The Last Kingdom: Seven Kings Must Die is a fitting conclusion to the journey of Uhtred of Bebbanburg

by Gordon Shelly

The Last Kingdom: Seven Kings Must Die has a linger sense of finality from beginning to end. Will this be the last we see of Uhtred son of Uhtred on Netflix? Hard to say, but this movie does track the character into his older years, and delivers a satisfying final addition to the show, honoring the characters and themes popularized in the 13 novels by Bernard Cornwell, telling the story of Uhtred of Bebbanburg.

According to the historical timeline, Uhtred should be about 70 years old (give or take). There is plenty of talk of age, disinterest in battle, and characters being well-past their primes; however, Uhtred (Alexander Dreymon) appears to be a rickety 40-year-old, rather than an aged warrior.

The story picks up following the death of King Edward with the threat of war looming -= a war that may potential crush the work of Edward’s father, Alfred the Great, in the efforts to unite the land into one England with a single King.

There is some political maneuvering in the quest for the throne between Edward’s sons Aelfweard and Aethelstan, the latter who takes the throne and continues the endeavor to unite the country under, what seems to be, unsurmountable odds.

Just as viewers would expect, Seven Kings Must Die is filled with political intrigue, betrayal, and battle. Uhtred, always true to his word, finds his loyalties and motivations in question as Aethelstan marches to the north to face invading and disenfranchised forces hoping to dispel the hope of a united England.

The movie pays off on all of the expected plot points. Some beloved characters live and some die. Battles and violence ensue, and Uhtred does everything within his power to remain a loyal and ethical man as he rallies the outnumbered forces in a final epic showdown in his attempt to play kingmaker one final time.

Seven Kings Must Die does well enough to serve as a stand alone movie without any prior knowledge of the novels or the previous five seasons of The Last Kingdom. But it is most effective for fans of the show, who can take into account the entire journey Uhtred of Bebbanburg who understands, at least for him, destiny is all.


Gordo’s Grade: B