The Last Kingdom – Season 5 Episode 7 Recap & Review

Brida’s Swan Song

Episode 7 of The Last Kingdom Season 5 begins with Stiorra mourning the death of Sigtryggr. It hangs heavy over her, as his sword is placed symbolically on his chest and he’s prepped for his final journey into the afterlife.

The funeral rite is interrupted though when word of Brida stabbing Pyrlig reaches camp. In fact he stumbles in bloodied and exhausted, warning Uhtred that Brida means to punish him and won’t rest until that happens. Uhtred is enraged and decides to try and end this, gathering his men and preparing to go after her.

Uhtred visits Edward first, who’s concerned about Stiorra. Given her grief, Edward deduces that it could allow more dissent in the ranks to breed and that, in turn, could be fuel for a rebellion against him. The only way to resolve this is to swear her loyalty to Edward.

If Stiorra agrees, she would rise up and be given a new purpose to lead the Danes, all under Edward’s banner of course. It’s a pretty big honour, and something Uhtred realizes would help unite the lands against the ominous threats posed by both Brida and Aethelhelm. If Stiorra agrees.

Down in Macclesfield, trouble brews as Aethelhelm’s men close in on Aelfwynn. Unfortunately, they walk right into their trap. They’re taken away, kept alive but hidden from view as Aethelhelm intends to use her as a bargaining chip.

Aethelhelm shows in Scotia as “Edward’s advisor” and does so without a gift. He sows the seeds of war, claiming that Edward has turned his attention northward, and that Edward is the one who had the queen murdered to justify him conquering the danes.

After the death of the Ealdormen and taking Mercia, Aethelhelm wants to team up and take out Edward. This would allow his grandson to ascend to the throne, promising to keep him in check and not overstep his boundaries.

Not just a peace treaty, Aethelhelm also offers a marriage bond to Aelfwynn and half the riches of this land. It’s certainly an enticing offer and one that Constantin seriously considers, choosing to dwell on it.

In the middle of all this conflict, Eadgifu decides to leave and head back to Cent. Why? Well, it turns out she’s pregnant. Edward blesses this though, rationalizing his wide’s death so the pair can get married.

So with Benedict officiating, the pair are married. However, when Aelfweard sees the pair together, he’s immediately disillusioned and turns away, believing he too is to be replaced soon. As Benedict leaves, he chases after Aelfweard who asks him for passage across to Aethelhelm. He brings up the debt he owes as blackmail and it seems he has no choice.

Meanwhile, Stiorra decides against pledging loyalty to Edward. In front of everyone, she turns away at the last and decides to be free. Even if it’s freedom to see the executioner’s blade. Edward is furious and banishes Stiorra. He also decides too play Rognvaldr in charge of the Danes instead, something that Uhtred warns against given he could rebel. This falls on deaf ears, as Uhtred realizes that his daughter’s decision could well come back to haunt them.

If that wasn’t bad enough, Uhted heads outside and is given a message from Brida – come to Loidis alone. Uhtred knows this is a trap but has no choice, deciding to leave. Galloping out on his horse, Uhtred waits for Brida to show up.

The fight between Brida and Uhtred eventually gets underway but the whole affair is tinged with bittersweet regret and memories from season’s past. We’ve seen these two square off before, and this fight – and the excellent accompanying musical score and shots from the past – do such a great job capturing the magnitude of emotion that both characters are carrying at this time.

Uhtred refuses to kill Brida though, even though he bests her in battle. Uhtred does manage to talk her around and urges Brida to cling to hope and see that as a path to salvation. As Brida stands up and seems to come toward the light… an arrow pierces straight through her heart. It’s Stiorra, She grits her teeth and calls over to Uhtred, telling him she’s done what he could not.

As blood oozes out of Brida’s mouth and wound, she collapses on the ground, letting out her last breath and uttering the word “Ragnar.”

The Episode Review

The ending to this episode is so powerful and captures the essence of this show and everything these characters have been fighting for – and toward – perfectly. The emotional weight both characters have been carrying with them is so palpable and you can feel that with every sword swing and shout to the heavens.

However, with Brida now gone the attention turns to Aethelhelm and the threat he poses. This cunning man is turning Scotia against Edward and it appears that the threat of Scotland and Aethelhelm’s scheming, lurching them closer to war, is going to grip the final act of this show, which is growing from strength to strength.

This chapter is easily one of the best this year, full of emotional weight, sacrifice and consequence for the final episodes ahead.

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You can read our full season review for The Last Kingdom Season 5 here!


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4 thoughts on “The Last Kingdom – Season 5 Episode 7 Recap & Review”

  1. She literally cut his son’s nards off but Uhtred the killer is reminiscing with her and then weeping over her corpse? So ridiculous it removes you from the entire story and turns Uhtred into a less sympathetic hero. Awful.

  2. Wonderful episode, very emotive without being mawkish or cormy.
    This entire final season has, so far, more than made up for the dissapointment that was Peaky Blinders final season. Without doubt a quality show that will be sorely missed.

  3. I literally stopped watching episode 2 and jumped to episode 7 just to watch Brida die. I’m at now back on episode 2 and can enjoy knowing she dies in the near future. 🙂

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