Tag Archives: Anne

Review: The White Queen / SEASON FINALE

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The White Queen has ended and I must confess I am extremely sadden by this tragic situation. Is it the best show ever? Probably not, but still it was a great production. I shall always defend the show and any other historical drama that is able to bring my attention to history and the women behind the great historical events. Dr. Philippa Gregory is often criticised for taking many liberties in portraying history in a very particular way, playing with facts and characters, serving the purpose of affirming or denying a hypothesis she has about a particular moment of english history..This criticism is accurate, there is no denying about that. However this criticism is in fact what makes Philippa so great..Her unique portrayal of the War of the Roses, gives an insightful look to some of the most emblematic and mysterious characters of the period: Women. On times ruled by men, women are either part of the setting (an accessory of sorts) or are regarded as mortal enemies fuelled by dark forces. I studied the War of the Roses back in High School and it was somehow exciting to comeback to what I think I knew of those turbulent times…And it was wonderful to make the connection with one of my favourite shows ever: The Tudors. Henry the VIII reign is better understood with this background, understanding  his family’s precarious claim to the throne and the need of a male heir…His hatred for the last members of the Plantagenets and the reason for their later execution. The White Queen has a single most important premise: The road to power is bloody and in order to hold the crown everything is at stake.. In conclusion, this was a great show and I have to say I would rather have a different ending, showing a clearer outlook to the characters life under the new monarch Henry Tudor.  Lets take a look to the final turn of the wheel of fortune, the most drastic turn since the arrival of out beloved Elizabeth Woodvile to Court….

 
Who got screwed?
Queen Anne
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Anne had perhaps the most interesting and volatile journey of the characters in the show (from the second irrelevant girl of the Kingmaker to Queen of England). I never really disliked Anne, but her importance in the whole setting of the story was way to forced. Philippa tried to make her important but not in the right way. Despite the fact she was able to climb the maximum stage of the social ladder, her role in the rise of power wasn’t very clear. There are two possible portrayals of Anne. One as victim of her husband’s actions, which has already been seen in the amazing acting of Kristin Scott Thomas in the film version of Richard III. The other possible representation of Anne would be as an active member of her husband’s court, using her influence to fulfil her struggle for power in her favour.. But that was not the case..Queen Anne has been portrayed as mixture of Lady Macbeth and a very passive Catherine of Aragon…Very bitter and very feeble…She could not take Elizabeth down, nor could she send away her hot niece…Anne’s down fall is quite sad. She feels guilty for the disappearance of the princes and then she faces the death of her only son… And so she becomes extremely sick, leading to her death. With no heir or security of her husband’s reign…The end of the Kingmaker’s daughter, the end of influence of the Neville family, a house that once hold  power in England.
King Richard III
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 From all the characters in the show, this was perhaps the most underwhelming portrayal of the historical, legendary villain of all times: Richard III. But still it was a fairer portrayal of this man. The Tudor historians (mainly Sir Thomas More) and even Shakespeare have stained the history of the Duke of Gloucester, even making him guilty for the mysterious disappearance of the princes in the Tower. Richard III was in this show a pawn of Margaret Beaufort’s efforts to make her son King. Richard’s image is constantly damaged and diminished by several scandals, including his closeness to his niece Princess Elizabeth. This season finale, was all about loss (his son, his queen) and Richard  faced his final battle at Bosworth, where he is betrayed by Lord Stanley. Richard is butchered and left naked in the woods, losing the crown to the last Lancaster claimant.
 
The House of York
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After years of holding to the crown, the internal battles between the sons of York lead to the downfall of their house. Their ambition and  their inability to accept a lesser evil (The Woodvilles) opened  a door for their enemies to  take the throne. The White Rose got lost in time and their male heirs were mostly eradicated …(Richard Elizabeth’s second son is safe and George’s son is still alive).
Who’s fortunes rose? 

The Tudors and Margaret Beaufort

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The new King of England is hardly known for us viewers, we know more of Jasper and of his mother (the annoying lady of the show). And to be very real, the Tudor line is even lower than the one of the Rivers family. And the Beaufort family comes from a bastard Lancastrian line, which were forbidden to ever take the crown. But the point behind this brief introduction also empowers their rode to power. Despite Lady Margaret’s annoying ways of approaching her scenes, this woman had to endure to so many horrible situations to put her son in the Throne. She is a fierce woman, who conspired against the realm and even help to bring the House of York against each other. But the road to power is not honourable, nor is it a path protected by the hand of God…This is for me the most important fact presented by Philippa Gregory and it relies on the great chance that the Tudors and Lady Beaufort were actually responsible for the deaths of the Princes in the Tower.  They had the greater part to win from the demise of the heirs of the throne…And Richard was the perfect target to become the Villain. What I despise of Margaret is that she is unwilling to accept the guilt and the consequences of her ambition. It was not God who won the Crown for the Tudors, it was blood and death… In the end, her strategical alliance with Lord Stanley made her son victorious, becoming the  new King and her the Lady Mother of the King…

The White Princess 

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Princess Elizabeth the eldest daughter of the White Queen had a very secure position. On one side she had won the affection of her uncle, who was infatuated by her. The sudden death of Anne, lead her close to the Crown. Richard needed her to join the Yorkist efforts.  And on the other side, her marriage had already been arranged to Henry Tudor. So either way she would be Queen. The best scene of Elizabeth is when she confronts Lady Margaret and tells her that she is not taking her crap.. It was a very well taken character…A little bit to much of potential incest..But still it was enjoyable. In conclusion the White Princes left us all wanting for more…How would her marriage be? How would be her relationship with her mother in law?

Where does Elizabeth stand in this final turning point of the  Wheel of Fortune?

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Elizabeth was the main character of the story, but her final episodes took  focus out of her.  My problem with this season finale is that it doesn’t  feel like closure for our main character Elizabeth Woodville. ..She has lost and gained so much during the War of the Roses…But what must be remembered, is that she is a survivor. She outlived her adversaries and was able to mix her family with the english nobility.  A witch or not..Elizabeth changed the history of the Realm and her legacy goes beyond many of the coming Queens and Kings of both England and Scotland.

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