Well, you’ve been following me on Twitter you know that earlier this month I started Showtime’s series The Tudors that was on air from 2007-10. It talked about King Henry VIII in dealing with difference in religious views of himself and his kingdom, plus the stories of how he came to marry six women from 1509 (with Catherine Of Aragon) to 1534 (with Catherine Parr). He fathered three living children: Mary I, Elizabeth I, and Edward VI.
I’m sort of familiar with the story, mostly while he was married to Anne Boelyn, but I realized how much of that marriage that I didn’t know either! I started watching a couple episodes here and there, between Showtime and BBC America. However neither were from the beginning so I didn’t pay too much attention to them. I finally decided to ask my mom to show me how to download them onto my DVR because I was in the mood for a little Jonathan Rhys Meyers and I ended up losing a part of myself for three weeks. I got lucky and I could watch all four seasons for free for the month of February, so I kind of went a little faster and had some all-nighters watching episode after episode! In one night, I watched four episodes! I finished the series as a whole on Valentine’s day. I’ve been going through mini withdrawals ever since!
I generally loved the show! I was surprised with myself on how much I didn’t care of the fashion and locations as much as I’m kind of known to doing whenever I watch historical specials like this. I was seriously into the stories of each character, what significant each one had to the tale of King Henry’s reign. I think Jonathan Rhys Meyers was a brilliant choice to play King Henry VIII as I was very intimidated and felt both happiness and pain throughout the whole thing. He should have won that Golden Globe!
There was one more thing I was disappointed on and that was quite a few characters/actors just kind of jumped off the face of the Earth. From season two to three, we lost Sir Anthony Knivert, Duke of Norfolk, Archbishop Cranmer, and Thomas Tallis. Either I didn’t pay that great deal of attention between these two seasons or all four really left. I was seriously confused why the actor that played Cranmer was talked about through seasons three and four, but never came back to the show!
I find it odd that I’m complaining about a show that hasn’t been on the air since 2010 but oh well!
The Two Natalie’s.
Like I said before, I knew more about the story of Anne Boelyn, but not as much as I’d like honestly! I’ve seen The Other Boelyn Girl which focuses on the Boelyn sisters, Mary and Anne. So I’m used to Natalie Portman. When I started watching, I fought hard in my mind of how much I could remember what was included in that film and what was different. Of course, the one difference was the fact that Mary had gotten pregnant and the rumors were that he was the father of her child, but he only recognized one illegitimate son by Lady Elizabeth Blout named Henry FitzRoy in 1519
I actually liked Natalie Dormer as Anne Boelyn more than Natalie Portman. She was fierce, powerful and mysteriously wicked. As it’s been a few years since I’ve last seen the film, I do remember not exactly seeing the chemistry between Eric Bana and Natalie Portman as to Jonathan Rhys Meyers and Natalie Dormer. When you can see the deep connection between the actors, you know they’ve sold it! It all felt real to me! I found the end of the Boelyn’s very much upsetting as it did the first time. I felt Anne was tossed into this life without having a voice to say “no” because her father and brother were both at court and had the king’s ear just as much as she did! So when she and George were executed I was very sad. I had grown to love that character so much that it broke my heart. She and Jane Seymour’s deaths where the only ones I cried at the end of their episodes!
As For Queen Jane Seymour.
Even though I was very confused during that first episode of season three, seeing a totally different actress for Jane Seymour, I ended liking her a little more than I thought I would. Annabelle Wallis was more feminine and older looking as to the first actress that was featured in the last of season three.
She got along with everybody, which after the collapse of Catholic faith and the King basically calling him God, she made things between father and daughters less chaotic! Especially for Princess Elizabeth, as Anne Boelyn was awaiting her death baby Elizabeth was considered a “bastard” to King Henry after he heard rumors of Anne’s alleged affairs and deformity of the last baby she had that died. I feel if it wasn’t for both Jane and Anne Of Cleves, she wouldn’t be allowed to court like Princess Mary and Prince Edward.
