The Last Kingdom

Nov 2017
789
Commune
#31
The TV show is based on the books and maintains the themes I talked about.
Where? Even its anti-Catholicism is muted as hell (in fact, it portrays a Christian priest, Beocca, as the tutor of Uhtred). At no point does the show portray Christians nearly as violent or as primitive as the Vikings and Welsh, and instead does the opposite. There's no scene of Christians beheading pagan Danes, whereas we're shown the opposite at least twice in the show (in the first episode and in the last), as well as a whole scene of Vikings sadistically killing a Christian priest, whereas we have no equivalent scene of Christians doing that to Vikings. The show also kowtows hard to Alfred the Great.



Based on what? Have many episodes have you seen? How can you make that assessment when, as I pointed out, the show often portrays the English Christians as oppressive and hypocritical? When the main character was raised by and loves the Danes? When many protagonists are Danish and many antagonists are English? This all applies to the show as equally as it does in the books. Historical fiction is any fictional/dramatize portrayal of history - not just books. It seems to me the only one attempting to further their own political agenda is you - projecting your own agenda to make everything political onto the show.

I've seen the entirety of the first season and read reviews of the second. Like I said, no it does not portray the English as hypocrites nearly as much as you think. See my response above. I've seen the entirety of the first season and read reviews of the second and it's obvious that the English Christians are portrayed as the better of the two sides and as the good guys while the Vikings are the clear villains. Yes, Uhtred was raised by Danes, but these same Danes brutally beheaded his father, and the Danes end up as the villains in the end. Alfred the Great is portrayed as a visionary hero while Guthrum as an uncultured invader who surrounds himself with warlike idiots like Ubba. Even the plot starts because the Danes, not the English, kill Uhtred's Dane foster father. Also, the only English antagonists are those that join the Danes and betray Alfred. The last episode makes it extremely clear on which side the writers are, if the prior episodes hadn't hammered their pro-English patriotic bias enough.

Also, why do you get all jelly at the mere mention of politics? I think it's fair to analyse a show, whether historical fiction or not, based on modern politics, especially when it so blatantly portrays almost all non-English people as subhuman scum. Shows are never written in a cultural and political void.

This show has nothing to do with modern politics, and by trying to make it about that, you're hijacking the thread.
Yes, the show is not about modern politics, but it does infuse modern politics indirectly which is not surprising since it's written by modern people. This is like saying the book series (not the TV show though) is not indirectly touching on modern debates on atheism and Christianity, which you yourself pointed out, because it's not set in the modern world but in the Middle Ages.
 
Nov 2017
789
Commune
#32
Sorry how is it UKIP 'rhetoric'?

Do you understand the history when its set?

Alfred 'the Great' the King of Wessex (today and English county but then an 'English' kingdom) was the last surviving King of English 'race' while all other had been conquered by 'Viking' invaders/settlers. He is credited with leading the defeat of the 'Vikings' and actually starting the idea that there were not 'English' Kingdoms but one English Kingdom-- there was a place called England. Before that there were just different 'tribes/groups/power' etc the main character Uthred claims to be King of Northumbria.

How is that UKIP Fascism?



The Danes are quite positively especially since they are the 'invaders' but the again because many settled they are also the locals.



The Cornish king shown was a small petty King-- not big or powerful beyond his locality--- and the showing of armies that were actually quite small is true.

In his books Cornwall (authors name not the place) does have a Welsh King and he is shown as being a powerful force-- which (in a regional context) he was.



The Vikings are a complex history and 'popular' doesn't really do them any service.
How many times do I need to say that I'm only critiquing the show and not the books? I'm separating the two. If the book series portrays a proper Welsh king, that's fine, but the series does not. It doesn't matter how "petty" that king was, point is that it decided to show the Welsh as primitives and looking like caricatures of the Celts of the Roman period almost a thousand years prior. No king, no matter how petty, would have been living in a hut like Peredur, and the comment "well, this is no Alfred's court, for sure" strikes one as an indirect attack on the Welsh people in general.

