246 – The Hard Edge of Soft Power

When I write an episode I begin by looking at what has happened in the past, then at what will come in the future, and only after that do I allow myself to focus on what is occurring for this episode.

I do this because I want to know the context of these events. The sources that have survived don’t often give us the Why, or even the How. They’re all about what and when… and that’s not the real meat of history. If you want to know what people were actually experiencing, you need to know what they had already gone through, and why they were making the decisions that they made. This will become easier as we move forward in time - we will eventually have diaries and personal letters and detailed accounts of political meetings. But even now - if you look close you can see a bigger picture. We can get - at least a little bit - to the why and the how.

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Members Only 87 – Easter Eggs and Errors in The Last Kingdom: Episodes 7 and 8

What they got right, what they got wrong, and where they accidentally went all Marvel vs Capcom 2... in Episodes 7 and 8 of the Last Kingdom.

245 – King Alfred: Infrastructure is Sexy

For the Viking army fleeing Shoebury, there wasn’t much to look forward to in a winter holiday at Chester.

It would be wet. It would be cold. It would be creepy. The old Roman settlement had been abandoned for quite some time, and that probably didn’t sit well with the superstitious danes.

And besides being creepy, Chester promised generally rough living. Sure, it might sit next to farm land and a few small settlements, but this wasn’t the civitas it had once been… the Danes weren’t marching in and setting up in a nice little manor. These were ruins. Old ruins. This was going to be hardcore camping.

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244 – Haesten’s Advance

“Then came the king's troops, and routed the enemy, broke down the work, took all that was therein money, women, and children and brought all to London. And all the ships they either broke to pieces, or burned, or brought to London or to Rochester.”

That’s what the Chronicle has to say about AEthelred’s siege of Hasten’s fortress at Banfleet. As we spoke about last week, we don’t know how many women and children came with fleet, but it’s clear from the Chronicle that they existed.

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