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The Last Kingdom - new season out today


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41 minutes ago, Myrddin said:

Just finished season 5 (after rewatching the entire series over the last two weeks). Overall I really enjoyed how it ended, though Edward was a tiring idiot for all of season 5. Just stupid king all around. I get that they needed Uhtred to be able to step forward to lead Wessex to victory again, but Edward made it harder than it should've. The unity shown at the end was almost worth it, though.

Can someone explain:

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Who the boy is that Hild shows up with at the end? Gisela's son she died giving birth to? Why would he be kept hidden all those years? And by who?

Book spoilers welcome. I read the first three, but never read past. They've been spending 10 episodes to cover two books so far. Is the story that thin that we just need a two-hour movie to cover the last 3 books?

Also, in Episode 10 when Uhtred rode out for his plan:

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I joked that Hild was going to magically appear as a nun in the north. Then she did... Really? She just happens to take a new job up north within miles of Uhtred's life long goal? While I love the character, her popping into the story like that was even worse than Haestan being int he right place at the right time.

Those bits and occasional pacing issues aside, the show was well done from beginning to end. I'm glad they were able to finish out to this point. It was fun reliving the character journeys these past few week. Destiny was all.

To answer some of your questions with book spoilers:

Spoiler

It was pointed upthread that the mysterious boy is indeed Gisela's 3rd child. Which is in book canon, but he was never hidden, so yeah I don't know why they did that. Maybe they just weren't able to cast a small child in the previous seasons. Book Gisela died of an illness not childbirth. After Uhtred's firstborn becomes a priest, Uthred is enraged, he forbids his eldest from calling himself Uhtred (a family tradition) and renames his other son Uhtred, who grows up to be a warrior and should have been by his father's side by the point where the show ends.

I don't think Hild being there is that out of norm. She took a nun job at Lindesfarne, the holy island off the English coast that's actually quite close to Bebbanburg. In the books, Cornwell tended to retire the characters he no longer had a use for. Hild becomes an abbess somewhere else, and that's that for her in the books. I guess the show wanted to bring her back for nostalgia's sake. And also keep Aelswith around to the end.

The book series overall definitely has a lot of repetition. Some guy causes trouble, Uhtred, despite his intentions, ends defeating him. I think the first three books and the last ones are the best, with the middle being a rinse & repeat of the same plot. 

 

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I had a good laugh during the finale.

Spoiler

(paraphrasing)

Quote

 

Edward: My family owes you a debt that can never be repaid.

Uthred: I'm not swearing fealty to you.

Edward: AFTER ALL MY FAMILY HAS DONE FOR YOU!?

 

And of course the last bit with Aelswith. Fuck the movie, they need to do a sitcom spinoff about her and Uthred living in the same castle. Laugh track and all.

 

Edited by RumHam
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I thought that was funny too. I even commented right before that scene "Edward better not demand Uhtred to swear another oath... because that has been so welcome in the past." Then, boom. Suck it, Lord King.

Edited by Myrddin
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  • 3 weeks later...

Finally watching this season, though I'm only five episodes in, so I'll be avoiding the rest of the thread now for fear of spoilers.

This season... is not very good. I didn't mind season 4 as much as others did, even though the writing definitely did become worse and the show losing three of its best actors (Alfred, Beocca, Aethelwold) detracted from it. But I'm hitting a wall this season. It's so overstuffed - in five episodes, we've gotten Brida's Cult and the Invasion of Sigtryggir's lands, Brida's daughter dying and her having a crisis of faith, Aethelfled's illness and death, Edward becoming king of Mercia, your usual Aethelhelm plotting plots, Edward having an affair, the queen dying thanks to Aethelhelm's plots, Sigtryggir and his brother, an entire war breaking out between Sigtryggir and Edward, Aethelhelm deciding to attack Uhtred's village for some reason, and Aethelhem becoming the Joker. I'm sure I've forgotten some plotlines.

Some of these are ridiculous in and of themselves - everything involving Brida's cult and Brida has been so cheesy and over the top. Aethelhelm becoming Joker at the end of episode five was... something. But I think there's a lot of potential here, especially with the Mercia plotlines, if they'd just slowed things down a bit. For now, though, it's like Game of Thrones Season 8 on triple speed.
 

Edited by Caligula_K3
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  • 4 weeks later...

So I've been binge watching this show for the first time and so I'm avoiding the rest of this thread. I wanted to finish season 5 before making a post here but I'm on 4x03 and I'm so mad about the way they killed Beocca. Besides the abrupt way it happened, almost like an afterthought or an attempt at shock factor (he didn't want to come but then he did and then he died all in a very short space), why leave the death for the first 5 minutes of episode 3 (and before the opening credits even!) instead of including it at the end of episode 2..... it completely killed the moment and felt like a joke, like they didn't even care. In fact the way they've been ending each episode is so bad. Ending it in the middle of a scene and starting the next episode as a straight continuation, like we've just been on a commercial break, just comes across as sloppy and nonsensical.

Anyway I'm only on 4x03 and this season is already bad....

