In the series finale, Henry defeats one final political foe but faces his mortality after the deaths of both his best friend Charles Brandon and King Francis of France, and the ghosts of his former queens appear for a final confrontation.
Powerful accusations of heresy are made against the queen but the ailing Henry has little interest. A chastened Lord Surrey faces the ultimate penalty for losing 600 men in an ill-advised action that nearly reignites war with France.
The war with France is nearly lost when one of Henry's officers cleverly engineers a sudden victory, but the triumphant king's health has been weakened by the costly adventure.
War looms with France as Henry marries Catherine Parr, who proves to be an able and respected queen and stepmother, finally giving England's king the stable, happy household he has long desired.
The newly single Henry surprises his countrymen by restoring his daughters to the royal succession, forging an unexpected political alliance, and manipulating events to marry an attractive, mature, and recent widow.
The king is devastated to learn of his beloved queen's ribald past and present affairs, and banishes her from court, even as the investigation rounds up and tortures suspects.
The king's warm welcome in the North reinvigorates him but his queen's past catches up to her when a former lover appears with threats of blackmail, and an anonymous letter exposes her infidelities to Henry.
A noticeably more benevolent and tolerant Henry VIII forgives the citizens of the North for their rebellion against him, but the youthful wife he dotes upon launches a passionate affair with Culpepper.
Henry's age catches up to him during Christmas celebrations, but his youthful and randy court continues the party without him. The arrogant Lord Surrey takes aim at the powerful Seymour clan.
In the season four premiere, King Henry VIII marries his fifth queen, a lusty teenager whose beauty and checkered past inflame the passions of a trusted courtier, Thomas Culpepper.
The Tudors presents the rarely dramatized, tumultuous early years of King Henry VIII's nearly 40-year omnipotent reign (1509-1547) of England. In addition to his famous female consorts, a 20+ year marriage to Catherine of Aragon and the infamous dalliance with Anne Boleyn, the series delves into Henry's most notable political relationship and the deconstruction of the Roman Catholic Church in England.
Henry moves swiftly to annul his loveless marriage to Anne of Cleves, and beds a new, teenage mistress. Cromwell's fall from favor is sudden and dramatic.
Henry agrees to a politically fortuitous marriage in order to avoid war with France and Spain.
Matchmaking begins in earnest as Cromwell schemes to secure the Reformation by marrying Henry to a Protestant wife--but the king's marital reputation precedes him.
Henry remains in seclusion while mourning. Cromwell is disturbed when Henry doesn't resist his new church's similarities to Catholicism.
The leaders of the Pilgrimage of Grace uprising are put to death, but Brandon is disturbed by the cruelty of the suppression. Henry celebrates the birth of a son but his joy is short-lived.