Edward is Warwick’s prisoner, Elizabeth has locked herself in the Tower with mad King Henry after her father and brother are murdered, and Isabel is married to George and pregnant. These people certainly don’t waste any time, do they? I like it.
Isabel Realizes She’s a Pawn in Her Father’s Game
Isabel thought her marriage to George was for her, but she comes to realize Warwick will always stay true to his role as the Kingmaker. If the man on the throne won’t do Warwick’s bidding he’ll try to put someone else there. The only (current) problem? Parliament won’t go for it. Although George has the right pedigree (if not the right temperament) and a pregnant wife from the right family line, they will not depose Edward.
Edward Doesn’t Want Revenge, He Wants Peace
Even though Warwick has committed multiple acts of treason, Edward refuses to punish him. Warwick will not answer for the murder or Elizabeth’s father and brother, but Elizabeth reasons that having the family close will help enact her revenge on them. She makes Isabel and Anne her ladies-in-waiting and tortures them both in subtle ways.
Margaret Uses Her Cunning on Her Husband and Her Brother
Margaret is an extremely shrewd woman. Both her mother and her husband ignore her – for very different reasons. Her mother seems to be punishing Margaret for her dramatics and her husband doesn’t want her beliefs to get them throne in jail or worse. But Margaret is steadfast in her beliefs. She is determined to bring the Lancaster line back to the thrown and she has no problem manipulating both her brother and her husband to get what she wants.
Elizabeth Knows She Must Have a Son
The birth of three daughters has done nothing to dim Edward’s affections, but much is at stake without a male heir in the castle. Knowing she must do something, Elizabeth turns to her mother. Together they are able to see a future where Elizabeth will have a male child and acting on that knowledge, Elizabeth sets about getting pregnant again. Before Edward leaves to deal with an uprising, she tells him they’ll have a son.
Warwick and His Family Seek Safe Harbor in Calais
After the uprising is quashed, Warwick and his family flee London. They think the French will welcome them to their shores, but they find themselves under attack instead. Isabel has gone into labor and with no midwife aboard the ship and a raging storm – brought on by Elizabeth and Jacquetta – preventing them from reaching shore, Isabel delivers a stillborn son.
My favorite characters on the show so far are Rebecca Ferguson‘s Elizabeth, Janet McTeer‘s Jacquetta, and Amanda Hale‘s Margaret. In Elizabeth I see a strong woman who speaks her mind. Even when the men around her try to control her, Elizabeth usually finds a way to get what she wants. If she has to go an indirect route to get her way or her say, she’ll do it. With Warwick and his family in her sights, they should be very, very careful about crossing her. In Jacquetta, I see a woman who won’t let any man tell her what to do or how to be. She married for love – not a title – which just wasn’t done in that day and time. Although she could be burned at the stake for her ‘magic,’ she teaches it to her children and has made it work for her family. In Margaret I see someone with the courage of their convictions. Even though everything she says could get her, her husband, and her extended family thrown in the Tower, I like that she’s steadfast. Her relationship with Jasper is in direct opposition to her faith in God, and yet I find it so compelling. These are women I will gladly spend my time with.
I’m the first one to admit that I don’t know all I should about history – especially British history. I’m sure I learned at least a little something about the Wars of the Roses in high school or college, but it’s since left my brain. I don’t watch historical dramas for a history lesson; I watch for the storytelling. But I do like it when a show like this makes me want to really know what happened. So if you want to know more about Queen Elizabeth, here’s a good place to start.
What did you think of the episode? What do you make of this ‘magic’ angle? What are you looking forward to seeing in future episodes?
The White Queen airs Saturdays at 9/8c on Starz.
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