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Alfred

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Prince Alfred of Wessex and Mercia (Old English meaning "elf counsel) is the illegitimate son of Judith and Athelstan. He was protected by the late King Ecbert, who claims that God has very special plans for him. He is also seen as having a great destiny by his step-father, King Aethelwulf. 

Biography

Season 3

Shortly after Alfred's birth in Born Again, he is taken by Ecbert's noblemen and Judith is brought before the court on trial for adultery. Her ear is removed, and she reveals that the father of her child is Athelstan. Ecbert then stops the trial and pardons Judith, stating that Athelstan was a holy man and his son was chosen by God. Athelstan was also beloved by Ecbert.

Season 4

King Ecbert makes the proposal to send Athelwulf and Alfred on a pilgrimage to Rome in order to meet the Pope. Athelwulf reluctantly agrees, and they, along with Prudentius depart on their journey.

Once in Rome, Alfred is greeted personally by Pope Leo, who considers him the future of Wessex and England. Later he takes part in a holy crowning ceremony, where he is gifted with an exquisite sword and made a consul of Rome.

Alfred is shown again in the episode In the Uncertain Hour Before the Morning. Years has pased and Ragnar comes back to Wessex, with his son Ivar apparently for revenge, but is captured by the guards and it's putted into custody by Ecbert. In a certain moment, Judith presents Alfred to Ragnar. Ragnar, who loved Alfred father's very much, knowing his identity, hugs him, and Alfred hugs him back in confidence.

In All His Angels, Alfred is playing chess whith Ivar, until Ivar is send away to talk to his father. Later he reappears to say goodbye to Ragnar, who is going to his execution at the hands of King Aelle. Ragnar gives him the cross chain of his father, and Alfred says that he is gonna miss him, giving him their last goodbye hug.

Personality

Alfred is shown to be somewhat shy, as he runs away and hides at Ecbert's court when in front of a large crowd of people. He is also quite knowledgeable in biblical stories, as he is able to answer Pope Leo's questions on Jesus' crucifixion, despite Alfred's young age.

He also excels at board games, having defeated Ivar the Boneless at chess at the Wessex royal villa, whilst Ragnar Lothbrok was being held by King Ecbert.

Trivia

  • As an Anglo-Saxon prince, his real title would be Alfred aetheling. Aethel (or athel) is the Old English word for noble, whilst "ing" denotes smaller or lesser status. So it would mean a smaller status within the Wessex royal house. The same title would be akin to his brother, Aethelred, who in turn would named Aethelred atheling. Any son of a king would possess the title Aetheling, inclusive of Aethelwulf prior to being King.
  • The name Alfred means "elf counsel". Anglo-Saxons commonly held compound names, with real-life examples Edward the Confessor (rich protector), Aethelred the Unready, Eadred (rich counsel), Athelstan, Edgar the Peaceful (rich spear) all as Kings of England. Athelstan, his late father, would thus hold the name "noble stone". Stan is the Old English for the modern English word stone. His brother's name means "noble counsel", whilst his father's name refers to "noble wolf".
  • In real life, Alfred had four brothers, all of whom were full brothers, and sons of King Aethelwulf of Wessex. After the death of their father, and the Great Heathen Army's invasions of the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms, he succeeded his brother King Aethelred as King of Wessex, following the Battle of Merton. 
  • The real life Alfred was noted to be a very studious boy, though as a younger brother was unlikely to be king. He may have ended up in the clergy, or have been a senior thegn (or noble) to his elder brothers once they were kings. However, many younger sons or children eventually became kings in succession to their siblings in this period, as they were trusted military assistants and counsels and thus had the skills and knowhow to rule. Alfred's own children, King Edward the Elder and Lady Athelflead, succeeded each other in reconquering Norse areas of England. Alfred's grandchildren, Kings Athelstan, Edmund and Eadred, all were successors of a united England.
  • Whilst never King of England in the strict sense, he is the only sovereign in the lineage of English monarchs to have the epithet "the Great". The first King of England is recognised to be Athelstan (r. 927-939), who in 927 AD/CE united the reconquered Danelaw areas, Wessex, and Norse York/Northumbria, into a singular Kingdom of the English. 
  • King Alfred's life was recorded by his bishop, Asser, and he is said to have re-founded the modern city of London following the Norse invasions, instituted military reforms inclusive of localised defensive centres, created a standing navy, and ensured major literary works were translated into Old English. 

Appearances

Season three appearances
Mercenary The Wanderer Warrior's Fate Scarred The Usurper
Born Again Paris To the Gates! Breaking Point The Dead
Season four appearances
A Good Treason Kill the Queen Mercy Yol Promised
What Might Have Been The Profit and the Loss Portage Death All 'Round The Last Ship
The Outsider The Vision Two Journeys In the Uncertain Hour Before the Morning All His Angels
Crossings The Great Army Revenge On the Eve The Reckoning

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