Get up to speed for The Last Kingdom’s Netflix film.
Warning: spoilers for The Last Kingdom seasons 1-5 and the Saxon Stories .
It’s been over a year since The Last Kingdom TV series ended, and this multi-location show with its many Aethelflaeds, Aethelreds, Aethelhelms, Aethelstans, Aelswiths and Aelfwynns (honestly just the tip of the ‘ae’ iceberg) has never been the easiest to keep straight. If you’d benefit from a reminder of where things were left and who everybody is in new feature length Netflix film Seven Kings Must Die then, you’re more than excused.
First of all, it’s important to know that the TV show ended roughly in line with events at the end of The Flame Bearer, Book 10 in Bernard Cornwell’s Saxon Stories saga. That’s when Uhtred Ragnarsson took possession of his ancestral fortress of Bebbanburg, after winning it back from his treacherous cousin Whitgar. Three further novels exist (War of the Wolf, Sword of Kings, and War Lord) to conclude Uhtred’s story, which means a lot of book action was skipped in the time jump between the season five finale and Seven Kings Must Die.
How Much Time Has Passed Since Season 5?
The Last Kingdom timeline is a bit of a nonsense, because if we count up all of Uhtred’s exploits and cross reference them with the show’s historical touchpoints, the character would be pushing 70 by the time of the film. Actor Alexander Dreymon is only 40 years old and greying wig aside, they haven’t tried to age him up for the Netflix movie, which everybody can agree is for the best.
Ad – content continues below
Assuming that season five took place in the late AD nine-tens (Lady Aethelflaed’s death happened in AD918), then there’s around a six year time jump between it and the film, which starts with the death of King Edward in AD924 and ends with the battle of Brunanburh in AD937. Technically, that means the film spans a time period of 13 years, but it feels like nothing of the sort so really we’re best off ignoring the timeline altogether and just enjoying the action.
Where Are Eadith, Stiorra, Aelswith and Aelfwynn?
During that time jump between the TV show and the film, several long-standing characters either died off-screen or moved away without explanation. In the season five finale, Eadith, Aelswith and Stiorra were all planning to stay in Bebbanburg, but by the time of the film, they’re nowhere to be seen, and neither is Lady Aethelflaed’s daughter Aelfwynn.
Presumably Abbess Hild returned to the holy island of Lindisfarne after delivering Uhtred’s son Osbert back to him, and Queen Aelswith finally died after surviving on the TV show much longer than her real-world counterpart. Eadith was a travelling healer, so let’s say she went back to Francia (though in book 11, War of the Wolf, Uhtred and Eadith marry but she dies of plague in the next instalment).
Also, obviously don’t expect to see Brida, Lady Aethelflaed, ‘Baby Monk’ Osferth, Stiorra’s husband Sigtryggr, Danish warrior Haesten or the scheming Lord Aethelhelm, because they all died in season five.
Bebbanburg, and Uhtred’s Deal With Scottish King Constantin
At the end of season five, Uhtred finally reclaimed his ancestral fortress of Bebbanburg after it had been usurped first by his uncle Aelfric and then by his cousin Whitgar. His lands however, remained contested territory between Wessex King Edward and King Constantin of Scotland, both of whom wanted to claim Northumbria as their own. Uhtred’s cousin Whitgar had sworn Bebbanburg to King Constantin, who fought to keep his Scottish claim on the fortress.
Uhtred made a deal with King Constantin that he would not swear Bebbanburg to King Edward and in exchange, Constantin would give up his claim on the lands. Aiming to end division and establish a safe Saxon land where Danes could thrive, Uhtred declared “We will remain between the two, sworn to neither, to ensure peace.” Edward was obviously frustrated by this deal, because it stopped him from fulfilling his father Alfred’s dream of uniting the kingdoms to create England.
Ad – content continues below
At the start of Seven Kings Must Die, Uhtred has been living in Bebbanburg for several years, feasting and hunting and enjoying the relative peace. His men Finan and Sihtric are with him, as is his youngest son Osbert.
Uhtred’s Son Osbert
Uhtred had three children with his second wife Gisela, who died giving birth to their youngest son Osbert early on in season three. When Uhtred’s children Young Uhtred and Stiorra were re-introduced in season four, their younger brother was nowhere to be seen and went unmentioned. Uhtred struggled with his eldest son’s pious Christianity and lack of interest in warfare, and was much closer in temperament to his warrior daughter Stiorra, who worshipped the Norse gods and chose to marry the Danish warrior Sigtryggr.
