After all her promises to give Henry a boy, Anne (freshly minted Queen of England) finally delivered last night — a girl! Never mind that the baby, Elizabeth, will grow up to be one of England’s greatest monarchs. Or the King’s statement that he and Anne “are both young, and, by God’s grace, boys will follow.” They won’t. From this moment on, Henry is pissed and Anne is screwed. The march to her execution has officially begun.
Speaking of which, the assassin was revealed last night. I admit, I was wrong and he isn’t Anthony Knivert from last season (where, may I ask, did this guy disappear to?). He’s William Brereton, a groom in Henry’s privy chamber — and a pretty bad shot, I might add. He’s also, in real life, one of the men killed for having relations with Anne. (Does that count as a spoiler if you can read it on Wikipedia?) I wonder how that’s going to come about in the show and at what point he doesn’t just say, “Knob her, you fools? I’ve been trying to kill her! My timing is just bad, is all.” And where does Thomas Wyatt fit in all this, since he the one man we know of besides Henry who actually has tasted Anne’s fruits?
Anyway, another heading to be beheaded alongside Anne is MarkSmeaton. Which is funny, since he is so obviously more into herbrother, George (who’s a bit of a wet mop, methinks). I adore Mark, andhave a hard time choosing between him and Brandon as my favorite. Firstoff, they are both dishy. But Mark has the better lines, and a muchbetter noggin on his shoulders: He views the King’s court with bothsupreme enjoyment and healthy intellectual detachment. Yeah, now that Ithink about it, in the show’s world, that means he’s pretty much agoner.
As for Brandon, this guy’s cojones just keep getting bigger andbigger. Late to the king’s wedding? Who gets away with that? True, the ceremony (pictured) seemed to be in an underground cave somewhere very hardto find. However, I really did like when he helped set Henry up withhis new mistress, Lady Eleanor. Take that Anne! We know from his wife’sspeech (“Don’t lose your head… store up your anger”), that Brandon’ssaving up his ire to do something drastic. I just can’t figure out whatit is.
Thomas More, on the other hand, is encouraging supporters ofKatherine — now living on the Moors and in very poor health — to comeforward. A little late for that, don’t you think? And don’t forget, ifMore is trying to beef up Katherine’s following, he’s also goingagainst his promise to Henry that he will never speak publicly abouthis opinions on “the King’s Great Matter.” No wonder his wife, thestately Alice, basically told him to shut up at the dinner table. Igive him two, maybe three more episodes.
Thomas Cranmer is having a whale of a time. His boxcar Bertha wifehas arrived. He’s been made Archbishop of Canterbury. He’s declaringHenry’s marriage to Katherine void and presiding over the crowning ofthe Queen. Life’s a party when you do whatever the King (or Cromwell)tells you to do! Princess Mary, on the other hand, is tough as nails.You know she will do nothing to dishonor her mother, Katherine, nomatter what the King’s decree.
Last but not least, we have the Pope, who has agreed to Cranmer’spromotion, but threatened to excommunicate Henry if he doesn’treconcile with Katherine. He’s also putting together a group ofsoldiers (including our assassin) who are “willing to meet great dangerto promote the Catholic faith.” And he’s a bad man himself — we haven’teven gotten to the part when he steals millions from the CatholicChurch (or mentioned that he has two kids).
So, tune in next week when Elizabeth is baptized, we meet Brandon’sson, Mark and George take their relationship to the next level, andHenry passes a law that forces every Royal subject to swear — “on painof death” — that they believe in the validity of his new marriage. Thatjust spells trouble!