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The Tudors: Arise, My Lord

“Allow me to remain, in all ways, your ever loving servant, Anne.”

As the romance between our principal characters strengthens, Catherine’s fortunes seems to be taking a turn for the worse. Go figure. Also in this episode: pope kidnappings, almost sex scenes, and incredibly allegorical jewelry.

Got the Love

Frankly, no one on this show has really ‘got the love.’ The Tudors takes a very cynical view of romance. Most of the relationships on the show are the result of passing fancies or complicated power plays rather than any heartfelt connection. I’m not complaining; it makes perfect sense given the time and the setting. One cannot let the heart rule the head when there is this much power at stake.

Anne and Henry have bypassed the heavy flirtation in the halls phase of their relationship and have now progressed to open declarations of love and sending each other elaborate jewelry. This week, Henry asks Anne to be his maĆ®tresse-en-titre, which does not go over well. From what I can tell, Anne is still playing Henry. While she’ll eventually come to care for him, I don’t think she’s quite there yet. The ‘when we are married’ promise she made to Henry was just a little too blatantly well-timed to be sincere. He was about to (allegedly) deflower her, after all.

Charles and Margaret’s relationship, though not their sex life, takes a hit this week. Predictably, Henry is PISSED that his best friend married his sister without telling him. Charles knows his friend well. He tells Margaret that they’ve wounded his pride. It’s true, Henry’s all about ego. I do think both are underestimating how dangerous Henry can be and how mercurial his temper is. They better watch themselves.

Our final couple of the ep: Thomas Tallis and William Compton. The gay relationships on this show are complete fiction but make for an interesting dynamic. This episode doesn’t do much with the Thomas Tallis/William Compton relationship, it just sets it up for future episodes. My main objection to the relationship is not its fabrication, but the inclusion of Tallis as a character at all. I feel like this about several characters throughout the series (particularly in season four). Tallis really has no purpose. William is his only connection to our main cast and I feel that he doesn’t really contribute anything to the story. This isn’t to fault the actor, of course. Joe Van Moyland does a great job despite that hair.

All By Herself

Every time I rewatch the series, I like Catherine more and more. Don’t get me wrong, I’m still team Anne, but Catherine’s quiet dignity is more than deserving of respect. Poor Catherine. She is just not having a good week (or year, or however long this episode covers). She has to watch her husband’s bastard son elevated in rank and placed over her daughter in the succession, Mary’s engagement to Charles V falls apart, Mary is taken away from her and sent to Ludlow Castle, and this is just in the first fifteen minutes. I haven’t even mentioned the Catherine/Henry dumping scene.

Let’s Get Political

Confession: the international politics of the show bore me. With relatively few exceptions, the international intrigues of this show take place by letters and through envoys. Charles V and Francis I can’t continually pop up in England to argue with Henry face to face; that would be ridiculous. Unfortunately, by keeping the show realistic, the writers also dial down the human drama.

This week, Charles V makes a secret alliance with Francis, double crossing Henry. He is not overjoyed at the news. Not a nice feeling, is it Henry? Maybe you’ll remember this next time you feel like double crossing a foreign nation. In addition, Rome has been sacked and the pope taken prisoner by the emperor. It’s all very dramatic, but I just can’t bring myself to invest as much interest in the politics as I do in the relationships of the show.

Random Historical Fact:

Henry Fitzroy did die young and childless, but he was 17 and not 3. He was married to Mary Howard, the daughter of the Duke of Norfolk (Henry Czerny’s character).

Costumes of the Episode:

Catherine of Aragon
Elizabeth Blount

Margaret Tudor


How cute is teeny tiny Henry Fitzroy in his itty bitty costume and adorable little crown? I’m talking about the beginning of the episode, naturally, and not the end where he’s all corpsified.

My favorite Charles/Margaret scene of all time is in this episode. The one where she’s launching things at Charles’ head, inexplicably dressed like Goldilocks.

Most Illustrious Quotes:

Margaret: “Do you think they were suspicious?”
Charles: “Of course they were suspicious.”

Spanish Ambassador: “The emperor would never betray Your Majesty. Never. He regards you as his uncle.”
Henry: “HIS FUCKING UNCLE? How old am I?”
Like I said in my previous review, Henry’s in the midst of a classic midlife crisis. Feeling a little sensitive about our age, aren’t we Henry?

George: “Aw. And look, he’s drawn a little heart between the letters H and R.”
A king in love bears a remarkable resemblance to a 13-year-old girl with a crush.

Wolsey: “I know you’re an idealist, but you’re not stupid.”
Thomas More does love to walk that line.

Charles: “You know me, I don’t always think.”
William: “Yes you do, just not with your head.”

Henry: “Is he sorry? Does he repent it? Tell me, does he beg my forgiveness?”
William: “Your Majesty knows His Grace.”
Henry: “You mean he does not.”
How did Henry and his friends not get a bromancey spinoff? What an injustice.

Thomas Tallis: “You’re a lord. What am I?”
William: “A genius.”

Margaret: “If it weren’t for you, I’d still be the Queen of Portugal. And now what am I?”
Charles: “You are drunk.”
And inexplicably dressed like Goldilocks. Seriously, what is up with that dress?

very good, but perhaps a little too scattered
three out of four highly symbolic ship pins

1 comment:

  1. What a pair of siblings Henry and Margaret are. Spoiled, vain, egotistical, with tempers to beat the band.

    Henry's temper tantrums are beginning to get on my nerves a bit. When he was shouting at Margaret, I really wanted her to haul off and give him a slap. Of course, it would have been the end of her, but he deserves it.


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