The Last Kingdom has fast become one of the most popular titles in the Netflix library. Renewed for a fourth season, we’re expecting it to arrive in early 2020 and here’s everything we know so far about the next entry in the world of The Last Kingdom.
The Last Kingdom is a Netflix Original series based on The Saxon Stories by author Bernard Cornwell. Originally, the series was produced by BBC America and was co-produced by Netflix.
As of the third season Netflix had picked up the production entirely and it became a full Netflix Original. The show has been written by Martha Hillier (Vera, Versailles) with Gareth Neame serving as an executive producer. Nigel Marchant, Jessica Pope, and Vicki Delow also serve as producers. Carnival Films is the production studio behind the magic of The Last Kingdom, with worldwide distribution handled by NBCUniversal International Distribution.
Taken from his ancestral home after his uncle’s betrayal, young Osbert is raised by the Danes. Renamed Uhtred, he is raised as a son by Earl Ragnar. When Ragnar’s banished shipmaster returns to enact his revenge upon Ragnar, he pins the blame on Uhtred. Having no choice but to flee, he and his lover Brida retreat to the Kingdom of Wessex. Forced to serve King Alfred, Uhtred is given the task of training Alfred’s armies to fight the invading Danes. Uhtred dreams of being able to return to his ancestral home and reclaim his birthright.
Uhtred was forced to flee Wessex after accidentally killing a holy man in the presence of King Alfred. Fleeing north, Uhtred reunited with his adoptive brother Ragnar. The Danish were uniting to lead an invasion force south to further conquer areas of Mercia and thus Wessex.
The King’s nephew Aethelwold spent the entirety of the season scheming to take the crown from Alfred. This ultimately leads to the death of Ragnar when Aethelwold killed him while he slept.
This split the Danish forces as Brida became distracted with finding her lover’s killer. Uhtred joined Brida in the search of Ragnar’s killer and finding a way for Ragnar’s soul to reach Valhalla as he died without his sword in hand.
Edward led his father’s forces in the first fight against the Danes. Leading to a Wessex victory against Heasten’s forces. After the defeat of Heasten’s force, the Danish army is weakened and must wait out the winter before attacking.
They send Aethelwold back to Wessex as a spy, to which the traitor’s life is spared but loses an eye for his crime. Aethelwold continues to scheme as Alfred’s condition worsened. Uhtred was able to reconcile with Alfred before the King’s passing. Finally learning of Alfred’s true feelings for Uhtred, he was pardoned by the King on the condition of swearing fealty to his son Edward. Uhtred eventually learns that Aethelwold’s murder of Ragnar and the coward flees Wessex to rejoining the Danes.
With Alfred’s passing Edward is crowned as king of Wessex. As spring approaches the Danish army moves south to begin its invasion. Aetholwold, having convinced Sigebriht a bannerman of Edward to turn, is confident he can turn the tide of battle when it arrives.
Aethelred of Mercia declares that Mercia will not take part in the war and pulls his forces. Uhtred convinces King Edward to attack the invading force before they arrive to catch them off guard. Summoning his forces the army of Wessex rides out to meet the Danish invaders.
Catching the Danes off guard, the initial attack works to Wessex’s advantage. With superior numbers, the Danes soon begin to hold back the Wessex army. Arriving in time to aid Wessex is Aethelfold’s (Sister of Edward and wife of Aethelred) Mercian army.
Turning the tide of battle against the Danes, Sigebriht betrays Aethelwold and joins the side of Wessex. As Aethelwold attempts to flee the battle he is caught by Brida and Uhtred. Using what is left of Ragnar’s blood, Uhtred pierces the pouch holding the blood into Aethwold’s heart ensuring that Ragnar’s soul is sent to Valhalla.
Who’s appearing in The Last Kingdom season 4? Who’s been cast?
The full list of returning cast members has been confirmed to be the following:
|Uhtred Ragnarsson||Alexander Dreymon|
|Father Beocca||Ian Hart|
|King Edward||Timothy Innes|
|Haesten||Jeppe Beck Laursen|
We can also confirm two new actors that will be joining the cast members for the fourth season of The Last Kingdom:
- Stefanie Martini will play the role of Eadith who is Aethelred’s new love conquest
- Jamie Blackley will play Eardwulf who is described as Aethelred’s new right-hand man
- Ruby Hartley is scheduled to play Stiorra who is Uhted’s daughter
Pictured (left to right): Stefanie Martini, Jamie Blackley, Ruby HartleyOssion Perret (Grantchester) has been cast in The Last Kingdom but his role is yet to be announced. The actor has also filmed scenes with the Henry Cavill in the Netflix Original series The Witcher.
How the book adaptations will influence The Last Kingdom Season 4
Previously, each season covered roughly two books from which the story is adapted from. Season 3 ended during the events of Death of Kings. There are some plot points from Death of Kings that could be used for the beginning of Season 4. If they move on from Death of Kings and choose to go onto the events of The Pagan Lord then a significant time jump is set to take place.
