‘The Last Kingdom’: How Uhtred Tricks Sven While Wearing a Skull Mask

In The Last Kingdom, there’s a memorable moment in which Uhtred (Alexander Dreymon) tricks Sven Kjartansson (Ole Christoffer Ertvaag), a man he used to know in his youth, while wearing a skull mask. It all goes down in season 2, episode 1, and we have the details.

Uhtred has a history with Sven in ‘The Last Kingdom’

Sven and his father, Earl Kjartan (Alexandre Willaume), are Uhtred’s enemies, and for good reason. They used to know Uhtred, as he is the adopted son of Earl Ragnar (Peter Gantzler), a man Kjartan used to serve as a shipmaster. But Sven ripped Ragnar’s daughter Thyra’s dress, exposing her from the waist up. Uhtred fought Sven over it, and Ragnar blinded Sven in one eye and banished them. 

But years later, Sven and Kjartan ally with Uhtred’s uncle, Aelfric (Joseph Millson) to murder most of Ragnar’s family by burning down their home, taking Thyra (Julia Bache-Wiig) as a prisoner. Uhtred wasn’t there at the time, but he saw the whole thing go down. Ever since, he’s wants revenge.

Uhtred joins Father Beocca on a quest to free Guthred

Uhtred teams up with Father Beocca (Ian Hart) while in Eoferwic (York) to help King Alfred’s (David Dawson) cause to free Guthred (Thure Lindhardt), who is to be the King of Cumbraland. They hope to pay a ransom, freeing Guthred, who is being held as a slave where slaves are being sold. The property where it’s happening is on Kjartan’s land. Alfred wants a ransom paid for Guthred’s freedom, and Father Beocca and Brother Trew (Peter McDonald) are accompanied by lepers to do the job.

Guthred is a Christian Dane whose family was killed by warriors of Kjartan’s. He was forced into slavery, but after an Abbot has a dream of Saint Cuthbert proclaiming Guthred as the King of Cumbraland, Alfred took up the cause, hoping for Guthred’s influence to spread in Northumbria.

How Uhtred tricks Sven

Beocca, Trew, and a friend of Uhtred’s named Hild (Eva Birthistle) ride to where the man who is selling slaves, Gelgill (Ingar Helge Gimle), is. Trew asks to see Guthred, but Gelgill isn’t having it, telling him to give him the silver he has. He makes some comments that would make anyone feel uncomfortable toward Hild. 

Trew calls for Guthred, but Sven comes out, saying he decides when he can see him. He demands the funds, and Beocca and the others put the plan in place after Sven asks Hild to dismount and take off her dress, which isn’t going to happen.

One of Sven’s men says that some of the riders previously seen are missing. “He is correct lord, but these horsemen, they came from nowhere and asking us to where we are traveling,” Beocca says. “And we prayed that they would leave us, vanish.” He continues: “Believe me when I say this, they were not of this world, lord. They were not met like you and I are men.” They cross themselves, telling Sven they are doing it to ask for “the Lord’s protection.”

Beocca continues with the plan. When Gelgill asks “what” they are, Beocca says that to speak of them could “summon them.” But Sven isn’t convinced and eventually calls it “lies.”

Suddenly, horses and men can be heard in the distance, and Beocca insists it’s “him.” They ride into the camp, carrying torches and circling around Sven and his warriors. Uhtred is wearing a skull mask concealing his face accompanied by men with leprosy carrying the fire. “We come for your souls,” a rider says. 

How Uhtred tricks Sven

Sven asks who the man in the skull mask is, and Uhtred doesn’t hold back. “I am Odin’s messenger to command,” he says. “I come from Corpse Hall. Are you Sven Kjartanson?” Uhtred asks while pointing his sword at him. He doesn’t answer right away, asking what he wants with Sven Kjartanson.

Uhtred tricks Sven into believing he’s there to “take the souls” of both him and his father.

“I have been sent to take the souls of both Kjartan and his son,” Uhtred says. Sven tells his warriors to attack, and they do, but Uhtred handles them, even getting off his horse and fighting on the ground. He throws Sven onto the ground next, using his shoe to keep him there, he says no one should move or Sven dies. He tells everyone to leave. 

Everyone starts to flee, and Hild kills Gelgill during the commotion. Meanwhile, Uhtred is heated and once to kill Sven, telling him he should. Although Sven asks to be spared and that he “will be a changed man,” Uhtred isn’t convinced. But Beocca gets him not to kill him, saying, “Lord, I beg you. that he fears you is enough. Let him take their fear to Kjartan.”

After Beocca asks if they can look for Guthred, Uhtred allows it, saying, “I have no business with you.” They rescue Guthred, and Uhtred blindfolds Kjartan’s son, binding his hands so he has trouble getting back home, which he eventually does with help.

When Kjartan learns of the whole thing, he’s suspicious of the whole thing, and becomes convinced it was all a “trick.” He’s angry with his son, despite Sven saying he knows what he saw. Sven says it “didn’t appear to be a trick.”

Although Kjartan tries to have Uhtred abducted, the plan fails, and both Kjartan and Sven meet their demise in season 2. Ragnar (Tobias Santelmann), Uhtred’s adopted brother kills Kjartan, and Thyra has her dogs kill Sven.

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