- Skade: "Why sadly? Your life has been rich, you have reputation."
- Alfred: "There is more to be done. I must see that it is done."
- Skade: "Ask your question."
- Alfred: "How long... before I am taken? Do you know? Is that something that you can see?"
- Skade: "You will not see another summer. But your name will live on. You will be remembered as the first, the last, and the only king of all Saxons." [src]
Skade was a main character and antagonist in both The Saxon Stories novel series, and The Last Kingdom television series. She was the consort of Harald Bloodhair and, for a brief period of time, a lover of Uhtreds.
Biography[edit | edit source]
In "The Burning Land", on his way to meet Alfred at Æscengam, Uhtred and his small force pass through a small village where they come across one of Harald's war bands led by Skade who is found mutilating the village priest in the church.
At Æscengam, Harald impulsively comes to demand her release, threatening to execute Saxon prisoners one by one in front of the walls until she is released to him. Skade meanwhile openly curses Uhtred, which leads him to blame her for the subsequent death in childbirth of Gisela. Uhtred relents after the execution of the first prisoner and releases her to Harald.
After defeating Harald at Farnham, Skade is taken prisoner again. When Uhtred flees to Ragnar's fortress Dunholm after he murdered Brother Godwin, who had called Gisela a whore, Skade convinces Uhtred to go Viking and go steal her first husband Skirnir's hoard in Frisia.
It is during the journey to Frisia that Uhtred and Skade become lovers. However, when Uhtred refuses to give her half of the captured hoard - which turns out to be vastly inferior to how it was described - relations between the two become acrimonious and increasingly hostile.
They return to Dunholm where Brida convinces Ragnar to sail south and attack Wessex, along with the two most powerful Danes in Northumbria, Sigurd and Cnut. Haesten arrives to convince the three that as a diversion he will attack East Anglia distracting Alfred's forces away from the supposedly main threat of Ragnar, Sigurd and Cnut. Haesten becomes infatuated with Skade and when he leaves Dunholm, she leaves with him.
After the Saxon victory at the Battle of Beomfleot, Uhtred fights his way to Haesten's hoard in the new fort where he finds an incredibly hostile Skade on top of the hoard. This leads to a standoff which is resolved when a crippled and vengeful Harald, grievously wounded in his defeat at Farnham, makes his way to Skade and while feigning affection embraces her, then stabs her, killing her.
Skade has a vision of a battle, in which Bloodhair rips Alfred from his horse and kills him. She calls out to her guards, once of which meets her gaze. She tells them that no man is to see her face before Bloodhair and cuts the leg of the guard. She then instructs the remaining guard to remind the camp that Earl Sigurd must be the first to see her. Once he has delivered her message, they’ll be free to gaze. As punishment for the guard that looked at her, she will cut out his eye and tongue. When he directs his blade towards her, Skade disarms him, takes both of his eyes and stabs him in the throat. ("Episode 3.1")
Skade returns to camp and instructs all the men to look away. Only the women may see her until the Lord has seen what she has seen. Skade cuts her hand and bleeds into Bloodhair’s mouth so that he can make her vision real. In her vision, she saw the death of Alfred at his hands. Bloodhair cuts open a horse and bathes in its blood. He declares that Wessex will belong to the warriors of Bloodhair. ("Episode 3.1")
Alton, Wessex; Bloodhair and Skade lead an army of Danes into a nearby village and set it ablaze. They string up a priest in the church and demand to know the whereabouts of their silver. They set a fire under him even as he insists there is no wealth. The priest then goes up in flames. As he is burned alive, Bloodhair spares him the pain and kills him with a spear. He then asks Brother Hubert where they can find the silver, but he insists they have no wealth. If what he says is true, Bloodhair gives him a knife and tells him to take his own life in order to spare his brothers. However, Hubert is reluctant,as it would mean damnation. And so, Bloodhair leaves, giving Skade control over the priests. ("Episode 3.1")
The following morning, Skade has killed most of what remained of the priests in the church. Hubert has remained alive but strung up. She asks what else can he give her aside from silver. While performing a ritual with a human heart in hand, Skade is taken by Uhtred. She puts a curse on Uhtred. She holds his heart in hand and will squeeze it and break it. As Sihtric binds her hands, she claims that Uhtred now belongs to her and his spirit is hers to torment. ("Episode 3.1")
