The Last Kingdom Season 1 Episode 1 Recap – Episode 1
Published 1 year ago
It’s 866 AD in the Kingdom of Northumbria in Northern England. King Uhtred sees the ships of the Vikings from where he stands. He quickly returns to his fortress and tells his son, Uhtred, to spy on the Vikings and be back by midnight. He warns him a couple of times to only watch and to never fight. Then he turns to his brother, Aelfric, and tells him to gather all their men inside the fortress with some women and the older people. The rest of the villagers will hide on top of the hills.
Father Beocca is inside the fortress writing a letter to the other kings, telling them that King Uhtred will join them in the battle to take back Eoferwic. The king knows that the Vikings are on their way to the Viking camp in Eoferwic, and they will destroy everything they see there. He knows he has to help Eoferwic if he doesn’t want the whole of the land to be conquered by the Danes.
On one of the ships, Earl Ragnar speaks of the land he sees and the forests that will provide them with the food they need. Young Uhtred comes out from hiding and tells the Vikings that they will fight sword with sword and that the greater god is on their side.
As King Uhtred watches the approaching horses, a Viking throws the head of young Uhtred in front of the fortress before leaving again. King Uhtred tells his young son, Osbert, that he is now the heir to the throne and will change his name to Uhtred, son of Uhtred. Father Beocca tells the king he has to baptize the boy once again so that when he’s in heaven, they won’t wonder what happened to Osbert. King Uhtred tells Aelfric that he will stay inside the fortress to keep the young Uhtred safe and to make sure that he survives.
That night, Father Beocca baptizes Uhtred, son of Uhtred, heir of Bebbanburg. The next day, when young Uhtred wakes up, he realizes that all of the soldiers have already gone to battle with his father. His uncle tells him that he will stay in the fortress with him. Young Uhtred sneaks to the stables, carrying his battle gear, then rides a horse to follow his father. His uncle watches as young Uhtred leaves the safety of the fortress. He tells his right-hand man, Scallion, that if King Uhtred falls in battle, young Uhtred should die as well.
King Uhtred, the two kings, and their armies prepare to fight the Danes. They have a plan to make sure that victory will be theirs. They have three priests who pray to god for their safety and victory. King Uhtred leads half of the army to attack the Danes.
As they approach, they hear the Danes whisper something under their breaths. They attack the Danes with King Uhtred at the front, and the Danes just use their shields to protect themselves. The other half of the army thinks that since they are winning, they should attack as well. When King Uhtred sees the rest of the army join the battle, he knows that it’s not yet the right time. He is right because the moment all the three armies are on the battlefield, the other Vikings come out and create a shield wall to corner them. The priests start to pray when they see the men get killed by the Danes.
Young Uhtred runs as fast as he can, wearing his battle gear. King Uhtred gets killed, and young Uhtred sees his father fall to the ground. He runs and strikes Earl Ragnar. Earl Ragnar mocks him because he is so small, yet he is so brave. Young Uthred holds on to the amulet given to him by his father. Even with a broken sword, young Uhtred manages to cut Earl Ragnar. Earl Ragnar hits the boy, and he loses consciousness. He takes him to his place and leaves him to his blind father, Ravn.
Ravn gives young Uhtred a piece of advice and tells him never to fight Ubba. He says Ubba listens only to the gods, making him very unpredictable. Uhtred tells Ravn that his father was never fond of him, then he starts crying. Ravn says he finally understands why Earl Ragnar chose to spare Uhtred. It’s because he thinks Uhtred is a warrior. While the Danes celebrate their victory, they kill their prisoners and the kings. They choose to spare the young ones so they can still be helpful to them. That night, Uhtred approaches a young girl and stays with her.
Earl Ragnar takes the young girl, Brida, and Uhtred to help his wife. He takes them in as their slaves. But, when they have time, Uhtred and Brida play with Earl Ragnar’s daughter, Thyra. During one of their games in the woods, Sven, another young boy, shows up carrying a real sword. When Uhtred and Brida see the sword, they start running. But when Uhtred realizes that Thyra needs help, he returns for her. He finds Sven tearing Thyra’s clothes off. So, Uhtred attacks him.
Later, Uhtred says he started the fight. Earl Ragnar gets angry at him for being disobedient. Thyra speaks up and says it was Sven who started it all. Upon hearing the real story, Earl Ragnar goes to Kjartan looking for his son, Sven. Kjartan begs for his son, saying he’s only a boy. When Earl Ragnar discovers that Sven has only seen Thyra half-naked, he decides he will only take one of the boy’s eyes. Then, he banishes Kjartan from his land. That night, Earl Ragnar gives Uhtred an amulet, thor’s hammer. He tells the boy that he made him proud that day.
Kjartan seeks revenge, so he tells Aelfric that his nephew, Uhtred, is alive. So, negotiations are made for Uhtred to be ransomed to his uncle. On the day of the exchange, Father Beocca whispers to Uhtred that he shouldn’t come home because his uncle will kill him. Earl Ragnar notices how worried Uhtred is but the boy says nothing. Aelfric negotiates with Ubba to get a smaller price. Earl Ragnar, however, offers to pay a huge amount to keep the boy with him. Earl Ragnar says his family likes Uhtred, so they will keep him. He is now Uhtred Ragnarson, like a son to Earl Ragnar.
Years after, Uhtred is now a man. Earl Ragnar notices that Brida has feelings for Uhtred. So, he tells Uhtred that it’s now the time to ask Brida to marry him. That night, Uhtred sleeps with Brida in the woods. When they hear men approaching, they see Kjartan making his way to Earl Ragnar’s home. Kjartan is with his son, Sven, and some men. Kjartan sets the homes on fire. When Thyra comes out, the men abduct her.
Ravn gets shot by an arrow, so they choose to retreat inside. Earl Ragnar’s wife hands him a knife, which he drives into her body. He then tells his father to take his wife to Valhalla, and he will see them there. Earl Ragnar wears his helmet, draws his sword, and walks into the fire. His entire body is in flames when he comes out of their home. But he continues to fight the men until he finally meets his end. The next day, Sven tells Thyra that he can’t just let her marry someone else. He touches her and says he plans to do all things to Thyra.
Uhtred and Brida watch Kjartan and his men look for Earl Ragnar’s treasures. Uhtred sees his uncle’s right-hand man, Scallion, and decides he will take revenge. So, he leaves Brida and kills Scallion. Thyra sees Uhtred, but she isn’t able to get his attention. Brida and Uhtred take Earl Ragnar’s silvers from under the ground when the men leave. They decide they will give them to young Ragnar, Earl Ragnar’s son. Brida wants to find a new home, but Uthred has other plans. The two ride their horses until they reach the fortress to which Uhtred’s uncle claims ownership. Uhtred throws Scallion’s head on the front of the gates. Then he introduces himself as Uhtred of Bebbanburg and adds that he will take what belongs to him.
From a young age, Uhtred had already shown bravery. However, he has also demonstrated how impatient he can be. We think he was lucky to land in the hands of Earl Ragnar. Of course, it’s unfortunate that many people died during the battle. But, young Uhtred could have been killed if he had ended up in someone else’s hands. Earl Ragnar’s family has chosen to take the boy in. At first, as a slave, then after some time, as a real son. We wonder what the boy was thinking at that time, that the people who killed his father and his people are the ones who are giving him shelter and food. Now that Earl Ragnar is dead, Uhtred is again without a family. He only has Brida.
Even when he chooses to take back what belongs to him, we doubt it would be easy. His uncle won’t give in easily. Because he was raised by the Danes, though he is a Saxon, how does he choose to see himself?