It wasn’t until the end of season five that the Osbert mystery was solved. Uhtred’s youngest had been raised by Uhtred’s longtime friend the Abbess Hild on the holy island of Lindisfarne. He had no knowledge of who his father was and only met him once Bebbanburg had been restored to him. By the time of Seven Kings Must Die, Osbert has been living with his father at the fortress and training to become a warrior, while his older brother Uhtred has moved to Rome to become a Christian scholar.
Osbert was played by actor Olly Rhodes in season five and is played by 25-year-old Jacob Dudman in Seven Kings Must Die.
Edward’s Sons Aethelstan, Aelfweard and Edmund
The real King Edward the Elder had five sons, but the important ones in Seven Kings Must Die are half-brothers Aethelstan, Aelfweard and Edmund. In the TV show, Aethelstan was born along with a twin sister from Edward’s secret first marriage to a commoner.
Edward’s mother Aelswith conspired with the treacherous Lord Aethelhelm to call the marriage illegitimate and sent the children and their mother away from Winchester. Edward then married the wealthy Lord Aethelhelm’s daughter Aelflaed and had a second son Aelfweard. After Aelflaed’s death, Edward remarried Eadgifu and had sons Edmund and Eadred.
Ad – content continues below
When Edward died, the legitimacy of his eldest son’s claim to the throne was questioned by some and the crown was contested between half-brothers Aethelstan and Aelfweard. Eadgifu’s child Edmund’s life was also in danger after Edward passed away because, in Uhtred’s words, “no-one likes the third son of a dead king.”
Uhtred and Aethelstan
Queen Aelswith later regretted her actions in separating Edward from his first wife and sought out the child Aethelstan to repent. Aethelstan had been raised in a convent and was then put under Uhtred’s protection. Uhtred swore an oath of loyalty to the future king and trained the boy in fighting and leadership. Aethelstan was distanced from his father Edward and looked up to Uhtred as a parental figure.
In season five, Edward’s marriage to Queen Aelflaed suffered as her piety, and his disinterest, grew. When Eadgifu of Kent came to Winchester to petition Edward for a ruling on her father’s lands, he made her his mistress. After Queen Aelflaed was murdered on the road to a site of pilgrimage, Edward married Eadgifu and had several children including sons Edmund and Eadred.
After Edward’s death in Seven Kings Must Die, the widow Eadgifu seeks protection for herself and her son Edmund from Uhtred in Bebbanburg.
Uhtred has had the same sword since he was a young man. Serpent’s Breath has an amber stone embedded in its pommel, which is an heirloom from Uhtred’s Saxon family at Bebbanburg. He wore it first as a pendant and then as part of his sword when he became a warrior.
Who Are the Seven Kings?
While the prophecy that “seven kings must die, and the woman you love” is said by a witch in Bernard Cornwell’s books, in the film it’s spoken by Finan’s wife Ingrith following a prophetic dream. Exactly who the seven kings might be is up for debate, but five ‘kings’ are recorded in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle as having fought against Aethelstan in the Battle of Brunanburh, along with seven Danish Jarls. Though King Edward may be counted among the prophesied dead, Uhtred at first declares in the Netflix film that as he is no king and has no woman, the words are meaningless.
Ad – content continues below
The Last Kingdom: Seven Kings Must Die is out now on Netflix.
Seven Kings Must Die is the culmination of the story that began in The Last Kingdom, spanning decades of real history. At its core is the struggle between Saxons and Danes in the 9th-and 10th-century when England was not one nation, but a series of independent kingdoms variously overrun or ravaged by Vikings.Is Seven Kings Must Die based on history? ›
Seven Kings Must Die is the culmination of the story that began in The Last Kingdom, spanning decades of real history. At its core is the struggle between Saxons and Danes in the 9th-and 10th-century when England was not one nation, but a series of independent kingdoms variously overrun or ravaged by Vikings.How accurate is Seven Kings Must Die? ›
The story is based on a series of books, but they are not true stories. It appears that the confusion comes from the author blending real historical characters and events into the narrative, giving it an air of authenticity.How does 7 Kings Must die end? ›
Thanks to Uhtred's military nous (in the screen version at least), the Danish-Scottish alliance lost the battle, and King Aethelstan's troops won, ensuring his reign over a united England.Who are the 7 Kings? ›
- Contantine II of Scotland.
- Æthelstan of Wessex, Mercia and East Anglia.
- Owain of Strathclyde.
- Hywel of Wales.
- An unnamed king of Orkney.
- An unnamed king of Shetland.
