A show of heroic deeds and epic battles with a thematic depth that embraces politics, religion, warfare, courage, love, loyalty and our universal search for identity. Combining real historical figures and events with fictional characters, it is the story of how a people combined their strength under one of the most iconic kings of history in order to reclaim their land for themselves and build a place they call home.
Pleasantly surprised by the first episode *Spoilers* As a fan of Cornwell's Warrior Chronicles/Saxon Stories I've been looking forward to this series for quite some time. Mentally prepared for a major disappointment I have to say that I was pleasantly surprised. If you haven't read the novels the story of Uhtred unfolds fast, perhaps too fast. This first episode covers more than half of the first novel. Although a lot has been omitted, many of the aspects that make the novel such a pleasure to read are there, but (very) subtle. If you have read the novel you have to accept that many events concerning Uhtred of Bebbanburg and his character traits are only touched upon or skipped: his loathing for his father, his fascination for the religion of his forefathers, his contempt (or rather boredom) for Christianity, the stories the blacksmith tells him, Beocca's attempts to teach him to read, his first encounter with an adulterous Alfred (the not so Great yet), his admiration for the Romans, his growing love for Ragnar and Ragnar's family, his arrogance and big mouth, his humor and much more. I would have loved to have been able to watch at least four episodes in which of all of the above is featured but that is not going to happen. Then why did I like it so much? I have to admit I'm a sucker for guys with long hair and pretty faces, but besides that, the episode had enough to offer: Uhtred's Christian/Saxon upbringing and his pagan beliefs are represented by his two necklaces: the amber stone and Thor's hammer. I hope Uhtred's internal struggle will be featured more prominently in the episodes to come. A baptism scene in which Beocca could easily have drowned Uhtred making an end to the series after only half an episode. Young Uhtred is a smart-mouthed little brat (like when he is trying to get his way with Beocca). Young as he is, he is the ealdorman of Bebbanburg and is willing to die for it. He is doesn't think first but acts, and so we see a child going to war and attacking a Danish warlord. We are treated to the sight of a massive shield-wall in which it becomes clear that there is almost no space to move and that movement is slow. If you die, you become an obstacle that your fellow comrade-in-arms have to be beware of or else they will fall too. (Even after two viewings still a bit surprised that Lord Uhtred (Matthew MacFadyen) stepped through the shield-wall so easily. I must have missed the Danes letting him through.) Thyra is mentally broken after the awful hall-burning, and not just by Sven. Could Uhtred have saved her? It seems Thyra expected him to. Ubba, though a great Danish leader, and despite having humor, is very cautious and heavily depends on the signs the gods send him, making him very unpredictable, according to Ravn, earl Raganar's father. Brida is portrayed as a strong young woman, more Dane than Saxon. But above all, I liked Uhtred. I liked the way he looks and moves. I did miss his humor but I have hopes that we will be treated to that in the next episodes. He was powerless during the hall-burning, and devastated by the deaths of Ragnar and his family. For now, he is still a boy. Can't wait for him to become a man. "Wyrd bið ful ãræd"
This is a great medieval TV show. I even like it more than Vikings. Don't get me wrong, Vikings is awesome, but it slowly degraded, while this TV show doesn't disappoint. It got great soundtracks. Great acting, great characters and great story. If you're fan of medieval TV shows, you should definitely give this TV show a chance. It's worth it.
If you're wondering if this is like Vikings... It is, but it's better! I'd say there are two minor points against The Last Kingdom: in the 1st season, the camerawork and lighting are at times somewhat amateurish and, from what I recall, compared to Vikings, the fight/battle scenes aren't as well choreographed/edited/filmed. Apart from those points I'd rate The Last Kingdom over Vikings in every way. Even the guest star at the start of season 1 of The Last Kingdom is better than the one at the beginning of Vikings. I mean... Rutger Hauer's just perfect! Gabriel Byrne on the otherhand... why? Just why?
10.0 out of 10. If you've watch other similar Shows on the history of great Countries, Empires and people in history like Rome, Vikings, Britannia, and others you must watch this one. I absolutely love this show, it has a great story, excellent actors, overall slightly better than Vikings, but Rome is still my Favorite. They do kill off some top Characters but as far as History goes, some have to go, but 2 or 3 others I thought they should have kept that they were excellent and should have kept them. For me it just gets better, definitely check it out.