What Bernard Cornwell’s books tell us about The Last Kingdom season 5

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With the fifth and final season of Netflix’s The Last Kingdom almost here, fans are wondering what exactly we can expect from the (nearly) final chapter in the story of Uhtred son of Uhtred. Season 4 was more than eventful, with war, plague, and murder coming to the kingdoms of Wessex and Mercia, and despite it all, our hero had still not fulfilled the destiny of reclaiming his home at Bebbanburg.

Filming for the season wrapped some time ago; it began as far back as November 2020 at Korda Studios in Hungary. COVID-19 severely disrupted production, and Netflix has yet to reveal an official release date despite the show seemingly being ready to go. Most expect the season to drop sometime between April and May.

Returning to the show will be the likes of Alexander Dreymon as Uhtred, Millie Brady as Aethelflaed, Eliza Butterworth as Aelswith, Timothy Innes as King Edward, Emily Cox as Brida, and Jeppe Beck Laursen as Haesten.

Where we left The Last Kingdom

The truce made between King Edward of Wessex, Queen Aethelflaed of Mercia, and Sigtrygrr of Ireland will be important throughout season 5 as varying forces look to upset the balance. Sigtrygrr is supported by Brida, who — embittered by her experiences as a slave in Wales — sadly turned on Uhtred. The cost of the truce is high: Sigtrygrr is given Eoforwik (York), a city that Aethelflaed had taken from the Danes. He is also betrothed to Uhtred’s daughter Stiorra, who is willingly used as a bargaining chip as she had fallen in love with the Dane.

Meanwhile, Aethelhelm continues his plotting against Edward’s first-born child Aethelstan, and goes as far as attempting murder by arranging for Edward’s mother Aelswith to be poisoned. Her life was hanging in the balance as the last season ended.

Edward’s other son is also about to undergo a life-changing experience. Edward tasked Uhtred with taking the boy away, training him to be a warrior, and educating him on everything he needs to know about Danes. While Young Uhtred devotes himself to the church and Stiorra to Sigtrygrr, Uhtred will seemingly devote himself to the future king.

What to expect in The Last Kingdom season 5

While there hasn’t been much in the way of plot details revealed for the forthcoming season, we can make educated guesses. We’re working off what already transpired in season 4, actual historical events, and most importantly, the original Saxon Stories novels by British novelist Bernard Cornwall from which the show is adapted. Season 5 will be based on Books 9 and 10, Warriors of the Storm and The Flame Bearer.

While much has been cut from the books due to time constraints and other reasons, the show remains relatively faithful to them, so they’re our best guide to what’s coming.

That said, from here on out we’re going to be getting into SPOILERS for The Last Kingdom season 5, so only click on if you know what you’re getting yourself into:

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