- "I've always envied you for choosing your own path. Looked at the way men followed you and felt... inspired, if somewhat grudgingly. And now I wonder if you are as imprisoned as I am... unable to escape a life that was imposed upon you. Neither of us asked to be here. For my part, the choices are growing narrower. I have tried to find a solution here that respects the Mercians and keeps order. But events have turned against me... And I have to ask myself, does God want me to fight for this? I have followed the guidance of others too long. I have made mistakes, yes. I have lived somewhat in Alfred's shadow. (...) I know he was speaking the truth when he said the kingdoms are stronger united. So perhaps I should be unifying them myself... rather then making a child do it for me. You are free to go, Uhtred."
- —Edward to Uhtred[src]
Edward of Wessex is a main character in both The Saxon Stories novel series, and The Last Kingdom television series. Edward is the son of Alfred and Ælswith, and the younger brother of Æthelflæd. He nearly died as an infant, but was healed in time by Iseult.
(To Be Added)
Later, Ælswith and Æthelflæd are joined by Alfred inside with the priest who looks over Edward, as he has developed a cough and is getting sicker by the day. ("Episode 1.7")
After Edward gets worse, Iseult offers to help him. Ælswith refuses her help and tells Iseult to get out of her sight. Æthelflæd tends to Edward, but he starts to cry and Alfred picks him up. Uhtred tells Iseult to go prepare and reminds Alfred that they only have one chance. ("Episode 1.7")
Alfred believes that Edward is sick because God is punishing him for stealing Æthelwolds crown, but Uhtred reminds him that Æthelwold is a fool and had no place being king. Uhtred believes God is testing Alfred and encourages him to give Edward to Iseult. With no other option, Alfred hands Edward over to Uhtred. Ælswith comes out just as Uhtred walks away with Edward. ("Episode 1.7")
Beocca and Wulfhere arrive in the marshes who Alfred greets. Beocca then asks about Edward, and Alfred rushes to go find him, Beocca and Wulfhere follow. They find Uhtred watching over Iseult and Edward. Alfred believes the worst at first but Iseult presents the child to Alfred as he has been fully healed. Alfred takes his child from her and rejoices. Iseult proceeds to cry for the stranger’s child who will now die in Edward’s place. ("Episode 1.7")
Edward, Æthelflæd, and Ælswith are told to remain in the swampland by Alfred as he prepares for war. ("Episode 1.8")
Winchester, Wessex; Edward is training to fight with swords by Steapa whilst Alfred and Ælswith watch. Uhtred arrives and explains that skills should first be learned through fighting with staffs, not swords. Alfred instructs Uhtred to further test Edward’s ability. After disarming and defeating Edward, Uhtred explains that he will practice only with staffs and learn from being hit. Æthelwold approaches Edward after his training and informs him that certain Ealdormen would rather see him dead than rise to king. He made a whore of a young girl and left her pupped. Edward retorts that she isn’t a whore. ("Episode 3.1")
The men of Wessex meet the Mercian guard on the battlefield, where they defeat the Danes and force them to retreat. ("Episode 3.1")
Edward attends the hearing for Uhtred after it is discovered that he desecrated his wife's grave. Uhtred flees after accidentally killing a monk, but he returns to face his punishment. While he is willing to pay the wergild as punishment, he can’t swear himself to Edward. Such an oath would be for the rest of his life. When Alfred refuses to release Uhtred, he pulls a blade from his armour and holds it to Alfred’s neck, ordering Steapa to stay back. Beocca is taken by surprise though he ensures that Ælswith and Edward remain unharmed. Ælswith orders Steapa to kill Uhtred, but Beocca insists that no one move. Alfred informs Uhtred that this can mean nothing but his certain death. Uhtred then exits with Alfred as his hostage, but the King returns to the hall and orders Uhtred to be killed. ("Episode 3.2")
Edward is brought in front of his father after being made aware that Edward is married to Ecgwynn. Alfred demands the name of the priest or he will send for the girl. 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")
Alfred informs Edward that they are to march in less then a week. Edward 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. Edward doesn’t wish to be king, but neither did Alfred. However, he was the rightful choice, as is Edward. Alfred tells Edward that he will marry Ælflæd. Alfred then asks Father Pyrlig to gather the holy relics. Edward asks what of his children. Alfred and Ælswith tells him that they will be cared for. But right now, the crown is the only thing of importance. Edward then swears upon a holy relic. ("Episode 3.4")
