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.
The Tudors clip - starring Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Henry Cavill, Anthony Brophy, Natalie Dormer, Sarah Bolger. Directed by Michael Hirst.
THE TUDORS will present 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 and 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.
We begin the season with a King who has been frustrated at every turn by the Vatican in his bid to annul his marriage to Katherine of Aragon in order to marry the younger Anne Boleyn. The reasons, indeed necessity, for this step are multiple -- part vanity, part sexual desire, part bold individualism -- but they center on one unshakable ambition: to father a son and heir to the Tudor dynasty inherited by Henry from his father. If he does not have a son, then this lineage, for which he has such ambitions, will die with him. But this desire alone is not the whole story. Inspired by the writings and reformist zeal of a disgruntled German theologian named Martin Luther, Henry takes on the Catholic Church at their own game -- wielding power and authority -- and launches a savage and ultimately bloody bid to be master of his own spiritual as well as secular destiny. The English Reformation brings together the personal and political ambitions of a Royal revolutionary.
The concluding season of the SHOWTIME Original Series THE TUDORS brings us through the final years of one of the greatest figures of English history. Although he has been in power for many years and should by now be comfortable with his status and position, Henry's life and times remain as turbulent, controversial and dramatic as they were when he was the young King of Season 1. Michael Hirst, creator of THE TUDORS, sums up the season: "We're coming to the end of Henry's life but things don't slacken up. Far from going out quietly, Henry VIII goes out with an extraordinary bang. He is older, but only in his late 40s. He is ill - he has an extremely serious ulcerated leg - and more paranoid, but then he marries an extremely young woman, who didn't have the right background to be a Queen. At the same time, he goes to war. Then he marries again, for the final time, to a woman who is very capable but whom everyone thinks is a heretic and some want to execute.
Twenty seven years into his reign, Henry VIII is at the height of his powers. Not long after the execution of Anne Boleyn he takes a third wife -- Jane Seymour. Soon there is wonderful news for King Henry: after some months of nervous waiting, his beloved Jane is expecting a child. Henry is convinced it will be his long-awaited male heir; when he is proven right, the country goes into a convulsion of celebration. Soon after delivering the child, Jane falls into a fever and dies. Henry is heartbroken and becomes a recluse. Cromwell however, encourages him remarry as soon as possible to the dowdy sister of the Duke of Cleves, Anne. They marry in underwhelming circumstances and the marriage remains unconsummated, despite Henry's best efforts. Ultimately, the failed marriage reflects badly on Cromwell and his enemies.
The king sends the Queen away to protect her.
Princess Margaret takes issue with Henry about her impending marriage.
Creating The Tudors with Michael Hirst
An interview with Natalie Dormer
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