The Hero Journey in The Last Kingdom

Last Kingdom follows the story of King Alfred’s dream of a united England with the perspective of our protagonist Uhtred, son of Uhtred and his men. Though, the show focuses on the story of England, one of its major plot points has been Uhtred’s desire to reclaim Bebbanburg from his treacherous uncle. Fans of the show have been dying to see him to do that ever since season 1 but the show kept us as well as Uhtred waiting till season 4. When he finally went to reclaim Bebbanburg, he encountered a rushing defeat at the hands of his cousin and lost Father Biocca. Well, being the final season of course it takes us back to Bebbanburg!

Other than Bebbanburg, this season was about ending the long going war between Saxons and Danes, as well as creation of England. Season 4’s finale ended in peace as Edward ruled Wessex, Aethelfled ruled Mercia, and Sigtryggr ruled Eoferwic. This peace lasted 10 good years until the return of Brida after which season 5 kicked off. Emily Cox’ Brida has been quite a debatable character who is disliked by most fans ever since season 4. In this season, she goes berserk and unleashes all her wrath on Uhtred and his children.

Almost the entire first half of the season was about restoring the peace disrupted by Brida and the rest of the season deals with unification of England. Among these two major plotlines was the subtle Bebbanburg connection which took prominence in the final few episodes. Now without spoiling much we’ll quite sadly make you aware, that there is a lot of death this season. Being a fan of The Last Kingdom means not getting too attached to characters as they die quite often than not. In season 3 we lost way too many fan favorites including Ragnar, Thyra, Aethelwold, Gisela, and King Alfred himself. In season 4 we lost Father Biocca and some secondary characters. Season 5, being the final season, has the most death you have seen yet and be ready to loose someone you like in almost every episode.

Just like the previous seasons, the MVP of the show is Uhtred, portrayed by the ever charming and gorgeous Alexander Dreymon. He is basically the driving force of this show and there is no Last Kingdom without Uhtred Ragnarson! Only other character which came to his level in the show was David Dawson’s Aflred. Ever since he died in season 3, there has been some sort of a void which Timothy Innes’ Edward couldn’t really fill. Yet, all of the cast including Timothy delivered sold performances and kept us invested in the show. There aren’t many new characters in this season who actually leave an impact or matter that much. Sigtryggr’s brother Rognvaldr had some potential but was wasted in the second half of the show.

On a technical note, this season has got plenty of bloody and gory fight scenes, which will fulfil your appetite for it. The final season has a lot of astounding battle sequences, which will remind you of the time when Game of Thrones used to be good. The overall dark setting and absolutely stunning cinematography of the show act as a feather to the cap and intensifies the visual experience. The production design and fight choreography also add a lot to its glorious battle sequences. Also, as I always believed, its incredible soundtrack deserves no less than 50% the credit for making this show amazing! Its captivating opening theme and the OST throughout its run, brilliantly reflects the visuals and adds a great deal in establishing the overall feel of the show.

There wasn’t anything particular that was wrong with this season except for a few unexplained things here and there. The only thing that bothered me this season was that it was the final season. It is hard to believe that as glorious a show as The Last Kingdom has ended already. Based on Bernard Cornwell’s novels, its source material consisted of 13 books. They wrapped up 10 huge books in 5 seasons but even then 3 books are still left. The upcoming film Seven Kings Must Die is meant to conclude the story of The Last Kingdom.

It has been revealed that the film would be a standalone one which will act as an epilogue rather than a continuation. Anyways, we will see our favorite characters including Uhtred one last time in the film. But The Last Kingdom season 5 effectively ends the story of Uhtred of Bebbanburg as his arc concludes quite satisfyingly. The shows ends with a montage which showcases exactly how much our protagonist Uhtred has been through since his childhood. It showcases all the pain, all the joy, all the love, and all the growth Uhtred had undergone. He has had one of the best character developments I have ever seen of screen and he has single handedly kept us invested for 5 incredible seasons.