The Kingdom of Cumbraland
Dane who is chosen to be a Christian king of Cumbraland and unite the tribes of Dane and Saxon. Sold to a slave trader, Alfred arranges his release in order to build allies in the north. Affable, funny and intent on being a good king, Guthred also has a ruthless streak that will lead to a betrayal of those he holds dear.
- Cruel Mercy: He genuinely believes he's doing Uhtred a favor by selling him into slavery instead of killing him outright.
- Oh, Crap!: When he sees a pissed off Uhtred storming back into Eoforwic after being freed from captivity. Also during the multiple times Uhtred threatens to kill him if Guthred so much as annoys him slightly.
- Puppet King: He's a puppet to whatever advisor is most adamant at the time, due to being easily swayed.
- Ungrateful Bastard: In spite of everything Uhtred does for him, including freeing him from slavery, Guthred still allows himself to be turned against him by Eadred. He sells Uhtred into slavery, and even laments the irony.
- Too Dumb to Live: Having already been warned that he would die if he so much as crossed Uhtred, Guthred starts complaining that Uhtred merely exiled Sigefrid and Erik instead of killing them, at which point Ragnar advises him to shut up before his petulance costs him his life.Guthred: How do I know Sigefrid and Erik are gone?! Like your uncle, I would have preferred a head-!
- Weak-Willed: As intent as he is on being a well-loved and strong king, Guthred is remarkably easy to persuade.
A pompous and powerful priest who claims to have seen St Cuthbert selecting Guthred to be the King of Cumbraland in a vision. The abbot is deeply disapproving of Uhtred, and seeing his popularity as a threat to King Guthreds influence, turns Guthred against him, with shocking consequences.
- Arranged Marriage: Tries to force Gisela into one of these to make an alliance between Guthred and Aelfric. Fortunately, it's stopped by the arrival of Uhtred and Eadred's inability to keep his mouth shut until Uhtred has enough and puts a knife in his gut.
- Corrupt Church
- Evil Chancellor: Serves as one to Guthred
- Fantastic Racism: Another Christian who's openly racist towards pagans.
- Know When to Fold 'Em: He orders his men to stand down and let Gisela go when Ragnar threatens to kill them all. Unfortunately, he can't resist having the last word against Uhtred (see Too Dumb to Live for the end result).
- Laser-Guided Karma: He's one of the driving forces behind Guthred betraying and selling Uhtred into slavery. Guess who's the first to die when Uhtred gets free.
- Obstructive Bureaucrat: He does his best to contradict Uhtred's advice in front of Guthred.
- Stay in the Kitchen: His attitude towards Gisela and his comments on women in general smack of these.
- Too Dumb to Live: Having already earned Uhtred's enmity by conspiring with Uhtred's Evil Uncle Aelfric to sell him into slavery, when Uhtred comes back and finds Eadred in the middle of trying to wed Gisela (the woman Uhtred's eye has fallen on) to Aelfric by proxy, it would probably be a good idea to keep his mouth shut. Eadred instead insists on repeatedly pressing Uthred's Berserk Button about the matter until Uthred finally has enough and Eadred comes down with a fatal case of knife-through-bowels.Uhtred: Say [Gisela]'s married one more time and the devil will take you, priest, I swear it!Eadred: You're nothing but a heathen and the bitch is married! [Uhtred promptly stabs him in the gut].