Seven Kings Must Die (2023) Story Recap


Seven Kings Must Die, the final movie to the Netflix show The Last Kingdom begins with the Danish king, Anlaf from Irland landing in Northumbria and wreaking havoc just as King Edward dies and his eldest son Aethelstan ascends. He plants his daughter Astrid in Aethelstan’s court to further help his cause to conquer England while he approaches all of the enemy kings surrounding the nation.

Meanwhile, Edward’s second son, Aelfward betrays Aethelstan and challenges him for the throne with the help of Mercia. Afraid of being caught in the crossfire, Edward’s queen, Eadgifu and their son Edmund run to Uhtred, the lord of Northumbria for help. On learning that Aelfward plans to ambush Aethelstan, Uhtred goes to Mercia.

Aethelstan turns ruthless

But before his retinue leaves, Finan’s wife, Igrith claims she had a prophecy that seven kings will die and the woman he loves which Uhtred doesn’t pay much attention to.

However, Aethelstan is not the carefree child Uhtred had raised in The Last Kingdom and in Seven Kings Must Die, has now become a ruthless and staunch Christian, led astray by the mysterious Dane scholar, Ingilmundr. Despite ruining Aelfward’s trap and making him surrender, Aethelstan kills his half-brother much to Uhtred’s chagrin.

On top of that, Ingilmundr reminds the boy king that Uhtred never fulfilled his promise to his father of pledging Northumbria to his kingdom and uniting England. But with Aethelstan still having a soft spot for Uhtred, he gives him a chance to bend the knee after he is officially crowned. 

Meanwhile, Anlaf’s message reaches all the kings including Constantin of Scotland. While the kings of Man, Shetland and Orkney decide to listen to him, Constantin refuses as he had a peaceful relation with Edward and believes Aethelstan would also abide by their contract.

Aethelstan and Uhtred clash

As for the acquisition of Northumbria, even after Aethelstan’s coronation, Uhtred refuses to show up as he waits to see if the boy king will become a tyrant or not as he remembers Igrith’s prophecy. But Aethelstan could care less as he only has eyes for Ingilmundr who he has fallen in love with. But after the two sleep together, Ingilmundr prays to God and claims that they have sinned.

The only way to save oneself is to increase their faith which will balance out the sins. He advises Aethelstan to spread the word of God and convert all pagans which will prove his faithfulness. It would also fulfil the dream of his grandfather, Alfred’s vision of a Christian England. Ingilmundr also convinces him to expand his crusade to neighbouring Dane islands as it would also increase his territory.

Encouraged, Aethelstan captures Aeoferwic which comes under Uhtred’s jurisdiction, asks for tribute and hints at forced baptism. A furious Uhtred rushes to the site to see Aethelstan knocking down the neolithic stones, the Devil Stones which belong to the king of Strathclyde who is forced to watch.

Worried that there will be retaliation, Uhtred tries to warn Aethelstan. However, before he reaches him, he sees from afar that the boy is embracing Ingilmundr. Once he is alone with Aethelstan, Uhtred claims that Ingilmundr is using him but he refuses to listen. Ingilmundr approaches them and reminds Aethelstan that Uhtred has still not pledged Northumbria to him.

That night at camp, Aldhelm warns Uhtred that Ingilmundr has left and has ordered his men to kill him. Uhtred escapes while Astrid watches the commotion from afar. She tells Aethelstan who orders Aldhelm’s death despite his loyalty as he thinks the advisor betrayed him by letting Uhtred escape.

Ingilmundr’s ulterior motives

Meanwhile, Ingilmundr reaches Bebbanburg which Osbert, Uhtred’s son is defending. He claims that Uhtred sent him to protect against Anlaf’s men who are nearby. Osbert lets him in and Eadgifu mocks him that he should leave soon and he realises something is wrong. Uhtred suddenly shows up and binds him as it turns out he arrived before Ingilmundr.

The scholar is jailed but Wassa, a local Christian pities him and feeds him. He ends up threatening her with the word of God and she lures Uhtred and his advisors, Finan and Sihtric outside till Aethelstan’s men show up. Ingilmundr is freed and he orders Astrid to send Eadgifu to a nunnery. Her son Edmund and Uhtred’s son Osbert are sent to Ingilmundr’s garrison in Wirral.

