Armchairing's Blog

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“Love makes any man vulnerable”, the Duke of Norfolk tells his niece Anne Boleyn.  Both Norfolk and Thomas Boleyn, Anne’s father, read every love letter the smitten King Henry sends to her.  After all, it was all part of the plan that they devised to have Anne planted in the King’s heart with the purpose of supplanting the snaky, conniving Cardinal Wolsey.  They both remind her to stay focused on her mission and to not fall in love with the King; too late.  It seems that Anne has fallen for King Henry even against her own will.  We can not tell ourselves who to love and who not to love.  Love just happens and it did in the case of Anne Boleyn and King Henry.  He wooed her completely not only with lavish gifts, but more importantly, with lavish heartfelt words.  My heart dropped when he explained to the confused Anne why he would want to have dinner with her father and uncle.  He said in part, “When I am with them, I am close to you.”  If nothing else showed the trueness of his love for her, this line certainly did.  The character of Anne Boleyn’s whole demeanor melted when he said this.  Even I, who despises the character portrayed as King Henry VIII, would absolutely melt if I were told this by him.

 Anyway, I digress from the mushiness. Cardinal Wolsey’s days are numbered.  The plot thickens to oust him as Anne plants a seed of doubt in the King’s head regarding Wolsey.  She coyly advises him to not believe everything he says.  Right before Anne Boleyn gets audience with the King, Wolsey notices her and asks, “Anne? What are you doing here?”  She tells him that she asked for audience with the King.  Wolsey then literally looks down on her and says with a slight giggle, “What would a silly girl like you have to say to the King?” Then he walked away with his nose in the air.  I didn’t care for the Cardinal and his evil, scheming ways before but when he looked down on Anne, as if a woman were a second rate human, I was turned off from his character completely.  Little does he know that that same silly girl is the key to his impending end.

 King Henry continues to pursue approval from the Pope to remarry.  This matter seemed more important to him than the second try at a peace treaty with King Francois of France.  He sends Wolsey to France to sign the new and improved treaty and to ask for audience with the Cardinals there to get their approval which would more than likely influence the Pope’s ultimate decision.  Although King Francois has been paying Wolsey handsomely to spy on King Henry’s affairs for him, thus showing his allegiance to France, all of the Cardinals refuse to meet with him.  They refuse to even entertain the idea of King Henry getting a divorce and King Francois can do nothing about it because they supposedly answer to a higher power.  “The wheels turn my friend.” King Francois says to the frightened Wolsey who knows full well that if he returns to England without good news for the King, it may very well mean his head.

 I loved how the ominous music began as Wolsey slowly lit all the massive candles in the room where he was to meet with the Cardinals.  He sat a bit.  Then he paced a bit and you could feel his anxiety.  I honestly felt a bit sorry for him when you could tell a lot of time passed and no one showed up.  He eventually and sadly put out every candle as slowly as he lit them.  Then in the darkness, King Francois broke the news to him.  The darkness, I am sure, represented the dark doom looming ahead for Wolsey.  All of his lights or “friends” of the cloth, were extinguished.  I thought that was brilliant. 

Thomas Boleyn manages to entice Charles Brandon (the exiled friend of the King who married his sister, Princess Margaret) to take part in the plot to get rid of Wolsey’s influence over the King.  Boleyn, using his newfound favor with the King, encourages Brandon to join himself and the Duke of Norfolk and in exchange, regain good standing with the King.  He reluctantly agrees.  Boleyn puts in a good word to the King for Brandon.  Then Brandon follows Boleyn’s advice to beg King Henry for forgiveness for taking his sister in marriage without his permission.  In a comical twist, the King, who normally goes mad with unadulterated rage, challenges Brandon to a game of arm wrestling.  If Brandon won, he would regain his station at court and all of his properties and his favor again.  At one point, only for suspense, it looked as if King Henry would win but of course, Brandon won and all is forgiven. 

 I am really enjoying all the twists and turns of the lives of these characters that are based on real persons in history.  Interest has been stirred up in me to the point that now I want to study this time in history in a more detailed way.  Funny enough, I intend to do that only after I finish watching the first season because I don’t want to spoil the ending. 

 My rating: 5 out of 5 gold pounds


March 15, 2010 - Posted by | Uncategorized


  1. Spend enough time trying to hate some one and it seems you always fall in love. I guess it would have been better to love in the first place than to really and fully hate in the end. Likewise, King Henry was really full of himself. Who needs peace with France when you could control the church, which controlled everything and everyone. He really believed that his word was the last and would bring down who ever stood in his way. I am surprised he really allowed Brandon to beat him as well as Brandon really believing that he would be okay even after beating the King. Just goes to show, doing the right thing may or maynot get you somehwere.

    Comment by Lisa J | March 29, 2010 | Reply

  2. This post definitely answered my previous question,haha I am too now exited to watch the Tudors, will due during spring break! Thanks.I especially enjoy the romanticism and it is interesting to compare to today’s society, I personally think that the rich men of today experience similar overindulgence and infidelity as they did back then however without the church intervention, nevertheless today we have the media and famous celebrities have to appeal with the public for approval hahaha.

    Comment by ilona0420 | March 31, 2010 | Reply

    • True. The media and public is like the new church (unfortunately). Celebrities are more concerned with what people think than with what God thinks. Thus the reason why Tiger Woods, Jesse James and others would walk into a rehab clinic, thinking that this would sway the media into thinking they are trying to change their ways. Please……

      Comment by N.A. Sharpe | April 1, 2010 | Reply

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