Why Is 'The Last Kingdom' Ending After Season 5?

After seven years of Viking invasions, brutal battles and epic victories, The Last Kingdom is coming to an end with Season 5 on Netflix. The bittersweet news was announced back in April 2021 and sadly, the final drop of episodes is fast approaching.

After two years of waiting, The Last Kingdom Season 5 will premiere on Wednesday, March 9, but why is the show ending?

Newsweek has everything you need to know.

Why Is The Last Kingdom Ending After Season 5?

The Last Kingdom on Netflix brings to life the mission of King Alfred the Great and his desire to unite various territories, some of which are ruled by the Vikings, into one United Kingdom.

The show is told mainly from the perspective of Uhtred of Bebbanburg (played by Alexander Dreymon), a fictional character who is loosely based on the real English nobleman, Uhtred the Bold. In The Last Kingdom, Uhtred who was raised by Danes, eventually sides with Alfred (David Dawson) in Wessex, but things, of course, are not as simple or as peaceful as they seem.

The series is an adaption of Bernard Cornwell's best-selling The Saxon Stories novels, which stemmed from his discovery that he was a descendant of the real Uhtred the Bold.

For the cast and crew of The Last Kingdom, the show's conclusion didn't come as a huge surprise. This is because, from the show's conception in 2015, it was always planned to adapt two of Cornwell's books per season.

At the time The Last Kingdom dropped on Netflix, Cornwell had published just 10 books in his The Saxon Stories novel series, meaning Season 5 would be the last.

However, since then, Cornwell has published three more installments in the series, War of the Wolf, Sword of Kings and War Lord, which sadly won't be included in the Netflix series. Season 5 of The Last Kingdom will adapt books nine and 10, Warriors of the Storm and The Flame Bearer.

Speaking at MCM London Comic Con, Alexander Dreymon, who plays Uhtred, explained: "When we started shooting the show, there were ten books that Bernard Cornwell had written and we had structured the show in a way that season five was always going to be the last season."

The good news is, the story of Uhtred of Bebbanburg will not end with Season 5. There is officially going to be a The Last Kingdom movie, called Seven Kings Must Die.

The two-hour feature film is set to draw on material from Cornwell's three final books in the Saxon Stories novels and filming is set to begin in early 2022.

Also speaking at MCM London Comic Con, producer Nigel Marchant explained the decision to carry on Uhtred's story: "Although season five fully concludes the series, there was always one more story that we wanted to tell.

"With the brilliant support of Netflix and continued appetite from the fans to see more, we simply couldn't resist one last journey with Uhtred."

Season 5 of The Last Kingdom will see King Edward continue to fulfill his late father's dreams of uniting the Saxon Kingdoms. However, his plans are thwarted thanks to a new Danish invasion alongside a Saxon rebellion."

Netflix teases: "We follow Uhtred as he faces his greatest enemies, and suffers an immeasurable loss, on his quest towards fulfilling his destiny."

Meanwhile, Edward treads a fine line between peace-keeper and authoritarian as he battles to bring together the fractured kingdoms of the land.

"In a surprising twist of fate, Uhtred discovers that the quest to unite England may well be linked to his own personal destiny."

The majority of the main cast is back for the fifth season including Emily Cox as Brida, Mark Rowley as Finan, Alexander Dreymon as Uhtred of Bebbanburg and Eliza Butterworth as Aelswith.

There are some new faces entering The Last Kingdom world in Season 5, including:

  • Harry Gilby as Aethelstan
  • Ewan Horrocks as Aelfweard
  • Phia Saban as Aelfwynn
  • Ilona Chevakova as Ingrith
  • Micki Stoltt as Rognvaldr
  • Jaakko Ohtonen as Wolland
  • Harry Anton as Bresal
  • Sonya Cassidy as Eadgifu

The Last Kingdom Season 5 premieres on Netflix on Wednesday, March 9, 2022.

the last kingdom season 5 ending
Alexander Dreymon as Uhtred in The Last Kingdom. Season 5 will be the last outing before the spin-off film. Netflix