Last Kingdom season 5: Will Aethelflaed become the enemy as fans suggest ‘betrayal’?
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The Last Kingdom season five was given the green light earlier in 2020 and fans are excited to see the Anglo-Saxon series return to Netflix. Season five will continue to follow Uhtred of Bebbanburg (played by Alexander Dreymon) and his plight to claim back his homeland. Fans are also keen to find out what happens to his former lover, Aethelflaed (Millie Brady), after her character took a dark turn.
Will Aethelflaed become the enemy in The Last Kingdom season 5?
The fourth season of The Last Kingdom aired in early 2020 and the season saw the relationship between Uhtred and Aethelflaed, Lady of Mercia, develop.
The unlikely couple had kept their relationship a secret, both knowing it would not be welcomed in the eyes of Aethelflaed’s Saxon family.
But as the season progressed, a number of people started to catch on to their relationship, and they both had to take a step back.
Uhtred had helped Aethelflaed defeat the Danes during the Battle of Tettenhall, but the even bigger challenge of managing their relationship was at hand.
In the end, Aethelflaed swore to “remain chaste” while she acted as the ruler of Mercia, as her people had been reluctant to see a woman take charge.
Uhtred had been chosen for the role, but he knew how much Aethelflaed wanted the position and he encouraged her court to let her take charge.
In order for her people to trust her, Aethelflaed said she would avoid being romantically involved with any man, and she would put her people first.
This meant she officially had to break ties with Uhtred, and fans are wondering whether they will ever rekindle their relationship again.
Fans saw a darker side to Aethelflaed’s character in season four, particularly when she deprived her ally Eadith (Stefanie Martini), of seeing her daughter.
Eadith had formed a close relationship with Aethelflaed’s daughter Aelfwynn (Helena Albright) and she had even helped save her life when Aelfwynn caught a potentially deadly disease.
Aethelflaed had a stony expression when she told Eadith her help was no longer needed, and Eadith had no choice but to say a tearful goodbye to Aelfwynn.
Fans have taken to Reddit to discuss Aethelflaed’s character in season four, and how she may evolve in the upcoming season.
A number of viewers agreed they did not like Aethelflaed in the most recent episodes. One fan said: “I don’t think we are supposed to like her. I have a feeling she’s going to commit some betrayal next season.”
Viewers have also pointed out how Aethelflaed did not approach Uhtred before coming to an agreement with the Viking warlord Sigtryggr (Eysteinn Sigurðarson).
Aethelflaed and her brother, King Edward (Timothy Innes), had agreed Sigtryggr could take Uhtred’s daughter Stiorra (Ruby Hartley) with him, so long as he left Winchester.
But the siblings did not speak to Uhtred ahead of offering up his own daughter, which left Uhtred feeling surprised.
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One fan said: “I thought she was alright in the first half but bad in the second half of the 4th season. I thought it was pretty dumb how she was fighting Uhtred over ruling Mercia.
“Also at the end of the season when she and Edward give Stiora up without approaching Uhtred first, even after Uhtred saved her daughter from a similar fate. Granted we found out that Stiora wanted to go but no one else knew that so it was a major wtf moment. [sic].”
Viewers do not like how Aethelflaed has treated Uhtred despite all the risks he has taken for her, and they are worried she may continue to betray him in the fifth season.
Speaking about her change in character, one fan said: “I thought that transition was over exaggerated and unnecessary. The moment Uhtred took the throne, she starts to throw a fit. Before that, she was fine leaving Mercia to do whatever she pleases.”
Some viewers believe Aethelflaed had grown jealous of Uhtred, as he was understood to be a fit ruler of Mercia.
Another fan said: “She should’ve just acknowledged that Uhtred was the best choice “at the time” and moved on. Saying him being unfit to rule Mercia again and again isn’t politics. Sometimes you gotta compromise and she failed to do so. In the end, Uhtred outsmarted everyone again and let her sit on the throne. [sic].”
The series is based on real Anglo-Saxon history, and it includes real historical figures, so fans can hazard a guess at what is to be expected from season five.
The real Aethelflaed was known to have joined forces with her brother King Edward to keep the Danes out of England, and they were able to unify England as one kingdom, achieving their father’s dream.
There is a chance Aethelflaed could turn on Uhtred again if he stands in the way of her ultimate goal, as she is likely to put relationships to one side so she can focus on the bigger picture of protecting Mercian people.
The Last Kingdom is on Netflix now
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