Tuesday, 22 April 2014

The Tudors: Season Two, Episode 6

"Something's going to happen to me..."

This is where the long, horrid slide from favour begins to accelerate for Anne. Henry is a subtly changed man; he suddenly looks older even in the opening titles.

The Pope is not best pleased with him, although in sure the depth of his anger is mainly for show. It's 1536, and there is no love lost between Henry (or Cromwell) and the trappings of Catholicism, as stained glass windows are smashed and all wealth and colour sucked out of England's churches. Gross "abuses" are "discovered" in the monasteries. Meanwhile, Henry sits back and counts the cash. It's a far bigger nationalisation than anything Clement Attlee would go on to do, much, much later.

Protestant propaganda abounds in the realm, yet all is not well for our Protestant Queen. Things are awkward between her and Henry, but a betrothal between Elizabeth and a French prince will fix things, right? 

Meanwhile, George Boleyn acquires a wife, or rather a "beard", but in spite of being gay he rapes her anyway, and cums laughably quickly to boot. Suddenly he's a lot less sympathetic. Henry, meanwhile, has an orgy with various people who are not Anne, because it's not treason when he does it. The men of Henry's court don't exactly look good right now.

Mary is not happy with things right now, being scolded for hugging her own sister. But the court Catholics as a whole are not happy with the new climate, and rumours abound of Anne being a witch. But Annecus not happy either; the king's affairs are taking their toll on her, and on top of that there's the post-natal depression. She thinks that something bad us going to happen to her, but in sure things will be fine.

Thomas Wyatt is an interesting character, being both the trope of the genius and somewhat aloof from the games being played at court. In asking Cromwell if he worries about the levels of absolute power being amassed by the long he is expressing a very modern point of view. It's tempting to see him as the voice of the author, which would be rather big-headed of Michael Hirst!

The King is continuously nasty to Anne, and she suffers an assassination attempt to boot. To add further insult, the French are not only rude but reject the proposed betrothal on the grounds that Elizabeth is a bastard in the eyes of both the Pope and the Emperor. The French prince is to marry a Habsburg instead, and England will be alone and insignificant. Henry may be a powerful man, but only in his small pond.

The King ends by confiding to Brandon that he regrets More's death, and blames Anne for egging him on. Things look ominous...

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