‘The Last Kingdom’: Why King Alfred Arranged Uhtred’s Marriage to Mildrith

In the series The Last Kingdom, Uhtred (Alexander Dreymon) marries a woman named Mildrith (Amy Wren), his first wife. It’s a marriage arranged by the King of Wessex. But why is she the bride chosen for Uhtred? We have all the details.

Why does King Alfred arrange a marriage between Uhtred and Mildrith in ‘The Last Kingdom’?

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

King Alfred (David Dawson) arranges Uhtred’s marriage to Mildrith as a way to tie him and keep him bound to Wessex and Alfred himself. Alfred is unsure of where Uhtred’s loyalties lie, and he knows this marriage will suit his needs, as Mildrith owes a substantial amount of money to the church because her father promised profits of his land to them. This marriage allows for Alfred to control Uhtred and have him prove his loyalty at the same time, but Uhtred is far from happy when he learns about the debt. It’s an amount that increases yearly, although Uhtred eventually takes care of the debt owed.

Despite the political arrangement, Uhtred and Mildrith grow to love one another, but things won’t stay like this for long.

Uhtred and Mildrith are complete opposites

As can be expected from an arranged marriage in which neither party has a say in the matter, Uhtred and Mildrith don’t get along sometimes. They clash on a variety of issues, a major one being the fact that Mildrith is a Christian and Uhtred believes in the Viking gods. Their differing religions drive a wedge between them despite their attraction toward one another. 

Uhtred is also impulsive, and Mildrith is far from it. She’s kind and good-natured, whereas her husband is harsh and untrusting compared to her. However, they manage to have a child together, a son named Uhtred, but he dies unexpectedly.

Uhtred meets Iseult, and the damage to his marriage is done

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

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Despite problems already brewing between them, Uhtred brings another woman named Iseult (Charlie Murphy), a former shadow queen and sorceress whom he rescued, back to his home that he shares with Mildrith. He doesn’t stay inside the house when Iseult has to stay in the barn, and he chooses her over his wife. From then on, the two are separated, and Uhtred is in a relationship with Iseult until her untimely death. He chooses her over his wife, and it’s truly a sad turn of events for Mildrith.

How does Uhtred’s first son die?

Although in the series, it isn’t quite clear about how Uhtred’s son dies, it turns out he choked on a pebble according to the Fandom website for Mildrith’s character based on The Saxon Stories, the novel series of which the series is based by Bernard Cornwell.

However, Uhtred is convinced that his son was killed after Iseult saves King Alfred’s child, and that he in turn lost his own in the process.

What happens to Mildrith?

Mildrith chooses to go to Odda’s (Simon Kunz) estate to live away from the farm and her memories of Uhtred. She takes the vows of a nun and lives in Odda’s household. Viewers see her again in the final conversation she has with Uhtred when he comes to Odda’s house to talk with her. He asks how Uhtred died, and Mildrith says that children are frail. She doesn’t want to see Uhtred again, and she has her way.