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The Tudors Season 1 Episode 1
June 23, 2010
7:54 am
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Claire
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Collie came up with a great idea after I had posted the article “The Tudors Finale – What to do now!”. She said that we ought to dig out our Season 1 DVDs and start watching an episode a week and then posting our thoughts and comments on here. That will fill the gap and make us happy again!

Here is the episode synopsis from the wikipedia page on The Tudors to whet your appetite:-

“Henry's uncle, Ambassador to Urbino, is assassinated by the French and Henry seizes upon this event to plan a war with France to establish his immortal reputation and seize back the title of King of France. More interested in his own ambitions, the Lord Chancellor, Cardinal Wolsey, manipulates the young king to propose a “Treaty of Universal Peace” with France instead. Thomas More, Henry's teacher and a humanist, is in favour of the treaty which further convinces a reluctant Henry to abandon his war plans. A summit is to take place in France, and — against Katherine's express wishes — their daughter Mary is to be betrothed to the Dauphin of France, also still a child. Meanwhile, Henry has a rival to the throne in the Duke of Buckingham, a blood relative to earlier Kings. Buckingham plots to murder Henry and thus grab the throne for himself, letting Thomas Boleyn  and the Duke of Norfolk  in on his plan. Boleyn's beautiful daughters Mary and Anne prepare to meet King Henry; meanwhile, Henry discovers that Lady Elizabeth Blount, his mistress and one of the Queen's ladies-in-waiting, is pregnant with his child.”

Debunking the myths about Anne Boleyn

June 23, 2010
10:30 am
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TinaII2None
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Claire — going to watch the episode later, but Wiki mentioned in the very first sentence what made me jump up and go “HUH?!” the first time I saw the show. And yes, I know this series isn't always accurate but still….Laugh So my question was….

WHAT UNCLE? Confused

Henry VII was an only child…BUT I know his mother, Margaret Beaufort, at the very least had stepchildren (I'm pretty sure Lord Stanley had a son named…George possibly). I don't think they ever mentioned “our” Henry's uncle's name and of course it was an interesting little plot ploy (to tie in the whole England-France situation), but did anyone else catch that the little uncle blip too and think the same thing I did?

Henry: Mistress Anne, will you teach the king of England how they dance in the French court?
Anne: There is nothing that France can teach England, your majesty.
King Henry VIII: Well said. Well said.
– Anne of the Thousand Days (1969)

June 23, 2010
11:00 am
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Claire
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You weren't the only one, it nearly put me off the whole series because I thought “well, if they're wrong from the start this is going to be terrible!”. I can see why they did it but it was so annoying!

Debunking the myths about Anne Boleyn

June 23, 2010
11:08 am
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TinaII2None
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Claire — it almost turned me off too. I don't know why that bothered me so darn much but it did. I've been watching movies about the Tudors forever (even going way back to Charles Laughton's portrayal or Bette Davis' Elizabeth), so I know how they love to dramatize an already dramatic story. But even though I was impressed with the rest of the episode, that whole “uncle” thing just bothered me Laugh (Almost as much as the Margaret-Mary combination…OMG! She's marrying the KING OF PORTUGAL WTH storyline LOL)

Henry: Mistress Anne, will you teach the king of England how they dance in the French court?
Anne: There is nothing that France can teach England, your majesty.
King Henry VIII: Well said. Well said.
– Anne of the Thousand Days (1969)

June 23, 2010
10:05 pm
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littleneck
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I wish the producers had included the fact that Anne wanted nothing to do with Henry at first.  He pursued her, not the other way around as the show depicted.  In fact, he refused to approve her request to marry because he wanted her so badly.  She was smart enough to insist that if he were to have her, it would be formally, so she would not be cast aside.  Too bad she didn't have the foresight to realize he was fickle and ruthless and would do anything to get what he wanted, including her and then later to be rid of her.

June 24, 2010
5:05 am
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Evelien
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I agree littleneck!

And what about the fact that Henry first has a love affair with her sister Mary. He even maded children with her! I think her role hast to be much bigger in the show.

(sorry for my bad English, I'm from the Netherlands!)

June 24, 2010
5:19 am
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Hannah
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Henry did have uncles, they were his mother's younger brothers. Alas, they were allegedly murdered by Richard III in 1483, however. But nevermind, plot device uncle was played by Sean Pertwee (if I remember rightly), so that kind of makes up for it.

I should join in and watch season one, as I have not yet seen it all the way through (I gave up half way, and only started watching again about half way in to season two).