- An unnamed king of the Isle of Man.
It is a sequel to the The Last Kingdom television series. Alexander Dreymon reprised his role as Uhtred of Bebbanburg. It was released by Netflix on 14 April 2023. It is intended to act as the conclusion to the series and the story.Did Uhtred exist? ›
Uhtred of Bamburgh (sometimes Uchtred; died c. 1016), was ruler of Bamburgh and from 1006 to 1016 the ealdorman of Northumbria. He was the son of Waltheof I, ruler of Bamburgh (Bebbanburg), whose family the Eadwulfings had ruled the surrounding region for over a century.Is anything accurate in The Last Kingdom? ›
The Last Kingdom has always made an effort to be as historically accurate as possible. While the books the show is based on — The Saxon Stories by Bernard Cornwell — are fiction, Cornwall certainly knows his history.Why is Seven Kings called Seven Kings? ›
Seven Kings, Redbridge
Seofeca may (at best) have been a local Saxon chief. In 1285† the spelling was rendered as Sevekyngges – and it must have been around this time that someone noticed a resemblance to the words 'Seven Kings'.
That said, it seems like Uhtred does die at the end of Seven Kings Must Die. After all, he suffered a grievous injury during the battle. While he awoke back in his home, surrounded by friends and family, he sees a vision of the halls of Valhalla as the film comes to a close.
The story began in 866, with a 9 year old Uhtred (12 years old in the TV show) which means Uhtred is 30 years old by the books reckoning and 33 according to the show, at the conclusion of season two.What did the king do in the end? ›
You see, William is going to make a lot of money off his share of the newly acquired land. Hal tries to get William to recount how he caught the assassin, and none of his answers add up. Once William basically confesses, Hal kills the traitor himself.What comes after death of kings? ›
The Last Kingdom Series 11 Books Collection Set (1-11)(Death of Kings,Warriors of the Storm,The Pagan Lord,The Empty Throne,The Last Kingdom,The Lord of the North,Sword Song,The Burning Land...Who is the true ruler of the 7 Kingdoms? ›
When Aegon was anointed by the High Septon at Oldtown's Starry Sept after the Conquest, he was named "Aegon of House Targaryen, the First of His Name, King of the Andals, the Rhoynar, and the First Men, Lord of the Seven Kingdoms, and Protector of the Realm".Who is the true king of the Seven Kingdoms? ›
Bran Stark Became the King of Westeros in the Game of Thrones Season Eight Finale. Here's what that means for the Seven Kingdoms. Bran is now the King of Westeros. In the final episode of Season Eight of Game of Thrones, the leaders of the Westerosi kingdoms got together and decided to elect Bran the Broken their ruler ...Who is the true king of all kings? ›
In Judaism, Melech Malchei HaMelachim ("the King of Kings of Kings") came to be used as a name of God. "King of Kings" (βασιλεὺς τῶν βασιλευόντων) is also used in reference to Jesus Christ several times in the Bible, notably in the First Epistle to Timothy and twice in the Book of Revelation.Does Uhtred die in the books? ›
Does Uhtred die in the books? By the end of War Lord, Uhtred is well into his sixties, perhaps older, and thinking ahead to the end of his life. He and his brother-in-arms Finan will both die soon, he reflects. Finan has requested that his body be taken to Ireland “to sleep with his ancestors.”Is Alexander Dreymon married? ›
|Partner(s)||Allison Williams (2019–present; engaged)|
Although the Saxon Kingdom of Northumbria has long since fallen, you can find Uhtred's precious Bebbanburg in the county of Northumberland in England today. The village is called Bamburgh on the Northumberland coastline, Bebbanburg being the old Saxon word for Bambugh.Who is Uhtred's hidden son? ›
Osbert is Uhtred's son on The Last Kingdom
Hild helped deliver the baby and broke the bad news to Uhtred. At the time, Uhtred was so grief-stricken he could barely hold young Osbert, which incidentally is also Uhtred's original name.
