Why did Netflix cancel The Last Kingdom Season 5? The streaming service revived the favorite series in July 2020 but announced that season 5 will be the last franchise installment nine months later. Since The Last Kingdom has not premiered, and because there’s more supply material to adapt, fans may be curious about Netflix’s choice.
Based on The Saxon Stories novels by Bernard Cornwell, The Last Kingdom follows the warrior Uhtred of Bebbanburg (Alexander Dreymon), the central character in a story about the arrival of England. The series’ first two seasons aired on BBC 2 from 2015 to 2017, while season three was released on Netflix. Each season of The Last Kingdom adapts the storylines from two books, together with the fifth installment focusing on Warriors of the Storm and The Flame Bearer.
Netflix officially canceled The Last Kingdom on April 30, 2021, but didn’t offer a particular reason. Given that the streaming service is notorious for not renewing popular shows after a couple of seasons, the choice may not be a huge surprise to subscribers. In 2021 alone, Netflix has canceled several original productions, such as British shows like The Duchess and The Irregulars. In the past, critically-acclaimed shows such as Tuca & Bertie and The OA were cut brief, presumably due to low viewing numbers. The Last Kingdom’s cancelation shocked faithful fans and prompted some to petition for a series continuation.
The Last Kingdom’s cancelation is astonishing due to its word-of-mouth popularity among Netflix viewers and the fact that Cornwell’s source material includes 13 books. In concept, The Last Kingdom should have extended to season 6 or even season 7. Netflix may feel just like season 5 will provide closure for fans, and it’s possible that the logistics of future productions didn’t make fiscal sense for its streaming services.
Netflix’s cancelation of The Last Kingdom doesn’t automatically signify that the whole novel storyline will not be accommodated. The series’ conclusion may establish a movie release, which will presumably cover the previous three of Cornwell’s books: War of the Wolf, Sword of Kings, and War Lord. The manufacturers’ master plan may entail an epic fifth show setup, a break for the primary cast that’s been filming in Hungary since 2014, along with a blockbuster Netflix film that will correctly end Uhtred’s character arc.
The Last Kingdom season 5 may finally cover the remaining source material, however, that could significantly alter the structural pacing, and perhaps lead to storytelling issues that would upset franchise lovers. Most importantly, Netflix will stick with its customary approach and assess critical reactions/streaming amounts before committing to another production, while it’s a shortened series or even a feature film.