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The Last Kingdom - Episode 7 - Advance Preview + Dialogue Teasers

© BBC Pictures

As this show is an adaptation of a very well-known series of books, and of course incorporates real life historical events too, this preview for the episode covers more information than I would normally include. Therefore if you aren’t familiar with the material, or haven’t read the press releases already issued, then please be aware that this will contain spoilers.

All too soon we are looking at the penultimate episode of the season, but boy, what remarkable one this is! Alexander Dreymon’s pre-credit’s teaser keeps informing us that “Destiny is all” and this week, more so than any other, we see exactly what he is talking about. Uhtred and Alfred’s fates are about to be drawn closer together than ever before as they finally realise that it is only by being united that they can go on to achieve their personal objectives in the future.

As I have been making my way through the novels alongside watching the show, I can appreciate all the nuances that have been left out of the adaptation. As I have said before, I can understand why this was done as the change in medium does unfortunately demand certain modifications to make it work. I can only hope that many new fans will go on to read the novels too. One of these transitions that many readers are mentioning is the character of Steapa, whose actions so far have been passed on to others instead.

Again, I can see why introducing another role to an already huge cast could be confusing to an audience, and I do feel that Leofric and Father Asser have fulfilled the remit well enough, although I do also feel that Odda the Younger is a tad isolated considering the power that he wields. Therefore he could benefit from having men in his house who are seen to be loyal to him rather scared to speak out against him, which is where I see Steapa having been a useful character. I enjoyed seeing Odda and Aethelwold’s exchange in the opening episode where he pushed the younger man to seize the crown, for example, so it’s a shame that we haven’t seen more of his unfettered scheming along the way.

That said Adrian Bower’s Leofric magnificently takes up the mantle at the start of this episode, facing Uhtred in a fight to the death instead of the giant of a man who is an ardent Odda supporter. Not that this makes much difference, the Saxon does mean what he said during the cliffhanger last week, he is out to kill his BFF so that he can administer an honourable death and send him on his way to Valhalla. A couple of onlookers don’t stick around to witness how the death-match plays out however. Alfred clearly doesn’t have the stomach for it – what a surprise…not – while a face from the past is scouting ahead for Guthrum, who is waiting at the gates ready to ransack the town as soon as he receives a signal.

The speed with which Winchester falls to the Vikings is startling, though their ruthlessness and barbaric acts are perhaps not quite so unexpected. With so few escaping the invasion, it’s natural that they find themselves drawn together in hiding from the Danes which roam through Wessex plundering the villages. With his kingdom lost, and his son and heir desperately ill, Alfred is at his lowest point when they reach their hide out in the marshes at Athelney. David Dawson’s portrayal of Alfred has been compelling so far, but be prepared to be blown away by his performance this week as he struggles with the weight of failing at being both a father and king. His beliefs are sorely challenged, he’ll find himself trusting in people who he would not normally entertain at court at all, yet without them he’ll never find his way back to Winchester and his crown.

Dreymon ups his game here too, showing a more mature side to Uhtred than we have seen before. Being away from the trappings at court – well, away from Odda who twists his words and riles him up perhaps – it appears that he can act far more calmly, mediate between parties in a prudent manner and, of course, his knowledge on the battle field is exemplary. All these things are exactly what the dethroned king requires, so the two men find themselves finally understanding and trusting in each other. With only one more episode to go before the end of the season, and the great Battle of Edington ahead of our characters, let’s hope that this new found friendship is one that will stick once the group find themselves leaving the marshes and heading into war.

Episode 7 airs on Saturday November 21 on BBC America at 10pm, and on BBC Two on Thursday 3rd December at 9pm. Below are a few dialogue teasers to see you through until then. There is no poll after the episode but please do come back to this post and let us know what you thought. I am eager to discuss the episode with you all.

“Oh no, I am sorry. I’ve never cooked before, and never again, I fear. Are they burnt?”

“I’ve prepared a tonic, for the pain. For the pain you suffer here. You pass blood, from your arse”

“I want the king! And I want him alive, crawling on his knees!”

“When a child suffers, a mother suffers. I know this. I know the pain you feel, it’s almost unbearable”

“Alfred stole my crown. This crown. As king, I am prepared to negotiate”

“Like every kingdom before it, Wessex has fallen. He is Alfred, a man, king of nothing”

“If I am to fight, it would have to be a single battle, and soon, before yet more Danes arrive. Before Wessex crumbles skirmish by skirmish, raid by raid, piece by piece”

“If the child dies, it will take the fight from Alfred’s bones, and we will never save ourselves”

“I can read you. You wish to put our child in the hands of the devil”

“You have been brought to the marshes for a reason. You have this one chance to save your son. And you will have one chance to save your kingdom, the two are bound together”

“I’ll have the advantage, the king’s wife is praying for me. God loves her” “Someone’s got to”

“Brida is changed. She was always angry, but now she is nasty”

About the Author - Sandi
Sandi is part of the Senior Staff at SpoilerTV having been a contributor from back in the Lost days of DarkUFO, and who now writes previews for Banshee, The Musketeers, Poldark, and other UK shows. She also enjoys watching and commenting on other shows such as Vikings, Orphan Black, Game of Thrones and The Flash.
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