Netflix’s Seven Kings Must Die is the two-hour movie that concludes the story of Uhtred of Bebbanburgh (Alexander Dreymon) after the five seasons of The Last Kingdom. The movie’s announcement and trailers were received with lots of enthusiasm from the franchise’s global fan base, many of whom consider it the UK version of Game Of Thrones. The vast scenic backgrounds and real-looking medieval structures are one of the biggest attractions to the franchise, which is why fans are wondering where the movie was filmed.
Like all the five seasons of The Last Kingdom, Seven Kings Must Die was primarily filmed in medieval sets built near Budapest, Hungary. The real-life Bamburgh castle in Northumberland shows the external side of Uhtred’s home of Bebbanburgh, while the interiors were also filmed in Hungary. The Hungarian set has become famous over the years for hosting all the stars that have appeared in the franchise, including Emily Cox, Alexander Dreymon, and Eliza Butterworth, who shared their time on the set on their socials. Filming began in early 2022 and concluded around March of the same year.
Alexander Dreymon, who plays the lead role of Uhtred of Bebbanburgh, was also an executive producer for the movie, having been on the set since the first season of The Last Kingdom in 2014. He released behind-the-scenes photos of the shoot on his social media alongside Arnas Fedaravicius, who plays Sihtric, and Mark Rowley, who plays Finnan. For all fans of The Last Kingdom, Seven Kings Must Die is a must-watch movie, so let’s delve into its finer details.
Seven Kings Must Die filming locations
Most of the filming for Seven Kings Must Die happened in Budapest, Hungary, although the external view of the famous castle of Bebbanburgh was shot at the Bamburgh castle in Northumbria.
While the details of the set locations for Seven Kings Must Die haven’t been released by Netflix, we speculate that the same locations used in shooting The Last Kingdom were retained for the feature-length movie.
The most important prop for the shooting is the medieval-style prop castle set located in the village of Göböljárás, west of Budapest, which represents the main castle of Winchester.
There are other sets with medieval structures North of Budapest used to shoot internal scenes for Bebbanburgh and Winchester.
The coastal locations for Bebbanburgh are also located in Budapest, as are the sets used to represent the marshes of Mercia. The fields and hills in villages around Budapest are also used as battlefield locations.
Budapest has proved to be a lucrative filming location for many TV shows, especially the undeveloped green landscapes in the villages around Budapest that give the feeling of 10th-century England.
After the conclusion of the filming in Budapest, Nigel Merchant, the executive managing director of Carnival films, which produced Seven Kings Must Die, praised the landscapes and friendly tax policies of the Hungarian government for the elongated shooting of the franchise in the country.
Who are the “Seven Kings” in the movie?
There are different interpretations of the title Seven Kings Must Die, with the most popular theory pointing to the death of the five major kings and other lesser lords and kings in the battle of Brunanburh in Bernard Cornwell’s book War Lord.
The battle will form the climax of the movie because it ended with most of the opposing kings dead, leaving Athelstan as the ruler of a united England. The battle basically made Alfred’s vision possible, with Uhtred as the kingmaker, according to Cornwell’s books.
The five major kings that died in the battle include Constantin of Scotland, then called Alba, Anlaf the Dane, and Owain of Strathclyde. Only Constantin of Alba (Scotland) has been introduced in the franchise, played by Rod Hallet. The rest of the kings that follow him in the alliance will be introduced in the movie.
The seven kings could also be the number of kings of English kingdoms that have died since the first season of The Last Kingdom, who will reach seven after Edward’s death if Aethelred of Mercia and the three kings of Northumbria are counted.
Where does Seven Kings Must Die connect to The Last Kingdom?
The Movie starts after the death of Edward of Wessex, which means there is a time gap since the end of The Last Kingdom’s fifth season.
Harry Gilby retains his role as Aethelstan, as does Alexander Dreymon as Uhtred, so while costumes and makeup will make them look older, the time gap will still be minimal to avoid ambiguity.
Edward’s reign might also be covered in flashbacks because Timothy Innes returns as Edward in the movie, but his screen time will be limited.
The most important aspect of the movie is Athelstan’s success in the major battle of Brunanburh against the great army led by Constantine of Alba.
Uhtred will have established Bebbanburgh as a secure base for both Saxons and Danes in Northumbria, but he will fight on Aethelstan’s side because he is practically the boy-king’s father, having raised him.
With all the major characters in the movie based in Bebbanburgh, Northumbria, and Mercia (Lord Aldhelm), there will be fewer scenes of Wessex, meaning the movie has more vast green fields and the beautiful coast of Bebbanburgh.
Does Uhtred die in Seven Kings Must Die?
By the end of Cornwell’s last book War Lord, Uhtred, in his sixties, is still alive and thinking of ways to make England better for both Danes and Saxons.
The Last Kingdom hasn’t followed the book events chronologically since the first seasons, and some of the major deviations have included the death of major characters who are still alive in the books.
Being the protagonist in the movie, Uhtred is likely to survive the battle of Brunanburh because Athelstan needs his guidance to rule a united England.