Queering the Anglo-Saxons through their psalms

  • Martine Mussies Utrecht University
Keywords: Alfred the Great, Fan fiction, The Last Kingdom, Slash fiction, Vikings


For fan fiction based on the TV serial drama The Last Kingdom (2014–), some fan fiction authors use fragments of the translations of the Psalms by King Alfred of Wessex (849–899) to firmly ground their stories in the historical reimagination of the Anglo-Saxons. In the short story "Æthelflaed and Lagertha," fan fiction writer Bandi Crawford uses an Alfredian psalm to connect The Last Kingdom to another major TV series, Vikings (2013–). By developing bisexual and biromantic story lines along the lines of Alfredian psalms, the author constructs a twenty-first-century neomedieval-based culture in which the Alfredian psalms are reinterpreted or critically reexamined through a queer lens, thereby negotiating more diversity within a favorite show's story world.