks if Eadith’s God looks over her. She looks for signs if he does, but she rarely sees them. ("Episode 4.6")

The following morning, they continue their journey to Ceaster. Eadith fears that Ælfwynn is getting sick. Uhtred is aware, but tells Eadith to simply reassure her. Unfortunately, they are tracked down by Eardwulf and his guards. They find themselves in a swamp filled with dead bodies, certainly the result of the sickness. So, they are forced to fight their way out. Eardwulf demands they hand over Ælfwynn, but Uhtred refuses. Finan tells Æthelstan to run into the trees when the fighting starts and Sihtric hands him a knife. As the guards inch towards them, Eadith reveals that her brother killed Lord Æthelred and she’s willing to swear it on the book. She adds that Eardwulf is also responsible for the delay of their return to Mercia. Eadith has proof off his crime. She tells the guards to look inside the pouch that her brother wears around his neck. In it is Æthelred’s ring. And so, Eardwulf’s guards turn on him. Eadith advises Eardwulf to save himself and flee to Frankia. He heeds Eadith’s warning and leaves. Uhtred then picks up Æthelred’s ring off the ground. ("Episode 4.6")

Wollerton, Mercia; They arrive in Wollerton; Kingdom of Mercia. Sihtric asks for his blade back from Æthelstan. Uhtred orders young Uhtred and Sihtric to find Æthelflæd and tell her that Ælfwynn is safe. Eadith and Osferth will guard her until Edward has sworn he won’t harm her. Eadith fears that Ælfwynn is getting worse. Uhtred asks that Eadith keep her alive until he returns. Eadith tells him that she and Osferth will do everything they can. ("Episode 4.6")

Wyre Forest, Mercia; Osferth and Eadith take Ælfwynn to a healer in the Wyre Forest. The woman offers them wormwood, which is known to kill men. Eadith feels they have no choice. Should Ælfwynn die, they’ll be to blame as it’s believed that only sinners catch the sickness. Eadith drinks the wormwood herself before giving it to Ælfwynn. Later, Eadith and Osferth check in on Ælfwynn but she won’t wake up and her breathing is weak. Eadith proposes they take her to a healer in Aegelesburg. ("Episode 4.7")

Aegelesburg, Mercia; They arrive outside the gates of Aegelesburg and are welcomed inside with an unconscious Ælfwynn in arms. Edward orders Cenric to find him every healer in town and not to speak a word of this to anyone. ("Episode 4.7")

Eadith watches over Ælfwynn and Æthelstan as they play on the swings. Æthelflæd arrives and apologizes for ever doubting Eadith. She delivered the message as she said she would. She also cared for Ælfwynn on the road. Æthelflæd questions why did Eadith reveal Eardwulf to be Æthelred’s killer. Eardwulf may be Eadith’s brother, but what he did was wrong. Eadith chooses to be loyal to Uhtred and Æthelflæd because she believes in what they are doing. ("Episode 4.8")

Æthelflæd finds Eadith playing with Ælfwynn and Æthelstan. Æthelflæd has come to make good on her claim to reward Eadith for delivering the message to Uhtred. She pays Eadith in silver. Though Eadith has been loyal to Ælfwynn, Æthelflæd is the Queen now, and Eadith was her husband’s mistress, who her brother killed. To allow Eadith to remain in Aegelesburg would make her look weak, and so Æthelflæd has arranged a place for Eadith at the nunnery, where she can live and be safe. Eadith would prefer to find her own way and says goodbye to Ælfwynn and Æthelstan. ("Episode 4.8")

Uhtred, Finan, Stiorra, Osferth, and Sihtric gather at the tavern, unsure of their next move. Eadith pays for their next jug of ale in exchange for them allowing her to travel with them when they leave Aegelesburg. ("Episode 4.8")

