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"Why am I being punished? Did I deserve this cruelty? Did I hurt someone as I am now hurt? Did he? All I wanted was a husband and family! To be with the one I loved in a quiet place to call home."
Ecgwynn to Ælswith when she was questioning why her son is to be taken away from her again[src]

Ecgwynn of Wessex (before, Ecgwynn of Cent) is a character in The Saxon Stories novel series, and in The Last Kingdom television series. She is the first and former wife of Edward and is the mother of the twins Æthelstan and Ædgyth.

She and Edward married in secret but were forced apart by Edwards parents. Their marriage was annulled, she was sent into a convent, and her twins taken from her and separated.

Biography[]

The Saxon Stories[]

In the novel Death of Kings Ecgwynn is mentioned as the daughter of the Bishop Swithwulf of Hrofeceaster in Cent. She gave birth to the twins Æthelstan und Eadgyth around the year 899 but died in childbirth. The children then were brought to St. Hedda's nunnery, where they were protected by Hild and Æthelflaed. It's rumoured, Edward actually married her.

The Last Kingdom[]

Season 3[]

Sigebriht of Cent was initially the jilted suitor of Ecgwynn.

Winchester, Wessex; Æthelwold tells Edward that some ealdormen aren't too happy that he made a whore of a young girl and left her pupped. Edward defends her by retorting that she isn’t a whore. ("Episode 3.1")

Later, Edward is brought in front of his father after he was made aware that Edward is now married to Ecgwynn. Alfred demands the name of the priest or he will send for her. Edward refuses to do either, adding that he also doesn’t wish to become king. Alfred exclaims that it’s his duty. He then orders Bishop Erkenwald to escort Edward to the nearest monastery. ("Episode 3.3")

Back in Winchester, Edward says that he has looked to God and it is before God that he did swear his love for his wife. Alfred and Ælswith have commanded that he get a divorce. Bishop Erkenwald states that Edward’s wife has chosen to enter a nunnery. And therefore, the marriage is dismissed. Edward claims that this isn’t true and wishes to see her, but Ælswith refuses. Alfred tells Edward that he will marry Ælflæd. Edward asks what of his children. Alfred and Ælswith tells him that they will be cared for. ("Episode 3.4")

Steapa and Bishop Erkenwald confiscate the twins Æthelstan and Ædgyth from their mothers and maternal grandmothers arms. Ecgwynn is taken back to Winchester. ("Episode 3.4")

Season 4[]

Winchester, Wessex; Ælswith asks Hild about Ecgwynn, on what is happening to her now. Hild replies that the girl took holy orders after her marriage was annulled without her consent, that she is terribly unhappy. Ælswith replies that Ecgwynn was just a simple girl and that kind of life may not suit her. Hild informs Ælswith that Ecgwynn has been forbidden from seeing Æthelstan and Ædgyth. Ecgwynn sees her daughter on occasion but she hasn't seen her son since he was ripped from her arms. This shocks Ælswith. Ælswith now understands why Father Beocca and Hild judged her for it. She wishes to make amends. Ælswith says that Æthelstan has now the love of god but not that of his mother, even she wouldn't wish that on her son. Hild is right to assume that Ælswith wishes to see the two, and to do it in secret. ("Episode 4.2")

Wessex (?); Ecgwynn is reunited with her son, Æthelstan, for the first time since they were separated. ("Episode 4.2")

Later that evening, Ecgwynn puts Æthelstan to bed and thanks Ælswith for arranging the meeting. Ælswith simply explains that she is a mother who feels for Ecgwynn’s plight. To see her son even briefly heals a wounded heart. Ecgwynn then asks if she’s still out of favour with Lady Ælswith, completely unaware that she is in fact talking to her. Still acting under the ruse that she’s merely a sympathetic mother, she replies that Ælswith disfavoured no one and simply chose what was best for her own son. It would be foolish for Æthelstan to be raised without a woman’s nurture. So, they must ensure there is always a lady to guide him when he is permanently moved to somewhere more secure. Ælswith assures Ecgwynn that her son will be well-protected, though she won’t be able to see him again. Ecgwynn questions why she’s being punished when all she wanted was a husband and family. To which Ælswith replies her desires is why she would’ve been unsuited for life in Winchester, and why this has all come to pass. ("Episode 4.2")

Family[]

This list shows Ecgwynn's family:

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

Individual Relationship Notice
Children Æthelstan (of Wessex) Son
Ædgyth (of Wessex and Northumbria) 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
Sigtryggr Ivarsson (of Northumbria) Son-in-law

Individual Relationship Notice
Parents Unnamed Woman Mother
Children Æthelstan (of Wessex) Son
Ædgyth (of Wessex) Daughter
Significant Other(s) Edward (of Wessex) Former Husband
Sigebriht (of Kent) Former Love Interest potentially
Affinity Alfred (of Wessex) Former Father-in-law
Ælswith (of Mercia and Wessex) Former Mother-in-law
Æthelflæd (of Wessex and Mercia) Former Sister-in-law
Osferth Former Brother-in-law

Individual Relationship Notice
Children Æthelstan (of Wessex) Son
Ædgyth (of Wessex and York) 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 ?
Sigtryggr Ivarsson (of York) Son-in-law

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 Ecgwynn.
  • The name Ecgwynn comes from Old English. The name is made up of the words ecg, which means "sword, blade", and wynn, which means "friend, joy".
  • Ecgwynn is a noble; she was born to an ealdorman of Cent, and then married King Edward of Wessex which made her his consort.
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