Veltigar

The Last Kingdom II - NO MERCY [SPOlLERS Season I & II]

293 posts in this topic

2 hours ago, Veltigar said:

I have been gone for a very long time, due to stuff in my personal life, but now The Last Kingdom has finally brought me back to these trusted shores. I just finished the second season and it's just brilliant, overall I'd say it was stronger than the first season, although I do think season one had more stand-out moments (Leofric screaming No Mercy, the baptism of Guthred, the freeze frame of Alfred, etc.). I have to admit that I did not expect that they could pull it off, because this season's material was pulled from my least favourite books in the series. I'm also impressed by how they managed to introduce all those characters we didn't have in the first season and made them stand out. It's really impressive, I'll definitely watch a third season, it's such a breezy show :)

 I have been gone for a long time, but I'll edit the title :) 

 

I was wondering where Veltigar was. I'm glad you're back. More of your incisive analyses are needed around these parts.

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2 hours ago, Veltigar said:

I have been gone for a very long time, due to stuff in my personal life, but now The Last Kingdom has finally brought me back to these trusted shores. I just finished the second season and it's just brilliant, overall I'd say it was stronger than the first season, although I do think season one had more stand-out moments (Leofric screaming No Mercy, the baptism of Guthred, the freeze frame of Alfred, etc.).

 

Welcome back, Mr. Gar... I hope everything is well...

I, too, thought S2 was even better than S1.... mainly because they slowed the pace of the storytelling down... they burned through source material in the first season... S2 I thought had a better tempo

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On 9/2/2017 at 3:53 PM, Veltigar said:

I have been gone for a very long time, due to stuff in my personal life, but now The Last Kingdom has finally brought me back to these trusted shores. I just finished the second season and it's just brilliant, overall I'd say it was stronger than the first season, although I do think season one had more stand-out moments (Leofric screaming No Mercy, the baptism of Guthred, the freeze frame of Alfred, etc.). I have to admit that I did not expect that they could pull it off, because this season's material was pulled from my least favourite books in the series. I'm also impressed by how they managed to introduce all those characters we didn't have in the first season and made them stand out. It's really impressive, I'll definitely watch a third season, it's such a breezy show :)

 I have been gone for a long time, but I'll edit the title :) 

 

Awwwwww -- I thought it was something I / we said.  :D

Hope all resolved positively and safely.

Welcome back! :cheers:

My favorite small bit, that just rolled by without comment by anyone, was Aethelwold's quick study from watching Alfred playing a table game with his daughter, thus able to pinpoint where the enemy's tent will be for Uhtred.  The fellow really is a lot smarter than he looks, at least sometimes.

Edited by Zorral

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On 3-9-2017 at 0:20 AM, Corvinus said:

I was wondering where Veltigar was. I'm glad you're back. More of your incisive analyses are needed around these parts.

Thank you very much Corvinus, I'm glad someone missed my analyses, I'll try to drop in a bit more often. Although, I haven't been watching a ton of great stuff lately, so I don't have much to talk about on here ;)

On 3-9-2017 at 0:31 AM, Martini Sigil said:

Welcome back, Mr. Gar... I hope everything is well...

Thank you very much Martini, some days are better than others, but I keep on moving forward or at least I try :)  

On 3-9-2017 at 0:31 AM, Martini Sigil said:

I, too, thought S2 was even better than S1.... mainly because they slowed the pace of the storytelling down... they burned through source material in the first season... S2 I thought had a better tempo

Still incredibly fast though. I love the fact that this show has such an incredible pace without becoming incoherent like so many other shows. I hope they'll be able to keep that balance going :)

On 3-9-2017 at 11:53 PM, Zorral said:

Awwwwww -- I thought it was something I / we said.  :D

Hope all resolved positively and safely.

Welcome back! :cheers:

My favorite small bit, that just rolled by without comment by anyone, was Aethelwold's quick study from watching Alfred playing a table game with his daughter, thus able to pinpoint where the enemy's tent will be for Uhtred.  The fellow really is a lot smarter than he looks, at least sometimes.

