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"...We were bonded, him and I. He was the man that I could never be, nor did I wish to be. He was a man that I loved and despised... but it was never less an honour to serve him. He was my king. And he did not wish to go to his God without granting me what I have earned many times over! My freedom..."
Uhtred about Alfred to the people of Winchester[src]

"Episode 26" is the tenth and final episode of the third season of The Last Kingdom. It aired on November 19, 2018.

Synopsis[]

As a climactic battle with the Danes draws near, untested Edward faces dire decisions about the fates of Uhtred, Wessex -- and England.

Plot[]

Winchester, Wessex; Thyra remains trapped under the floorboards of her house as a fire blazes, calling out to her love, Beocca, to rescue her. Finan arrives outside of Beocca’s house to see the flames soaring, so he sends Osferth to find Beocca. Sihtric has begun helping douse the flames with buckets of water. Finan asks if Thyra was inside as she left the palace, but he is uncertain. Osferth retrieves Father Beocca from the palace, where he is trying to reproach Ælswith for flouting Alfred's wishes to pardon Uhtred, who attempts to rush into the burning house, but Finan and Sihtric hold him back, as he calls out to Thyra.

As the flames near her, Thyra’s death is all but certain, so she takes her own life, stabbing herself in the heart with her knife, to spare herself the pain of being burned alive.

Hild joins Beocca by his side the next morning as the smoke settles around his burned down house. She assures Beocca that Thyra is with God now. Finan promises Beocca that once the fire settles, he will find Thyra and wrap her body for burial. However, with her being his wife, Beocca insists that this is his task to complete. Beocca is also convinced that the fire was not an accident.

Æthelwold and Sigebriht meet with Æthelred and Aldhelm to propose an uprising against Edward. Æthelwold suggests they negotiate with the Danes and allow them to slaughter Edward and his followers. Father Beocca enters with an axe and slams it onto the table, blaming Æthelwold for the bile he spews, encouraging those around him to act unchristian-like. Aldhelm stops Beocca before blood is shed, but it's clear Beocca's words have struck a nerve with him and Sigebriht.

Hæsten announces to Cnut and Brida that Alfred is dead. Dagfinn reassures that it’s true this time. Many mourn the death of Alfred and the time for war is near. Cnut gleefully orders the men to prepare for battle.

Æthelflæd visits Uhtred in his cell and informs him that he has been banished from Winchester and Wessex and never to return. Otherwise, her mother will have Uhtred killed. Uhtred asks Æthelflæd to fetch Beocca, but he arrives moments later on his own, and he’s come to beg Uhtred to stay. He encourages Uhtred to accept a trial and speak out. Uhtred notices a change in Beocca and asks what happened. Beocca reveals that Thyra died in a fire, which he suspects was set by men of Wessex. Beocca encourages Uhtred to become the light that Wessex needs in the wake of Alfred’s death.

Æthelred tells Æthelflæd to inform her family that Mercia has a king with his own mind. Alfred is gone and therefore all agreements made with Alfred are gone with him. He adds that both countries are equal and free to choose who they ally with or fight against. Aldhelm is, however, in agreement with Æthelflæd. He hopes that Æthelred doesn’t intend to align with Æthelwold or the Danes. Æthelred then asks if Aldhelm sent for his guard of 50 men, which he admits he did not. For his disobedience, Æthelred stabs Aldhelm and tells him that his wound is from an ale house brawl, should anyone ask.

Æthelflæd finds Aldhelm bleeding in her room. He informs her that Æthelred is considering negotiating with the Danes, which worries him deeply. Aldhelm then tells Æthelflæd that she has his heart and that he loves her. A love that she does not reciprocate. Aldhelm tells Æthelflæd to act for Mercia and call the men to arms.

