The One Medieval Drama On TV That Stands Above All The Competition

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  The One Medieval Drama On TV That Stands Above All The Competition

The women of “The Last Kingdom” — women like Eva Birthistle’s nun Hilda, whose power comes not from her (quite justified) anger, but from her refusal to let hate disillusion her — are messy, relatable, dynamic, and varied people. Like Hilda, Emily Cox’s Viking Brida is also firm in her faith but driven by a complex combination of grief, betrayal, loneliness, and a crisis of identity for which she’s eternally compensating. Importantly, Cox’s character is at her strongest immediately following her lowest point. In her final confrontation with Uhtred (Alexander Dreymon), she somehow finds the strength to forgive him (sadly, just before she’s killed). It may not be as obvious a “flex” as impulsively decimating a city via a fire-breathing dragon, but it is, in both its humanity and vulnerability, infinitely more real and powerful. Receta Baguettes con poolish (Con amasadora y con thermomix)

Brida’s foil, Millie Brady’s real-life Lady of Mercia, Aethelflaed, is neither written in simple relief of Brida nor characterized solely by the era’s misogyny. In Aethelflaed, we see yet another distinct depiction of power and strength, albeit one far more subtle than that offered by an action figure shield maiden or evil queen. Not only does Aethelflaed give up the love of her life, but she also meets her own mortality with grace and humility typically reserved for only the most traditional (read: male) of tragic heroes. While other series manage “sacrifice as strength” in their female protagonists, that sacrifice is typically made in service of a man or child (e.g., Maude Hirst’s Helga) — not for the love and protected peace of a kingdom.

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