The Last Kingdom explained: What REALLY happened to Iseult? How did she die?

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The Last Kingdom has returned to Netflix and the series is now in its fourth season, with fans hoping for a fifth. The series made its debut in 2015 and one of the characters was Iseult (played by Charlie Murphy). Fans are keen to find out what really happened to Iseult, the shadow queen, and has everything you need to know.

What happened to Iseult in The Last Kingdom?

Charlie Murphy took on the role of Iseult in The Last Kingdom, and the character also features in The Saxon Stories by Bernard Cornwell – the books which inspired the series.

Iseult was a supporting character who starred in the last three episodes of the first season, and although she did not play a big role, her time on the show was important.

The shadow queen, or sorceress, was married to King Peredur (Paul Ritter) and he kept her virginity in order to preserve her powers.

She is known for saving the life of Edward (Timothy Innes) when he fell ill as a baby and his mother Aelswith (Eliza Butterworth) thought he was going to die.

Even though Aelswith did not approve of Iseult’s beliefs, she allowed her to use her gift to heal her newborn son.


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Iseult was killed off in the final episode of the first season, when she was decapitated by Skorpa (Jonas Malmsjö), the Viking warlord.

Her death is similar in the books, as in The Pale Horseman a Dane fighter takes an axe to her head and kills her.

In the series, Skorpa took his men to attack a camp where Hild (Eva Birthistle) and Iseult are staying.

Iseult tried to run off after being spotted by Skorpa, but he caught up with her and killed her.

He boasted to Uhtred (Alexander Dreymon) how he had the head of his queen and threw Iseult’s head on the ground.

Uhtred and Iseult ended up as lovers following the death of Peredur, and the warrior learnt of her power of foresight.

Iseult also had knowledge of healing methods and she helped King Alfred (David Dawson) recover from his illness.

She then used her powers to heal baby Edward, but warned Uhtred a baby elsewhere would die as a sacrifice.

In real life Iseult is the name of a character in the legend of Tristan and Iseult – a romance told in various forms since the 12th century.

There is no indication Iseult in The Last Kingdom is based on the character from the legends.

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Speaking to BRWC actress Murphy said her character was a “natural fit” for the main character Uhtred.

She said: “They’re both on the outskirts of society. For this chapter of his life, she is definitely a good fit for Uhtred.

“She is kind of an outcast. She doesn’t really have relationships with many of the other characters.

“She is always set aside so it is a welcoming thing to meet Uhtred and not to be judged by society. She can just be herself.”

The actress said she enjoyed playing a “dark and mysterious” character, and speaking about her character’s journey, she said it was a coming-of-age story.


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Murphy said: “She meets Uhtred at the right time because — and this is only my own opinion — I think this is the first adult relationship he has, where they can get on and actually be good for each other and help each other to grow.

“Uhtred meets people at the right points in his life to help service his needs and his destiny.

“He definitely does. But life will go on for him, after her, and she knows that.”

Fans were sad to see her character killed off in the series, with one fan saying on Twitter: “I have such an adoration for Iseult from The Last Kingdom.

“I frequently squeal ‘she is so cool’, so elegant and kind and deadly.”

The Last Kingdom is available to watch on Netflix now

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