Sunday, October 14, 2012

Episode 8 Season 1 – The Tudors Episode Summary 1.8

Queen Catherine of Aragon kneels before King Henry VIII
Synopsis: Cardinal Campeggio arrives in London and tries to persuade Queen Catherine of Aragon to abdicate her marriage.  Anne Boleyn instills doubt in King Henry VIII’s mind about Cardinal Wolsey causing the King to be suspicious of his trusted adviser.  Queen Catherine refuses Cardinal Campeggio’s proposal and so her marriage goes on trial in the legatine court.

Episode Summary: Cardinal Campeggio finally arrives in London, and meets with Cardinal Wolsey who informs him that King Henry VIII would like a legatine court that would decide his marriage’s annulment set up immediately.  Cardinal Campeggio agrees, and makes Cardinal Wolsey aware that the Pope has given him a written permission to decide upon the matter.  Moreover, whatever his decision will be about the King’s marriage will be final.  No appeal can come after it.  Campeggio could see how the Pope desires to satisfy King Henry VIII’s wish, and although Campeggio admits to be not without stain, himself having a son despite being a priest, he believes that he and Wolsey has a duty to persuade the King to forego his divorce.  Campeggio believes that Henry’s cause for ending his marriage is born out nothing more than his passion for Anne Boleyn, and is convinced that his infatuation with the young woman will eventually die.  Wolsey gives Campeggio fair warning about the consequences of denying Henry his divorce.  He makes it clear to him that if King Henry VIII does not get his divorce, England will break off from the Catholic Church, the whole kingdom will no longer recognize papal authority. Continue reading...

Cardinal Wolsey having assured King Henry VIII that the court is merely a formality to appease the Emperor, the King is sure that the Pope has already ruled in his favor.  This pleases Anne Boleyn who feels that her marriage to Henry is imminent, but becomes furious when Henry informs her that for the sake of appearances and to avoid a counter suit, he must share Queen Catherine’s bed.  Henry becomes upset with Anne as well for her lack of trust.

King Henry VIII speaks with Cardinal Campeggio making him aware that his request is born out of his guilt.  Henry claims that though both husband and wife are at fault; he believes that they broke God’s law by marrying each other.  Campeggio claims to sympathize with the King, but nonetheless brings up an alternative from granting Henry a divorce.  Surprised and annoyed, Cardinal Wolsey tries to warn Campeggio, but the Italian cardinal assures him that his proposal will be in favor of the King.  Cardinal Campeggio tells King Henry VIII that knowing Queen Catherine of Aragon’s piety and devotion to the Mother of God, he suggests of the King persuading his wife to abdicate her marriage, and to have her live the rest of her days in a nunnery.  Cardinal Wolsey actually agrees with the recommendation for not only would it expedite the dissolution of their marriage, it will also save them the pain of having a trial.  Moreover, this solution would surely not offend the Queen’s nephew, the Emperor, because the decision will come from Queen Catherine herself.  Having heard the advise of Cardinal Wolsey, King Henry VIII gives Cardinal Campeggio permission to present his proposal to the Queen.

Cardinal Campeggio wastes no time to present his proposal to Queen Catherine of Aragon who informs him that she will make a decision after she has spoken to her husband, the King.  Cardinal Wolsey kneels before the Queen to beg her to agree to the King’s will, and accept the proposal of her abdicating her marriage to join a nunnery and take a vow of perpetual chastity.  However, this only infuriates the Queen who sees before her a man of the cloth who has a mistress and has fathered two children.  Henry knowing very well that Catherine has heard the proposal asks his wife of what her decision will be, but is disappointed to hear that his wife is prepared to tell the truth.  Catherine puts the decision on her husband’s hands.  She will not speak to Cardinal Campeggio unless Henry gives her permission.

Master Cromwell pays a visit to Lady Anne Boleyn to hand her a gift from Mr. Fish, a friend who was exiled to Holland.  It is a heretic book entitled “The Obedience of the Christian Man”.  It contains criticisms of the papacy, and also the arrogance and abuses of priests.  Due to the nature of the book, Lady Anne must be careful in sharing it with others for the church including Cardinal Wolsey is keen on prosecuting heretics.

