The Last Kingdom

TV review by
Kari Croop, Common Sense Media
The Last Kingdom TV Poster Image
Parents recommendPopular with kids
Bloody costume drama is violent but tastefully constructed.

Parents say

age 17+
Based on 25 reviews

Kids say

age 14+
Based on 10 reviews

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Positive Messages

The series plays the sobering realities of ninth-century life against the weighty themes of religion, faith, duty, loyalty, ambition, betrayal, and revenge.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Female characters don't get a lot of screen time, but Uhtred and Brida model a unique partnership that's part friendship and part romance. While Uhtred is brash and often conflicted about his political allegiances, his actions come from a place of loyalty to those he loves. His motivation is to claim what's rightfully his and avenge those who've wronged his loved ones. Brida is often the voice of rationality.


Bloody battle scenes, death, and torture; gruesome imagery includes severed heads, a man being burned alive, and the like.


Sexual tension and romantic relationships, including adultery; kissing. Sexual relationships are shown, including nudity -- women's bare breasts are visible and both men and women's bare bottoms from behind. 


"Damn," "hell," "ass."

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Social drinking, carousing.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that The Last Kingdom is a weighty drama with serious themes that's punctuated by bloody battles and other violent visuals, including severed heads and people being tortured and burned alive. Romance is part of the plot (as is adultery), but the series suggests sex with tasteful cutaways. Language is light (with rare use of words such as "hell" or "ass"), with occasional social drinking.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byJ R. February 14, 2017

The content advisory on this is INCORRECT

There is rape scenes which show a nun dragged down and held screaming while a man lifts her dress and thrusts violently.
There is multiple sex scenes where brea... Continue reading
Adult Written byThirdeye November 23, 2018

Child sexual assault?

Lazy way to create a villain by stripping a young girl from her clothes in the first episodes. We know about war enough without constant rape pillage scenes. Gr... Continue reading
Teen, 14 years old Written byKRLUKE August 1, 2020

Tasteful historic drama - Uncomfortable scenes for teenagers

I finished all 4 seasons of TLK in 2 weeks and boy, it was a roller-coaster. Brutal violence, huge battles, graphic sex and pillaging were all huge themes of th... Continue reading
Teen, 17 years old Written byYoJacques December 10, 2020

It depends.

It is a great show to learn about history, however, there is a lot of rape and sex in it. So it really depends on how mature your child is, and if they can hand... Continue reading

What's the story?

When invading Vikings kill his Saxon nobleman father in battle, young Uhtred is kidnapped by Norsemen who raise him as one of their own while the Vikings continue their attack on England's various kingdoms. Years later, a now-grown Uhtred (Alexander Dreymon) -- accepted as neither Saxon nor Dane -- finds himself faced with the task of claiming his birthright under the weight of his heavily divided loyalties. Meanwhile, the ambitious King Alfred (David Dawson) of Wessex, which is THE LAST KINGDOM standing, makes plans to unite England and spread Christianity.

Is it any good?

With high production values, strong writing, and compelling characters, this series rivals some of the best and bloodiest epics on TV -- a good thing, considering it's a pretty crowded race. And though it lacks the fantastical elements of, say, Game of Thrones, it bears the stamp of Downton Abbey's Emmy Award-winning executive producers and injects an intriguing mix of personalities (albeit most of them male) into the classic vengeance/redemption plot.

Life in The Last Kingdom is dreary, messy, and rightfully bloody, considering it's adapted from the first book in Bernard Cornwell's historical fiction series The Saxon Stories, which in turn is based on actual events in British history. But the show takes a surprisingly less graphic approach than some of its peers when it comes to sex, making this brooding drama a decent choice for older teens (and their parents).

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about The Last Kingdom's portrayal of life in ninth-century England. How close to the truth do you think the series gets in terms of violence, social politics, and conflict among the real-life Vikings and Anglo-Saxons? Is it important for a television show that's set in a specific time period to be historically accurate?

  • How does The Last Kingdom compare to the series of novels that inspired it? What makes a TV adaptation successful, and how faithful should it be to its source material?

  • How big of a role do women play in The Last Kingdom's plot? Why do men make up so much more of the main cast?

TV details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love history

Themes & Topics

Browse titles with similar subject matter.

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