Netflix announced the renewal of the historical drama series The Last Kingdom for Season 4 in December 2018. The good news, announced a few days before Christmas via The Last Kingdom official Twitter account, added cheer to the holiday season for thousands of fans worldwide.
The Last Kingdom is a TV adaptation of The Saxon Stories, a novel series by Bernard Cornwell. The TV series has acquired a large and dedicated audience since the first eight-episode season premiered on BBC America and BBC Two in October 2015, and later became available to stream on Netflix.
Fans who had binge-watched all 10 episodes of Season 3 after it dropped on Netflix in November 2018 were expecting the official confirmation of Season 4 to come in January or February 2019, but the good news came earlier than expected in December.
Now that the series has been officially confirmed for yet another season, fans are eagerly awaiting the announcement of the release date.
While we await the announcement, here is everything we know so far about the upcoming season, including the expected release date, trailers, cast and plot.
We will also be updating this page with the latest information ahead of the season premiere.
The Last Kingdom Season 4 release date
Netflix has not announced a release date for The Last Kingdom Season 4, but fans have been trying to guess when the upcoming season will premiere by examining the pattern of the premiere date schedule for previous seasons.
Although previous seasons of the series have premiered during different months of the year, there appears to be a consistent pattern of each season launching roughly about one and a half years after the previous season premiere.
Season 2 of the series premiered in March 2017, nearly one and a half years after Season 1 premiered on BBC in October 2015. Netflix also dropped Season 3 in November 2018, a little over one and a half years after Season 2 premiered on BBC.
If Netflix continues to follow the pattern of roughly one and a half years between season premieres then fans can look forward to Season 4 dropping in the spring or summer of 2020.
However, with Netflix now solely in charge of the show and after the streaming giant renewed the series for Season 4 earlier than fans had expected, we could also get an earlier than expected release date for the upcoming season.
We will update this page as soon as Netflix announces a release date for The Last Kingdom Season 4.
Although the first two seasons of The Last Kingdom aired on BBC 2 and BBC America, the series became a Netflix exclusive in Season 3 after BBC decided not the continue the show. This means that Season 4 will also be available for streaming exclusively on Netflix.
The Last Kingdom Season 4 details
Alexander Dreymon, who plays the leading character Uhtred of Bebbanburg, announced the renewal of The Last Kingdom for Season 4 in a video posted to the show’s official Twitter account on December 21, 2018.
— The Last Kingdom (@TheLastKingdom) December 21, 2018
The first season of The Last Kingdom was produced by BBC Two and BBC America. Netflix later acquired the international distribution rights to the series and co-produced Season 2 with BBC Two after BBC America discontinued the series in the U.S. But after BBC Two declined to renew the series for Season 3, Netflix produced it alone.
The streaming giant released The Last Kingdom Season 3 in November 2018.
Netflix’s decision to add The Last Kingdom to its original series lineup was informed by the positive critical reviews and enthusiastic audience response so far.
The Last Kingdom is a historical fiction drama set in England in the 9th century. It follows Uhtred of Bebbanburg (Alexander Dreymon), son of Saxon nobleman Uhtred, who lived at a time when pagan Viking invaders had overrun much of England consisting of seven Christian Saxon kingdoms, leaving only King Alfred the Great’s Kingdom of Wessex standing.
The gripping tale of the Byzantine court’s intrigue and bloody struggle for survival has been compared with HBO’s Game of Thrones (TV series 2011- ) and History Channel’s Vikings (TV series 2013- ).
Like Game of Thrones (based on George R.R. Martin’s book series A Song of Fire and Ice), The Last Kingdom is based on a book series, The Saxon Stories, by Bernard Cornwell. The Last Kingdom also has a medieval setting with a large number of ruthless and ambitious characters jostling for power.
The series stars Alexander Dreymon, David Dawson, Adrian Bower, Joseph Millson, Emily Cox, Harry McEntire, Toby Regbo, Ian Hart, Millie Brady, Tobias Santelmann, Thure Lindhardt, Eva Birthistle, and Eliza Butterworth.
Filming has so far taken place mostly in Hungary near Budapest,
Each season of The Last Kingdom has been based on two books of The Saxon Stories book series. Season 3 was based on books five and six, titled The Burning Land (2009) and Death of Kings (2011). The Last Kingdom Season 4 will be based on books seven and eight, titled The Pagan Lord (2013) and The Empty Throne (2014) respectively.
