Is The Last Kingdom Worth Watching? (Complete Guide)

Last Updated on Categorized as Media
hero the last kingdom worth watching

If you have watched and loved shows like Vikings or Game of Thrones, you’re likely craving some more ancient Viking-esque drama, and on the hunt for the next show to binge. The Last Kingdom offers a Viking-era setting and the gripping storyline from the book series The Saxon Stories is certainly good, but is it worth investing your time and watching the entire series?

ℹ️ There are NO spoilers in this article, you can read on even if you haven’t watched the show.

If you’re anything like me, you like to make sure that TV shows are actually good before you invest your time and binge every episode of every season as fast as you possibly can. Can’t risk sinking too much time into something that will only disappoint in the end, right?

I also want to give a balanced perspective on the show’s quality, so on top of my personal opinion, I’ve also gathered and compiled unbiased and reliable data that will give you a good and grounded idea of how good The Last Kingdom is overall, per season, per episode, and compared to other similar shows – without any personal biases. Simply put, if it’s worth watching or not.

So, Is The Last Kingdom Worth Watching?

The Last Kingdom is a highly-rated adaptation of Bernard Cornwell’s The Saxon Stories book series, and is well worth the watch for fans of medieval warrior tales. Set in the action-packed later stages of the Viking invasion of the British Isles, we get to follow actual historical events through the eyes of the show’s fictional protagonist Uthred.

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Most viewers of the show seem to agree with this sentiment, giving The Last Kingdom an average rating of 8.5 on IMDb (as of June 2022), on par with other celebrated shows such as Mr. Robot, Sons of Anarchy, The Handmaid’s Tale, and Outlander.

And if you’re like me and feel scarred by the horrible ending of the Game of Thrones series, do not fear: the ending of The Last Kingdom will definitely not disappoint (to illustrate this point, the highest-rated episode on IMDB is the final episode). So the show is worth watching to the very end.

9Expert Score
The Last Kingdom
Average viewer rating across different media rating services for the TV series The Last Kingdom.
IMDb rating
8.5
Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score
9.1
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score
9.4
JustWatch
9.3
Ratingraph
8.8
Positives
  • Has great customes and authentic setting
  • Doesn’t go overboard (i.e. Vikings)
  • Easier to follow than GoT
  • Feels real and gritty
  • Believable characters and good acting
  • Many of the Norsemen are portrayed by actual Scandinavian actors
  • The “plot armor” is sometimes a bit too strong for the main characters
  • The main character finds himself in too many “convenient” situations
  • The accent of certain actors portraying the Norsemen is a bit distracting

The Last Kingdom features a believable cast of actors, many of the Viking ones being portrayed by actual Scandinavians which certainly helps and gives the show an authentic feeling — even from a Nordic perspective.

Watch the trailer for The Last Kingdom Season 1 below:

The Last Kingdom | Series 1 Full Trailer

How Good Each Season is In The Last Kingdom

I felt that each season of The Last Kingdom generally improved on the previous season, with seasons 3, 4 and 5 being the best. Each one of the five available seasons maintained a very high standard and level of entertainment, and the show kept me interested in the story and eager to watch the next episode.

This is something other viewers also seem to agree with, looking at how each season of The Last Kingdom compares to those of Vikings and Game of Thrones on IMDb.

The Last Kingdom vs. Vikings vs. Game of Thrones: IMDb Rating Per Season

Note: No data for ‘The Last Kingdom’ Seasons 5–8, ‘Vikings’ Seasons 7–8. Source: IMDb

The Last Kingdom consistently rates better than Vikings from season to season, and Season 3 even rates better than the same season of Game of Thrones (not a bad feat!). Another interesting observation is that each season individually has received much higher average ratings than the show as a whole has on IMDb.

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This could be due to more casual viewers rating the overall show while the more hardcore viewers are more likely to rate individual episodes.

All in all the show gets a gradually higher rating from seasons 1–3 (8.65 / 8.85 / 9.05), with a minimal decline in average rating for season 4 (8.99) and 5 (8.82) that still makes it the second highest-rated season overall.

How The Last Kingdom Episodes Rate Over the Seasons

Something I picked up on and appreciated greatly was that each season of The Last Kingdom seemed to end with a bang (similarly to Game of Thrones seasons 1-6). I always found the final episodes of each season the best of each respective season, and this is something other shows don’t always succeed in achieving.

We get the same insight and an even more detailed perspective on how viewers rate The Last Kingdom by looking at the average ratings of each episode on IMDb:

Each season finale rates higher than any of the other episodes in the same season, and seasons 3 and 4 stand out as better throughout.

How Good Season 1 of The Last Kingdom Is (Best & Worst Episodes)

The series starts out great in the first episode, throwing you right into a Viking attack on the shores of Northumbria. It loses some steam in the following few episodes, but from the fourth and onwards it’s a pure joy to watch for any history lover, and the finale is by far the best episode.

So hang in there if you find yourself doubting your choice around episodes two and three; it gets better, and it is worth the watch.

Most viewers agree that the finale is the best episode of the season, and this is my opinion as well. On the other side of the spectrum, the second episode is generally seen as the worst.

So all in all, the first season not only delivers a high level of entertainment, but it also leaves you craving more.

How Good Season 2 of The Last Kingdom Is (Best & Worst Episodes)

Season 2 starts with probably the worst episode of the season, but luckily it gets better and better in the following episodes, culminating in the finale (also the best episode of the season according to IMDb users and myself).

How Good Season 3 of The Last Kingdom Is (Best & Worst Episodes)

Season 3 of The Last Kingdom starts with what is so far the best season opener of the series, and this high bar is kept throughout the season.

Once again, the finale is the best episode of the season. Season 3 has been rated the highest of all seasons by IMDb’s users.

How Good Season 4 of The Last Kingdom Is (Best & Worst Episodes)

Season 4 starts almost as good as the previous season and similarly holds the high quality throughout the season.

The second half of the season doesn’t quite reach the same ratings as season 3, but it still ends with the best episode, as we’ve grown to expect at this point.

How Good Season 5 of The Last Kingdom Is (Best & Worst Episodes)

The final season of The Last Kingdom premiered in early 2022, and was received well by followers of the show.

It likely features the best episode of the entire series, which fittingly is the very last episode. With a rating of 9.9 on IMDB, it’s safe to say it’s worth watching The Last Kingdom to the very end.

As with many of the other seasons, the worst-rated episode is the first, but this didn’t deter me from watching the rest of the season.

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Sources:

https://www.imdb.com/title/tt4179452/

https://www.rottentomatoes.com/tv/the_last_kingdom

https://www.justwatch.com/us/tv-show/the-last-kingdom

https://www.ratingraph.com/tv-shows/the-last-kingdom-ratings-54396/

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By Karl Andersson

As a native Swede with a Finnish mother, Karl identifies as both Nordic and Scandinavian. He left Sweden at 19 to explore the world, and stayed abroad for almost 8 years—during which he backpacked, worked every job there was, earned a degree from UC Berkeley, and met the future mother of his children. He ultimately returned to his native Malmö with his love, where they now have 3 Swedish-American boys eager to explore the world.

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