Credit: Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic

As BBC America’s The Last Kingdom begins filming, the ensemble cast that will be populating 9th-century Britain has been announced.

American Horror Story‘s Alexander Dreymon leads the cast as the hero Uhtred. Born to a Saxon nobleman, Uhtred is orphaned and then raised by the Vikings. With his new family, Uhtred has witnessed the Vikings dominate all of England, save for the Kingdom of Wessex. Uhtred will navigate both sides of the war, determining where his true allegiance lies and what role he will play in the country’s future.

Dreymon is joined by Rutger Hauer, Ripper Street‘s David Dawson, Emily Cox, Matthew Macfadyen, Ian Hart, Tobias Santelmann, Thomas W. Gabrielsson, and several other actors in the principal cast.

Dawson will play King Alfred the Great, the king of Wessex who has protected his kingdom as the sole area having resisted the Viking threat—making it, as the title suggests, the last kingdom.

Filming is underway for the first eight-episode series. Kingdom promises to stay rooted in historical fiction—so don’t expect dragons to rain fire down upon Wessex any time soon. But writer Stephen Butchard has plenty of material to pull from: Based on Bernard Cowell’s The Saxon Stories book series, Kingdom has eight novels on which to base future series.