Jump to content
Forums forums
PRIMETIMER
SilverStormm

The Last Kingdom

Recommended Posts

16th March for the UK; 9.00; BBC2

18th March for Netflix Australia, and a few others - I'm not sure if Netflix USA has announced a date yet; but may well be part of the pack for the 18th

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Quote

With victory in Wessex, Alfred is now secure in the South. Seeing an opportunity in the North, he sends Uhtred North to free the King of Cumberland and establish an allied Kingdom in the North.

A fairly quiet start to Season 2 (did Uhtred actually fight anyone? Well, I guess he did briefly as the "Ghost"). It all seemed a little too easy to establish the new King (I did wonder if he was just some random nobody, but apparently not) - can he raise an army in time for the Viking counter attack? Presumably yes, given Uhtred is there, but he doesn't seem to have any means to raise an army beyond the fact the church (and ultimately, Alfred) say he is King. Also, I wonder what the Saxon plotters' agenda is? And what's going to happen when the Vikings return from their raid North?

Share this post


Link to post

The series didn't start with much of a bang. My main problem with the Last kingdom is that I don't like many of the characters. The Danes are running around killing and enslaving people and the Saxons are petty, scheming religious fanatics. The scene with the guy who supposedly had a vision of the new king was ridiculous. How people can take that guy seriously I don't know. I do like the nun and I want to see Utred's sister get her revenge but I don't care if Utred gets his kingdom back. I've seen little to suggest he'd be a good ruler.

Share this post


Link to post

In 866 the Danes row into Northumbria and waste no time stirring shit up.  Uhtred is just a kid, but he tries fighting them.  That didn't work out so well for his father, but Ragnar decides to take Uhtred as a slave.  This is usually a bad idea because of grudges and blood feuds, but Uhtred considers the alternative and assimilates really well.  He endears himself by defending Ragnar's daughter from Sven, a pervy neighbor boy.  Since Sven only stripped her half naked, Ragnar decides to take only one of his eyes.   Seems fair, but One-Eyed Sven and his dad hold a grudge.

king1c.jpg

king1ccc.jpg

king1dd.jpg

  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post

Uhtred becomes like a family member, even taking the name Ragnarsson.   Along with Brida, another slave girl, he grows up happily in Leeds.   One night when he and Brida are out in the woods having sex,  the homestead is attacked, set on fire, and everyone is killed (or so they believe).   However, Ragnar's daughter, whose name escapes me, has been taken by One-Eyed Sven.  

king1e.jpg

king1ee.jpg

king1eee.jpg

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post

Uhtred and Brida go on the run, vowing revenge.  Meanwhile, King Aethelred in Wessex battles the Danes and loses, but not before ensuring his brother Alfred will take the crown instead of his own son.  Good move.

* I can't upload any more pics apparently, so I'll continue this later...

king2aaaaaa.jpg

king2b.jpg

Edited by Razzberry
  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post

Grrr.  Maybe I should cut to the chase until the bugs are worked out. I found a map from 878 that shows where things stood politically around the time series 1 ended.  I added a few points of interest, like the swamp where Alfred holed up and Egbert's Stone, site of the epic battle where the Danes get their asses kicked and Wessex is saved.

map2b.jpg

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post

Just discovered and binged on this series last week. Bernard Cornwell is one of my favorite historical authors. His King Arthur books were amazing, Agincort was spectacular, and the Grail quest series was fun.

I got about 5 books into this series before giving up, the plot got repetitive and Uthred was an impulsive idiot.

The Uhtred in this show looks nothing like what I pictured. Reminds me of a cross between Mandy Patinkin in The Princess Bride and Orlando Bloom in Kingdom of Heaven.  Can't wait for season 2 to hit.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post

The new sheriffs in town are Ubba and Guthrum.  These guys are having too much fun,  like Hitler and Himmler meet Beavis and Butthead.   King Edmund is the next one to bite the dust.

king2cc.jpg

king2ccc.jpg

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post

Uhtred's uncle took over the Bebbanburg gig, depriving Uhtred of his birthright.  He and Brida make a pit-stop on their roadtrip to drop off some dude's head, sending a message and getting rid of 40 pounds of pungent dead weight.   They proceed to East Anglia where they check into some seedy motel.  Uhtred has his family jewel fashioned into a sword decoration by a local metalworker.  

*I may not be entirely accurate, but this is just how I remember it. 

king2bbb.jpg

Edited by Razzberry
  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post

Uhtred and Brida arrive in Wessex, where Uhtred ingratiates himself with Alfred by helping him win a battle with the Danes. By doing so Uhtred hopes to eventually reclaim his birthright and lands, but Brida sees it as betrayal and isn't having it. She becomes a thorn in just about everyone's side.

Despite warnings that this will only be seen as weakness and not respected, Alfred wants to negotiate a peace treaty with the Danes and sends Odda the Younger to deliver the message.  Alfred IS feeling weak and suffers from lack of protein in his diet, but that's neither here nor there.

king3bbbbbbb.jpg

king3aaaaaa.jpg

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post

From Uhtred Alfred learns how Danes think, their strengths and weaknesses, and how they fight.  When Ubba and Guthrum actually show up at the peace talks expecting to con yet another King, Alfred's a tougher nut to crack. He offers grain and silver, but says no way in hell they'll be taking Wessex, and, by the way, this conversation is being recorded. 

king3ccccccc.jpg

king3cccccccccc.jpg

king3ccccccccccc.jpg

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post

Marriage to a Saxon is a necessary step to becoming an Elderman, so Alfred sets up a wedding for Ultred, sight unseen, like a blind date from hell X100.    Uhtred prepares by bathing, which I for one appreciate, and ponders the wisdom of buying a pig in a poke.  Brida catches the next longboat out of there.

king4.jpg

king4aa.jpg

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post

Mildrith turns out to be a stunner.  Uhtred is very pleased but still has a few brain cells firing. She confesses an inherited debt, which Uhtred is now responsible for, but he gets over it.  Several months later as she's about to give birth they spot a large Danish army encroaching in Wessex and ride out to Winchester to warn King Alfred.

king4a.jpg

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post

Word on the street is Ubba's in Ireland raising hell for the death of his brother Ivar the Boneless, but Guthrum's gang has taken a castle in Wareham.  This will not stand with Alfred, who really is kinda Great, even then.  He finds Uhtred useful but still doesn't trust him completely, probably because he won't take off that bloody animal fur vest.

king4bbbb.jpg

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Quote

Uhtred is appointed General of the new King of Cumberland and leads them to take Eofewic (York), with the aim of reclaiming his ancestral land of Bebbanburg. But the church is hostile to a pagan leading the army and plots to bring him down.

Wow. They say that politicians are backstabbing bastards today, but they've got nothing on the King of Cumberland (was that Ethelred? There's a reason he was known as "The Unready" [Ill advised] if so). Even if the Vikings are prepared to deal honestly with the King (which I doubt), getting a reputation for betraying your supporters is scarcely the way to secure your throne. Though Uhtred didn't help himself by running his mouth when he was told to shut up (which is DEFINITELY true to the books). At least psycho nun (understandably psycho, as there are no psychiatrists in Saxon Britain to deal with her PTSD) is still loyal, as is King Alfred, even if he has to be more circumspect in what he can do.

ETA: The King of Cumbria is not Ethelred the Unready (who was about a century later) - but he's still a treacherous idiot!

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post

I spent most of the episode thinking the new King was not at all kingly. His voice when he gave speeches was very thin and his whole demeanor and the fact he was so easily manipulated made me think that he was going to be a spectacular failure as king. I still did not see him turning on uhtred in the way he did. Uhtred was once again his own worst enemy. He played into the priests manoeuvering by making a play for the King's sister. I think the problem is he's so straightforward and blunt and he doesn't consider the motivations of the people around him or plan enough. 

Share this post


Link to post
1 hour ago, John Potts said:

(was that Ethelred? There's a reason he was known as "The Unready" [Ill advised] if so)

I haven't seen the show but Aethelred the Unready lived later than this. 

