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"I shall write to Alfred. I shall inform him that... that your journey to Dunholm is my instruction. And I do hope that you can one day find a place in your heart to forgive me. I still consider you my greatest friend."
—Guthred to Uhtred.[src]

Guthred Harthacanutesson or Guthred of Cumberland is a main character in both The Saxon Stories novel series, and The Last Kingdom television series.

Guthred's father Harthacnut was a famous warrior who was killed by Kjartan the Cruel's men. Guthred was captured as a slave, but with Uhtred's help, he became the nominal king of Northumbria. Using him as a pawn for his ambition to retake his ancestral lands, of Bebbanburg, which are within Northumbria. Uhtred aided this pretender king in raising an army in the hopes of battling the forces of Ælfric and his childhood enemies Sven the One-Eyed and Kjartan.

Biography[]

The Saxon Stories[]

(To Be Added)

The Last Kingdom[]

Season 2[]

Northumbria; Hild, Halig, Beocca, and Brother Trew arrive at the slave market to buy Guthred. However, Gelgill, the slave trader demands they hand over the ransom first. Fiske then informs Sven that there are horsemen missing. He counted five more horses than those present. Beocca claims that the men that were with them were not men of their world. Beocca claims to speak of them will summon them. With his identity hidden under a skull, Uhtred and several lepers arrive on horseback and claim that they've come to take the Danes’ souls. Uhtred subdues Sven and orders everyone to leave. Father Beocca and Brother Trew call out for Guthred. He emerges from the crowd and they take him home. ("Episode 2.1")

Guthred rewards Uhtred with food for coming to his rescue. Guthred knows of Alfred and Uhtred’s time with him. And while a slave, some of the men spoke of Ethandun and how Uhtred broke a shield wall. Guthred is indebted to Uhtred and wants Uhtred to join him as his commander. Uhtred tells Guthred that if he builds an army, he will command it. ("Episode 2.1")

Cumberland, Northumbria; They mistake Uhtred for the king, as does the abbot. Uhtred reveals that Guthred is in fact king. He gets off his horse and reunites with his sister, Gisela. He then thanks Abbot Eadred as it was his dream that called upon Guthred’s release. Abbot Eadred announces that King Guthred will lead both Danes and Saxons against the evil in Northumbria. He then hands Guthred the sword of Cumbraland. ("Episode 2.1")

They enter the church for the royal oath, which shall be sworn upon the corpse of the blessed Saint Cuthbert himself. Saint Cuthbert’s casket is brought in and the Abbot prays over his body. Guthred approaches. He asks Uhtred to join him at his side. Guthred takes Saint Cuthbert’s hand and swears to defend Cumbraland. ("Episode 2.1")

King Guthred orders a Witan of all the Lords and Earls of Cumbraland. It has become land for both Danes and Saxons. He’s decided that it’s time to march to Eoferwic. Ulf is reluctant as they have no enemies in Eoferwic. He offered his men to protect his land, not abandon it. However, Abbot Eadred is in agreement with the king. Uhtred adds that there is great wealth in Eoferwic, including silver and women. However, Abbot says that Eoferwic is full of sin and he wants to scour it. ("Episode 2.2")

Uhtred wishes to send four of their men ahead to ensure the road ahead is safe. Abbot believes that Saint Cuthbert will make sure their path is clear. Guthred explains that they are both an army and a church. Unity shall bring reward. After Uhtred leaves, Abbot tells Brother Trew that Uhtred believes himself to be above God. Gisela explains that he’s pagan, and they don’t recognize the Christian God. She reminds Abbot that it was Uhtred who saved her brother. Abbot claims that Uhtred believes himself to be higher than the king. ("Episode 2.2")

Hild, Halig, Clapa, and Sihtric spot an army of Danes coming in North. Sihtric suspects that it’s Sigefrid and Erik. Halig orders Hild and Sihtric to report back to Uhtred. They eventually return with Uhtred and King Guthred and follow the Danes to their camp, where they spot Sigefrid, Erik, and Hæsten with a small group of men. Uhtred wishes to attack tonight while they’re vulnerable, but Guthred has to think it over. They go back to camp and discuss the small army of Danes led by Sigefrid and Erik. Uhtred and Ulf wish to kill them. But Guthred wants to bargain with them. A message is already on the way. They will attend the negotiation and Guthred’s voice is the only they shall hear. ("Episode 2.2")

Uhtred, King Guthred, Gisela, and Abbot Eadred attend the negotiation with Sigefrid and Erik. They too are familiar with Uhtred's reputation. They thank him for killing Ubba. They’ve gained much wealth since his demise. King Guthred is willing to negotiate with them, but he will kill them if necessary. In exchange for peace, he will offer them a fortress at Dunholm, which currently belongs to Kjartan. They will take it from Kjartan. One way to defeat him is to deny him food and freedom. They would need to surround him with men, with defences, and deny him what he needs to live. Their men would need to be fed and remain sober, for months. It would take too much time and too many men, some hundreds of men, Uhtred retorts. However, King Guthred agrees with Sigefrid and Erik. ("Episode 2.2")

