The movie “The Last Kingdom: Seven Kings Must Die” is a British historical drama film helmed by director Edward Bazalgette and written by Martha Hillier. It is based on Bernard Cornwell’s novel series “The Saxon Stories” and is a follow-up to the TV show “The Last Kingdom.”
Star actor Alexander Dreymon returns to play the character of Uhtred of Bebbanburg.
The fourth season of “The Last Kingdom” premiered in April 2020, and producer Nigel Marchant revealed that talks were underway for a movie adaptation. Alexander Dreymon, who played Uhtred in the series, announced the development of the feature-length sequel at the London MCM Comic-Con in October 2021.
The Last Kingdom: Seven Kings Must Die focuses on the Kingdom of Wessex and the Viking invasions of England from 866 AD.
Harry Gilby portrays King Aethelstan, while Mark Rowley plays Finan, Laurie Davidson plays Ingilmundr, Elaine Cassidy embodies Lady Eadgifu, Ilona Chevakova plays Ingrith, Jacob Dudman portrays Osbert, Ewan Horrocks plays Prince Aelfweard, King of Deheubarth, Pekka Strang takes on the character of Anlaf, Agnes Born portrays Astrid, and Zak Sutcliffe portrays Prince Edmund.
From Netflix, following the demise of King Edward, Uhtred of Bebbanburg and his friends embark on a journey across a fragmented nation to finally bring England together.
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THE LAST KINGDOM: SEVEN KINGS MUST DIE FILM REVIEW.
“For hundred years, there was chaos in our lands…” Finan narrates as the Danes, under the leadership of King Anlaf, attack Northumbria following King Edward’s illness-related death. The Wessex ealdormen and mercenaries then aid Prince Aelfweard in seizing the throne, driving Queen Eadgifu and Prince Edmund to seek safety with Uhtred. Ingrith, Finan’s wife, declares in Bebbanburg but to no one in particular that “seven kings must die and the woman you love” before England may be united.
Queen Eadgifu is skeptical about going to Uhtred because she claims he betrayed her husband. Left with no other place to go, she seeks Uhtred. Uhtred, who is a pagan, ignores the prophecy. He says that he is neither a king nor married. Then, he marshals his allies to depose Aelfweard so that Aethelstan can take over as monarch, leaving his son Osbert in charge of educating Edmund.
Aethelstan being so religious and scared to provoke God, seeks Lord Ingilmundr’s advice. Lord Ingilmundr uses the Bible to guide the prince’s actions. Uhtred and his men, who he sees as friends, pose as mercenaries in Aegelesburg who wish to battle for Aelfweard. Uhtred sends these men to see what they can sniff out, and they come back with information that Aelfweard intends to capture Aethelstan.
Aethelstan predicts and foils his brother’s plan as Uhtred seizes control of the town’s gates. Uhtred then convinces Aelfweard to submit peacefully to his brother.
After the surrender, Aethelstan, without thinking twice, murders his brother. In addition, he commands his soldiers to slaughter Aelfweard’s men, but Uhtred succeeds in persuading Aethelstan to stop, giving him several reasons to discontinue this act. He also tells Aethelstan that until he is formally crowned at Winchester, he will neither bow down to Aethelstan nor give him his land.
Uhtred, on the other hand, chooses not to attend Aethelstan’s coronation because he wants Aethelstan to prove that “he is not a tyrant” before committing loyalty to him. Meanwhile, Ingilmundr, secretly dating Aethelstan, uses the new king’s fear of being punished for his homosexuality to encourage him to renew and expand Alfred’s idea of a united England.
Meanwhile, Uhtred strengthens his bond with Eadgifu. Aethelstan seizes Eoferwic and demands that all rulers of Britain, including those from remote islands, pay him tribute. He also intends to establish Christianity by kidnapping the monarchs’ sons. After finding out that Ingilmundr is a traitor, Uhtred attempts to persuade Aethelstan that he is being misled to the advantage of Ingilmundr. However, Aethelstan disregards Uhtred’s cautions and proclaims himself King of Northumbria, despite Uhtred’s warnings about Anlaf’s oncoming danger.
Now, there is war as Aethelstan invades Scotland whose kings have formed a union of six kings to fight against their single enemy. Will the prophecy of the death of the seven kings be fulfilled? If kings should die, would Uhtred be part?
Before I tell you my thoughts on this film, I should let you know that I haven’t seen the series, but from merely watching the movie, I can tell that the series is fantastic because the film itself is. This is the thought of George Whittingham, an IMDB reviewer who has watched the series. “The first season of the show was amazing, truly exceptional. The second and third seasons were enjoyable, while the fourth and fifth seasons were decent.“
The film had various characters that I found quite delightful, particularly Uhtred, the charming and youthful Lord. I relished not only his portrayal but also his persona, which is quite appealing. Who wouldn’t be drawn to a person with the courage to defend their people and the humility to reject kingship, even when their people are clamouring for it?
The music and sounds in this film were thoroughly enjoyable. The drums added tension, and birds chirping, swords clanging, cutting through skin, and men screaming created a mystical atmosphere that reminded me of the legendary Merlin series and those old sword and magic films. The accent of Uhtred was also quite captivating, and it evoked memories of Ragnar from Vikings.
The Last Kingdom: Seven Kings Must Die is a gripping story. It had intense suspense, unexpected plot developments, emotional moments, and humorous scenes. I was thoroughly engaged in this film and did not want it to end. The acting, direction, production, and all other aspects were faultless. I am so impressed that I am inclined to re-watch it multiple times. My bad, I have already started watching it again.
The Last Kingdom: Seven Kings Must Die is rated R for sex and nudity, and violence. It is available in select theaters and on Netflix.
All images used are from The Last Kingdom: Seven Kings Must Die movie.
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