The Tudors: Peace and War

And we’re back with season 3 of The Tudors. As you’ll no doubt recall, season 2 ended with Anne Boleyn and most of her family and friends either beheaded or banished. Also gone from the show is the original Jane—for some reason, Anita Briem was replaced by Annabelle Wallis for this season. I hope you weren’t too attached to her. Since they’re both sort of blandly pretty blondes, I didn’t really notice the difference, to be honest. Briem must have been pissed to be let go right before the season that features her character so prominently, though.

Not much change to the credits, other than the banishment of all characters Boleyn (except for one quick glance of Anne at the very end). There are a few shots of body-strewn battlefields, so it looks like we’ll be seeing the Pilgrimage of Grace. Goody!

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The Tudors: Off With Her Head!

Previously on The Tudors: Henry fell for Jane Seymour and decided to jettison Anne. Anne, her brother, and several other men were arrested and charged with treason. All but Wyatt were sentenced to death, and the men all lost their heads.

Someone is polishing a very impressive sword by candlelight. Once the job is done, he blows out the candle, and we learn it’s May 15, 1536.

In England, we get a montage set to some lovely churchy choir music. A rider gallops through a misty field. In the fog-shrouded Tower, Anne prays. Henry lies awake in bed in the palace. At the Brandon house, Charles and Duchess Kate are fast asleep as a little boy squirms up between them. Charles wakes up for a moment, then rolls over and throws his arm over his wife and son. Aww. Back at the palace, Henry stands at the window, looking out at two swans on the lake. Then, he’s in the chapel, kneeling, as a women’s choir carrying candles stands behind him, singing the music we’ve been listening to this whole time. Leave it to Henry to have a women’s choir. And to be an asshole for no reason at all. He suddenly turns, looks at the choir for a moment, turns back to the alter, and then screams for them to be quiet before turning around and hurrying out of the chapel.

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The Tudors: These Bloody Days

Previously on The Tudors: Henry got all hot for Jane Seymour, which put her social-climbing older brother, Edward, into a sort of Machiavellian overdrive. Henry almost died after falling off his horse during a joust, sending Anne into a panic and allowing her father and brother to dream of being kings in all but name during little Elizabeth’s minority. Henry recovered, Anne miscarried, and Henry decided he’s done with wife #2.

Ok, things start off super creepy—three physicians are presenting Henry with the remains of his and Anne’s miscarried baby. It’s covered up, in a bowl on the table in front of Henry, and the lead physician is telling the king that the fetus appeared to be male, but it was deformed, so the miscarriage was something of a blessing in disguise. Henry lifts the corner of the cloth covering the body and grimaces, then waves the doctors and attendants away. One of his footmen thoughtfully takes the baby in a bowl with him. Ick.

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The Tudors: Love For Sale

Previously on The Tudors: Katherine died and Anne got pregnant again, which I’m sure will end quite happily for her, right? Right? Also, Henry met the lovely blonde Jane Seymour and invited her to court and Cromwell started busting up monasteries in a big way.

Jane’s made it to court and is being escorted through that great hall where everyone hangs out by a young man, presumably her brother, Edward. He leads her to the door of Anne’s rooms and she goes in. One of the other ladies looks her up and down and snottily informs her that Anne’s on her way and Jane’s not to say a word until she’s given leave. What a friendly workplace!

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The Tudors: Golden World

Previously on The Tudors: Anne got more paranoid about Henry having affairs, and became convinced that she can’t give Henry a son as long as Katherine and Mary are alive. Henry started to get tired of Anne’s jealousy. Cromwell started spreading the good word on the Reformation.

We start off with Anne taking a nice ride through the woods, where she comes across Wyatt at the head of a group of strange-looking, cloaked figures. He offers her an apple, which she waves away, smiling pleasantly, and the figures part, bowing to her, revealing another figure at the far end of the path they’ve created. The other figure, which has long, gray hair, stands with its back to Anne. When she reaches it, it turns, and it’s an old woman, in a white gown, with a ruff and a cross around her neck. Anne starts to look around, disconcerted, and finds her father. He takes her hand and leads her a little ways away. She turns again and she’s alone, but then the figures reappear and advance on her and lock her in a sort of iron maiden-looking thing and put it on a raft, which is dragged down the river by early Celts, or something. Definitely not people dressed like Anne’s contemporaries. Mary’s face suddenly fills Anne’s limited field of vision, and then the raft is set on fire as Anne screams.

