‘The Last Kingdom’: Eliza Butterworth Talks About Aelswith Picking up the Pieces Without King Alfred

In season 4 of The Last Kingdom, Lady Aelswith (Eliza Butterworth) goes through a lot while trying to continue her husband’s dream. King Alfred (David Dawson) passes away in season 3 and nothing is ever the same for Aelswith or anyone else. She’s left to pick up the pieces and try to keep his dream alive as best she can.

Lady Aelswith struggles to keep King Alfred’s dream alive

Eliza Butterworth
Eliza Butterworth | Dave Benett/Getty Images for LOUIS XIII

Alfred always dreamed of a united England that includes all the kingdoms under one king. When he dies, Aelswith picks up her husband’s dream for herself and she does her best to keep it alive. She even openly defies her son King Edward (Timothy Innes) on more than one occasion for the good of Alfred’s dream. Aelswith will never give up on it and it keeps her going in the worst of times.

Eliza Butterworth talks about Aelswith picking up the pieces without King Alfred

Eliza Butterworth, who plays Aelswith, spoke with Variety about her role in season 4 before the new season premiered. She spoke about Alfred’s dream of a united England and how difficult that fight really is to achieve. Without Alfred, Aelswith quickly realizes that things are going to be harder than she ever imagined as she tries to influence her children to keep their father’s dream in mind.

“Lady Aelswith loved her husband fiercely and always vowed to continue his dream of creating one united land called England,” Butterworth said. “Now, we find her all alone in this battle and, while trying to mold King Edward to follow in his footsteps, sort of realizes that not everything can be in her control. Without Alfred, things might not always go to plan.”

Alfred’s ‘dream’ is carried on by his wife, children, and even Uhtred

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After the death of Alfred, everyone is left scrambling to find their footing on a shaky foundation. Aelswith especially realizes how hard things will be without Alfred. However, she isn’t the only one who carries on Alfred’s dream. Her children, as well as Uhtred (Alexander Dreymon) himself, have their parts to play in the whole thing. They are all fighting for Alfred’s legacy and goals in their own ways.

“She’s concerned about her daughter Aethelflaed, guiding her into making the right decisions about family and her kingdom and how she’s going to do that without the presence of this incredible man,” Butterworth continued. “She’s trying to continue his legacy. And it’s interesting too that his whole dream actually falls to not only Aelswith, Edward, and Aethelflaed but Uhtred now more than ever. He’s fighting with the Saxons while still being a brother to all the Danes. He’s more split than ever. Everything is just coming to a head.”

Lady Aelswith is fighting to achieve her husband’s dream, but she’s not alone in her efforts. She also has her children and Uhtred there to assist in different ways. Aelswith is picking up the pieces of Alfred’s legacy one piece at a time.