Share this post


Link to post

Alfred rounds up a show of force and serves Guthrum with a 30 day eviction notice.  In a brilliant move he also leaves him 10 hostages, including Uhtred and his most persuasive priest. He senses a modicum of curiosity in Guthrum, and suggests his priest use the time working on a possible conversion.

All too soon Ubba is back and the war is on again.  The hostages are killed, but Uhtred escapes with the help of Ragnar Jr.

king4d.jpg

king4eeee.jpg

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post

After the usual trash talking,  the Saxons take the high ground where Uhtred comes up with a brilliant plan of setting the their boats on fire with pig fat.  Ubba is in the middle of a 3-way when his bone-thrower Storri interrupts with the bad news.  Ubba is annoyed, to say the least, and goes beserker.  Uhtred has been warned never to fight Ubba, but he has little choice now.   Ubba should have been warned to never fight without shoes.

kingdom6z.jpg

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post

Thanks for your kind words, DHDancer!  I wanted to do it all in one go, but I'm limited to less than 245kb per day, apparently.

The Danes lose that battle, but unfortunately for Uhtred his rival Odda the Younger has run back to Alfred taking the credit for slaying Ubba.  You don't correct the King, so enraged and broke, Uhtred and Leofric come up with a plan of disguising themselves as Danes to raid the countryside of Cornwalum.  It's not a good plan since real Danes have already thought of it, but local King Peredur hires them as protection from Skorpa, a Danish warlord and one scary looking dude.

king6a.jpg

king6aaa.jpg

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post

Their adventure in Cornwalum ends in the usual way, with a lot of double-crossing, bloodshed, and a dead King.  Uhtred leaves with some silver, his very own seer Queen, and a boner.

king6aaaa.jpg

Untitled18h.jpg

Untitled18n.jpg

king6aaaaaa.jpg

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post

When Alfred hears about Uhtred's stunt he is livid. Naturally Uhred makes matters worse by bringing his "Queen", or as Alfred calls her "plunder", to Winchester. When Uhtred refuses to return her, he's sentenced to death.

The BFF Death Match gets a bigger turnout than expected when Guthrum shows up and sacks the town. Running for their lives, it's decided the King will be safe holed up in a nearby swamp, for now.

alfred7b.jpg

alfred7bb.jpg

king7g.jpg

king7bbb.jpg

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post

When he isn't splitting skulls with his dane-axe Guthrum explores Alfred's library of "words with no sound", and toys with Aethelwold.  Surprisingly, he allows a priest to flee after only slicing off a hand. 

king7ddddd.jpg

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post

Meanwhile back at the swamp Alfred wages guerrilla warfare on Guthrum, but comes to realize a lasting peace can only be achieved by one big-ass battle. He actually succeeds in getting men of Wessex to sign up for it,  and quietly gathers his forces.  On top of all this, his wife is crying, his baby is dying, and Alfred isn't feeling that great himself.

king7ggggggg.jpg

king7ccccc.jpg

Edited by Razzberry
  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post

Iseult cures baby Edward with some kind of magic mud bath?  I don't know, I don't pay much attention to that part of the story to be honest. 

When the time is right they hit the road with Alfred disguised in a hoodie. Along the way they hear Odda Jr. has brokered a peace with Skorpa (like that's gonna last) so make their way to Odda's estate in Exeter to see what's up.  But first they swing by Uhtred's farm to find everyone dead or gone. 

Shortly after this Iseult decides to give it up to Uhtred, which apparently puts the kabosh on her Seer abilities.  I don't really get the connection, but whatever.  

king7mmm.jpg

king7a.jpg

lk8ccccc.jpg

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post

Alfred shows up at Odda's, exposing him as a liar and traitor.  On the way out they meet up with Skorpa and exchange the usual pre-battle trash-talk.

lk8ee.jpg

king8ggg.jpg

king8gggg.jpg

king8gg.jpg

king8g.jpg

Edited by Razzberry
  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post
Quote

Following his betrayal by the King of Cumberland, Uhtred finds himself as a slave on a Viking ship. But the King's failure to produce Uhtred's head leads to the collapse of peace in the North. Meanwhile, Hild gets the word of Uhtred's capture to Alfred who embarks on a rescue.

