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The Last Kingdom: Seven Kings Must Die Knew Uhtred's Age Would Be Polarizing

Fueled by the violence and intrigue of the Ninth Century battle to forge the disparate kingdoms of Britain into a unified nation, "The Last Kingdom" is an episodic series centered on Alexander Dreymon's Uhtred Uhtredson and the character's pivotal role in tumultuous events of the era. Now, the Netflix feature film "The Last Kingdom: Seven Kings Must Die" continues to follow Uhtred's ongoing involvement in the rousing, blood-drenched tale of the birth of what would eventually become England.

Based on author Bernard Cornwell's "The Saxon Stories," the TV series and film span multiple decades as they spin the tale of Uhtred's fight to reclaim the heritage stolen from him as a youth. He swears his allegiance to Wessex's King Alfred (David Dawson) in his fight to fend off Danish invaders and unite the island. But there's one problem: To maintain accurate chronology, the action of "The Last Kingdom: Seven Kings Must Die" should find Uhtred being roughly 80 years old, but the character's appearance is hardly altered in the movie. 

As the 40-year-old Dreymon said to Radio Times, "In reality, Uhtred is so old at that time, [but] how do we portray that accurately? Do we go into old makeup? Do we go into that physicality?" As the actor went on to explain, fans of the series and the new movie are, well, pretty likely to notice.

Uhtred's age discrepancy in The Last Kingdom: Seven Kings Must Die might raise eyebrows

Long-time fans of "The Last Kingdom" are used to seeing Dreymon's Uhtred wielding his sword in full Viking rage mode in a variety of fight scenes. From epic, screen-filling clashes between Vikings and Saxon armies, to breathtaking one-on-one combat, Uhtred as depicted to date is clearly a man of action, and then some. So, with the time span of the film logically calling for Uhtred to be a decidedly elderly character, Dreymon posed a salient question in the Radio Times interview: "What does that do in terms of battles?"

And while some franchises dealing with a similar issue have re-cast actors to solve the dilemma, execs at Netflix decided to simply stick with their original stars and gloss over the problem. As Dreymon explained, "For the aging part, I always suspend my disbelief a little bit and I'm hoping that the fans will go along with that." And if the viewers of "The Last Kingdom: Seven Kings Must Die" are unable to put up with their hero Uhtred looking unrealistically youthful? As Dreymon admitted, "Jokes on it are fair game."