‘The Last Kingdom’: The Executive Producer Discusses Why Uhtred Makes That Decision Involving Aethelflaed

Season 4 of The Last Kingdom has been everything fans were hoping it would be and more. A lot has happened and viewers are still trying to deal with how the season ended. A major question hanging over everyone is why Uhtred (Alexander Dreymon) makes a decision involving Aethelflaed (Millie Brady). Read on to learn more.

Mercia needs a leader

In season 4, Aethelred (Toby Regbo), who is Aethelflaed’s husband, suffers a serious head wound. While laying in bed, his closest adviser, Eardwulf (Jamie Blackley), kills him while he lays there defenseless. Immediately, King Edward of Wessex (Timothy Innes) begins scheming about who he will put on the Mercian throne to remain in control.

Alexander Dreymon
Alexander Dreymon | Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic

Edward finally chooses Uhtred (Alexander Dreymon) to be the leader of Mercia for a few years until another noble comes of age and can marry Aethelflaed’s daughter, securing the alliance. Aethelflaed herself isn’t happy about the situation and doesn’t think Uhtred is the right leader for Mercia.

When Uhtred is chosen as the leader, he abdicates in favor of Aethelflaed saying she’s the right ruler for them. She promises to remain chaste while on the throne to ensure no other man can wield power through her. This seems to satisfy the men in the room for now, but it means she can no longer be with Uhtred.

The executive producer of the series weighs in on why Uhtred makes that choice

Variety spoke with the series executive producer, Nigel Marchant before the premiere. He discussed a number of key components to season 4, including the deaths of many characters and Uhtred’s choice to renounce Mercia in favor of Aethelflaed.

Marchant spoke about Uhtred stepping down for Aethelflaed to be the leader of the Mercians. They can no longer be together because of the oath Aethelflaed was forced to take to be chaste. So, why would Uhtred really make that tough decision?

“I think Uhtred does know his weaknesses at times, and I think part of the journey is realizing the mistakes that he makes,” Marchant explained. “Although he is a fabulous leader, he doesn’t want to lead a country. He’s not a politician and that’s not what he wants to do. He’s always wanted to get back to Bebbanburg and whatever else happens in the country, he doesn’t care.”

Bebbanburg is Uhtred’s ancestral home. He still has to make things right so he can leave it to his children. He also knows that Aethelflaed is the right ruler for the Mercians, so he’s leaving things in very capable hands.

“That is his legacy. That is what he wants to leave for his children, his ancestral home and his reputation, not to be stuck in the politics of court,” Marchant continued. “He’s a fighter, a warrior. He loves the bloodlust, the thrill of the fight. I think Aethelflaed helps him realize and acknowledge that. And I think he also realizes that she is the right person to rule. She puts Mercia before anything else.”

Fans have a lot of feelings when it comes to what went down in season 4 of The Last Kingdom. Check back for the latest updates on the all-new season.