I’ve had a busy few weeks in real life – yes; I actually have a social life! – so I’ve been trying to squeeze in these blog posts in between all my social socialising ‘n’ shit. Once or twice I’ve scheduled as much as a week in advance so I could enjoy my weekends but this time? I’m writing this on the Sunday, which you’d think would leave me two days more to see to this but oh, the trials and tribulations of having stuff to do.
So I guess I’d better get on with this. There was no purpose to the above paragraph, after all, apart from looking for sympathy. Any takers? No? Then as I said…get on with this.
Catherine has been declared contumacious due to her refusal to appear in court to determine whether or not her marriage to Prince Arthur was consummated in carnal copula. Sir Anthony Willoughby is called to testify in his capacity as son of the Steward of the King’s Household. (King at the time of Arthur’s death being his and Henry VIII’s father, Henry VII.) He testifies that after marrying, Arthur said, “Willoughby, I’m thirsty. Bring me a cup of ale. Last night, I was in the midst of Spain.”
Close enough to the actual genuine testimony to be as good as historically accurate. Oh, The Tudors, with minor details like this you are really spoiling us.
Willoughby also reports that at another time, Arthur said “Masters, it’s a good pastime to have a wife.”
Do these comments mean the Arthur/Catherine marriage was consummated? Possibly, but Arthur was often thought of as a weak, sickly boy and the above words could be evidence of bragging rather than potency.
What do you guys think? Was Catherine of Aragon’s first marriage consummated?
The people of England are in support of Catherine, whom they see as the rightful queen, and raise a toast to “Catherine, who doesn’t give a fig!”
Henry, meanwhile, is busy telling Anne that everyone was looking at her as they walked through a room full of courtiers. “Good. I want them to look at you.” He wants envy, and for everyone to see how beautiful she is. How, er…romantic.
Anne takes this scary Christian Grey shit with good grace, telling him that her family motto is most fitting in this case: The Most Happy.
Oh, The Tudors. I knew it was too good to last. This was not Anne’s family’s motto. The Most Happy, after all, refers to an individual’s happiness, and an entire family can’t be the most happy person, can it?
Anne chose the motto La Plus Heureuse for her coronation, which took place on 31st May, 1533, when she was already married to Henry and pregnant with their child.
Family motto? In a pig’s ear, it was.
Charles Brandon, the Duke of Suffolk, wakes up in the middle of the night to see his wife MARGARET GAH WHAT I DON’T EVEN standing at the window. She can’t sleep, but urges him to get some rest. After this, she has a coughing fit which can only be ZOMG FORESHADOWING.
In court, Bishop Fisher (here played as an honourable, principled man) compares the situation in England to that of the household of Herod Antipas, who took his brother’s wife before having John the Baptist beheaded.
Hmm. Not sure of his logic, there, given that Henry is – on the surface – trying to avoid accusations of having taken his brother’s wife, but ho hum.
Wolsey asks More to go to Cambria in France to throw a spanner in the works when it comes to any friendship between French and Imperial forces. There should be no alliances formed, blah blah, long list of instructions from Wolsey.
Then, one more thing, according to Wolsey. It’s at the exact moment of the following screenshot that Thomas says “More than this?”
What? Oh yeah. He’s supposed to find out whether or not Charles, the Holy Roman Emperor, would be prepared to invade England in support of his aunt, Queen Catherine.
She, of course, is still insisting to Henry that she was virgo intacta when they married and he loses his royal shit, screaming, “So you were a fucking virgin. THAT’S NOT THE POINT!”
Quite. The point is, Henry wants a son and Catherine is, let’s be honest about this, too old to provide him with one.
Next we have Anne throwing a tantrum because by now she could have contracted some advantageous marriage and had sons, “which are a woman’s greatest consolation in this life.” Something she really did say, but given how twenty-first century her dialogue has been up to now, using Anne Boleyn’s genuine words manages to feel a bit off.
Anne concludes this temper tantrum by flouncing back to Hever.
(Incidentally, it’s my belief that these temper tantrums only became so pronounced after her marriage, when she realised her hold over Henry wasn’t what it had been up until that point.)
Campeggio receives a message from the Pope which isn’t yet revealed to the viewer, and Henry plays a few bars on his…lute? Is it a lute? Probably. It’s recognisably Greensleeves, which he is rumoured to have composed but actually didn’t, so there.
The next scene shows a party – okay, let’s be more Tudory about this. The next scene shows a dance. A ball. Whatever. Background music? Greensleeves, of course. With Alas, my love, you do me wrong, / To treat me so discourteously as the lyrics. Ahem. No. It actually goes …to cast me off discourteously. You’d think they’d get that right, at least.
