History & Heroism at its Finest w/ "The Last Kingdom"
What's the one thing that irritates you the most when you embark on a new series? Of the many that exist, perhaps what are the top three? A lack of consistency, irritating characters you can't seem to get rid of (think Geoffrey or Little Finger from Game of Thrones), and a protagonist that doesn’t earn your full support or vibe with, just about does it for me! But on those notes I’ve been in luck, as Netflix’s The Last Kingdom holds no traces of the aforementioned grievances whatsoever! With only four seasons – the most recent having just arrived earlier this year – The Last Kingdom is not only consistent beginning to “end”, but it also boasts a protagonist that knows how to use his head as well as he wields his sword, isn’t prejudiced, and he’s a funny guy. Lastly, this series is a true rarity that rewards your patience – especially for characters that begin to test yours. Talk about a dream series!
Based on the real warrior Uhtred of Bebbanburg and set in the 9th century¸ The Last Kingdom provides accounts and perspectives of the Danes and Saxons, in what is now the United Kingdom. If you're the pure action, gore, ancient wars type of person with at least a mild interest in world history, The Last Kingdom is a series for you! With every episode as brutal and entertaining as the next, accompanied by a story line that sinks its teeth right into your skull, the seemingly never-ending yet totally accepted twists and turns this series throws its audience, ensures you’re letting that “next episode” loading que reach its finish line as you begin another journey for the next hour.. or two... or three? Now, you may be no stranger to a series binge, but what you may be a stranger too is a show that starts off and stays incredible. And although the series is still ongoing, it continues to show promise!
A historical series with a twist, The Last Kingdom is almost hilarious at times. Whether it’s Protagonist Uhtred’s cheeky remarks, dialogue between Danes, or witnessing complete character 180’s, these comedic boosters guarantee you stick with the series. Like The Witcher, you’ve a protagonist who is very likable and actually thinks before he acts! But lay down some humour and sarcastic comebacks and you’ll find yourself never getting tired of the main character. Uhtred’s trials and triumphs are handled with violence and grace, brains and brawn, between Dane and Saxon alliances. Yet for a man so torn between constant binaries, his bravery and warrior heart help him meet success even in defeat. So throw a comedic aspect in the mix and you’re just about ready to fall head over heels for a “based on true events”, historical series.
The final cherry on top of this series sundae, is that it rewards your grievances and patience. As I’m sure you're all familiar with the feeling – and definitely sure about my view on the matter if you’ve read some of my other Series posts – some characters just become too much for you to handle. They either do something that is unforgiveable in your books, or simply just become more and more annoying as they try and push their personal agenda while you’re just sat there, not having it! A sad and common theme that is almost never met with any sort of incentive or relief when it comes to shows. But, The Last Kingdom is different. Why? Because it does reward your internal hardships. It’s as if those real-life commentaries you might have with yourself or whomever you're watching the show with – like when things start to go wrong, or perhaps not how you imagined – are almost taken into account. Just about every character I have found myself grow to despise, doesn’t make it in the end (but what end? I suppose you’ll just have to watch and see!). And although some characters or aspects of the series may linger longer than others, the low or even high-key pain and torment felt is nearly always eventually subdued. So hold on to your battle axes, as that feeling of complete gratification when witnessing whatever’s been driving you mad come to its “end” – as it’s undoubtedly worth it in the end.
And maybe you're now curious as to why I’d recommend a series where I’m excited about the end scenes of characters? Just think about it this way: it isn't the characters you haven’t taken too or grown to despise that makes the show worth watching; it’s the feeling of complete satisfaction when you see said character(s) finally meet their maker, get what they deserve, or have karma do its thing. This, my friends, is why The Last Kingdom deserves a spot in your much-loved action or adventure series category! Because a show that listens to your cries is one you’ll never not appreciate. So grab your shields, swords, axes and furs, and get ready to embark on the epic journey and battles of Uhtred of Bebbanburg!