*NOTE: This is a sitewide favorite show..we are sad to see it go*
This is it, folks – photos from the series finale episode of The Tudors, which will be airing on June 20.
Henry is forced to surrender Boulogne, his great prize, as part of a peace treaty with France. But where in the past he might have felt anger, his feelings now turn melancholic with the news that King Francis, his longtime friend and sometimes foe, is dying.
There is a slow, quiet and nonetheless inevitable shifting of allegiances as Henry’s own health begins to fade. Factions are forming at Court as thoughts turn towards a successor. Some see Prince Edward, Henry’s son by Anne Seymour, as his natural heir while others, notably Bishop Gardiner, are determined to restore a Catholic to the throne in the person of Princess Mary.
Under orders of Gardiner, an arrest warrant for Queen Catherine is issued on grounds of heresy. However, when Risley and his men, believing they’re carrying out the King’s orders, come to arrest the Queen, they are brutally rebuffed by Henry in a complex psychological game that leaves everyone uncertain of his allegiances and beliefs. For his overreaching ambition, Bishop Gardiner is expelled from Court.
Hearing that Charles Brandon is very ill, the King summons his old friend to court. It is to be their last encounter: Brandon dies soon after and Henry is greatly shaken; his longest and most loyal ally now gone.
Realizing his own death is now imminent, Henry retreats more and more into himself. He sees the ghosts of his past wives, then sends Queen Catherine and his beloved daughters Elizabeth and Mary away from Whitehall Palace. Alone, Henry VIII prepares for the end of his magnificent, momentous monarchy.