For some reason, Sir Anthony Knivert (yep, the man who wasn’t there) tells Henry “Omnia Vincit Amor,” usually rendered “Amor Omnia Vincit,” and which Henry repeats in English as “No-one can resist love.” Actually, no. Its literal translation is love conquers all, as just about everyone would know.
Campeggio gives his verdict in court!
OR DOES HE? The message he earlier received from the Pope contained the information that the curia in Rome was now in summer recess so in passing the buck back to the Pope, Campeggio is merely…well, passing the buck. And the court is prorogued until the first of October.
Henry walks out and Wolsey calls Campeggio “You stupid cunt.” OOH I SAY.
Ambassador Mendoza is vacating England, and takes his leave of Catherine. I took this screenshot because I liked the lighting in this scene.
Mendoza promises that his replacement, Eustace Chapuys, is a reet cool guy, like, and will serve her with all loyalty ‘n’ shit.
The king’s sister “Margaret” weakens while Henry reads the religiously dodgy book Anne gave him in the last episode. These scenes are woven together with shots of Brandon playing hide the sausage with some random woman. I suppose it’s to make it all poignant ‘n’ shit. Margaret’s marriage coming to an end with her impending death even as her husband betrays her, while Henry seeks to end his marriage to contract another, with Anne Boleyn.
We have a voiceover from Margaret:
Softly love and to love softly.
Dew on the sycamore branch.
By the creaking gate.
Where my heart hurries afterwards.
Through the path of wheat,
along the briar, to that stone.
Under which I lie.
Brandon informs Henry of his sister’s death, telling him that she died of consumption. Henry’s more than a tad cheesed off because “You never even told me she was sick.”
AN ENGLISHMAN WOULD NOT SAY THIS. Brits in general do not refer to ill people as ‘sick’. If you’re ‘sick’ here, it means you actually throw up. The act of vomiting. Not the state of being unwell.
But still, at least he does grief-stricken very well, that Jonathan Rhys Meyers. Cast your tearful eyes over this:
The real Princess Margaret (actually Queen Margaret as she’d been married to the King of Scotland) died of a palsy at Methven Castle in Pethshire on the 18th October 1541.
Princess Mary, on the other hand (technically Queen too, as she’d been married to the King of France) died on the 25th of June 1533 at Westhorpe Hall, Suffolk.
But we’re in The Tudors-land, so…”Margaret’s” funeral. A wee boy asks his father, “If that’s the king’s sister, why isn’t the king here?” And we have a needless explanation of why the king doesn’t attend funerals. Maybe some people don’t know (he, as the monarch, couldn’t associate himself with death in case it made people think of his death, the prediction of which would be high treason) but all present at the funeral of the king’s sister would know, so would they discuss it in fine detail? Hardly.
Suffolk cries over the coffin in private. “Forgive me. I’m sorry.”
Bit late for that, bud.
More returns from Cambria, reporting that France and the Imperial forces are now at peace, so Wolsey tells him “You have destroyed me.” Temper, temper.
However, Henry later asks him – Wolsey, that is – “I hear you’ve been unwell. Is it true?”
Wolsey nearly collapses with relief at the king’s friendliness, but it doesn’t last long. The following morning Wolsey is banned from approaching Henry as he rides off into the distance.
Meanwhile, Ambassador Chapuys introduces himself to Catherine and says he considers his mission to be one of toute douceur, which Catherine immediately translates as “All sweetness.”
Listen, The Tudors scriptwriters – if you need to translate something in dialogue, you’re obviously assuming the viewer doesn’t know what it means. That being the case, WHY HAVE THE CHARACTER SAY IT IN THE FIRST PLACE?
So. Norfolk, Suffolk and Rochford (Thomas Boleyn, Anne’s father) burst into Wolsey’s rooms and charge him with praemunire.
Ready for some pointless translation and on-the-nose dialogue again? Good, because Norfolk says, “That is exercising your powers of papal legate in the king’s realm. Thus derogating the king’s lawful authority.”
WHICH EVERYONE PRESENT WOULD ALREADY UNDERSTAND SO WHY FUCKING TRANSLATE THE CHARGE?
Everyone in the halls/rooms outside Wolsey’s apartments laughs as he’s escorted out. Later, Wolsey writes to Cromwell to beg for his help, but Cromwell tears up the letter and scrunches up the pieces. OOH EVIL.
Showing all the emotional consistency of someone who’s eaten too many blue smarties, Henry rescinds the worst of Wolsey’s punishment which one assumes would have been the death penalty, and appoints a very, very reluctant More as his new chancellor.
The episode ends with a handshake between More and the king, and we have one more episode to go before the end of Season One.