Home TV Shows & Movies Is ‘The Winter King’ Real? Who Were The Saxons?

Is ‘The Winter King’ Real? Who Were The Saxons?

MGM+’s fresh series, “The Winter King,” inspired by King Arthur, comes from a trilogy penned by the famous historical writer Bernard Cornwell, who also wrote the Sharpe series. Cornwell’s work is known for its meticulous research. Though King Arthur’s tales have been around for ages, historians still debate whether such a person ever lived. The earliest stories emerged long after Arthur’s supposed time.

The show’s grand design, convincing acting, and gripping plot might lead you to question if it’s based on real events. Shall we explore?

Is “The Winter King” Real?

Is The Winter King Real
Source: The Winter King, MGM+

No, it’s not. “The Winter King” is a fictional adaptation of Bernard Cornwell’s “The Warlord Chronicles” trilogy, a creative take on Arthurian legends. These books, published between 1995 and 1997, were highly praised. The story of “The Winter King” masterfully weaves historical facts with fictional elements. For instance, the Battle of Badon Hill in the book is supported by various studies.

The show’s portrayal of war weapons and tactics is considered historically accurate, offering a peek into the era’s technological progress. The Celtic religion and mythology are also accurately depicted, reflecting their influence on people’s thoughts and conversations at the time.

The show’s main plot truthfully illustrates the political scene of the time, with Britain fragmented into small kingdoms fighting the Saxons. This significant part of history was crafted after thorough research into fifth-century Britain and is even seen by many as a reliable historical source. Since the series is based on Cornwell’s books, and he’s involved in its creation, we can trust that these historical accuracies will be maintained.

Who Were The Saxons in “The Winter King”?

Who Were The Saxons in The Winter King
Source: The Winter King, MGM+

The Anglo-Saxons were a mix of people from northern Europe, mingling with native British people and later bumping heads with Viking and Danish invaders. They were in charge politically until 1066, when their last king lost his throne. During their rule, they created a unique identity and way of life. These Saxons were often on the move but originally came from the coastal areas of today’s Netherlands, Germany, and Denmark. The Romans didn’t think highly of them, labeling them as pirates and wild Germanic groups from the north before the fifth century CE.

Their battles with the Romans even slowed down Roman expansion into Europe in the second and third centuries CE. But after kicking the Romans out, the Saxons’ influence began to grow across Scandinavia, Britain, and Germany. It’s a tale of a people who left a mark on the regions they touched.

By the sixth century CE, the Franks described the inhabitants of central Germany’s mountains as Saxons, who also populated the North Sea’s coastal areas. The Saxons lacked culture or formal social structure. They had no written language, and the neighboring Franks viewed them as godless wanderers without a king. The Saxons became a target for ambitious Frankish rulers, leading to several unsuccessful military campaigns to subdue them. This rich tapestry of history and fiction is what makes “The Winter King” a fascinating watch. (Based on Thecollector)