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The Tudors: True Love

“It would be wise for you not to be fooled by your own masquerade.”

There was more focus placed on the Anne/Henry relationship this episode. What makes "True Love" different from other episodes is that this focus largely took the form of learning the opinions of others. As Henry and Anne begin to go public, we see characters react in different ways. Many of them, however, share the same general opinion: this is not good.

Just Another New Thing

As should be expected, Catherine is not happy about Henry’s latest lady. I love the scene between the two of them. Strong women squaring off is always interesting. Between the two, I’d say that Catherine still has the upper hand. She has history on her side: Henry has strayed countless times, but none of his relationships have lasted long. In addition, Catherine is queen. She may be isolated in the court, but she has the backing of the powerful Charles V. Anne has her father and uncle. They’re not exactly evenly matched.

Finally, the divorce is anything but certain. Catherine knows that she was a virgin when she married Henry and that, regardless, the pope’s dispensation made their marriage valid. She can’t imagine that Henry would go to the lengths he does in later episodes to get rid of her. You can’t blame her. Henry’s determination for divorce was unprecedented both in church history and in his character. He may be stubborn, but he’s not exactly Mr. Perseverance.

A Silly Girl

Wolsey reacts with less negativity and more shock. Poor Wolsey. First he finds out that Henry didn’t trust him to complete his mission and actually sent someone else to do his job, and now he’s blindsided by the fact that Anne Boleyn, a so-called “silly girl,” has the king’s ear. I love Wolsey’s face when he gets hit with the Anne bombshell. Sam Neill does such a fantastic job.

None of the cardinals show up to his party and Wolsey is faced with the unenviable task of confessing his failure to Henry. In addition, although he doesn’t know it yet, he has Thomas Boleyn snapping at his heels. There’s no question that Wolsey’s losing his iron grip on the king and the court. But if you think he’s going down without a fight, you don’t know Wolsey.

My Best Friend’s Girl

William Compton is less concerned with what Anne’s increasing stock portends politically and more grumpy about his outing with his buddy being ruined. Henry has clearly not mastered the etiquette of mixing lovers and friends. So rude. William is too jaded to really feel anything about the affair. He’s seen too many other women come and go in Henry’s life.

The Brunette

We also get a glimpse of Thomas Wyatt’s jealousy and continuing love for Anne. Deprived of his lady love, Wyatt takes solace in writing poems about her and talking about her abstractedly to Thomas Tallis. He might want to keep his mouth shut. Just a suggestion.

The Next Big Thing

The rest of the court is quickly recognizing that the balance of power is shifting. Catherine is still queen, and still owed deference, but it forward-thinking courtiers incline their heads to Anne as well, which clearly pleases her.

The Woman Herself

Is Anne in love with Henry? As I’ve been watching, I’ve become determined to fix the moment she develops actual feelings for him. I think it’s in this episode, but Natalie Dormer is so damn good and nuanced, it’s hard to be sure. It’s not like she just turns on a switch and suddenly makes her googly eyes googlier. Here, I’m seeing Anne slightly afraid of her own feelings. Perhaps she can feel herself beginning to care for Henry and knows that falling in love with her mark will make her vulnerable in a way she cannot afford to be.

Bros before Hos

The other big plot development this week was Charles’ return to court. In typical Henry fashion, he bans Charles forever and ever, and then decides to let him back in, but not before a little humiliation. Henry is equally fickle and stubborn. It’s a weird mix. While he’s decided that he might in fact be able to forgive Charles, he won’t admit that Charles did anything less than wrong him in the worst possible way. He wants Charles to lose face in front of the court the same way Henry lost face after Charles eloped with his sister.

Random Historical Fact:

Thomas Wyatt’s role in the show is largely consistent with the historical facts surrounding the life of the historical Sir Thomas Wyatt. The biggest point of disagreement is over Wyatt’s relationship with Anne Boleyn. In real life, Wyatt’s poems seem to point to a love for (or infatuation with) Anne, but poetic interpretation is hardly solid historical fact. It is unknown and likely never to be known if Anne returned Wyatt’s affection.

Costumes of the Episode:

Anne Boleyn
Catherine of Aragon

Jane and Joan
Queen Claude


Thomas Boleyn, Forensic Accountant.

I love the way Jonathan Rhys Meyers says “sweetheart.” I’m not his biggest fan, but the way he says it is oh so dreamy.

Joan and Jane, the sisters who once hit on Thomas Tallis, reappear, this time in George Boleyn’s bed. They get around.

The arm wrestling scene is definitely a low point for the series. Oh, the faces. So horrible. I prefer pretending it never happened.

This episode marks the point where I stop being interested in the Charles/Margaret relationship and get bored. Two episodes. What an attention span I have.

Most Illustrious Quotations:

Wolsey: “What would a silly girl like you have to say to a king?”
That might come back to haunt him.

Catherine: “I know what you are doing. But do not think to take the king away from me. Let him play with you, let him give you gifts. He cannot give you his true heart, for I have that in my keeping.”
Have you checked on it lately?

Thomas Tallis: “Bloody poets never sleep.”

Wyatt: “She may be just a girl, but I tell you Mr. Tallis, if she gets her way, she will set our whole country in a roar.”

George: “We could be useful to each other...You tell me who you’re fucking and I’ll tell you if it’s a good idea.”

Francis: “How can I make peace with that piece of shit?”
Solid wordplay. Especially considering English isn’t Francis’ first language.

Catherine: “He is infatuated by you, as men often are by new things. Soon he will see you for what you really are. And he will tire of you, as with all the others.”
Anne: “And what if he does not?”

one of my favorite episodes
four out of four silly girls ready to set the whole country in a roar


  1. Oh, I love the Tudors :) After Anne, I kinda stopped watching. Should really pick it up again. I loved the Anne/Henry relationship :)

  2. I wasn't too sure about this episode, but your review made me re-think some of it.

    A lot of the Anne stuff is beginning to drag a bit for me. Yes, she is still the outsider; yes, Henry is forcing her into situations where she doesn't belong; yes, people are beginning to understand the truth. It just felt a tad long to me.

    I did like all the Wolsey scenes, especially the one in the courtyard with More. You know your power is beginning to wane when people are no longer afraid of you and, instead, make very clever retorts to your threats.


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