The Witan has requested Uhtred and Æthelflæd's presence. Edward has come in place of the king. Father Beocca and Pyrlig explain that Edward speaks and answers for Alfred. Æthelflæd claims that Danes are near and it was Hæsten who attacked her. Æthelred and Æthelhelm question how Uhtred knew where to find Æthelflæd. He accuses Uhtred of making a plan with Hæsten in order to gain Æthelflæd’s trust. Alfred joins them and demands the truth. Uhtred wants 1,000 men and he will give them Beamfleot and peace. Alfred denies Uhtred's proposal. He then tells Uhtred that while he remains an outlaw, he is under the protection of Lady Æthelflæd and free to leave when he is ready. ("Episode 3.5")
Edward and Father Pyrlig find Beocca and tell him that they’re willing to give Uhtred half of the men he asked for. He fears a great battle now will result in defeat. But if they were to weaken the Danes, as Uhtred suggested, they could stand a chance. Beocca and Pyrlig take Edward to find Uhtred and Æthelflæd as he has a proposition to offer. He needs to understand why Uhtred believes he can defeat Hæsten. Uhtred wishes to draw Hæsten out, as he will not be able to resist the chance to kill him. Men will die however this goes, but at least at Beamfleot, they stand a chance. Finan adds that it’s a plan that can work but Uhtred will need men. And so, Edward offers Uhtred 500 men or more. He tells Uhtred to set a day for the attack and he will be there. ("Episode 3.5")
Edward tells Alfred that he’s given his word to Uhtred to expect an army at Beamfleot. Alfred wants Beocca to inform Uhtred that Edward has withdrawn his support. Edward refuses to back down and begs his father to listen to him. Should the Danes join armies, there will be a great battle, which Edward isn’t ready for. And he fears the aftermath of a great battle will be too much for him. Beocca agrees with Edward in delaying a greater battle. Alfred concedes, ordering his men to prepare for battle at Beamfleot. ("Episode 3.5")
Off in the woods, Alfred, Edward, Steapa, Beocca, and the Wessex guard watch as Uhtred and his men are surrounded by Hæsten and an army of Danes. They do nothing as Uhtred and his men are attacked. Edward wishes to attack but Alfred insists that they hold their position. ("Episode 3.5")
Edward takes charge and leads Steapa, Beocca, and the Wessex guard into battle. They overcome the Danes and win the battle. Edward returns to Winchester to discuss the matter in which he led the Wessex guard into battle against his father’s wishes. While he has no regrets, he acknowledges that he went beyond what is his right and accepts any punishment necessary. Alfred tells Edward that his actions were worthy of a king and invites him to sit. Wessex shall soon be Edward’s. It’s future will be secured through unions. Ælswith believes it’s time for Edward to meet Ælflæd in order to strengthen them. ("Episode 3.6")
Edward meets his wife-to-be Ælflæd. He 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")
Edward attends a Witan to sentence Æthelwold for betraying Wessex and allying with the Danes. Æthelwold claims it is Uhtred who betrayed them. However, Edward points out that it was Uhtred who served well in Beamfleot. In the end, Alfred sentences Æthelwold to have his eye removed. ("Episode 3.7")
Æthelhelm and Ælflæd have arrived for the arranged marriage. 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")
Edward and Æthelflæd learn that their father has died from his illness during the late hours of the night. Their mother bring them to see him. Admittedly, Ælswith has not loved him for a long time. As a young man, he behaved as such. She could not forgive him for his infidelities. And then, without being aware why, she realized that she did in fact love him. She knew that without her, he couldn’t be the king she needed him to be. Ælswith then instructs Edward to fetch Beocca so that they may prepare for the first day in a new land. He later attends his father's funeral in the great hall. ("Episode 3.9")
Uhtred is being escorted out of Winchester when he reveals that he was pardoned by Alfred. However, Ælswith denies his claim. Beocca speaks in favor of Uhtred as well. He states that only a king can deny a king, and by Alfred’s decree, Uhtred is a free man. Æthelwold argues that Edward is simply Alfred’s son, not a king. Uhtred then offers to leave Wessex only if Edward believes the pardon to be untrue. Bishop Erkenwald commands Steapa to return Uhtred to the palace. Edward orders that Steapa release Uhtred and allow him to speak. ("Episode 3.10")
Edward wonders why his father chose not to announce it. Uhtred surmises that Alfred chose not to announce it so that people could witness the new king, Edward, dispensing justice. Æthelwold objects and continues to argue that Edward is nothing more than an ætheling and such decisions aren’t his to make, but no one appears concerned by his claims. Edward declares that Alfred’s pardon stands and that Uhtred is a free man. Uhtred hopes that one day his path will lead north to Bebbanburg, but until then, he believes he’s needed in Winchester, so he will follow Edward. ("Episode 3.10")
Edward plans with Uhtred and the Witan. They discuss going to war with the Danes. Edward then leads the Wessex army into battle. They are joined by the Merican army soon thereafter. The Saxons defeat the Danes, and Edward returns to Wessex, expanding the chronicle started by his father. ("Episode 3.10")
