The Last Kingdom season four dropped on Netflix last weekend much to the delight of fans, but there was one development which left some scratching their heads.
Season four sees legendary warrior Uhtred of Bebbanburg (Alexander Dreymon) attempting to be a better father to his eldest son and daughter, Young Uhtred (Finn Elliot) and Stiorra (Ruby Hartley), who challenge him in very distinct ways.
However, Uhtred has a third child who was born at the beginning of season three, but who is not featured or even mentioned in the latest episodes.
Many fans have wondered about the whereabouts of this mystery offspring, but The Last Kingdom‘s executive producer Nigel Marchant has now shed some light on his absence.
Speaking to RadioTimes.com at our live Q&A about The Last Kingdom season four, he explained that folding Uhtred’s youngest child into the action-packed fourth season would have been “one character too many”.
He said: “I think we’re always conscious about bringing in new characters – and there’s an awful lot of them within this season – and there’s a lot of younger characters coming in. Obviously, we only had 10 episodes and so many hours and so many storylines that we could really push through.
“So there was a conscious decision about who we really wanted and who is propelling the story along. We didn’t want to cheat the audience by not meeting the characters and going on a journey with them. There’s a lot of characters in any ensemble piece and that means there’s a lot of mouths to feed for the writer.”
Marchant added: “So, we really felt that we were introducing Uhtred’s two children, we also had Aelfwynn and Aethelstan who were caught up in all the action, and just that it would be one character too many. We don’t like to deviate from the books, we like to keep the characters and the essence there, but sometimes it just doesn’t work. But that’s not to say that we couldn’t see them in the future.”
That suggests Uhtred’s youngest son could well appear further down the line, if The Last Kingdom season five gets green-lit. In the meantime, fans are free to speculate on where he is now, with one popular theory being that Hild is keeping him safe.
The Last Kingdom season four is now streaming on Netflix – check out our list of the best TV shows on Netflix, or see what else is on with our TV Guide