As a child, Uhtred witnessed his father being killed and the Saxon army defeated by invading troops. Danish warlord Earl Ragnar captured Uhtred and raised him in a Danish camp alongside fellow captive Brida, a sharp-tongued girl. Years later, Uhtred is a valiant warrior who is dealt another tragic blow when his home is deliberately set on fire, killing his surrogate family, including Ragnar. Now exiled — alone except for Brida by his side — he vows to avenge Ragnar’s death and reclaim his homeland. But, he must choose between his birth country and the people who raised him. If he is going to help birth a new nation and ultimately recapture his ancestral land he must walk dangerous path between both sides.
Diving into the world of ‘The Last Kingdom’ – based on a set of books by Bernard Cornwell [*that are quickly making their way to the top of my to-read-list, I might add*] – I will admit I spent most of my time confused. Firstly, I was confused as to where I had seen Alexander Dreymon before [*turns out he played a minor role as the cute-boy-next-door, Luke Ramsey, who meets an unpleasant fate in ‘American Horror Story: Coven’*], then I wondered why everything I had spent an hour watching made zero sense to me [*which was my own fault as I had watched the first episode of season two instead of season one*], and so it’s safe to say the start of my sword-wielding adventure didn’t go quite to plan.
Yet, I must admit this series really makes up for the tremendous loss I feel after ‘Black Sails’ ended earlier this month. I knew it would be a task to find something to fill its void, but this show really has managed to.
One of the things I really love about this programme, which is something really small but undeniably helpful, is the subtitles that tell you where in ‘The Last Kingdom’ you are, followed by what the location is known as in the present day. It’s just that friendly helping hand that guides you along Uhtred’s adventure.
By the looks of things, each season tries to compact two of Cornwell’s books, which explains the crazy future jumps. E.g. [*Spoiler*] This season there is a three year jump between two episodes.
It brings a spectacular new life to history with lots of blood-thirsty battle scenes, amazingly put together costumes and an interesting take on life as someone who doesn’t really belong to any community.
From comments I have read on various websites, most people feel similarly. It lacks the intensity of ‘Vikings’ and ‘Game of Thrones’ but provides a consistent and interesting show that you look forward to after a day of work, college, etc. Having seen neither ‘Vikings’ nor ‘Game of Thrones’, I cannot say if this description is accurate, but I can agree with one thing: I always look forward to seeing what each episode has in store.
Setting: – Britain, 878
Favourite characters: – Uhtred, Ragnar, Gisela, Sihtric
Hated characters: – The man who killed sweet precious baby Halig in Season 2, Episode 3, Ælfric, Abbot Eadred
Favourite quote: – “Uhtred I’m bored of this, kill them all.” – Ragnar
What I hope for this season: – Lots and lots of Ragnar / Uhtred humour
Rating: – 4.6/5 (I really wanted to give the show more but the death of Halig still stings)