The Last Kingdom: Edward kills Jackdaw in Battle of Tettenhall
The Last Kingdom season five will arrive on Netflix in the near future and the story should pick up with Aethelflaed (played by Millie Brady) ruling Mercia. Fans saw her character take a dark turn in the fourth season, as she chose Mercia over her relationship with Uhtred (Alexander Dreymon). Actress Brady, who plays Aethelflaed, has shared her thoughts on her character in the Anglo-Saxon historical drama.
What does Millie Brady think of Aethelflaed?
The Last Kingdom fans were torn over Aethelflaed’s character following season four of The Last Kingdom, which saw the Lady of Mercia end her relationship with Uhtred.
At the start of the series, viewers enjoyed watching Aethelflaed grow in strength and make a stand against her cruel husband Aethelred (Toby Regbo).
She was able to earn the respect of the Mercian people, who believed her to be a better leader than her single-minded husband.
Fans had also been rooting for her relationship with Uhtred, as the pair had been fond of each other across previous seasons.
The latest season, however, saw Aethelflaed abandon Uhtred after all he had sacrificed for her, and fans were disappointed to see their couple part ways.
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Some have said Aethelflaed belittled Uhtred after the Mercian people suggested he should lead them temporarily.
They have pointed out she could have married him and they would have been able to rule Mercia together – but instead she chose to remain ‘chaste’ and rule alone.
While some have turned against Aethelflaed, actress Brady has always loved and respected her character and the decisions she has made.
She told Netflix: “She is the daughter of Alfred and over the last few seasons we have seen the amalgamation of her parents running through her as a character.
“She’s very strategic, like her dad and she’s got this huge inner fire which I think comes from her mum’s feisty side. She is all about bringing together Alfred’s vision of a united England, so she is continuing his legacy.”
Aethelflaed is definitely determined to see her father Alfred’s (David Dawson) vision of a united England come to fruition.
Her character is based on the real-life Aethelflaed, who was a strong and powerful warrior and leader of Mercia.
She had worked alongside her brother Edward (Timothy Innes) to win back kingdoms which have been overpowered by the Danes.
Brady said she had wished her school had included Aethelflaed in history lessons, as she was such a pivotal historical figure.
Her change in character came following the death of her husband Aethelred, as it meant Mercia was left without a ruler.
When she made the decision to cut off all romantic ties with Uhtred, fans were surprised at her decision.
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Brady spoke to MCM Comic Con about her final scene with Regbo as Aethelred, and she said it was one of her favourite moments from the latest season.
She said: “The scene with Toby, that was definitely up there for me. That was such a nice ending, not only to mine and Toby’s but also Aethelflaed and Aethelred’s characters, and a nice way for them to end.
“It was also really challenging for both of us, we had a few days going over it, we just really wanted to get it right and I was really happy with how it came out.”
Aethelred had been injured in battle and on his deathbed, he had a change of heart and apologised to Aethelflaed for the way he had treated her.
For fans, it was the first time they had seen a sensitive side to Aethelred, and it was a sad moment when he died.
Brady’s other favourite scene was the iconic Battle of Tettenhall, which saw her character almost killed.
She said: “It was such a great battle because I feel like the director really focussed in on everyone’s characters at a time.”
She added “It wasn’t just a big bloodthirsty battle, there was a real opportunity to hone in on everyone’s inner workings of their character. It was just really fun and I don’t think we have ever had a battle of that scale.”
Fans have their own opinions on Aethelflaed’s character, and they took to Reddit to share their thoughts. Bucketofno said: “I’ve never went from loving a character to hating them in one episode so bad.”
They have pointed out how Aethelflaed went on to trade Uhtred’s daughter Stiorra (Ruby Hartley) to the Danes after everything Uhtred had done for her and her family.
Viewers are hoping Uhtred makes a stand against Aethelflaed in the upcoming season.
The Last Kingdom is on Netflix now
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