Season 1 Episode 2
Uhtred's crisis of identity was not a mere matter of knowing oneself but of survival. The England of Uhtred's time was a fractured land overrun by Danes. Either Uhtred was a Dane, under Danish protection, or he was a Saxon, and a soldier in what remained of the English kingdoms, Wessex.
Having grown up the adopted son of Earl Ragnar, Uhtred's instinct was to go to Ubba, the leader of the Danes, for help. Word has spread, however, that it was Uhtred who murdered Earl Ragnar and his family. Uhtred narrowly escaped Ubba with his life, and he and Brida headed for Wessex.
It was there that Uhtred was reunited with Beocca, and was introduced to King Aethelred's brother and heir, Alfred. Alfred shrewdly read Uhtred's character as a man out for himself. Nevertheless, when Uhtred came with information that the Danes were attacking in Danes rather than in the spring, Alfred listened. The Wessex army assembled to meet the Danes, whilst at Alfred's command, Uhtred and Brida ended up in suspended cages.
More than Uhtred, Brida was a Dane in all but birth. After Earl Ragnar's death, Brida wanted to find another master. Brida also wanted to go to Ireland and find Young Ragnar. For Uhtred, however, there was Bebbanburg that tied him to his English heritage. He refused to disappear, to allow his Uncle who hunted him or the Danes who believed him a murderer think he was dead. His lands were taken from him. If the Danes would not help him get them back, if the Danes would not hear him out when he insisted he did not murder his adoptive father, then he would ally with the Saxons.
The second episode ended with the promise of battle. The Danes marched to Wessex and found their way blocked by an army led by the brothers Aethelred and Alfred. Uhtred's information, it turned out, was right.
■ Aethelred had a wastrel of a son, Aethelwold, whom he said could not be King.
■ Pious Alfred had a lady friend in his chambers who was not his wife.
■ Wessex became the last remaining English kingdom after Ubba and his fellow warlord Guthrum killed the king of East Anglia.
■ Ubba was very attached to his sorcerer Storri.
■ Uhtred had a stone his father gave him incorporated into the sword he had made.
Image from The Last Kingdom, currently streaming on Netflix.