Played by Alexander Dreymon, Uhtred is the protagonist of Bernard Cornwell's Saxon Tales book saga, adapted for the screen as The Last Kingdom. As the first season is going to wrap with episode 8 - on BBC America tonight  and  on BBC Two in two weeks -  I'd like to share with you what was that drew me to this historical fiction series so distant from my tastes. 

I started watching it by chance, sure I wouln't like it and wouldn't go past the first episode, as it had previously happened with widely popular series set in  a wild, distant past like Game of Thrones, Vikings or The Bastard Executioner. 

What lit the spark, instead? Well, I think Uhtred is to blame. I felt immediate sympathy for this unconventional, smart, ironic, fearless character. I couldn't stop watching and have been looking forward to any new episode. 

Viewers first meet Uhtred as a boy (Tom Taylor). He is born a Saxon, the second son of Lord Uhtred (Matthew McFadyen). The Danes kill both his brother and his father making him the rightful heir to Bebbanburg. But he is kidnapped by the Danes and then adopted by Ragnar who turns him into a pagan warrior.

Grown-up, Uhtred finds himself alone and blamed for the slaughter of Ragnar and his family. Innocent and enraged by the unjust accusations, he goes back to his origins. He asks Alfred (David Dawson), the new king of Wessex, for help in order to get Bebbanburg back. Forced to choose between the country of his birth and the people of his upbringing, his loyalties are ever tested. What is he? Saxon or Dane? Uhtred must tread a dangerous path between both sides if he is to play his part in the birth of a new nation and, ultimately, recapture his ancestral lands.

What makes Uhtred so intriguing is his being a complex character in search for his identity. He trusts his instinct and his sword, he doesn't  believe in the God the Saxons so blindly worship. He believes that "destiny is all". He keeps his sense of freedom and refuses to bow down to conventions. He knows how to deal with the Saxon order. He admires the fact that Saxons are more educated, but he also loves the freedom and craziness of the Danes. The blend between his Anglo-Saxon origins and his Viking upbringing is what makes Uhtred such an interesting  character.

Uhtred is incredibly brave and he is a man of his word.  He is constantly tested by King Alfred, who is his only chance to have his own lands back, but also his main antagonist. They are too different to share the same views or agree on the same strategies, especially, when Alfred demands obedience and respect and Uhtred refuses to be ordered and to conform.

Non-stop action, brutality and brilliant twists, intrigue and betrayal, love and war, great characters and gripping moments are what The Last Kingdom is made up of.  Don't miss the great finale tonight on BBC America or the last 2 episodes on BBC Two.

Season 1 of The Last Kingdom is based on book 1 and book 2 of  Bernard Cornwell's saga

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