Which The Last Kingdom characters are based on real people?

Alexander Dreymon thanks fans as The Last Kingdom wraps

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The Last Kingdom season five is on Netflix now and it said goodbye to some fan-favourite historical figures. The Anglo-Saxon TV series is based on Bernard Cornwell’s novels, The Saxon Stories, and the author is passionate about this certain era. Express.co.uk has all you need to know about which characters are based on real people.

Which The Last Kingdom characters are based on real people?

King Alfred

Alfred is played by David Dawson in the series and he starred in the first three seasons.

He sadly succumbed to an illness and died, leaving behind his dream of unifying England as one kingdom.

His character is based on the real Alfred the Great, who was King of the West Saxons.

He ruled from 871 until 886 before becoming King of the Anglo-Saxons from 886 until his death, three years later.

Like in the series, he spent years fighting Viking invasions.


Guhtrum appeared in the first season and he was played by Thomas W Gabrielsson.

He was one of the main antagonists who led the Great Heathen Army to England.

Guthrum was actually King of East Anglia in the late ninth century and he was originally from Denmark.

As is shown in the series, he was one of the leaders of a huge army that joined forces with the Great Heathen Army in 871.

He conquered kingdoms such as Mercia and Northumbria and overran Wessex during his first invasion.


Ubba was a powerful Danish warlord in the series and he was played by Rune Temte.

In real life, Ubba was a ninth-century Viking and one of the commanders of the Great Heathen Army.

He too invaded Anglo-Saxon England.


Aethelstan is the son of King Edward in the series and in season five he was played by Harry Gilby.

The real Aethelstan was King of the Anglo-Saxons from 924 until 927.

After uniting England as one kingdom, he was King of the English from 927 to his death in 939.

In real life, he never married or had any children.

Odda the Elder

Odda appeared in the first two seasons of The Last Kingdom and he was the ealdorman of Devonshire.

In real life, Odda was indeed a ninth-century ealdorman of Devon who defeated Ubba in the Battle of Cynwit in 878.


Aelswith is played by Eliza Butterworth in the series and she is King Alfred’s wife.

The real-life Ealhswith’s father was a Mercian nobleman and her mother was a member of the Mercian royal family.

She was indeed King Alfred’s spouse but she was not officially recognised as a queen.


Aethelwold was one of the main antagonists in the first three seasons of The Last Kingdom.

He was played by Harry McEntire and his character was killed off by Uhtred.

In real life, he was the younger son of Aethelred, the King of Wessex.

His brother was Aethelhelm, and they were both children when their father died during a Viking invasion.


Aelfwynn is Aethelflaed’s daughter in the series and she is played by Phia Saban in season five.

In real life, she was the ruler of Mercia in 918, following her mother’s death.

Her uncle Edward took power in Mercia shortly after.


Guthred was captured as a slave but became the nominal king of Northumbria with Uhtred’s support.

In real life, he was the Christian king of Viking Northumbria from around 883 until his death.

His journey from slave to a king is a true representation of what happened.


Haesten is one of Uhtred’s enemies-turned-allies in the series and he is played by Jeppe Beck Laursen.

The real Haesten, or Hastein, was a Viking chieftain of the late ninth century.

He went on several raids during his lifetime.


Aethelred was played by Toby Regbo in The Last Kingdom and he was based on a real king.

He was the ruler of Mercia from 879 but not much is known about his ancestry.

Like in the series, he was married to Aethelflaed.


Rognvaldr was introduced in the final season of The Last Kingdom and he is Sigtryggr’s brother.

The character is believed to have been based on Ragnall, a Viking leader who ruled Northumbria in the early 10th century.

He was likely to have been expelled from Dublin in 902.


Aethelflaed is played by Millie Brady in the series and she became one of Uhtred’s love interests.

She tragically died in the final season, after suffering from breast cancer.

The real-life Aethelflaed ruled Mercia from 911 until her death and she was the eldest daughter of Alfred and Aelswith.

She played a huge role in fighting off Viking attacks.


Edward is played by Timothy Innes in The Last Kingdom and he felt the pressure to fulfil his father’s dream.

Edward the Elder was the real-life King of the Anglo-Saxons from 899 until his death in 924.

As is depicted in the series, he was the son of Alfred and Aelswith who faced the threat of the Vikings for years.


Cnut was a Danish warlord played by Magnus Bruun in the series.

In real life, he was the Norse King of Northumbria who ruled from around 900 until 905.


Eadgifu was introduced in season five of The Last Kingdom and she is played by Sonya Cassidy.

Like in the series, she was the third wife of Edward and she hailed from Kent.

She lived for much longer than her husband.


Aethelhelm is played by Adrian Schiller in the series and he became one of the main antagonists of the final season.

The real-life historical figure was one of Aethelred’s sons, and Alfred the Great was his uncle.


Sigtryggr is played by Eysteinn Sigurðarson in the series and he was a Viking warlord.

He became one of Uhtred’s (Alexander Dreymon) closest allies as he fell in love with Uhtred’s daughter Stiorra (Ruby Hartley).

In real life, Sitric Cáech was a Viking who ruled Dublin and then Northumbria in the early 10th century.


Aelflaed is played by Amelia Clarkson in The Last Kingdom and she was one of Edward’s wives.

She was disliked by Aelswith, as she wanted her own son to take the throne instead of Aethelstan.

She ended up sacrificing herself in the final season, much to her father Aethelhelm’s horror.

In real life, she was indeed the daughter of Aethelhelm and the wife of Edward.

The pair married around 899 but she never attested as a queen.

King Constantin

The Scottish king was played by Rod Hallett in the final season of the historical drama.

He fought against Uhtred at Bebbanburg and was driven out of the kingdom.

The real Constantine II of Scotland reigned for 43 years.

In 934 Aethelstan invaded Scotland but there is no record of any major battles.


Aelfweard is one of Edward’s sons in the series, played by Ewan Horrocks.

His mother Aelflaed wanted him to be king, as did his grandfather Aethelhelm.

In real life, he died soon after his father’s death and they were buried together at Winchester.

There are conflicting stories as to whether he ever succeeded his father as ruler, over Aethelstan.

The Last Kingdom seasons 1-5 are streaming on Netflix now. Filming for Seven Kings Must Die has just wrapped.

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