‘The Last Kingdom’: Uhtred Devises a Brilliant Plan Involving Fire
In the series The Last Kingdom, Uhtred (Alexander Dreymon) finds himself torn between the Danes who raised him and the Saxons. After his adopted father, Earl Ragnar (Peter Gantzler), and many other members of his family are killed, Uhtred goes to Wessex at the advice he heard long ago from Father Beocca (Ian Hart). It’s in Wessex that he meets Prince Alfred (David Dawson), who will be King of Wessex.
In season 1, episode 5, Uhtred devises a plan involving fire, and it directly impacts the Danes. We have all the details.
Uhtred comes up with a plan against the Danes
In season 1, Alfred is already dealing with incursions from the Danes in Wessex after becoming King with his brother’s death. The Saxons must split their forces among two great armies of Danes with Odda the Elder (Simon Kunz) taking Ubba (Rune Temte) on, and King Alfred heading for Guthrum (Thomas W. Gabrielsson) and his men. They’ve already tried to reason with them, but it hasn’t worked. Uhtred himself was chosen as an exchanged hostage at Wareham, but he escaped and alerted the Saxons of Ubba’s forces approaching.
Uhtred joins Odda for an engagement at Cynuit, making Ubba, a fierce leader of his people, doubt himself when they talk. Uhtred then comes up with a brilliant plan to use animal fat to make fires he starts by himself on Dane ships burn faster and more intensely. The Danes throw water to drown out the blaze, which just makes the flames worse, and the fire takes over a number of ships in their camp. Uhtred did it all by himself in an attempt to distract them.
Uhtred fights Ubba
But as Uhtred is attempting to flee, Ubba challenges him to fight him, and Uhtred accepts. Only one of them will make it out alive. Surrounded by Ubba’s warriors, Uhtred takes Ubba on after telling Ubba that he “will die.”
At one point, Ubba knocks Uhtred’s sword out from his hands, but he recovers. Uhtred also gets knocked to the ground and manages to dodge some blows, but he eventually stabs Ubba’s leg.
The fighting continues, and Ubba gets Uhtred on the ground after he takes many hits. With Ubba’s shield on Uhtred’s neck, Ubba rallies his troops before throwing the shield aside. He then raises his ax to kill Uhtred, but he doesn’t account for Uhtred grabbing a dagger and stabbing him in the thigh. As Ubba is distracted, Uhtred wounds his legs on both sides and stabs him another time as well. He puts an ax in Ubba’s hand and says, “Go to Valhalla lord,” killing him.
Although Odda promises to attack when he sees that Uhtred has burned the ships, for a while it’s unclear what he will do with his son Odda the Younger’s (Brian Vernel) advice to abandon Uhtred behind enemy lines and flee. But Odda makes the right decision after seeing the ships burning in the distance. He attacks the Danes just as Uhtred is about to be overtaken by Ubba’s warriors.
Although Uhtred is the one who helped make the whole thing happen, Odda the Younger claims the credit for it, and this just angers Uhtred, who makes an outburst during prayers with his sword, and he’s forced to walk on his knees in the street because of it.