Abbot Eadred warns King Guthred about Uhtred and how he is a danger to his crown. He claims that Uhtred only acts for his own benefit. He also worries that Bebbanburg won’t be enough for Uhtred, as he is a warrior at heart. However, it is quite enough for his uncle. If not for Uhtred, Ælefric would be an ally. As for Dunholm, it is indeed a threat but it will require many further men. Men who won’t be tempted to join Sigefrid or Uhtred. Abbot suggests that Guthred summon Christian men. ("Episode 2.2")

Uhtred meets with King Guthred and tells him that he cannot continue to be a friend to all men. There are times where he must be ruthless, but he isn’t, and now Sigefrid and Erik think him to be weak. Guthred admits that Uhtred is right and that fear is a beast he must use. Uhtred then asks to be seen as Sigefrid’s equal. Like the brothers, Uhtred is a lord of the North. Uhtred asks that Guthred offers his sister in marriage. And he does so willingly. Guthred has double-crossed Uhtred. He and Halig are to be sold in exchange for 200 men from Bebbanburg. They’ve struck a deal with Ælfric. ("Episode 2.2")

Ælfric and Aidan arrive in Eoferwic with 200 men. King Guthred says they can lay a siege to Dunholm as early as tomorrow. The unified armies of Guthred, Aelfric, the two brothers can march on Dunholm. They'll show Kjartan their numbers and starve him of water, food, and life itself. Ælfric wants to know how Uhtred died. He asks if he begged. Gisela retorts that Uhtred would never do something so pride-less. Sigefrid and Erik reveal that Uhtred is still alive, which angers Ælfric, as the agreed upon price for 200 men was Uhtred’s head. Abbot Eadred and Brother Trew assure Ælfric that he will never hear from Uhtred again. However, Gisela warns Ælfric that her brother is part fool and that he shouldn’t do business with him. Ælfric takes Gisela’s advice and plans to leave. With Ælfric gone, Sigefrid and Erik refuse to siege Dunholm. They are in need of an ally, so Abbot Eadred tells Guthred to offer up his sister. ("Episode 2.3")

Guthred and Abbot Eadred welcome in new comers from nearby villages, who were attacked by Sigefrid and Erik. They will surely be next. King Guthred seeks counsel. Abbot Eadred advises him to secure enough grain to feed everyone. They’ll also need Lord Ælfric of Bebbanburg. ("Episode 2.3")

Bebbanburg; Kingdom of Northumbria. King Guthred, Abbot Eadred, and Brother Trew plead with Lord Ælfric to reconsider joining them. They offer him Gisela as a bride. Abbot Eadred adds that Gisela was also fond of Uhtred. Abbot Eadred suspects that Uhtred is the reason she’s hiding. In that case, Ælfric agrees to join them, but only after Gisela is delivered to him. Until then, Aidan will return with them to Eoferwic. Finally, they will deliver a message to Kjartan that Uhtred will be found and killed. ("Episode 2.3")

King Guthred is confronted by Uhtred. Guthred claims that he is glad that Uhtred was recovered. However, Uhtred killing him would be a mistake. Uhtred throws Sigefrid’s hand on the table. In return, King Guthred will ready his army. Or else he will kill Guthred for his betrayal. For what Guthred did to him and Halig, Uhtred can never forgive him. But, he’ll spare his life. Should the king fail, Ragnar will kill him and take Eoferwic for himself. ("Episode 2.4")

King Guthred asks Uhtred to join him. Admittedly, he is afraid of Uhtred. He also feared that Uhtred would take his newly found power. And for that, he made Uhtred a slave. Uhtred slaps him when he tries to explain how he spared him rather than killing him as his uncle ordered. He then asks about his sister. Uhtred replies that Gisela is his wife. Guthred will write to Alfred to inform him that Uhtred’s journey to Dunholm is his instruction. He hopes that one day, Uhtred will forgive him, as he considers Uhtred his greatest friend. ("Episode 2.4")

Killed Victims[]

This list shows the victims Guthred has killed:

The Last Kingdom[]

  • (To Be Added)

The Saxon Stories[]

Battle Participation[]

This list shows the battles Guthred has participated in:

The Last Kingdom[]

  • (To Be Added)

The Saxon Stories[]

  • Siege of Eoferwic (878)

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 Guthred.
  • Guthred converted religions, he was born a pagan but in an effort to legitimatise his claim, he was baptised as a Christian in order to gain the support of the Christian Saxons and the local clergy of Northumbria.
  • The name Guthred comes from the Old English and Old Norse name Guðrøðr. The name is made up of the words guð, which means "battle, war", and red, which means "counsel, wisdom".
  • Guthred is a noble; he was born to a Jarl in Northumbria, and later Guthred became the King of Cumberland.
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