After Season 4 there are still three books ready to be adapted. The series has seen some significant differences compared to that of the books, so even if the series is to exceed the story of the books (Season 6 or 7) the writers will likely be fine continuing the story themselves. The biggest factor is the age of characters in the novels because Uhtred is in his Mid 50’s in the events of The Pagan Lord and The Empty Throne.
What to expect from The Last Kingdom Season 4 on Netflix
The official synopsis for the fourth season of The Last Kingdom has been provided by Carnival Films:
“After the death of Alfred, the alliances between the kingdoms are fractured. Uhtred believes the timing is right to challenge his uncle Aelfric, played by Joseph Millson (Casino Royale, Banished), and take back his ancestral home, Bebbanburg. However fate shifts in a different direction, leading Uhtred to realise that his destiny is tied to Alfred’s dream of a united land. This, and Uhtred’s feelings for Aethelflaed, drive him back into the politics that threaten to break out into war.”
A Return to Bebbanburg?
While we were speculating on the plot of the fourth season, Uhtred’s journey to his ancestral home was one of the plot threads we mentioned. Uhtred’s fate from the synopsis above will continue to lead him away from Bebbanburg and back to the Kingdom of Wessex. After the events of the last season, Uhtred has created some fierce enemies in the form of Cnut and Haesten who will come looking to take revenge upon Uhtred for his role in the ambush against the Danish forces.
A New King Rises?
King Edward will struggle in his first years as the new king of Wessex. With a legacy such as his father’s to follow, naturally many men who were once loyal to Alfred may not be so loyal to their young king. Edward will need the help of Uhtred to unite the lands and create Alfred’s dream of England. Aethelflaed co-controls the kingdom of Mercia, alongside her husband Aethelred but with the latter plotting to kill his wife, it may be up to Uhtred to save her. Which will likely end up with the pair finally admitting their feelings for each other?
If Edward can hold the Kingdom of Wessex and keep his Mercian allies then he has a great platform to continue a conquest that would lead to capturing the lands held by the Danes such as Lundene and the Kingdom of East Anglia.
A Time Skip?
We’ve been expecting to see a time jump and Eliza Butterworth’s Instagram has all but confirmed it. Actress Ruby Hartley has been cast as Uhtred’s daughter Stiorra. We haven’t seen any information on the fate of Uhtred’s sons Uhtred and Osbert.
Ruby Hartley in The Last Kingdom season 4. From Eliza Butterworth’s Instagram Stories. pic.twitter.com/8Yd2UALjN7
— Crown_For_A_King (@Crown_ForAKing) September 17, 2019
Ruby Hartley will be making her television debut in The Last Kingdom, and the casting choice is near perfect. In the books, Uhtred has noted just how much her late-mother Stiorra resembles, so much so it has even hurt our favorite Viking to look at his own daughter.
As you can see from the picture above, the resemblance is uncanny!
Where in production is The Last Kingdom Season 4
We can now confirm that filming for the fourth season of The Last Kingdom has come to an end as of October 2019
This was confirmed in a tweet by the series’ official twitter account:
— The Last Kingdom (@TheLastKingdom) October 5, 2019
On October 7th, the cast posted a video exclaiming their anticipation for the upcoming fourth season.
Bigger. Bloodier. Better. #TheLastKingdom family has retreated from the battlefield and rolled into the edit suite! While some celebrate, and others lick their wounds, there's work yet to be done to bring #thelastkingdom Season 4 to our screens. Patience, Arselings, patience. pic.twitter.com/veMaCNRzH6
— The Last Kingdom (@TheLastKingdom) October 7, 2019
We got our first look at the progress of The Last Kingdom in late Summer 2019 when Netflix released some images for the fourth season of The Last Kingdom.
Over the course of the production, the cast & crew were uploading photos to their social media accounts.
Magnus Bruun who portrays the Dane, Cnut in The Last Kingdom has certainly been having fun in his role. His most recent update with actress Emily Cox suggests we’ll be expecting to more bloody action with Cnut and Brida at the heart of it.
— Magnus Bruun (@MagnusBruun5) June 25, 2019
We’ve also had some of the directors confirmed for season 4 of The Last Kingdom:
- Andy Hay is set to direct episodes 5 & 6 of season 4.
- David Moore who has worked on Outlander, Shetland and Jericho is set to direct episodes 7 and 8.
How many episodes will there be in The Last Kingdom season 4?
The confirmation has been given that the fourth season of The Last Kingdom will return with another 10 episodes.
When is the release date of The Last Kingdom season 4?
The filming for The Last Kingdom concluded on October 5th, 2019.
We’re still predicting thatThe Last Kingdom will arrive in the first quarter of 2020. There’s definitely a chance season 4 could arrive this year as episodes that had concluded filming months ago would have been deep into the post-production process by now.
There’s plenty of work to be done yet but we remain hopeful that Uhtred will return later this year.
Expected Netflix Release Date: Q1 or Q2 2020
Are you excited for the fourth season of The Last Kingdom? Let us know in the comments below!