Thank you very much as well Zorral, great to see that little old me was missed on here ;) That was a good moment. I do think Aethelwold is a much better character on the show than he's in the books. Something I feel could be said from a lot of the TV-shows characters imo :)  

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28 minutes ago, Veltigar said:

 

  That was a good moment. I do think Aethelwold is a much better character on the show than he's in the books. Something I feel could be said from a lot of the TV-shows characters imo :)  

The actor has given Aethelwold's character dimensions that were not on the page -- making the character one of the show's favorites. At least for me.  When he shows up on screen things always snap into sharper relief  -- he's the only male in this world besides Beocca who doesn't -- and who doesn't have to -- be concerned every moment with his dignity any longer, since he lost his dignity through his own behaviors long ago.  But he's got a very good mind (which, needless to say, so does Beocca), one that's so good that at times he can even turn his lack of dignity to good use.  He also makes a good study of others, particularly their weak points.  None of this was attributed particularly if at all to the book character.  If I were the author I'd be gloriously happy with what the actors are doing with his characters.

And --  that's why actors get the big buck$!  For once we're seeing those bucks be worth it. Though in reality, by relative standards of Hollywood and the BBC, those bucks really are miniscule, surely,  But those comix-tentpole blockheadbusters characters don't provide the opportunity for an actor to create a full-blooded, complex and complicated character in the first place.

Edited by Zorral

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So I absolutely loved the first season and was thrilled when the second season dropped on Netflix. Finally got around to starting it the other day.

I've only seen the first 3 episodes of S2 so far and mostly enjoyed it. If I have one bone to pick based on what I've seen of this season, it's that good/evil has lost some subtlety that (I think) S1 did a good job with. Maybe this will change as the season progresses, but I had a tough time with the fact that if a character is going to do something evil they make damn sure you know it. Almost to the level of having the "bad guys" portrayed as mustache twirling, maniacal laughing caricatures.

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It must be hard to add subtlety whilst portraying the brutality of slavery

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2 hours ago, Which Tyler said:

It must be hard to add subtlety whilst portraying the brutality of slavery

I'm assuming you're referencing something specific that I've yet to see.

Since I'm only 3 episodes in at this point, I was mainly talking about the Abbot in episode 2. It seems like he could still plot against Uhtred and promote his self-serving agenda without having a permanent scowl on his face and delivering every line in a tone that screams "Hey everybody, I'm about to do some evil shit!"

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. . .  good/evil has lost some subtlety . . .

 

Right, a wife abuser, because men who beat their wives are always such brave, loyal, honest, noble fellows in all the other aspects of their lives, shouldn't have been portrayed as a lying, cowardly, power hungry, greedy jerk, as he pounds on Alfred's daughter.  Ay-up, no subtlety or even accuracy there!  :cheers:

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2 hours ago, Zorral said:

 

Right, a wife abuser, because men who beat their wives are always such brave, loyal, honest, noble fellows in all the other aspects of their lives, shouldn't have been portrayed as a lying, cowardly, power hungry, greedy jerk, as he pounds on Alfred's daughter.  Ay-up, no subtlety or even accuracy there!  :cheers:

Like I said I've only seen the first 3 episodes and I'm not sure what you're referring to. Maybe I'm extra dense today. :huh:

I was specifically talking about the over the top, dastardliness of the actor playing the Abbott in episode 2 or maybe the way the character was written and interacts with those around him.

Here's an example that may help show where I'm coming from. In GoT the show, Craster is a terrible human. He abuses his daughter-wives (also, he has daughter-wives) and he sacrifices his infant sons. The portrayal of his character is always rude, gruff, violent, and simply malicious. Because of this, everyone knows what type of man he is and wouldn't trust him any farther than they must. In TLK however, the Abbott's character can somehow be just as obviously horrible as Craster, yet people trust him and don't suspect he's plotting behind their backs. 

