Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Did Uhtred Die In The Last Kingdom: Seven Kings Must Die? His Fate Explained

Contains spoilers for "The Last Kingdom: Seven Kings Must Die"

When "The Last Kingdom: Seven Kings Must Die" premiered to Netflix on April 14, 2023, it brought the storyline of "The Last Kingdom," which started in 2015 and lasted for five seasons on the BBC and Netflix, to its conclusion. While inspired by history, "The Last Kingdom" isn't entirely historically accurate, and foremost among its fabrications is its protagonist Uhtred (Alexander Dreymon). His ultimate fate, then, has no historical basis, and only becomes apparent by the end of the "Last Kingdom" movie.

During the climax of "Seven Kings Must Die," Uhtred leads England's army in battle against a significantly larger contingent of Danish forces, using his cunning to overcome this disadvantage. Eventually, when he sees King Aethelstan (Harry Gilby) in trouble, he intervenes and sustains a serious injury saving Aethelstan from a premature death. Uhtred doesn't immediately succumb to his wounds, making it intact to Bebbanburg Castle in time to help Aethelstan fulfill the prophecy that serves as the film's subtitle. After Aethelstan is officially the first-ever king of a unified England, however, Uhtred becomes torn between his fallen comrades in the afterlife urging him to cross over, and his living companions still by his side.

"Seven Kings Must Die" concludes Uhtred's story in this moment, never officially confirming either his death or survival. That said, there's reason to believe that Uhtred's death is indeed his canonical fate.

Key creatives are coy about Uhtred's survival, but his death makes sense

Following the release of "The Last Kingdom: Seven Kings Must Die," RadioTimes.com interviewed both Uhtred actor Alexander Dreymon and screenwriter Martha Hillier about Uhtred's final moments. "I'm actually very happy with the way that it ends because there's that ambiguity," Dreymon said. "It's such a big thing for him to have that choice. To be able to decide: 'Do I stay with the people that I love here or do I stay with the people that I love there?' And ultimately, it's all going to be okay."

Dreymon, then, is arguing that the significance of the ending lies not in whether or not Uhtred lives, but the fact he's granted the agency to determine his own fate. Similarly, Hillier suggested that even the show's creators never decided upon an official ending to Uhtred's story, deciding, rather, if they believe that he lived or died on an individual basis.

That said, just prior to Uhtred's final moment on-screen, he promises the kingdom of Northumbria to King Aethelstan, finalizing the prophecy that seven kings must die for Aethelstan to become the king of all of England. Taking this prophecy literally, then, would require Uhtred's death. So, while his fate is ultimately up to individual viewers' interpretation, Uhtred's death has a logical basis, while his survival might conflict with the prophecy referenced in the film's title.