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SilverStormm

The Last Kingdom

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I am loving Alfred.  In the books he seems a bit of a religious zealot, so his quick mind and pragmetism on the show is a nice addition to his character.  

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"Vikings" also has them drinking hallucinating mushroom concoctions.  

 

I think poor Brida just miscarried.  It is confusing to have the same events in the same episode but I think they were unconnected.

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I am still loving this.  All of the characters seem to be so well drawn and defined.  The writing, casting, set design, acting  and directing ( I think) are top notch.  I'm never bored and I'm always happy when I check the time part way through and realized that the episodes run about an hour and 15 minutes (cf.  Homeland and others that only run about 45 minutes.)  Even considering commercials, I feel that I'm getting my money's worth!

 

I do enjoy Alfred and the actor and his heart-shaped face and subtle hints and his digestive maladies, but I enjoy all of the characters, including Uhtred, Brida, the guy who calls Uhtred "arseling", Ubba, young Ragnar, Alfred's wife, Alfred's lover, the dead king's disappointed son.  (Maybe the priest Beocca is  a little annoying. )  At the beginning of the episode I was thinking how much I loved the Brida character and her relationship with Uhtred and I was hoping that she would stay around for a while. I guessed that was a jinx because it looks like she's gone, at least for now.

 

Loved the negotiation scene, including Alfred's attempt to play to the Danes' biggest fear (losing men) and to their pride, when he said something to the effect of  "It's being written down. What people will read is the the Danes got paid in silver for peace." 

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I think this is just fabulous.  For sheer entertainment factor, I LOVE "Vikings" on the History Channel.  But, for all of the grown-up reasons, I really like this show.  I admit, I'm a huge fan of "Sons of Anarchy" so I'm sticking with "The Bastard Executioner" but it is so hit-or-miss with the acting and the writing that I can't give it an unqualified thumbs up.

 

Does this lead actor remind anyone of a cross between Heath Ledger (RIP, Heath!) and Orlando Bloom?  Am I the only one?  Okay, then.

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Ubba is terrifying! His half cunning, half crazy eyes and his misleading soft voice. That negotiation scene with the King and the danes was my best in the whole episode - such command by the actor.

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This is the second episode where the importance of reading and writing is mentioned.

 

I haven't read the books, but I'm guessing this may be an important plot point later on.

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 Does anyone know if those scars Alexander Dreymon's face are real?

He didn't have them (that I noticed) in American Horror Story.  If they are fake, they

look very realistic.

 

     Yes, he looks a bit like Orlando Bloom.

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I'm going to miss Brida. I like how they didn't load her up with Hollywood hair and makeup - she looked real.

 

Ubba is a hoot. Perfect mixture of crazy and curiosity.

 

And Alfred's portrayal is fantastic.

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If you like Alfred in this -- the actor also plays an effeminate reporter in Ripper Street.  It's a very different tole for him (in Ripper Street he has a fake ear that's attached to one temple of his glasses, for example.)

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I'm going to miss Brida. I like how they didn't load her up with Hollywood hair and makeup - she looked real.

 

Ubba is a hoot. Perfect mixture of crazy and curiosity.

 

And Alfred's portrayal is fantastic.

I'm actually glad she's gone.  I liked her character at first, and the actress' performance was fine, but the writing for her was repetitive and one-note to me.  I think it's good that the story has Uhtred moving on.

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I liked Brida as a foil for him -- representing  the old ways pulling and being resistant to change (unlike "Vikings" where they have depicted the same resistance in a character and it's just atrocious -- worst performance of the whole series -- very one-note, nagging, and predictable.  They aim for a sympathetic character who is being true to the old ways and what they have is anvilicious "bad guy" with a performance channeling Gollum from Lord of the Rings.)

Edited by Captanne

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Yeah, I'm really digging this show now.  Even though I love Brida and really enjoy Uhtred, I think it is Alfred that really is making this show compelling now.  I just love how on point he is a lot of the times, and what he considers worthy of sacrifice or worthy of being loyal too (refusing to send Uhtred to his death.)  I do think that he will always look out for himself, but I do think he follows a code of some kind, and truly does think he is doing what is best for Wessex.  But he isn't opposed to manipulation either.  I always enjoy those type of characters.

 

Not surprised Brida left, but I'm sure she won't be gone for too long (or we will be following her to Ireland or whatever.)  I do hope it isn't too long though, because I find myself reading digging Uhtred and Brida, and how they challenge one another.  Even though I was more on Uhtred's side here, I could see where she was coming from.  I'm going to guess though that Brida and Beocca will always butt heads though.

