This is his biography. It is, of course, entirely fictional.
Godfrid was a swineherd, and the son of a swineherd. His grandfather was probably also a swineherd. He was born and raised on the moors bordering the lands of the Sumorsaete, a wild untamed country in the heart of Wessex. His family didn't concern themselves in politics and wars, they just tried to scratch out a living. Their thegn was fair, and protected them in exchange for some of their swine-meat and some work on his fields. Their life wasn't pleasant, but at least it wasn't turbulent.
Anglo-Saxon social order didn't have the sort of career ladders you see these days. Ceorls (peasants) remained ceorls, and so did their children. The warrior class of thegns acted as lords, protecting and leading the peasants. This was fine, against bandits and other thegns. But these thegns were often merely part-time soldiers: the Vikings were full-time warriors.
Godfrid ended up in the lands of the Sumorsaete, where he found work on the farm of the great Anir Thegn. Here he learnt why the Vikings had attacked, about the defeat of the Saxons at their hands and how King Alfred had fled to hide in the marshes. Those were harrowing days, when all men of Anir's farm had to learn spear-and-shield drill to defend the land against the Vikings who searched Wessex for the defeated King.
King Alfred was a military genius. At one point, every kingdom of the Saxons had fallen and only Alfred's Wessex still stood. And then he lost a battle, his army was destroyed and he was forced to live in the swamps of the Somerset Levels. It looked as if all England had fallen under the Vikings. And yet in one year Alfred managed to entirely rebuild his army and force the Vikings out of Wessex and into a peace treaty. He then built up a network of fortified burghs defending the borders of Wessex, and waited for the next Viking attack. Whenever attacks came, Alfred's forces pushed back, expanding Wessex before forcing another restrictive peace treaty down the Viking throats.
However, whilst Godfrid did quite enjoy the life of a warrior and the company of the Sumorsaete, his heart was not in the killing. He craved a return to his old life, to a time of peace and pigs. He also struggled with his conscience, seeking to reconcile the Christian teachings of peace and love with a life of battle.
Alfred's rebirth of England was as much about his intellectual as his martial achievements. Following the Carolingian Renaissance, Alfred sought to spread literacy and knowledge through Wessex. The monastries and priests were key in this. The conversion of the Vikings was another major project of Alfred's- he quite often made it a condition of peace treaties!
Made by Hauk, DAS Secretary & Wychwood Old Git - Main page: www.haukr.co.uk - Email: firstname.lastname@example.org