‘The Last Kingdom’: Uhtred Tricks Sven While Wearing a Skull Mask

In The Last Kingdom, there’s a memorable moment in which Uhtred (Alexander Dreymon) tricks Sven Kjartansson (Ole Christoffer Ertvaag), a man he used to know in his youth while wearing a skull mask. It all goes down in season 2, episode 1, and we have the details.

Uhtred has a history with Sven in ‘The Last Kingdom’

Alexander Dreymon in 'The Last Kingdom'
Alexander Dreymon in ‘The Last Kingdom’ | © Carnival Film & Television Ltd/Kata Vermes/Netflix

Sven and his father, Earl Kjartan (Alexandre Willaume), are Uhtred’s enemies, and for a good reason. They used to know Uhtred, as he is the adopted son of Earl Ragnar (Peter Gantzler), a man Kjartan used to serve as a shipmaster. But Sven ripped Ragnar’s daughter Thyra’s dress, exposing her from the waist up. Uhtred fought Sven over it, and Ragnar blinded Sven in one eye and banished the father and son. 

But years later, Sven and Kjartan ally with Uhtred’s uncle, Aelfric (Joseph Millson, to murder most of Uhtred’s family by burning down their home, taking Thyra (Julia Bache-Wiig) as a prisoner. Uhtred wasn’t there at the time, but he saw the whole thing go down. Ever since, he’s wants revenge.

Uhtred joins Father Beocca on a quest to free Guthred

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Uhtred comes upon Sven again after he teams up with Father Beocca (Ian Hart) while in Eoferwic (York). It’s all to help King Alfred’s (David Dawson) cause to free Guthred (Thure Lindhardt), who is to be the King of Cumbraland. They hope to pay a ransom, freeing Guthred, who is being held as a slave. The property where he’s being kept is on Kjartan’s land. Alfred wants a ransom paid for Guthred’s freedom, and Father Beocca and Brother Trew (Peter McDonald) are accompanied by lepers to do the job and carry the silver to the man who is selling him.

Guthred is a Christian Dane whose family was killed by warriors of Kjartan’s. He was forced into slavery, but after an Abbot has a dream of Saint Cuthbert proclaiming Guthred as the King of Cumbraland, Alfred took up the cause, hoping for Guthred’s influence to spread in Northumbria.

Uhtred’s plan is put in place

Uhtred comes up with a plan to get everyone to fear him. Beocca, Trew, and a friend of Uhtred’s who is a nun named Hild (Eva Birthistle) ride to where the man who is selling slaves, Gelgill (Ingar Helge Gimle), is. He makes some comments toward Hild that would make anyone feel uncomfortable. 

Trew calls for Guthred, but Sven comes out, saying he decides when he can see him. He asks for the ransom, and one of Sven’s warriors says that some of the riders previously seen are missing.

Beocca puts the plan in place, playing off their fear. “He is correct lord, but these horsemen, they came from nowhere and asking us to where we are traveling,” Beocca says. “And we prayed that they would leave us, vanish.” He continues: “Believe me when I say this, they were not of this world, lord. They were not met like you and I are men.” Beocca and Trew cross themselves, telling Sven they are doing it to ask for “the Lord’s protection.”

Beocca continues with the plan. When Gelgill asks “what” they are, Beocca says that to speak of them could “summon them.” But Sven isn’t convinced and eventually calls it “lies.”

Uhtred tricks Sven

Suddenly, horses and men can be heard in the distance, and Beocca insists it’s “him.” Riders make their way into the camp, carrying torches and circling around Sven and his warriors. Uhtred is wearing white face paint in certain spots and a skull as a mask concealing most of his face along with a hooded robe. He’s accompanied by men with leprosy carrying the torches. “We come for your souls,” a rider says. 

Sven asks who the man in the skull mask is, and Uhtred doesn’t hold back. “I am Odin’s messenger to command,” he says. “I come from Corpse Hall. Are you Sven Kjartanson?” Uhtred asks while pointing his sword at him. He doesn’t answer right away, asking what he wants with Sven Kjartansson.

Uhtred tricks Sven into believing he’s there to “take the souls” of both him and his father, scaring him during the tense moment. “I have been sent to take the souls of both Kjartan and his son,” Uhtred says.

Sven tells his warriors to attack, and they do, but Uhtred handles them, even getting off his horse and fighting. He throws Sven onto the ground next, using his shoe to keep him there, he says no one should move, or Sven dies, then tells everyone to leave. 

The onlookers start to flee, and Hild kills Gelgill during the commotion. Meanwhile, Uhtred is heated and wants to kill Sven, telling him he should. Although Sven asks to be spared and that he “will be a changed man,” Uhtred isn’t convinced. But Beocca gets him not to kill him, saying, “Lord, I beg you. That he fears you is enough. Let him take their fear to Kjartan.”

They rescue Guthred, and Uhtred lets his enemy go free. “Find your way home in darkness,” he says as he hits him. Uhtred blindfolds Sven, binding his hands behind his back so he has trouble getting back home, which he eventually does with help.

When Kjartan learns about what happened, he’s suspicious of the whole thing, and becomes convinced it was all a “trick.” He’s angry with his son, despite Sven saying he knows what he saw. Sven says it “didn’t appear to be a trick.”

Although Kjartan later tries to have Uhtred abducted, the plan fails, and both Kjartan and Sven meet their demise in season 2. Ragnar (Tobias Santelmann), Uhtred’s adopted brother, kills Kjartan, and Thyra has her dogs kill Sven.