Mercia was a kingdom during the Anglo-Saxon Heptarchy; see Medieval Britain and Ireland for context. Its territory was centred around what is today the English Midlands, divided into the East Midlands and West Midlands on Wikivoyage. Its capital was in the modern city of Tamworth.Was Brida a real person in history? ›
In the show, Brida is a fictitious character who swore revenge against Uhtred. One of the first steps in her revenge is to attack his children. She takes over Jorvik, where Uhtred's daughter, Stiorra, rules with Sigtryggr and cruelly castrates his son, Young Uhtred.What is the meaning of Arseling? ›
The Oxford English Dictionary (OED) defines arseling as meaning “backwards” and having been derived from the noun arse and the suffix –ling. Being a dictionary on historical principles, the OED also provides information about the past usage of the word.Did Ragnar Ragnarson exist? ›
While some of the characters are based on real historical figures, Ragnar Ragnarsson in The Last Kingdom has often been confused with the real Viking warrior - Ragnar Lothbrok. In the series, Ragnar Ragnarsson was the son of Earl Ragnar the Fearless (Peter Gantzler), but he is not based on a real person.What was the name of the last of the 7 kings? ›
|King of Rome|
|Last monarch||Lucius Tarquinius Superbus|
The War of the Seven Kings was a multi-theatre conflict fought in the Seven Kingdoms of Westeros from 298 AC to 301 AC in the wake of the death of King Robert I, though some hostilities arose again during the First and Second wars of Reclamation.Is Chadwell Heath a city? ›
Chadwell Heath is an area in east London, England. It is situated on the boundary of the London Borough of Barking and Dagenham and the London Borough of Redbridge, around 2 miles (3.2 km) west of Romford and 4 miles (6.4 km) east of Ilford, and 12 miles (19 km) north-east of Charing Cross.Who kills Aethelred The Last Kingdom? ›
The Last Kingdom sees Aethelred sustain a fatal head injury at Tettenhall. Despite the fact he is only expected to live for a few days (a fiction: Aethelred died in 911), Eardwulf kills him in his sickbed.What happens to Uhtred's last son? ›
In Uhtred's absence, his children were taken into Alfred's 'care' and baptised as Christians. Young Uhtred became a Christian cleric and moved to a monastery, while Stiorra remained true to her mother's Danish roots while being raised in Aethelflaed's palace.Was Uhtred cursed in The Last Kingdom? ›
Uhtred and his men rode north, where he encountered Danish seer Skade, who offered to share her body and her power with him. Uhtred refused and took her hostage, so she cursed him, making him gravely ill until Brida cured his illness using ritual magic, but not lifting the curse.
Uhtred is still very much in love with Lady Aethelflaed (Millie Brady). He is Lord of Rumcofa, which is a border town of Mercia (the land over which Aethelflaed rules).How many wives did Uhtred have in The Last Kingdom? ›
Lord Uhtred and his first wife had Uhtred, but she sadly died shortly after giving birth to him. He remarried to a Mercian noblewoman, Lady Æthelgifu, that union produced a son; Osbert (later known as Uhtred) in 857.How much older is Uhtred than Aethelflaed? ›
Aethelflaed is about 4 years older than her brother Edward and about 14 years younger than Uhtred. By the time she and Uhtred strike up their secretive relationship in The Last Kingdom season 4, she would be about 30 years old, whereas Uhtred would be about 44.Why was the king happy at the end? ›
The king was very happy to have made peace with his enemy so easily, and to have won him over as a friend.What did the king do to stop bleeding? ›
The king washed and covered it with his handkerchief, but the blood would not stop flowing. The king re-dressed the wound until at last, the bleeding stopped.Why did the king execute his cousin? ›
Henry ordered the execution of his cousin, the Earl of Cambridge, along with Lord Scroop and Sir Thomas Grey because the three men had agreed to turn Henry over to the French for money. This would have upset Henry's plans to reclaim lands he was told he had familial rights to in France and was a significant betrayal.Which king died before? ›
|Emperor of India|
|Reign||11 December 1936 – 15 August 1947|
By the time that last one happens in season 5, Uhtred is 62 years old, and yet he still looks pretty much like he did back in season 1.Who ruled 7 kingdoms before Targaryens? ›
|The North||House Stark House Bolton (300–303 AC)||Kingdom of the North|
|The Vale of Arryn||House Arryn||Kingdom of Mountain and Vale|
|The Riverlands||House Tully House Frey (300–303 AC)||Kingdom of the Isles and the Rivers|
|The Iron Islands||House Greyjoy||Kingdom of the Isles and the Rivers|
Relation to the Iron Thorne: He is the King of the Seven Kingdoms. In other words, all final decisions are his. Vantages: Despite being controlled by his family, Joffrey is still the de jure king of the Seven Kingdoms and traditional institutionalization supports his power.