If there's one thing worse than a treacherous King, it's a treacherous incompetent King. How hard would it have been to say, "Uhtred's dead - he fell off a cliff" or "He's dead - here's his skull". OK, Uhtred's uncle isn't going to be entirely happy with either, but it's better than going, "Well, when I say dead, I mean mostly dead..." Of course, Father Treacherous should have come up with a smooth lie for him - given how much he's prepared to lie otherwise, you'd think he'd be prepared to spin some tale or other.

I'm glad Uhtred's escape was thanks to others - it would have been completely implausible for a half starved slave to defeat a trained warrior (although I would expect Uhtred to battle to the last, it would be completely unbelievable for him to win that fight). And as ever, once he's let off the leash, he goes to rescue a woman - and commit an ill advised murder (though really what did Father Treacherous expect? He KNOWS Uhtred isn't a Christian and doesn't respect your faith - probably not a good idea to antagonise an angry guy with a sword!). And true to his form, we get Alfred being a ruthless bastard when it suits his purpose - getting the alliance he wanted, land in return for his daughter AND getting Uhtred's sword in his service. There's a reason he's the only English King known as "the Great"!

Share this post


Link to post

That was a hard episode to watch. I complain about Uhtred quite a lot but he does have a good heart and it was difficult to see him broken. I did think maybe this will be what forces him to grow up and be more measured in his actions but since one of his first actions was to kill the priest maybe not. I was happy to see him die but not if the result is Uhtred being delayed in rescuing his sister. Also, i hope it doesn't damage his relationship with Hild. She seemed quite upset but given that that guy was the worst type of holy man, using religion for his own advancement and enjoying hurting others I hope she'll understand. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post

Thanks for your encouragement guys.  I figured it helps to pass the time while waiting for season 2. 

Alfred gives an amazing, rousing speech to get the troops pumped up, and for the first time the Danes look a little less confident.  As I recall it went something like this:

king8h.jpg

king8hhh.jpg

king8hh.jpg

king8nnn.jpg

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post

Although Leofric falls in battle, the Danes are roundly defeated, and Skorpa's taunt backfires badly.

 

lk8hhhh.jpg

lk8hhhhh.jpg

lk8kkkk.jpg

Guthrum develops a man-crush on Alfred, agrees to be baptized, and never again encroaches on his territory.  I'll miss seeing Guthrum, a great character.

Hild and Halig agree to accompany Uhtred to Northumbria to settle a bloodfeud with his uncle and regain his birthright, Uhtred of Bebbanburg.

Now, I wish Netflix would announce a date for series 2 in US!

king8nnnnnnnnn.jpg

alfred6.jpg

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post

Ahhh, Raspberry! This has been awesome.  Entertaining and a great memory refresher. The dialog is just as I remembered it. ;-)

The visual reminders were effective too. That battle scene (top of above post) - when I close my good eye - looks a bit like the beginnings of a Persian rug. Too bad the goal was to unravel it.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post

Thanks, I appreciate it, Anothermi!  Yeah, I like to be as accurate as possible on the dialog, so good to know.  ;)

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Quote

Guthred’s lack of judgement has divided Northumbria. Having sworn his allegiance to Alfred once again, Uhtred must travel North to defeat the brothers Erik and Sigefrid, take back Eoferwic and reassert Guthred’s authority. Alfred spots an opportunity to remind Guthred of his duty to Wessex and sends Aethelwold to join Uhred’s riding party. But with the responsibility of ensuring Eoferwic’s future as a Christian region thrust upon him, Aethelwold’s judgement becomes clouded. Joining Brida and Ragnar’s men in Loidis, Uhtred and the others discuss a plan of attack and turn their attention to Dunholm. Ragnar is intent on avenging Kjartan: can Uhtred come to his aid without defying Alfred? Meanwhile, a confrontation with the Northmen brings a shocking turn of events and elsewhere, hostility is rife when Sven attempts to reason with Thyra. But will she want to hear what her captive has to say?