Thomas Tallis finds Joan’s sister Jane in a small cottage outside of London.  After her sister’s death, Jane left the King’s court.  Curiously, Jane claims that her sister is still with her, and smiles in acknowledgment of her presence.  Thomas looks behind him to see who she is smiling at, and seems to have seen the ghost of Joan as well.  Despite this oddity, Thomas has come to fulfill the reason of his visit, and that is to ask Jane’s hand in marriage.

As per her earlier request, Cardinal Campeggio hears Queen Catherine’s confession.  She speaks to him about her marriage to Prince Arthur, King Henry’s older brother.  She swears that her marriage with Prince Arthur was not consummated, and therefore she was still a virgin when she married King Henry VIII.  She, therefore, declares to Cardinal Campeggio that she cannot accede to his proposal for she is the true and legitimate wife of King Henry VIII.  Moreover, she gives Cardinal Campeggio permission to break the seal of the confessional that he may tell the whole world what she had just told him.

Charles Brandon informs his wife, that her brother the King wants her back in court.  Princess Margaret herself disapproves of her brother’s decision to end his marriage to Queen Catherine to be with Anne.  She refuses to go back to court because it will show that she is in support of her brother’s wishes, which she is not.  Charles, however, believes that they must stay in the King’s good graces even if it means showing their support for his divorce.  Charles believes that Henry marrying Anne is a marriage of expedience, which reminds Margaret of her own marriage.  Charles tells his wife that he loved her when she married her, but Margaret fully aware of her husband’s extramarital affairs believes that Charles does not know the true meaning of love.

Cardinal Campeggio confides in Sir Thomas More about his disappointment with the King for throwing his marriage for Anne Boleyn.  He informs him that he has tried everything to dissuade the King from divorcing Queen Catherine, but finds that not even an angel in heaven could make him change his mind.  Moreover, he has received petitions from the Duke of Suffolk, Norfolk and Lord Boleyn assuring him that the people of England are in support of the King’s divorce.  To this, Sir Thomas More assures the cardinal that those petitions are nothing but lies.  He should only look outside to confirm that the people do not wish King Henry VIII to divorce Queen Catherine of Aragon.  Sir Thomas More claims that the people love Queen Catherine, and truly believes that they have every reason to do so.

Cardinal Wolsey informs King Henry that Queen Catherine refused Cardinal Campeggio’s offer, but the Pope is willing to legitimize the King’s children with his mistress Anne.  King Henry is not pleased at all with the news, but he keeps his composure at least to keep up appearances during a feast in his court.  Cardinal Campeggio observes high from the balcony the behavior of the people in King Henry’s court.  He asks Ambassador Mendoza the identities of the men speaking with the King, and the Spanish ambassador informs him that they are Lord Rochford, Anne Boleyn’s father, the Duke of Norfolk who is her uncle, and the Duke of Suffolk.  All of these men are sworn enemies of Cardinal Wolsey, and everybody in court knows that they would stop at nothing to bring down the King’s trusted adviser, Wolsey.  Ambassador Mendoza, however, notes that the King’s love for the Cardinal has diminished.  Campeggio then asks Mendoza of his opinion regarding the matter of the King’s marriage, and he informs him that the Emperor is outraged so much so that he has demanded the Pope to settle the matter in Rome.  Campeggio would then like to know if the Emperor plans on starting war against England in the event that his aunt, the Queen, is renounced.  Although the Emperor has not yet spoken of waging war against England if the King’s divorce is granted, Ambassador Mendoza will surely try to find out.

Princess Margaret though reluctant to return to the King’s court attends the feast if only to try to dissuade her brother from throwing his marriage away for Anne Boleyn, a woman she believes does not deserve his attention more so his marriage.  He, however, finds her sister’s marriage laughable that he does not give her persuasions any mind.  Although his divorce is yet to be granted, King Henry VIII flaunts Anne in his court.  He does not hide being intimate with her, and even shares a dance with his mistress.