I guess I just mean it feels odd that a character can be played as 100% evil and it's obvious to the viewer but not to the other characters. That's where some subtlety would need to come in to make us believe that perhaps his intentions do go unnoticed by other characters sometimes.

Or not. At this point I think I've confused myself ;) 

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1 hour ago, Joey Crows said:

Like I said I've only seen the first 3 episodes and I'm not sure what you're referring to. Maybe I'm extra dense today. :huh:

I was specifically talking about the over the top, dastardliness of the actor playing the Abbott in episode 2 or maybe the way the character was written and interacts with those around him.

Here's an example that may help show where I'm coming from. In GoT the show, Craster is a terrible human. He abuses his daughter-wives (also, he has daughter-wives) and he sacrifices his infant sons. The portrayal of his character is always rude, gruff, violent, and simply malicious. Because of this, everyone knows what type of man he is and wouldn't trust him any farther than they must. In TLK however, the Abbott's character can somehow be just as obviously horrible as Craster, yet people trust him and don't suspect he's plotting behind their backs. 

I guess I just mean it feels odd that a character can be played as 100% evil and it's obvious to the viewer but not to the other characters. That's where some subtlety would need to come in to make us believe that perhaps his intentions do go unnoticed by other characters sometimes.

Or not. At this point I think I've confused myself ;) 

When it comes to characters like the abbot, we are perceiving him through the perceptions of Uhtred and his allies.  So this particular high ranking churchman, like Uhtred's uncle, who did steal his rightful property, who does side with his enemies, are the villains of the piece, so to speak, just Beocca is another good guy of the piece, because of how he treats and interacts with both Uhtred and Alfred.  Beocca is loyal and honest and tolerant, a good guy, likeable, and thus has a lot more dimension for Uhtred than the outright villains who are aligned with Alfred, who are dishonest, disloyal, undependable, rigid and not at all likeable: Alfred's mistake of a son in law and some of his churchmen -- but Alfred has a use for all them. Uhtred does not.  They are in his way all the time and also mistreat people for whom he cares about, admires and so on.  They are not complicated psychologies.

Then there is Aethelwold who is very interesting and sometimes even likeable, because he is never one thing, and plausibly so, thanks both to the books' author and particularly so because of the actor.  Uhtred, like us, find him interesting, and not infrequently useful.

Then there are the norsemen, who are important to Uhtred as antagonists, allies, family, all kinds of things.  Some are useful, some are out and out hated personal enemies that he has vowed (like his uncle, who will ally with some of them) to destroy.

This is Uhtred's story -- though the actors are so good, that even as the author of the books has Uhtred understand, this is also -- or even more so -- Alfred's story, and Uhtred has come into it only as he's useful to Alfred.

Does that help?

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Finally got round to watching season 2, it's not my favourite show and I'd hesitate to call it anything higher than simply good but it keeps my attention and adapts the novels fairly well.

Though I do find it funny that coming from a series of novels all about taking other people's real life achievements and awarding them to Uhtred the tv show even takes the achievements of other fictional characters in the story and lets Uhtred hog all the glory.

Spoiler

Being the one to kill Svienn/Skorpa in season 1 and then in season 2 being the one to take Sigfried's hand and later kill him.

Which is a shame because Osferth leaping from the walls to maim Sigfried is one of my favourite moments in the books and taking Svienn/Skorpa away from Steapa and making Leofric to be the one who duels Uhtred hasn't left the big man with much. He's mostly just a slightly tall background character rather than the monster who even Uhtred admits he can't beat.

 

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Yeah 

Skorpas death was one of the few scenes that underwhelmed me. It wasn't very well done with Uhtred breaking the shield Wall by himself and catching that spear from Beocca. Stood out as being ridiculous in an otherwise pretty awesome episode. 

Osferth is one of my favorite characters from the books and I was hoping he would have that moment as well but maybe they want to build his character up a bit more on the show idk.

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