Winchester, Wessex; Lord Æthelhelm informs King Edward and Pyrlig that Cnut is leaving for Irland to help a cousin, Sigtryggr, who’s besieged there. King Edward says they’ll ignore the news until the scouts confirm and orders them to continue to fortify the board. When the Danes break the peace, they’ll be ready. King Edward is joined by his mother, Ælswith, whom he tells to take comfort in knowing that all is well. ("Episode 4.1")
Pyrlig interrupts King Edward and Ælswith as they pray. He whispers into the king’s ear. Edward instructs his mother to finish her prayer as it is of no concern of hers. They head outside, where Uhtred awaits. Pyrlig, King Edward, and Steapa approach. Uhtred informs the king that Cnut has brought his sons over from his homeland, which means he has ambition here. Uhtred has come to Winchester to make Edward an offer. He can help Edward fulfill his father’s dream of a united land if King Edward gives him men to retake Bebbanburg. ("Episode 4.1")
Uhtred, Pyrlig, Lord Æthelhelm, and King Edward discuss the matter further inside. If Uhtred takes Bebbanburg, it becomes a foothold in Northumbria. King Edward could then unite the four kingdoms. One country, one king. With 100 men, Uhtred can take the kingdom in a week. with 200, in a day. Lord Æthelhelm doesn’t believe it is wise to distract themselves with other matters given the ongoing threat with the Danes. Uhtred urges Edward to accept his offer, but he instead agrees with Lord Æthelhelm and refuses to lend Uhtred his men. ("Episode 4.1")
King Edward, Pyrlig, Lord Æthelhelm, and Æthelflæd discuss Æthelred of Mercia and the troop of soldiers he’s led from Aegelesburg. All Æthelflæd knows for certain is that he is seeking the bones of St. Oswald. Ælswith warns them that If Æthelred is seeking St. Oswald, he means to break from Wessex. Many Mercians believe that uniting the body of the saint will restore their land to greatness. This is a signal of intention. Or to Æthelhelm’s point, a ploy to pander to the simple folk of Mercia. Pyrlig and Lord Æthelhelm advise King Edward from being drawn in. They are then joined by Steapa, Ælflæd, and Ælfweard, though Edward doesn’t appear interested in eithe rof them. Æthelhelm tells Ælfweard that the men of Wessex are fighters. Rule the sword, and rule the land. ("Episode 4.2")
King Edward, Ælswith, Æthelflæd, Pyrlig, Aldhelm, and Æthelhelm attend Ælflæd’s coronation. Steapa interrupts to inform Pyrlig that the Danes have attacked Mercia. Pyrlig then relays this to the king. As for Lord Æthelred, no one knows if he’s dead or alive. Ælswith and Æthelflæd suggest calling off the coronation and sending men to Aegelesburg to retake it. However, Æthelhelm disagrees with calling off the ceremony. King Edward explains that he will set the terms, not anyone else. And so, they return to the coronation for it to resume Ælflæd is coronated. ("Episode 4.2")
Pyrlig informs King Edward, Æthelhelm, and Steapa that Cnut has left Aegelesburg and is camped near Tameworthig. Æthelred has ridden into Daneland and ravages East Anglia. With Æthelred gone, the people of Mercia expect King Edward to protect them. Edward then realizes that Cnut is trying to draw him out into the open. Ælswith, Æthelflæd, and Aldhelm enter the room and question when the king intends to act. He explains that going in would essentially mean sacrificing his own men. Ælswith explains that Edward’s father was crowned King of Wessex, but he always sought to unite the Christian peoples. In spirit, he was King of all Saxons. Edward retorts that his father is gone. Instead of helping, he tells Pyrlig to dispatch messengers to find Æthelred. ("Episode 4.3")
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. He defiles their holy places and slaughters their priests. Edward explains that he’s merely waiting for the right moment. Æthelhelm interrupts to inform them that Lady Æthelflæd isn’t at the nunnery as Ælswith claimed. Concerned for her, Æthelhelm asked Steapa to make further inquiries. He saw Æthelflæd leaving Winchester. Ælswith reveals that she has gone to Mercia. They could not allow their people to die. Ælswith only wishes to counsel Edward to follow the Christian path, as she did his father. Edward worries that his sister has now walked directly into Cnut's trap. She put the men of Wessex and all the Christian kingdoms at risk. Edward orders his mother to call his sister back, but Ælswith cannot swear loyalty to a plan that is misguided. Æthelflæd will summon the Mercian fyrds to Tettenhall. Edward must join her. ("Episode 4.3")
King Edward asks if there’s been any word of Æthelred. Unfortunately, there hasn't. Edward’s mother and sister force his hand. Lord Æthelhelm proposes that Edward allow the Lord of Mercia to return defend to his wife and land. They say that Æthelred has 400 men, no match for Cnut’s. So, the battle would remove the problem of King Æthelred. And once he’s gone, Edward could defeat Cnut and unite the kingdoms, fulfilling his father’s dream. However, this would mean sacrificing Mercia and his sister. ("Episode 4.3")
Edward trains with Steapa in the yard. He tells Steapa to not allow him to win. Edward is then approached by Lord Æthelhelm.
