Let’s get this out of the way: if you’ve never seen Netflix’s historical epic The Last Kingdom, this feature-length finale that wraps up the Danish/Saxon story over five seasons and features grunting, bearded men with swords whose names all start with “Ae” may confuse you.
Even if you can’t follow who betrayed whom, who’s related to whom, and why they want them dead, this is a beautifully filmed action adventure with a watchable lead in Alexander Dreymon, whose Uhtred is front and center enough that you don’t have to worry too much about some of the more complex machinations going on around him.
The Last Kingdom: Seven Kings Must Die is on Netflix now.
Of course, fans of the series will know what is going on and will be eager to see how this final movie wraps up the fascinating series and whether it ends well (spoiler: it does).
Seven Kings Must Die begins after season five, with Northumbrian lord Uhtred’s relatively peaceful life disrupted again by the news that King Edward has died, leaving his lands unruly, and seer Ingrith’s ominous prediction that “Seven kings must die, and the woman you love.”
Aethelstan (Harry Gilby), one of Edward’s sons, attempts to unite England while many kings from Scotland, Shetland, Orkney, and the like form an alliance with the dastardly Danish warrior Anlaf (Pekka Strang) to oppose him.
For historians, it’s all leading up to the Battle of Brunanburh in AD 937, and director Ed Bazalgette goes all out for the spectacular set piece, with gushing injuries, fierce sword battles, dramatic charges, and tautly coordinated fight scenes. It’s gorgeous.
The Last Kingdom is now on Netflix.
Even though the Vikings and Saxons plotted and schemed, the characters, effects, and stunt teams shine in this epic conflict.
Dreymon, Gilby, and Laurie Davidson, as Aethelstan’s adviser Ingilmundr, are convincing and complex, and their battles are thrilling and horrific.
If you loved The Last Kingdom as a series, you’ll love this final slice of medieval warrior life, and if this is your first introduction to the story (based on Bernard Cornwell’s books), you’ll be tempted to start watching Uhtred’s adventures from season one after the credits roll.