Watch the trailer for The Last Kingdom season 3!


“Kings will be made. And kings will die …” Fans of the Netflix series The Last Kingdom rejoice, because the show just released one heck of a trailer! It’s one minute long, jammed with drama and action, and suggests immense upheavals in the 9th century English world of Saxons and Danes we’ve come to know in the previous two seasons. Check out the one minute trailer, and we’ll discuss below.

Here’s the official Netflix summary of the trailer: “As Alfred’s health weakens–and with it his dream of a united England–Uhtred must take command and confront a new threat, Danish warlord Sigrid.”

Gather the fyrd! This trailer is as grim and dark as it is unsettling, and it looks like we’re in for ten mind-blowing episodes on November 19th. Let’s discuss! We open with a new character, the fearsome female Viking seer-warrior Skade (several new season 3 characters are very prominent in this trailer) in a gloomy swamp, kneeling over what might be bird entrails in a fire. “I see the death of a king,” she says, and screams.

“And with him, his kingdom,” Skade continues. We see the silhouettes of two people kneeling at a well-appointed church altar. From their shapes, I’m guessing the two are King Alfred and the priest Beocca. Next is a closeup of the crown being slipped onto a head, probably Alfred’s. We see a closeup of Skade in a different location, and she states “It is you who must rule …” before the shot cuts to a closeup of Uhtred, looking older with the haircut of a Dane. Skade’s hand tenderly caresses his face as she names him: “…Uthtred of Bebbanburg.”

Ola Rapace as Bloodhair in The Last Kingdom.
Ola Rapace as Bloodhair in The Last Kingdom. /

Next comes the scene of an advancing Viking army with Ragnar and Brida at the front, followed by quick shots of Vikings pillaging villages, and the warrior Bloodhair (Ola Rapace) and Skade in the midst of it. The voiceover continues: “War is coming. Danes march in numbers from north to south.”

The next few seconds give us a ton of information. We see a sickly King Alfred saying “When I am gone, my son will need you, Uhtred.” Uhtred, looking all the world like a Dane, responds with a cold stare. The characters all look older, and that’s confirmed by the appearance of Edward, Alfred’s son who was a baby in seasons 1 and 2. He’s a teenager now, so well over a decade has passed since the end of season 2. That’s a lot of time.

Timothy Innes as Edward in The Last Kingdom.
Timothy Innes as Edward in The Last Kingdom. /

Alfred is dying. The Danes are coming. Everything is falling apart and it’s falling on Uhtred’s shoulders. Aethelwold shows up (Alfred really should have executed that guy), and it looks like he’s teamed up with Ragnar and the Danes, surely hoping they’ll install him on Alfred’s throne. Battle images ensue, and of course we see our beloved shield wall once again.

Drama is everywhere. Edward wants nothing to do with the crown, the tenuous relationship between Uhtred and Alfred appears to be shattering, and Uhtred seems to be teaming up (romantically?) with the mysterious Skade. The trailer ends with an intriguing moment as Brida tells Uhtred: “You must undo the past. You must destroy Alfred.”

There we have it. The bevy of new major characters isn’t surprising, considering how many leads The Last Kingdom has killed off over the previous two seasons. The long passage of time is a bit jarring, considering how used we are used to Uhtred as a young hotshot with his entire future in front of him. A lot of water will have passed under the story bridge and it’ll be fascinating to see where the characters have landed in the first episode.

Things look very, very dark. The Last Kingdom has always been a show about loss and sadness (just rewatch the first episode again) but it’s always had a lighter, fun side as well. I didn’t see any opportunity for humor in this trailer, but that may well be by design. Perhaps the show’s most powerful theme is about not belonging. It looks like Uhtred has shifted from living as a Saxon to identifying as a Dane. Somehow I doubt he will feel any more comfortable over there.

(All ten episodes of The Last Kingdom season 3 will be available on Netflix on November 19, 2018. Watch the show with us here at WiC! We’ll be talking about it!)

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