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The Last Kingdom is a historical drama series on Netflix which was inspired by Anglo-Saxon history. The series is also based on a set of novels called The Saxon Stories by Bernard Cornwell and there are 13 books in total. Cornwell has shared his thoughts on the TV series and Express.co.uk has everything you need to know.
What did Bernard Cornwell think of The Last Kingdom series?
Bernard Cornwell is an English author who is known for his historical novels about the Battle of Waterloo and the making of England.
The 76-year-old writer published the first of The Saxon Stories, titled The Last Kingdom, in 2004.
The final book, titled War Lord, is due to be published in October 2020 and fans are excited to see how the story comes to an end.
On his website, he said: “My next book ‘War Lord’, the 13th book of The Last Kingdom series, will be published in the UK on October 15, 2020 and in the US on November 24, 2020.
“Torn between loyalty and sworn oaths, the warrior king Lord Uhtred of Bebbanburg faces his greatest ever battle – and prepares for his ultimate fate.”
The series first aired on the BBC before it was picked up by Netflix following the release of the second season.
The author said the BBC had been inspired to pick up the series about King Alfred the Great (played by David Dawson) because of ongoing debates about immigration and nationhood.
He told The Guardian: “I do see something modern in it – that we are all immigrants. The Saxons are immigrants – according to the British, the Celts, they have stolen the land they have.
“The first shield wall battle which Uhtred takes part in is [for the Saxons] against the Welsh.
“The Saxons were very successful colonisers, and neighbours, then the Danes, the Normans, the Huguenots, you name it … right through to this century, we are all immigrants.”
The books are about the origins of England and how the different kingdoms were united as one.
There had been suggestions the reason to pick up the series was due to the success of Game of Thrones.
However, Cornwell said he could not see any similarities between the two series, saying Game of Thrones is a fantasy.
Speaking to Medievalists, Cornwell said he did not write any of the scripts for The Last Kingdom series.
Speaking about how much control he had over the series, he said: “Absolutely none, and I didn’t want any.
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“I worked in television for a decade and learned that I know nothing about producing TV drama, so any interference by me is likely to be obstructive.”
At the time of the interview, in 2015, he admitted he had only seen one episode, saying “that stayed remarkably true to the books so I assume that they will reflect Uhtred’s disdain for Christianity”.
Speaking about how the series interprets Uhtred’s (Alexander Dreymon) relationships, he said: “I’m happy with whatever they do! I have enormous faith in their skill and taste.”
With this in mind, it seems Cornwell has very little to do with the series, but he trusts the producers to do his books justice.
He was proud to announce on his website that the series will be returning for a fifth season on Netflix.
Cornwell said his interest in the Saxon period goes all the way back to his school days, and he was particularly interested in Saxon poetry.
Speaking about the main character Uhtred, he told the official The Last Kingdom YouTube channel: “He is a man who knows battle and enjoys battle and knows that his destiny is to be a warrior.
“He is born into an age where you succeed by the skill of your sword, I like it.”
Cornwell made clear he did not want any say in The Last Kingdom series, and he has not seen any of the sets or read any scripts.
But he has always spoken positively of the way each character has been represented and brought to life for the small screen.
The Last Kingdom is available to watch on Netflix now
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