Thursday, 30 April 2020

A rough-and-ready LAST KINGDOM chronology

With the fourth season of The Last Kingdom recently released on Netflix, I thought it might be interesting to create a chronology of events in both the TV series and the books the series is based on.


Both the Last Kingom novels (by Bernard Cornwell) and the TV series are set in the late 9th and early 10th centuries, when the island of Britain is contested between seven feuding Anglo-Saxon kingdoms (Wessex, Mercia, Northumbria, Essex, East Anglia, Kent and Sussex) and the invading Danes. The Danes had originally come as raiders from across the North Sea, but by the time of the series they have established colonies throughout eastern Britain, using them as springboards to further invasions. The British kingdoms are fighting back piecemeal, but are vulnerable to being attacked and destroyed in isolation.

The one man who may be able to stem the tide is the newly-crowned King of Wessex, Alfred. Alfred has a vision of the seven kingdoms united as one, under one ruler and the One True God. He has a name for this vision, "England," but needs warriors to bring it to fruition. It seems that God is smiling on Alfred when he delivers to him a ferocious soldier and canny warleader named Uhtred, a Saxon child raised by the Danes and familiar with both cultures and their ways of war. But, whilst Uhtred fights for Alfred in return for a home and silver, he does not share his vision or his God, and the tensions between them unfold even as the wars to determine the fate of England rage.


Chronology

  • 858 AD: Uhtred is born in Bebbanburg, Northumbria.
  • 867: Battle of Eoferwic. Defeat of the Northumbrians. Uhtred is captured by Ragnar of the Danes. Uhtred is 9.
  • 871: Alfred becomes King of Wessex after the death of his brother. Uhtred is 13.
  • 874-876: Death of Ragnar. Uhtred and his adopted sister Brida escape to Wessex. Book 1 and the first half of Season 1 take place. Uhtred is 16-18.
  • 878: The Battle of Ethandun. Book 2 and the second half of Season 1 take place. Uhtred is 20.
  • 881: Book 3 and the first half of Season 2 take place. Uhtred is 23.
  • 886: Lundune is recaptured. Book 4 and the second half of Season 2 take place. Uhtred is 28.
  • 892-893: Book 5 and the first half of Season 3 take place. Uhtred is 34-35.
  • 899: Alfred dies. Aethelwold's bid for power begins. Book 6 and the second half of Season 3 begin. Uhtred is 41.
  • 902: Aethelwold is defeated. Edward crowned. Book 6 and the second half of Season 3 conclude. Uhtred is 44.
  • 910: The Battle of Tettenhall. Book 7 and the first half of Season 4 take place. Uhtred is 52.
  • 911: Aethelred dies, succession crisis in Mercia. Book 8 and the second half of Season 4 take place. Uhtred is 53.
  • 917: Book 9 takes place. Uhtred is 59
  • 918: Book 10 takes place. Uhtred is 60.
  • 923-924: Book 11 takes place. Uhtred is 65-66.
  • 924: Book 12 takes place. Uhtred is 66.
  • 937: Battle of Brunanburh. It is assumed that Book 13 (the final book) takes place at this time. Uhtred is 79.

If you're thinking that Uhtred is looking good for a 53-year-old in the latest season of The Last Kingdom, you're not wrong! It'll be interesting to see if future seasons age him up more noticeably.


The Saxon Stories (aka The Last Kingdom)

  1. The Last Kingdom (2004)
  2. The Pale Horsemen (2005)
  3. The Lords of the North (2006)
  4. Sword Song (2007)
  5. The Burning Land (2009)
  6. Death of Kings (2011)
  7. The Pagan Lord (2013)
  8. The Empty Throne (2014)
  9. Warriors of the Storm (2015)
  10. The Flame Bearer (2016)
  11. War of the Wolf (2018)
  12. Sword of Kings (2019)
  13. War Lord (2020)

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2 comments:

Gabriele Campbell said...

I think Uhtred will die at Brunanburh; he's going there and if he needs a cane. He deserves a good ol' pagan spear death, not a straw death.

RanchoFiestaVC said...

Book 1; The Last Kingdom, page 2 clearly says "This story begins long before I met Alfred. It begins when I was ten years old and first saw the Danes. It was the year 866..."
So your book-timeline is off from the start..