Sunday, January 6, 2019

My Favorite Dane, Uhtred Son of Uhtred: The Last Kingdom

The Last Kingdom PosterI love Uhtred son of Uhtred. I've been loving him (his show, I mean, The Last Kingdom) since I first started watching only a month or so ago. It's got everything I want in a period piece, and all in spades - danger, humor, politics, romance (although it's always thwarted - poor Uhtred), an overarching story and lots of smaller plot and character arcs that are really thoughtful and well-developed. Many of the characters have come and gone over three seasons, except for Uhtred of course, which makes his life much harder and more tragic than it ever would be at this early stage of British history marked by Danish occupation. In real life, anyone like Uhtred would be dead a hundred times over, but he is the kind of character that you love to root for. And man, is his life rough - lots of failed romances and lost friends (usually ended in a grisly death), serving a king who needs you but despises you, and constantly unable to get the one thing that you want - the title, land, wealth, and safety that you were born to. All while trying to juggle growing up Dane in a Saxon world. But that complexity is what makes Uhtred, Son of Uhtred and all of the characters in his world so compelling to watch.

This third season though, was a bit less balanced that the two previous ones. This ongoing love/hate relationship between Uhtred and Alfred is a bit stale, although I recognize its purpose and am enjoying the rise of Alfred's son Edward. The end of the season (and of Alfred) felt like the best justice Uhtred's had in a long while. I felt the same way about the tension between Ragnar and Uhtred (essentially, the pull b/w Saxon and Dane as being iterated in these wars), although how it was implemented here (with Uhtred pulling away from Alfred) was very interesting, and it was refreshing to see him interact independently with Alfred's children. I did NOT see that coming to Ragnar. I did NOT see that coming from Aethelwold - but it was played quite effectively, so kudos to that. Skade should have been gone in 2 episodes. I saw her as a drag on these more interesting things, and would have much rather spent more time with Aethelfled in Mercia, who has a plot that is immensely more interesting than the sadistic bitch who pulls (makes that pulled) chain of every male in sight.

Lots of great things set up in this season, and I'm excited to see the show take some new directions in Season 4. (Cue the dramatic Viking music).

K. Rating: 4/5

Image result for viking woman singing
You know what music I mean...

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