My Dad and I have always been very interested in the medieval period. As such we are constantly looking for good medieval tv shows. After the end of Game of Thrones, I figured we wouldn’t find another good medieval tv show, and I had to reside myself to watch B-rated shows like knightfall. Thankfully however I saw an analysis of the historical accuracy of the last kingdom one day, and decided to check out the show. It turned out to be surprisingly good, and for anyone going through Game of Thrones withdrawal, it’s perfect.
The Last Kingdom takes place during the danish invasion of England during the 9th century. In this time period England wasn’t unified, and instead was divided into various kingdoms. The show centers around Wessex, also known as the last kingdom, since it’s the only one to not yet to fall to the Danes.
This show isn’t terribly accurate with its portrayal of certain historical aspects. Danes are shown to be dirty savages, when in reality they were some of the cleanest people in the era. The armor is shown to be weird gimp-like studded leather, when in reality it was mostly mail and lamellar. The battles however, although they aren’t portrayed properly at times, all did happen, and most of the characters are real.
The show follows Uhtred of Bebbanburg, also known as Uhtred Ragnarson. He was born a Saxon lord, but was kidnapped as a child and raised by the Danes. Because of this, he’s treated as a foreigner by both saxons and Danes, and this makes him a very interesting character. The other main character of the show is Alfred the Great. Unlike Uhtred, Alfred was actually a real person; he was the English King who against incredible odds managed to beat the Danes. Both are very well cast, and both actors do incredible jobs portraying their respective characters. In fact, the overall acting and screenwriting in this show is pretty good all around, and episodes are very tightly written and clear.
Overall, the last kingdom is pretty fantastic. It’s got compelling stories, well written characters, and excellent combat. If you’re looking for a good medieval show to keep up with after Game of thrones, this is it.