What to Watch Before The Last Kingdom Season 4

The Last Kingdom and Others

The fourth season of Netflix’s The Last Kingdom will be premiering this weekend and as a lead up to this, here are five other television series that may whet your appetite for the historical drama.

Based on the book series by Bernard Cornwell, The Last Kingdom follows the journey of Uhtred of Bebbanburg, a mighty warrior born as a Saxon but raised as a Dane. He finds his path inextricably linked with that of King Alfred the Great and the latter’s dream of uniting all the Saxon kingdoms to form “England.” Uhtred constantly struggles with reconciling his Danish upbringing with the Christian ways of his fellow Saxons. He also dreams of one day reclaiming his ancestral home of Bebbanburg, which was stolen from him as a child by his uncle Aelfric.

The Last Kingdom features a cast of dynamic characters, both friends and foe to Uhtred, who shape him into the war lord that he is destined to become. There are monarchs, monks, priests, pagans, and powerful women who drive the story forward in intriguing ways. The battle scenes are grittier and messier than some of the more stylized fights in other historical dramas and the source material provides a structure and clarity to the plot. The fourth season is an adaptation of the seventh and eighth books in the series and four more novels remain with a final, thirteenth volume due to be published later this year.

If you are intrigued by The Last Kingdom, here are five other series that are in the same spirit.


Vikings posterBy far the most similar in tone and subject matter to The Last Kingdom, Vikings is the epic saga of Ragnar Lothbrok and his family, tracking his humble origins as a farmer who became a king. Since The Last Kingdom deals with Uhtred’s upbringing as a Dane (“vikings” is the term used for Danes who go on raiding journeys), his culture is a hybrid of the vicious Danish way of life and still some of the Christian, Saxon influence of the people he meets. Vikings likewise is not always focused on the Scandinavians but also on their enemies, the Christian kings and their courts. Exploring the rise of Christendom along with the decline of the viking way of life, Vikings is a truly engrossing journey. Though the series may have meandered a bit in the latter seasons after the death of Ragnar left the narrative to his less interesting sons, the series remains a compelling tale of destiny and history.

There are sword fights galore, political intrigue, epic battle scenes, and badass warrior women. These two series can definitely be enjoyed together.

Read our coverage of Vikings HERE.


Knightfall posterAnother historical series centered on the destiny of a male protagonist, Knightfall follows the life of Sir Landry du Lauzon, a Templar knight who, as Templar knights all tend to do, is searching for the Holy Grail. But Landry is not an ideal brother, and it’s his transgressions that create much of the conflict in the series. He is a man torn between his duty to the brotherhood and the desires of his heart and this conflict might be relatable to someone like Uhtred. And it’s a historical series with a lot of sword fights and bloody battle scenes.

Knightfall also tackles a lot of the political machinations of the French monarchs and contains enough court intrigue to keep it from being simply about the Templar brotherhood. The series has had two seasons so far and there’s no news yet on whether a third will be commissioned.

Read our reviews of Knightfall’s first season HERE.


Britannia posterA historical epic with elements of myth and magic, Britannia is an ambitious series that is set in the island that will be England when the Romans first arrive. Warring tribes and Druids rule the land and there is a clash between the Roman invaders and these tribal leaders, in ideals as well as geographical claims. Three main forces are in conflict in Britannia, the Romans, the tribal monarchs, and the mysterious Druids. This clash of cultures and religions is very reminiscent of the themes in The Last Kingdom.

Caught in the crossfire is a young girl named Cait, who may be destined for something great. Reluctantly accompanied by the outcast Druid, Divis, Cait struggles to survive in a treacherous land overrun by forces beyond her understanding. How she eventually fulfills her destiny will surely be a compelling thing to behold.

Like KnightfallBritannia has had two seasons so far and there’s no news yet on whether a third will be commissioned.

Read our review of Britannia‘s first season HERE.


Letter for the KingThis 6-episode miniseries is fantasy-lite, a family-friendly story based on the Dutch novel of the same name. It has all the tropes of the classic fantasy journey and stars Amir Wilson (His Dark Materials) as the hero tasked to deliver an important letter to the king that may decide the fate of the war. There are sword fights with little bloodshed, no gratuitous violence, some witty banter between the characters, and gorgeous cinematography. The first season tells a complete story though it still leaves enough threads to pursue should a second season be commissioned. This is a good warm-up for heavier, darker series and an enjoyable journey for those who just want a relaxing fantasy epic.

We talk about the show on the latest podcast.


The Witcher posterPerhaps the most different series from The Last Kingdom because of the high fantasy elements, The Witcher is still included in this list because it still tackles many similar themes. Uhtred may not be fighting against monsters and magic but he and Geralt of Rivia are both men burdened by destiny, whether they like it or not. They sometimes resist the call of destiny but it always finds a way to drag them back into its orbit. And The Witcher still has some court intrigue, impressive sword fights, and a cast of interesting characters. One suspects that Uhtred and Geralt might get along as seasoned warriors would and they might even enjoy some ale with each other in between battles.

Read our coverage of The Witcher HERE.

So that’s the starter pack of series to binge before you get into The Last Kingdom.

Season four will be available on Netflix on April 26.

Check out the trailer below: