Magic in "The Last Kingdom"

I've heard the show "The Last Kingdom" repeatedly described as "'Game of Thrones' without the magic." My dad pitched it to me that way, I read articles that said that's what it is. But -- (spoilers to follow) -- it's really not.

Not because it isn't Game-of-Thrones-like -- it absolutely is -- but this show, set in Saxon England during the reign of Alfred the Great, has almost as much magic in it as Game of Thrones.

Which is to say, very little, and generally ambiguous. But when a pagan medicine woman brings a baby back from the brink of death using a moonlight ritual and trading its life for the life of a healthy baby elsewhere in the world, a death later confirmed to have occurred at about the right time, it's hard to defend the idea that this is a magic-less world. That's not to mention the fact that this woman has repeatedly accurately seen the future, or into distant places, in visions.

This story hints at the possibility that the Christian god is real, and sells unambiguously the position that pagan magic works. The structure of the narrative teaches us to expect that pagan magic is effective, and rewards that expectation. (Even when the pagan prophesies aren't real, it's because -- as the show makes extremely clear -- they were falsified. Not "real" magic, which if it had been we could have trusted.)

Don't get me wrong, I'm totally pro magic. I love high fantasy stories about medieval kingdoms, and it's cool to see one play out in the actual medieval world instead of a pastiche. But this is definitely a fantasy series. I don't know about the books, but in the TV show, the magic is real.