Edward questions why his mother has sent Pyrlig to Wealas. He suspects his mother wants Hywel's help. Cnut wants them to march on his terms, and Ælswith has walked them right into his trap. Cnut will hear of them going to Hywel and will think them weak. While this may be true, Ælswith wanted her daughter safe. Edward then informs her that it’s too late as his sister is already marching to Tettenhall. Ælswith tells Edward that this isn’t the way to get people to speak his name in awe. ("Episode 4.4")
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")
Tettenhall, Mercia; King Edward and Steapa arrive with the Wessex army. He wonders who fights alongside his sister. Steapa replies Mercian fyrds, her husband, and the Welsh. Christians United, and without Wessex to lead them forward. Edward saves his sister as she is surrounded by Danes, killing Jackdaw with an arrow. Edward and Steapa fight side by side. Steapa even saves Edward from a Dane that nearly kills him. However, in saving Edward, Steapa is killed. Eardwulf then saves Edward from an incoming attack. The Danes then proceed to flee into the forest. ("Episode 4.4")
After the battle, Edward greets King Hywel. He’s made all Christians proud, and Edward is most grateful. King Hywel then reveals that Pyrlig offered them the spoils of battle in return for their assistance. Though surprised by this revelation, Edward does not contest it. He proposes this strengthens their union. However, King Hywel isn’t interested in an alliance. Nor will he be doing anymore favors. ("Episode 4.4")
Æthelflæd then thanks Edward for his contribution and for saving her. However, he came against his better judgement, and he doesn’t take his sister’s defiance lightly. He lost many men in the battle, including Steapa. The man they’ve both known since childhood. He blames Steapa’s death on Æthelflæd’s ambition to be loved by all and chronicled for her bravery. He tells her not to return south. Lord Æthelhelm adds that she would not be welcomed by the grieving widows of the Wessex men whose lives were lost. Æthelflæd explains that none of this was done for anything but love of her country. Edward has been made a fool. Unable to even reward his men for their bravery and paying tribute to the Welsh. He intends to make this right. ("Episode 4.4")
Aegelesburg, Mercia; King Edward, Lord Æthelhelm, and Pyrlig ride into Mercia to hold Æthelred accountable for abandoning his people. They won the war, now they must help bring about the peace. Edward then tells Æthelhelm to have his mother publicly rebuked for raising King Hywel’s army. Edward calls on Cenric and sends him back to Winchester to have their men brought to Mercia to help rebuild the town. Edward refuses to ignore the Mercians plight again. ("Episode 4.5")
King Edward approaches Æthelred, intent on making him answer for his desertion. However, when he sees the king is barely conscious and not even aware of himself, King Edward exits. Lord Æthelhelm advises him to act decisively to install someone in Mercia before chaos breaks out. Admittedly, King Edward hasn’t been as attentive to them as he should have. Pyrlig informs them that Danish survivors have been spotted heading East. However, Edward wants all his forces in Aegelesburg. He also wants to speak with Ludeca to discuss succession. ("Episode 4.5")
Uhtred, Æthelflæd, and Aldhelm meet with Edward and Pyrlig to discuss the succession of the king. Uhtred informs Edward of the rumors of a break from Wessex. Edward intends to betroth Ælfwynn to the successor and seal the bond between lands. In return for the strength it’ll bring to Mercia, they’ll simply ask for loyalty. Edward wants Ælfwynn brought to Aegelesburg immediately, but Æthelflæd refuses. Instead, she asks that Edward first find a suitor and they will arrange a match. ("Episode 4.5")
Ludeca thanks Edward for allowing his men to help rebuild Mercia. He then calls over Eardwulf after recalling that he pulled the king to safety during that battle. Edward questions what are the Mercian Guard's thoughts on the succession should Æthelred die. Eardwulf claims they have no view on it. They’re only loyal to the leader of Mercia . Edward thanks Eardwulf for his honesty and action on the battlefield. As Eardwulf leaves, Edward and Ludeca are confronted by Burgred. He demands that the king remove his troops from Aegelesburg. Lord Æthelhelm intervenes, advising Burgred to remove himself. Burgred will do so gladly. He remarks that there’s ways to make men the Lord of Mercia without the Witan. Ludeca fears that Burgred will do something foolish to assure his son’s seat on the throne. As Ludeca leaves, Æthelhelm worries that his love for Mercia may lead to conflict in time. Edward wonders how old will he be when Ælfwynn is of age to produce an heir. Æthelflæd will certainly not approve. So, he looks elsewhere, possibly at Eardwulf. ("Episode 4.5")
King Edward remains troubled by Ludeca’s old age. Edward questions if he should offer his niece to him as dowry in return for a renewal of the alliance. Lord Æthelhelm advises the king to follow his instincts. Eardwulf arrives after being invited to feast with them. Æthelhelm explains that the Mercian Guard is loyal to Eardwulf. It would bring a fighting force under Edward’s command. Lord Æthelhelm believes that Eardwulf would be willing to work with them to achieve peace, especially if it means restoring his family’s name. ("Episode 4.5")
