At the beginning of the 2nd series, Alfred (David Dawson) speaks with a painter, who attempts to memorialize the recent battle. Alfred is impressed, but he admits the painting lacks the presence of God. As Alfred prepares to celebrate the win, we see three hooded figures riding towards Winchester. Alfred speaks with his people and tells them that they’ll need to look beyond Wessex’s borders to keep the country safe. Brother Trew (Peter McDonald) arrives in town and begins asking about Alfred. He manages to deliver a letter to Alfred. The letter discusses the dreams of the Eadred of Cumbraland. It also encourages Alfred to help Cumberland secure Guthred, who is now being held by the Danes.
Since Guthred could become King of Cumberland, Alfred explains to Odda the Elder (Simon Kunz) that helping him would be in their best interest. Seconds later, we see a young girl sneak into Uhtred’s (Alexander Dreymon) sleeping quarters and walk away with his silver and sword. Hild (Eva Birthistle) stops the woman outside and retrieves the sword. She lets the woman keep the money. Hild subsequently wakes up Halig (Gerard Kearns) and Uhtred with cold water. Afterwards, the trio prepares to continue their journey. Hild tells Uhtred that he will do Iseult no favors trying to drink her away. Hild reminds Uhtred that their path continues north. Hild returns Uhtred’s sword, before their journey continues.
Meanwhile, we see the Danes belittle and bash Father Hrothweard (Richard Rankin). Sigefrid (Bjorn Bengtsson) head butts the man and leaves him with a bloody nose. Erik (Christian Hillborg) and Sigefrid continue onward, after leaving the city in the hands of a comrade. Father Hrothweard speaks with the other priests and creates an uprising. Despite little training, the priests manage to kill the Danes. After the chaos, Uhtred and his allies arrive. Uhtred finds the locals harassing the only living Dane. Uhtred gets involved and saves the man’s life. Hrothweard arrives and quickly recognizes Uhtred’s name. In the city, Uhtred runs into Trew and Beocca (Ian Hart). Uhtred is told about their mission to secure Guthred’s freedom. When he learns that Sven (Ole Christoffer Ertvaag) will be present, Uhtred quickly agrees to help.
Back at the palace, Alfred discusses his desire to take on the Danes and expand England. Hild speaks with Uhtred about his sword. After a brief discussion, Uhtred tries to convince Hild to sleep beside of him. She refuses. In the morning, Uhtred leads the men towards their destination. During a brief stop, Uhtred finds a skull and also catches Hild bathing. They share a laugh, before Hild admits she wants to learn how to use a sword. Seconds later, Uhtred confirms they’re being followed by Kjartan’s (Alexandre Willaume) men. Uhtred comes up with a plan to scare the Danes, so they’ll fear him. That night, the Danes begin peddling their slaves. Trew and Beocca approach and speak with the men.
The Danes quickly assume control and force Trew, Beocca, and Hild off of their horses. Beocca tells a tale about undead horsemen. Uhtred and several others arrive on horses. Uhtred pretends he was sent by Odin. He manages to scare the Danes and trap Sven. Nevertheless, Beocca prevents Uhtred from ending Sven’s life. Hild kills the slave seller. After the Danes flee, Beocca finds Guthred (Thure Lindhardt). Sven is sent into the woods blindfolded and with his hands ties behind his back. In the morning, Guthred thanks Uhtred for his help. They come to an agreement to form an army, which Uhtred will lead. Sven is saved and transported back to the stronghold. There, he is belittled by his father for his cowardice. The Danes are ordered to find the priest and the lepers.
Sven heads downstairs and speaks with Thyra (Julia Bache-Wiig). He tries to convince the woman to keep her dogs quiet, so his father will not kill them. Thyra is unfazed. She chants a spell and sends Sven rushing back upstairs. Meanwhile, Uhtred and Guthred agree to return to Cumberland before taking Eoferwic. Gisela (Peri Baumeister) learns about her brother’s return. They’re greeted by Abbot Eadred (David Schofield). Guthred is reunited with his people, before undergoing the sacred oath with Uhtred by his side. Abbot Eadred speaks with Trew in private. He admits he doesn’t trust Uhtred and would like to remove him from the picture. Before Hild heads to bed, she urges Uhtred to teach her sword skills in the morning.
Meanwhile, Alfred speaks with Brida (Emily Cox) and Ragner (Tobias Santelmann). They speak about the current situation. Alfred also expresses his intention to strengthen England’s trade. He insists there needs to be peace for that to happen. Seconds later, Fiske (Erik Madsen) returns with information. Sven tells his father that Guthred has become a king. He also explains that Uhtred is the commander of his army. Tekil (Marc Rissmann) is ordered by Kjartan to join the army and kill the king. He is commanded to bring Uhtred back alive.
The Last Kingdom Review
While many of the characters from the first series remain, this episode introduced several others, including Brother Trew, Guthred, and Father Hrothweard. While Alfred was able to win the battle, the war is far from over. England is still not united. To solve that problem, Alfred has attempted to buy influence by saving Guthred. At this point, Uhtred’s primary goal is to reclaim Bebbanburg. However, it is almost certain that he’ll get sidelined along the way. Still, he has gained Guthred’s trust and is now in control of his army. That should help him significantly.
The episode delivered the perfect blend of action and humor. It was a little slow at points, but great nevertheless. A 7.5 out of 10 is awarded to the pilot. Catch up with previous recaps of The Last Kingdom now!