- "Do you know what you've done? Possibly not, as you are as useless as you are arrogant. (...) You have put at risk the entire kingdom! All kingdoms! You're a toad, a fool, an idiot with ambition far above your capability. If I can see this, be sure Alfred can see it--"
- —Odda to Æthelred of Mercia[src]
He was the ealdorman of Devonshire, he was King Æthelred's, and subsequently, King Alfred's most trusted adviser and general. His son, also Odda, often stands at his side at the King's palace in Winchester. He was also Mildrith's godfather.
(To Be Added)
Winchester, Wessex; Æthelred and the council discuss King Edmund of East Anglia’s plea to Wessex for an army. An attack by the Danes is inevitable. Æthelred is consider turning down his plea, and Odda is in agreement. Young Odda also agrees that King Edmund deserves nothing by silence. Nevertheless, they all fear that barring a miracle, East Anglia will soon fall to the Danes. However, they all agree that they shouldn’t send help. Soon, it’ll be them facing off against the pagan army. They must pray and prepare. Lastly, Æthelred will need strong men to fight the nearing battle. ("Episode 1.2")
Æthelwold is scolded by King Æthelred for being drunk in the garden. Æthelred refers to his son as an embarrassment and an unsuitable heir. Æthelwold claims he plans to change. Afterward, Æthelred confesses to Odda that he isn’t convinced that Æthelwold is his son. If he’s to fall in battle, his son cannot be king. Æthelred flavors Alfred. He is the heir. And when the time comes, Odda must steer the Witan to make this choice. ("Episode 1.2")
Brida and Uhtred return from Readingum to inform King Æthlred and the council that the Danes have come to attack Winchester, and they’ll be marching in no less than few more days. However, Odda and his younger were under the impression that they were to attack in the spring. Uhtred has come with proof. He tells them to defeat the Danes, Winchester must meet them on the road to Abbendum. However, young Odda and Alfred suspect that it might be a trap. Nevertheless, Alfred takes Uhtred’s advice and they will attack on the road to Abbendum. Lastly, he has Brida and Uhtred taken away and put into cages. ("Episode 1.2")
Alfred, Odda, and Young Odda return from battle with King Æthelred, who was badly wounded and likely won’t survive. ("Episode 1.3")
Æthelwold goes to see his father, but Alfred informs him that the king is dead. As Alfred leaves, Æthelwold lies to the remaining Ealdormen, claiming that his father named him as his successor before he died. However, Odda, who knows this to be false, makes his presence known and informs Æthelwold that the king bequeathed his crown to Alfred. ("Episode 1.3")
A bag is placed over Æthelwold’s head, and he is taken to a barn by Odda and Leofric. Odda will not put up with Æthelwold’s lies of being the successor to the king. However, Æthelwold claims that he got the idea from Young Odda, but it changes nothing. Odda instructs Leofric to take Æthelwold to a monastery for him to be educated. ("Episode 1.3")
Odda, Alfred, and Uhtred discuss the possibility of Uhtred joining the council and becoming an Ealdormen. Odda would rather not entertain the notion. Alfred offers Uhtred a way to become Ealdormen through marriage, but Uhtred has no need for a wife. All he wants is land and silver. Alfred makes Uhtred another proposition. He tells Uhtred to stand at his side and advise him against his enemies, and in return, they will talk further about wealth and reward. ("Episode 1.3")
Guthrum and Ubba arrive at the negotiation with King Alfred, Odda, Beocca, and Uhtred. In exchange for an agreed amount of grain, livestock, and silver, Alfred proposes that they return to Lundene. He further proposes they confine themselves to East Anglia, Mercia, and Northumbria. However, Guthrum refuses to leave Wessex. Ubba tells King Alfred that he wants silver and Uhtred’s head in exchange for peace. Of course, they won’t be leaving Wessex, however. Alfred would prefer to establish peace, but he has no intention on handing over Uhtred or any land. ("Episode 1.3")
Odda and Young Odda arrange Mildrith's marriage to Uhtred. Uhtred ensures that Mildrith is given her price. Uhtred then takes her hands, and Beocca joins them together. Mildrith then starts to cry. ("Episode 1.4")
Leofric, Uhtred, and Mildrith arrive in Winchester to inform the council that the Danes are crossing through Wessex. Alfred, Odda, and Young Odda question why he did nothing. Uhtred explains that he has no warriors. Most of his men work the fields. If Werham is captured, the Danes will grow immensely. Uhtred suggests they march now. Alfred is in agreement with Uhtred and decides they will indeed march. After the meeting, Uhtred tells Beocca to arrange a private meeting between him and the king. Uhtred then confronts Odda and Young Odda about Mildrith being shorted, which Odda was unaware of and orders his son to pay the debt in full. ("Episode 1.4")
