In the hit series Vikings, Judith (Jennie Jacques) is the formidable wife of Aethelwulf (Moe Dunford). He’s the son of King Ecbert of Wessex (Linus Roache), and he’s next in line for the throne. Their marriage is politically arranged, and consequently, it isn’t a love match. However, Judith finds what she’s looking for with others, and she had two affairs over the course of her marriage to Aethelwulf in Vikings.
Who is Judith?
Judith is the daughter of King Aelle of Northumbria (Ivan Kaye). He agrees to her marriage to Aethelwulf to cement an alliance between the two kingdoms against attacks from Vikings. Aelle also hopes to wield influence and control on Wessex through his daughter’s marriage. Judith will step up and settle into her role as first the wife of Aethelwulf, then the Queen, and finally the mother to a King.
The first affair with Athelstan in season 3
The minute Judith lays eyes on Athelstan (George Blagden), things change for her. Athelstan is a former monk turned Viking that was abducted by Ragnar Lothbrok (Travis Fimmel) in the first ever raid on England at Lindisfarne. He’s with Ragnar when he lands in Wessex, and he helps the two sides communicate on more than one occasion.
Judith takes a liking to him and doesn’t hide her feelings in the slightest, even asking to touch his hands where he was crucified with nails. She kisses the scar on his hand, and that’s just the start of things to come.
She continues to actively pursue him, and she even details a dream she had about him and in it, they had relations. On another occasion, she admits she “wanted something to happen” between them when they were in a Roman bath with Ecbert and Lagertha (Katheryn Winnick). They eventually sleep together on at least one occasion, admitting to loving each other.
Judith gets pregnant with Athelstan’s child
Athelstan returns to Kattegat with Ragnar, but from his union with Judith comes Alfred, their son, and Judith is punished by having her ear cut off for adultery. But Ecbert decides to let her go (he intended to have both of her ears and nose cut off as well) and give her his protection when she admits that Athelstan is the father. Ecbert believes that Athelstan “is a holy man,” so he takes care of the child and decides to protect Judith.
The second affair with King Ecbert in season 3 and 4
But that isn’t Judith’s only affair. Ecbert has protected both Judith and her son from harm and ridicule and from her own husband, who isn’t too happy about her cheating on him. Ecbert kisses her on one occasion, and on another he says that he offers his protection, but “there must be recompense,” asking her to be his mistress eventually. It’s alluded to that Judith and Ecbert sleep together in season 3. She forms a relationship with her father-in-law.
But while her husband is away in season 4, Judith has a change of heart, telling Ecbert that he shouldn’t “presume” things will continue as they have. He tells her that he wants Judith to be “free,” and he asks her what she’s always wanted to do. She admits that she wants to be a “painter, like Athelsten.” Athelstan painted the sacred texts, and it’s what Judith wants to do as well. When Ecbert hires her a teacher, Judith decides to be Ecbert’s mistress again for a number of years.
Judith has two affairs while married to Aethelwulf, one with Athelstan and another with King Ecbert in Vikings.
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