Since I'm writing this post I might as well share some of my thoughts about the show so far:

  • The absurdly fast pace of this show is at times fine but also detrimental when it comes to character development;
  • The non-aging of the characters is....weird....but I can disregard it as a creative choice.
  • Seasons 1 and 2 were much better than 3 and (so far) 4. The first half of season 3 was very good I thought, but the second half wasn't as good (besides the scenes between Uthred and Brida in episode 6 and between Uthred and Alfred in episode 9).
  • Season 4 is suffering I think of the repetitiveness of the storylines and the fact that the new characters are almost the same as the previous ones who've died. And they're not as interesting.
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Season 4 is basically an entire season build up for things to happen in S5.  I thought S4 was by far the worst of the bunch and spent far too much time in Mercia without anything really happening.  Also, Edward is just the worst.

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20 hours ago, aceluby said:

Season 4 is basically an entire season build up for things to happen in S5.  I thought S4 was by far the worst of the bunch and spent far too much time in Mercia without anything really happening.  Also, Edward is just the worst.

Agreed.

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1 hour ago, Lady Anna said:

Also, Edward is just the worst.

What do you all think King Edward should be instead? Since kings tend to behave like kings do behave, I am curious how you think a more realistic Edward would act.

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Edward is also the king that Alfred and even Uhtred built him up to be, when as a youth he really seemed to be heading in the wrong direction. So it's hard for Uhtred to complain too much. There's even a few shots where he looks like he's kind of admiring Edward for being decisive even if it's not the right course of action. Better he decides to do something and does it rather than flip-flopping around (which was the danger earlier on).

Edward was neglected in history for years because both Alfred and Aethelstan were seen as more significant in the history of Britain, but his role has been reconsidered over the last twenty years and he is now considered to be hugely significant and admired for his political acumen in keeping peace with the Vikings whilst also undermining them and laying the foundations for his son's unification of the country.

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28 minutes ago, Werthead said:

he is now considered to be hugely significant and admired for his political acumen in keeping peace with the Vikings whilst also undermining them and laying the foundations for his son's unification of the country.

That's what I'd thought -- but as I'm not English, I could have gotten that wrong.

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1 hour ago, Zorral said:

What do you all think King Edward should be instead? Since kings tend to behave like kings do behave, I am curious how you think a more realistic Edward would act.

A better actor to start.

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I think it's just generally agreed that the guy playing Alfred was better than the guy playing Edward. He was probably the best actor on the show. So when the throne passed to Edward the show lost something. That said I don't think his performance was bad, just not as good.

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40 minutes ago, RumHam said:

just not as good.

Hard to be as good as David Dawson was as Alfred -- it was as though he were born to be King Alfred.  Plus he and the writers had from the gitgo, first episode, first season, to learn from each episode, the facets of Alfred's character, even his characteristic physical weaknesses and maladies, even use them as plot points, or story development.  Dawson's not had that kind of impact in any of his other roles, whether in Secret Diary of a Call Girl to All the Old Knives.  Not saying he wasn't good -- just not that impact in that kind of role that Alfred was.

 

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1 hour ago, Zorral said:

Who would have done what differently and better?

The guy who played the King of Scotland would have been better, but really anyone who could command the camera and feel strong would have worked much better.  Edward seemed like a child trying to act like an adult, which he was, and it made the character seem childish and weak - which the plotting did not really support.  It worked in season 3, but it did not in season 4, and was one of the worst parts of season 5 IMO.

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Edward suffers badly from the vague ageing everyone is suffering from. They got someone who could convincingly be a stroppy teenager but then he can't sell being a more badass thirty-something authoritarian ruler.

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On 5/19/2022 at 6:20 PM, Zorral said:

What do you all think King Edward should be instead? Since kings tend to behave like kings do behave, I am curious how you think a more realistic Edward would act.

Oh it's just the actor coupled with the general writing of s4. Like aceluby and everyone said.

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On 5/19/2022 at 10:03 PM, aceluby said:

The guy who played the King of Scotland would have been better, but really anyone who could command the camera and feel strong would have worked much better.  Edward seemed like a child trying to act like an adult, which he was, and it made the character seem childish and weak - which the plotting did not really support.  It worked in season 3, but it did not in season 4, and was one of the worst parts of season 5 IMO.

I must admit, I would really loved to have seen Forest Whitaker on this show :D 

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Finished season 5. I liked it way more than season 4. Overall I loved this show mostly because of the characters - I think that was its biggest strength. From Uthred to Alfred, Beocca to Aethelflaed, even supporting ones like Aldhelm or Hild were all interesting. There are some strong character moments that really shine throughout the show (from this season, highlights include Uthred and Brida's last scene). The non-aging of the characters didn't bother me that much, and I thought Edward was much better this season. Sygtrygr may have only been on this show for around 6 episodes but he was also a standout. I don't mean Brida's characterization in these last seasons but it felt like the writers didn't quite know what to do with her. Still a fascinating character to me.

5X04 was one of the best episodes of the show for me.

I just finished reading this thread and I have to highlight this post:

On 3/23/2022 at 3:11 PM, aceluby said:

We're almost done w/ our season 4 rewatch because neither my wife, nor I could remember what happened.  I really don't see the drop in quality, acting-wise, but holy shit is the pacing just bad in season 4.  It's no wonder we couldn't remember what happened, because very little actually did happen.  I'm not entirely convinced that having the king would have helped when they dedicate 75% of the season to just being in Mercia, not really doing anything.

It was exactly what I thought about season 4 too. So much happens in the first 4 episodes (from Uthred's attempt to retake Bebbanburg to Tettenhall), then the next 4 are spent in Mercia, even though they could have easily been condensed, and then the last 2 are dedicated to the capture and recovery of Winchester which should have taken longer imo.

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