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King Ecbert

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Ecbert of Wessex
Portrayed by Linus Roache
Ecbert c1
Title: King
Children: Aethelwulf
Character Information
First appearance: Invasion
Appearance Count: 8

King Ecbert is the worldly and ambitious king of Wessex who studied under Charlemagne. A man full of strength, knowledge and undisguised ambition, King Ecbert's thirst for knowledge signals an opponent loath to be caught off guard. Cloaked in mystery, King Ecbert wields the power to surprise his new foe: Ragnar Lothbrok.

Unlike many of his fellow Christians in Wessex, Ecbert seems to possess both an understanding and fascination for non-Christian culture. This is mainly shown in his fascination with the Romans and their world-view prior to their Christianization. Ecbert appreciates that the Roman gods allowed them rule the world and grasps the implications of that notion. He only brings Athelstan into confidence, knowing that men like his son, the devout Prince Aethelwulf, and his advisor, the Bishop Edmund, would disapprove of his interest in pagan religions and culture.

Trivia Edit

  • Ecbert's name was alternately spelled as Egbert, Ecgbert, Ecgberht or Ecgbriht.
  • King Ecbert of Wessex was a decendant of Cerdic I, a Saxon conquerer that founded Wessex. According to legend, and also asserted in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, Cerdic was a decendant of Woden, the Saxon name of Odin. Although the same Anglo-Saxon Chronicle also traces the pedigree of the House of Wessex to the Biblical Patriarchs, and so may be an example of a fabricated lineage.
  • Ecbert was named as the Bretwalda (ruler of Britain) in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle after he conquered the Anglo-Saxon kingdom of Mercia from King Wiglaf and received homage from the Northumbrians.
  • Though the series depicts Ecbert as king of Wessex in the approximate year 800 CE, Ecbert was not crowned until 802 CE.
  • In the "Anglo-Saxon Chronicle" created during the reign of Alfred the Great, King Ecgbert of Wessex was said to have had three children with his wife Redburga; Æthelwulf, Saint Eadgyth of Polesworth, and Æthelstan. Later historians decided that Æthelstan was Æthelwulf's oldest son, rather than his brother.
  • In 825 CE, King Ecbert accepted the submission of King Sigered of Essex (the East Saxons) and annexed the entire kingdom (composed of the modern English counties of Essex, Hertfordshire and Middlesex), adding them to the growing Kingdom of Wessex. This was in the same year that Ecbert had reconquered the Kingdom of Kent, which he had one been the heir to before his father, Ealhmund, was killed by his Mercian rivals in 784 CE.
  • Ecbert was the grandfather of King Alfred the Great, who led the native English resistance against the Danes after they conquered the kingdoms of Northumbria, East Anglia and northern Mercia.
  • Ecbert and his fellow king, Aella of Northumbria, never met in real life and were not even comtemporaries. Ecbert reigned from 802-839, while Aella is believed to have died around the year 867 and was only king of Northumbria for several years at that. The real-life contemporary king of Northumbria for Ecbert of Wessex in the year 800 CE (the setting of Season 2) would have been King Eardwulf (reigned 796-806 CE).
  • Ecbert's father was King Ealhmund of Kent, who was himself the great-grandson of one Ingild, a brother of King Ine of Wessex (reigned 688-726 CE). Ecbert, heir to the throne of Kent and possessing a claim to the throne of Wessex, was forced into exile to Francia after the death of his father. His rival, Beorhtric, gained the support of the powerful King Offa of Mercia to seize the throne of Wessex in 786, while Mercia asserted it's dominion over Kent. Ecbert would eventually be restored as King over Wessex and Kent with the aid from the Frankish Emperor Charlemagne.

Appearances Edit

Season two appearances
Brother's War Invasion Treachery Eye For an Eye Answers in Blood
Unforgiven Blood Eagle Boneless The Choice The Lord's Prayer

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