The famous historical dramas Vikings and The Last Kingdom both explore the worlds of Anglo-Saxon and Norse history. Therefore everyone is curious to know if Vikings and the Last Kingdom the same. Or, at the least, how the two shows are related.
Are Vikings and The Last Kingdom the same?
Despite the many similarities, because the Vikings series is based on actual historical events, the link may not be as strong as people believe.
Michael Hirst’s 2013 Series of Vikings is a story of Ragnar rising to power. Played by Travis Fimmel, Ragnar and his family are living in the fictional Scandinavian city of Kattegat as he raids Saxon England and Frankia.
The Last Kingdom, on the other hand, debuted on Netflix two years after Vikings. Originally a joint venture between Netflix and the BBC, the streamer took over production duties after the BBC pulled out due to cost concerns after season two. This series is based on Bernard Cornwell’s Saxon Stories, which contain both fictional and historical elements, recently rebranded as The Last Kingdom series.
Vikings Facts vs. The Last Kingdom Facts
Some comparisons between Vikings and The Last Kingdom have been noted by fans, including character crossovers and historical moments. One of the most recognizable things that fans have pointed out is that both series have a character named Ragnar and a character named Ubbe. However, their names are pronounced slightly differently. Although Vikings and The Last Kingdom have nothing in common in terms of artistic or technical personnel, the two series are related by their themes.
In Vikings, Ubbe is one of Ragnar Lothbrok’s sons (played by Jordan Patrick Smith in Vikings). However, in The Last Kingdom, the character’s name is spelled Ubba and he is one of the most potent Danish warlords played by Rune Temte. In the latter series, there is no familial connection to Ragnar Lothbrok.
Another difference with Ragnar in each series has to do with the main characters. In Vikings, we see Ragnar as the protagonist and follow his journey to fame. In The Last Kingdom, Ragnar is not the main protagonist but rather we follow this series’ Ragnar’s brother, Uhtred.
A fragmentary selection of Old Norse poetry and a few Icelandic sagas serve as our primary Scandinavian source. The Scandinavian sources are much less historically significant than the Chronicle since the Sagas and Old Norse poems are more like myths than historical accounts.
Later historical sources, such as the 12th century Gesta Danorum, mention Ragnar Lothbrok (if such a person existed). Still, this English-authored text likely relied on the Chronicle and the sagas for information about his life. Since the two series agree on many of the period’s key players, it’s evident that The Last Kingdom and Vikings used the same texts.
Similarities in Characters:
At least two notable characters appear in both series. King Alfred the Great, a real-life English king who successfully fought against many Viking assaults, is on the Saxon side. David Dawson portrays him in The Last Kingdom. On Vikings, he has been played by various actors, the most recent of whom is Ferdia Walsh-Peelo.
Epic Fight Scenes:
In Vikings and The Last Kingdom, many intense battle scenes make them a little bit relatable in the viewer’s eyes. Still, we should understand that both have different stories.
Accurate History & Culture:
We noticed multiple things that show how Vikings and The Last Kingdom can be related. They both are entirely based on history; however, Viking’s story is more realistic and not as fictional as The Last Kingdom. In conclusion, both series represent an accurate historical take on the culture, faith, and drama of that period.
Have you seen both of the shows? Comment below what similarities/differences you caught!
*Image courtesy of: Deerfield Public Library