Queen Catherine of Aragon receives Archbishop Warham and Bishop Tunstall whom King Henry VIII has sent to speak to her.  Queen Catherine makes it clear to them that she has nothing against King Henry.  Her battle is against his advisers, and Anne Boleyn.  Although the two are part of the council for the legatine court, they have not come to discuss a brief, but rather to inform her that there have been threats on the life of the King and also of Cardinal Campeggio.  Moreover, they inform her that if any threats materialize then she and her daughter will be the prime suspects.  In addition they accuse the Queen for being superficial for showing herself too much to the people and relishing in their acclaim, and that this act only supports her hatred against the King.  The two goes on to claim that the Queen’s hatred is displayed in her refusal to acknowledge that she is living in sin with the King, and in her rejection of the King’s gracious offer to retire to a religious community.  Queen Catherine is in disbelief of their accusations, but could not help but snicker at the ludicrousness of the complaints they have raised especially with Bishop Tunstall who once sided with her in the matter of her marriage, but now somehow has had a change of heart.  With her own lawyers accusing and charging her with lies, Queen Catherine dismisses both representatives who clearly have chosen to keep their place on Earth over their place in heaven.

Following the advice of his lawyers, King Henry VIII reluctantly shares the bed of his wife.  He, however, instead of fulfilling the duties of a husband chooses to scold his wife for denying him his wish.  Knowing that Catherine continually strives to show her love for him, Henry claims to question whether she truly loves him.  Moreover, he informs her of his plan to keep her away from their daughter fearing that she has been poisoning their child with thoughts against him.

Anne Boleyn and King Henry VIII are alone in a bedroom where Anne seduces the King by telling him that she has hidden her new motto in a ribbon.  The King puts his head under her skirt in search for this new motto, but Anne stops him to inform the King that she feels that somebody close to the King is purposely delaying the trial that will decide his divorce.  The King sets to speak to Cardinal Wolsey asking the man if he finds Cardinal Campeggio a trustworthy man.  He wonders whether the Pope’s representative is under the pension of the Emperor, which Wolsey doubts knowing that the man has suffered from the Emperor’s ransacking of Rome.  With Anne instilling doubt in his mind about Wolsey, Henry accuses his adviser as the person delaying his divorce.  Cardinal Wolsey, once again, finds himself kneeling before a man as he begs the King that he desires nothing more than to advance the divorce proceedings.  Seeing that Wolsey is speaking the truth, Henry helps the distraught cardinal up to his feet.  Moreover, King Henry VIII declares his trust in the cardinal.  Little did they know that Sir Thomas More and the Duke of Norfolk have witnessed their argument.

Convinced that it is not Wolsey that is causing the delays, King Henry VIII sends Mister Cromwell to Rome to persuade the Pope to grant him his annulment with a genuine threat that England will withdraw its submission to Rome if the Pope, and the King will withdraw his allegiance to His Holiness if he denies his divorce.  Henry then summons the Duke of Suffolk, and sends Charles to Paris to question King Francis about Cardinal Campeggio.  Henry wants to know if the cardinal has secret dealings with the Emperor or has any ambition of becoming Pope.  Moreover, he asks Charles Brandon to also inquire about Cardinal Wolsey wanting to know whose side the cardinal is on.

Sir Thomas More pays a visit to Queen Catherine, and brings along with him Bishop Fisher whom he finds would provide her true and devoted counsel.  Despite her warning that taking her case will give him a life without peace or tranquility, Bishop Fisher gladly accepts to be her lawyer in the trial of her marriage.  Having already studied her case, Bishop Fisher informs the Queen that the King’s lawyers will insist that the Pope’s dispensation that allowed the marriage of King Henry VIII and Queen Catherine of Aragon was faulty, and therefore invalid.  Bishop Fisher believes that the ideal way to combat this claim is to provide fresh and more perfect dispensation.  Moreover, they could argue that they have remained married for so long a time, and therefore they could only conclude it to be genuine.  Also, the principle of Supplet Ecclessia has covered for any defects in the Pope’s dispensation.  Although this reasoning may win the argument, Bishop Fisher is not confident that they will win the trial.  He, however, believes that they must try.  Seeing that the Queen has become disheartened at hearing the prospect of losing despite having sound arguments in her favor, Bishop Fisher asks her to cheer up for he believes that they are in the side of angels.

Mister Cromwell has finally been allowed an audience with the Pope, but has written to King Henry expressing his belief that Pope Clement will not help him.  The Pope may pray for him, but His Holiness will not commit to actually doing anything about it.  Meanwhile, Charles Brandon is at the Palace of King Francis of Valois to speak with King Francis about Cardinal Campeggio.  King Francis informs him that Campeggio is a two-faced man, and that the cardinal secretly despises the task he was sent to do.  King Francis’ advise to King Henry is not to trust Campeggio.  However, he is taken aback when asked if the same is true about Cardinal Wolsey.  King Francis declares of not having anything against Wolsey, and believes that the cardinal has no love for Queen Catherine that he does want the divorce to go through.  However, he does tell Charles Brandon that Cardinal Wolsey understands the Pope and Cardinal Campeggio.  His advice is that the King should take closer interest in his matter himself.

