Jul 18, 2023

All Battle Scenes In The Last Kingdom, Ranked

The Last Kingdom is full of riveting battle scenes, but some battles are either more entertaining than others or shot in a more impressive manner.

The Last Kingdom is an action-packed series with plenty of epic battle scenes, but some are better than others. Based on Bernard Cornwell's Saxon Stories novel series, The Last Kingdom takes place in a war-torn era of English history when the country was under constant threat from Scandinavian invaders. The Last Kingdom tells the rather violent tale of how the Kingdom of England came to form under the pressure of these invasions.

Naturally, such a story involves a lot of large-scale battles and skirmishes, which helped it become one of the best British shows on Netflix. The Last Kingdom does an excellent job with these major battles by expertly conveying the brutality of medieval warfare, but also providing an entertaining spectacle. However, not every battle scene in The Last Kingdom and its sequel film The Last Kingdom: Seven Kings Must Die is equal in terms of its entertainment value and quality of cinematography.

Related: 10 Biggest Questions The Last Kingdom TV Show & Movie Left Unanswered

The Battle of Brunanburh happens at the end of The Last Kingdom: Seven Kings Must Die, and though it is not terrible for a battle scene, it comes off as mildly disappointing. Part of the issue is that the movie as a whole is extremely rushed, which hurts this battle because it feels slightly unearned. The cinematography is also choppy and difficult to follow. Many of the shots are filmed too close up and the shaky camera makes it difficult to comprehend what's going on. This is likely done to convey the chaos of a real battle, which is not a bad idea. Unfortunately, the hectic filming style is overcooked, and it ends up making the scene confusing and difficult to watch.

The Battle of Dinefwr occurs in The Last Kingdom season 4 when the Welsh King Hywel attempts to retake his fortress at Dinefwr from Sigtryggr. King Hywel is outsmarted by Sigtryggr, who lures the King's forces into a collection of burning ditches, routing the Welsh with relative ease. This battle scene is well filmed, and it capitalizes on spectacle with some stunning shots. However, the entertainment value is hurt by the scene's brevity and the fact that the characters involved aren't particularly popular. Moreover, it's not integral to the season's plot.

The Battle of Cynuit is from The Last Kingdom season 1 when Uhtred helps the men of Wessex defeat Ubba's army. Uhtred sneaks into their camp, burning their ships to cause a distraction. He succeeds in burning the ships, but is forced to fight Ubba when he's caught fleeing the camp. The battle takes place just after their duel, and while it's filmed extremely well, Uhtred's duel is the main focus of the episode. This battle scene is actually pretty brief, and the entertainment value is hurt by the much more epic duel beforehand, which accounts for this scene's low ranking.

The Second Battle of Beamfleot happens during The Last Kingdom season 3 when Uhtred and his men join the men of Wessex in taking on Haesten's Dane army. This scene builds a lot of suspense by having Uhtred and his men fight Haesten unaided for several minutes before Edward finally gives the order for the men of Wessex to join the fray. This definitely helps make the scene more entertaining, but it can also be frustrating to watch. The battle itself is filmed extremely well, but the need to pan between Uhtred fighting and the men of Wessex waiting in the forest makes it slightly choppy.

Related: The Last Kingdom Already Has The Perfect Way To Continue Without Uhtred

The First Battle of Beamfleot happens in The Last Kingdom season 2 when Uhtred assaults the fortress of Beamfleot to free Aethelflaed from the Viking brothers, Sigefrid and Erik. The combined forces of Wessex and Mercia take the day, destroying Erik and Sigefrid's forces outside the walls of the fortress. This is a highly entertaining scene, and it lays the foundation for one of Uhtred's best romances. The battle is filmed and choreographed at a high level, managing to convey the tactics of such a fight without losing the chaotic reality of war.

The Battle of the Holme is the climax of The Last Kingdom season 3 as Uhtred joins the armies of Wessex and Mercia to ambush Aethelwold and the Danes in the forest. The fighting is pretty lopsided as the English forces have the element of surprise in their favor. This is also the battle in which Aethelwold dies, which is highly satisfying after all the evil things he does in The Last Kingdom. The battle can look a bit unrealistic at times because the cramped quarters make it difficult for the actors to use their weapons. Even so, it's a highly entertaining scene.

The Battle of Dunholm is definitely a top five Last Kingdom moment. It occurs in season 2 when Uhtred and Ragnar the Younger join forces to kill Kjartan and avenge their father. Watching Uhtred and Ragnar fight together is highly satisfying, especially considering Ragnar's fate in the next season. Together, they storm the walls and open the gate for their allies, who come pouring into the town and slaughter Kjartan's forces. In terms of entertainment value, this is one of the most riveting battles in the show. However, while the cinematography of this scene isn't bad, it doesn't stand out either.

The Battle of Bebbanburg happens at the end of The Last Kingdom season 5, and it results in Uhtred reclaiming his ancestral seat. The fact that Uhtred reclaims his home after five seasons of The Last Kingdom makes this one of the most satisfying battles in the whole show. It's also highly suspenseful because it genuinely feels like he's going to lose again. The shot construction is also very well done, even if it isn't as good as the next three entries on this list.

The Battle of Tettenhall happens in The Last Kingdom season 4 as Uhtred and his allies from Mercia and Wessex take on Cnut's army of Danes. This is an excellent battle scene that alternates its focus between individual fights and the overall battle. The shot construction is outstanding, using several beautiful aerial shots to convey the scale of the battle. While The Battle of Tettenhall is highly entertaining, it comes mid-season, meaning the stakes are not as high as some other battles on this list. Regardless, it remains one of the best battles in The Last Kingdom.

The Battle of Fearnham, which occurs in the first episode of The Last Kingdom season 3, is a stunning scene. The aerial shots show just how big this battle was, and the Danish charge is filmed from several different gorgeous angles. The tactics of the battle are not lost in all the chaos as often happens in these scenes. The English cavalry charge that carries the day for the Saxons is a prime example of that. The only thing that keeps this battle from the number one rank is that the stakes are not as high as some other battles, even if it is a wildly entertaining scene.

The Battle of Edington is the best battle in The Last Kingdom, hands down. This battle pits the army of Wessex against the "Great Heathen Army" led by King Guthrum. Alfred's riveting speech before the battle sets the stage for an epic confrontation. The stakes are at an all-time high in this fight as the men of Wessex fight to reclaim their home from Guthrum's Danes. The shot construction and choreography are also outstanding, creating a perfect blend of chaos and tactics. This battle simply has everything, and it's one of the best all-around scenes in The Last Kingdom.

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