Share this post


Link to post

I guess Sister Brida didn't take the Uhtred's murder/execution of Father Treacherous last week too badly, as she seemed perfectly happy with him this week. And I find it hard to believe that Alfred didn't do anything to punish Uhtred for marrying Guthred's sister, which was a bit of a slap in the face to the King (not that anyone seems to respect the King - that's what you get for being a treacherous idiot!).

The attack on Dunhelm (Durham) was both exciting and actually showed how Uhtred's tactics worked - pretty tough on the guys who got the task of wielding the ram, they were taking the brunt of the defender's assault purely to keep their attention away from Uhtred's assault force - though Ragnar was still prepared to lead them, even so. This has got to be the first time that Uhtred has ended an episode having killed all his enemies without managing to create any new ones. And he freed their sister - after years of horrific treatment, to be sure.

One thing I couldn't help noticing - that looked nothing like Durham. One of the main features of Durham (and what made it such a good spot for a fortress) was it's on a massive hill that DOMINATES the surroundings - their Durham was flat. OK, I realise they're limited by budget & availability of location, but it was very distracting!

ETA: D'oh! Should have kept calling her "Psycho Nun" But Dunhelm is definitely meant to be Durham - I couldn't find one of those ever so helpful title cards (Liodis/Leeds), or have one of the books to hand but type in Dunhelm into Wikipedia and it redirects to Durham (which says 'The name "Durham" comes from the Celtic element "dun", signifying a hill fort, and the Old Norse "holme", which translates to island'). So if it's not Durham, it's a fictitious fortress with the same name in almost the same location?

Edited by John Potts

Share this post


Link to post

Sister HILD, not Brida (Brida is Ragnar's wife/significant other) and given Hild has turned Revenge Incarnate, I don't think she's particularly bound by any religious mores regarding the priest beyond being initially horrified. 

Dunhold is not Durham.  It's a fictitious stronghold east of Cumbria and just south of the Scottish wall. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post

This season is almost better than the first.  Perhaps it's just that all the historical set up is over and we can enjoy how this story meshes with it. I read the two chapters of the book that the first season was based on (and will do the same after this one). As I expected (hoped), a great deal more was explained/made clear through the medium of the written word and I found I'd engaged in erroneous speculation last season.  But the great thing is that my interpretation of what was going on (this would be character motivation speculation I'm talking about) is still valid for the visual medium. Just not what that author laid out. I'm good with that as it doesn't mess with history and is good fun.

This WAS a painful episode to watch. Uhtred's open, confident, moral (from his POV) but impulsive behaviour always seems to bite him in the butt. Yet it is why he has such loyal friends.

I found myself wondering, by the end, if Alfred didn't feel a little embarrassed at how easily he was able to manipulate Uhtred. It's kinda like spearing fish in a barrel. Poor open, honest, moral. witless guy, Uhtred.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
On 2017-04-06 at 2:58 PM, John Potts said:

One thing I couldn't help noticing - that looked nothing like Durham. One of the main features of Durham (and what made it such a good spot for a fortress) was it's on a massive hill that DOMINATES the surroundings - their Durham was flat. OK, I realise they're limited by budget & availability of location, but it was very distracting!

I agree that pretty much all the close up scenes show flat approaches, but they've inserted one (very brief) scene of Uhtred's gang approaching the fortress  of Dunholm and he looks up to it on a very high promontory. The scene comes right after Guthred agrees to give him the swords he needs and Uhted then "accuses" his new right-hand-man, Sitrick (phonetically), of lying to him by pointing out that Dunholm has an east door access to a spring as a weakness despite not being big enough for an army to go through. Guess they figured that brief shot met the location criteria.