Word of Werham’s fall has spread, and so King Alfred, Uhtred, Odda, Young Odda, Beocca and Leofric prepare for war. They stand outside of the fortress’ gates. Young Ragnar and Guthrum exit. Alfred, Odda, Leofric, and Father Selbix head down the field to speak with them. Guthrum proposes a truce. He’s decided to leave by sea. Therefore, he will send for 15 ships. Alfred gives them a month to arrive and offers food and ale for that time. ("Episode 1.4")
Odda, Young Odda, Leofric, and Wulfhere arrive at Cynuit hill. They look over the cliff to see the Dane ships. Odda wants to bide time and hold their position in hopes that Alfred will defeat Guthrum and join them. ("Episode 1.5")
Uhtred arrives at the hill and holds a knife to Young Odda’s throat, demanding to know what he did with his wife and child. Odda reveals that she’s safe at his home, with his wife. Leofric draws his sword and tells Uhtred to let Young Odda go. He assures Uhtred that his wife and child are being cared for. ("Episode 1.5")
Odda, Young Odda, Uhtred, Leofric, and Wulfhere discuss their next course of action. Odda decides they will wait for Alfred to arrive. Until then, he schedules a negotiation with the Danes. So, the following day, they meet with Ubba and Storri. Ubba wants their surrender, but Odda refuses. Uhtred then reveals that Guthrum’s fleet is gone. They drowned at sea. Uhtred claims that he also cast runes and that Ubba is next to die. Ubba becomes enraged and leaves. As Ubba leaves, Uhtred tells Odda that now is the time to attack. ("Episode 1.5")
Odda wonders how well Uhtred knows Ubba. Uhtred has known Ubba since he was 11 years old, and he’s the greatest warrior Uhtred has ever seen. Uhtred goaded him only to make him doubt, providing them with time. Odda fears that if they attack now, he’ll lose his men, who he knows personally. Uhtred wants to outflank the Danes and burn their ships. They’ll be unorganized and unprepared for an attack. Uhtred is even willing to set the fires himself. All he needs is Odda’s word that they’ll attack once the fires start. ("Episode 1.5")
Young Odda tries to convince his father against attacking the Danes when Uhtred sets fire to their ships. He instead wants to use it as a distraction for them to escape during the panic. Uhtred will certainly die but they’ll call him a hero and return to Wessex during the chaos. However, Odda has given his word to Uhtred. Nevertheless, he takes his son’s advice and tells Leofric and Wulfhere to prepare their men so they can leave. Leofric and Wulfhere suspect that something isn’t right, but they do as told. They watch as the ships go up in flames. Odda decides to go against his son’s plans and decides to attack. ("Episode 1.5")
Morning has come, and they have defeated the Danes. Uhtred visits Odda and thanks him for not abandoning him. Uhtred informs Odda of his plan to go to his estate to see his wife and son. Odda tells Uhtred that he served Alfred well. ("Episode 1.5")
Odda calls out to Mildrith. He’s tired of resting and demands to know where his wife and son are at. He looks to Mildrith and blames himself and God for what has happened to her. She deserves so much more than the clothes of a nun. Mildrith retorts that she has purpose and her child is with God. Odda tells her to never fear the Danes as his son will ensure she is protected. ("Episode 1.8")
Young Odda reveals to his father and Mildrith that Uhtred and Leofric have arrived. Æthelwold greets them as they enter. Uhtred claims they come on behalf of the king. They come with Alfred’s written order to raise the fyrd, but Young Odda refuses. He accuses Alfred of deserting Wessex. Unbeknownst to them, Alfred watches from the crowd. When Uhtred accuses Young Odda of siding with the Danes, he orders Leofric to kill Uhtred, but Leofric will do no such thing. Realizing that tyrant he has become and the treason he has committed, Odda kills Young Odda. Alfred makes his presence known. Odda begs the king to forgive his son and let him die a Nobel. However, Alfred will not forgive him. He then orders Odda to raise the Somerset fyrd. Alfred now wants for word to be sent that he is king and will fight alongside the sword of Wessex. ("Episode 1.8")
Winchester, Wessex; Odda attends a Witan in Winchester. To keep Wessex safe, they must look beyond its borders, where Christians suffer under the same rule of the Danes. There are two Northmen, Sigefrid and Erik, two Godless brothers with a voracious appetite for land, silver, slaves and war. Alfred wants it known that God, Alfred and the Ealdormen of Wessex are watching them. Alfred and Odda discuss Æthelflæd’s coming of age and how soon she’ll be old enough for marriage. Alfred will require a list of suitors. ("Episode 2.1")