 

Have a feeling the Alfred's nephew is going to be a problem.

 

Still don't know his name, but I'm liking Wessex solider dude that Uhtred is partnered with.  I liked how even he had to admit he was impressed with the wall shield.

 

Ubba sure is something.

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Glad Brida is gone. I did not like her role and after the first episode she became a chore. From the little I read of the books I think Uttred will enter another female partnership now (Mildrith) Note please this is not a spoiler. Her name was mentioned in this episode.

For all of you who think he looks like Bloom, please bite your tongue! Bloom has zero tension in his facial muscles whereas this actor has it much more. I see no resemblance.

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Note please this is not a spoiler.

 

 

With all due respect it is a spoiler.  Yes, that character's name was mentioned as a possible mate, but it doesn't mean it's going to happen.  Please be respectful of viewers like me who haven't read the books.

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If you like Alfred in this -- the actor also plays an effeminate reporter in Ripper Street.  It's a very different tole for him (in Ripper Street he has a fake ear that's attached to one temple of his glasses, for example.)

Having seen him in ripper street and also as the homosexual creator of a famous British soap opera in another TV movie, it was great to see his acting chops here in playing a very different character, and one that commands the screen with his presence. Unfortunately the actors playing Brida and Uhtred don't seem to have as much acting skill, and suffer by comparison, not only to Alfred, but also to the smaller roles, like Alfred's wife and the Guard captain, who are memorable with very little material to work with. Dreymon and Emily Cox  also have to cope with comedy accent syndrome, whereas it never distracts with the real-life Scandies.

 

Still it has sucked me in, i can't wait for more. 

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Glad to see that Alfred doesn't immediately accept Uthred as one of his men: the King's son (I forget his name) has a valid point that they had no reason to trust somebody who grew up a Dane. Obviously, we know Uthred is completely right (and presumably this will incline Alfred to trust him), but their actions were fairly reasonable.

 

Thanks, bunnyblue for pointing out what the point of that humping scene - I tend to just tune out during sex scenes, so clearly I missed the vital exposition in this case. Though the portrayal of priests a quite so otherworldly is inaccurate: at this time, celibacy was not a requirement for the priesthood (though shtupping passing Saxon women was still not allowed!).

 

bunnyblue The actress looks like a makeup-less Rose Byrne and, from certain angles, like Jennifer Connelly

 

I kept thinking it was Gilly from Game of Thrones (Hannah Murray)!

 

BTW, who gets to see this before the UK?

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I'm not sure he gave up being a Dane quickly so much as he's cunning and is playing both sides.  We've been told since he was such a brash kid that he's a "warrior" and then told by the Beocca that he needs to start thinking politically -- we're seeing Uthred's physical (from childhood to adulthood) as well as mental development (he is not only English or only Danish but a man who wants power and land that he thinks is rightfully his) before our eyes.  

 

At first, he was "either this side or that" and clinging to his past.  Now, he's rapidly playing both sides -- it's an evolution.  If he becomes good at both, he'll be unstoppable.

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So, a small compare contrast--I'm loving Show!Alfred so much more than Book!Alfred. Show!Alfred feels more commanding, and I'm thinking it's because we're seeing him more objectively rather than being described by Uhtred. 

 

And as much as they've made about reading/writing, I hope they keep in how Alfred made Uhtred learn to read and write. Also the mention of ships, I'd like to see that, too, but that's another book. I hope that the series gets good ratings and they do series of the other books, too.

 

On the flip side, I find Young Ragnar to be not as joyful, but we just got to see him so maybe that will change.

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A cunning tactical play by King Alfred keeps Uhtred close at heel, but it’s not long before Uhtred realizes he’s been tricked and his relationship with the King hits a new low. King Alfred then invites Uhtred to peace talks only to use him as a pawn, handing Uhtred over as a hostage to the Danes. However, the turn of events reunites Uhtred with his Danish brother Ragnar the Younger. When the tides turn once again and threaten Uhtred’s life, Ragnar proves to be a true ally and quite possibly, Uhtred’s saving grace. Meanwhile, a great battle looms over Wessex.

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Mildrith is beautiful indeed, but clearly Uhtred hasn't forgotten Brida.  This is a nicely written triangle - actually a square with the addition of Ragnar - because there are no clear good guys and bad guys.  

 

The Uhtred butt shot was totally gratuitous, but I'm not complaining!