King Edward, Lord Æthelhelm, and Ludeca agree that the union between Mercia and Wessex is critical. Edward wishes to further discuss this unity as well as the betrothal of his niece. Pyrlig grows uncomfortable with the talk of Ludeca’s betrothal to Edward’s niece and leaves. Eardwulf believes their in need of a peacemaker, someone to unite the divisions. He proposes that Eardwulf be that man as opposed to Ludeca. Should Eardwulf agree, they would only need the approval of a Witan. ("Episode 4.5")
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. She won’t allow her child to be condemned to a life of misery. Æthelflæd pleads with Ludeca to oppose this plan, but he can’t as it offers stability. ("Episode 4.5")
Eardwulf catches up to Edward, claiming to have just gotten the news of the king’s death. Edward fears that his sister will not mourn her husband. While she loved Mercia, she never loved its leader. He orders Eardwulf to have Æthelflæd continued until all this is settled. ("Episode 4.5")
Edward tells Cenric and Eardwulf that they will seize Uhtred’s land in Coccham and take his children. Cenric reports that Uhtred was seen on the road with a number of children. Edward tells Cenric to not speak of this to anyone. Pyrlig then reveals that Æthelflæd has escaped and left Aegelesburg. And rumor has it that Eadith helped her escape. Edward orders Cenric to track Uhtred down. ("Episode 4.6")
Lord Æthelhelm worries that they’re running out of time to find Uhtred and the king’s niece. Edward orders Cenric to continue looking. Pyrlig and Ludeca then inform them of a sickness spreading across Mercia. Ludeca advises they close the gate to prevent any more sick villagers from entering. Pyrlig and Burgred refuse to abandon the sick, but Lord Æthelhelm is in agreement with Ludeca. Edward believes they should keep the gates open as well, but should he overrule Ludeca, the Witan will say that Edward desires to conquer them. And so, Edward orders that the gates be shut. ("Episode 4.6")
Cenric reports back to Edward and Æthelhelm. Unfortunately, the fugitives haven’t been located. Edward worries that the sickness may have taken her and that they drove her into danger, but Æthelhelm recalls Æthelflæd leaving of her own will. Edward tells Cenric to burn herbs in the surrounding fields to let the smoke drive out the bad air. Ludeca then reveals that Eardwulf left with 12 of their best men. He believes that Eardwulf is simply devoted to himself and would risk the bad air for treasure. Edward blames Æthelhelm on Eardwulf’s departure and tells him to advise him better on who to trust in the future. ("Episode 4.6")
Ælswith arrives in Aegelesburg but the gates remain closed. Æthelhelm tells her there is sickness all around. She requests to speak to her son. Ælswith survived the swamps of Athelney and is unafraid of the sickness. Æthelhelm reports the arrival of Ælswith to Edward and Pyrlig. Edward questions why his mother is still outside the gate. Ludeca explains that the order to keep the gates closed applies to all. Edward reminds Ludeca that his mother is Mercian in blood and defied him by sending troops to help them. Æthelhelm advises Edward against overruling the Ealdormen, but he does so regardless, demanding that the gates be open. As Ælswith enters, Burgred remarks that Edward lets his own kin in while good Mercians suffer. Ludeca admits that Burgred may have been right all along. King Edward seeks to conquer them. ("Episode 4.6")
Edward questions why his mother is in Mercian. She reveals that she was imprisoned, but Edward sent no such command. Ælswith suspects that it was the doing of Æthelhelm, who despises her. Æthelhelm schemes to his own plans, Ælswith adds. Ælswith is tired of fighting and only wishes to see Æthelflæd, who Edward reveals is somewhere in Mercia with Uhtred. ("Episode 4.6")
Ælswith confronts Edward after discovering that he not only imprisoned Æthelflæd but that he also sent men of violence to hunt her and Ælfwynn down. Ælswith reveals that Edward’s second born son, Æthelstan is also with Uhtred. She originally had him hidden at Æthelflæd’s estate because threats were made against him. As best, two of her grandchildren are on the open road during this sickness due to Edward. She wonders how he’s strayed so far. Edward explains that forging an alliance with Mercia means everything. However, Ælswith reminds him of how few children survive after being brought into politics. ("Episode 4.6")
The Mercian people have nothing but ill will towards Æthelred and show him no respect, much to Ælswith and Edward’s disapproval. Lord Æthelhelm explains that their defiance is due to hunger, fever, and lack of leadership. Edward fears that Burgred continues to speak against him, but Æthelhelm believes him to be no genuine threat. Cenric then informs Edward that the Ealdormen have called their Witan for after the funeral. Furthermore, Edward isn’t welcome to attend. ("Episode 4.7")