Odda learns that Uhtred is taken as a slave. Alfred doesn’t believe that Uhtred can be saved. Ælswith adds that it’s too late and that Uhtred can be across the seas by now. Odda suggests releasing Ragnar and Brida to find Uhtred. ("Episode 2.2")
The kingdom of Winchester meet with Lord Ceolwulf. He demands swords and the men to carry them. They have many raiders from the Daneland. Alfred considers their land to be one, but Ceolwulf objects. He is Mercia. Alfred is Wessex. Ceolwulf wants Uhtred and 50 men to defend his border. Odda reveals that Uhtred was last seen in Northumbria. Again, Ceolwulf wants swords, even as Alfred proposes an alliance. Ceolwulf then blames Alfred for ever agreeing to Daneland. Alfred and Ælswith assure Ceolwulf that Wessex will give them swords. Ceolwulf suddenly dies right there before them. ("Episode 2.3")
Odda fears that should Uhtred survive his trip to Eoferwic that he won’t return. He believes Bebbanburg will hold a greater pull than Wessex. He will look towards Kjartan and continue his blood feud. Should Uhtred defeat Kjartan, Ælswith worries that Uhtred and Ragnar will hold power in Northumbria. Should that happen, Steapa has been put under instructions to kill Uhtred, Alfred explains. ("Episode 2.4")
Coccham, Wessex; Alfred and Odda arrive in Coccham to speak with Uhtred. Alfred has come after getting word that Uhtred hung a man of Wessex. Uhtred admits he did so, but the man was guilty. However, Uhtred never held a trial. If Uhtred wishes to remain an Ealdorman, he’ll have to adhere to their laws. He then asks about Æthelwold, however, Uhtred claims to have no knowledge of him crossing over into Daneland. While walking through Coccham, Alfred and Odda discover that Uhtred has built a church for his people. Clapa then informs Uhtred and Finan that a ship of traders approaches. Later that night, they have dinner and discuss Guthrum's rouge warriors. ("Episode 2.5")
Alfred and Odda tell Uhtred that he was seen crossing into Daneland. Uhtred informs them that London has been taken by Sigefrid and Erik. They have an army at Beamfleot. Aldhelm still questions why Uhtred crossed into Daneland. Uhtred explains that he was invited to Padintune. And there, he was asked to join with Sigefrid and Erik. Æthelflæd asks if the Northmen intend to stay in London. Alfred and Æthelred want to offer negotiations. After the celebration, Uhtred and Æthelred are to travel to London to assess the threat. Aldhelm wonders what bargain was struck in Northumbria to allow the brothers to leave with their lives. Uhtred has told Æthelflæd this story. He defeated Sigefrid in combat but spared him on the condition they leave. He did this to preserve the lives of his own men. ("Episode 2.6")
Uhtred, Æthelred, and Aldhelm return to Winchester and report back to Alfred and Odda. The Danes have well over 1,000 men in London. Uhtred and Æthelred argue over the best method of attack. Alfred then asks Uhtred why the brothers call him the King of Mercia. Alfred can’t trust Uhtred as he behaves like a spy, floats into Daneland and back again, tells half-truths, keeps secrets and refuses to accept the existence of the one, true God. Not to mention, he serves Alfred reluctantly. And so, the King now intends to devise a plan of attack without Uhtred, which appears to alarm Steapa and Odda, though they don’t make their concerns heard. Aldhelm tells the king that Uhtred’s insolence cannot go unpunished. Odda tells him it’s not his business. Nevertheless, Alfred wants Uhtred to return to Coccham. Odda leaves to inform him personally. ("Episode 2.6")
Odda tells Uhtred that Alfred wants him to return to Coccham. Odda is getting old, with no son to follow him. He makes Uhtred that he won’t desert Alfred. Uhtred replies that he’s not an oath-breaker, but he can’t serve a man that doesn’t trust him. All Alfred can see in him is his he’s different. ("Episode 2.6")
King Alfred, Ælswith, and Odda get news of Æthelred’s return from war. He informs them that while London has been reclaimed, the brothers abducted Æthelflæd. And they’re unsure if she’s still alive. Alfred will send word and ask for word regarding Æthelflæd’s health. Odda accuses Æthelred of putting all kingdoms at risk, making him the fool he always believed him to be. Aldhelm comes to Æthelred’s defense and tells Odda to go and find another cup of wine. Instead, he asks for every detail from Beocca and Steapa. ("Episode 2.7")