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As far as I remember, there's not anything about Mildrith and Alfred in the books. There's a lot about Uhtred and how he sees how he was forced into not such a great situation and how he doesn't really relate well to the folks and Mildrith. 

 

The books are not great literature, but they tell a good story and are a fun read. Beocca is different in the books look--he's physically weaker and a bit whinier and excitable. There are also some interesting men and women that are great that we haven't met yet in the show. 

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The Uhtred butt shot was totally gratuitous, but I'm not complaining!

 

             How can a thing of beauty be gratuitous. ;-)

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The absolute best thing about this show is that the performances and overall plot development don't smack you in the face with heavy-handed, manipulative direction (one of the worst offenders--Masterpiece (in the US) Home Fires). Characters are multi-layered and the quietest performances are some of the most intriguing. I also watch Vikings and while I consider that show to be exquisite , TLK is surprisingly very good. It's not as breathtaking visually as V, but I almost think the casting and performances are better.

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Uhtred has one of the best asses on tv. I approve!  I am enjoying this show. It has a sense of humor which I like. I think that Alfred is an ass albeit a clever one. I hope that Uhtred never truly respects him. I am glad that he reunited with Raynar and Brita though.

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I didn't understand why Alfred wouldn't just wait out the Danes rather than feed them and give them hostages. I really like this series but am sad that the priest was killed.

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I didn't understand why Alfred wouldn't just wait out the Danes rather than feed them and give them hostages.

1. His army is mostly levies and they were needed to work their fields. I believe Alfred says he will disband the army so they can do exactly that.

2. He doesn't know how long Ubba will be in Ireland. If he comes back early, Alfred would be trapped between two armies

3. Both sides know he can't retake the fortress so a siege is largely an empty threat.

4. He seems to know that his war with the Danes is just beginning, so giving them food and hostages to save his army is probably better in the long run.

Edited by ZoqFotPik
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Is there anyone who didn't expect Mildrith to be lovely underneath that beekeeper's mask?

That was such a weird looking old timey wedding veil.

 

 

The Uhtred butt shot was totally gratuitous, but I'm not complaining!

I did wonder why BBCA left that unedited but blurred Mildrith's nipple in her later bathing scene. But I don't much care since it was his nudity I was interested in. Nudity from the main cast is one aspect Vikings frustratingly lacks.

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The only complaint I have with this show compared to Vikings is the language between the Danes and Saxons. I love when Vikings has the characters speaking (approximate) language of this day so that a translator is needed. The parlay between Alfred and Guthrun would have been better spoken in olde Anglish and Norse.

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Is there anyone who didn't expect Mildrith to be lovely underneath that beekeeper's mask?

That totally reminded me of Game of Thrones, when the Frey bride's face was covered up, only for Edmure to pull it up and find out she was hot (and would later become Queen Anne in The Musketeers...)  Of course, as Uhtred more or less said, he really should have taken that as a sign that Alfred was up to something.  Oh, well!  I mean, I usually hate love triangles, but I do love hot redheads, and Mildrith is certainly one, plus a lot more.

 

Loved the parlay between Alfred and Guthrun.  Both actors were great in that scene.

 

I still don't know his name to be honest, but I continue to love the Saxon guy that is accompanying Uhtred in his journey.

 

Glad that both Ragnar and Brida are back, and helped out Uhtred when he really, really needed it.

 

Continuing to really enjoy this show. 

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Definitely loving the portrayal of Alfred here - even to the extent (last episode) that he was a bit of a philanderer. And although I have no recollection from the book that Ethelred's son will cause problems, I'm sure he will (though thanks to history, I'm pretty sure Alfred will win!). And I loved the councillor slapping down the little twit of accusing his father of delirium in naming Alfred heir with, "On which occasion?" In any case, as many disputed monarchies have shown (Harold Godwinson, Stephen and Richard III would all take this lesson to heart), the key to claiming a throne is frequently to grab it as soon as it becomes vacant, not to go off and get drunk. Idiot deserves what he got (and I liked Uhtred saying Alfred should kill him before he caused trouble - and Alfred pointing out why that might cause its own problems).

 

Favourite new character? Alfred's new "sparring partner" (Leofric?), because that "Don't like you, but will relish any excuse to kick the crap out of you!" is entirely believable. And I can totally see him as Harper to Uhtred's Sharpe.

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The only complaint I have with this show compared to Vikings is the language between the Danes and Saxons. I love when Vikings has the characters speaking (approximate) language of this day so that a translator is needed. The parlay between Alfred and Guthrun would have been better spoken in olde Anglish and Norse.

