Recent months have brought mixed news for The Last Kingdom fans. Season 5 of the show will be the show’s last, which is bad. But there’s going to be a follow-up movie, which is good. But they still probably won’t adapt the entirety of Bernard Cornwell’s Saxon Stories novels, which is bad again.
The Last Kingdom will adapt books nine and 10 of Cornwell’s series, leaving three novels unadapted and the full story of Uhtred of Bebbenburg incomplete. The show had been growing in popularity and recognition, so fans were wondering it’s been cut short. Star Alexander Dreymon, Uhtred himself, revealed that the decision was made long ago. “When we started shooting the show, there were ten books that Bernard Cornwell had written,” Dreymon said at MCM London Comic Con. “And we had structured the show in a way that season five was always going to be the last season.”
When The Last Kingdom was initially conceived, there were only 10 books out; War of the Wolf, Sword of Kings and War Lord were all published later. The show always planned to adapt two books a season, making the decision to end the series at five seasons less than shocking for the cast and crew.
“However, for a good while now, we’ve been in talks about maybe a little extension… because it felt like it couldn’t quite yet be the end,” Dreymon continued. That conclusion will come with a two-hour movie called Seven Kings Must Die. The film is expected to contain material from the final three books.
“It’s been such a privilege to tell Uhtred’s story for five seasons,” Dreymon said. “I’m so grateful to our fans. They have been immensely loyal to The Last Kingdom, and thanks to their support, the team is getting together for another round.”
The Last Kingdom has more story to tell
Producer Nigel Marchant agreed with Dreymon. “Although season five fully concludes the series, there was always one more story that we wanted to tell,” he said. “With the brilliant support of Netflix and continued appetite from the fans to see more, we simply couldn’t resist one last journey with Uhtred.”
Alexander Dreymon is confirmed to return for Seven Kings Must Die as Uhtred, and it’s expected that other fan-favorites from the series will also be back. Filming is scheduled to get underway in Budapest, Hungary, in 2022.
There is no official release date for season 5 of The Last Kingdom as of yet, but it’s good to see that plans are being laid.