Uhtred is an aggressive, opportunistic reactor, who never backs down from a fight, who is the first person to instigate conflict, and who trusts his ability to read situations and responds to them implicitly. He is terrific at reacting in the moment, whether that involves changing loyalties when a more advantageous offer comes along, or snatching a broken branch and dragging it behind his horse to obscure his trail. He undertakes risky ventures, from setting a bunch of Dane ships alight, to facing the Danes’ greatest warrior in single combat, and somehow, always emerges with his life intact. He enjoys and pursues riches and is fond of sex and life’s pleasures (great halls, fine food, the best wine, beautiful companions). He pursues what he believes he is “owed” with unflinching determination; he swears to his Danish brother that he will avenge their father’s death at his side, no matter where his loyalties lie. When Uhtred gives his sworn word, he follows through on it. He acts on what he believes is “just” whether or not other people like it (sometimes, he can be cruel, such as killing a man for harvesting his trees, despite his wife’s appeals to be forgiving). He absolutely refuses to bend his knee, to embrace the Christian god, to show deference to Christian customs, or to humble himself before Alfred, despite urgings, appeals, and commands. His wife’s opinion matters little to him; and when she goes against his wishes and baptizes their son, he refuses to have anything more to do with either of them. He has simply “fallen out” of love with her. A shrewd negotiator, motivated primarily through a desire for wealth and other tangible pleasures, Uhtred cares about the bottom line, about how much money he is owed, about reclaiming his rightful property, about his wife receiving her full bride price, and the king paying him “well” for his services. He can be brutal in his tendency to stick with absolute authority to what he believes should be “the law.” Uhtred sees no point in being loyal if it pays nothing. He tends to act on his feelings, often putting them ahead of tactical advantages. Foreseeing consequences is his blind spot. Uhtred does have a single-minded vision for what he wants (wealth, respect, property) but constantly makes major errors in judgment in how he goes about getting it. After defeating the Danes, when others tell him to hurry and ride to Alfred, to tell him the truth, get his debt reduced, and receive praise, Uhtred scorns the idea that Alfred would believe anyone else did it, claims the other soldiers will back him up, and rides off to meet his infant son instead. This loses him the praise of victory, since another, wealthier lord has already claimed the credit. He foolishly tells another Dane lord his real name, while conducting illegal raids in Britain, which means a fleeing monk carries his true identity back to Alfred, who condemns him to death for breaking the peace between nations. He fails to comprehend Alfred’s true reason for giving him “a beautiful wife” until it is too late to go back on the deal. But he lives his life by the abstract mantra “destiny is all.”

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Uhtred is all about power, control, and resisting others controlling him, which sets him up for immediate conflict with Albert, who tries consistently to reign him in and tie him to the throne, knowing the “pagan” is a valuable asset against the Danes. We see many instances of Uhtred reacting with aggression, anger, belligerence, and defiance – such as his refusal to grovel, his threatening of the king’s life, his resentment toward his servitude, and his acting out by refusing to choose between the Saxons and the Danes. He sometimes overreacts and ruins his relationships, such as the tantrum he throws when he finds out his wife baptized his son. Uhtred has a great lust for life – he always wants more. More sex (with beautiful women), more treasure (even if he has to steal it), more land (regardless of who owns it). His 7 wing makes him hedonistic, and not very afraid of anything.