After Uhtred reveals at the Witan that Æthelflæd is safe, Alfred is willing to negotiate. Odda recalls Alfred speaking of paying for Æthelflæd's release in one of two ways-with silver, or with blood. There is a third way. Should the ransom be too great, Æthelflæd should be encouraged to take her own life for the greater good of the kingdom. Odda tells the king to look around him and see what has been sacrificed. He reminds Alfred that he is a king before he is a father. Unbeknownst to them, Æthelwold eavesdrops from the hall. ("Episode 2.7")
Odda gets drunk in the courtyard. He asks Æthelwold’s opinion on paying a ransom for Æthelflæd. Admittedly, it’s not an opinion that he’s willing to say out loud. Odda asks if there’s any of Æthelwold’s father in him. Æthelwold replies that he is becoming more like his father by the day. He tells Æthelwold that the time may come when he needs his help. ("Episode 2.7")
The kingdom of Winchester learns of the brothers’ ransom. They want 3,000 lbs of silver and 500 lbs of gold. Odda remarks that this is an impossible amount and the entire wealth of Wessex. Without the money, Æthelflæd will be humped by every Dane as far as the eye can see. Alfred refuses to allow his daughter to be whored to the highest bidder. Ælswith argues that is a tale that would overshadow all others. Odda fears that Wessex will not survive the negotiation. Beocca retorts that God will never allow that to happen and that they will triumph. Alfred states that the metal will be paid in full. ("Episode 2.8")
King Alfred and Odda learn from a messenger from Canterbury that the Northmen are crossing the river and raiding directly into Wessex. They’ve taken a man’s wife and daughter. Odda wants good faith to prevail. He wants to march and fight the Danes. Should they kill Æthelflæd, she will be considered a martyr, her dignity preserved. Odda reminds Alfred how he chose Wessex over his child and advises Alfred to consider doing the same. Odda’s injury and appetite for wine has robbed them both of his worth. He no longer serves a purpose, and so Alfred sends him back to his estate. ("Episode 2.8")
Uhtred, Finan, and Osferth find Odda drunk at the pub. As they put him in bed, he drunkenly shares with them his plan to raise the Devonshire fyrd against the king’s wishes. Uhtred orders Osferth to stay behind and watch after Odda. Odda awakens the following morning, in bed with Osferth and Clapa. ("Episode 2.8")
Odda and Pyrlig cross paths with the Devonshire fyrd. Odda knows that Pyrlig is a spy for Alfred, so he orders him to get down from his horse and walk back to Winchester with the news of Odda marching against the enemies of Wessex. Father Pyrlig pleads with him to not go through with this, but he continues forward. ("Episode 2.8")
King Alfred leads an army of warriors to stop Odda and the Devonshire fyrd. They eventually manage to catch up to him. Odda explains that he lied to his men and told them that they were there to fight on Alfred’s orders. Odda explains that he’s done what he had to for Wessex. Before long, Uhtred, Finan, Sihtric, and Osferth arrive with Lady Æthelflæd. Uhtred warns Alfred that Sigefrid and his men are near and that now is the chance to kill them all. Alfred and Odda order for a shield wall as the Danes charge towards them. Eventually, they manage to subdue the Danes. ("Episode 2.8")
Æthelwold brings Odda a blade to kill himself with. Odda would’ve liked to see his land of Devonshire once more. He asks Æthelwold how it looked. He replies it was beautiful. Odda takes the blade and plunges it into his heart. ("Episode 2.8")
Though fiercely loyal to his King, Odda the Elder is above all concerned with the fate of Wessex at large, from the men under his command to the humblest subjects of the crown and their families.
Odda has a temper, but when faced with terribly difficult moral choices, he is extremely cool-headed and tries to weigh every consequence and see all sides of the spectrum, beyond his own feelings or bonds of family/hierarchy/friendship, always keeping the greater good in mind, even if it's at the cost of his own fate.
Those dilemmas are all but easy to him, as he remains a man of honor and faithful friend at heart (for instance, having given his word to Uhtred, he orders and takes part in the attack on Ubba's camp, though he anxiously keeps weighing that decision up until the very last moment, as he fears for his men's lives.)
Some of his most radical stances and actions may easily be interpreted as cold-hearted or insensitive, though they are above all motivated by his extreme devotion to Wessex, and his selfless pragmatism.
This list shows the victims Odda has killed:
- Odda the Younger
- Numerous unnamed Dane soldiers
This list shows the victims Odda has killed:
- (To Be Added)
|The Saxon Stories||✔||✔|
- This character has been based on a real historical figure of Odda.
- The name Odda comes from Old English and is deprived from the word audaz, which means "wealth, prosperity".
- Odda was a noble; he was the ealdorman of Devonshire.