Burgred exclaims that the king cannot be trusted. He constantly schemes against them. The time has come to take a bolder step. However, Ludeca advises against separating from Wessex. Edward, Æthelhelm, and Cenric enter despite being unwelcome and the Witan proceeds. Burgred calls King Edward a liar. He accused Edward of orchestrating the sickness and closing off the city, leaving them without food or guards. Uhtred makes his presence known. He assures them that while Ælfwynn is safe, she will not be betrothed as Eardwulf has confessed to the murder of Æthelred and fled Mercia. He then presents Æthelred’s ring as proof, handing it over to Ludeca. ("Episode 4.7")
Edward asks Uhtred where is Ælfwynn. Uhtred will only reveal her location if Edward promises that Ælfwynn and Æthelflæd will be protected. Edward threatens to have Uhtred seized, but he’s done nothing wrong. Nevertheless, Edward has him taken away and orders Æthelhelm to find out where Uhtred hides Ælfwynn. As for who to betroth her to, Edward thinks that instead of making a bond with the Ealdormen, they should find a way to break them. ("Episode 4.7")
Burgred confronts Edward for impounding their grain and occupying their citadel. He reminds them that the hall is only for the lord of Mercia and his Ealdormen. He threatens that the Witan will separate from Wessex. Edward urges any of them with the audacity to lay hand on a king and remove him from the hall. So, Burgred draws his sword. However, Edward informs him that they’ve taken his son to Wessex for religious instruction. ("Episode 4.7")
Ælswith asks Edward about Burgred’s son. While it was a callous decision, it was also clever. It has diminished Burgred and they’ve averted a fight. For that, Ælswith is grateful. Now, her son can play peacemaker. She offers him some advice, telling Edward that forcing the people of Mercia to be Wessex will only result in them fighting back. She instructs him to continue to care for Mercia and find the right match for her granddaughter, and peace will come. She then asks about the children from Saltwic, but Uhtred refuses to talk, Æthelhelm explains. ("Episode 4.7")
Edward finds Uhtred and bloody and beaten in his cell. Edward explains that he made no such order. Uhtred tells him that Æthelhelm claims to act for the king. Edward opens Uhtred’s cage and tells the guard to fetch Uhtred food, water, and fur to keep him warm. Edward elaborates that he didn’t order the torture of Uhtred because he knew it wouldn’t have worked. Edward questions where Uhtred’s courage comes from. He realizes that Uhtred loves his sister. Edward always envied Uhtred’s ability to chose his own path, but now he wonders if Uhtred is as imprisoned as he is, unable to escape a life that was imposed upon him. Edward’s tried to find a solution for Mercia that respects them and keeps order, but events have turned against him. And now he’s questioning if God wants him to do this. He’s lived in his father’s shadow but now he sees the light. Perhaps Edward should be unifying the kingdoms himself instead of having a child do it for him. Edward tells Uhtred that he’s free to go. He wants Uhtred to return to Ælfwynn, reunite with his sister and keep them safe until the conflict passes. ("Episode 4.7")
Edward tells Æthelhelm to leave Aegelesburg. More than once he has taken it upon himself to interpret Edward’s wishes in a way that he finds unchristian. Æthelhelm claims that he nearly placed himself between Edward and some necessary unpleasantness. Still, Edward orders him to return to Winchester. ("Episode 4.7")
Ælswith informs Edward that Ælfwynn is at the gate and orders that they be opened. Ælswith sees this as a reward for Edward denouncing his tyranny. Osferth and Eadith emerge from the crowd 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")
Father Pyrlig distribute the grain among the people, but the villagers become too unmanageable and start fighting over the grain. Uhtred takes control of the situation. While they may have suffered, turning on each other won’t save them. He urges them to work together. He tells everyone to form a line and they will be given what is needed. All the while Edward, Ælswith and Cenric watch from above. With Uhtred’s influence, Ælswith fears he will make the Mercians turn against Edward. And so, Edwards orders Uhtred to be brought before him. ("Episode 4.7")
Uhtred is brought to Edward for his involvement in the riot over the grain. Uhtred simply wanted to bring peace to Aegelesburg rather than another battle. Which will surely occur as the Ealdormen won’t back down, so Uhtred suspects Edward will finish the slaughter the Danes have started. Edward fears he is right. Edward wants to place Uhtred at Aegelesburg as he can forge a path to peace. While the Ealdormen may not be pleased with him, they’ll have to accept it given Uhtred's popularity with the people. Uhtred would be a lord and protector over Aegelesburg just until it becomes less volatile. Uhtred has the respect of the people and they can use that to their mutual advantage to bring peace. If Uhtred doesn’t accept, they will undoubtedly be slaughtered. If he accepts the offer, his reputation will be restored and his men given status and wealth. And in a few years, he will be free to pursue whatever path he wishes. Edward could even give Uhtred the troops he needs to retake Bebbanburg. In return, Edward would be Uhtred’s king and expect his loyalty. He gives Uhtred a day to answer him. ("Episode 4.7")