Meanwhile, Aethelstan arrives and gives Uhtred one last chance to bend the knee. When he refuses, the king points his sword at him. But unable to kill a father figure, he just banishes him. While Uhtred roams around in the cold, Aethelstan attacks the Scottish borders which finally forces Constantin to join Anlaf. As for Uhtred, he is rescued by Anlaf’s men and taken to his camp.

There he sees the kings of Scotland, Orkney, Shetland, Man and Strathclyde. Anlaf says he can be the seventh king to join them and attack Aethelstan as he is technically the ruler of Northumbria. Anlaf says he has a second option – to save several innocent lives, pretend to bend the knee and kill Aethelstan. Uhtred is torn as he leaves. Ingilmundr watches him as it turns out he is another spy planted by Anlaf.

Uhtred and Aethelstan reconcile

Uhtred goes to Aethelstan and finds him alone in his room. He pretends to bend the knee and the king lifts his banishment. However, Uhtred doesn’t pledge his fealty but reveals that he saw Ingilmundr in Anlaf’s camp and is a spy. Refusing to believe him, Aethelstan throws Uhtred out.

The Danish lord seems hopeless but is welcomed by Finan and Sihtric. He wonders how they knew where he was and they say Astrid told them that he had called for them. Realising that it is a trap, they rush to Bebbanburg to find everyone killed by Anlaf. Eadgifu shows up as she is sent by the nunnery to help the injured and reveals that those alive are trapped in a tomb.

Finan realises that his wife is in there and they rush to open the tomb. However, the massacre and entombment happened 3 days before they showed up. As they open the tomb and find everyone dead, Finan realises that the last part of the prophecy was meant for him. While Uhtred is aghast, Finan has hope that this means the first part of the prophecy which was mentioned at the beginning of Seven Kings Must Die will also come true. 

Meanwhile, Anlaf and the 5 British kings’ armies march to Wirral where Ingilmundr is waiting. He starts killing all the soldiers loyal to Aethelstan while Osbert and Edmund hide. Uhtred realises this and rushes to Wirral to find the boys. However, he finds it deserted with Aethelstan waiting for him.

Turns out he had come to Wirral to prove Uhtred wrong only to be disappointed that Ingilmundr was indeed a spy. He brings out Osbert and Edmund who he found hiding and reconciles with Uhtred. However, he tells him to stand down as he thinks it is his punishment to face the six armies alone.

The Battle of Bebbanburg

Uhtred refuses to leave and comes up with a plan to ambush the six armies at Bebbanburg. He creates a shield wall in front of Aethelstan’s men but retreats a few steps every time the enemies attack. After Anlaf’s daughter, Astrid is killed, he too charges in. With all of the soldiers of the six armies attacking the shield wall, Uhtred gives the signal. Turns out, half of his men were hiding behind the enemies and attack them from behind. 

It is a massacre as all five sons of the five British kings are dead. They retreat, leaving Anlaf alone who is also finally forced to flee. Aethelstan spies Ingilmundr and attacks him head-on but is overpowered. Uhtred runs to help but is attacked by all sides. He is stabbed near the heart and he falls while clutching his sword so he can reach Valhalla if he dies.

Meanwhile, Aethelstan’s men take a hold of Ingilmundr. He asks the spy if he ever loved him and Ingilmundr says he did grow fond of him but his love for his people is stronger. Aethelstan is saddened that he chose Ingilmundr over his own people and he orders his death.

Uhtred pledges Northumbria to Aethelstan

After Aethelstan’s victory, everyone returns to Bebbanburg where they wait for Uhtred to recover. He finally wakes up but is in pain. He thinks that Edward is the sixth and he is the seventh king in Ingrith’s prophecy to die and decides to finally pledge his land to Aethelstan. However, he asks the king never to marry and have children so that Edmund can be his heir.

Aethelstan agrees and becomes the king of a united England. At that moment, Uhtred hears laughter and opens the door to Valhalla where he sees his fallen loved ones like Brida and Earl Ragnar. At the end of Seven Kings Must Die, Uhtred looks back at Aethelstan and Osbert and stands in the middle.

What do you think of the story of Seven Kings Must Die? Have we missed any crucial details in this recap? Do let us know in the comments below!

Leave a comment