When that episode of the birth of the prince loomed, I actually got really upset again!! What is wrong with me?!?! Anyways, I’ve said that you could feel the love between him and Anne, but he looked like he genuinely loved Jane too! He must’ve really loved her because when he died, even though he was still married to Catherine Parr, he is buried with her at St. George Chapel in Windsor Castle.
I Hated Catherine Howard.
Something that got me while Thomas Crownwell arranged the married of Anne Of Cleves, that Thomas Seymour and Charles Brandon find a young woman at an orphanage to suit this king! In a way, I was thinking in my head, have you people learned anything from Thomas’ mistakes?!
From that first episode she was brought to court, I knew it wasn’t going to end well. And yes, I had spoiled it for myself beforehand and looked up how she died and her charges. What surprised me the most was Lady Rochford!! I think after going through her husband’s death George Boelyn and sister-in-law Anne Boelyn she’d know better! This technically didn’t seem like it was on accident. In ways, I felt as though she wanted a way out of court and life altogether and thought this was her only shot. She just ended up taking a king’s groomsmen and the Queen down with her!
I felt Catherine Howard was WAYYY too young to succeed to the throne! She wasn’t the ideal queen, as to those who came before and after her, who were proper and had grace surrounding them. There was no comparison to her and Princess Mary as far as they acted out in court. Even her ladies-in-waiting irritated me!
Testing 1, 2, 3
I’ve always been a little hesitant because I know how big King Henry VIII got later on in his life. So I was really curious before I watched the third and fourth seasons of how big Jonathan would be willing to get for this role. Despite the fact that there are shots and shots of him eating, looking like he had absolutely no control over what he put into his body, the only noticeable changes that were made for Jonathan were his facial and voice at the end of season four. I was really mad that they couldn’t depict him better than that!but once those scenes were finished I kind of forgot about it.
Jonathan Rhys Meyers was brilliant! For like two separate nights I was in a bit of a daze, the first night I watched 3 episodes in one sitting and the other? Almost 5! That ultimately ruined my sleep pattern for a week! Anyways, I was basically stuck in my bed watching the story of his hopeless-romantic-but-if-you-didn’t-produce-a-son-he-found-himself-out-of-the-marriage kind of guy! So that right away tested my ability to watch it.
The second was while he put Catherine of Aragon out of the castle and she lived in poverty while he took up Anne Boelyn as his official mistress. Something usually happens as I watch these historical dramas like this that I didn’t even know I have trapped inside of me until later on after I’ve finished with an episode. I was feeling for every single wife he took on!
I even felt sorry for both Princess Mary and Elizabeth!! It was mostly because he didn’t seem to care about any of them at all, only his needs. Which during the last episode of the series, where in a dream sequence Catherine of Aragon played by Maria Doyle Kennady, Anne Boelyn played by Natalie Dormer, and Jane Seymour played by Annabelle Wallis all come back beyond their graves and haunt Henry for his past sins of annulment, beheading, and not caring about his son, Prince Edward. As early season three appeared Jane Seymour was this gentle, modest Queen and she came back in what felt like to me out of character, but as I thought about it, it wasn’t. He wanted a male heir to the throne, but once he he got it, it was like he lost interest with him altogether. He couldn’t bring Jane back but he could have respect her and love on not only his son but daughters a little more too!
I Did Not Think This Through!
I did not know Henry Cavil was in this show before I started watching it. When I first saw the opening credits, I was kind of shocked but yet excited because I haven’t seen anything besides Man Of Steel, and the show is of course, before he signed up for Superman. I actually opened my mind a little bit for him as Charles Brandon, Duke of Suffolk. I was very impressed though. I didn’t genuine like the role until the end of season two. If he hadn’t switched sides that he would have been killed right along George Boelyn on something that he didn’t do! It was nice to see him outside of Superman for once and into this very gentle giant that was haunted by the lost, troubled souls he helped murder for the rebellion.
When I watched the season four opening credits and seen how long his hair and beard were getting, that about did me over!!! I am my mother’s daughter!
Now that I am finished, are they any other historical fiction shows that I show check out? Don’t worry, Reign is on my list for spring!