Aescengum, Mercia; She is taken prisoner and put in a chamber at Aescengum. Uhtred takes Alfred to see Skade. He tells Uhtred to leave them. Skade remarks that Alfred reeks of death. She tells him to ask whatever it is that he must. Alfred asks if she knows how much time he has left. She tells him that he will not see another summer but his name will live on as the first, the last and only king of all Saxons. Skade then calls out to Bloodhair to free her and continues to do so for the entire night. ("Episode 3.1")
Bloodhair arrives at the gates of Aescengum with Saxon hostages. He slits a woman’s throat and demands that they return Skade to him. He then kills two more women. Uhtred exists the fortress with Skade. Uhtred punches and kicks her in front of Bloodhair. Skade encourages Bloodhair to kill everyone, but he is more concerned with her safety. Uhtred tells Bloodhair to spare the hostages and send them across the burh. He has until sunset or each man in their fortress will take their turn with Skade. ("Episode 3.1")
The Wessex army arrive at Fearnham for the great battle. Moments later, Finan arrives with the Mercian guard. They form a shield wall as Bloodhair and the Danes near. They charge towards the Saxons and the battle begins. Bloodhair gets on a horse and flees. Skade witness as her love abandons her. ("Episode 3.1")
Skade tells Uhtred that she would like to ride alongside him as his woman. He now has his freedom and he should embrace it along with her. She saw what would occur to his wife, though she was not the cause of it. She adds that Bloodhair isn’t the warrior that Uhtred has proven himself to be. She’d rather be lovers than enemies. Should he continue to deny her, he will remain cursed. ("Episode 3.2")
Uhtred is growing weaker by the moment. He vomits while riding his horse and his skin is pale. He falls off his horse and Finan, Sihtric, and Osferth come to his aid. He explains that Skade is squeezing the life from him. He orders Finan to put him in a cart and haul him to Brida in Dunholm. She will know what to do. They are found by Brida and taken to Dunholm, where Skade is imprisoned in a cell. Jackdaw stands guard of Skade’s cell. When asked if she was any trouble, Jackdaw claims that Skade showed him her breast. Skade claims to be a seer, but Brida doesn’t see any runes. Skade demands to see Uhtred or else she will curse Brida, who stakes a Nithstong in the ground to block Skade’s power. Skade swears that she will kill Brida for this. ("Episode 3.2")
Skade tells Jackdaw that Bloodhair is near and when he comes, she will refuse him. Uhtred enters Skade’s cell. He tells Jackdaw to leave them, but he cannot or else Brida will kill him. Uhtred approaches Skade and asks what she wants. Skade would like to be a part of his life. To live beside him and through him. Skade tells Uhtred that Alfred will die and with him his kingdom. And it is Uhtred who must rule when that happens. She merely wants to be his queen. Bloodhair enters the cell. He has come to reclaim Skade and is willing to kill Uhtred in order to take her. Rather than challenge him, Uhtred kisses Skade in front Bloodhair, who is defenseless as Jackdaw stands at his rear with a spear. Uhtred claims Skade as his own. ("Episode 3.3")
Uhtred and Bloodhair fight to the death to see who will claim Skade. Brida routes for Bloodhair to kill Uhtred while Ragnar watches in silence, even as Bloodhair’s men cheat by depriving Uhtred a weapon. Finan recovers Uhtred’s sword and gives it back to Uhtred, who disarms Bloodhair and is moments away from killing him before Ragnar intervenes and calls an end to the battle. Ragnar tells Uhtred to take Skade and leave. Skade remarks that Uhtred has defeated Bloodhair twice and she now belongs to him. Brida launches a spear in Uhtred’s direction and tells him that next time, she won’t miss. ("Episode 3.4")
They arrive at the nunnery at Wincelcumb and informs Æthelflæd that her men are not guards and that she should find more skilled warriors. They will need real protection when the Danes eventually do invade. ("Episode 3.4")
Skade enters the stable just after Æthelflæd leaves, having witnessed the kiss between her and Uhtred. She tells him that after he saves the princess, he must return to the Danes and lead them. And he will need Skade to win. She warns him that if he turns away from her, she’ll curse him and his loved ones. She then kisses him. ("Episode 3.4")
Hæsten and Dagfinn arrive at the nunnery, where they kill a guard and demand that Æthelflæd be brought to them. Abbess witnesses the assault and runs inside to inform the others of the Danes’ arrival. Abbess attempts to stall them but is killed in doing so. Hæsten and Dagfinn escape as their men are slaughtered. What’s left of them surrounds the nunnery. Æthelflæd is prepared to give herself up so that no one else has to die for her. Uhtred then devises a plan to give Skade over to Hæsten in exchange for him leaving peacefully. Skade is reluctant and curses Uhtred. He will only be free of the curse after he rescues her. ("Episode 3.4")
