NB - Don't read this first if you haven't yet watched the second episode, and are intending to!
As I thought, Alfred is made out to be a weedy looking character who is rather suspiciously intelligent. Certainly not classic hero material. The justification for this (apart from the need to leave the hero stuff to Uhtred) is, at least in part, I imagine, the reference which I think is in Asser's Life of Alfred to some mysterious malady from which he suffered.
|The Uffington White Horse. This is where the battle took place.|
The episode ended with the Danes and the Saxons lined up ready to begin the Battle of Ashdown. Alfred's older brother, Aethelred, is still the king at this stage. In the contemporary records, it says that Aethelred delayed getting the battle started because he was busy praying - but in this version, it's the king who's raring to go, and Alfred who, so far, is nowhere to be seen.
He was a clever and cultured man and a great strategist, But I hope they don't forget he was a great fighter too.