In The Last Kingdom, there’s arguably no friendship that’s more complicated or critical to everyone than the one King Alfred (David Dawson) and Uhtred (Alexander Dreymon) share. It’s tumultuous at times, and even the last time they speak is full of tension. They helped hold Wessex up together against the Danes and it made all the difference at times.
King Alfred and Uhtred have a complicated relationship
Uhtred helps King Alfred defend Wessex on more than one occasion. Uhtred helps secure the king’s position with his reputation amongst the Danes and the Saxons. Alfred realizes Uhtred’s potential early on and puts it to good use.
However, their friendship is a tumultuous one. They disagree on religion, which causes a lot of problems between them. Uhtred struggles to stay in the king’s good graces, which seems to be harder than fans might think it would be.
The last conversation they have together defines everything between them
In season 3, episode 9, Uhtred goes to speak with Alfred who is extremely sick and near death. Uhtred is at the time considered an outlaw, but he risks it all to talk to Alfred, who pardons him during the conversation.
Alfred admits he was wrong when it comes to how things stand between them and he’s afraid for Wessex. Alfred knows he’s dying and he asks Uhtred to watch over his son until he is crowned king. He also pardons him at the same time and takes his hand.
“I’ve made my peace. I’ve made my request. I do not require an answer,” Alfred says.
After Alfred’s death, Uhtred chooses to help and stay to protect Edward (Timothy Innes). It’s what King Alfred would have wanted, and Uhtred has always been fiercely loyal to him.
David Dawson discusses Alfred’s critical relationship with Uhtred
BBC America interviewed David Dawson, who plays Alfred, back in 2015. He discusses his character’s relationship with Uhtred and how different they are from one another. They seem to enhance each other despite the conflict between them. In the beginning, it is hard to imagine them working together, but Alfred starts to see the value in having Uhtred as an ally.
“What I love about the image of Alfred and Uhtred is that they are complete opposites of each other,” Dawson explained. “In one you have this brave, handsome warrior and then you have this thin, frail, but incredibly clever man, and they both want what the other has. It is a bit of a love story, because the conflict between them shows how they need each other to survive in this brutal world. Alfred hates Uhtred at the beginning of the story, but realizes that he has value because he has so much knowledge of his enemy.”
Alfred does admit in the last conversation he has with Uhtred just how critical Uhtred was to the success Alfred had in his life as king. Uhtred was almost always there and their friendship shaped the landscape and the future of Wessex.