Be daly prove you shalle me fynde,nTo be to you bothe lovyng and kynde,

June 24, 2010
6:34 am
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TinaII2None
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Hannah — that's probably why I was thinking “What uncle” because I knew the Little Princes were dead (and was trying to search my memory at the time about Margaret Beaufort), and had they not been, well, we have a whole other story. Laugh

And would Sean Pertwee be the son/grandson/any relation at all to the Pertwee of Doctor Who fame?

I was still racking my brain last night when I watched the ep trying to think who “plot device” uncle might be LOL then figured “oh forget it. Hey…he's fighting like a Tudor and wow! He died a great death didn't he?” Laugh

Henry: Mistress Anne, will you teach the king of England how they dance in the French court?
Anne: There is nothing that France can teach England, your majesty.
King Henry VIII: Well said. Well said.
– Anne of the Thousand Days (1969)

June 24, 2010
6:59 am
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TinaII2None
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A couple of things I did notice — not sure if this has been mentioned before.

In the scene when Henry is discussing the treaty with Wolsey and Thomas More, I saw a portrait on a back wall — looked to be one of Henry's father, Henry VII.

In the scene when Henry and Katherine of Aragon are dining together, and then in yet another scene or two, I caught sight of another portrait on a back wall, and that one looked to be Henry V,  one of Henry's heroes. (That would tie into the dialogue he has with Thomas More about what Henry V is remembered for).

I had forgotten the conversation between Katherine and Henry as far as her saying that she is her father's daughter, and Henry challenging her as far as her being his equal (in diplomacy and government). I wish I could remember which book I read this in, I keep thinking it was either Starkey's bio on the six wives OR a bio I read on Katherine herself, but it involved one of her miscarriages and the possibility that she may have lied in a letter to Ferdinand, or lied to Henry, or lied to both as far as the dates. I can't recall the reasoning behind this, but Henry ended up challenging her loyalty to England and to him, not as far as treason, but just that she seemed to be more her father's diplomat than HIS wife.

I know Wikipedia's not the most reliable of reference sources, but decided to check out the Duke of Buckingham and was reminded that he despised Wolsey — so the little bit with him “accidentally” spilling the rose water on him seemed possibly in character.

On the sex side (because what would this series be without the sex LOL): started chuckling when Charles Brandon offered his lance to Buckingham's daughter and requested to wear her favor. I have a feeling it was subtly intentional that his lance appeared as a type of phallic symbol! Surprised  

AND back to uncles — make-believe and otherwise LOL There's a great site called The Peerage that goes into enormous detail about aristocratic and royal family trees in Britain and Europe. In looking up the Duke of Buckingham I started doing some backtracking on Henry VIII's REAL great-uncle, Jasper Tudor (the uncle to Henry VII and brother to Edmund, Earl of Richmond). Jasper had a daughter named Helen Tudor and she married a man named William Gardiner, and THEY had a son named Stephen Gardiner — yep, THAT Stephen Gardiner, future Bishop of Winchester and Katherine Parr's nemesis. Never know what you're going to run across when you start reading! LOL

Oh! Loved Wolsey's line to his assistant about not soaring with eagles but being more like a pigeon. “Eagles fly too high. Fly like a pigeon — they **** on everybody.”

Henry: Mistress Anne, will you teach the king of England how they dance in the French court?
Anne: There is nothing that France can teach England, your majesty.
King Henry VIII: Well said. Well said.
– Anne of the Thousand Days (1969)

June 25, 2010
6:59 am
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Collie
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“Eagles fly too high. Fly like a pigeon — they s*** on everybody.”

Oh, Wolsey I hate to say it but I really missed him, I missed everyone. The Look on Wolsey's face when they decide to go to war with France, He is at that point the pigeon.

I had forgotten that Henry was involved with Elizabeth Blount at this point, this was a very import relationship during his reign and I wish that they better explained it, I mean he did recognize his son by her. When did Henry Fitzroy pass away? I believe he he was made a duke? I have so much I want to discus, however the children are not allowing me to type, I will be on this evening.

I hope everyone is enjoying Epi 1! 😉

June 25, 2010
8:14 am
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Sharon
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Collie said:

I had forgotten that Henry was involved with Elizabeth Blount at this point, this was a very import relationship during his reign and I wish that they better explained it, I mean he did recognize his son by her. When did Henry Fitzroy pass away? I believe he he was made a duke? I have so much I want to discus, however the children are not allowing me to type, I will be on this evening.


