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THE TUDORS: THE SUMMARY

Unknown to me, The Tudors, has become a part of my life as can be seen by my four year old’s comments such as, “Mommy’s watching The Tudors now, Shhhhh!”  Tudors became a religion of sorts as I prepared to watch it with the same rituals – popcorn, fluffed pillows and demanding complete and total silence.  For the past few months, I found myself totally turned off and sickened by television programming.  From corny competetive dancing and singing to “reality shows”, I really gave up on TV.  I have even been missing the weather and the news because I refused to turn the television on. 

The Tudors have not renewed my faith in television as a whole but it felt refreshing to watch a program that was made with actual brain power.  At first I did think that it would be a knock off of my favorite mini series, HBO’s Rome, even though it depicted a different time period, so I was not that enthused about watching it.  Also, I heard that it was simply a dry humping fest, as King Henry VIII jumped from bed to bed but it proved to be much more than that.  I was so drawn into the characters, I found myself feeling their emotional ups and downs.  Characters who I looked upon with disgust, I ended up developing an understanding for and the characters I initally admired, I ended up looking down on them, finally seeing through their deceit.  For example, I developed sympathy for Chancellor/Cardinal Wolsey (played wonderfully by actor Sam Neill) who I initially despised from the very beginning of the show because of his greed and blatant hypocrisy.  In the end, there was no doubt that he was a great statesman and a right hand man to King Henry and this was to be admired.  Then his fear of losing his high position got the best of him and he acted without thought, making some bad and desperate decisions that resulted in him being arrested for high treason.  I was actually surprised at myself  for changing my feelings this way.  This character seemed to grow on me like a barnacle. 

Then we have the ever seductive and cunning Anne Boleyn, played by actress Natalie Dormer, who I sided with from the beginning because she was the King’s match in every way.  He was totally unyielding and she was equally unyieleding.  She was sort of a man in a lacy dress.  I can see why he was enthralled with her.  As their romance persisted and the King’s need for a divorce from his wife to marry Anne by any means necessary culminated, I started to side more with Queen Katherine who beared the brunt of the pain in this situation.   After a while, it seemed as though Henry was more concerned with attacking the church for not letting him get his way as opposed to wanting to marry Anne.  Anne Boleyn’s haughtiness as the King’s royal mistress began to annoy me to the point that I actually couldn’t wait to see how her whole world would unravel until she is lead to prison to await her execution.  But alas, I will have to wait until Season Two. 

There were many great lines in The Tudors but one stood out for me.  It was an actual line uttered by the real Sir Thomas More.  When it became apparent that King Henry VIII might actually do the unthinkable (sink the influence of the Catholic Church in England) he said, “Wolsey once said,you should tell the King what he ought to do, never what he can do.  For if the lion knows his own strength, no one can control him.”  Of course the lion is King Henry and he started to realize, with the help of Anne Boleyn and others, that he always had more power than the Church.  This hints to the inevitable in Season Two.

Johnathan Rhys Meyers who plays the egotistical, yet vulnerable King Henry VIII did an outstanding job.  Then on the opposite pole, Maria Doyle Kennedy is absolutely fantastic as Queen Katherine of Aragon.  She was able to translate stifled emotions perfectly as a mother with the threat of her only child being taken away from her hanging over her head, as a loving wife enduring her husband’s unlawful attempts at getting a divorce from her and as a lady of the people, standing up against all of her enemies but maintaining her dignity, loyalty and Virgin Mary-like image.  At the same time she was a spitfire, never backing down from her stance of being the lawful wife of King Henry.  I truly admired this character above all others.  This is interesting because I honestly did not care for the character at first because I thought she would lay down and allow her husband to continuously cheat on her without a protest.  True, she was the wife of the most powerful man in the world but I did start gaining more respect for her as she stood up against him time and time again. 

The Tudors was an educational experience for me.  It made me want to research the 1500’s in England history when King Henry VIII reigned whereas I normally wouldn’t.  I always preferred ancient history compared to this particular time in history.  Somehow, it always came across as boring to me.  Outside of school, I did not retain dates and events during King Henry VIII’s reign.  Although I am sure the Showtime series, The Tudors, is not an exact representation of the happenings in King Henry’s court, it succeeded in making me want to research this time period with a new and invigorated eye.  I will most definitely watch Season Two. 

I give the whole first season of The Tudors-

5 out of 5 gold pounds

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March 30, 2010 - Posted by | Uncategorized

5 Comments »

  1. Awesome, I think you did a great job overall as to showing how you related to the characters and how your opinion changed over time as the plot unveiled.

    throughout your blog I was able to keep up with the characters as well and I can see how the creators managed to change the viewers opinion by revealing the characters true intentions.

    I will also watch the Tudors :))

    Comment by ilona0420 | March 31, 2010 | Reply

    • Thank you! That is so cool. I can lend you the first season if you like.

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

  2. This summary makes me really want to watch the show as well!

    Have you read the Other Boleyn Girl series? I know there was the movie made, but the books are SO much better. Like, some of the best, guilty-pleasure reading you’ll ever do. Perfect for trips, subways, beach reading, read it anywhere…they are awesome.

    Anyways, your work on this blog was stupendous. You were able to watch the episodes objectively, while also getting sucked into the story, which left you open to amazing insight, great points, and some very good opinions.

    Your summary of the show made the whole thing seem appealing, which shows you quite liked it, and I loved the anecdote of your absolute silence ritual while viewing.

    Glad you liked the show so much! It certainly shows.

    A lot of people tend to lean in the direction of too much summarization, and not enough assessment, and for the most part, you avoided this. Your insights were thoughtful and probing, and you seemed to really assess the show, identify with the characters, and think intelligently about the writing, motivation, story, and meaning behind the show.

    The story of Henry the VIII is one of the most intriguing, and I always get nervous when rich histories get made into mini-series- at times, it could seem cheap and flashy Hollywood.

    This show, from your point of view, seems to give the history of the Tudors the life and richness of character that they require, and your richness and depth of detail was a great accompaniment to the show.

    Honestly, let me know if you want me to comment on the other blogs for your perusal, but I needn’t critique anything–you did a perfectly fantastic job.

    Good work!

    -Sarah

    Comment by Belle Nouvelle | April 13, 2010 | Reply

    • Thank you so much for your assessment of my blog. I haven’t read the Other Boleyn Girl series but I will definately look into getting the books. Sounds like a good subway/rainy day read. The show was successful in forcing me to see and appreciate the humanity in these characters from history. I know you’re very busy so I don’t think you need to assess every single blog entry. I really appreciate your insight. Thank you!

      Comment by N.A. Sharpe | April 13, 2010 | Reply

  3. Nikki,

    Well done on this blog… I found the blog interesting and fun to read. Your personality jumps out… and that your 4 year old knows how important the show is to you– awesome.

    I really liked what you did here.

    I will say this — this show is difficult to do because it mixes history (real and artistic) and within that… you will definitely summarize… I am hoping you don’t overwhelm the reader with it.

    Good final post.

    Great dialogue between you and Ilona!

    Looking forward to reading the rest…

    Prof. Dunphy

    Comment by Professor Dunphy | May 14, 2010 | Reply


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