---------------------------------------------------------------------

I'm enjoying the variety of characters. Sure, Alfred is coming into his own as an astute judge of character ... and psychology as well. He is calm, intense, visionary and incredibly determined. But I love the juxtaposition of King Alfred and King Guthred.  Guthred is a turd, no doubt, but he's not stupid either. He's just not prepared or trained for his role. He knows he was plucked from slavery (which he had accepted as his lot) and thrust into the powerful position of King due to a priest's "vision". He's aware that although the priest "saw" him as the King, it was Uhtred who the priest first addresses as the man from his vision. He knows that Uhtred would make a better King that he would, but he knows he's been gifted a good thing and doesn't want to lose it. He worries that he WILL lose it and makes decisions based more on keeping his position than on real strategy or vision. He's just an ordinary guy, and he has no special skills, but we get to see him struggle with his limitations and try to be an honourable man, a leader of men, but still keep his position.  He generally fails, especially when advised by that self-serving priest who preyed (heh) on his insecurities. But he can recognize that people follow Uhtred because he is open and honest and has a moral code.  I would hazard that most of us would be more like Guthred than Uhtred or Albert. There have been a lot of Guthred's in power over history and in many and various locations. Frequently it's been their luck to be supported/advised by others with vision and the ability to assess the big picture. Others have not been so lucky and had short reigns.

I'm also still enjoying watching the worm, Aethelwold, start learning skills that might make him a real leader at some point - if he lives that long. Particularly like his trying to weasel out of being sent to Northumbria by pointing out that they're almost SCOTS!

He manages to figure out why he was sent there when Uhtred starts proposing his own plans. Not just mildew in those grey cells! ;-)

Edited by Anothermi · Reason: spelling

Share this post


Link to post

Yeah, while looking for the title card ("Dunholm" "Durham") I did see the scene where Uhtred was climbing up to the well, which DID look fairly accurate (well, to how it might have looked in 800AD, anyway) - but in the wide shot, it looked like it was filmed somewhere completely different (probably because it was, I imagine). I accept that they can only film where they can get the locations, it's just because I know Durham fairly well (my sister went to University, was married and lived for several years afterwards there) I found it rather distracting!

I agree, it was nice to see Aethelwold learning some political nous - also nice to see that Uhtred realised that Alfred's purpose in sending a couple of guards along with him was probably to kill him if he tried to make a move toward Bebbanburg.

Edited by John Potts
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post

Things I Learned from The Last Kingdom, season 1:

 

For a Saxon, traveling through the Danelaw could be hazardous.  Keeping a low-profile meant lookin' rough, lots of fur, and perhaps a sex slave on a leash...a bit like Vegas back in the day.

Things to avoid in the Danelaw:  Danes
Also: avoid wearing crucifixes, crowns, and clothing made of cloth. 

Never participate in an axe-fight with barefeet. This should go without saying.

A Seer will stop seeing when a penis gets involved, but a tree branch up the butt has no ill effect on their gift.

Danes took the phrase "Going out in a blaze of glory" quite literally.

Raped nuns are some of your most enthusiastic fighters.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post

Definitely better than S1It helps that Dreymon seems to have taken acting lessons during the break - though I still hate his voice overs in the "previously on"; but then, I hate "previously on"s anyway.

Edited by Which Tyler
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post

Durham the wider shots, and the shots of Uhtred et al approaching the well, all show a big rocky promontory (though the river does seem to be AWOL) - it's only really the approach to the gates that's relatively flat (and I don't recall any wide shots from there). Of course, there's no way they could film in real Durham as there's too much... Durham in the way. I'd guess that the gate approach is pretty flat as a practicality, I wouldn't fancy being an actor carrying that battering ram anyway, let alone doing it up a steep slope - it also allows for the visuals or horses approaching the gate with any degree of urgency.

 

Book Spoiler

Spoiler

So is Aethelwold taking Osferth's role then - it makes sense in terms of the adaptation I guess.

 

 

I'm going to miss Ragnar and Brida; I'm sure the show runners will find a way to involve them again, but they should more-or-less disappear from our screens now.


ETA: here's the wideshot for Dunholm - not very flat

Dunholm.jpg

Edited by Which Tyler
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×