Sunday, October 13, 2013

The White Queen Recap: The Princes in the Tower

* Spoilers ahead if you haven't seen Episode 9, "The Princes in the Tower."

Hey—I actually had time this week to sit down and watch TV! It's been a while, and I was kind of tempted to continue watching The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey over on HBO even though I'd seen it already because, hello: Richard Armitage! I guess you could say I had a bit of an internal battle over which Richard to watch, but in the end I switched to Starz because I've been feeling so guilty about my lack of blogging lately and wanted to get this post up as scheduled.

Traitors Everywhere!

Man, it killed me to watch Richard bestow titles on two traitors-in-waiting: Stanley and Buckingham. He told them he was grateful for their loyalty, which made me cringe.

A Tale of Two Princes

Princes Edward and Richard are all anyone talks about in this ep, and with good reason. They've been declared illegitimate but still pose a threat to Richard's reign. Elizabeth worries about the fate of her boys, though it's really Edward she's concerned about since the real Prince Richard was smuggled out of England in last week's episode and secretly replaced with an imposter. Meanwhile, Anne goes to the Tower to look in on them and has a conversation with Robert Brackenbury that will come back to haunt her later in the episode.

So Much Conspiring

I thought this was one of the better paced episodes, what with all the plans to stab Richard in the back constantly changing. At first Elizabeth thinks that Margaret and Buckingham are both on her side when they offer to break the princes out of the Tower. In exchange, Buckingham's daughter will marry Prince Edward, Henry Tudor will be allowed to return from exile and marry Princess Elizabeth, plus be named heir to the throne after Edward.

Save or Slaughter?

That's Stanley's ultimatum to Margaret as they discuss what's going to go down when the Tower is stormed. Sure, Stanley says, they could rescue the lads, but what would become of Margaret's plans to put her darling Henry on the throne? Now, if something unfortunate were to happen to the boys . . . Henry's chances of becoming king look so much better!

Storming the Tower = Fail

The operation fails because no one anticipated how well-guarded the boys would be. Richard learns what happened in London while on progress in the North and plans to have his nephews moved there. Stanley, still pretending to be all for Richard, passes this news to Margaret, who hatches a new plan: team up with Buckingham. The Duke has access to the boys, and everyone will think Richard killed them. Buckingham's terms for his loyalty to Henry Tudor are that he be crowned king if Tudor dies. At this point, I think I just wanted to slap all of the conspirators: Stanley, Margaret, and Buckingham. So Buckingham upholds his end of the bargain, and Stanley is anxious because Margaret didn't actually see the bodies of the princes. Stanley's worried that Buckingham is just holding them somewhere. In the meantime, thanks to Buckingham, rumors are spreading that Richard is responsible for the boys' deaths.

Excuse Me While I Go Put Down This Rebellion

Richard heads out to battle to stop Buckingham and Tudor. He knows about Buckingham's betrayal from having intercepted Margaret's letters.

Let's Make It Rain

Princess Elizabeth asks her mother where Tudor is supposed to meet Buckingham (in Wales) and wishes it would rain. Guess what happens next? It rains so hard, Tudor can't set sail, and Buckingham is forced to march through nothing but mud. With Richard in pursuit, Buckingham's men begin to flee, and he realizes he can't possibly win against Richard. I wish I could make it rain on command; I could save so much water by not having to use the lawn sprinklers!

Bye Bye, Buckingham

When Richard returns to London, he goes to the Tower himself and is dismayed to discover that the boys are indeed gone. Buckingham is executed, and Margaret is put under house arrest for her treason. She accuses Stanley of setting her up so he could take her money, and he's just like, puh-lease.

The Showdown

Richard goes to see Elizabeth in sanctuary and asks her if she's hidden her sons away somewhere because they're not in the Tower. He promises her that he had nothing to do with their deaths and guarantees her safety if she lives sanctuary. But—she'll be under house arrest because he can't trust her not to rebel against him. Her daughters Elizabeth and Cecily are to go to court.

We'll Curse the Culprit Together, But You Still Have to Marry Henry Tudor

The title pretty much says it. The Elizabeths curse whomever is behind the princes' deaths. Elizabeth the elder is determined that her daughter will still wed Tudor.

Next Week: The Finale

The final episode airs next Saturday; it should be action-packed, to say the least.


  1. Her take on The Two Princes is possibly my favorite part in the book. I love the whole mystery surrounding those kids' disappearance and her version gives me a little comfort that one of them survived at least. The crown and everything that goes with it isn't worth his life. I wish someone would use that as a book premise or something.

    1. I'm glad that she didn't go pinning everything on Richard, which Tudor historians had a field day doing. The idea that Prince Richard, Duke of York, was safely smuggled out of England was rather interesting, especially since there really was a young man, Perkin Warbeck, who claimed to be Richard during Henry VII's reign.

  2. Too bad they didn't have DNA testing to prove it back then if Perkin Warbeck was really Richard. There were two other mean who came forward and claimed they were the long lost Prince Richard, so who knows who was telling the truth.

    1. So true, especially since it was DNA testing that not so long ago proved it was Richard III who was found buried under a parking lot!


We love hearing from our readers and do our best to reply. Thank you for taking the time to leave a comment!