Episode 2 of The Last Kingdom Season 5 starts right where we left off, up in York with Brida’s men determined to try and find Stiorra. Stiorra and her maid manage to kill a single assassin but unfortunately Sigtryggr is all alone in his battle, fending off the warriors feebly and forced to yield.
Brida cuts a lock of his hair off and has Rognvaldr goes off looking for Stiorra, who manages to evade his threat fleeing through the tunnels. Unfortunately another maid is not so lucky and Brida slits her throat.
Brida also wants to kill Sigtryggr but to prove his loyalty, she has Rognvaldr do it. He’s not exactly pleased about killing his own brother but with her watching on, he does just this.
Before Sigtryggr drowns though, Brida stops him as he’s proven his loyalty. As for Sigtryggr, she tasks him with bringing Uhtred to her. If he can do that, then she’ll spare Stiorra’s life.
So off he goes, under the pale moonlight to find Uhtred. In his absence, Brida has her people on their knees and forces them to suffer until she presents herself. Stiorra’s maids urge her not to move but it’s clear she’s conflicted.
Down in Runcorn, Uhtred’s son’s life hangs in the balance while his father is sprung tight, knowing Brida is back. When he catches wind of what’s happened up north, he realizes she’s coming for his bloodline.
Uhtred wants to attack York with Aethelflaed’s military but she refuses, only offering a dozen or so men to go with him. Uhtred is shocked, but not as shocked as he will be when he learns that Aethelflaed is facing death. For now, she keeps that a secret.
In Winchester, Aethelhelm also catches wind of what’s happening and senses an opportunity for Edward. He believes that Edward should regain the land in doing so, he’d extend his kingdom. He wants Sigtryggr dead and wants to use Brida to make that happen.
Edward refuses, but Aethelhelm warns that the Ealdormen are not going to be happy with his decision. So naturally, Aethelhelm decides to work behind his back, sending word to the Saxon boroughs not to give any troops or support for Sigtryggr under the banner of the King.
In his absence, Edward starts to grow closer to a lady from Cent called Eadgifu. As fate would have it, he actually has ties to her going back to his past.
Edward encourages her to eat with him but while they get along well, Aethelhelm is not happy. He tries to pay her off in the morning but she confronts Edward about this. Edward apologizes on Aethelhelm’s behalf and points out that he’s kin and has friends in high places – it’s not easy just to abandon him. Edward does, however, encourage her to stick around for a while.
Down in Runcorn, Finan learns about Aethelflaed’s imminent death and urges him to keep quiet about it. That’s a rough secret to keep though, given he’s never kept anything like this from Uhtred before. For now, he agrees to play along.
As the soldiers ride out to battle, Aethelflaed heads back to Aegelesburg. As she arrives to tell her daughter, Aelfwynn, she finds her kissing Cynlaef. Aethelflaed is not happy and decides to send him up with the other raiders. Aethelflaed urges her daughter to take up chaste as she’s destined to rule like a Queen. Only, Aelfwynn has no desire to rule and runs away.
Sigtryggr eventually stumbles out the woods and finds Uhtred and his men. He’s not happy when he learns there’s no army, but they hurry up nonetheless. As they do, Stiorra continues to stew in anger beneath them in the tunnels. She calls out, promising revenge, as Brida taunts the girl, telling her to show herself.
The Episode Review
The Last Kingdom returns with another good episode, this time slowing the pace slightly as political scheming takes center stage. It’s clear that Brida is not going too stop until all of Uhtred’s children are dead – but will that also mean Aethelstan too?
For now, Aethelflaed’s imminent death is big news and unfortunately Aethelhelm is about to find this out too, promising bad news all round. What will the fate of Mercia be when this comes to pass?
Whether Uhtred will actually make it out of this fight alive or not is another matter, and with Aethelhelm being sure to spread false rumours and make sure no one rides to Sigtryggr’s aid, it spells bad news for all involved.
However, there’s plenty more drama to come in this one, and with all episodes available to stream, thankfully we don’t have to wait too long to find out!