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Erkenwald is a supporting character in both The Saxon Stories novel series, and The Last Kingdom television series. He is a bishop in service to King Alfred.


The Saxon Stories[]

In "The Burning Land", he is Alfred's civilian ruler of Lunden, where Uhtred rules the garrison.

(To Be Added)

The Last Kingdom[]

Season 3[]

Winchester, Wessex; Bishop Erkenwald asks about Uhtred’s wife, ensuring that she’s well. Accompanying Erkenwald is Bishop Godwin, who has a special gift, many believing is able to speak directly with God. He knows that Gisela is with child and that it is a boy. ("Episode 3.1")

Erkenwald attends a Witan for Uhtred after it is discovered that Uhtred dug up his wife. Brother Godwin remarks that Gisela was a pagan whore who never should’ve been buried on blessed grounds to begin with. He continues to insult Gisela even as Uhtred commands him to stop. When he persists, Uhtred strikes him. In knocking him to the ground, Uhtred kills Brother Godwin unintentionally. Alfred orders his men to seize Uhtred, but he manages to escape the hall. ("Episode 3.2")

Bishop Erkenwald alerts Father Beocca that Edward claims to already be married. Beocca reports to Alfred, and the two of them confront Edward. He admits that he 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. Alfred then asks Father Pyrlig to gather the holy relics. Edward asks what of his children with Ecgwynn; Æthelstan and Ædgyth. 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. Steapa and Bishop Erkenwald then leave to confiscate Edward’s children and take Ecgwynn back to Winchester. ("Episode 3.4")

Coccham, Wessex; Bishop Erkenwald has come to take more than half of the village’s animals and grain. It is to feed Alfred’s army. Uhtred notices a cross hanging in his hall and demands that it be taken down. Bishop Erkenwald is reluctant as he can not deny his faith. Hild arrives and reveals that she hung the cross and meant it as no insult. Just as it seems Uhtred is willing to leave it be, Skade knocks the cross down. Uhtred tells Erkenwald that when he leaves, he will only take half of what he’s already gathered. He will not allow for his village to starve. ("Episode 3.8")

Winchester, Wessex; Bishop Erkenwald return to Winchester with Finan, Sihtric, and Hild. They explain that Uhtred remains in Coccham and that he wants his children back. Steapa reluctantly allows them inside the gates. He later attends the royal marriage of Edward and Ælflæd. ("Episode 3.8")

Bishop Erkenwald struggles to understand why the king panders to Uhtred. He neither appreciates the king’s trust nor does he deserve it. Uhtred retorts that the king is a smarter man than the Bishop. Even if Uhtred isn’t an enemy, Erkenwald remarks that he’s their most dangerous ally. And he will do his utmost to keep Uhtred far away from Edward. ("Episode 3.9")

As he is being escorted out of Winchester, Uhtred reveals that he was pardoned by Alfred. However, Ælswith denies his claim. Bishop Erkenwald commands Steapa to return Uhtred to the palace. Edward orders that Steapa release Uhtred and allow him to speak. Edward then steps up and declares that Alfred’s pardon stands and that Uhtred is a free man. ("Episode 3.10")


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


  • He is seemingly based on St. Erkenwald, an Anglo-Saxon Bishop of London from 675 to 693, who lived two centuries prior to the events of the "The Burning Land" novel which takes place between 892 to 893.