My, oh my, but you can always count on Michael Hirst to make history work for his own purposes. I have to say, though, if you are going to give historical events your own little twist, he certainly does it right!!!
Episode three of the new season is a bit more on the sentimental side, it shows Henry’s demeanor changing, softening in ways you wouldn’t expect from the aging and paranoid monarch. The King is feeling well enough to be up and about, and he goes to see Queen Catherine immediately. He makes it plain that he wants her to conceive his child as soon as possible. Catherine, however, is developing very strong feelings for Thomas Culpepper. They arrange to meet much more frequently as the time passes.
The Earl of Surrey is made a Knight of the Garter, much to the Seymour’s dismay, but I am lead to think that perhaps Edward Seymour sees it as keeping his enemy close in order to keep a better eye on him. The Earl of Surrey is an increasingly proud and bawdy character, and I have to confess, he downright makes me laugh. I think David O’Hara does a wonderful job at portraying him.
King Henry is first ecstatic to learn that Catherine is pregnant, only to be abruptly brought back down to earth when she explains later that she was mistaken. He is very predictably NOT happy with her. I do have to say, they are portraying Henry as possibly tiring of the young queen’s childish antics and not as interested in her. Historically, this was NOT true. Henry remained besotted with Catherine up until the moment it was proved to him that she had committed adultery.
Another diversion from history, although it does make one’s imagination run wild, is Henry paying a visit to Anne of Cleves and his daughter, Lady Elizabeth. For the second time now, you see Henry’s tenderness and affection growing for Elizabeth and he presents her with the gift of a book in Latin. He enjoys his visit, playing cards with Anne, and finds he likes her much more than he thought possible. He asks to come to her bed and she, of course (you can’t say no to the king) says yes.
Henry also has Edward brought to him and presents him with the gift of a jeweled dagger. There is a moment where everyone gasps, because when the young prince pulls it out of it’s sheath, he holds it up to Henry’s throat. Henry tells Edward he sees his mother in him. It’s a very tender moment between father and son. The King asks Edward if he knows who his mother was, and Edward nods, digs into his pocket and pulls out a locket with her picture and a thimble that had onced belonged to her. I really liked this scene because you never see Henry speak of any of his children’s mothers until this moment. It had to be difficult to never be able to ask your father about your own mother!
King Henry, Queen Catherine and the Lady Mary go on a progress in the North to impress the people, hoping to put the matter of the Pilgrimage of Grace in the past. The King and Lady Mary receive a most wonderful reception and it is clear that it gives both Henry and the Lady Mary hope for the future. It is very apparent that Mary carries herself in much the same way her mother, Catherine of Aragon did and she is instantly loved by the people as her mother was. They all attend Mass in Lincolnshire, where Henry forgives all of the people for “their trespasses against him”. It is also very clear that this makes Lady Mary very happy. She positively GLOWS in this episode!
Of course, the ever helpful (and I think a bit creepy and crazy) Lady Rochford finds ways to aid the queen in furthering her relationship with Mr. Culpepper. She arranges for her to have a room that is easily accessible to him and she wastes no time in meeting with him. The episode ends with Thomas and Catherine having sex in her “stool chamber”. In my opinion, knowing how those things must have smelled back then, it’s not so romantic or hot to me, lol!
Stay tuned for my synopsis of the next episode!
****All pictures for this post were found on the sites – Admiring Tamzin Merchant – http://tamzinmerchant.net/ and Showtime’s Tudors Wiki (which has been SUPER helpful to me!) http://tudorswiki.sho.com/photos .