How is The Last Kingdom different to the books? The biggest changes from page to screen


Uhtred of Bebbanburg is lastly again on screens as The Last Kingdom returns for season 4 on Netflix.

The action-packed drama is primarily based on a collection of novels by historic fiction author Bernard Cornwell, first printed as The Saxon Tales again in 2004.

Like many diversifications, The Last Kingdom varies considerably from the supply materials that impressed it, altering Uhtred’s path to revenge and the reclamation of his rightful land.

Listed below are the biggest variations between the books and the Netflix collection…

The Last Kingdom season 1 changes from books


Leofric briefly turned in opposition to Uhtred in the first season

Season one among The Last Kingdom stands out as the most devoted adaptation of Cornwell’s Saxon Tales, translating his first two books to the small screen with out making any main changes to the plot – however one explicit distinction stands out as notable.

After raiding Briton territory and violating the peace, Uhtred is sentenced to combat to the loss of life by King Alfred. In the tv collection, he goes up in opposition to none apart from Leofric, one among Alfred’s prime troopers and a person Uhtred had befriended. It’s a stunning second in the season however doesn’t fairly add up when it comes to character motivation, which is in all probability as a result of it by no means occurred in the books.

As an alternative, it is Steapa, one other of the king’s loyal swordsman, who agrees to combat Uhtred to the loss of life. It’s not troublesome to see why this was modified in the collection, as Steapa doesn’t get an enormous quantity of screen time in season one, so placing Uhtred up in opposition to a extra acquainted face like Leofric naturally raises the dramatic stakes.

The Last Kingdom season 2 changes from books


Erik has an expanded position in The Last Kingdom

In season two, The Last Kingdom turns into a bit extra relaxed about straying away from occasions that happen in Cornwell’s novels, drawing inspiration from his third and fourth entries, titled The Lords of the North and Sword Music respectively.

For one factor, the tv present utterly cuts out the antagonistic Ivar Ivarsson, a Dane who has gained management of Eoferwic at the begin of The Lords of the North. In a simplifying measure, the Netflix collection replaces him with viking brothers Sigefrid and Erik who don’t seem till the fourth guide. Ivar isn’t a really vital character so this modification doesn’t have main penalties in the long-term. Arguably, it strengthens season two by permitting extra screen time for Sigefrid and Erik, who’re central to the story in the latter half.

Their relevance comes into focus once they seize London, prompting Alfred to ship males to liberate the metropolis. However the occasions that observe play out very in a different way in the collection than they do in the books. Cornwell’s novel sees Uhtred lead a profitable assault on London, profitable again the metropolis and inserting it in Aethelred’s energy.


Aethelflaed is kidnapped by Erik however quickly discovers a softer aspect to him

In stark distinction, the battle performs out disastrously for the Saxons in The Last Kingdom. The present sees Aethelred put in control of Alfred’s males, main them to London solely to discover the metropolis abandoned. Initially believing the vikings to have fled, they quickly realise that they’ve been tricked; Erik and Sigefrid’s males have deserted the metropolis to raid Aethelred’s unguarded camp and kidnap his spouse, princess Aethelflaed.

In the guide, Aethelflaed nonetheless will get kidnapped however at a later skirmish, so this modification was doubtless made to save time and bounce ahead to the doomed romance that blossoms between herself and Erik.

In the Netflix collection, Aethelflaed kills Sigefrid throughout the closing battle of season two. Nonetheless, in the books it is former monk Osferth who does this, which is exhausting to think about given his timid manner in the tv present.

One in all the most memorable deaths in season two of The Last Kingdom is Abbott Eadred, a spiteful priest who Uhtred kills when he makes an attempt to cease him from marrying Gisela. In the guide, Eadred has a smaller position, showing at the starting to report his imaginative and prescient of King Guthred, however having much less to do with later plot developments. As an alternative, Uhtred kills a monk named Brother Jænberht, who fulfils the villainous Eadred position. Once more, this modification was doubtless made to streamline the story and provides the collection much less characters to juggle.

The Last Kingdom season 3 changes from books

Skade is a powerful seer who enraptures men before luring them to their deaths

Skade is a strong seer who enraptures males earlier than luring them to their deaths

The third season noticed The Last Kingdom transfer fully from the BBC to a Netflix Authentic manufacturing, simply in time for 2 significantly brutal characters to make their debut.

In the fifth novel, Bloodhair and Skade are launched as lovers however quickly separated when the latter is taken hostage by Uhtred. In each the guide and the TV present, there is a confrontation outdoors a fort the place Bloodhair makes an attempt to get her again by threatening Saxon prisoners.

In the Netflix collection, this try is utterly unsuccessful and Skade stays imprisoned, however in the books she is promptly freed and reunited with Bloodhair – solely to be taken captive once more in a while. This alteration was doubtless one other time-saving measure, as Skade finally finally ends up again with Uhtred anyway, though their relationship is markedly different in the guide.

Whereas Uhtred is reluctant to turn into intimately concerned with Skade in The Last Kingdom, largely due to the reality he is mourning his late spouse, they do turn into lovers in the guide. Throughout their relationship, they sail to Frisia the place they plunder and kill Skade’s husband, however develop distant afterwards due to disagreements over his underwhelming treasure.


Haesten shares a deeper reference to Skade in the guide

Upon their return to England, Skade encounters Haesten and the two of them fall in love. This is one other space the place the Netflix collection differs, depicting Skade as utterly disinterested in Haesten and his advances.

Skade meets a nasty finish in The Last Kingdom, as Uhtred drowns her in a river to break the curse she has placed on him. In the guide, it is truly Bloodhair himself who kills Skade, offended that she deserted him for different warriors. He then asks Uhtred to kill him, having been significantly injured earlier in the story with no hope of restoration.

Exterior of Uhtred and Skade’s poisonous dynamic, there are another variations to be discovered. Sadly, Gisela dies in childbirth simply as she does in the collection, however in the guide her child additionally passes away whereas in the collection he is a wholesome son to Uhtred.

Lord Aethelred needs a divorce from Aethelflaed in each the books and the collection, giving his right-hand man Aldhelm the command to sleep along with her in order that he can model her an adulterer. In the guide, Aldhelm makes an attempt to accomplish that unsuccessfully, leading to his loss of life by Uhtred’s hand. In The Last Kingdom, he can’t undergo with the plan as he develops real affection for Aethelflaed, so Aethelred stabs him for his disobedience.

The Last Kingdom season 4 lands on Netflix on Sunday 26th April – try what else is on with our TV Information


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