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The Tudors: what’s up next

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Henry and Pope

TV Squad

If you are excited for season 2 of The Tudors on Showtime but can’t wait until it airs on Sunday March 30th, check this out. Showtime is making the season premiere available to fans online now.

Last season left us standing on the precipice of great change in England. The Roman Catholic Church was losing influence in Britain as followers of Luther were rising in the shadows. The king wanted to annul his marriage to Queen Katherine. The Howards (Anne’s uncle) and the Boleyns were positioning themselves closer and closer to the monarch, using Anne as their pawn. Anne, in love with the king and pressed forth by her own ambition, had persuaded Henry to give up the queen and marry her.

She told Henry she would not have sex with him until they are properly married. She promised him a son, an heir he desires above all to keep the Tudor family in power. Indeed, it’s power and how its used that will push the plot forward in season 2.

From the season premiere, I can tell that we will see a new Henry this season. Yes, he’s still the same insatiable, gluttonous, passionate king he was in season one but now, he only obeys his own desires (and those of Anne who has bewitched him). Last season, Cardinal Wolsey and Thomas More provided counsel for the frivolous king. And this season, with Wolsey (Sam Neill) dead and More (Jeremy Northam) less influential, Henry has unlimited power.

When asked if this season was more difficult than the last, Jonathan Rhys Meyers said, “It brings some very real and new challenges. I had to find a way of reinventing Henry that made him seem older, more cynical and controlled. His temper gets much worse this season and he gets more vicious. He’s going down that long and dangerous road to loneliness and paranoia.” I’m sure, like last season, Rhys Meyers’ performance will be nothing short of excellent.

We’ll also see the decline of Anne’s and Henry’s turbulent love this season. You can detect this decline in the very first episode. He’ll tire of Anne. She’ll get desperate to keep her place in his favor. And, well, I think we all know what happens from there. You’ll love Natalie Dormer in the role. But, Dormer has a different appeal as Anne. Her chemistry with Rhys Meyers is great too.

Finally, Peter O’Toole joins the cast as Pope Paul III, successor to Pope Clement who
procrastinated in giving Henry his annulment. O’Toole looks truly amused with the character, like he has fun acting the role. O’Toole commented about the appeal of The Tudors, “It’s one of the great drama of all time. The blood alone is amazing. I think Henry was responsible for the deaths of over 70,000 people. Imagine!…He went from this golden figure – which he was as a young man – to an utterly decadent and corrupted human being.”

Well, let the decadence, the corruption, the blood, and especially the sex begin! Don’t forget to watch the episode early at Showtime’s site.

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March 31st, 2008


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