Steapa retrieves Uhtred from his cell and escorts him out of Winchester. Finan, Sihtric, and Osferth ask if they should follow behind and leave Winchester for the Danes. Uhtred comes to a standstill. He displays his letter of pardon from Alfred, asking if Alfred's word has no meaning now he is dead. Ælswith claims that she is gifting Uhtred his life and angrily demands he be grateful and leave in peace. Uhtred replies there will be no peace because war is coming. There is a Dane army marching and he refuses to abandon the people of Wessex. Ælswith angrily demands Steapa silence Uhtred, but Edward and Æthelflæd are very much in agreement with him, as are the crowd. Beocca speaks in favor of Uhtred as well, stating that only a king can deny a king, and by Alfred’s decree, Uhtred is a free man. Æthelwold argues that Edward is simply Alfred’s son, not a king. Uhtred then offers to leave Wessex only if Edward believes the pardon to be untrue. Bishop Erkenwald commands Steapa to return Uhtred to the palace, insisting such spectacles shouldn't take place in public but Beocca protests that the people deserve to see justice being done. Edward orders that Steapa release Uhtred and allow him to speak.

While Uhtred may not be named in the king’s chronicle, he is written on every page; from the Somerset Marshes to Ethandun and all the battle that followed. Uhtred remarks that it was never less than an honor to serve Alfred, who didn’t wish to see God without first granting Uhtred his freedom. Edward wonders why his father chose not to announce it. Seeing the spectre of Leofric in the crowd, Uhtred reminds the crowd of his late friend, a warrior and Saxon to the bone, who told Uhtred once that he could never better Alfred. "Because the bastard thinks," he said. Uhtred surmises that Alfred chose not to announce it so that people could witness the new king, Edward, dispensing justice. Æthelwold objects and continues to argue that Edward is nothing more than an ætheling and such decisions aren’t his to make, but no one appears concerned by his claims. Edward declares that Alfred’s pardon stands and that Uhtred is a free man. Uhtred hopes that one day his path will lead north to Bebbanburg, but until then, he believes he’s needed in Winchester, so he will follow Edward. Their plans to get rid of Uhtred thwarted, Ælswith and Æthelwold storm off.

Brida looks to Cnut and makes him swear to the gods that it was Æthelwold who killed Ragnar. Cnut swears. And so, Brida declares that he must not fall in battle. Æthelwold cannot fall to any sword.

Uhtred prepare Wessex for a battle with the Danes. Æthelred has spies inside Danelaw that have confirmed the Danes are moving closer. Æthelred has issued an order for his men to retreat, but he wants to know when they will be joined by Wessex. Æthelred asks if the Ealdormen stand with Edward. Æthelhelm insists that they do. Uhtred reminds them that the Danes will have greater numbers. Although, they can still win. Æthelred will return to Mercia and wait for Edward’s orders. Edward admits that he is not his father. Uhtred tells Edward that much like his father, he will overcome the fear inside and write letters to every Ealdormen of Wessex. Finan advises against fighting on open ground as they have few men. Uhtred and Finan agree that Bedanford is the battlefield of choice.

Uhtred and Finan approach Lord Sigebriht as he is leaving in the night. They question his loyalty, as he has been seen in Æthelwold's company. Sigebriht insists that he’s loyal to Wessex. He assures them he will be there in battle. Æthelwold makes an appearance after Sigebriht's departure, mockingly offering Uhtred his condolences for Ragnar's death. Uhtred demands to know what Æthelwold's intentions are; the latter insists he will be at Bedanford and praying for a great victory.

"For Saxon or Dane?" Uhtred asks.

"Do you care? You belong to neither" Æthelwold retorts, admitting that he did once fear Uhtred, but now recognises that Uhtred's just a sword wielded by the hand of men greater than himself. Æthelwold sneers that the reputation Uhtred has built for himself will be forgotten when he dies, and he will be unthanked and unremembered by Saxons and Danes, no matter all he has done for them. "You will go to neither Heaven, nor Valhalla" is Æthelwold's last insult as he departs.

