There wasn't much in terms of entertainment in the 9th Century. Their music was limited, half of them couldn't even read and their food was so-so, leaving them one thing to do.
Fight. (Unless there's something else being overlooked?)
At least, that's what we're led to think if we're to believe what takes place in The Last Kingdom is at all accurate. If that's at all an accurate representation, it really is stunning Britains once had the largest empire in the world. How did anyone survive that survived that era?
Outside of maybe Uhtred Ragnarsson or Uhtred of Bebbanburg, or whatever he's going by these days, no one has been safe throughout the show. In fact, whether you're close to Uhtred or fighting him, you're never safe. Pretty much, if you're living in England in the 9th Century and you've met Uhtred, you're not living long. Which is why, despite only having three seasons, the show has such a large list of main characters.
Those who've died, have either gone down in a bad way, left us reeling or had a major impact in passing. Some hit the trifecta.
One of the first things Uhtred learns when he's taken as a slave by the Danes is don't mess with Ubba. Pretty sound advice if you pay attention to the way this nut goes about his business.
Even as Uhtred's fighting skills advanced, he was pretty nervous fighting Ubba. It's one of the few times you see Uhtred rattled with a sword in his hand.
But as he always does, Uhtred took down the Dane leader, sending a ripple across the Dane invasion that has allowed countless, inferior fighters and leaders to take their shot at Uhtred.
Had Ubba won, the Danes would have gained complete control of England.
Also, this was a pretty gross death. Uhtred slices his Achilles to get the upper hand. A visual that'll send a shiver down your spine.
Also known as Earl Sigurd, Bloodhair has one of the most frustrating experiences throughout his time on The Last Kingdom. He placed his faith in the witch, Skade, who he believes to be his lover, as well. But it turns out she's not really interested after all. Well, that may be underselling things a bit.
After meeting Uhtred, Skade knows she wants one man and one man alone. Spoiler alert: it's not Bloodhair anymore. However, Bloodhair needs her like he needs air and will stop at nothing to keep her for himself. Which is why he fights Haesten to earn her back.
Only thing is, she doesn't want him back. And she knows he's the only one capable of beating Uhtred in a one-on-one fight. To ensure Bloodhair does not win — because Haesten had no chance against him — Skade poisoned Bloodhair. Once he realizes this, he attacks her, only to die viciously by her hand, sending a shock through the entire Dane camp.
Ragnar's younger sister and Uhtred's foster sister, Thrya endures much more than any human should throughout the course of this show. It's left her traumatized, yet also led her into the arms of Beocca.
Wherever poor Thyra went, someone always wanted to do her harm. But there was always someone there to save her, eventually. Even in her final moments as her house began to burn around her, it felt like someone had to save her.
Thyra unfair end has an immense impact on the show and shakes those close to her, but the impact on the larger issue at hand is minimal. However, given all she's been through from such a young age, it's easy to empathize with her family and friends. She was a kind person under constant, unwarranted persecution.
In a way, Skade is the exact opposite of Thyra. She's a manipulative monster who coerces men into being their worst selves, killing all in their path to win her over.
As annoying as it seemed, it was hard to deny her magical abilities throughout her time on the show. You want to call them coincidences, go ahead, you're just in denial. There wasn't some educated pattern to her guesses. She said something and it came to pass.
Which is why her death was one of the biggest on the show. One careless move from Uhtred and she could have slithered away and placed another curse on him. And even when she stopped moving, it wouldn't have been a complete shock if she got back up and started maniacally laughing.
Another victim of Skade, poor Gisela dies in the course of childbirth. this wasn't uncommon in the 9th Century, but still heartbreaking nonetheless. Uhtred hasn't always had luck finding the right women and Gisela may have been the best of them all.
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Of course, her death was toughest on Uhtred and played a part in setting the tone for the entire third season. Her death helps that rat Æthelwold set a trap into play that gets Uhtred banished, creating a ton of drama. Had it not been for Skade, or maybe just unfortunate circumstance, Gisela would have survived, saving Uhtred from further heartbreak and headaches in the show.
Gisela's death was certainly a surprise, but Iseult's death in Season 1 was jaw-dropping. Prior to her death, it had become clear no one was safe from death on this show. but this brought things to an entirely different level.
She and Uhtred had great chemistry and then poof, she's gone in a flash. Not only did she die at a time where she was starting to gain traction as a character, but she was also decapitated by that wackjob, Skorpa. This leads to his death at Uhtred's hands when he goes on a rampage.
Her death also happens minutes after another major one in the final episode of Season 1, leaving everyone wondering "what the heck does Uhtred have to live for anymore?"
Just before Iseult death, Uhtred's new best friend Leofric dies in battle. A fan-favorite, Leofric's neck was sliced along the shield wall in the final episode of Season 1. His death was the first example that anyone could be killed within the course of the show and in any manner.
Where Iseult was beheaded mercilessly, Leofric suffered a wound in a terrible location. Not glorious sword fight or barrage of arrows. The poor dude died in the early moments of the battle.
He may have died in battle, but Leofric's death wasn't exactly that of a warrior. Like several of the characters on this list, he deserved so much better and served as a reminder of just how brutal this show can be.
This one was a long time coming, so no one was blown away when Alfred took his last breath. In fact, it was more surprising to see him out and about as often as he was in Season 3.
But no other death has had a greater impact with what's gone on than Alfred's. Actually, the build-up to his death has the biggest impact of all. Because by the time he dies, his son Edward has displayed the ability to lead. Thanks to his son, Alfred's death doesn't guarantee the end to the idea of a united England, though the late king's passing certainly did not make it easy on anyone loyal to him.
2 Ragnar Ragnarsson
Ragnar's death is the most hard-hitting of The Last Kingdom. Hands down.
This great, magnificent warrior is cut down in his bed but the most annoying character on the show Æthelwold. Not only that, he wasn't able to reach Valhalla initially, because, again, Æthelwold sucks. Unlike pretty much everyone else on the show, he would not let Ragnar die a "warrior's death." he was too worried about his own skin.
A lot of good that did him.
In case it wasn't clear enough already, Æthelwold is a rat. A tremendously easy character to hate, the nephew of Alfred is a master manipulator. It's not that he's the brightest bulb in the room, he just knows how to mess with the cast of morons he comes across. Even then, the tables tend to get turned on him and everyone winds up in the mud.
So when he finally dies, it is far and away the most satisfying from the show. There's some level of impact on the show, as well. He won't be around to play tricks on anyone or stab people in the back.
But Æthelwold's death is all about getting Ragnar into Valhalla and the satisfaction of Uhtred finally ending the life of The Last Kingdom's most annoying character.