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‘The Last Kingdom: Seven Kings Must Die’ Ending Explained: Who Lives and Who Dies?

The Last Kingdom: Seven Kings Must Die – Carnival Film & Television

The final chapter of The Last Kingdom has concluded as we finally say our goodbyes to Uhtred of Bebbanburg, and the incredible Alexander Draymon. The climactic end to Uhtred’s saga was rife with action, adventure, and plenty of deaths, but who lost their lives for the future of England, and did Uhtred live to see out his days as an old man in Bebbanburg? Let’s find out.

The Last Kingdom: Seven Kings Must Die is the sequel to the incredible historical-fiction series, and Netflix Original, The Last Kingdom. Martha Hillier wrote the screenplay adaptation for Seven Kings Must Die, which is based on the book War Lord, the 13th and final entry of Bernard Cornwell’s Saxon Stories.

The team behind the series from Carnival Film & Television returned to produce the feature, with Mat Chaplin, Nigel Marchant, and Gareth Neame as producers. Martha Hillier and actor Alexander Draymon are the executive producers of the film.

In the wake of King Edward’s death, Uhtred of Bebbanburg and his comrades adventure across a fractured kingdom in the hopes of uniting England at last.

The Last Kingdom: Seven Kings Must Die Ending Explained

With the battlefield set, the climactic battle would seal the fate of England, and the British Isles forever would take place at the Battle of Brunanburh.

Uhtred allied himself with King Aethelstan, and what remained of their forces would take on the combined forces of the kingdoms of Irland, Orkney, Man, Shetland, Strathclyde, and Scotland.

An awe-inspiring tactician and commander of the battlefield, Uhtred set up a defensive position at the base of the hill, which gave the advantage to Anlaf’s forces. However, this was intentional, as by using King Aethelstan’s presence on the battlefield would bait the enemy into attacking. By using a shield wall to defend themselves, Uhtred gave the order to begin walking back slowly to the tree line. Overeager, the enemy was lured into a trap as dozens of men would injure themselves by falling on spikes that were hidden amongst the grass. The trap wasn’t enough to give Uhtred’s forces the advantage but caused enough disarray to give them more time. However, in the advance Father Pyrlig would be injured, leaving Uhtred to believe he had died in combat.

Before bloodshed, Uhtred at the Battle of Brunanburh – Carnival Film & Television

Alfan’s forces would plow into the shield wall, where the line would be held despite the overwhelming numbers. However, on the right flank where Aethelstan was engaged in combat with the Scots, they would begin hitting the shield wall with a Swine Wedge, a triangular formation that could pierce the line of a shield wall. With the enemy forces pushing hard on Aethelstan’s flank, the shield wall barely held, but did the job of turning the line around to face the trees.

On Uhtred’s orders, Edmund would give the signal for the hiding cavalry amongst the trees to charge the enemy from behind. Trapping the enemy between the shield wall, and the cavalry, the tide of battle would swing in Uhtred’s favor. With nowhere to run many men, including several princes of the enemy would fall in combat.

King Aethelstan and Ingilmundr were engaged in combat, fiercely fighting, which grabbed the attention of Uhtred. Concerned for the King’s life, Uhtred would try to rush his way through the battlefield in his attempt to save him, however, be it age, or just letting his guard down for mere moments out of concern for the king, Uhtred was wounded mortally several times. Before passing out, Uhtred was able to witness King Aethelstan defeating Ingilmundr, and the alive but wounded Father Pyrlig.

With their lines threatened due to their sons dying, all of the kings who had lost their heirs decided to retreat, leaving Anlaf with no army, and forcing him to return to Irland. In the aftermath of the battle Finnand and Sihtric would find the gravely wounded Uhtred, meanwhile, King Aethelstan would sentence Ingilmundr to death for his treason.

Ingilmundr moments before his execution – Carnival Film & Television

Returning to Bebbanburg, everyone was concerned for Uhtred’s health as he lay recovering from the battle. In Uhtred’s final moments, he would swear fealty to Aethelstan, making the latter the new King of Northumbria. As the King of Mercia, Wessex, East Anglia, and Northumbria, for the first time in its history England was unified under the banner of one King. However, Uhtred’s oath came with one condition, that Aethelstan could never marry, and bear no children, so upon his death, the crown would go to his younger brother without challenge.

Uhtred, son of Uhtred would die of his wounds in his ancestral home of Bebbanburg, and thanks to his legendary deeds on and off the battlefield would be welcomed into the halls of Valhalla where his friends, adopted family, and other legendary Vikings were waiting.

With one last voiceover from Finan, the camera pans out of the window to modern-day Bebbanburg Castle, now Bamburgh Castle, where it still stands today.

Who died in The Last Kingdom: Seven Kings Must Die?

As expected a significant number of people died;

  • Aelfweard – The half-brother of Aethelstan, he was murdered in cold blood by his brother after the latter used Uhtred’s attempts at peace talks to his advantage.
  • Aldhelm – The loyal bodyguard of the Queen, Aldhelm would lose his life after being caught ‘conspiring’ with Uhtred. Despite pleading for mercy, it fell on the death ears of Aethelstan, and was executed for treason.
  • Ingrith – The wife of Finan, she foretold the prophecy that seven kings must die. After Finan and Sihtric are tricked into leaving Bebbanburg to travel south to meet Uhtred, a band of wolf warriors sacked the castle. The survivors were trapt within a Saxon crypt, where they would all sadly die of starvation, including Ingrith.

Finnan, Sihtric and Uhtred attempting to free Ingrith, and the other residents of Bebbanburg – Carnival Film & Television

  • Brand – The wife of Anlaf, she would perish at the battle of Brunanburh thanks to a well-placed arrow piercing her chest.
  • Five Princes of the Seven Kings – All of the seven kings had sons to carry on their legacies, except many of them fell at the battle of Brunanburh, including, the princes of Orkney, Man, Shetland, Strathclyde, and Scotland.
  • Ingilmundr – The lover of King Aethelstan, Ingilmundr orchestrated the chaos that unfolded across the British Isles, tricking the king into doing his bidding. His betrayal would be paid with his life, after the King defeated him on the battlefield, was captured, and subsequently executed.
  • Uhtred of Bebbanburg – One of the greatest warriors of his era, Uhtred’s age finally caught up with him after letting his guard down on the battlefield, taking several mortalwounds. Uhtred would later die of his injuries at Bebbanburg Castle, as the halls of Valhalla welcomed him to the afterlife.

Is this really the end of The Last Kingdom?

We should let Uhtred rest. With Uhtred now in the halls of Valhalla, the story of The Last Kingdom is over.

What did you think of the end of The Last Kingdom? Let us know in the comments below!

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