What year is The Last Kingdom set in?

The Last Kingdom Season 4 -- Courtesy of Netflix
The Last Kingdom Season 4 -- Courtesy of Netflix /

The Last Kingdom is a must-watch if you’re a fan of historical fiction. Just which year does the series start in and when does it end?

Fans of period dramas, especially those that involve invasions and battles, will want to check out The Last Kingdom. The series itself is based on the book series by Bernard Cornwell. While it does follow a fictional lead character, Uhtred, it is set in a very real time period and there are a lot of real historical characters that pop up.

Of course, as you get into it, you want to know where it fits in the English history timeline. This can help you understand where it would fit in with the likes of VikingsPoldark, and Outlander. While all these shows are in different universes, they all take from real historical events so seeing where in Britain’s history it all takes place is important.

The Last Kingdom timeline

Season 1 starts off around 866. Uhtred is Osbert at the time, and the Danes are invading England close to his father’s lands. With his brother’s death, Osbert is re-baptized as Uhtred, but he is later taken by the Danes and turned into a slave. At 12, he ends up being heavily influenced by his Danish owners who end up becoming a family to him.

With a small time jump, we see Uhtred as a young adult. The season picks up around 872.

The rest of the show takes place in five- to 10-year increments. Here’s a look at a rough timeline:

  • Season 2: 878-886
  • Season 3: 893-900

Season 4 is a little trickier to work out. The Battle of Tettenhall took place in 910, but the ages of the younger characters don’t add up based on the timeline of Season 3. The ages of the characters is more likely to put the show at around 905.

Season 5 takes place around 918 based on the death of Queen Aethelflaed. In history, that’s when Aethelflaed died, and the age of Brida’s daughter does match that if Season 4’s ending was in 910.

The Last Kingdom: Seven Kings Must Die takes place in 924. This starts with the death of King Edward and his son Aethelstan taking over the crown. It’s worth noting that the real King Aethelstan was King of Wessex until 927 and then he became King of the English. It looks like the movie ends in 924 rather than 927, though, as the caption at the end reads that Aethelstan ruled for another 15 years. He died in 939.

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The Last Kingdom is available to stream on Netflix.