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Old June 30th, 2018, 12:40 PM   #1
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The Last Kingdom


I've enjoyed watching the Last Kingdom. My 10 year old, who's homeschooled, is getting to the part in history about King Alfred. But dang, The Last Kingdom is so very not kid friendly.

I'm wondering if there's a section or sections (maybe not even a whole episode--could even be 10-15 minutes), that has King Alfred that would be interesting, relevant, sort of historically accurate (or if not, something we could easily discuss why it wasn't), that's self contained enough to be interesting, and that was something a 10 year old kid could handle. Swearing, in moderation, I'm ok with...as long as it's not, um, something that's gonna embarrass my kid (ie, no sexual crudeness). Maybe I could do several parts with a section removed in between? I'd love it to have Alfred in it, regardless.

Any suggestions? (Yeah, I know...it's a toughie. I keep thinking of parts and than thinking "Oh I could do this....oh, no, not that...maybe this...oh, no, not that").
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Old June 30th, 2018, 02:22 PM   #2

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There is a scene with Alfred meeting the Vikings in a tent, where the Vikings are puzzled about why there's someone there writing down everything they're saying - and Alfred explains that it is important to history to document what is happening in that time.
This would give a child a good understanding of his character beyond the war with the Vikings - in that it shows him as scholarly and clearly very interested in education.


However, it's important to note that the Vikings did have concepts of written history. So the show makes them act far more uncultured than they actually were - which is very wrong for a people who themselves had a great history of epic poems.
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Old July 3rd, 2018, 03:05 PM   #3

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Originally Posted by Commodus View Post
There is a scene with Alfred meeting the Vikings in a tent, where the Vikings are puzzled about why there's someone there writing down everything they're saying - and Alfred explains that it is important to history to document what is happening in that time.
This would give a child a good understanding of his character beyond the war with the Vikings - in that it shows him as scholarly and clearly very interested in education.


However, it's important to note that the Vikings did have concepts of written history. So the show makes them act far more uncultured than they actually were - which is very wrong for a people who themselves had a great history of epic poems.
Didn't their history of writing the Sagas begin after the Viking invasion of England though? Forgive me, for my knowledge of the Vikings is somewhat limited but I think I remember reading that they had not started writing their sagas down until later than the 8th century. If true, would this make that portrayal in The Last Kingdom possible?
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Old July 3rd, 2018, 04:28 PM   #4

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Didn't their history of writing the Sagas begin after the Viking invasion of England though? Forgive me, for my knowledge of the Vikings is somewhat limited but I think I remember reading that they had not started writing their sagas down until later than the 8th century. If true, would this make that portrayal in The Last Kingdom possible?
Yeah, they did not start writing down their sagas till the 1200's actually, but they had a very strong oral tradition. So the importance of history was still not lost on them.
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Old July 4th, 2018, 06:43 AM   #5

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I think it's probably not worth it - anything of historical importance is probably either too violent or too political or too profane. Not that a 10 year old can't understand some politics, but watching one or two scenes would be too random, you'd likely have to explain what's going on or what lead up to that scene, etc. I'm just not sure it'd be worth all the trouble. Maybe a documentary would be better.
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Old July 11th, 2018, 12:31 PM   #6

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Ever see the Kirk Douglas, Tony Curtis movie called The Vikings. It's an oldie. Made in 1958. Have no idea how historically accurate it is. Probably not much. Just remember seeing it when I was a kid and was majorly impressed.

Other than the violence in the fighting scenes, it's probably fine for your son. Can't imagine the language being a problem.

https://www.amazon.com/Vikings-Kirk-.../dp/B000062XF2

BTW, have you read the Bernard Cornwell book, The Last Kingdom, that the show is based on? It is a thousand times better than the TV series.

Last edited by Aristodemus; July 11th, 2018 at 12:33 PM.
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Old July 13th, 2018, 01:42 PM   #7

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Originally Posted by ecarian View Post
I'm wondering if there's a section or sections (maybe not even a whole episode--could even be 10-15 minutes), that has King Alfred that would be interesting, relevant, sort of historically accurate
It's entertainment , not history.
So while you might get him interested in the period due to it, any learning would have to take place elsewhere.
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Old July 13th, 2018, 01:50 PM   #8

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Originally Posted by Aristodemus View Post
Ever see the Kirk Douglas, Tony Curtis movie called The Vikings. It's an oldie. Made in 1958. Have no idea how historically accurate it is. Probably not much. Just remember seeing it when I was a kid and was majorly impressed .
One of my favourite movies.
As for historically accurate...it's complete and utter tosh, it's Hollywood at it's worst.

Still fun though.
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Old July 13th, 2018, 06:32 PM   #9

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This bit by any chance?


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Old July 14th, 2018, 03:32 AM   #10

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The show is not for kids and for this reason has many aspects that children won't like nor frankly are suitable for them. this includes scenes or themes/concepts.

That said, you can get your child to watch any of the following imho, which cover the same topic/point in history:

Michael Wood - In the Search Of... (especially Alfred the Great, Athelstan, Athelred the Unready, which all cover English/Norse conflicts in some measure).
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