The Last Kingdom
Dubbed by fans and critics as the “real Game Of Thrones“. The Last Kingdom follows lead protagonist Uhtred of Bebbanburg, born a Saxon noble yet raised as s Dane. The series is based on The Saxon Stories novels by Bernard Cornwell, an author known for the well known Sharpe series. Just like the character Sharpe, Uhtred is a flawed character that is torn between two worlds. His loyalty is constantly tested when he is forced to choose between his noble origins, and his Danish upbringing — The Saxon Stories currently spans eight novels.
Despite being fictional. the story is based during real historical events in the years 866-876. During this time England was split into seven separate kingdoms; With an ambitious King Alfred (The Great) of Wessex intent on ruling a unified England as its most dominant leader. Alfred while clever and manipulative in a political sense, is never outright villainous, and therefore commands the respect of Uhtred.
The inevitable comparisons to History’s Vikings and Game Of Thrones are illustrative; But The Last Kingdom is far less flamboyant than those shows. It’s grubby, dirty yet beautifully shot, with fantastic performances from the main and supportive cast throughout. The motives of the lead characters are far more clear than seen Vikings; And are often more relatable as a result.
Fans of Vikings should find a lot to love in this series. Although there’s no Ragnar Lothbrok, there are references to some of the same historical characters in that series as there in The Last Kingdom. Historical characters like Ubba are prominent on both shows, with the said character being a major antagonist to Uhtred.
Where To Watch It
Season 2 of the critically acclaimed The Last Kingdom will air tonight March 16 on BBC 2 in the UK and later on Netflix. It is part of a new collaboration between the British Broadcaster, and well known streaming service. You can catch up with the entire first season now on Netflix.