The Last Kingdom has received positive critical reviews, with Season 1 scoring an approval rating of 92 percent on Rotten Tomatoes based on 26 critical reviews, and a “generally favorable” Metascore of 78/100 on Metacritic based on 15 critical reviews.
The Last Kingdom Season 4 trailer
Filming of The Last Kingdom Season 4 has not yet started, so an official trailer for The Last Kingdom Season 4 is not yet in sight. However, fans are hoping that Netflix will unveil the first teaser for The Last Kingdoms Season 4 at San Diego Comic-Con 2019.
We will update this page with the official trailer for The Last Kingdom Season 4 when it becomes available.
Meanwhile, enjoy the trailer for Season 3.
The Last Kingdom Season 4 cast
Netflix has not announced the cast for The Last Kingdom Season 4 but since it will be based on books seven and eight of The Saxon Stories, titled The Pagan Lord and The Empty Throne, we can expect (if Netflix follows the plot and timeline of books seven and eight ) to see the return of main cast members such as a Alexander Dreymon as an older version of Uhtred, Eliza Butterworth as Aelswith, David Dawson as King Alfred, Emily Cox as Brida, Tony Regbo as Aethelred, and Ian Hart as Beocca.
Other characters expected to return for Season 4 include Adrian Bower as Leofric, Eva Birthistle as Hild, Harry McEntire as Aethelwold, and Magnus Bruun as Cnut.
We will also likely see new young actors — including Uhtred’s children — joining the cast of the series.
Fans are also hoping that Thea Sofie Loch Naess will return to play Skade.
The fact that the series features a large cast makes it difficult to guess all the main and recurring cast members who will be in the upcoming season. We can only rule out the return of actors, such as Tobias Santelmann (Ragnar the Younger), who died in previous seasons.
The Last Kingdom Season 4 plot
Each season of The Last Kingdom has covered two books of The Saxon stories books series by Bernard Cornwell. The first season of The Last Kingdom was based on the first book of the series, titled The Last Kingdom (2004), and the second book of the series, titled The Pale Horseman (2005).
The Last Kingdom Season 2 was based on the third and fourth books of the series, titled The Lords of the North (2006) and Sword Song (2007) respectively, while Season 3 was based on the fifth and six books, The Burning Land (2009) and Death of Kings (2011).
The plot of The Last Kingdom Season 4 is therefore expected to be based on books seven and eight, titled The Pagan Lord (2013) and The Empty Throne (2014). So we can look at the synopsis of the novels to get an idea of what to expect of the plot of The Last Kingdom Season 4.
Fans who have followed the story from Season 1 know that Uhtred is the son of a Saxon nobleman from Northumbria who taken into slavery as a boy and raised by Danish warlord Ragnar who killed his father in battle. But he later escapes from captivity with the Saxon girl Brida and offers his services to King Alfred of Wessex.
He fights to reclaim his ancestral estate in Bebbanburg and to avenge the murder of his adopted Danish father Ragnar.
Season 3 follows the decline in the health of King Alfred the Great and his efforts to establish as his legacy an undivided and stable Christian Saxon kingdom of Wessex despite the threat of Danish invasion.
The synopsis for book seven The Pagan Lord (2013) reveals that after Uhtred falls out of the favor of the new king Edward, he fights to reclaim his family home, the Northumbrian fortress at Bebbanburg, from the Vikings. So we can expect more bloody battles between the Saxons and the Dane invaders.
“Uhtred, once Alfred’s great warrior but now out of favor with the new king, must lead a band of outcasts north to recapture his old family home, that great Northumbrian fortress, Bebbanburg.”
There will also be an outbreak of war against the Danes after the death of Alfred the Great.
“Loyalties will be divided and men will fall as every Saxon kingdom is drawn into the bloodiest battle yet with the Danes; a war which will decide the fate of every king, and the entire English nation.”
The plot summary for book 8, titled Death of Kings (published 2014), suggests major changes in England and fresh invasions by the Vikings.
“There are new raids by the Vikings from Ireland, and turmoil among the Saxons over the leadership of Mercia. A younger generation is taking over.”