The Last Kingdom: Seven Kings Must Die is a British historical drama film based on Bernard Cornwell’s novels “The Saxon Stories”. It aired on Netflix on April 14, 2023, and we thought about doing a Round Table review for that one. Joining me (Rike) are Nathalie, Shellee and Ronja. Are you ready for this one? Let’s go then, but don’t forget: Destiny is all.
Spoiler Alert: This article contains spoilers. Read at your own risk.
Q: How do you feel going into this last piece of our favorite show, The Last Kingdom: Seven Kings Must Die?
N: I was super excited to continue this story with these characters I have grown to love over the seasons. I was also slightly scared of who was going to end up dying in the movie. It was quite the emotional rollercoaster, to say the least.
S: I was very excited, but then reminded it would be the final installment of this epic story I’d been watching since 2015. It turned a bit heartbreaking. All good things must come to an end though….. right? On to the books!
Ro: I was very excited, since The Last Kingdom is one of my favorite shows, but I also felt a bit anxious. I was happy with how season 5 ended, and more screen time usually also means more time for possible deaths of my favorite characters or evil plot twists that make you wanna scream into a pillow. So I felt quite emotional when I went into the movie.
Ri: To be honest, it’s a kind of bittersweet feeling. I don’t want one of my favorite shows to end, but I’m also excited about how the movie will turn out. However, I am afraid of possible deaths because this is the final piece, and I want my favorite characters to survive. Destiny is all, right?
Q: Aethelstan (Harry Gilby) is talking much of atonement in his prayers. Do you think this is about him and Ingilmundr (Laurie Davidson) being his secret lover?
N: I do think so. You could see he had an internal struggle throughout the movie. Trying to redeem himself in the eyes of God by all the “sins” he commits. Ingilmundr was definitely pulling both the strings of his beliefs and feelings.
S: I believe it was the driving force for him to conquer lands and expand the Christian faith, hoping it would atone for the guilt he felt for his sexuality.
Ro: In my opinion, yes, definitely. “Our sin weighs heavy.” He said in one scene. You could see that it had a great impact on him, even though Ingilmundr tried to convince him that the sin could be diminished if his faith would grow stronger. Ingilmundr was like a virus that infected Aethelstan. It almost ripped him apart in his faith, and he wasn’t himself.
Ri: It has to be. You can see that the religious quest plays a key role, not just in terms of these two characters, but also in general. He is slightly falling apart whenever Uhtred (Alexander Dreymon) mentions Ingilmundr. He feels ashamed due to his devout Christianity. Ingilmundr can easily manipulate him, because Aethelstan wants redemption, and he would do everything in his power to redeem himself in the eyes of God.
Q: Your thoughts on Harry Gilby’s performance in general?
N: He did a wonderful job! I genuinely hate Aethelstan in the movie, which means he’s doing a good job. I will have to find it in my heart to forgive him for taking away my beloved Aldhelm (James Northcote). It’s going to take time, but killing Ingilmundr was the first step to forgiveness.
S: Harry Gilby’s performance was wonderful. His portrayal of Aethelstan infuriated me, broke my heart, made me pity him and then love him again in the end. Not an easy feat for an actor to do in less than two hours.
Ro: Outstanding. He portrayed Aethelstan so well. As Rike said, when you really hate the role, the actor did an amazing job, and I hated him so much. His development was crazy. From the innocent boy at the end of season 5 to a really good villain, and then to a man who admitted his mistakes.
Ri: His performance has been phenomenal. He went from being a little kid not so long ago to being a villain within a heartbeat. God, I hated his character so much, and that always means the actor has done a great job. His portrayal of the religious struggle he had to fight with himself was very well done. His character has certainly had a real development.
Q: Imagine you are Uhtred. Would you have chosen life or death if you had the choice in the end?
N: I think I might be one of the people who wouldn’t necessarily pick this ending. However, if I were him, I would’ve chosen life. Probably not a popular choice, and I understand why. But he has an eternity to spend time with his friends in Valhalla. Spend a little more time with his son, and his buddies. His loved ones in Valhalla will still be there later on.
S: I would have chosen Valhalla. The longing on Uhtred’s face as he watched all his fallen friends and enemies feast and laugh, yearning for that peace for himself. In life, Uhtred was always trying to prove himself to all those he loved, but was continually betrayed. If anyone deserved peace, it was Uhtred. I do believe he was #7.
Ro: If I had archived so many things as Uhtred did over all seasons, I think I would have chosen death. This man really deserved to finally be at peace and leave all the worries behind. The look in his eyes when he saw Brida (Emily Cox), Ragnar (Tobias Santelmann), Haesten (Jeppe Beck Laursen) and all the others said it all. As much as he loves everyone he would leave behind, I think it would have been the perfect time to go. That’s what I would have wished for him.
Ri: I think I may have gone to death and joined all my friends in the hall. Uhtred has achieved a lot, and now that Aethelstan has sworn in an oath, the future of this entire kingdom is in good hands. What’s the saying? You should leave on a big note. Perfect timing now.
Q: Did the movie “The Last Kingdom: Seven Kings Must Die” live up to your expectations?
N: Even if it felt rushed with the traveling back and forth, which I understand because you don’t have as much time in a movie, and we are used to the pace of the seasons we got before. I absolutely loved it. It had me shocked and sobbing on multiple occasions. Finan (Mark Rowley) was per usual our comedic king, who brought the light-hearted balance the movie needed. So yes, it definitely lived up to my expectations.
S: I felt the plot was rushed, and they tried to jam what should have been a whole season into less than two hours. But because of my love for these characters, the wonderful job the actors did with what they were given, the epic battle scenes and the perfect ending, it was so worth watching, and I will do so again!
Ro: Although I felt it was rushed at some point, and missed a few faces from the last season, I enjoyed watching it. It was really exciting with all the plot twists and conspiracies. At some point, I was like ‘Okay, it can’t get worse now!’ and I got proved otherwise almost immediately. I shed a lot of tears, but also laughed a few times. It was a good mixture of big feelings, excitement, fighting, love and laughter. It was an emotional roller coaster and a worthy end for this wonderful show. Thank you <3
Ri: If you think of the time they had where they had to put all these storylines in, they have done a great job. Yes, it may have been rushed every now and then, but you want to add all the important things without shadowing key parts. Did I miss some other wonderful cast members? Yes. But this doesn’t mean the movie wasn’t great. At no time was I feeling bored or wondering when it’s going to end. I can fully agree with Nathalie when it comes to Finan. He had the best and most hilarious lines again, and I loved that they did the intro and outro using his voice.
Seven Kings Must Die had a perfect mixture of action and emotional scenes. It was a great way to say goodbye to this cast, to this show, and to everything that came with it. I kinda got emotional when they showed the Bamburgh castle nowadays. Thank you, The Last Kingdom. What a journey it has been.
Have you seen “Seven Kings Must Die” yet? If so, what are your thoughts? Don’t forget to check this place when we will be back with more movie related articles. In the meantime, you can read our review for Season 5 of The Last Kingdom here.
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Rike is a very optimistic person who's trying to make the best out of everything. She's passionate about traveling, concerts, football and conventions. Most of the time she’s carrying her camera around to capture some moments. Her favorite football club is Borussia Dortmund and if she’s not watching the games on tv she's probably being in the stadium supporting the team.