‘The Last Kingdom’: Would Aethelwold Have Made a Better King Than Alfred? Fans Weigh In

Most fans of The Last Kingdom couldn’t imagine the first few seasons without either King Alfred (David Dawson) or his mischievous nephew, Aethelwold (Harry McEntire). Aethelwold thought he was the rightful heir to Wessex, not Alfred, and he spends his entire life trying to gain an ounce of power that he thinks he deserves.

Alfred is chosen as the King of Wessex when his brother dies

David Dawson
David Dawson | Tim P. Whitby/Getty Images

Aethelred (Alec Newman) was the king and Aethelwold’s father, who acknowledges his son as a drunk who likes women above all else. He couldn’t seriously consider his son as an heir during such a tumultuous time in history. Alfred is chosen as the king when Aethelred dies and it’s a major insult to Aethelwold who thinks he’s the rightful king. He spends the rest of his life trying to get some semblance of power, no matter who he has to betray along the way. He even allies himself with the Danes at one point.

Would Aethelwold make a better king over Alfred?

RELATED: ‘The Last Kingdom’: What Happens Between Uhtred and Aethelwold?

Fans really seem to enjoy Aethelwold since he can be quite hilarious at times, but could he have really been a better king over Alfred the Great? A fan recently posted an image in Reddit. “He was cunning, strategic, and had a lot of common sense. Also he was hilarious,” the Reddit user titled the post. The image says, “Aethelwold would have been a good king. Change my mind.”

The comments exploded with fans trying to explain how they feel about the situation. Numerous viewers don’t believe Aethelwold would have made a decent ruler, especially when you compare him to Alfred. Aethelwold is described as a “snake” by one fan.

“I thought the same in seasons 1 and 2 but not so much in season 3. I felt like he would’ve turned into a ruthless conqueror and not just because of Ragnar but because of how much of a snake he was to everyone. He wanted to be king so badly,” a fan wrote in the comments.

Aethelwold is manipulated into murdering Ragnar

Aethelwold murders Young Ragnar (Tobias Santelmann) while he sleeps, which made a lot of fans dislike him even more. He was manipulated by Cnut (Magnus Bruun), who pushes Aethelwold further to do the deed.

“He was a coward who murdered Ragnar in cold blood with no honor. He’s also incredibly easy to manipulate,” a fan wrote.

Another fan describes Aethelwold as a “coward” who would be easily swayed by whoever helped put him on the throne. “Most likely a puppet king just because he was a coward,” said a viewer.

Aethelwold is too ‘selfish’ to be a king

Another fan thinks Aethelwold wouldn’t make a good king because he is extremely “selfish” and is always trying to get ahead no matter who he has to step on to get there. Alfred could play the political game while also earning respect from those around him as an honorable man. That’s something Aethelwold could never be.

“One of my favorite characters,” a fan admitted. “Provided a lot for the show. Don’t know what’s going to happen without him but I have to disagree. While it would be interesting if he were king, he was aggressively selfish which left him blind to so much around him. Aethelwold could play the game behind the scenes but he never had anyone’s respect. Alfred earned respect because he could play those games and back his **** up while usually ending up the victor.”

A fan thinks things would be a lot different if Alfred hadn’t become king

If someone else that was easier to manipulate had ruled instead of Alfred, one fan thinks all of England would have become Danelaw eventually. Alfred stood tall against the Danes for his homeland and he was victorious many times. Aethelwold is always looking out for himself, not the people of Wessex or England. Who knows where things would be had Alfred not been there to lead?

“If Aethelwold and Aethelred [of Mercia] were kings instead of Alfred, Wessex (and all of England) likely would have all become Danelaw,” a fan deduced.

Fans have spoken and many don’t believe Aethelwold would have made a good king, especially when comparing him to his uncle, Alfred the Great. Alfred is clearly the winning contender when it comes to who fans believe should rule Wessex.