Since this take place a century after the Vikings and assuming the Danes have live there for decades, it's possible that they speak the language of the locals. 

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The peace has broken, the Danes are threatening Wessex, and a huge storm rages. Uhtred puts himself forward for a daring stealth mission to outflank the Danes and destroy their ships, but in the process he attracts Ubba’s attention and is challenged to a one-on-one fight to the death. Told as a boy never to fight Ubba, his chances against the man-mountain look slim.

 

Fire in the hole!

 

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Uhtred is such an obnoxious fool, but I think he is a great character. I look forward to Uhtred and his friend going off raiding to get rich.

When are he and Raynar going to find out that their sister is alive and get their revenge?

Alfred is such a pious fool. No doubt he will have to go crawling back to Uhtred for help at soon enough.

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I read and enjoyed all the books (so far), but my memory is pretty hazy with respect to the early ones, except for broad events, so I don't remember if the "groveling" was quite as funny as it was here.  I thought the whole thing, from the crowd reactions, to Uhtred's pissy face, to Alfred's nephew "repentance" were great.  I'm starting to get depressed for Uhtred, nothing is going his way.

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Uhtred is his own worst enemy.  He needs to learn that being a hothead will not get him far with the Saxons.  Even the pious Alfred knows when to be pragmatic.

 

Ugh, that nightmarish image of Ubba's Achilles heels being slashed is haunting me.

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Yes, it's kind of frustrating. I am rooting for Uhtred but he does not think before he acts and he doesn't take good advice when it's offered. If things don't go his way it's usually his own fault. If he had gone to Alfred first or waited until after the church celebration things might have gone better for him. He badly needed Brida's cool head and tempering effect.

I am also frustrated by Alfred. He has the patience and cunning that Uhtred lacks but his attempts to manage Uhtred seem misguided. Uhtred is an asset that he is squandering. Yet he rewards that annoying little man who is clearly a cowardly little weasel.

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Did Uhtred honestly think that little weasel turd was going to tell Alfred all about how Uhtred's plan made the victory possible?  I mean, I like the character and am finding the story engaging, but that was a rather dumb move, going off to collect Mildreth before checking in with the king.

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Yeah, Uhtred really was his own worst enemy in this episode.  I get that he really wanted to see his son (and Mildrith), but he really should have listened to Leofric, and tell Alfred first that he was he one who defeated Ubba, because he had to have known Younger Odda hates his ass, and would probably sabotage him.  And then when that happens, he should have also known that it would as-sine to just barge into the church and confront Alfred in the middle of prayers.  As Mildrith said, the guy has no patience.

 

That said, Alfred probably could afford to realize that giving Uhtred a little bit of love would go a long way to improving their relationship.  He may have him under her thumb for now (due to the whole gave his word thing), but that can only last for so long.

 

Leofric continues to be awesome.  Raid parties are totally what Uhtred needs!

 

I will miss Ubba a bit.  The actor did a stand-out job throughout all of his episodes.

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I really love the portrayal (probably fairly historically accurate) of Alfred as a Machiavellian schemer - and how he actually listens to Uthred's (usually justified) rants against him, because he knows he's fundamentally honourable. Unlike his underlings, who blame Uthred for not attacking the Viking invaders when outnumbered 100 to 1, when I'm certain Alfred would prefer to have the news (and Uthred) rather than ten less Vikings (I don't see Uthred and his bro going down easy - but he'd certainly die). Nice to see a priest who was honest and devout without "Wanting to meet his maker too soon" (at least his death was quick and relatively painless - I think Guthrun really did respect him that far).

 

I liked the way Mrs Uthred (sorry it'll take me a couple of episodes to get her name straight) was philosophical about her fate and Uthred is a decent enough husband - I'm sure he'd be a better husband than Alfred's nephew. And liked the way family loyalty trumped tribal loyalty with Uthred's foster brother protecting him, even though it gave Alfred the warning the Viking were aiming to prevent.

 

Although it was combat light, it was still compelling - but I'll be glad to see some more battles next week!

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I haven't read the books and binge watched a few nights ago and boy was my spelling in my head wrong!

Alfred is an idiot to humiliate uhtred though. I mean what does he think? I get his being annoyed with u and even needing to punish him but Alfred NEEDS him and if he supposedly "thinks" he's got to know goung Odda (who seems to be bad just cuz) didn't do anything.

Alfred should know how to inspire loyalty or at least be a better manager. He was so smart with leofic working with uhtred and now he's such an idiot.

I felt bad for poor greedy Oswald.

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