Bishop Edmund is one of the prominent counsellors to King Ecbert. As an ordained bishop in the Catholic Church, he served as a chief member of Ecbert's council, as a dutiful advisor, and the relayer of God's word to him.
Edmund is overweight and apparently accustomed to luxury and high-living, possibly due to his role as a bishop and lack of battle experience and exercise. Bishop Edmund is completely Subservient to King Ecbert. He is quite fond of the sacramental wine. Edmund presided over the execution of Athelstan before it was halted by King Ecbert. When Edmund and Lord Eadric criticized his king's decision to put Winchester's inhabitants and Bishop Swithun in harms way during the Viking incursion, Ecbert counters them by saying that as a Christian, the Bishop of Winchester should have welcomed an opportunity for martyrdom. When Edmund affirms that notion, Ecbert pointedly informs the bishop that he is willing to grant Edmund that same opportunity by sending him and Lord Eadric to negotiate with King Horik and Earl Ragnar Lothbrok. After Eadric's death at the hands of King Horik, Edmund fled with his soldiers. His inability to climb his horse, amidst the collective shock at the killing of Lord Eadric, caused great mirth to the Norsemen.
Edmund continued to serve loyally King Ecbert and his family, Prince Aethelwulf, Princess Judith and theirs sons: Alfred and Aethelred. Bishop Edmund is questioned if it is really fitting for a woman to color bibles. He proceeds to give a rather convincing thesis why this should not be an issue, basing it on the life of Jesus. Although he doesn't perhaps hold this view himself, it provides the justification King Ecbert seeks for providing Judith with a teacher.
He is present with Ecbert and Aethelwulf at the death of Bishop Unwan and learns of King Aelle's death. Bishop Edmund does a fair job of reining Ecbert and Aethelwulf in when they start getting bloodthirsty. When Aethelwulf's army is defeated, he crowns him as the new King of Wessex and Mercia. When Aethelwulf demands to evacuate the city, Edmund chooses to stay by King Ecbert's side when the Great Heathen Army is approaching, bringing their certain deaths. This is quite heartwarming for a rather spineless character. It becomes even more heartwarming when Ecbert, upon committing suicide, remembers the voices of all those dear to him. Edmund is one of them. He is finally killed by Hvitserk. He embraces the Vikings with his arms wide open and forgives them before they stab him. It's enough to both Floki who is unused to Christians dying with honor.
Bishop Edmund is based on the historical figure Eadmund of Winchester. He was a 9th century Englishman believed to have been Bishop of Winchester between 833 and 838 AD. However, following further studies, he is no longer listed to have been bishop.
- It was near mandatory in the Medieval Era for kings to have bishops as advisors, especially as kings were expected to rule by the word of God and the Bible. Bishops were thus prominent and trusted advisors, providing advice to kings in all areas of governance. The British House of Lords, itself a distant remnant of the feudal Medieval Age, had senior ecclesiastics (Archbishops of Canterbury and York) as members within it.
|Season two appearances|
|Brother's War||Invasion||Treachery||Eye For an Eye||Answers in Blood|
|Unforgiven||Blood Eagle||Boneless||The Choice||The Lord's Prayer|
|Season three appearances|
|Mercenary||The Wanderer||Warrior's Fate||Scarred||The Usurper|
|Born Again||Paris||To the Gates!||Breaking Point||The Dead|
|Season four appearances|
|A Good Treason||Kill the Queen||Mercy||Yol||Promised|
|What Might Have Been||The Profit and the Loss||Portage||Death All 'Round||The Last Ship|
|The Outsider||The Vision||Two Journeys||In the Uncertain Hour Before the Morning||All His Angels|
|Crossings||The Great Army||Revenge||On the Eve||The Reckoning|