Friday, November 1, 2013

The White Queen Recap: The Final Battle

* Spoilers ahead if you haven't seen Episode 10, "The Final Battle."

Huzzah—I finally had a chance to watch the finale of The White Queen. I'd actually been dreading the episode quite a bit because in case it isn't obvious from how much I've mentioned Richard in these posts, I'm totally of the belief that history has been rather unkind to him. So it was with much grimacing that I sat through this ep; I could barely watch the TV during the Bosworth scenes.

The episode begins with Elizabeth out of sanctuary and back at Grafton. Her eldest daughters, Elizabeth and Cecily, remain at court, much to Anne's displeasure. Seeing tensions rise between Anne and Richard, particularly over the younger Elizabeth (Unless otherwise noted, whenever Elizabeth is mentioned, I'm referring to Elizabeth of York and not her mother, Elizabeth Woodville.), saddened me terribly. Their son, Prince Edward, is sickly and later dies, followed soon after by Anne's death. Everything just goes to hell for Richard, and to think that this all comes straight out of history . . . that's a very depressing thought.

Margaret is her usual wacky self, writing furiously to Henry to get himself to England. She worries about Stanley's loyalty, especially since he and his brother are notorious for taking opposing sides so that there's always a Stanley on the winning one. Her anxiety really kicks in when Richard threatens to kill Stanley's son if his father fails to turn up for the battle. Stanley warns Margaret that he won't abandon his own son for hers. Without his men, Henry doesn't stand a chance.

Well, anybody who's seen the episode and/or knows their history can tell you who the Stanleys end up supporting. I seriously couldn't watch Richard's death. I also tried to tune out the part where Margaret told all of the men kneeling before her newly crowned son to continue kneeling before the mother of the king. Ugh. I couldn't help but feel some sympathy for Elizabeth—I personally would not want Margaret for a mother-in-law.

Back in Grafton, Elizabeth Woodville welcomes her son Richard, whom she'd secretly sent away while an imposter assumed his identity, home. And that's pretty much it. Richard III was the last Plantagenet king as well as the last English king to die in battle. For further Ricardian reading, I highly, highly recommend Sharon Kay Penman's superb historical fiction novel, The Sunne in Splendour as well as Paul Murray Kendall's Richard the Third, a biography.

Well, I think I'm done with recapping TV adaptations of books for a while, at least until the return of Game of Thrones next year, which cannot arrive soon enough!


  1. Well there was once scene in this episode that greatly distressed me and I didn't like it at all. Richard III definitely has been treated unkindly I agree. I love the actor who portrayed him. He definitely made you feel sympathy for him. Excellent Recap of the Show. I have enjoyed reading them.

    1. Thanks! Aneurin Barnard's portrayal of Richard was definitely the highlight of the series for me; those eyes! If only history had turned out differently for Richard . . . .


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