Athelstan in Vikings is loosely based on the real Athelstan, the first-ever King of England. Athelstan is believed to be the King of the Anglo-Saxons from 924 to 927 and King of the English from 927 until he died in 939. In the History series Vikings, Athelstan was not portrayed as King but as a young Anglo-Saxon man, who was formerly a Christian monk.
Who played Athelstan in Vikings?
Athelstan in Vikings was played by British stage and film actor George Blagden.
He starred in the historical drama from 2013 until 2015.
Blagden spoke to The Hollywood Reporter about his exit from Vikings in season three.
He said: “Michael [Hirst, show creator] sent me this five-page-long email explaining why he needed to make that choice this season.
“It was a lovely email explaining how Athelstan had always been one of his favourite characters and he didn’t want to overextend it.
“He was saying the most successful characters in television are the ones that never outlive their sell dates — in terms of knowing when a character has experienced all they need to experience in that particular story and knowing when to close the book.
“I totally agreed with everything he said, that this felt like the moment in which Athelstan had come to the end of his journey.”
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Outside of Vikings fame, Blagden is best known for his role as Louis XIV in the French drama series Versailles.
He is also well known for his role as Grantaire in the 2012 film adaptation of Les Misérables.
Blagden, 30, began performing at age 13 at Old Buckenham Hall School and later joined the National Youth Theatre.
He then went onto study acting at the Guildhall School of Music ad Drama, graduating in 2011.
His first role straight out of acting school was as Andy in the 2014 film After the Dark, where he starred opposite Sophie Lowe, Rhys Wakefield, Cinta Laura, Bonnie Wright, James D’Arcy, Daryl Sabara, Freddie Stroma, and Katie Findlay.
Blagden then went on to star as Lenny in the famous Black Mirror episode Hang the DJ.
Off-screen, Blagden has appeared in numerous stage productions, including Platinum, The Pitchfork Disney, Tartuffe and Company.
He is also a supporter of Diabetes UK and has taken part in various fundraising campaign’s for the charity, including cycling from London to Paris in under 72 hours in September 2015.
What happened to Athelstan in Vikings? Will he return in Vikings season 6, part B?
Athelstan in Vikings is a former Christian monk, who was a victim at the raid of Lindisfarne in 793.
He was taken prisoner by Ragnar Lothbrok (played by Travis Fimmel) and converted from Christianity to paganism.
However, Ragnar and Athelstan soon became close friends, which many Vikings in Kattegat disapproved of.
Ragnar’s daughter, Gyda (Ruby O’Leary) and Athelstan were very close and during his death, he envisioned Athelstan and Gyda being with him in Valhalla.
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Upon his return to Kattegat, Athelstan was mocked by Floki (Gustaf Skarsgård), blaming Athelstan for the cause of Rollo’s (Clive Standen) suffering.
Floki took a particular dislike to Athelstan, blaming the destruction of the Viking Settlement in Wessex as a result of the gods being unhappy with the Vikings for cooperating with Christians.
He also accused Athelstan of conspiring with King Ecbert (Linus Roache) to betray them.
One day as Athelstan prayed, he was brutally killed by Floki.
However, King Athelstan’s name resurfaced in the Vikings season six part A, thanks to the mysterious wanderer Othere (Ray Stevenson).
Othere seemed to suggest he knew exactly what happened to Floki, who has been missing since Vikings season five after a trip to Iceland.
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However, before doing so, he revealed he was once a Christian monk named Athelstan, the same name of a character killed by Floki.
Like Athelstan, Othere described himself as a former Anglo-Saxon monk.
As a result, Vikings fans are hoping Athelstan could re-appear in the final 10 episodes.
Unfortunately, Blagden and show creator Hirst have not confirmed the original Athelstan’s return, yet.
Fans will have to wait until later in the year for Vikings season six to return to screens to find out.
Vikings is streaming on Amazon Prime now
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