Netflix’s action-packed historical drama The Last Kingdom made its triumphant return to screens last weekend, continuing Uhtred of Bebbanburg’s epic adventures across 9th century England.
As fans have come to expect, not every character makes it to the end of season four, but one death in particular has proved emotional for many fans.
Be warned: there are spoilers for season four below…
Ian Hart (Noughts + Crosses) has played Father Beocca since the very first episode of The Last Kingdom, a friendly priest who has always offered support and advice to Uhtred whenever it was needed.
Beocca accompanies him on a mission to reclaim Bebbanburg in season four, but the attempt goes horribly wrong and he is forced to sacrifice his life to save Uhtred’s estranged son.
In a live Q&A with RadioTimes.com, Alexander Dreymon (Uhtred) spoke about filming Hart’s final moments in The Last Kingdom.
He said: “It was emotional and it was funny at the same time because his last shots were literally Ian Hart having to lie in the cold, wet mud. That didn’t put him in the best of moods. But we all loved Ian so much and it’s been such a privilege and honour to work with him.
“All the scenes I had with him were so easy because all I had to do was listen to him, he really puts you in the moment and you don’t have to substitute anything. He’s just such a present actor. This scene was really no different.”
Dreymon added: “Playing his death and then knowing that he wasn’t going to be with us anymore made my job that day very sad and very easy.”
There have been many shocking deaths in The Last Kingdom since the series began, but arguably it is Beocca’s passing that has the most profound impact on Uhtred, shaking him to his very core.
Later in the Q&A, Dreymon was asked what piece of advice he would give Uhtred if he had the chance.
He answered: “Seize every opportunity you get to hug Father Beocca.”
To paraphrase Joe Exotic, I am never going to emotionally recover from this.
The Last Kingdom season four is streaming on Netflix now