  Henry Fitzroy was born June 15th 1519.  He was the only illegitimate child Henry VIII recognized.  Fitzroy was made Earl of Nottingham and Duke of Richmond in 1525.  He was also Lord Lieutenant of Ireland.  He was married to Mary Howard, daughter of Thomas Howard, 3rd Duke of Norfolk.  Henry died of consumption, which could be any number of lung ailments, usually TB, at St James Palace July 23rd 1536.  He was 17.  His tomb is located in Framlingham Church, Suffolk.

June 25, 2010
8:06 pm
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Impish_Impulse
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TinaII2None said:

I wish I could remember which book I read this in, I keep thinking it was either Starkey's bio on the six wives OR a bio I read on Katherine herself, but it involved one of her miscarriages and the possibility that she may have lied in a letter to Ferdinand, or lied to Henry, or lied to both as far as the dates. I can't recall the reasoning behind this, but Henry ended up challenging her loyalty to England and to him, not as far as treason, but just that she seemed to be more her father's diplomat than HIS wife.


I have the Starkey Six Wives in book and DVD form. LOL. I remember in the DVD, Starkey making it sound like Katharine had lied to her father. She had a miscarriage in late January, but her stomach remained swollen (probably infection), and the royal doctors told her she had been carrying twins and one was still alive in the womb. She went back into Confinement sometime in March until the swelling suddenly went down and it was obvious she hadn't still been pregnant. She was humiliated and stayed in her apartments for weeks. She wrote to her father that she had miscarried, but made it sound like it was recent and made no mention of thinking she was still pregnant and formally entering Confinement for a second time.

Starkey takes the position that she knew she wasn't still pregnant and so lied to Henry, instead of taking the position that she believed what the doctors told her. It sounded to me that Starkey was making something out of nothing. Henry wasn't happy, but I don't think he blamed her. And she was pregnant again immediately, so the point was moot, then. Later, the pregnancy losses became a huge issue, but as much as Starkey wants to make it sound like it, the blaming of Katharine didn't start with that first pregnancy.

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          Ring the bell and run. He hates that."    

June 28, 2010
2:26 pm
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Eliza
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From this episode I remember that I was really impatient to see Anne Boleyn!! When they finally showed her on just one scene I thought that her sister Mary was more beautiful and that Anne (Natalie Dormer) had a weird face.. I was soo wrong! Natalie Dormer is my favourite Anne Boleyn of all times!! She is amazing! 🙂

I also remember that I loved the whole atmosphere, it made me “travel” to Tudor times. I loved JRM as Henry, the costumes and the settings. Really great start for a really wonderful TV series!

June 28, 2010
5:26 pm
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TinaII2None
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Impish_Impulse said:

I have the Starkey Six Wives in book and DVD form. LOL. I remember in the DVD, Starkey making it sound like Katharine had lied to her father. She had a miscarriage in late January, but her stomach remained swollen (probably infection), and the royal doctors told her she had been carrying twins and one was still alive in the womb. She went back into Confinement sometime in March until the swelling suddenly went down and it was obvious she hadn't still been pregnant. She was humiliated and stayed in her apartments for weeks. She wrote to her father that she had miscarried, but made it sound like it was recent and made no mention of thinking she was still pregnant and formally entering Confinement for a second time.

Starkey takes the position that she knew she wasn't still pregnant and so lied to Henry, instead of taking the position that she believed what the doctors told her. It sounded to me that Starkey was making something out of nothing. Henry wasn't happy, but I don't think he blamed her. And she was pregnant again immediately, so the point was moot, then. Later, the pregnancy losses became a huge issue, but as much as Starkey wants to make it sound like it, the blaming of Katharine didn't start with that first pregnancy.


Sorry I'm just now getting back to your kind response — I was out of town for the weekend with little to no computer access. What you mentioned from the Starkey book is very likely where I read it, and if so, I thought the same as you did — it did not sound like a huge deal to me, partially because I wondered then if her physicians had been mistaken (I keep reminding myself that medical science wasn't as exact then as we hope it is now) and I didn't believe that Katherine had lied. (Actually, I was sadly reminded of her daughter's false pregnancy).

But thank you so much for your reply. I'm starting to reread many of my Tudor books — it's been way too long since I did, and I've christened by revival by starting Weir's “Lady in the Tower” during my trip!

