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Ludeca of Mercia is a character on The Last Kingdom television series. He is an ealdorman of Mercia.

Biography[]

The Last Kingdom[]

Season 4[]

Ægelesburg, Mercia; King Æthelred is weak and barely conscious as he's brought back to Mercia. The ealdormen questions why Eardwulf lies to the king when he is certain to die. Burgred believes this to be Æthelred's time of judgement. Punishment for his greed and ambition. He left them to face the Danes alone. Burgred lost his eldest during the massacre. His youngest and wife were beaten. No one came to help, and for that, Burgred, Ludeca, and the other Ealdormen will not honor him. Eardwulf agrees that they shouldn't, claiming he did all he could to convince the king to return sooner. ("Episode 4.5")

With Æthelred nearing death, Burgred doesn’t want to delay the decision. However, Ludeca argues they are too few to make a decision. They should wait for the other Ealdormen to arrive. But Aldhelm is in agreement with Burgred, that the matter is too pressing to put off. Burgred believes his younger son is the best candidate. However, Ludeca points out that his son is too young. Æthelflæd has tried to speak, but they merely tell her to return to Æthelred's bedside. ("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 Ægelesburg. 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. ("Episode 4.5")

Ludeca asks Eardwulf about Burgred, who's not yet to make another move. He then realises that the king means to propose to the Ealdormen and the Mercian Guard that Ludeca should be the successor. He wonders if he has Eardwulf's loyalty. Eardwulf replies the Guard are loyal to the leader of Mercia. 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")

Æthelflæd confronts Edward and Ludeca. However, Ludeca reveals that he isn't the suitor. He’s merely someone trying to prevent chaos. Later, 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")

The Ealdormen surround King Æthelred's body. While Ludeca is appeased for the moment, Burgred is stirring up the other Ealdormen against Wessex. Later, Pyrlig and Ludeca get word of a sickness spreading throughout Mercia. ("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")

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. ("Episode 4.6")

Ælswith arrives in Ægelesburg 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")

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")

Burgred and Ludeca watch as more grain is taken by the Wessex Guard. The King continues to take the town, Burgred fears. But Ludeca argues that he feeds the people. ("Episode 4.7")

Uhtred is baptized 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 baptized. ("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")

Uhtred questions the whereabouts of the Mercian Guard. Ludeca explains that they are leaderless without Eardwulf and the fyrd is disheartened and scattered. Æthelflæd tells Uhtred and Aldhelm to restrain themselves until after she’s had a conversation with Edward. Uhtred and Aldhelm agree that Æthelflæd is not safe and should flee Ægelesburg, but she refuses. Uhtred orders Finan to stay with Æthelflæd and guard her quarters. He then tells Sihtric and Osferth to follow him. They mean to ensure that Æthelflæd won't have to rely on Edward’s goodwill for her survival. ("Episode 4.8")

Appearances[]

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

Trivia[]

  • Ludeca is a noble; he is an ealdorman in Mercia.
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