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Twelve shows you can't miss: No. 2 The White Queen

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THE WHITE QUEEN
AUGUST 10, 9 P.M. / STARZ

You’ll see plenty of scheming on this War of the Roses drama about the fight for the throne that ensues in 15th-century England after King Edward IV (Max Irons) goes against his advisers and marries the recently widowed commoner Elizabeth (Rebecca Ferguson). ”It’s not just a history of warfare,” says exec producer Philippa Gregory, the author of the historical novels that inspired the series. ”It’s about women running rebellions and plotting in a dramatic and sometimes very underhanded way.” If that reminds you of another fantasy show based on best-selling books, you’re not wrong. Like Game of Thrones, Queen centers on various camps vying for power through marriage and battles. And though there aren’t any dragons, Elizabeth and her mother (Janet McTeer) do dabble in witchcraft. ”All of them are plotting for the same thing, which is safety for their family,” says Ferguson. “It’s just that they represent different sides.”

The Incumbents
Elizabeth (Rebecca Ferguson) betrays her family’s Lancaster ties when she falls for the House of York’s King Edward IV (Max Irons). He breaks tradition — and pisses off his cousin, kingmaker Lord Warwick — by marrying the commoner who bewitches him (literally).
The Rebels
Warwick (James Frain) put Edward in power, and after the king chooses Elizabeth, the lord plans a coup. His weapons of choice? His daughters, Isabel (Eleanor Tomlinson, left) and Anne (Faye Marsay, right), whose marriages he aims to use to his advantage.
The Fringe Candidates
The extremely devout Lady Margaret Beaufort (Amanda Hale), who belongs to the House of Lancaster, believes God has told her that her young son, Henry Tudor (Oscar Kennedy), is meant to be king — though he’s not quite as certain.

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