And I don't know what show you've seen. Almost all Vikings are portrayed as brutal, warlike and stupid. Guthrum mocks writing and sadistically kills his opponents while mocking them, Ubba is a yelling superstitious who glorifies war, Brida is basically a female Ubba, while Vikings are the only ones portrayed in engaging in fratricide all the way in the first episode and as the only ones who kill people by beheading them. They're also presented as a threat that are about to conquer all of England and basically genocide the English people. I can keep going.

I say it has UKIP rhetoric because the show is so nationalistic with Alfred the Great that the writers might as well have written "Alfred our saviour from the hordes of foreign immigrants". It portrays the formation of the English nation as something good and Alfred as a visionary king ready to expel the non-English invaders from continental Europe to save England. It's difficult to not see this as UKIP nationalist and xenophobic rhetoric.
 
May 2011
13,787
Navan, Ireland
#33
How many times do I need to say that I'm only critiquing the show and not the books? I'm separating the two. .
I have read the books and watched the series your interpretation I don't accept.

If the book series portrays a proper Welsh king, that's fine, but the series does not. .
The book and the series do not show a 'Welsh' king at all but rather a Cornish one.

He is not really a 'King' but simply a local warlord and the numbers involved (measure in the dozens) neatly show this to be a low level struggle amongst different warbands.

It doesn't matter how "petty" that king was, point is that it decided to show the Welsh as primitives and looking like caricatures of the Celts of the Roman period almost a thousand years prior..
After the collapse of Roman rule the province of Britannia (todays Britain plus Scotland) split into many small 'kingdoms' plus invading English people they may well have been a poor reflection of what Britain was like under Roman Rule.

No king, no matter how petty, would have been living in a hut like Peredur, and the comment .
Why not?

"well, this is no Alfred's court, for sure" strikes one as an indirect attack on the Welsh people in general..
As a Welshmen I would take offence at any attack and it wasn't made and Alfred would have been far richer and more powerful than any minor Cornish warlord (king)

And I don't know what show you've seen. .
I really could say the same for you.

Almost all Vikings are portrayed as brutal, warlike .
And they weren't?!

Especially from the English perspective


The show shows them to be clever!

Guthrum mocks writing and sadistically kills his opponents while mocking them, .
Actually Guthrum converts (under duress) and is fascinated by writing which he describes as 'magic' most 'Vikings' of the period being illiterate.

If you studied history one of the things that Alfred is known for is not being the Warrior king but one that pushed learning and writing and a very educated monarch for the period.

Ubba is a yelling superstitious who glorifies war, .
That's a problem because?

And doesn't it show that while Christian Kings 'foolishly' relied on their God so does he?

Brida is basically a female Ubba, .
She becomes worse in the books!

and don't you think that's a dramatic foil? Uthreds best friend (English slave as well) and ex lover becomes his worse most violent foe?

while Vikings are the only ones portrayed in engaging in fratricide all the way in the first episode and as the only ones who kill people by beheading them. .
No they are not the English are also shown as quite willing to change sides.

And do.

They're also presented as a threat that are about to conquer all of England and basically genocide the English people..
well they were -- that's very basic English history!

making a people cease to exist-- is that genocide?

I can keep going..
Well you obviously don't know your English history.

As I explained in the text I presume you ignored Alfred 'The Great' (the only English Monarch to be given that description) was King of the English Kingdom of Wessex --Uthred claims to be King of Northumberland -- his daughter marries the King of Mercia another English Kingdom-- but Alfred has a notion of just one English King and a kingdom called England.

The Danes/Vikings invaded 'Britain' and seemed about to conquer it all and while Alfred was hiding in a swamp it seemed like 'England' and the English would disappear from history and simply become part of Scandinavia

I say it has UKIP rhetoric because the show is so nationalistic with Alfred the Great that the writers might as well have written "Alfred our saviour from the hordes of foreign immigrants"..
The Danes were invading and taking the land-- that's history!

It portrays the formation of the English nation as something good .
And it wasn't!

What an obnoxious and racist thing to say.