Ascending to the throne after Maegor's death, Jaehaerys began the longest reign in Targaryen history, sitting on the throne for 55 years. Known as "the Conciliator" and "the Wise," Jaehaerys's reign started when he was just 14 years old, but was marked by thoughtfulness and wisdom.Who is Jon Snow's twin sister? ›
After the conclusion of the Great War and the Battle of King's Landing and following the assassination of Queen Daenerys Targaryen. With Valerie Targaryen who is still adjusting to finding out she is the twin sister to Jon Snow as well as the secret daughter of Rhaegar Targaryen and Lyanna Stark.Will Rhaenyra become queen? ›
In Fire and Blood by George R.R. Martin, Rhaenyra does indeed take the Iron Throne and become queen over the Seven Kingdoms, however, her reign is short-lived.Who took the throne after Rhaenyra Targaryen? ›
Genghis Khan could be an obvious answer. He built the world's largest contiguous empire. However, one nonobvious answer you might not know is Emperor Ashoka.Who was the 1st king? ›
It is difficult to determine who exactly was the first known king in human history and there are several contenders for this honor. However, numerous sources cite King Sargon of Akkad as the first king in human history, or rather, the first king that was not considered a myth or legend.Who is the mother of all kings? ›
"Because the virgin Mary was raised to such a lofty dignity as to be the mother of the King of kings, it is deservedly and by every right that the Church has honored her with the title of 'Queen'."Is King of Kings historically accurate? ›
King of Kings may or may not be historically accurate, but makes for great entertainment. That said, the scenes with Jesus are almost all derived from the Gospel. Jeffrey Hunter is an excellent Jesus,emphasizing the gentleness and conveying the inner spiritual strength that the real Jesus must have possessed.Is the movie The King based on historical fact? ›
The retelling is mostly based off the plays Henry IV, part I and part II, and Henry V. While these plays are historical and roughly based off the actual events and encounters of the time, the retelling is not entirely accurate, and neither is The King.Is The King based on history? ›
In Netflix's The King, Timothée Chalamet stars as real-life king Henry V of England. But Henry wasn't destined to sit on the throne. We explain the combination of chance and skill that led to his ascent in this real, wild historical companion to the film.
The King (2019 film)
|Written by||David Michôd Joel Edgerton|
|Based on||Henry IV, Part 1, Henry IV, Part 2 and Henry V by William Shakespeare|
INRI is generally thought of to refer to “Iesus Nazarenus, Rex Iudaeorum,” meaning “Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews,” but apparently there's more.Who was the first real king? ›
Meet the world's first emperor
King Sargon of Akkad—who legend says was destined to rule—established the world's first empire more than 4,000 years ago in Mesopotamia.
Prince Hal is the standard term used in literary criticism to refer to Shakespeare's portrayal of the young Henry V of England as a prince before his accession to the throne, taken from the diminutive form of his name used in the plays almost exclusively by Falstaff.What did Henry V really look like? ›
“He had a long face, a straight nose, and a broad forehead,” historian Ian Mortimer writes in Henry V: The Warrior King of 1415. His thick brown hair was “cut short at the sides and the back,” and his physique was slim yet athletic.Why did The King execute his cousin? ›
Henry ordered the execution of his cousin, the Earl of Cambridge, along with Lord Scroop and Sir Thomas Grey because the three men had agreed to turn Henry over to the French for money. This would have upset Henry's plans to reclaim lands he was told he had familial rights to in France and was a significant betrayal.Who was the first true king of all England? ›
The first king of England
It was Edward's son, Æthelstan, who first controlled the whole area that would form the kingdom of England. Æthelstan's sister had married Sihtric, the Viking ruler of the Northumbrians. When Sihtric died in 927, Æthelstan succeeded to that kingdom.
Character and ability of Henry V
Although personally lacking in warmth, he had the capacity to inspire devotion in others, and he possessed high qualities of leadership. His piety was genuine, and on his deathbed he expressed a last wish that he might live to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem in a new crusade.
Arguably the two most benevolent monarchs in history would be Cyrus of Persia and Ashoka of India. Cyrus was tolerant to all who lived under his empire and allowed them to practice their religions and maintain their forms of government asking only for a yearly tribute.Did England ever rule France? ›
You may have noticed that France isn't part of Britain. But at one time the Kings of England ruled enormous chunks of what is now France. The French Connection all began when Duke William of Normandy became King William I of England in 1066.
As part of the treaty following the battle of Agincourt, Henry V (1386–1422) – Shakespeare's 'Prince Harry' – married the French princess Catherine (1401–1437) in 1420, depicted here in a copy of the history of the French monarchs, the Chroniques de France.How old was King Henry the 5th when crowned? ›
Henry IV died in 1413, and the 26-year-old prince took the throne as Henry V.