Thatcham, Wessex; Uhtred, Stiorra, Eadith, Finan, Sihtric, Osferth, Æthelstan, and Pyrlig hold up in Thatcham, where they set up camp for Ælswith, who will offer prayers of thanks on their behalf when she arrives in Bedwyn. She explains how God worked through Uhtred and how he did not give up his throne to Mercia on his own. And for that, she would always be grateful. The group, with the exception of Eadith, who hides behind the trees, suddenly finds themselves surrounded by Hæsten and his men. Hæsten informs Uhtred that Sigtryggr has landed from Irland and he wants all Danes to follow him. Sigtryggr and Brida have captured Winchester, where Hæsten plans to take Ælswith, Æthelstan, and Stiorra. Hæsten orders his men to tie Uhtred and his men to trees so that they may die slowly. ("Episode 4.9")

They are tied upside down from a tree and hung by their feet. Hæsten orders two of his men to stay behind to ensure they die. Unbeknownst to them, Eadith watches from within the trees. Sihtric appears to be suffering the worst. Suddenly, they hear the screams of a woman off in the distance. One of the two remaining Danes goes to investigate and is is killed by Eadith. The second Dane comes looking after him. While he’s gone, Eadith frees Sihtric and Pyrlig. As she frees the others, the two of them kill the remaining Dane. Father Pyrlig will return to Aegelesburg to inform Edward while the others head to Winchester. ("Episode 4.9")

Outside Winchester, Wessex; Uhtred, Finan, Osferth, Sihtric, and Eadith arrive outside of Winchester. They see for themselves that the Danes have conquered the land and have strengthened their defenses. They plot to find a way inside. Eadith volunteers to sneak in with the villagers. She will find out where they captives are being kept. ("Episode 4.9")

Winchester, Wessex; Eadith enters Winchester, where she discovers that Eardwulf is among the Danes, though she remains hidden from him. ("Episode 4.9")

Sigtryggr gathers his men and brings Eardwulf out before them as discovering that Eardwulf works to his own plan and they need to be of one mind. Sigtryggr makes a speech about how when they fight, they work as one to achieve a common goal. And at all times, they are united and never fight out of anger as this is the way of the old generation. Eadith screams out from the crowd for them to have mercy. However, Eardwulf tells them to ignore her as she’s only a whore he once knew. Eardwulf is then executed by the Danes. ("Episode 4.9")

Eadith searches for the captives. She finds them locked up in Alfred’s tomb. However, before she can free them, she is caught by Hæsten, who suspects that she’s Eardwulf’s sister and recognizes her as Æthelred’s mistress. He drags Eadith out the castle and takes her somewhere Sigtryggr won’t find her. ("Episode 4.9")

Hæsten returns to the attic, where Eadith awaits. He tells her that he’s leaving. They’re attacking the gates, and Hæsten doesn’t want to be there when the fight starts. And he is taking Eadith with him, even as she opposes. The Danes are being smoked out. Hæsten has a plan to escape, but Eadith refuses to leave with him. He lets her go and leaves on his own. ("Episode 4.10")

The Wessex and Mercian armies breach the front gate to Winchester. Where Brida and the Danes await. Uhtred and Sigtryggr reach the courtyard, where the battle has erupted. Uhtred tells Edward to stand down. He does so after some convincing, as does Sigtryggr. Finan then lifts Eadith up off the ground after she was caught in the crossfire. ("Episode 4.10")

Finan patches up Eadith. He asks her how it felt to be in her first battle. She displayed the courage and spirit of a true warrior. ("Episode 4.10")

Killed Victims Edit

This list shows the victims Eadith has killed:

This list shows the victims Eadith has killed:

  • (To Be Added)

Memorable QuotesEdit

"She was lovely. I was prepared to hate her, but who could hate a woman so beautiful? [...] Eadith's pale-skinned face was intelligent, and her green eyes were glistening with tears"
Uhtred[src]
"You are true warriors aren't you? (...) It is strange to spend so much time with men and not be seen as a thing to be used."
—Eadith to Osferth about being on the road with them[src]

AppearancesEdit

The Saxon StoriesEdit

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

The Last KingdomEdit

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

Trivia Edit

  • The name Edith is an English name and is the modern descendant of the Anglo-Saxon name Eadgyð. The name is formed of the Germanic words ead, which means "wealth, prosperity", and gyð, which means "battle, war".
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