Obviously the English are a lower form of race to yourself (who isn't) but they do have a right to exist even if lower that the Master race such as yourself.

and Alfred as a visionary king ready to expel the non-English invaders from continental Europe to save England. .
well that's the history!

Alfred is credited with actually saving and even creating 'England' -- as terrible an act as that is and obviously a BBC series (financed by those disgusting English tax payers) should of course actually show that as an evil deed.


It's difficult to not see this as UKIP nationalist and xenophobic rhetoric.
I suspect you see that in an episode of Jackanory or the Teletubbies
 
Last edited:
Jun 2010
3,336
Colorado Springs (PA at heart)
#34
Where? Even its anti-Catholicism is muted as hell (in fact, it portrays a Christian priest, Beocca, as the tutor of Uhtred). At no point does the show portray Christians nearly as violent or as primitive as the Vikings and Welsh, and instead does the opposite. There's no scene of Christians beheading pagan Danes, whereas we're shown the opposite at least twice in the show (in the first episode and in the last), as well as a whole scene of Vikings sadistically killing a Christian priest, whereas we have no equivalent scene of Christians doing that to Vikings. The show also kowtows hard to Alfred the Great.
The show has multiple scenes that portray Christianity and the church, and those who follow it (including Alfred and many English), negatively. You are blinded by your personal bias if you did not see them. Like the scene were Uhtred explains to the Danes that baptism means "they take a bath" and everyone laughs and mocks it.

This article is from a Christian website, but it makes good points about the show I agree with and I am not Christian: https://socialbulldozer.liberty.me/the-last-kingdom-why-christians-get-killed/

"But throughout the series, Christianity gets the short end of the stick.

Pagan beliefs and rituals seem to afford their practitioners actual — if subtle — magical powers. For instance, early in the story, a Viking sorceress drinks some crazy heathen brew and glimpses important events occurring hundreds of miles away.

But there is no sign that there is any underlying spiritual truth for the Christians’ faith here — no prophecies, no faith healing, and not a single pivotal conversion or authentic moment of repentance.

Furthermore, throughout the series, Christianity is depicted as a cause of timidity, hypocrisy, and weakness, whereas the beliefs of the Vikings are depicted as a hearty “lust for life and battle.”

The most powerful and courageous Danish villain in the show is fiercely dedicated to the pagan gods. The most powerful and courageous Saxon fighter in the show is practically an atheist.

Indeed, it’s made abundantly clear that the only reason the quavering, fractious Christians survive the repeated Viking onslaughts is because they ally themselves with a bold, honorable pagan — the show’s protagonist."


I've seen the entirety of the first season and read reviews of the second. Like I said, no it does not portray the English as hypocrites nearly as much as you think. See my response above. I've seen the entirety of the first season and read reviews of the second and it's obvious that the English Christians are portrayed as the better of the two sides and as the good guys while the Vikings are the clear villains. Yes, Uhtred was raised by Danes, but these same Danes brutally beheaded his father, and the Danes end up as the villains in the end.
Again, it's really not that simple. The story and the characters are more complex than that. Sorry if you're not capable of seeing that, but it doesn't make it any less true.

Also, the only English antagonists are those that join the Danes and betray Alfred.
Lol, that's so far from being true, I can only laugh. There are soooo many English characters who are not portrayed favorably - mostly clergyman.

Also, why do you get all jelly at the mere mention of politics?
I am not sure what you mean by this.

I think it's fair to analyse a show, whether historical fiction or not, based on modern politics,
It's not a fair analysis when you're just making stuff up.

especially when it so blatantly portrays almost all non-English people as subhuman scum.
Except it doesn't.

Shows are never written in a cultural and political void.
But neither does that mean that literally everything has a political agenda. Not everyone is you. You seem to really want their to be a political agenda to everything so you see it even when it's not there.

Seriously, you've hijacked this topic enough now.
 
Oct 2012
574
#39
Just finished watching series 4 on Netflix (binged over a couple of nights) and really enjoyed it.
I did too. Not bad, but not that great either. The accent of that guy playing Uhtred is a bit annoying and what`s with the vikings in their camp? Allways howling and waving their axes, nothing else to do? Really?
 

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