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The Tudors: Reap What You Sow

Previously on the Tudors: Fisher and More paid the ultimate price for their convictions; Anne loses her all-important baby and starts to really panic, knowing full well that Henry could easily send her the way of Katherine.

Roma. Fully dressed in pope hat and richly embroidered robes, the Pope emerges onto a balcony overlooking a very crowded St. Peter’s Square. After a brief prayer, he offers the Catholics of England his support and sympathy over the outrageous martyrdoms of More and Fisher. For those who missed the last episode, we get to rewatch some of More’s execution, followed by shots of angry crowds gathering at the palace’s gates while mobs storm and trash Catholic churches.

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The Tudors: All or Nothing

Previously on The Tudors: Anne found herself pregnant again and offered Henry her own cousin as a girlfriend. More was thrown in jail for refusing to acknowledge Henry as head of the church.

Henry’s reading and wearing what appears to be pirate fashion by Errol Flynn when Cromwell enters and announces Cranmer. Cranmer comes in and informs Henry that they’ve had a lot of success in convincing people to accept Anne as queen and Henry as head of the church, probably because they were threatened with death and dismemberment if they didn’t agree. He doesn’t say that last part, but you know it’s true. Fisher and More are still holdouts, but Cranmer and Cromwell think they can get them to at least agree to some of it. Henry won’t hear it—the guys need to accept all or nothing. Cranmer bows and withdraws, and Cromwell takes the opportunity to try to hand over a letter from Dame Alice, More’s wife, who begs for leniency in view of her husband’s many years of service. Henry doesn’t care, of course, and rants that More, after promising to live a quiet life, continued to write about the king’s divorce and even visited Katherine. The horror!

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The Tudors: Mr. Softie

Previously on the Tudors: Henry ditched Catholicism, had his marriage to Katherine annulled, and married Anne and crowned her queen just before she gave birth to little baby Elizabeth.

Speaking of little Lizzy, she’s being christened by Cranmer, with Mary Boleyn standing by, smiling proudly at her little niece. She takes the wailing baby, who’s probably pissed because she’s completely naked and those churches were cold. The baby’s wrapped up again and paraded past Anne’s ladies and the gathered courtiers before being carried back to her mother’s room, where Anne’s sitting up in bed, ready to take her. The courtiers bow to her and her royal offspring and Anne tenderly kisses the baby’s forehead.

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The Tudors: First Comes Love, Then Comes Marriage…

Previously on The Tudors: The clergy acknowledged Henry as head of the church; More resigned as chancellor as a result. The world’s most inept assassin kept trying and failing to kill Anne Boleyn, at the behest of the pope and the emperor. Anne and Henry travel to France and have sex, presumably getting Anne pregnant.

Things start off rough in a courtyard where chickens, assorted livestock, and rude minor nobility mill about. Two men in black velvet, named as the Savilles, start talking shit to a man they call Pennington, who’s quick to correct that that’s Sir William Pennington, to them. Pennington asks after their master, Boleyn, and that’s Lord Rochford to you, Pennington. The Saville who speaks asks after Pennington’s master, Brandon. Saville asks if Brandon continues to spread vicious rumors about Anne at court, and if he does, he must be completely suicidal. Just how long does Charles expect Henry’s patience to last? He’s already banished him from court once for that. Pennington stupidly says that Brandon doesn’t want anything to do with the elevation of “the king’s whore” and the two Savilles draw their swords at the insult. Pennington draws his own sword and they all start tussling. Man, the Savilles suck. It’s two against one in their favor and Pennington still manages to kick their asses and escape, but not before trashing what looks like a random marketplace set u pin the courtyard. As he flees into the palace, some random guy hilariously yells after him that he’d better pay up for the damage.

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The Tudors: Paris, Je T’Aime

Previously on The Tudors: Henry was named Head of the Church of England and kicked Katherine out of the palace. The pope essentially put out a hit on Anne which looks like it might actually be going forward. More and Bishop Fisher were nearly poisoned to death, at Boleyn’s order.

The camera pushes in on a man playing cards. We don’t see his face. He sets out a queen marked with an A and slashes it in half. Subtle, faceless guy.

In parliament, Fisher is urging his fellow clergymen not to give in and answer to any earthly power, because their power has been ordained by God. He adds that the clergy should be free from the threat of assassination as they uphold the sanctity of the church. Boleyn, George, and Cromwell all look uncomfortable, in their places out in the audience. Boleyn mutters to his son that Henry can’t continue to allow this sort of seditious talk.

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