Henry: Mistress Anne, will you teach the king of England how they dance in the French court?
Anne: There is nothing that France can teach England, your majesty.
King Henry VIII: Well said. Well said.
– Anne of the Thousand Days (1969)

June 28, 2010
11:50 pm
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Impish_Impulse
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TinaII2None said:

I thought the same as you did — it did not sound like a huge deal to me, partially because I wondered then if her physicians had been mistaken (I keep reminding myself that medical science wasn't as exact then as we hope it is now) and I didn't believe that Katherine had lied. (Actually, I was sadly reminded of her daughter's false pregnancy).


Yes, Katharine and Mary had many sad similarities. But it ticks me off that Starkey always seems to believe the worst of Henry's wives, while giving Henry a pass on horrendous behavior. I don't like that he assumes KOA lied about the consummation of her marriage to Arthur. I believe her for the same reason I believe Anne Boleyn – both women were willing to swear on the damnation of their souls they were telling the truth – and that was a huge deal then, even if some don't think so today. I don't like Starkey assuming KOA lied to her husband AND father over what must have been a confusing, painful episode in her life. Remember, it was her first pregnancy, so it's not like she should have somehow known what was going on due to familiarity with being pregnant.

Starkey has a lot of good information in his bios, and he's very readable, and watchable. But there's this almost sneering undertone in his attitude toward the women of this time that I don't think they deserve.

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July 7, 2010
4:24 pm
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TinaII2None
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It's been a long time since I've seen Starkey's documentary on Henry's wives, but I remembered thinking the same thing — that he seemed to be coming up with “excuses” for Henry…if that makes sense. He seems to find fault in each of the wives so Henry could have an out for his behavior, but oh well…Laugh Thanks for the discussion Impish_Impulse!

Henry: Mistress Anne, will you teach the king of England how they dance in the French court?
Anne: There is nothing that France can teach England, your majesty.
King Henry VIII: Well said. Well said.
– Anne of the Thousand Days (1969)

July 7, 2010
8:31 pm
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Impish_Impulse
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You're welcome! I enjoyed it, too. And you can call me Carolyn, if you wish.

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          Ring the bell and run. He hates that."    

July 8, 2010
7:21 am
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TinaII2None
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Laugh It's nice to meet you Carolyn. You can call me Tina.

Now I've come off a quiet shift at work, so I'm going to try to watch Season 1, Episode 2 so we can get our next thread of conversation going before the week is out. I love this getting to watch the show again.

By the way, my family get-together on Independence Day (aka The 4th of July) got us talking about the Tudors again — I was the one who introduced my baby sister (now in her 30's) to Tudor history and she is fast passing that love on to her own children. My other sister — who knows some English history — got to talking to, so while our mom was resting, the kids were preoccupied with their artwork (I've got budding Holbeins on my hands LOL), and our brother watched some TV on his cell phone, we three sisters gathered around my netbook and watched Episode 1 without the kids being able to see it (my middle sister wasn't familiar with the series as she doesn't own cable). We all agreed: yes, we liked Rhys Meyers (even if the lack of red hair drives me nuts LOL), and oh, Henry Cavill's Charles Brandon is a hunk. Wink

Henry: Mistress Anne, will you teach the king of England how they dance in the French court?
Anne: There is nothing that France can teach England, your majesty.
King Henry VIII: Well said. Well said.
– Anne of the Thousand Days (1969)

July 9, 2010
10:25 am
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Sharon
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You are so lucky to have people close to you who enjoy English history.  Most of my family's and friend's eyes glaze over when I try to talk about history.  Although, because everyone watched The Tudors, we had some interesting conversations.  Not that they wanted the true facts or anything. 

I got used to JRM not having red hair eventually.  He captures what I believe is Henry's personality perfectly.  And God love Henry Cavill.  He is such a pleasure to look at.

July 27, 2010
2:40 am
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Bambaleyn
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So, it could be me missing something, or going bonkers, but does Thomas Boleyn have the shortest trip to Paris ever in episode one (or possibly episode 2… can't remember)?

Henry tells him during a game of chess to leave for Paris to prepare the summit, then I assume he has done as he is greeted in French by someone who seems to be in French livery of some kind, speaks with Anne and Mary and tells them about the plan and that they will get to meet the king of England.

And then (I think after he throws rosewater over Wolsey) Buckingham storms off into a room to explain his plan to assassinate Henry and Thomas is sitting in the room.

I could be missing something, but it made me giggle at any rate. Did the Tudors have Eurostar? :)

~ Team Anne ~

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