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"Did your queen tell you that your sister is being humped in the arse each and every night by one-eyed Sven?"
—Skorpa taunting Uhtred[src]

Svein of the White Horse (known as Skorpa in the TV series) was a supporting character and antagonist in both The Saxon Stories novel series, and The Last Kingdom television series. He was a feared sword-Dane and Viking warlord who Uhtred met in Cornwalum.


The Saxon Stories[]

In "The Pale Horseman", Uhtred is bored with the peace between Alfred and the Danish king Guthrum and goes off raiding into Cornwall. He comes across a settlement ruled by the British king Peredur, who hires Uhtred and his men to fight an invading Danish force led by Svein of the White Horse.

Uhtred and Svein however ally to kill Peredur and pillage his settlement, and Uhtred carries off Peredur's wife, the shadow queen Iseult.

Uhtred and Svein then sail up the coast to Land's End, where they part ways. Svein goes to Cynuit, where Ubba was killed previously, and Uhtred to the coast of Wealas where he captures a ship laden with treasure.

Uhtred becomes Alfred's bodyguard and for a few months they hide in the swamp. When Svein anchors his fleet at the mouth of the River Parret close to their hideout, Uthred launches a surprise attack against Svein, during which the fleet is burned and many of Svein's men drown when the flood comes in, after they have been lured out too far into the marshlands.

Later they assemble the army and fight at the Battle of Edington and Alfred takes back Wessex, with Uhtred being instrumental in the death of Svein of the White Horse.

The Last Kingdom[]

Season 1[]

Cornwalum, Wealas; King Peredur of Cornwalum who offers to pay Uhtred and his men to help rid him of fellow Britons that have taken over a nearby fortress.

Wealas; Upon approaching the fortress, Uhtred and his men are confronted not by more Britons, but by real Danes, led by Skorpa, the war lord. Skorpa informs Uhtred that there is no silver to be found within the fortress either, they've already ripped it apart. Uhtred realises he has been tricked by Peredur, and so enters into a 50/50 agreement with Skorpa to turn on the Britons in a surprise attack. Skorpa convinces Peredur to tell him where the silver is really hidden by promising to spare his life, but stabs him in the chest once he gets his information, much to Uhtred's disdain. ("Episode 1.6")

Peredur's Hall, Cornwalum, Wealas; Both Danish parties then return to Peredur's hall to unearth the silver hidden beneath his throne. Unsurprisingly, Skorpa goes back on his word to Uhtred and threatens to kill Iseult unless him and his men are able to leave with the whole loot. Backing out the door, axe to Iseult's neck, he whispers something in her ear before fleeing. (Iseult ;ater reveals what Skorpa had whispered to her in Cornwalum: Thyra lives and is being held by Kjartan in the north.) Leofric refuses to lose more men in chasing down Skorpa, but Iseult reveals that there is more silver hidden elsewhere. They dig up a nearby pile of dung and straw while Brother Asser watches from a hiding place. ("Episode 1.6")

Winchester, Wessex; Summoned to the Witan by Alfred, Uhtred walks blindly into a one-way trial where he is accused of not only raiding and the Plundering of Cornwallum by plotting with Skorpa; which is true, but also of helping Skorpa burn down the church being built at Cynwit; which is false. Skorpa led a raid which sacked the Church which stood above Ubba's grave. ("Episode 1.6")

Skorpa later takes part in the Danish invasion of Wessex, but due to his ambition, he became at odds with King Guthrum. ("Episode 1.6")

Marshlands, Wessex; Uhtred excursions and devises a plan: kill all Skorpa's men who are currently water-bound and force the remainder to join forces with Guthrum, leading to the penultimate Battle of Athelney. They goad Skorpa's men into the deep marshes, letting the wetlands trap them before they attack. In the sunset, they look on at the burning long ships with renewed hope for a Wessex retaliation. ("Episode 1.7")

Devon, Wessex; Odda the Younger, who believes Alfred is dead, tries to make an agreement with Skorpa. But when Uhtred and Leofric, Alfred hidden amongst them, arrive to their estate and rally him to their cause, Odda refuses to believe the king still lives. His father, who has seen Alfred in the crowd, stabs his own son for his traitorous deeds. ("Episode 1.8")

Uhtred sends Skorpa back on his way to Guthrum, who informs the Viking leader of the Saxon numbers. ("Episode 1.8")

Edington, Wessex; As the Battle of Edington commences, the Saxons let the Danes fall upon their shield wall first and then slowly advance, gaining ground.n Skorpa, realising they are already at a disadvantage, leaves the battlefield to attack the Saxon camp where he runs down Iseult and returns to the battle, flinging her bloody head at Uhtred. ("Episode 1.8")

Enraged, Uhtred breaks formation and leaps over the enemy shield wall and begins killing Danes at will. Father Beocca, calling on the might of God, launches his spear towards Uhtred, who swiftly takes it and throws it into Skorpa's chest, knocking him off his horse. ("Episode 1.8")

Killed Victims[]

This list shows the victims Svein/Skorpa has killed:

The Last Kingdom[]

  • Iseult
  • Peredur
  • Numerous unnamed Saxon soldiers and civilians
  • Several unnamed Cornish soldiers

The Saxon Stories[]

  • (To Be Added)

Battle Participation[]

This list shows the battles Svein/Skorpa has participated in:

The Last Kingdom[]

The Saxon Stories[]

  • (To Be Added)


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


  • The name Svein comes from Old Norse. It is a byname of Sveinn which means "boy".