Ælswith confronts Edward over the bargain he struck with Uhtred. While she doesn’t like Uhtred, it may be the only compromise. The Ealdormen may complain but this time, she tells Edward not to treat them too harshly. Then he will find some redemption. She presents Æthelstan to Edward as she hopes he is willing to reconcile with him. She admits that she was wrong to rip them apart, as well as separate him from his first wife. So, she asks for Edward’s forgiveness. However, Edward orders his mother to take Æthelstan back to where he came. ("Episode 4.7")
Uhtred has made his choice. He tells Edward and Ælswith that he will accept the deal so long that he can rule as his own man. Edward explains that he never wanted to control Mercia. He only wanted peace. And so they come to an agreement. ("Episode 4.7")
Uhtred is baptised by Father Pyrlig in front of the Edward, Ælswith, Aldhelm, Ludeca, Burgred, and the other Ealdormen. Ælswith explains that it’s not that she doubts Uhtred, but rather the fact that he held a blade to Alfred’s throat and threatened to kill him. Young Uhtred watches angrily before leaving. Pyrlig then calls Edward forward. Uhtred undresses and goes under water to be baptised. ("Episode 4.8")
Uhtred and Pyrlig arrive for the Witan, where Edward, Aldhelm, Burgred, Ludeca, and the other Ealdormen await. Æthelflæd and Ælswith watch from above. Ludeca takes lead. They must choose a leader to defend. One who will stand shoulder to shoulder with their allies in Wessex. Edward assures them that Wessex has no desire to influence Witan. He only wants to maintain the bond. Ludeca explains that Uhtred has both defended Wessex and Mercia. He also only holds the position until a younger Ealdormen can come of age and Lady Ælfwynn is old enough to marry. There are no objections from the Witan and Uhtred is crowned king. Despite the Witan accepting him as their Lord, Uhtred believes there to be someone better suited to rule. As his first act as Lord of Mercia, Uhtred relinquishes the throne in favor of Æthelflæd. Edward and the Ealdormen argue that Æthelflæd can’t rule because she is a woman. However, Ludeca explains that it was never a rule that women can’t take the throne. King Offa’s widow ruled for years. Æthelflæd proposes a solution. She will swear an oath that as long as she is Lady of Mercia, she will remain chaste. Still, Edward is very much against his sister ruling. With Witan’s support, Æthelflæd takes the throne. ("Episode 4.8")
Edward asks Ælswith if it is wise to bring the child there. Ælswith invites Edward to join her and Æthelstan, and so he does. Æthelstan gives Edward a king he crafted. Æthelstan claims that he’s a good king, like Edward. Edward reveals to Ælswith that he intends to hold Aegelesburg until Mercia is in the charge of someone he trusts. Ælswith would like to thank Uhtred for his actions. Because of him, their family now sits on the throne of Wessex and Mercia. ("Episode 4.8")
Uhtred, Osferth, and Sihtric return with a fyrd. Æthelflæd now has enough men to fight Edward. She tells them to remain calm as she will not sacrifice a single Mercian life unless it’s necessary. The fyrd will remain outside, but she has no doubt that Aegelesburg will soon be in Mercian control once again. She then orders Edward and Cenric to open the gates for Uhtred as there’s no need for conflict. ("Episode 4.8")
Edward tells Æthelflæd that he will let the fyrd into town as he can tell she has the people of Mercia on her side. As ruler, Edward tells her that she’ll have impossible decisions to make. As long as Æthelflæd is ruler, she promises Edward he will have her support. He admits that he was blind to see that she wasn’t the right person to lead Mercia and apologizes. Edward then tells Æthelflæd how East Anglia was conquered by Æthelred, but has gone lawless since his death. Edward proposes they send an army from both kingdoms to maintain control. After that, they can push into Northumbria Daneland. Æthelflæd hopes that together they can achieve their father’s dreams. ("Episode 4.8")
Ælswith wishes to talk to Edward about Æthelstan. She tells Edward that the boy can’t come with him to Winchester. There are people there who may wish him ill. Ælswith would like to take charge of Æthelstan and take him to Bedwyn and raise him there, as she raised Edward. Edward tells her to make the arrangements and he will ask Uhtred to accompany them. ("Episode 4.8")
Edward fears that it is too soon for Æthelflæd to leave. She assures him that she has the men and silver to do this on her own. He concedes, and she promises him that she’ll return his troops the moment they’ve secured the northern border. When they take Eoferwic, their father’s dream is revived and they banish the Danes. ("Episode 4.9")
Kingsclere, Wessex; Pyrlig arrives in Kingsclere, where he finds Edward and informs him of the Danes' attack on Winchester and capture of his mother and child. He suspects that someone must’ve betrayed him for the Danes to know that Winchester was unguarded, but Prylig suggests that maybe it was Edward's fault for making his presence in Mercia less than subtle. ("Episode 4.9")
