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Monday, June 21, 2010

The curtain closes on The Tudors

     The show was called The Tudors, but really only concerned one of the five rulers from that dynasty.  Now that it's over, it seems a shame that the series didn't start with a season or two of Henry the VII's reign, as Henry VIII (Johnathan Rhys Meyers) came of age.  It its even more regretful that it did not continue into his childrens' time in power.  However, the show was about Henry and his six wives, despite the name, and it was a well-told story.  I am at a loss to think of another show centered around such a despicable main character that still held interest and ran for so long.  Sure, flawed heroes are the norm on television today, but Henry VIII was merely flawed, not a hero.

      All of Henry's six wives appeared in the final season, and four in the finale.  All six were in the finale if you count the final montage, showing scenes from all four seasons.  The scenes where the three mother of his children, Katherine of Aragon (Maria Doyle Kennedy), Anne Boleyn (Natalie Dormer), and Jane Seymour (Annabelle Wallis, although Anita Briem played her in as many episodes as Wallis, was seen in the montage, and did a better job) came to him were spine tingling, in a good way.  They reminded him of his mistakes, and who he really was.  Henry did not die in the finale, but he was near death's door, alone.  It was hard to sympathize for him, but the finale was a fitting end.

     As mentioned above, Henry had three children, and each also played a part in the end.  Mary (played by Sarah Bolger since season two) was the most prominent.  Here was a daughter who loved her father, despite what he had done to her mother and her religion.  She deeply cared for her mother, her mother's faith, and her mother's people.  She would later become known as Bloody Mary, and it is no wonder, with such torn loyalties.  The other two were played by multiple performers, but the middle child, Elizabeth, ushered Britain into a Golden Age, and so it is unfortunate that the show did not continue for her.

     The Tudors, more than any other show, had a rotating cast of characters.  As mentioned before, the series focused on Henry and his wives, and so it was a bit disappointing that so many faces gracing the theme song appeared for only a season, or less, and were not given fitting endings.  There are two exceptions to this rule, however.  First appearing in episode three, Chapuys (Anthony Brophy), an ambassador from Spain, was never made a main character, but made quite an impression, and I was saddened by his death, which came shortly before the finale.  But the most integral, who the only person in every episode, aside from Henry, was Henry's best friend, Charles Brandon (Henry Cavill).  In real life, Henry died about a year and a half before Henry.  In the show, he died fifteen minutes before the end.  He was the heart behind the throne, and it was nice to see him get such moving screen time as the series came to a close.

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