He is taken as a prison by the Vikings when they raided the monastery in 793. But, while the Athelstan that we see in the Vikings series may not be named for or based on a specific personage similar to himself, his character rings true for the historical period. He spoke on Athelstan’s historical identity, which is actually based on a monk from the pages of history. Unlike Ragnar and his sons, this Athelstan does not appear in the sagas, so he is a character that has been invented for the show. Trading thralls was an important part of the Viking economy. It is not a stretch to imagine some Christian living in Viking territory being slain as a result of their beliefs. Scandinavia from the first Viking raid on Lindisfarne, and the other two died This resulted in the St Brice’s Day massacre on Friday 13 November 1002, when King Athelred ordered the execution of all the Danes living in England. really have to find that balance between entertaining and respecting history, Othere made his debut in season 6’s episode “Resurrection”, where Ubbe and Torvi were introduced to him by Kjetill Flatnose (Adam Copeland) in Iceland. Athelstan, in alliance with the King of Dublin, defeated the combined Viking and Scottish forces, earning him great respect as a ruler across Europe. It is thought that the more than 30 skeletons found during an excavation in Oxford in 2008 belong to this massacre. He was taken back to Scandinavia by Ragnar Lothbrok as a slave, and quickly became an indispensable member of Ragnar’s household, not least because of his knowledge of England, the land that Ragnar had his eyes on. But is the character that we see in the Vikings series real? Far from being the father of Alfred, Athelstan was actually his grandson, the son of King Edward the Elder and his wife Ecgwynn. Unhappy with this change in power, the York Vikings and the Scots combined forces to invade England in 937. Blagden also went on to explain the need for characters to be “appealing.” The object is to entertain and not to show a documentary on the lives of the Vikings. “You Athelstan was born to a Northumbrian family that could not afford to have another child. real-life monk,” Blagden revealed. He was also an extremely pious man, translating the Bible into English and supporting the growth and development of monasteries. Few characters on Vikings have had as tortured a journey as Athelstan. The purpose of Ubbe and Torvi’s journey to Iceland is learn what happened to Floki , who was last seen in the series entering a cave and getting trapped as the cave was inside an active volcano. George Blagden, who plays Athelstan, participated in WonderCon in 2013 and he took part in a roundtable talk and Collider reported the questions and answers. Speaking of raids, Athelstan is a fictional character as there’s no record of a Christian monk kidnapped by the Vikings (let alone one that became Ragnar Lothbrok’s best friend). This causes conflict among Ragnar’s supporters, in particular with Floki, who is very committed to the Viking gods and sees the threat posed by Christianity. The Vikings quickly retook control of York that same year and held it until 954. He was succeeded by his half-brother, Edmund. He never married and had no children. This battle is also credited with being an important moment in the creation of the idea of English nationalism, with an English identity emerging among the soldiers and subjects of Athelstan. Athelstan adopts the Viking ways as his own and he experiences the beauty of his newfound world. He’s constantly searching for purpose and eventually he turns back to his god when he meets his death. Athelstan finds truth in both of his religions, which leads to all sorts of internal conflict for him. “Well, Michael [Hirst] has actually based Athelstan on a Later in the 820s the monk Ansgar is attested in Denmark during the reign of Harald Klak. Blagden says Michael Hirst, the creator of the series, does a great job of getting the “balance” between history and entertainment right. Named for an important English king, there were Christian monks that would have experienced many of the things that we see Athelstan encounter on screen. His story highlights important themes from the Viking period. Importantly, there he also forms a romantic connection with Judith, the daughter-in-law of King Ecbert, with whom he fathers the child Alfred, who goes on to succeed Ecbert as king. But this is not before Athelstan returns to England for a short period of time to work in the service of King Ecbert of Wessex, translating Roman texts that the king has found. representing stock historical figures accurately, you’d see them picking their Missionaries were active in Scandinavia from the 8th century, though conversions were few until the 10th century. be lots of fun and really appealing characters, and if we were just and one survived, and one of them became part of the Viking culture. He is considered the first king of all England, something Ecbert aspires to be in the show, and one of its most important. Athelstan succeeded to the throne of Mercia upon the death of his father in 924, with Wessex going to his brother Elfweard. But, aside from the name and general piety, and a connection between Athelstan and King Alfred, it is hard to see much of the Athelstan character that we see on Vikings in this English monarch. But that does not mean that his story lacks historic meaning. The Athelstan that we see in Vikings was named for King Athelstan, the first King of England from 927 to 939. At a very young age, he was placed in a monastery at Lindesfarne. He starts to worship their gods and appreciate their culture. ‘Vikings’: George Blagden Reveals Why Ragnar Saves Athelstan. The real Athelstan fought off invading Vikings throughout this reign, most notably at the Battle of Brunanburh in 937. Your email address will not be published. but he’s completely based on this historical figure.”. Vikings: Is Othere The Real Athelstan? He’s got Or are you happy that he embodies a person that could have lived in Viking times and reflects the type of experience that person may have had? What do you think of Athelstan from Vikings? He even participates in raids and enjoys his new life to the fullest. Everyone there is shocked at the brutality, and some of the monks are taken back as slaves, including Athelstan. Nevertheless, many of the monks were killed, or taken back to Viking territory as slaves. He can see the value in their ways and beliefs, and so becomes torn between his commitment to his Christian faith and his desire to fully become part of his new community. entertaining, so we don’t want to make Vikings a documentary. It is also known that Christianity caused conflict in communities as followers of the Norse religion and new Christian religion battled between themselves. But Elfweard died just three weeks after his father, leaving the kingship of Wessex vacant. The Athelstan that we see in Vikings was named for King Athelstan, the first King of England from 927 to 939. In History’s hit series Vikings, Athelstan (George Blagden) has earned a special place in the hearts of fans. It is not difficult to see why Athelstan would have been a prized slave for a man like Ragnar, as he had intimate knowledge of the territory that Ragnar planned to raid. However, there was an Athelstan around that time, and it was the grandson of Alfred the Great. When the Vikings raided, they had no problem raiding churches, monasteries, and other religious places that the Christian community considered sacred and untouchable. The Viking raid on the Lindisfarne monastery is a real historical event from 793. He also focused on converting nearby Swedish communities, again with generally little success.
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