Uhtred, Finan, Sihtric, Osferth, Edward, Pyrlig, and Beocca march for Bedanford. They set up camp in High Wycombe where Uhtred explains to Beocca the necessity of Thyra's blood; it will allow Ragnar's passage from Niflheim to Valhalla, Heaven to Hell. When Beocca asks how, Uhtred replies he must kill Ragnar's murderer with a blade marked with his blood. All he needs now is the identity of Ragnar's killer. Beocca notes Æthelwold's absence from the camp and concludes he must have gone running back to the Danes. When Osferth asks if he will not give away their plan to the Danes, Uhtred explains their real plan is to ambush the Danish army as it marches along the forest road that leads to Bedanford. Edward and Uhtred speak privately, where Edward wonders if this will be the battlefield where they die. Uhtred replies it will be the battlefield where Edward truly becomes king, like his father at Ethandun.

Kimbolton, Mercia; Æthelwold has left Wessex and reconvened with Brida, Cnut, and Hæsten. He reveals that Uhtred now rides with Edward. Brida reminds Æthelwold that he was supposed to kill Uhtred, questioning if he couldn’t find Uhtred sleeping, similar to how he killed Ragnar. Æthelwold becomes nervous and diverts the subject back to the battle and how they will have an ally in Sigebriht of Cent. He will attack the Saxons from the rear once battle has begun.

Brida tells Jackdaw to follow the spies that Cnut sends out in search of the Saxon camps. She wants him to deliver Uhtred a message.

Finan and Sihtric cross paths with Jackdaw just after taking out several Dane spies. He comes with a message from Brida for Uhtred, who reveals that Æthelwold killed Ragnar. Jackdaw adds that his people are near. While Uhtred doesn't have Jackdaw killed, he is then taken away. Uhtred then asks Osferth for the blood.

Edward leads Uhtred, Finan, Sihtric, Osferth, Pyrlig, and Beocca into the Battle of the Holme. Brida, Cnut, Hæsten, and Æthelwold lead their army into the woodlands, where they find their spies hanging from trees. Suddenly, they are ambushed by the Wessex army, who announces their presence with a volley of arrows before attacking the Danes on both flanks. Sigebriht and the Mercians have yet to arrive, leaving Wessex to fight on their own. The fighting is savage, the Wessex forces on the verge of being driven back when Æthelflæd arrives with Mercian cavalry to reinforce them.

Hæsten asks Æthelwold where his Saxon army is. Sigebriht arrives with his men, however, they fight in honor of Wessex, attacking the Danes from the rear. Enraged by this failure, Hæsten tries to kill Æthelwold but another Saxon attacker allows the latter to escape. Sigebriht is killed when Cnut hits him in the chest with a spear.

Uhtred and Brida simultaneously notice Æthelwold on the battlefield and charge towards him. However, Æthelwold manages to escape on a horse as Uhtred is attacked by a Dane. Fortunately, Brida saves him with a thrown axe. Uhtred steals a horse and goes chasing after Æthelwold. During the chase, Æthelwold hits his head on a branch and falls off the horse. He takes cover behind a tree, as Uhtred searches for him. Æthelwold pleads for mercy. Uhtred demands that he admit to killing Ragnar. Æthelwold does so reluctantly, claiming he feared Ragnar would kill him, begging to have his life spared, insisting he will go into exile. Uhtred plays along, even offering Æthelwold silver to pay for his voyage, tossing him the bag containing Thyra's blood. When Æthelwold catches it, Uhtred stabs him through the bag in the heart, sending him to hell and setting Ragnar free. Brida arrives just after Uhtred kills Æthelwold. A ray of sun suddenly shines down. Brida believes it to be a bridge for Ragnar to cross over into Valhalla.

The Saxons defeat the Danes, and Edward returns to Wessex, expanding the chronicle started by his father. Although, some Danes, such as Brida, Cnut, and Hæsten, did manage to escape death and persecution.

Uhtred visits Ragnar’s grave one last time and retrieves his necklace of Thor’s hammer.

Appearances[]

First[]

Deaths[]

  • Thyra - Stabbed herself in the stomach before being burned alive in a fire caused by Tidman.
  • Sigebriht - Killed with a spear thrown by Cnut.
  • Æthelwold - Stabbed in the chest by Uhtred.
  • Dagfinn - Killed by Saxons. (confirmed fate)

Cast[]

Starring[]

Supporting[]

Guest Starring[]

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