Outside Winchester, Wessex; Edward and the Wessex Guard arrive and charge towards the kingdom, but the gates are shut before they can enter. Edward’s strategy is foolish, and he inevitably falls back as his men are killed. Brida and Sigtryggr watch as they retreat. Edward warns them that soon they will be surrounded and massacred if they don’t surrender. Uhtred hides himself with a shield and approaches Edward while remaining concealed. He tells Edward to fall back, but Edward sends his men to attack. ("Episode 4.9")
Winchester has been under siege for 30 days. What’s left of the Wessex army has camped out near the kingdom. Pyrlig has tried to convince Edward from staging another attack, setting fire to the kingdom, but he won’t listen. And so, Uhtred tries to talk him out of it as burning the land and the people inside is not the answer. Edward fears that he has no other choice, he does this and in time Winchester will rise again. Uhtred suggests they try to speak with Sigtryggr but Edward refuses. Aldhelm arrives to report that Æthelflæd has taken Eoferwic and the Danes there have submitted to her rule. She now travels south with her army. ("Episode 4.10")
Sigtryggr sounds the horn and calls to King Edward. He wishes to speak eye-to-eye. Edward orders Aldhelm to tell Sigtryggr to surrender or he will burn them all. Sigtryggr then shows that he has both of Edward’s heirs. Edward orders his men to lower their weapons. Aldhelm advises Edward against approaching the gate, but he does so, with Aldhelm and the Wessex army behind him. Sigtryggr opens the front gate to meet Edward with Æthelstan and Ælfweard. Edward demands to be reunited with his children. He offers to only give Edward one of his sons but only if he retreats. Instead, Edward walks away. ("Episode 4.10")
Edward looks to Pyrlig and Aldhelm for answers. He wonders what happens to one child if he chooses the other. Aldhelm believes that if they show weakness now, Sigtryggr will make a show of cruelty. Edward is simply unsure of what to do. ("Episode 4.10")
Aldhelm suggests choosing Ælfweard as his legitimacy isn’t in question, but Edward refuses to choose one son over the other. Pyrlig questions what else Sigtryggr must want. Uhtred knows that Sigtryggr wants him dead, so he proposes that he give himself up as Sigtryggr might want the man who has come to be known as the Dane Slayer. And Brida will also want revenge for her imprisonment at Wealas. Should Uhtred not return, Edward assures him they’ll speak of his name for ages to come. ("Episode 4.10")
Lady Æthelflæd arrives outside of Winchester. Aldhelm tells her that while the king is trying to be bold, his decisions are rash. Aldhelm is certain that with more time, the siege can be ended without slaughter. Æthelflæd tells Edward that Mercia will support him with whatever he decides. Losing Winchester would kill their father’s dream. Rather than fire, Edward decides to use smoke to conceal an attack. It will hopefully choke those guarding the gate. Aldhelm begs them to give Uhtred more time, but Edward is certain that he’s already dead. So, Edward moves forward with his plan. ("Episode 4.10")
Winchester, Wessex; Edward leads the Wessex and Mercian armies to 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")
Uhtred, Æthelflæd, Edward and Sigtryggr go to the hall to negotiate. Sigtryggr wants Eoferwic, which Æthelflæd only just recaptured. Edward offers East Anglia, but Sigtryggr only wants Eoferwic. Uhtred then leaves to find Stiorra. ("Episode 4.10")
Edward and Æthelflæd return from the hall and tell Uhtred that they’ve struck a bargain with Sigtryggr. He will take Eoferwic and agree never to enter Wessex, Mercia, or East Anglia. Lastly, he wants to take Stiorra. Which Edward and Æthelflæd did not refuse. ("Episode 4.10")
Edward reveals to Uhtred that his mother is ill and that she can no longer care for Æthelstan. He looks to Uhtred to take care of the child. He will need guidance and protection. Bringing him into the palace would create a major strife. Edward wants Uhtred to teach Æthelstan how to be a warrior, all he knows of the Danes and Northumbria. Sigtryggr has shown them that there are ways to take land without fighting for them. ("Episode 4.10")
This list shows the victims Edward has killed:
This list shows the victims Edward has killed:
- (To Be Added)
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- This character has been based on a real historical figure of Edward.
- Historically, he is known as Edward the Elder.
- Edward was born c.874 and died in 924, at roughly 50 years of age. If the book series followed factual date of Edward's birth then these are his ages throughout the books:
- In The Pale Horseman, it is 876-878, he is 2-4 years old.
- In The Lords of the North, it is 878-881, he is 4-7 years old.
- In The Burning Land, it is 892-893, he is 18-19 years old.
- In Death of Kings, it is 899-902, he is 25-18 years old.
- In The Pagan Lord, it is 909-910, he is 35-26 years old.
- In The Empty Throne, it is 911, he is 37 years old.
- In Warriors of the Storm, it is 917, he is 43 years old.
- In The Flame Bearer, it is 918, he is 44 years old.
- In War of the Wolf, it is 923-924, he is 49-50 years old.
- In Sword of Kings, it is 924, he is 50 years old.
- The name Edward is an English name and is the modern descendant of the Anglo-Saxon name Éadweard. The name is formed of the Germanic words ead, which means "wealth, fortune; prosperous", and weard, which means "guardian, protector".