The Last Kingdom history: When does The Last Kingdom take place?
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The Last Kingdom is now in its fourth season on Netflix and fans of the historical drama were delighted to hear season five will air in the near future. The series follows protagonist Uhtred of Bebbanburg (played by Alexander Dreymon), whose allegiance is torn between the Saxons and Danes. Fans are keen to know when The Last Kingdom takes place and Express.co.uk has everything you need to know.
When does The Last Kingdom take place?
The Last Kingdom has been airing since 2015 and the show is based on a series of novels by author Cornwell.
He is due to release the 13th and final novel of the series, called War Lord, before the end of 2020 and fans are looking forward to seeing how Uhtred’s story ends.
Each season covers the content of two novels, so season five will draw on events from Warriors of the Storm and The Flame Bearer.
So far the series has seen Uhtred form a unique relationship with King Alfred of Wessex (David Dawson), who had a dream to unite England.
Once Alfred had died, the crown was passed to his son Edward (Timothy Innes) and in season four Uhtred helped Edward save Winchester from Danish control.
All the while Uhtred has been following his own dream to claim back his homeland of Bebbanburg, to no avail.
The Last Kingdom first takes place in the year 866, when England was divided into seven different kingdoms.
Across the series the Vikings conquer York, and they continue to take over other Anglo-Saxon lands until finally only Wessex is left.
By the end of season four the story is believed to have covered about 45 years of Anglo-Saxon history, with the first season covering 866 to 878.
The second instalment covers the years 878 to 886, the third from 893 to 900 and the fourth from the years 901 to 910.
The real King Edward the Elder was crowned the Anglo-Saxon king in the year 899, so the series may be slightly behind in terms of historical accuracy.
Still, the show is not entirely based on historic events, as Uhtred of Bebbanburg himself was not a real historical figure.
Instead, his character is based on Uhtred the Bold, an ealdorman of Northumbria whose family had ruled from Bamburgh Castle.
But Uhtred the Bold was not born until the year 971, so he would not have existed during the timeframe followed in the series.
To help fans better understand the historical accuracy of the books and the series, each book ends with a historical note where Cornwell goes through the historical accuracy of people and events.
Fan caesarfecit took to Reddit to help explain which parts of the series are historically accurate, saying: “Many of the rulers and Viking Chieftains are historical people, though their characterizations are mostly fiction.
“Alfred for example is a fascinating blend of reasonably-well-established-truth (he was uber pious, he was a cunning, strategic, almost entrepreneurial ruler, and he was ill with what many believe was Crohn’s disease) and pure fiction.
“As for historical events, many of those are more or less right. There was a climactic battle of Ethandun in 878. The Saxons did retake Lundene in 886. Alfred did hide in the Somerset marshes. They even worked in the famous caking-burning legend.”
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Although the series is historically accurate in broad terms, fans are more interested in the entertainment value, realising the series is meant to be fictional.
If fans are keen to find out more about the real historical events, the Anglo Saxon Chronicle is a collection of historical records first created in the ninth century during the reign of Alfred the Great.
Nine of the manuscripts have survived and seven of them are available to look at in the British Library – the other two are located at Oxford and Cambridge universities.
Fans can look forward to season five following King Edward’s reign, and his son Aethelstan (Caspar Griffiths) later taking over as king.
Uhtred will continue to fight for his birthright to win back Bebbanburg, and his loyal friends will be there to support him as always.
Fans have taken to YouTube to express their excitement for season five after the renewal took place, with one saying: “The absolute best series I’ve ever seen. I love it! So glad season five is coming out. Incredible scripting, acting, and special effects. I can’t say enough about how good it is.”
Uhtred has been tasked with training Aethelstan to become a fierce warrior, as Lady Aelswith (Eliza Butterworth) was too ill to look after him.
Many of the other characters in the series are based on real people, including Aelswith, Aethelflaed (Millie Brady), Aethelred (Toby Regbo) and more.
Another fan said on YouTube: “I know the show follows the books, and so that is what is expected. I just want Uhtred to find happiness (and not Valhalla).
“I also look forward to Finan finding love (Eadith perhaps?). He has been so loyal and he could use happiness. I also want to know where in the world is Sihtric’s wife? “I was hoping to see what her character was like and how he treated her. LOL. In either case I’ll fill the gap to 2021 looking at podcasts and anything else I can (even reading all the books).”
The Last Kingdom is on Netflix now
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