Beamfleot, East Anglia; Hæsten brings Skade food, though she appears uninterested. She continues to carve sigils into the floor with her sword. He tells her they will march on Mercia and then Wessex. Hæsten is sure that Bloodhair will send for Skade, though she will choose who she sits with. She knows that Hæsten has only ever taken women. They’ve never given themselves to him. While he may take her body, he will not have her power. Hæsten replies that 1,000 men is power enough. The man she chooses will greatly benefit from Alfred’s death, but she will have to give herself to that man. She tells him to proves himself, and she will allow him her power. Uhtred will come for her, and if Hæsten is to take his place, he must first kill Uhtred. Skade then scratches the back of his neck and licks his blood. ("Episode 3.5")
Hæsten informs Skade that Uhtred has come to take her as she said he would. However, he has no more than 30-50 men. Skade encourages Hæsten to win her and bring her prisoners. Hæsten, Skade, and Dagfinn watch from the fortress as Uhtred and his men approach. Uhtred goads Hæsten into the battle, reminding him of all the times he fled and how Skade will always be his woman. He challenges Hæsten to a fight. Hæsten angrily agrees to a one on one fight, denouncing any cowardly ways. Half a day has passed and Hæsten finally comes down to battle Uhtred, but he comes with Skade and an army. The Danes proceed to surround them and attack. They are vastly outnumbered and picked off. ("Episode 3.5")
Skade watches as Hæsten and the Danes attack Uhtred's small fleet of men. Edward suddenly arrives and leads his men from within the trees. Skade then spots Alfred exciting the woods as well. Skade watches as Uhtred takes out man after man in effort to get closer to her and Hæsten. She tries to ride away, but Hæsten knocks her unconscious. Uhtred becomes distracted and is knocked to the ground. He returns to his feet but Hæsten is gone. ("Episode 3.6")
Hæsten arrives in Hunstanton with Skade, where he regroups with Bloodhair and Cnut. Hæsten informs Bloodhair that Skade belongs to him now. He reveals that Alfred lives and that they came at night in thousands. ("Episode 3.6")
Hunstanton, East Anglia; Bloodhair comes upon Skade and wants to know which one of them will earn glory during the attack. Skade saw the death of Alfred and said it was Bloodhair who killed him originally. Skade replies that each of them is unworthy as the next and that Bloodhair’s path changed when he abandoned her. He claims that he won’t abandon her again and that Hæsten can’t protect her like he can. As for Alfred, he’s now destined to die in his bed. Bloodhair claims that only he can defeat Uhtred. However, she tells him that what he wishes for can never be real for as long as Hæsten is alive. She encourages Bloodhair to kill him. ("Episode 3.7")
Skade brings Bloodhair a bowl of her blood and rubs it on his face, claiming that she only wants his victory. She tells him that Hæsten must not win. He then proceeds to suck the blood off her hands. Cnut then sanctions a fight to the death between Hæsten and Bloodhair. Brida asks Skade who she wants to see win. Skade answers that she is destined for neither. Just as it seems Bloodhair is about to kill Hæsten, he becomes disoriented, realizing that he’s been poisoned by Skade. Hæsten manages to gain control of the fight. Bloodhair is defeated, but he charges at Skade, who counters his attack and stabs him with a blade in each hand. Before he dies, Brida ensures that he’s holding his axe. ("Episode 3.7")
Sihtric breaks Skade free of her chains and takes her to meet Uhtred at the tree with Finan and Osfeth. The five of them retreat as Hæsten gets word of their arrival. Sihtric leads them to the dock, where they kill the guards before jumping into the ship and sailing away. Hæsten watches as Uhtred sails away with Skade. ("Episode 3.7")
While on a ship headed back to Mercia, Skade grabs Uhtred’s blade and cuts her hand. She’s seen the rebirth of Uhtred Ragnarson. She’s seen 50 men become 5,000. And she’s seen Alfred fall. She bleeds into Uhtred’s mouth and then they kiss. They arrive in Coccham, where Uhtred meets Skade in the river and they kiss. She tells him that she loves him and believes in him. While she’s distracted, he flips his shirt over her head and proceeds to drown her in the river. Osferth watches from nearby as this unfolds. ("Episode 3.8")
Killed Victims[edit | edit source]
This list shows the victims Skade has killed:
- (To Be Added)
Battle Participation[edit | edit source]
This list shows the battles Skade has participated in:
This list shows the battles Skade has participated in:
Memorable Quotes[edit | edit source]
Appearances[edit | edit source]
|The Saxon Stories||✔|
Trivia[edit | edit source]
- The name Skade comes from Norse mythology about the goddess Skaði who was associated with "bowhunting, skiing, winter, and mountains".