Cardinal Wolsey physically attacks Cardinal Campeggio to make it clear to him that if he does not grant King Henry VIII a divorce, the Church will lose the King of England along with his kingdom.  As a consequence, Cardinal Wolsey will also be ruined, and this he cannot allow.  His attack on Campeggio is a sign of desperation, and his enemies smell his fear.  Charles Brandon informs his allies that the King has become suspicious of Cardinal Wolsey.  The Duke of Norfolk believes that the time to bring him down has come.  Lord Rochford shows Charles a pamphlet that mocks the cardinal’s tenure, and shows it as a period of pride, waste, repression and ineffectual policies.  The Duke of Norfolk proposes that they must call for the immediate arrest of Cardinal Wolsey and his men.  Moreover, they must call for a thorough examination of his administration to expose his corruption that will guarantee his treason.  The last thing that needs to be done is for Anne Boleyn to convince the King that all his suspicions are justified.

The legatine court assembles in Blackfriar’s Church, and the crowd cheers as its members arrive.  The crowd cheers even louder when Queen Catherine of Aragon arrives, clearly showing their support for her.  Cardinal Campeggio declares that the legatine court commissioned by Pope Clement is now in session, and announces that all that is said in court are under oath and in the presence of God.  He first calls King Henry VIII to speak to his cause.  King Henry declares that his conscience brought him to the court.  Having read Leviticus, he believes that he has disobeyed God’s law when he married his brother’s wife.  Moreover, he informs the court that all his bishops share the doubts on the validity of his marriage enough for them to sign a petition questioning its authenticity.  Bishop Fisher contests this claim for he is one of the King’s bishops, and he did not sign the petition.  Furthermore, if the court finds his signature in the petition then Bishop Tunstall must have written it without his consent.  Although Bishop Fisher’s disruption of the King’s argument caused a stir, the King is confident that the matter about his signature being forged shall not be an issue for the rest of the bishops are on his side.  The King then turns to the matter of having waited a long time before questioning the validity of his marriage.  Henry claims that it is his love for Catherine that prevented him from questioning it before, but he can no longer appease his conscience.  He now asks the court to give him justice.

Cardinal Wolsey announces that they will later call upon Queen Catherine to reply to the King’s statement, but does her a disservice by declaring that the Queen has expressed her lack of confidence in the court.  Wolsey states that the Queen questions the impartiality of the judges, and had expressed her belief that the matter should be tried in Rome with the Pope making the decision.  Wolsey, however, makes it clear to the court that the Pope has given them the authority to decide the case.  Moreover, he dispels any prejudice in their part, and furthermore the trial will continue to be heard in England.

Queen Catherine of Aragon stands to address the court only to kneel before her husband, the King.  Embarrassed at people seeing his wife kneeling before him, King Henry VIII quickly tries to get her to stand up, but fails.  Queen Catherine, on her knees, pleads to King Henry to let her have justice, and for him to show pity and compassion for a poor woman who was born outside of England.  She finds that she has no friend in his dominion and has little counsel, and therefore goes to him for he is the head of justice of this realm.  She declares that she has always been a humble and obedient wife.  Moreover, as God as her witness, Queen Catherine declares that she was a virgin when she became the wife of King Henry VIII.  Furthermore, whether or not it is true, Queen Catherine puts this fact in King Henry’s conscience.  Queen Catherine of Aragon walks out of the court despite the calls of the judges.  Bishop Fisher suggests that they return to their seats, but Queen Catherine informs her lawyer that the court has no meaning to her, and therefore she will not stay.  Despite the shock from what they have witnessed, the people stand to show their respect to the Queen of England.  Moreover, the crowd cheers in support of Queen Catherine of Aragon.

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Anonymous said...

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KarenAZ said...

I just wanted to say how much I enjoy these review! I have started watching the Tudors and these help me so much and really add to my understanding and enjoyment !

Comprehensive Episode Guides said...

Hi KarenAZ,

Thank you so much for your comment. It is greatly appreciated. Happy reading!