An Anglo-Saxon historian has revealed the real Aethelwold was not an antagonist

THE LAST KINGDOM is a historical drama series which is based on The Saxon Stories by Bernard Cornwell, and it features real historical figures. Was Aethelwold really evil?

PUBLISHED: 12:12, Wed, Dec 2, 2020 | UPDATED: 12:12, Wed, Dec 2, 2020

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The Last Kingdom is an Anglo-Saxon series on , and it follows the conflict between the Saxons and the Danes during the attempt to unify England as one country. One of the characters in the series is Aethelwold (played by Harry McEntire) and he believed he had an equal right to the Wessex throne. Historian Rory Naismith explained how Aethelwold was not actually a bad person in real life - yet his portrayal in The Last Kingdom is very different.

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Was Aethelwold really evil?

Aethelwold was portrayed as one of the main antagonists in The Last Kingdom, as he was unreliable, conniving and was known for 'stirring the pot'.

He was the son of King Aethelred and the nephew of Alfred (David Dawson) who went on to become king after Aethelred died.

Aethelred had not chosen Aethelwold to succeed him as king, as he thought he would be an unsuitable heir due to his troublemaking.

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Aethelwold was humiliated when his uncle Alfred was chosen to be king instead, and he was determined to claim back his birthright.

He was also known to have spread gossip and rumours between the Saxons and Danes.

However Anglo-Saxon history expert, professor Rory Naismith, said Aethelwold did not do any stirring in real life.

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The Last Kingdom: AethelwoldThe Last Kingdom: Aethelwold was an antagonist in the series (Image: )

The Last Kingdom: AethelwoldThe Last Kingdom: Harry McEntire as Aethelwold (Image: )

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He told Express.co.uk: "We don't have too many personal details, but he is the son of Alfred's older brother Aethelred.

"This theoretically means he thought he had just as much a claim to be king. When Alfred dies in 899, Aethelwold decides now is the time to shine.

"He when to Wimborne, where his father is buried, as his way of staking a claim and mustering up support, but it doesn't go well."

Instead, Aethelwold decided to head to Northumbria, which was surprising, as it was overseen by Vikings at the time.

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However, he was welcomed in Northumbria and managed to form an army to attack the

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